OK, so around 8:50 pm, I get a call from Carole Keeton Strayhorn, yeah, that one, the one running for governor. Yeah, she just wanted to talk politics with me. No biggie.
Actually, it rocked. I don't know how much to backtrack for those who are out of the loop of Texas politics but I'll summarize in brief. Tom DeLay (I'm sure you've heard of him) ramrodded redistricting through our state legislature two years ago. It left Austin Texas without a person in the US House of Representatives. Oh, I'm exagerating, my district 10 is a long skinny snakey thing that runs from my neighborhood (urban Austin) all the way over to Houston (3 hours east). There was no Democrat on the ballot for me to even vote for in 2004 because it was senseless for the party to waste money on such a gerrymandered mess. A dad from my kid's elementary school ran as a write in. He lost.
During this travesty of the democratic process, Rick Perry did Tom DeLay's dirty work. I towed my kids to hearings at the capitol and in the process got serious about speaking up.
I want Rick Perry out.
So anyway, about a year ago, I saw our State Comptroller, Mrs. Strayhorn at the grocery store on three successive Saturday mornings. Of course I had to say hi, because she's sort of famous. I told her I was a Lloyd Doggett Democrat (our beloved Liberal old representative before redistricting who beat the odds and now represents a snakey district stretching from South Austin to the Mexican border), told her if she ran against Rick Perry, this Democrat would vote for her and work for her campaign.
I mentioned my kids aspired to live in the Governor's Mansion someday. And I'll be damned if she didn't memorize my name, my story, my kids' names and then surprise us with letters to the kids, wishing them luck on becoming Governor, and t-shirts. We wrote her to say thanks, and she wrote again. And now we are on her guest list for parties. We even got a personal phone call from her staffer inviting us to her announcement rally when she declared her candidancy.
Anyway, I wrote a letter to the editor of the paper relating my grocery store story, and it got published last week. I ended my letter with "I'm going to call her office and volunteer today! Democrats for One Tough Grandma".
Tonght she called me at home to say thanks. I kicked back on the bed and chatted about her race, our mutual feelings for Rick Perry ("adios, Mofo") and how she has worked with Arnold Schwartzeneger's pollster to find that the primary will be her battle for Governor and she needs influential "D's" to come to her aid. Rick is set to run with the backing of the ultra Conservative "R's". She said she needed influential "D's" on her side. I told her to give me 15 years, and I'd be an influential D. I told her I want to be on the school board and maybe work my way up. She said "I could give you a boost", and told me that when her kids were little she ran for school board as her first election. She said it was a good move because the election campaign is short and you can always find sitter for the evening meetings when you win.
Anyway, we just chatted for about 10-15 minutes. I was strangely at ease, even using the "adios, Mofo" at one point. I joked about how my parents were probably getting some false hope with me considering working on a Republican's campaign, and that once the primary was over, she was on her own. She laughed at that. Lucky for her I have my sights set on Rick Perry as revenge for redistricting and she is the beneficiary of my malevolence.
So, just a normal old evening around here.