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Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor-in-Chief - Matt G.
Senior Adviser - Phillip M.
Featured Writer - Kirk M.
Featured Writer - Michael H.
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Texas BlogWire

BOR Supports "Draft Rick Noriega" Efforts

by: Burnt Orange Report

Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 10:38 AM CDT


Today, Burnt Orange Report lends its name to efforts being made by progressives across the state to draft Representative Rick Noriega into the race to replace Republican Senator John Cornyn in the United States Senate. (Read about others who are supporting the effort at www.draftricknoriega.com.)

We are committed to supporting a primary, and a draft movement for Rep. Rick Noriega is the best way to ensure a Democratic primary race for this year's U.S. Senate seat. We support a primary for a number of reasons, including:

  • A primary further raises the profile of the TX-Sen race to a national level
  • A primary allows an increasingly knowledgeable electorate to learn more about the candidates before the fall of 2008
  • A primary quickens the development of an infrastructure of a campaign, ensuring the winner is better prepared to take on Cornyn in November '08
Rep. Noriega is from Houston, and served recently as deputy garrison commander of the KMTC training facility in Kabul, Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also served as the Laredo Border Sector Commander for Operation Jump Start. During the previous legislative session, Rep. Noriega successfully passed an amendment to the state budget to raise teacher pay as much as the rules allowed. (Read more on Rep. Noriega's background here). Overall, we believe his work and his experience make him an interesting candidate, and one who should be in the race to replace John Cornyn.

As many of you know, Mikal Watts has already entered the race. We have writers at BOR that support Watts, others that don't, and many who are undecided. We would like to stress that endorsing the "Draft Rick Noriega" efforts does not constitute an endorsement of Noriega, or an anti-endorsement of Watts. Rather, it constitutes the endorsement of a primary for the reasons mentioned above.

Above all else, we do not believe John Cornyn should be re-elected to the United States Senate. He is an abominable failure in every sense of the word. Our desire for the primary is not a desire to beat up on fellow Democrats; rather, it is a desire to get the best person in place to stop John Cornyn. To that end, we continue to work with progressives across the state to Stop Cornyn.

In the online community, BOR will continue to provide the most up-to-date information on the TX-Sen race as we work with our peers across the state to elect a Democrat from Texas to the United States Senate. To learn more, visit:

Draft Rick Noriega
Stop Cornyn

Note from K-T: I wanted to add this here to clarify, posts written by BOR are typically those consisting of a consensus of the leading writers and approved by the Editor (Matt). As Publisher, I'm generally advised of these posts but I want to make clear that in all cases involving primaries I recuse myself due to my work for ActBlue. ActBlue helps all Democrats and hopefully those running for Senate in Texas!

Burnt Orange Report :: BOR Supports "Draft Rick Noriega" Efforts
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If he runs... (0.00 / 0)
Does he have to give up his seat? If so, does the Gov appoint or must he call a special election. If special election, who is on the short list to run? There must be tons of folks in that district chomping at the bit for that seat. Or does his wife run for it?

Don't you worry (0.00 / 0)
We've got it taken care of.

[ Parent ]
Ok. (0.00 / 0)
Tell us. Open seats are like gold in the Houston area. I don't live there so I don't know who it up for it.

[ Parent ]
watts/noriega (0.00 / 0)
Now we have two viable candidates. we can win. lets not mess it up.Let the dialogue start. Let the games begin.Let's get ready to rumble.

No, so far we have one. (0.00 / 0)
We can't really talk openly about Noriega until he decides to commit to this race.

How can we ask questions of a non-existent candidate? We can all sing his praises but how dare we ask him tough questions if he hasn't even announced.

We have one viable candidate until someone else files paperwork then we should talk.


[ Parent ]
--- (5.00 / 1)
We shouldn't discuss aspects of a Noriega candidacy, until he announces?  Why?

[ Parent ]
Oh we can and will (0.00 / 0)

but it seems he gets all the benefits and none of the responsibilities of being a candidate.

All we are going to see is his positives, which he has, but who is going to answer for him? Who speaks for him? There are a lot of questions concerning contributions and votes but no one to answer them. 



