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Open Letter to Roger Owen

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman on Sun Mar 19, 2006 at 23:02:47 PM CST

Thanks to Vince for heading this one up. I am a signatory to it on behalf of BOR.  District media picked up on our letter here.

Dear Mr. Owen:

Congratulations on your victory last Tuesday in the Democratic Primary race in Congressional District 1. All of us in the Texas Blogsphere look forward to a good campaign to unseat Rep. Louie Gohmert.

However, as we issue our congratulations to you, we must confess that we have concerns—about your candidacy, about some of your statements, and about some of your beliefs.

As progressives, we have numerous concerns about some of your recent remarks concerning gays and lesbians, especially some of the remarks you have directed at other Democratic candidates in your area1. We are also very concerned about the fact that you have reportedly renounced your affiliation with at least one county Democratic Party in Congressional District 1 and engaged in name-calling with at least one Democrat Leader—all of which has been highly publicized in your district. In addition, it is alarming to us that national political press such as “The Hill3” have, as a result of your unconventional actions, reduced your candidacy to that of “oddball” status.

Please understand that, in writing you this letter, we are hoping that you will understand our position and consider making some modifications in the way in which you conduct your campaign so that we and other Democrats across the state, in your district, and nationally, will have no reservations about supporting your candidacy.

The Democratic Party is the party of the “big tent.” Perhaps there are none who understand this more than those of us in the Blogsphere. Our party welcomes those who are pro-life, pro-choice, gay, straight, Christian, Jewish, athiest, and people of all other religions and races without reservation. What our party does not stand for is intolerance.

We are concerned that, though your rhetoric may appeal to some of the conservative climate in your district, it is out of touch with both mainstream Democratic voters and the party in general.

In the hope that your candidacy may be successful and that it will not alienate any progressives or other Democrats, we must respectfully ask that you please reconsider your recent actions. While we do not support your beliefs, including those you have about gay Democrats and gay Democratic candidates, we respect your right to have those beliefs. However all Democrats— gay, straight, black, white and Latino—are working toward one goal: a better Party and a better Texas.

With those goals in mind, rhetoric and behavior such as yours does not have any place in the Party. We want very much to be able to support your candidacy in the strongest possible way. However, for those of us in the Blogsphere who truly support the ideals of the Party, that is difficult in the present climate.

We do not seek appologies to those you have offended, though that may be appropriate; we do not seek you to change your beliefs, as that is inappropriate. However, we do ask that you consider the thoughts expressed in this letter more carefully and consider a more tolerant and polite approach to your campaign and your fellow Democrats.

We wish you the best of luck this fall against Louie Gohmert. We are united in the belief that he must be defeated.

Texas Progressive Democratic Webloggers

A response from Roger Owen is below the fold.  Vince also has a post on the possibility of Mr. Owen being a felon.

Dear Mr. Leibowitz,

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with me. If I may, please allow me the opportunity to address some of these concerns.

First and foremost, as Democrats we must adhere to two basic principles. 1: All politics is local. And 2: The party of the people. (The people, as in who our elected politicians represent.) Failure to adhere to these two basic principles could spell defeat. No matter which Party they may belong to.

I have only two goals. 1: To expand the Democratic Party in District One. 2: To get Democrats elected. If you noticed, I made no reference to special interests or lobbyists. To summarize, there is a small number of people in Gregg County who do not share these beliefs. They never cared much for me. And when the dust settled, they was unsuccessful (even in Gregg County) with a low primary voter turnout to defeat me. This should be proof to the perception of these people in Gregg County.

As for my views on gays and lesbians, the only comment I have ever made was in reference to the growth of our Party in District One. These people in Gregg County that I made prior reference to was the only ones who tried to capitalize on this one issue towards my defeat.

You mentioned The Hill reducing my candidacy to that of oddball status. They may be making reference to my disregard towards special interest contributions. Unlike my primary opponent, everything I have is paid for. And I am sure I will have to write a check before November.

