[Let’s keep the immediate efforts focused on Wisconsin which votes today.]
Texas looms large as ever when the state votes in next months presidential primary/caucus. Many good people are working in Texas or planning to travel to Texas to help elect Hillary. We have posted contact information for Texas (and other upcoming primary states) previously.
Today, we take note of some good local websites for Texas Hillary information.
Texas For Hillary lists events, and links to other Texas blogs and other Hillary Texas Groups.
One such blog is the lovely, color coordinated, In The Pink Texas.
Another Texas blog for Hillary is (oy veh, who knew?) Gay Texans For Hillary.
Tarrant 4 Hillary is also a great site to track upcoming Texas events.
Hillary has a long history with Texas. Here is some background on Hillary and Texas:
He [McGovern] got trounced in the Lone Star state in his campaign against President Nixon. But Clinton — then Hillary Rodham, a Yale law student — came away with ties to Hispanic voters that she now sees as crucial to her campaign for Texas’ March 4 presidential primary.
She registered voters here and in the Rio Grande Valley, putting her on the doorsteps of numerous Latinos and in touch with local politicos and union organizers, for McGovern’s campaign. Bill Clinton, her then-boyfriend, was organizing the state for McGovern.
When the registration period ended, she helped guide the San Antonio campaign in the last few weeks before the election.
Sen. Clinton, state Rep. José Menéndez and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte — both San Antonio Democrats — hammered home that experience during her rally Wednesday night in St. Mary’s University’s sports arena.
“She stood with us then. We stand with her now,” Van de Putte said to the largely Hispanic crowd of 5,000 supporters.
Clinton didn’t mince words near the end of her 25-minute speech: “I need you to be there for me over the next three weeks.” [snip]
Hispanics make up 36 percent of Texas’ population, although the state estimates that they comprise 20 percent of registered voters.
Clinton’s supporters say it helps that Obama is an unknown quantity in San Antonio and South Texas.
“He has no history here,” said Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo, who block-walked with Clinton along West Mistletoe before Wednesday’s rally. “This is Clinton country. She hasn’t been vilified here like she has in other places. People here like her.”
La Joya Mayor Billy Leo has four photos of himself with Sen. Clinton hanging on his office walls.
“When (Bill) Clinton was running (in 1992), they came in right before the election, but then they came back,” Leo said. “As a pair, they came back several times.”
Obama surrogates, who include a group of mostly young, Hispanic state lawmakers, acknowledge Clinton’s strong ties to the region. Also, many Latinos prospered in the 1990s, and they gave much of the credit to Bill Clinton, noted state Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas. [snip]
Many McGovern volunteers came to town with only two or three contacts, recalled long-time community organizer Arnold Flores. He remembered Hillary Clinton from a crowded McGovern rally in the backyard of the late Democratic strategist and attorney Herschel Bernard.
In her 2003 memoir, “Living History,” Clinton hinted at the culture clash.
“Hispanics in South Texas were, understandably, wary of a blond girl from Chicago who didn’t speak a word of Spanish,” she wrote. “I found allies at the universities, among organized labor, and lawyers with the South Texas Rural Legal Aid Association.”
Franklin Garcia, a storied union organizer who died in 1984, essentially was Clinton’s ambassador in South Texas. He took Clinton “places I could never have gone alone and vouched for me to Mexican Americans who worried I might be from the immigration service or some other government agency,” she wrote.
But one of her first Texas contacts was Garry Mauro, who was signing up voters for an Austin-based not-for-profit in the summer of 1972. He said he found her “compelling” and “scary smart.”
Mauro, a former state land commissioner who unsuccessfully challenged then-Gov. George W. Bush in 1998, is advising Clinton’s Texas campaign.
Some northern political activists blew into Texas, Mauro said, assuming they knew how to win elections here. “She didn’t do that. She asked questions and listened, then she asked some more questions and listened some more.”
He said she also had an easy rapport with Latinos.
