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The Process is Broken ~ Rep. Raymond's Speech

by: M. Eddie Rodriguez

Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 23:06:57 PM CST

The Speaker's race is over. What was once an improbable dream turned possible returned to sand. There were a few that stood up and said into the blackness that is Speaker Craddick "I stand against your corruption and ruined soul."

The following Democrats voted "No" against the sole nominee for Speaker.

Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas
Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth
Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio
Garnet Coleman, D-Houston
Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas
Jim Dunnam, D-Waco
Craig Eiland, D-Galveston
Juan Escobar, D-Kingsville
Joe Farias, D-San Antonio
Jessica Farrar, D-Houston
Pete Gallego, D-Alpine
Juan M. Garcia, D-Corpus Christi
Ana Hernandez, D-Houston
Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi
Terri Hodge, D-Dallas
David Leibowitz, D-San Antonio
Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas
Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio
Borris Miles, D-Houston
Paul Moreno, D-El Paso
Rick Noriega, D-Houston
Dora Olivo, D-Rosenberg
Solomon Ortiz Jr., D-Corpus Christi
Richard Raymond, D-Laredo
Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin
Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston
Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth

Are the relegated to some obscure committee? Probably but who cares? They know that they will be retaliated against and it just doesn't matter. They care more about the right thing to do.

There is one that deserves a little more notice.

Before the final vote for Speaker, Rep. Richard Raymond stood at the front mic in opposition and said the following:(click on There's More for the speech)

Thanks you Mr. Secretary.

Unlike Sylvester I was not prepared to speak today. It was the last thing I thought I'd do. And unlike my good friend, Aaron Pena, I don't have a prepared text and I am not going to talk about the currents of history. But I have to talk about a path… a better path to future.

Like my [pause] friend Patrick Rose, I too, Patrick, am proud to be a Democrat. I am not saying anything else about that one.

But I stand before you members for just a couple of minutes to say this, if you looked at lists in recent days, you saw my name. I talked to a lot of you. In fact I probably talked to lot more Republicans than I ever talked to Democrats during this process. And I reached out to our Speaker, to Mr. Craddick, and I said, I am a good Democrat and I can make you look better if you want to make the process better and he said, "I want to."

And then we had some Republicans jump in the race and challenge in an unprecedented way; challenge a sitting Speaker of the House from their own party. Two good men: Brian McCall and Jim Pitts. But I stuck with Mr. Craddick until the process got to a point that it wasn't even about not being for Mr. Craddick anymore but it was about being against the process because the process is broken.

So I stand before you today, I never thought I would do this, I stand up and speak against the only nominee that we have for Speaker. We saw today a good man in Jim Pitts with a critical mass of support against an incumbent speaker. And after Mr. Hartnett fought so hard to make sure that the candidates would know immediately the victor. The Speaker would know immediately who voted for whom. And [He] succeeded in passing that. All of sudden there is no more candidacy by Mr. Pitts. We saw before our very eyes what is wrong with the process.

I have great hope for the future. I always have and I will tell Mr. Craddick who is going to be our Speaker, "Prove me wrong Mr. Speaker. Prove me wrong." That after we respectfully disagree today with your nomination because I intend to vote "NO" and I will ask every Democrat and a few of you Republicans that ought to give it a little bit of thought to vote  `No' on this nomination. Think about it.

After that vote Mr. Speaker, I hope you will prove me wrong because I will extend my hand to you and say "Let's make this process better." Let us not intimidate and coerce. And I am not saying you did that but we saw today something we have never seen before in a Speaker's race but something that we saw too many time these past four years… time and again.

As I said, I know that most of your Republicans, maybe all of you, will vote for Mr. Craddick. And Mr. Pitts got out of this race now that the votes would be know immediately. Because he wanted to, as he said, "because he didn't want to put anyone in further jeopardy" and he reluctantly withdrew.

It is time to make a statement. It is time to respectfully with our finger vote for the people we represent and send a message to the process and whoever is standing up there [motioning to the Speakers dais] after this vote that process and the people of the state of Texas and the God that we swear an oath to matter more than anyone one person having a tremendous amount of power.

