Friday, April 14, 2006

A Convoluted Way Of Saying We Have New Position Papers Available

You know, people piss me off on a regular basis. I’m not talking about the huge gaping sucking wounds that the current administration has caused in our psyche. That’s a whole other entry. I’m just talking about the daily, stupid crap that people do on a regular basis that makes me just bonkers. The stuff that makes me thing Well, if I was in charge… then the Laws According To COMM-D are born. Such as:

· People who tear across lanes of traffic nearly causing accidents because they are about to miss their turn due to the fact that they were too busy talking on their cell phones to pay attention to where they are going? If it were up to me, you could immediately place them under citizen’s arrest and smash their cell phones to bits with a huge Wile E. Coyote ACME sledgehammer.

· Speaking of traffic? You know the people in the church parking lot who never let anyone else in and won’t stop for people trying to cross the street? Isn’t that irony at its greatest? They have their right to call themselves Christian revoked for 30 days.

· People who call you on the phone then demand to know who you are? Get a small shock delivered through the phone line. Two shocks if they woke you up.

· People who smoke in smoke free zones? You are legally entitled to extinguish their cigarette for them…on their backsides.

See? There is a reason that people like me don’t run for office. Given the chance I would trounce all the people who annoy me on a daily basis. Maybe in a way that is more Robin Hood than Tom Delay (or even Frank Corte) but still not the mature solution to a problem.

Fortunately we do have people running that can provide mature, thoughtful responses to the actual problems and issues that we face on a daily basis. If you want to read Little Larry’s stances on 4 key issues, please click here to download his position papers. And if you are wondering why the 5th issue isn’t yet available, it’s because a key campaign staff member (namely, LittleLarry's 18-year-old son Billy) accidentally deleted it, and it has to be rewritten.

And thus we usher in a new era…one of real political positions and planning. And more importantly? The willingness to admit mistakes.

Especially when we can blame 'em on the Harvard kid.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Bulldog

Growing up in Amarillo, Texas, Larry's family always had bulldogs. I think their favorite was Fifi, the only one they ever bred. She had a pup that Larry's brother Eddie Lee named "Marine", because both he and Larry enlisted in the Marines in 1966, the year Marine was born. When they were in bootcamp, Sgt. Jiggs, the Marine Corps mascot, reminded them of home, of Fifi and her pup.

The bulldog as a symbol of the Marines is perfect - a bulldog is faithful, tenacious and unafraid. And the bulldog is a perfect mascot for Larry Stallings in the same way. He will not let go of a problem until it is fixed. I should know, I'm the one who always is waiting for him to come home for dinner while he stays at work grappling with a problem that most folks would gladly leave until the next workday. As an Army officer, he was faithful to his soldiers, always putting their safety, comfort, and dignity before his own. And he has never backed away from a fight, ever. One of his nicknames is "Little Larry", because everywhere he goes there are always at least two Larrys, and he is always the shoter one. But he never loses a fight because, as he says, "It's not the size of the dog in a fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in a dog that matters."

Now go look at this picture. If that ain't a bulldog, I don't know what is.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Five Smooth Stones Of Democracy, Part II

Now that Election Season has started to go from a simmer to a boil, we candidates realize that we are going into a real bad fight, and we want to have all the weapons and armor we can beg, borrow or steal at our disposal.

My campaign can't afford much of the weaponry modern politics seems to require. It took us weeks to get enough money to print push cards, and months to get to where we can even think about bumper stickers. I have to be my own general in this fight - I can't afford consultants. And, after encountering some of the consultants that Dr. Leininger hired to take out folks in his own party, I'm glad.

The fight we all face this election season is probably the most important political fight of my lifetime. Everything we have counted on as Americans is under attack every minute of every day, every day of every week, and every week of every month. It has been since George W. Bush took office, and it will continue long after he is gone. The Destructo Machine he has created will be put on automatic pilot, even as he, personally, gets marginalized. We will be fighting this machine for the rest of my lifetime, anyway. And I have promised to fight it in Texas.

I am taking into battle the equivalent of David's five smooth stones. I am bringing with me Five Smooth Stones of Democracy - my bulldog tenacity, my honor, my ideas, my faith, and most precious to me, my supporters. As my own general, I have nobody else but myself to plan my strategy. As the general of a campaign based on honor rather than on money, the tactics I must use are tactics suited to going into battle with a well-utilized slingshot against a Destructo Machine powered by the rocket fuel of unlimited money.

My campaign has no paid staff of any kind. Nor can I afford much technological assistance. For that, I have the family computer, my 1995 Izuzu truck, and a cell phone. I certainly can't afford a campaign office. I have taken over a bedroom in our modest home for that. My only consultants are my family and friends, who instead of making money from helping me in this fight, are giving me money.

Recently, my "campaign staff" (myself, my wife, and our 17-year old) did a mailing asking for donations to my campaign. We sent out about 300 envelopes with a small donation envelope inside, a letter, and a push card. Diane helped me compose the letter and hand-addressed the envelopes; Billy collated the letters and envelopes to make sure the right letter got into the right envelope, and I stamped and licked the envelopes for mailing. It took us a couple of weeks; but some of those people who got a letter believed in me enough to send a little money, for which I am deeply grateful.

When I go to a political event, the money does not come out of the campaign treasury. It comes out of my pocket. When we must eat on the road, I pay for those meals, not "the campaign". Oh, and those road trips to visit folks in 122? I pay for the gas, not "the campaign'. I have no IT company managing this blog or the website, our daughter does all that in her spare time between her full-time job, her full-time Master's program, and being a mom.

I do not use the hard-earned contributions from my beloved supporters to make campaigning easier for us, I use them to make winning possible.

We have joined every Democratic or progressive group in Bexar County, and the dues come from my pocket. Those clean shirts I have to put on when I go speak before a group are laundered at my expense, not the campaign's. The phone lines I use are the ones I pay for every month, not the campaign. All the oppostional research we have done (and you would be amazed what we have found out) has been done by family members using Google. Our high-speed internet is paid for from my pocket, not the campaign treasury. We have spent our campaign money on literature, postage, and office supplies like file folders and inkjet cartridges.

I am very happy to be going into this fight with the five smooth stones I have. The primary numbers have indicated that, as far as the House District race is concerned, this is not really a 75-25 district as all. It is more like a 57-43 district. If I use those five smooth stones well, I will win it back for the parents and kids, small business owners, teachers and health care workers, the senior citizens and newborn babies of this district. The odds look pretty good to this bulldog soldier.