March 22, 2010
Last week was Spring Break. Liz, the boys and I acted like it was Spring Break.
It was also the week of the Senate District 14 Democratic Convention.
And, Yea, verily, it was the week that Baylor, which had the 3rd seed in the NCAA Regional basketball tournament, won two games and moved into the Sweet 16. And, Yea, verily, it was the week that Baylor, which had the 3rd seed in the NCAA Regional basketball tournament, won two games and moved into the Sweet 16.(Baylor hadn’t won a game in the NCAA tournament since 1950, so, yes, that statement does “bear” repeating.)
Of course, this was also the week we lost Liz Carpenter.
Liz was a special person. She was a great friend to me and all Texans. She was hilarious. I’ve got a lot of Liz Carpenter stories, including many where she enjoyed making me the butt of some of her fun.
But she was special beyond her tremendous sense of humor. She was special because of her tremendous sense of life.
At our district convention Saturday, it was my honor to draft a resolution honoring Liz. Here’s what it said:
“Whereas Liz Carpenter was press secretary in the White House to both Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson and later to Lady Bird Johnson as First Lady;
“And whereas Liz Carpenter wrote the speech that President Johnson first gave the nation after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy;
“And whereas Liz Carpenter worked as a journalist covering several Presidents including Franklin Delano Roosevelt;
“And whereas Liz Carpenter was a champion for women’s rights;
“And whereas Liz Carpenter was a renowned humorist and author;
“And whereas Liz Carpenter was, first and foremost, a great Democrat who once described dying as ‘going to that great Democratic Convention in the sky’;
“And whereas the Travis County Democratic Party is a better Party and organization because she was a member, friend, advocate and mentor;
“And whereas Liz Carpenter will be missed because of her death this morning at the age of 89;
“Be it Resolved that it is fitting and proper that on this day the Travis County Democratic Party is meeting in Convention;
“And be it further Resolved that the Travis County Democratic Party honors Liz Carpenter and expresses its love and appreciation for her dedicated, brilliant and exceptional life.”
And, of course, it was the week we launched Monopoly Buster. After just five days, over 7,000 votes have been cast for one of the 28 candidates on the list.
That shows an amazing amount of excitement for these candidates and interest in these races. I wish I could take the credit for it, but the truth is that it’s all because of folks like you – who know that a little competition in Texas’ politics will lead to a lot more common sense in its policies.
In case you weren’t around last week, here’s how it works:
The Monopoly Buster Ballot is my effort to support House incumbents who are running for re-election and who could help bust the monopoly that one political party has had on state government for going on a decade.
The candidate who collects the most votes will receive a $10,000 contribution from my campaign, and the runner-up will get $1,500.
But most importantly, all of the campaigns will be connected with the Monopoly Buster voters, which will help the candidates organize and prepare for their elections in November. And the Ballot makes it easy to tell your friends, family members, Facebook friends, Twitter followers and anyone else about these candidates and how to support them.
It’s grass-roots campaigning for the 21st Century, and I hope it will play an important role in helping these dedicated incumbents win their tough races in November.
Round 1 will go until Friday at 5 p.m. At that point, the five candidates with the most online votes will advance to Round 2, and everyone will get a clean slate.
Round 2 will go from Monday the 29th to Saturday, April 3. It’s essential that you come back then – and that you bring all of your friends, family and everyone else. This round will determine who will receive the contributions.
And frankly, it’ll also be good practice for November. Because these candidates will need all of us to stay committed and active if they’re going to win their elections and keep working to build a stronger Texas.
And no matter what, come back next week. And bring everybody with you.