In reference to your big tent philosophy, I think I have already covered it.

At this time, (as Bill Clinton has said) let us focus on what we have in common. And that is the defeat of Mr. Gohmert.

With Greatest Respect;

Tags: 2006: Texas Elections, TX-01, (All Tags)

Open Letter to Roger Owen | 7 comments | Time to post comments expired.
This is all you need to know about Roger Owen (0.00 / 0)
He basically trashed all Gregg County Democrats at the meeting in question.  I was the one presiding over this meeting.

I feel sorry for all the bloggers who wrote this letter to Mr. Owen.  You are dealing with a crackpot.

by: v2aggie2 @ Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:02:07 AM CST
[ Reply ]
fill me in? what has this guy been saying/doing?
by: Matthew D. @ Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 08:45:47 AM CST
[ Parent ]
The comment below in this thread
is a big thing.

In general, Mr. Owen is boorish.
I have attended many meetings where we have both been present over the past year.  His campaign, outside of his ridiculous quotes in the Longview News-Journal, has been nonexistent.  His speeches are completely unfocused.  He will, without warning, complain that Max Sandlin won't return his calls.  He said he was a better candidate than Duane Shaw, because a small-town lawyer couldn't beat Gohmert -- but didn't give further explanation.

This is just a sampling...

by: v2aggie2 @ Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 00:42:51 AM CST
[ Parent ]
Not to change the subject, but... (0.00 / 0)
What are his chances of winning?
by: Epitome23 @ Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 23:45:36 PM CST
[ Reply ]
Slim and ....
Ahh who am I kidding. I don't even think Slim likes Mr. Owen. I'd love to supprt the man, but his attitude towards the party and others in general sucks. Come November I would say Roger Owen isn't even a blip on the radar.

But just for interest and because I think someone else asked, here are some select quotes from and about  Mr Owen.

From the Longview News-Journal

Stonewall Democrats hosted two U.S. Congressional District 1 Democratic hopefuls — Hallsville business owner Roger Owen and Lufkin attorney Duane Shaw.

Owen, however, told the Longview News-Journal in an earlier phone conversation that gay rights issues and Franklin's campaign could pose risks for other area Democrats.

"This is East Texas. (Franklin is) hurting the party," Owen said. "I feel for the gays, but this is East Texas. It's not New York. It's not Fort Lauderdale."

Owen also said in an interview that it's not his job to psycho-analyze them, adding that whoever wins the state District 7 Republican nomination between Tommy Merritt and Mark Williams is "going to spank (Franklin) dearly with that issue" (of gay rights) during the November general election.

You can also check this story out, also from the Longview News-Journal. Basically, Owen lambastes Mr. Franklin again (who he isn't even running against) and then moves on to Ms. Rosenblum, Gregg County Democratic United President, and finally renounces the local party. He's a real winner ya'll

by: matthew_lt @ Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 00:12:26 AM CST
[ Parent ]
The gays?
ahhh geeeez!
That about says it all.

I'm all over the idea of representative government and the fact that we as a party have to realize that we have to find a way to represent those with conservative ideals as well as far left progressives, but this is just, well.


Prisoner of hope.

by: comeon @ Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 16:28:55 PM CST
[ Parent ]
Not that it's important
but he lambasted the past Democrats United President.

The current president is me (Vik Verma).

Another sad afterthought to that meeting.  The News-Journal was at our meeting for the entire 90 minutes with cameras.  In addition to the candidates, we had a featured speaker, NAACP Longview Chapter President, Rev. Homer Rockamore.

Roger's idiocy at the end of the meeting (by the way, it was only 5-10 minutes) became the entire story in the News-Journal article.

I do not blame the News-Journal.
Roger is a walking accident, and it doesn't improve with media present.

by: v2aggie2 @ Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 00:04:49 AM CST
[ Parent ]
Open Letter to Roger Owen | 7 comments | Time to post comments expired.
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