[ Parent ]
Let the Swift Boating begin (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
So what is a legitimate question? (0.00 / 0)
Questions good for your candidate = good? Questions bad for your candidate =  swiftboating? I think the readers are a lot more sophisticated than that.

No one has challenged his military record. I will object fiercely if they do. They tried the same thing with Rep. Garcia in CC when I was down there and it will not be tolerated by anyone.


[ Parent ]
Tell us again about Watts' record (0.00 / 0)
It's just politics, baby. You want a fight, you got one.

[ Parent ]
I guess that comment cut too close to the quick (0.00 / 0)
Let's not make accusations you can't back up. No one has disparaged anyone's military record so don't make it out as that. Accusing someone of swiftboating who hasn't done it is almost as bad as swiftboating.

Here is the problem. Many believe in a scorched earth policy that will leave everyone mortally wounded. Congrats - we'll have no one who can beat Cornyn.


[ Parent ]
I believe in a policy (0.00 / 0)
That treats women as human beings.
There are two candidates here - one with a solid Democratic record, and one who has lots of money.
One candidate is a public servant and the other has lots of money.
One candidate is a seasoned legislator, well respected by his colleagues. The other has lots of money.
One candidate is a combat veteran, an American hero, who steps up when his country calls him. The other candidate has lots of money.
One candidate respects women as human beings, with full capacities to determine the courses of their lives. The other candidate has lots of money, and is using it to try to make women into second class citizens.
You can attempt to disparage a Rick Noriega candidacy, but it will make you look silly. And yes, in a full blown primary, I expect to hear why Watts thinks he's the better candidate. What's he gonna say? I have money? Is that a reason to vote for someone??!
So far, I've counted three people who would love for Mikal Watts to be the Democratic nominee for Senate - you, Mikal Watts and John Cornyn.
We've got the candidate who will beat John Cornyn. Mikal Watts and all his money can't buy Rick Noriega's experience or his leadership.

[ Parent ]
como se dice Swift Boat? (0.00 / 0)
I understand you're biased.

I haven't heard Noriega say how he would lead in the US Senate, but I have heard Watts.  I've heard a lot of candidates and Watts ranks pretty high up there already at this early stage.

Until Noriega is in the race, maybe we should all settle down a bit.

Just like I did with Watts, I would encourage everyone to give Noriega a chance as well. Both are good men who are offering to spend time away from their professions and their families to do something for out party and our state.

"We" are supposed to be the smart and thoughtful ones...let us not freak out and start disparaging the "other" side.


[ Parent ]
I refuse to settle (0.00 / 0)
We must do better than Mikal Watts.

[ Parent ]
Does anybody support the cease fire?!? (0.00 / 0)
I really would love to see us get through August without attacks, allowing any candidates who chose to join to articulate a positive message/introduce themselves.  That gives us PLENTY of time to attack later on. 

As far as personality goes, Watts has exactly the same experience as John Edwards did in his run... with a substantially similiar background.  I think we'd ALL agree that worked out quite nicely, even if he ISN'T our horse for 2008.  Noriega has an impressive resume.  We're blessed to have two candidates of this caliber even CONSIDER a race!  Either one could stop Cornyn! 

As far as policy goes, I've heard ONE difference... abortion rights.  First, name ONE single thing in the reproductive freedom world that would be different/change based upon Watts being in the US Senate verses Noriega!  The US Senate doesn't really DO much in regards to rights of the unborn, beyond confirming justices to the court.  He's already SAID he has no litmus test and would look at a whole bunch of issues OTHER than abortion.  What more do you need?  Second, can't we have a big enough tent that we can evaluate a person as a whole and not as as single issue?  Do you really require ideological purity before a person can join your tent?  If so, get ready for a very very very long walk in the woods before Democrats ever win ANY office!

As far as politics goes, ever thing Watts might actually be far more palatable in the general than Noriega based on his abortion stance.  I can pretty much assure you Texas is pro life, same as Watts. 