I am asking about every single one of you Democrats to think about what is right, to help make this process better and after then that my challenge is very simple Mr. Speaker, prove me wrong, prove me wrong and let's make this a better place and better process.

Thank you and God bless you.

Rep. Raymond just painted a bullseye on his forehead but he has never been afraid of a good fight. He took on Tom Delay and his minions back in 2003.  It really pretty simple. If he doesn't stand up for his district then no one will. Craddick sure as hell won't. I think the seeds planted today will one day bear sweet fruit.

To the brave 27 Democrats, thank you for standing up and the continuing the fight. You do you job during session and we'll do our job during the next primary.

Tags: Richard Raymond, Tom Craddick, Speaker's Race, Texas Lege, (All Tags)
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The Process is Broken ~ Rep. Raymond's Speech | 33 comments | Time to post comments expired.
Thank you so much for posting the text (0.00 / 0)
I kept hearing that it was an passionate speech, but I have the worst case of chills from reading that...

Thanks, Representative Raymond.  We'll be watching your back. 

To the Iscariot Caucus:  Watch yours. 

by: sccs @ Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 23:14:00 PM CST
[ Reply ]
Magnificent. (5.00 / 1)
This is what it means to fight for Texas.

Thank you to all 27 of the Courage Caucus.

Most of all, thank you to Rep. Raymond for your passionate eloquence.

Our democratic institutions must serve the people of the state, not use the people as fodder for a corrupt corporate agenda.

Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

by: boadicea @ Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 23:25:15 PM CST
[ Reply ]
Heroes (0.00 / 0)
"They care more about the right thing to do."

That is my definition of a hero. And there are 27 of them in Austin.

by: Baby Snooks @ Tue Jan 09, 2007 at 23:36:00 PM CST
[ Reply ]
I am Proud... (0.00 / 0)
I am proud that my very own rep voted "NO."  Miles- a GREAT pick!

by: Michael Hurta @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 00:31:15 AM CST
[ Reply ]
Craddick (5.00 / 1)
and company came after Richard Raymond in the last primary with a Democratic candidate who no doubt would have become another Craddick D.

After Richard's courageous speech, they'll probably do it again. Thats what political courage is all about.

by: david @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 00:42:57 AM CST
[ Reply ]
Political courage (3.00 / 1)
I'm going to throw out my favorite Emiliano Zapata quotes:

"I would rather die standing up, than live life on my knees."

Raymond is on his feet and ready to take fire, while people like Patrick Rose and Dawnna Dukes are kneeling eating the throw away crumbs Craddick tosses out.

Que viva Richard Raymond!

by: sonia @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 09:19:18 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
I've been really thinking a lot about another quote (0.00 / 0)
Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Prize winner for her work in Northern Ireland's bloody civil war, where the bodies and blood are not metaphorical.

"Fear is contagious. It cripples and engulfs societies. But courage is contagious, too."

If Betty Williams and the people of Northern Ireland could summon up the courage to stand up and say "No" to the continuous cycle of vengeance and violence, I don't think it's too much to expect of the Democrats of the legislature to vote for someone other than Craddick.

Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

by: boadicea @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 09:59:39 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Couage is contagious (0.00 / 0)
Let's pass it on.  We need to start a backbone award for our Texas State Legislators and award one every year.

Citizens and Leaders who stand up for our future:

by: sonia @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:18:44 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
I, for one, would've much rather had McCall or Pitts in there.... (0.00 / 0)
but isn't it hypocritical to give the third-degree to the Craddick Ds, just as Craddick will likely give the third degree to those who voted against him?
by: sfagrad02 @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 01:52:12 AM CST
[ Reply ]
you must not be (4.00 / 4)
very familiar with the way Speaker Craddick runs things ...

by: david @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 01:53:30 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
If you would have read my comment,.... (0.00 / 0)
you would have seen that I would've rather had McCall or Pitts in there. But it appears that we have a case of the pot calling the kettle black, as well as a double standard. When the R's support the Ds, it's "bipartisanship." But then a few Ds support an R, it's "betrayal."
by: sfagrad02 @ Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 09:31:28 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
quite the opposite (0.00 / 0)
When D's support an R who's default mode is armtwisting, brings bad legislation to the floor, and kills good legislation rather than let it come to a vote, that's not bipartisanship.

