Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Say Yes?

When you say no to Mario, you're going to have to say yes to someone else? Why not say yes to Joe Garcia? How do you do that? Help draft Joe to run against Mario:

* Sign the Petition: Please take 20 seconds of your time and add your voice to the many already asking Joe to get in the race.
* Join the Draft Joe Garcia Facebook Group: Already over 70 members!
* Contribute on Act Blue: We’ve been gradually moving up and now stand at 13 contributions with $120 raised. Our goal is 100 contributions of $5.00 each, so we still have a way to go. All it takes is $5.00 and you will help us get a little closer. Please let us know that you gave on the contributions link above.
* Spread the word: Email this website to five people and tell them about what we’re doing to Draft Joe into the 25th district race.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Door’s still open for Draft Joe Garcia – Raul Martinez, too

For those not on the email list of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party, here’s what Joe Garcia said in response to the rush of interest in drafting him for Congress: “While I am still far from making a decision, I do want to say that your kindness and support are very humbling and much appreciated!”

Regarding the on-line mention of his name having appeared in the Cuban regime newspaper Granma, he said, “Let me be clear that this paper is the communist propaganda newspaper and it makes assertions about the community and Congresspeople that are slanderous. And, although I may completely disagree with the Republican congressional delegation, these assertions by Granma are patently false.”

Granma had written an article about U.S. news reports on the South Florida congressional races and used its normal “Mafia” terminology in referring to the South Florida Republicans in Congress, This caused a little eruption of injured pride among some Cuban Americans. Garcia -- of Cuban background himself -- called one who protested, and issued his statement to make sure his distance from Havana was clear.

Garcia’s email concluded with mention of the new web site draftgarcia.com, so I think it’s safe to say he’s not against running against Mario Diaz-Balart in District 25. In an interview Friday with Nicole Sandler on WINZ AM940, he said it was a matter of convincing his wife and young daughter that it was right for the family.

Expect a decision by the second half of January, he said.

Uh, Joe, isn’t that when we’ll be in the thick of the runup to the Jan. 29 Florida presidential primary? Well, at least people will be thinking about politics.

Meanwhile, it’s heartening to hear enthusiasm for the Garcia candidacy. Nicole Sandler said on WINZ, “How awesome it would be to have Joe Garcia in the House of Representatives.”

On Stuck on the Palmetto, blogger Rick said he liked the way Joe debates the hardliners on the radio and provided a link to one of the best examples. I’ll repeat it here, along with Rick’s advice to let the link download, and then advance the slider to about 19:00. It runs for about a half-hour until the host, Henry Gomez, is so thoroughly defeated that he mutes Joe Garcia.

Rick concluded: “Joe has said he would run if he was asked. Let’s ask. Let’s start tossing out relics of the past and start looking forward.”

Meanwhile, there’s a growing web site to draft Raul Martinez, former mayor of Hialeah, to run for Congressional District 21, the seat held by Lincoln Diaz-Balart. You can hear Joe Garcia encouraging Martinez to run, in that clip on WINZ. Again, a decision likely in January.

Garcia said he knows of a handful of possible candidates to run against Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Congressional District 18, and he’s encouraging them to consider it strongly.

What’s needed is a super majority in Congress to end the war and deal with health care – all the reverses needed after two terms of George W. Bush – and we should not shrink from thinking landslide Democratic victory in this supposed Republican stronghold.

Sweet dreams, everyone – five Democrats in the U.S. House from Miami-Dade.

We’re not the only ones thinking about it. From farther afield, hope springs from the Swing State Project, with a post that went up on Friday noting the moves to draft Garcia and Martinez. Read through the long string of comments to see how other races in Florida would be affected, and how progressives around the country will be encouraged to help us sweep the Republicans out in South Florida.

In case you forget how to get the links to draft Garcia and Martinez, they are on the main page of Miami-Dade Dems, in the Links section down in the right-hand column. Don't just sit there -- go to the sites and sign up!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Draft Joe Garcia – great idea!

It’s tempting to think that this is emerging now via the “Cuban newspapers” because the mails are so slow between Washington and Havana. Ha ha. Actually, the Cuban Interests section in Washington was hot on the Internet as soon as The Hill published this topic back on Oct. 18, and Havana learned in a microsecond that Joe Garcia was tempted enough to be saying to The Hill he’d run for Congress if the party asked him.

“Ouch!” They said there in Havana. (What’s Espanol for Ouch?) “Bad for us if Joe Garcia takes over in the House of Representatives from one of those shirt-tail relatives of our Leader.” So they probably said in Havana.

And then it took them almost a month to figure out how to say it in their press.

So here’s the way I imagine their triple-twist thinking went:

  1. “The Diaz-Balart brothers and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – don’t forget Mel Martinez! – are so useful to keeping us Communists in power that we can’t imagine life without their neo-con faces in the House and Senate.” [This occupied them for a week.]
  2. “But if we came out and said we favor their being re-elected in 2008, the voters there would think it was a trick, and then Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez would run and be elected.” [This took two more weeks of deep thought.]
  3. “So we’ll publish a subtle analysis of the Miami political situation in Granma, our party organ, and appear to approve the likely challenges by Joe Garcia and Raul Martinez against the Diaz-Balarts, whom we’ll label as ‘Batista supporters,’ and, Voila! The Diaz-Balarts and their gang will be elected again as the voters react against what we endorse.” [Another week passed working this up.]

Here in peaceful South Florida, we raise our heads from the newspapers and TV screens full of news of police and criminals killing each other, and realize slowly that Cuba is messing around in our politics. Damn! That’s what they’re trying, is it? We’ll show them! Let’s Draft Joe Garcia and show them they can’t discourage us with their triple-twist trick!

Well, this may – or may not – be what happened, but in any case it’s a good idea. The Florida Politics blog has a diary up since last night with that goal – Draft Joe Garcia – and it’s also up on DailyKos with a way to vote and say whether you’d be willing to donate $5 to get him to run. Check it out. All the links are therein.