Let's give him a bit more time to at least get a website up and possibly even get a chance to see/meet him in person before we crucify him at the alter of pro choice!


[ Parent ]
True (0.00 / 0)
I agree. great points positive message.No one msg candidates because we don't have one msg voters. It's called broad-based support and Texas is a big and broad stste

[ Parent ]
Sez who? (0.00 / 0)
You? Why? Because then people won't think Mr. Money Bags is our only candidate anymore? We need to ask questions. I have one for you - why does Mikal Watts feel the need to regulate my uterus?

[ Parent ]
It's rarely that simple (0.00 / 0)
Why do you feel the need to kill babies?

I mean that rhetorically.  See how polarizing such accusations can be?  If I were a candidate I would have a great deal of difficulty balancing my love of life with my love of doing whatever I want without having to take responsibility -- which is the very definition of abortion.  I seriously doubt he wants to control your uterus -- why would he?  Why would anyone want to control it?  Don't you have enough self-respect to control it by yourself?  Self-control starts before the "choice" is needed (and I should know, since none of my children have been planned).

See how alienating and hostile such talk can be?  I suggest we back off from talking so fanatically about people we have only just begun to meet and learn of.  Before searching for the bad in others, look first to yourself.  No doubt there is much to see.  Again, I should know.


[ Parent ]
It was very strategic of Watts (3.00 / 2)
to come out as anti-choice. He wants it to be polarizing, that's why HE brought it up. So I want him to tell me why I, as an American, do not have the right to my own body and the course of my life.  This is a fight he will not win in the Democratic primary because I won't let him. If Rick doesn't run, I'll support the pro-choice candidate. This isn't about a litmus test, this is Texas and this is where I live. I don't give a crap what they do in other states, but I'll be damned if I don't do all I can to defeat an anti-choice candidate in the primary.

[ Parent ]
Not 'about a litmus test' (0.00 / 0)
It actually IS a litmust test.  Holding a candidate to a single issue is the very definition of a litmus test.  And I thought only the Republicans had litmus tests these days!  You have more in common with them than you realized.

[ Parent ]
noriega vs watts in a primary (0.00 / 0)
Primary is in March. Can we hear what Mr. Noriega has to say on all the issues including abortion,immigration,education Social Security,stem cell research etc,etc,etc

[ Parent ]
Iraq/Noriega (0.00 / 0)
What is Noriega's stance on the war? Immigration? Abortion? Education?Lets get some serious questions and some serious answers going.

Why are you carrying water for an anti-choice candidate? Money? (0.00 / 0)
Every time there is a post about the senate race Eddie jumps in to help the underground buzz machine for a guy that doesn't think a woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body.  Wow!  I thought you were different.

Dude, I don't even know you or if that is really your name. (0.00 / 0)
In fact, until a week ago you didn't exist. Every comment you have made on BOR has been anti-Watts.

This isn't about me or any other commenter. It is about beating Cornyn.

For the record, I am not a one issue voter. If I did have one issue, it would be that a protecting the civil justice system that has been gutted by pro-insurance and pro-housing lobby forces.

It is a big hill to climb until Nov. 2008.


[ Parent ]
"This isn't about me or any other commenter..." (0.00 / 0)
Well don't make it about me either.  "I don't even know you..."  Like I have to be in a club to participate in a discussion!? 

It seems like you have taken offense to my comments about your support of Watts.  I don't mean to offend and I would hope that you can have a discussion with someone without expecting they provide you with curriculum vitae.  My concern is that a woman's right to choose should be protected.  This issue is paramount and has become even more critical considering the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

I completely agree with you and many others in the BOR community that John Cornyn must be defeated.  However, I would never support someone (ie. Mikal Watts) that didn't hold the belief that government should stay out of a very personal decision between a woman and her doctor.  Frankly, I thought you held the same views on abortion.  Nice spin to the tort reform issue / protecting the civil justice system though. 


[ Parent ]
diff (0.00 / 0)
different than who than what? i am not carrying water for anyone.
I can carry children though.  f the money(forget)It has nothing to do with the issues

[ Parent ]
military record (0.00 / 0)
Who said anything about his military record? Stance on the war.How would he vote? That was the question. Abortion? That was the question. Immigration? That was the question.