That's feudalism with a voting veneer.

When D's support an R who's conservative, but has a rep for being fair and promises to let representatives vote their district's interest rather than Jimmy Leininger's and Bobby Perry's, that's bipartisan comity.

R2 might change into something like R1-there's always a risk when you hand someone the kind of power the Speaker has.

It's also (barely) possible that R1 will change to be more fair and even handed.  About as possible as pigs need air traffic controllers.

Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

by: boadicea @ Thu Jan 11, 2007 at 09:57:56 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
True Courage (5.00 / 1)
I went to Austin to celebrate the swearing in of Barbara Mallory Caraway for House District 110.

While I give kudos to all 27 courageous voters, I really appreciate two reps: Barbara Mallory Caraway and Borris Miles.

These two reps are brand new to the House.  As you may know, both fought entrenched incumbents, and WON. I helped Barbara in her race and have rooted for Borris from afar.

Both are starting from zero and as new reps have no pull in the Lege.  But yet they followed their campaign promises to not "go along to get along" even though they would lose.  I'm sure there are other rookies that voted no, so I want to give them a special shout as well.

I don't know what pissed me off the most, jerks like Will Hartnett or the dems that sold out their districts to keep cushy chairmanships….or the guy who compared secret balloting to the Alamo. wth?

Glad to be back in Dallas. I'll leave the lege to you brave souls.

Mike Davis
Dallas Progress

Mike Davis Dallas Progress

by: Dallas Progress @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 06:53:14 AM CST
[ Reply ]
True Courage indeed! (5.00 / 1)
I applaud these members too.  Especially the new ones who were elected on the platform of reform.  May they keep working to reform our Texas House.  We have a lot of work to do.

I was in a viewing room with about 50 or so Boris Miles supporters and I am so very proud of the work they did to get him elected.  And I know that having Boris start off on the right foot made them proud. 

And lets add Juan Garcia to that round of applause for new members who showed true courage.

by: sonia @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:27:37 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Who's missing from Dallas County (0.00 / 0)
Where's Rep. Carraway's and Rep. Vaught's "NO" vote???

by: justiceron @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:26:40 AM CST
[ Reply ]
Right at the top of the Article (0.00 / 0)
Barbara Mallory Caraway's name is right at the top.

Not sure about Vaught.

Mike Davis Dallas Progress

by: Dallas Progress @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 19:28:56 PM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Fight the Power!

My comments reflect my own personal opinion and not those of any client or colleague, current, former or future.
by: Texas Nate @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:40:11 AM CST
[ Reply ]
what courage looks like (5.00 / 2)
I just want to give the freshmen who voted NO some props. *That* took courage. I'm surprised by Juan Garcia in particular. If anyone had any doubts about him, let them be put to rest for now. He has showed himself a true Texas Democrat. We need to actively support all of these Democrats going forward.

As a side note where is Donna Howard and Mark Strama?

And one more thing, I think this line from Raymond's speech is important to revisit over and over again in the future: "Prove me wrong Mr. Speaker, prove me wrong".

UID 8 suckas.

by: Trei Brundrett @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:52:57 AM CST
[ Reply ]
Once Pitts withdrew (5.00 / 1)
Those who voted for Craddick reverted to run of the mill political practice.

If they held with the caucus to support Pitts, but didn't join in with Rep Raymond and the Courage Caucus, then while I'm not impressed with their courage, I'm also not disgusted with them as I am with the Iscariots.

Perhaps we should call them the "Meh" Caucus.

Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

by: boadicea @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:58:28 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Anyone have Patrick Rose's speech? (0.00 / 0)
Anyone have Patrick Rose's speech?

by: johncoby @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:57:32 AM CST
[ Reply ]
And Pena's, too. Anyone have Rose's and Pena's drivel? (0.00 / 0)

by: SouthTexasDemocrat @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:07:36 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Capitol Annex has Pena's (0.00 / 0)
Pena's speech via Capitol Annex
Mr. Secretary, members, distinguished guests, family, and friends.

The currents of history are constantly crashing around us.  Throughout it all this Texas House and the Texas ideals and values it represents remain.  In 2003 after 130 years, not since the aftermath of the Civil War, had this institution seen those currents bring such change that came with the election of Tom Craddick as Speaker.

