Sunday, August 27, 2006


John Courage Knows What He Sees

Democrats hold ranch pep rally

By Jessica Sanders
The Herald-Zeitung

Published August 27, 2006

John Courage, Democratic candidate for Texas’ U.S. District 21 representative, said politics are a little like a fairy tale sometimes.

“I feel like Dorothy in Oz — (President) Bush needs a brain, (Vice President Dick) Cheney needs a heart and Washington needs Courage,” he said to resounding applause.

Party faithful gathered at the Canyon Lake Ranch, 1610 FM 484, to support this year’s Democratic candidates and discuss changes they hope to see at the state and local level.

Courage said, if he ousts Republican incumbent Lamar Smith, he will work to simplify Medicare, improve environmental policies and encourage alternative energy sources such as wind power. He said he also looks forward to the day when Democrats will be better represented in Congress.

Maria Luisa Alvarado, Democratic candidate for Texas lieutenant governor against Republican incumbent David Dewhurst, said both parties will have a fair chance to be heard if she is elected, as she has no personal allegiances with either party.

“I think that voters and legislators are tired of all the games, that you have to know people to get things done,” she said. “I have no allegiances except to the people — I would come in with a clean slate.”

Kathi Thomas, a candidate for the Texas Senate’s District 25, said she also would bring a fresh perspective to Austin.

“I’m a ticked-off mom,” said Thomas, a former teacher who is competing against Republican incumbent Jeff Wentworth. “I would like to bring more funding to vocational education and get teachers involved in education reform. They know a lot more than legislators think.”

Thomas said that many ideas, such as preserving natural resources, improving education and making insurance more accessible, are universal goals for everyone in government.

Barbara Ann Radnofsky, who is challenging Republican incumbent Kay Bailey Hutchison for U.S. Senate, agreed that many Republicans are beginning to move toward the Democratic way of thinking in areas such as health care and international trade.

For example, she said, people from both parties agree that the United States has become dependent on the Middle East for fuel and on China because of outsourcing.

“What we need is a minimum wage that keeps workers here in good spirit,” she said. “We need to remember that the money they spend is worth just as much as the money millionaires keep in the bank.”

Hank Gilbert, a candidate for Texas agricultural commissioner, said Texas also needs to refocus on domestic products instead of imported foods. He is also against the Trans-Texas Corridor.

“I want to stimulate the Texas agriculture agency through programs that get the young people back into agriculture,” he said. “My opponent (Republican Todd Staples) is using this post as a stepping stone. My only goal is to represent and encourage Texas agriculture.”

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