Sunday, October 4, 2015

Joe Barton's Democratic Opponent has already done the impossible. Finding solutions is his business.

By Faith Chatham - October 4, 2015  - The first of a two-part series.

David E. Cozad is a "builder". A leader who mentors and teaches, assists and equips, he blends his dual career path as educator and innovator in the telecommunications industry with common sense practicality and metrics driven research and evaluation.

Anyone who has a cell phone which sends text messages or has voice mail has a device in which David Cozad played an instrumental role. He was the Project Engineer on the software development team at Motorola which developed and implemented service for the first cell phone with text messaging and voice mail capability. He led the "roll-out" of  that cellular phone service in the Western part of the USA, Thailand and Argentina.  At the time, most people in the industry thought what his team accomplished was "impossible" and "could not be done."  David was assigned to lead the team because he was known as someone who could make things happen.

He applied problem-solving, solution finding skills in leading others to change the telecommunications industry. Those are the same skills which are needed in Congress today.

His love for his country, and more specifically, his deep concern that the policies of many in Congress will have on his grandchildren generation, prompts him to continue placing most personal things aside and working diligently to build a campaign organization to win the US 6th Congressional Seat. He is determined to build the infrastructure which will enable logical, problem-solving Democrats who truly care for this nation to win seats from Tea Party GOP incumbents from the "courthouse to the White House."

 He's a realist who knows that challenging a 30+ year Republican incumbent for Congress takes more than a two-year investment. He's been building his campaign organization for years. He ran for U.S. Congress in the 6th District against Joe Barton in 2010.  He had no intention of running again in 2014. He had been hired as treasurer for another candidate was forced to drop out due to health problems. David had served on numerous campaigns of other Democrats who had challenged Joe Barton. He knew the district. When he was drafted in late November 2013 to run in 2014, he  decided to make that year count by using it to build an organization which can take the seat away from the Republicans in 2016.

Campaigning for David Cozad involves a lot of listening and connecting. He's been steadily building a base of supporters. In 2014 several high profile campaigns were already based in Tarrant County before he declared. Most volunteers and donors were already committed to other campaigns. He was the first candidate in Tarrant County to kick off a 2016 Campaign. He is encouraged at the response of local activists.
David believes (and practices) that Democrats will not win unless they support each other up and down the ticket. He sees helping to build the party in the rural counties as a necessity and responsibility. Anytime there is a Cozad for Congress event, other candidates are welcomed to speak and distribute literature. In 2014 when preparing for the Texas State Democratic Party Convention his staff was stretched thin. It was a "no-brainer" for him when deciding to stretch a bit further and be the local organizers who enabled the Ready for Hillary Super PAC to have a booth at the state convention. David hauled the furnishing and his Chief of Staff oversaw staffing for both booths.

The first time David ran, the District was much larger and much "redder". It stretched almost down to College Station. When redistricted in before the 2012 election, the district became much more compact. Now the majority of voters are in Tarrant County. Most are in Arlington but Meadowbrook and Hanley in Fort Worth is a very blue part of the District. In 2014 he carried every precinct in Meadowbrook and Handley and all the precincts in SE Tarrant County. There are even a few precincts which previously had voted majority Republican north of I-30 in Arlington which were carried by Cozad in 2014.

He operated on a shoestring in 2014. He is expert at making every campaign dollar count. However, without enough to spread around, much of the district did not get his message in 2014. He is hoping to change that this year. That is why was the first U.S. Congressional Democrat to declare for 2016. He is steadily recruiting and training volunteers.  Intense party building is a way of life for the Cozad Team for the two rural counties in the district (Navarro and Ellis).

Navarro's Democratic Party had to be reorganized from the ground up. County Chair Linda Mertz was appointed by the State Chair and won re-election after the previous County Chair became incapacitated. There were no precinct chairs or County Executive Committee. Cozad and his team spent considerable time in Navarro in 2014 helping to recruit and train precinct chairs.

Navarro County Chair, Linda Mertz, and Navarro County Democratic Precinct Chairs meet with David Cozad and Faith Chatham at a County Executive Committee Planning Retreat in early 2015.

Every decision he makes includes weighing its impact on the more vulnerable members of the community and future generations. He is firmly committed to applying logic and common sense to public policy planning. As a businessman, he knows that destroying the planet for short-term profiteering is not sound business. He knows that many businesses will operate responsibly, but there are always a few actors who refuse to employ best practices. Voluntary compliance would work if everyone was responsible. They aren't. Therefore, business needs sensible, fair regulations. There is a difference between choosing "winners and losers" and applying sound guidelines and fair enforcement. He sees what Joe Barton and others who grant large tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and impose regulations on the solar and wind power industries which inhibit their development as interference in the free market system. He definitely differs with Joe Barton on the role of government.

Joe wants to abolish OSHA and the EPA. David sees their role as necessary. Workers should not be subject to preventable harm. Those who exploit "the natural resources" should not be allowed to exploit the people who live and work and study nearby. Those who profit from developing natural resources should not be allowed to pocket the profits and pass the cost along to adjacent property owners and the public by higher health costs and lower property values. Protectionism of the fossil fuel industry inhibits development and implementation of sounder business practices.

