Saturday, September 12, 2009

Conservatives to DNC: Hands off Texas

Bless them all, it was a crappy day to be outside. That's some dedication.

Hundreds brave rain to send a message to members the Democratic National Committee.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Holding signs that said "Less government = more freedom," "No Public Option" and "You Lie, You Lie, You Lie," hundreds of conservatives braved the pouring rain Saturday at a rally on the south steps of the Texas Capitol.

The purpose of the rally was to tell those in town for a meeting of the Democratic National Committee to, as Texas Republican Party Chairwoman Tina Benkiser put it, "crawl back to the left-wing socialist pit they came from and keep their hands off Texas."

The rally was organized by the Texas Republican House Committee in response to reports that Democrats were in town plotting ways to try to take control of the Texas House of Representatives in 2010 and to turn Texas in favor of Democrats in 2012.

Kirsten Gray, a spokeswoman for the Texas Democratic Party, said the rally showed that Texas Republicans are "running scared."

"There's a national focus on Texas Democrats right now because of all the progress we made and the fact that voters are responding to our message," she said.

Those attending Saturday's rally dismissed the idea that Republicans might lose their hold on Texas, but there was concern from some that losing the GOP's slim 76-74 majority in the Texas House could have big implications in the upcoming state redistricting process.

Retaining control over how the districts are drawn, they said, is particularly important because Texas is poised to gain as many as four additional seats in Congress because of its population growth.

"The (Texas) House could be the key," Timothy Bradberry of Pflugerville said.

"We need to counter them because we think it's part of a larger goal of the Democratic machine to continue to entrench themselves in power," Bradberry said. "We need to say, 'Hell no, we're going to keep this a conservative Republican state.'"

The rally, according to organizers, was not affiliated with the dozens occurring around the country in conjunction with the Taxpayer March on Washington on Saturday.

In addition to Benkiser, speakers at the Austin event included Republican Party of Texas Vice Chair Robin Armstrong, retired Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, former state Rep. Suzanna Hupp, R-Lampasas, and Lathan Watts, a member of the Lewisville City Council and Texas Republican House Committee trustee.

"Today is the day Texas Republicans take a stand," Watts said.

"Today is the day Texas Republicans draw a line in sand." Conservatives to DNC: Hands off Texas

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