The Curse of God Bless Cowgirls and the independent movement
There’s no way to sugarcoat it. I got creamed yesterday, coming in at less than 4% in a three-way race for Texas House District 17 -- Bastrop, Burleson, Caldwell, Lee and Milam counties.
I’m embarrassed, but not for me. I’m embarrassed for the Republican voters who were hoodwinked by Rick Perry and his employee, Stan Gerdes. I promise you that thousands of Republicans in HD17 knew not what they did yesterday by electing Gerdes. Plenty of them know about Perry's legendary pilfering, but Gerdes wisely stopped contacting voters and connecting himself to Rick Perry. Many HD17 Republicans were simply voting for the label.
I’m also embarrassed for the Democrats who did not invest in HD17. Our district is under siege by government-corporatism gone mad on our water resources and development. Nothing happens without water but they didn’t seem to notice, including Beto.
Frankly, I’m most embarrassed for the independent movement. There was no
investment in bottom-up local organizing that my campaign afforded them. You have to ask why. My answer comes from ASKING the voters – a practice I relish -- in this campaign.
I asked HD17 voters this question in a variety of forms: How can we live in a shrinking economy and with increasing competition for resources brought to us by subsidizing growth, when both parties are rife with cronyism and corruption?
The folks I reached quickly answered this question. There must be more choices and electoral competition. I just couldn’t reach enough of them quickly enough with minimal resources. Why? Local and long shot campaigns were not where the organized independents were investing. Not yet, anyway. They went for the gold in big national races or races they thought they could win. It’s the same mistake made by the Reform Party and subsequent efforts. The independents have yet to focus on building – moving the ball -- as our primary task. Doing that frees us up to be creative, to experiment, and to learn through failure, our best teacher.
I’m unpackaging what happened in my race and some other races I want to discuss with you next Monday night at 7 pm at a League of Independent Voters online forum. So far, Alejandro Arrieta of Dallas House District 103, has agreed to join us.
LIV is the non-profit, non-partisan organization for independent and split-ticket voters.
Please sign in at LIVTX.org, if you haven’t already. Consider becoming a member, if you haven't yet this year.
Meanwhile, did I thank the folks who helped me in this race? Not enough. I’m trying my best to do that today. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, and Luv Ya! Linda.
PS I found this CNN article interesting, "Exit Polls: High inflation dominates voters' views in mid-term election."