The full text at link above.  Thank you Vince for transcribing that.

by: sonia @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:23:27 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
What a pompus jackass! (3.00 / 2)
Here's who you represent, Rep. Iscariot:

PER CAPITA INCOME  $7,695 (less than half the statewide average)

21.9% (more than double the statewide average)  

16.0% (less than half the statewide average) 

41.9% (almost triple the statewide average) 

43.9% (almost triple the statewide average) 

30.2% (more than double the statewide average) 

13.6% (over four times the statewide average)

8.7% (barely a third of the statewide average)

55.9% (more than double the statewide average) 

The bitch you supported for speaker has been the worst opponent of those who fight poverty, equal access to opportunity, and care for the indigent. 

Way to go, jackass!

by: SouthTexasDemocrat @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 11:29:13 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Keep his feet to the fire (5.00 / 1)
See what, if anything, his "pragmatic political" stand in the Iscariot Caucus does to improve the lot of his constituents.

Hold him accountable for every good bill that doesn't make the floor because the King Craddick doesn't let it through.

It's not a question of did he sell out, it's a question of what price he got, and who REALLY receives the proceeds.

Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

by: boadicea @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 11:40:59 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Yeah... (0.00 / 0)
Democrats brought upon themselves the wrath of the Craddick. Why can't Democrats understand that the Speaker knows best... forget all the metrics that reveal he doesn't. Tom is always right and you'll have a much better time in the  House if you'll just remember that.

That was his speech. It was especially impressive because he spoke clearly while a cock was down his throat.

I was impressed.

by: McBlogger @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:08:02 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
It's a gift. n/t (0.00 / 0)

Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.
by: boadicea @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:09:19 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
AUDIO: PATRICK ROSE "I Love Craddick" SPEECH... (0.00 / 0)

by: salsal @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 13:35:36 PM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Congratulations to the whole Corpus Christi/Kingsville Representatives (3.00 / 2)
Juan Escobar, D-Kingsville
Juan M. Garcia, D-Corpus Christi
Abel Herrero, D-Corpus Christi
Solomon Ortiz Jr., D-Corpus Christi

by: SouthTexasDemocrat @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:10:03 AM CST
[ Reply ]
Yes congratulations to CC (1.00 / 1)
Isn't Juan Garcia also a part of that delegation?  He also voted "no" on Craddick corruption.

And a big hoo/hiss to the Valley delegation.  Or as Dos Centavos put it the "Mamon of the Year Award" goes to South Texas.  At least last night it was South Texas.  Today he extended that to the whole House, but that's unfair since we know at least these 27 showed some backbone.

Dos Centavos "Mamon of the Year Award"

by: sonia @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:28:57 AM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
He's listed above as Juan M. Garcia, D-Corpus Christi (0.00 / 0)

by: SouthTexasDemocrat @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 15:17:39 PM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
juan garcia (0.00 / 0)

by: M. Eddie Rodriguez @ Thu Jan 18, 2007 at 19:12:38 PM CST
[ Parent | Reply ]
Norma Chavez (3.00 / 1)
of El Paso is in a league all her own. She took
$10 grand from DeLay, and I am told that to date she has refused to return it.  I really hope that the DeLay trial reveals his ties to Craddick to an indictable degree, and that Chavez gets caught in the backwash.  She is hopelessly corrupt, does nothing for her constituents, who continue to elect this useless human being.

by: Jesus B. Ochoa @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 10:42:00 AM CST
[ Reply ]
So proud of the Courage Caucus (5.00 / 1)
I was personally at the capitol yesterday to see Juan Garcia and Joe Farias sworn in.  I knew my faith in these two was well placed and they have proven their worthiness as part of the Courage Caucus.  They may suffer under the Craddick Corruption Caucus temporarily, but they will triumph when we take back our state.  They stood up for their constituents and what was right.  What goes around comes around...

The Texas Maddog Grandma on a rampage against the Extreme Right NeoCons from the White House down to the local school board
by: madewar @ Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 17:32:28 PM CST
[ Reply ]
The Process is Broken ~ Rep. Raymond's Speech | 33 comments | Time to post comments expired.

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