“She had a cultural affinity with Hispanics. It was apparent,” Mauro said. “There’s something about Catholic, Hispanic culture. You either get it or you don’t.” [snip]
Andy Hernandez, an adviser for Clinton’s Hispanic outreach in Texas, sat out the McGovern campaign in 1972. A Chicano activist and college student at the time, he was too dispirited after West Side Councilman Pete Torres lost the 1971 mayoral race and state Sen. Joe Bernal fell in the 1972 Democratic primary to then-state Rep. Nelson Wolff.
But he came face to face with Bill and Hillary Clinton before the 1992 primaries, in a hastily arranged briefing on Hispanic voting patterns en route to unseating President George Bush. Hernandez — then head of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project — came away impressed.
Bill Clinton “already knew a lot about South Texas,” Hernandez said. “They were both trying to figure out what had changed from the time they’d worked here in 1972.”
Mauro said the Clintons stayed in touch with South Texas politicos after decamping, and undertook a two-day blitz of the region in 1991 in preparation for Clinton’s battle for the Democratic nomination.
“After that, Hillary made Texas a special project,” Mauro said, noting she made numerous trips around the state. The Clinton operation “never stopped. It has been alive and well for years.”
That has paid dividends as far as endorsements. In San Antonio, Clinton won the backing of Elizondo, former Mayor Henry Cisneros, Leticia Van de Putte, state Sen. Carlos Uresti, state Rep. Joaquin Castro and County Judge Nelson Wolff, among others.
Yesterday, Texans for Hillary announced several more endorsements in Texas:
Texans for Hillary announced today the support of three influential Texas leaders –Former U.S. Congressman and Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox, former U.S. Congressman Jim Chapman, and State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos – who will mobilize grassroots support within their communities for Hillary ahead of the March 4 Texas primary and caucus.
Mattox, who served three terms in the U.S. Congress from Dallas and two terms as Attorney General, is a prominent voice for the Democratic party in Texas.
“In Texas we have a phrase, ‘she’s earned her spurs.’ Hillary has spent more than 35 years earning her spurs and she is the best leader for our country,” said General Mattox. “Whether working for universal health care or passing legislation to protect our nation’s veterans, Hillary has spent a lifetime fighting for the American people. Hillary does more than just deliver beautiful speeches, she delivers results.”
Chapman served the 1st Congressional District of Texas for more than 10 years in the US House of Representatives. As former Chairman of the Texas Democratic congressional delegation, Chapman is a respected voice within the Texas Democratic party.
“Hillary is a strong leader who represents the values that are important to the people of our great state—hard work, faith, and commitment to family. Whether fighting for universal health care or working to protect our nation’s children, Hillary has proven time and time again she is a leader who can deliver results. She’s a work horse, not a show horse and in uncertain times we need a President with tested leadership who can hit the ground running on day one. For more than 35 years, Hillary has produced positive change and there is no one I would trust more with the future of our country. I urge the people of Texas to stand with Hillary on March 5th.”
Barrientos is a leading voice within the Hispanic community throughout the state. A former Democratic member of the Texas Senate, Barrientos represented the 14th District from 1985 to 2007. He was also a member of the Texas House of Representatives from Austin from 1975 to 1985.
“Hillary has a long history fighting for the American people and I am proud to support her today. Whether working to protect voter rights or fighting for universal health care, Hillary has consistently demonstrated that she values the issues that are important to the Hispanic community. We need a leader who has the strength and experience to lead on day one. Hillary doesn’t just talk about change, she delivers change. My brothers and sisters, I urge you to stand in support of Hillary, so together we can help make history.”
The endorsement of these three well-respected and influential leaders demonstrates Texans from across the Lone Star State are rallying behind Hillary’s powerful message of providing real solutions for the problems plaguing America’s working families. As further evidence of the momentum Hillary is receiving, more than 100,000 Texans have committed to volunteering for Hillary and hundreds more are signing up daily. In the coming days, the campaign will announce the opening of 20 offices statewide to accommodate Hillary’s tremendous level of support.
The lady has earned her spurs – Deep in the heart of Texas.