Monday, January 11, 2016

District 75 - Whats the Difference Between Chente & Mary?

I'm really staying clear of this race (the race for Texas House District 75) as much as I can because I know both of them personally. But since it is a valley race and all I'm probably uniquely qualified to give you readers some analysis on this race. I'll use first names here not out of disrespect but because in the valley, thats how they are most known.

Actually thats true of most electeds in the valley.

Lets start with the reality, its going to be very difficult for Chente Quintanilla to get his seat back. He's in his 70's now and he's never really done all that well in Horizon if you look at voting numbers. He will have some money to spend and the best thing he could've done is landed with Forma. They know how to craft a negative piece of mail and create problems for Mary.

He's not likely to win, but he's going to bloody her nose quite a bit. And that ladies and gentlemen, is a bid deal.

You can't beat a young educated Latina with money and a ground game with a guy in his 70's and absolutely no ground game whatsoever. Its just not going to happen, no matter how likable Chente is.

But in two years, during a gubernatorial cycle, Mary will be even more vulnerable. This time Forma needs to get a younger Latina that is educated and well-known in the valley.

I know exactly who can run and beat Mary. Educated, strong policy and legislative policy knowledge, and really well-known in the valley. Particularly the deep valley. The question is whether or not she will run in two years and I'm betting the answer is yes.

Let me get to the point of this post as it relates to this election cycle.

While both Chente and Mary are educated and have quite a lot of experience in academia, neither of them have ever really done squat for education. To be even more clear, neither of them have actually every really done anything on any issue.

Chente's most significant legislative accomplishments are an attempt at making the sopapilla the state pastry and passing a bill that created a system where only landowners could vote on water issues in the valley.

Mary? She did a bill that will examine the feasibility of bringing back dairy to the valley. Which doesn't provide good jobs and requires something most farmers don't have a large supply of...water.

In reality both of the candidates in this contest aren't known for what they have accomplished for their districts as legislators. Lets take a couple of their contemporaries as examples.

Former State Rep Norma Chavez and retiring State Rep Marisa Marquez. Love them or hate them, they are known for what they have accomplished as state reps. Sure, they each have a lot of detractors and aren't exactly known for being the nicest of people to deal with. They had the ugliest political break-up this side of 50 Cent and Vivica Fox.

But one thing you can't say about them is that they didn't get the job done. They were both really good at getting legislation through. Each of them leave behind a legislative legacy they can be proud of.

Chente and Mary...not so much.

Chente is known for being "furniture" in the legislature and Mary is known for her sexuality.

Now before my other progressive liberal friends decide to burn me at the stake for that comment, let me clarify. I am the parent of a gay adult child. I don't give two cents who Mary does or does not choose to share her private time with.

My problem is that she is ONLY known for that.

Don't get me wrong. Its a brave thing to talk about your sexuality in the open, especially when you identify as pan-sexual. Her coming out and taking the position is, as is so accurately stated in this video about her by The Young Turks, one of the bravest things in American politics.

But the problem is she wasn't elected to do that. She was elected to represent her constituents and that isn't happening and who she sleeps with isn't relevant to the fact that there are no meaningful policy initiatives coming from her office.

She's not known for anything she's ever done for her constituents. In fact the only constituent related issues she is known for has been failing in Montana Vista with waste water, and causing a ruckus in another part of the state over water.

There's been no meaningful legislation or policy proposals from her office on anything. She hasn't used her media influence to do one bit of good for her community. She's only used it to forward her own personal notoriety based on her sexuality. That is selfish and the community elected her to represent them and their needs, not her own personal fame.

And frankly where the two have failed the valley the most is education. Yet again today there is a headline showing public education woes in Texas. And yet neither Chente Quintanilla during his turn at-bat nor Mary Gonzalez in her current stint are, or have done, anything for public education in Texas.

There are plenty of public education woes in their own backyard that both candidates could be teaching a leadership role on and neither of them have done so. Its mind-numbingly frustrating to watch a campaign happen where there is no meaningful policy debate happening.

Mary wins by a pretty solid margin because she's block-walking and has been since at least September. Chente doesn't walk and doesn't have any really doing an organized block-walking effort on his behalf. And if he started today, its already too late. He doesn't have the man-power to walk the who district in the time left.

But given either candidates lack of an identifiable policy proposal on education, it begs one final question.

When neither are effective, what difference does it make to the voters which one wins?

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