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May 13, 2005

Texas Democratic Party: $6,300

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

I was reading this article today (sub. req.) about the state of the Texas Democratic Party a year after Ardmore and ran across this interesting line...

"Some days it's horrible. Some days you don't want to get up and come over here," said Houston Rep. Garnett Coleman, who had helped lead the opposition. "But you know, public service is not for just when you win."

For the Democratic Party, the losses have proved costly.

Its most recent filing with the Texas Ethics Commission shows it has just $6,300 on hand. The Republican Party, by contrast, had $139,000.

It's sad that even I have more money than the state party and I'm a college student without a job. I know that the Texas HDCC is having a fundraiser in couple weeks, but in the meantime you can always donate online to the state party. I'll even kick in a few bucks once I get some credit cleared.

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at May 13, 2005 04:16 AM | TrackBack


On the other hand, though, six months after an election I would certainly hope that the state party is NOT rolling in dough.

Posted by: Jim D at May 13, 2005 06:21 AM

Of course, that also means we are 25% of the way to the next critial texas elections and we are only at $6300. And what if a special election opened up for a state house seat? I know there is an upcoming one for Rep. Moreno (may he rest in peace) and thank goodness it's a safe dem seat, but I'm not going to try to spin having no money as a "positive" thing right now.

Posted by: Karl-T at May 13, 2005 06:58 AM

Last night on the bloggers' conference call with Chris Bell, he said that he thought he'd need to raise $10 to $20 million dollars for the gubernatorial campaign.

Since he is hardly self-funded I'm wondering where all that caysh is going to come from...

Posted by: PDiddie at May 13, 2005 07:46 AM


Posted by: Robbie at May 13, 2005 08:04 AM

The Texas Democrats have a problem with cash not because people don't WANT to donate but because people don't feel a NEED to donate. For the Democratic Party to once again become a force in Texas and the nation, they need a clearer directional message and more dynamic (younger possibly)leaders to voice that new message.

Personally, I am tired of the old Democratic line(s) that all corporations are bad, we must help the poor and homeless, teachers need more money, the environment is polluted and the tax cuts only helped the rich. Some or all of this may be true but to only bitch and complain without giving real solutions to problems (i.e. Social Security) only continues the party's weakness.

Posted by: gayinmidland at May 13, 2005 08:47 AM

I don't think the Democrats need to change thier message gayinmidland. That's not the problem. Texas is one of the major fundraising spots for Democrats nationally. Look up how much the DNC and the DCCC get from Texas Donors, you're going to be shocked. If the Texas Democratic Party is in that poor of condition, than it's either because they are not trying to raise money, or, they don't know how to raise money. Either is bad.

Posted by: Ki at May 13, 2005 10:07 AM

Ki - Appreciate the comment and you are correct about the money. I suppose my problem/frustration is that in Texas at least, Dems keep loosing ground on a state-wide level while the radical right-wing Republicans continue the invasion of the soul snatchers.

If its not a money raising issue or the message (Ki quote: "I don't think the Democrats need to change thier message..") then what is it?? Why is Texas soooo Red??

Posted by: gayinmidland at May 13, 2005 10:28 AM

(Why is Texas so red)
Why Texas is so red and the financial troubles at the state party are two seperate but related issues.
Texas is so red due to the hostile take over of the state by carefully calculated efforts on the part or republicans to use any means necessary (many of which are proving to be illegal) to take over the state house in order to have the power to orchestrate the (red)istricting needed to elect GOP reps to U.S. congressional seats.
How is this connected to money issues at the state level? Many of Texas's larges Democratic contributors have depended on the trickle down effect of money given to the national party to support Texas. The problem is that while Texas was being torn apart by the GOP machine, it was largely ignored by the national party, particulary with regard to finances. The state party on the other hand has proven itself somewhat ineffective in recent years, which has encouraged large doners to send money to the national party.
Large contributors should be made aware of how Texas has been ignored by the national party and encouraged to keep Texas money at home with contributions to state candidates and the state party first, then the national party.
I do believe there has been some weakness in the party at the state level, lack of organization for starters, but it will be difficult to cure these problems without appropriate funds.

Posted by: comeon at May 13, 2005 10:40 AM

Well gayinmidland I assume you are from Midland, and I, am from Lubbock so I totally get what you're saying about message. But the Democrats sitting with $6,000 in the bank in a state where the national Democrats raise more than most all other states with the exception of maybe CA, FLA, NY is ridiculous. And, I think that comeon makes a good point that these Republicans in Texas have no problems using religion to push through thier agenda which is really, really, low.

Do I think we Dems need to address things like religion and values? Yes--absolutely. But I think we are failing as a state party because there is no organization, because how can there be when there is no money? And the money is there for the DNC, and the DCCC from TX. They treat us like an ATM--they come in, have funraisers with trial lawyers in Houston and liberal activists in Austin, and then go on thier merry way not helping our Texas candiates out very much. They send our Texas money elsewhere. The state party can get it too if they really go after it--i think. It only makes sense.

Posted by: Ki at May 13, 2005 11:21 AM

Actually, the DCCC hasn't been using Texas as an ATM because from 1995-2004, all the money raised in Texas (and oftentimes more) was spent in Texas. I'm not sure if that deal still holds because that was one that Frost personally arranged & fought for. Now, the DNC & DSCC (except for the Kirk election) are different stories.

There are a lot of good Democratic donors in Texas, but you have to do the work to get their money - send mail, hold events, make phone calls, explain why their money will be put to good use. That's where the TDP fails & why they're in such a horrible situation.

Posted by: ex-Frostie at May 13, 2005 12:01 PM

Not to dissuade anyone from chipping in where they see fit to help, but that dollar amount in the TDP coffers was well before they raised $150k in Houston with a John Edwards appearance.

Posted by: Greg Wythe at May 13, 2005 12:24 PM

Who in their right mind would want to give money to the current Texas Democratic Party?

Posted by: msanford at May 13, 2005 01:13 PM

Thanks for your post ex-frostie. It was pretty insightful for me. I'm glad to hear that about the DCCC. It seems to me that if the national party can even be somewhat successful fundraising in Texas, so can the TDP, and from what you describe it doesn't sound like it takes a miracle, really just a little hard work and know-how.

Posted by: Ki at May 13, 2005 01:20 PM

er....wouldn't that be soechting's job to raise money?

Posted by: tim kaastad at May 21, 2005 08:47 AM
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