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Things to do this weekend

The Texas Democratic Party State Convention is in town starting tomorrow. Here are some of the things I plan to do:

Thursday

The HDCC was instrumental in getting the House Democratic caucus to 74 members after the 2008 election. It will be equally instrumental in getting it back after the 2010 debacle and redistricting. Plus, the Bad Precedents really rock.

Friday

Social Media Perspectives: How Citizens Can Rebuild the Party Through Smart Outreach

Have you ever said to yourself “You know, I like this blog but what I really want is to hear Kuff talk about blogging”? Well, you’re in luck. I don’t know exactly where it will be on Friday at 11 AM – I have this sneaking suspicion that Rachel will just tweet the location once it’s been set and assume that we’re all smart enough to figure it out, or at least that if we don’t figure it out we didn’t belong on the panel anyway. Regardless, if you can find your way to the Hilton on Friday, you can probably find your way to this panel. And if you see me wandering the hallway swearing under my breath, please help me find it as well.

In case you miss the Social Media Caucus and were concerned you wouldn’t have any further opportunities to see me in person. I was there for that first, really small, event back in 2004, and I’ve been to the two much bigger events in 2006 and 2008, and it’s always a load of fun. Come see for yourself. See PDiddie‘s post for more.

Saturday

From 10:30 to noon, I’ll be at the ROADWomen event in the Presidential Suite at the Hilton. Free food, and one last chance to hang out before heading back to the real world.

These and other events can be found here. I may turn up for some other things, but barring anything unforeseen I’ll be at these events. Hope to see you there.

Gattis to run for Ogden’s seat

As EoW says, this is a complete non-surprise.

State Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, has just informed supporters he is running for the Texas Senate District 5 seat being vacated by Bryan GOP powerhouse Steve Ogden.

Via a Twitter message, Gattis said: “dangattisI am a candidate for the Texas Senate! Please get involved. http://dangattis.org/ Thank You!”

His Web site and Facebook page also say he is running.

Yeah, even people who don’t follow politics knew that was coming. Gattis is sure to be the favorite, and he appears to have Ogden’s support, at least tacitly, but I feel confident that the Dems will mount a serious challenge. As noted before, the district is red but not hopeless, and as open Senate seats don’t come along that often, the opportunity cannot be missed. If the DNC really is serious about helping to turn Texas blue, here would be a fine place to pitch in.

Gattis’ now-open HD20 seat, like SD05 red but potentially competitive given the right candidate and the lack of an incumbent, should also be a hot target next year. Along with the battle to defend freshman Rep. Diana Maldonaco, who is one of our awesome TexBlog PAC candidates, Williamson County and its resurgent Democratic Party will see a lot of action next year.

The Cook and Delisi Top Ten

With the motto of “Why should Texas Monthly have all the fun?”, Harold Cook and Ted Delisi have put together their own Ten Best Legislators list, with the twist being that Cook picked the Republicans and Delisi picked the Dems. It’s an interesting and thoughtful list, but I’d bet their Ten Worst list, with each picking from their own party this time, would be a lot more fun. What say you, fellas?

In related news, as BOR notes, all four of the freshmen that had been endorsed by the TexBlog PAC were honored as outstanding members by different groups, and Houston freshman Rep. Kristi Thibaut was named House freshman of the year by the House Democratic Caucus. Click on for her press release on the subject. Congrats to all the winners!

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Help celebrate 27 for 27

The following is a message from the TexBlog PAC and my much younger colleague, Matt Glazer.

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So how’s the state of our state?

Well, you can read the text of Governor Rick Perry’s State of the State speech and see for yourself what it was all about. Frankly, I think Matt got it in one: This was a campaign speech. I mean, stem cells? Ultrasounds? That he spoke about voter ID is no surprise, though how he framed it was a bit odd. Immigration, too, on which there was more muddled thinking. Point being, who other than a Republican primary voter thinks these are the top issues in Texas today? It was small ball, intended for a small audience. You’d have to ask them if the speech was effective, because it wasn’t addressed to me, or to most of the people (I presume) who are reading this.

For responses to the Governor’s speech, and a good sampling of what he should have talked about but didn’t, here are responses from freshman State Reps. Joe Moody and Chris Turner, and State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. Click on beneath the fold for press releases from State Reps. Trey Martinez-Fischer and Garnet Coleman. And here, much shorter than Perry’s speech, is a YouTube response from Rep. Coleman.

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