By Marc Campos

The Democratic Message And Targets

Commentary will be traveling to Austin this weekend to speak at a workshop at the Texas Young Democrats (YDs) Convention. Speaking Topic: What is the Democratic Message? According the YDs, "this workshop will deal with how to frame our message, how do we reply to Republicans, and focusing on selling our policy in our state."

Commentary decided to do a little research and try to figure out the Texas Dem message. Visited the Texas Democratic Party website. Not very helpful. There's a Party Platform page, but it's too long, it takes forever to decipher a message. There is a page of newspaper articles on current issues. There's a page on "why I am a Democrat," but no message.

Reviewed all Dem email traffic and still can't figure out a message. How about the Texas State House Dems or the Texas State Senate Dems, do they put out a message? Who's in charge of the message?

Commentary talked to a respected Dem pro and the pro said the Party is a coalition Party, made of various entities like Latinos, African Americans, Asian Americans, Choice folks, Labor, Teachers, Gays and Lesbians, Women, and so on. The pro said that the different groups have different messages.

Maybe so. However, it seems like the Texas Democratic Party, working with the key Party leaders could put out a page on their website on the message. The key is working WITH key Party leaders - and not just those leaders that live in Austin. It does not work if the message is developed by the state party chair and one or two advisors. A system has to be set up that allows for input from the Party's coalition groups and activists. The message can be altered as necessary.

Message recommendations: Ethics - The TRMPAC/DeLay issue is a no brainer. Yesterday, all the Texas House Dems came out in support of meaningful campaign finance reform. Put it out there. Education Opportunities For ALL - Better Pay for Teachers, A Commitment of Resources. Respect For Freedom - Choice, Oppose Anti-Gay Legislation.

The State Party, again working with key leaders, also needs to put out via email daily talking points to all that sign up for this service. Dems can use the talking points to send letters to the editor, email to their acquaintances, and use in cyberspace debate. There is a need for all Dems to have a message available that makes sense and will be effective in building a stronger Democratic Party.

While on the subject of the Democratic Party, a few emails have been sent listing certain Texas House Dems as "targets" in the upcoming 2006 Democratic Party Primary. Apparently, the so called "targets" are not good enough House Dems, so an effort will be made to recruit candidates to run against these less than worthy Dems.

Question: What's the criteria for getting on the "target" list? Is there a Ron Wilson Litmus Test Kit available out there - where can we get one - at Walgreen's? Is there a website that some of us don't know about like "beneDEMarnold.com" or "ettubrutusDEM.com." Who's making up the list of who's been naughty or nice? Labor guys, trial lawyers, Austin based consultants, the State Party? If there is a list, will the parties responsible for creating the list step forward, give us their name, rank, serial number, and Party interest, and tell us why the "targets" are "targets". Tell us why the "targets" are not worthy Dems. Then put the names on a website, Dems deserve to know the truth on these matters.

April 14, 2005, 9:00AM

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