"Tejana" made the accusation of swiftboating (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
swift (0.00 / 0)
My comment was directed to Tejana.How else are we going to know how a candidates might decide on issues.we have to ask questions about issues

[ Parent ]
tej (0.00 / 0)
tejana,
  No te calientes,Plancha. I mean't no disrespect to the man or his military record which i am sure is awesome.

[ Parent ]
Not sure how Jump Start will be received (0.00 / 0)
National Guard on the border isn't really popular on the border.

Jump start (0.00 / 0)
Elaborate please.How does this have anything to do with Noriega or Watts in the texas senate race

[ Parent ]
ok (0.00 / 0)
Got it . Noriega was the sector chief .Does this mean He works for the Border Patrol?

[ Parent ]
never mind (0.00 / 0)
I get it now.He is with the National Guard. I just needed to go back and read  some more. Well i guess i dont need to be asking about his stance on Immigration

[ Parent ]
While not an expert... (0.00 / 0)
I don't think you can ever deduce the political stance of a soldier based on their orders or assignment.


[ Parent ]
I think you're right.... (0.00 / 0)
...but the natural assumption is that he supports the war in Iraq, and supports the militarization of the Texas/Mexico border.  It would be good to hear from him to the contrary

[ Parent ]
How is that the "natural assumption"? (5.00 / 1)
It was the guys who avoided military service that got us into Iraq, and the guys who avoided military service who decided to militarize the border.  We don't need "Cheney" Democrats.  If Watts wants to run as the pro-life, anti-military candidate it's his right to do so, but he may want to have that stance polled first.

[ Parent ]
Well let me see..... (0.00 / 0)
....he's a military guy.  Supports his Commander In Chief.  Served along the Texas-Mexican border.  No one has heard him say anything to the contrary.  Hence for people who actually think, natural assumption.

I'm not saying it's the right assumption, but till Rick comes out and tells us different, it's the assumption many will make.


[ Parent ]
well let me assume (0.00 / 0)
yes. I would make that assumption too. Unless he says something different i am going to stick with that assumption

[ Parent ]
You just don't get it. (5.00 / 3)
Military people swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.  They are required to follow lawful orders, including those from the Commander in Chief.  That does not imply personal or political support for any particular individual.  That would be like saying that you support President Bush and his invasion and occupation of Iraq because you are a U.S. citizen and U.S. citizens elected him as their President. 

Active duty and reserve/guard military personnel serve under an additional set of laws that greatly restrict the right to free speech that you enjoy.  Openly disparaging your superiors, including the Commander in Chief, can land you in jail.  And you can't just give your 2-weeks notice and quit because you disagree with the President or his policies.  You give up a lot of personal freedom to serve your country, and trust your fellow citizens to choose our political leaders wisely.  In my view these fellow citizens have failed miserably and the blood of our young soldiers is on their hands.

You are not alone in your confusion.  This is why, with so many of our troops spread around the world, it is important that we send someone like Rick Noriega to the U.S. Senate. 


[ Parent ]
Absolutely (0.00 / 0)
But it is a very volatile issue...one that would play well among swing voters and independents in a General--maybe not so well in the primary.

The reality is that a DPS trooper's job is to cite speeders...I still get mad at them for doing it.

Noriega will just have to communicate his way out of it by focusing on serving honorably be it in Afghanistan or Alice. I think the military service gives him bonafides...I just would leave off the Jump Start part.


[ Parent ]
deducing vs guessing (0.00 / 0)
i wasn't deducing I used the word Guess and that's what i meant. My own personal guess. i am obviously anti-deducing as Mr. watts is anti- abortion. I am pro-guessing as Mr. watts is Pro-choice.

[ Parent ]
senate race (0.00 / 0)
Rick Noriega has been drafted and Mikal Watts is getting serious about the race. Has hired Kim Devlin, originally from Texas ,lately of New York as his communications director.

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