I was dying for a double Dem victory so I could write this: On election night it became quickly clear that in the House races, the Democrats came from behind and gave the Republicans 30 extra thrusts. Then, the following day, with the help of Vermont’s and Connecticuts’s independents — pink-o Bernie Sanders and sore-loser-turned-smug-muffin-head Joe Lieberman —the Dems popped the Republicans in the back of the head with a win in the Senate. Yesss. Here it comes ...
The GOP got donkey-punched.
The sun rose, little sparkle-winged butterflies burst from their coccoons, daffodils bloomed from the sewer grates, and the whole world spasmed with glee. But what of Texas?
Clap Your Hands and Say Callanen
We applaud Bexar County’s seemingly honest and altogether competent sweetheart of an elections administrator, Jacquelyn Callanen. Insofar as we can tell there were no major glitches in the electronic voting. The Dems called us every hour with minor updates; the GOP refused to talk to us, calling us a “dirty rag.” Callanen admits one elections official forgot to plug in the machines, and six hours into voting they flickered as the back-up batteries died. No votes were lost, she said. Another voter complained she was given the wrong congressional choice, but Callanen says that was human, not computer, error. Which happens. Blacks on the East Side vented about voters having to use the back door at the W.W. White Elementary School. Mostly, we’re just pleased with Callanen, because we forgot to scribble our DOB on our voter registration card, and she fixed us up within an hour.
For Whom the Bell Doesn’t Poll
Didn’t Kinky Friedman say “I can’t screw things up any more than they already are?” It looks like he screwed up just fine. If he’d dropped out, his 443,327 votes would’ve pushed Democrat Chris Bell to victory, assuming no more than 148,482 had gone to Carole Keeton Strayhorn. As expected, GOP incumbent Governor Rick “three-self-congratulatory-press-releases-a-day” Perry secured his paycheck. Also, Kinky’s new book The Christmas Pig is really, really bad.
Our Electronic Vote
The as-yet nonexistent trophy for Best Election Blogging goes to Vince Leibowitz at Capitolannex.com, for his particularly noteworthy “Best & Worst of the 2006 Election” list and deconstruction of Rick Perry’s victory party. The blogosphere has now bored with election analysis and moved on to debating the future of House Speaker Tom Craddick. Bloggernaut Paul Burka (Texasmonthly.com/burkablog) called for the Republican’s resignation, with Matt Glazer (Burntorangereport.com) seconding the emotion. Leibowitz scooped them both (and us, too!) by publishing a letter from Representative Jessica Farrar to the Texas Ethics Commission complaining that lobbyists are threatening and promising favors to get their Speaker candidate(s) picked. Already nearly 30 State House Democrats have pledged their support for Craddick.
Locally, the major changes occurred in the judicial races, with Democrats picking up four gavels. Most notably would be Democrat Catherine Torres-Stahl’s victory over Judge Mark Luitjen in the 144th District Court Judge race. Predictions had been mixed: the San Antonio Bar survey preferred Luitjen, but the San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney Association’s verdict was that he was more temperamental, more partial, and less approved of than any of the judges up for reelection. Only 73rd Civil District Court Judge Andy Mireles was grumpier and Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Albert W. McKnight more loathed. Luitjen threw a pity party, holing up and refusing to answer press queries. On the other hand, the 408th Civil District Court race was one of the few in which voters didn’t have to pick the lesser evil: incumbent Richard Price, a Republican known for disagreeing with his party, and the most even-handed civil-court judge according to the defense-lawyers’ survey, was ousted by Democrat Larry Noll. He was simply the more experienced candidate.
Bolton Down the Hatches
Now that the Democrats are kings of the national congressional teeter-totter, pundits expect the U.S.’s delegate to the United Nations, John Bolton, to get stuffed. Put geo-politics aside, San Antonio, and consider the man who supports our NBA franchise. Last Saturday, Bolton took the U.N. Security Council on a field-trip to Madison Square Garden to watch the Spurs play the Knicks. According to Fox News (yes, you’re still allowed to watch their sports coverage), Argentina’s U.N. representative César Mayoral was our loudest fan.