David is frequently seen at EPA and TCEQ hearing on Air and Water Quality. Much of his team are active in Transportation, Energy, Health Care, Civil Rights, Women's Rights activism.  He attracts and keeps volunteers who have college degrees and campaign experience. There  are no attempts to construct a persona from polling data. Instead, his campaign is based on authenticity. He is consistent. He campaigns on issues which he believes in. He is popular with labor. He was endorsed by the State AFLCIO in 2014 and was one of only three Texas Democratic Congressional non-incumbents to receive the endorsement of the National American Federal Governmental Workers. 

When Joe Barton, during the governmental shut-down of 2013, said that American could pay the Chinese interest on the loans and other lenders could wait, David was livid. He knew that the largest holder of American debt is the Social Security Trust Fund, not the Chinese. Reagan was the first to borrow from the SS Trust Fund. George W. Bush borrowed heavily from it to help finance his Middle Eastern war. Cozad sees it as part of our nation's honor to respect the American workers who have contributed throughout their working careers to the Social Security Trust Fund.   

David examines policy from every direction before making a decision. When examining the XL Pipeline, he discovered that the corrosive nature of the oil and the lack of adequate processes to prevent spills or to clean-up from pipeline ruptures would endanger the land and people along the pipeline's path. The oil is not intended to be used domestically in the USA. The risk outweighed the benefit. Logic showed that the jobs generated by pipeline construction would not exceed those which could be generated in other infrastructure projects. Reason dictates that sound American policy should be focused on creating jobs through investing in projects which do not endanger the lives, long-term health and safety of the American people and the land we depend upon for our domestic economic survival. It is not a popular position with some people. However, David knows that being responsible does not always make you popular with those who hope to profit.

 A Win By Cozad in 2016  would turn all of Arlington,Navarro and Ellis Counties  Blue

Cozad  is running in the US-TX 6th Congressional District. It comprises all  of Arlington which is not in Congressman Marc Veasey's TX 33rd District. Veasey represents a small sliver of Arlington,  When the 33rd was created, Republicans in the Legislature oversaw a process which surgically cut Democrats out of a few Arlington precincts. Some speculate that it was a process designed to make the 6th a safer district for Republicans. Veasey was a former staffer of Congressman Martin Frost, who represented part of Arlington for years. When Frost became a "probable contender" for Speaker of the House, the GOP dominated State Legislature acted to weaken Frost's re-election prospects through gerrymandering. Frost had to choose between districts with constituents in Dallas or abandoning much of his Tarrant County base. He chose the part of the district farther east and his Democratic seat when to the Republicans. Marc Veasey was elected to the Texas Legislature from Fort Worth, frequenting working closely with Wendy Davis who represented at Tarrant County Senatorial District which included Fort Worth and the western half of Arlington. 

When asked why he is running, he tells folks honestly that "It has always been about my grandchildren." He believes he can do more to improve the world for them and for their generation as a member of Congress than as a private citizen. Seeing missed opportunities to make things better frustrates him. Grandstanding and unnecessary waste while those initiatives and projects which should be national priorities go unfunded is a betrayal of the faith and trust of the American people. Knowing that too little is being done to return opportunities for upward mobility to the American middle class spurs him forward. He sacrifices time with his grandchildren, but ultimately, they are what motivates him to not stop, to continue building, to continue communicating, to continue working, to continue mentoring and training others. to continue campaigning.
It's about much than just winning an election. It is about "keeping my family and your family safe." David doesn't recommend fear. He advocates using logic and doing what we can to prevent accidents. Racial profiling and other discriminatory practices do not make us safer. Opportunity to thrive, being treated fairly and treating others fairly, communication and mutual cooperation moves us forward. Refusing to grant one segment of the society an unfair advantage over the rest of society is important. Small government won't do it. Fair government will. Starving government too far, as is advocated by many of the far right, will reduce this nation to the lawless state of wastelands like some of most brutal countries. American should not go backward. We need to come together and build on what we have, improve what needs improving, and rethink what doesn't work. We do that through a legislative, debate and voting process, not by obstruction and anarchy.

David Cozad is a man who does his homework. He researches policy and goes beyond the surface to evaluate the ramifications of policy proposals. He surrounds himself with others who are examine policy and track who supports what and why. He is not a person who gives in to "knee jerk" reactions. He is steady and thoughtful. In the military he was in charge of one of the key parts to our nation's nuclear arsenal. If the President had ordered a defensive strike against the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Cozad or someone parallel to him, would have been ordered to assemble the artillery. He approaches everything with that same careful deliberation. Fortunately, the Soviet Union never launched a nuclear attack on the USA while Cozad was on-watch. As a boy he grew up on military bases in a divided Germany. The U.S. Army family quarters where the Cozad family lived had been constructed by Hitler's forces and occupied by the SS. Cozad grew up knowing that freedom is precious, being careful is wise but paranoia is not.
more than just his campaign. He says it is about "keeping our families safe, mine and yours and those we don't know." It isn't about building walls and operating in fear. It is about being smart. Using common sense. Doing what we can to prevent accidents. Improving our processes. Being fair and respectful.
campaign. It's about bringing people together to stand up to the threats from within our country which harm people and limit opportunities for people to use and develop their talents and "thrive." Affordable education and access to quality, affordable health care are not unattainable goals. They must be on the national agenda. We need legislative action, not just sound bites and campaign rhetoric.

Unlike many of his peers who grew up in the USA, he grew up in an integrated society. Being supportive of Civil Rights and Human Rights is natural to him. He did not encounter racial segregation until the family was transferred to El Paso when he was a teenager. He sees working for every American of all races, genders and sexual orientations to be treated fairly and respectfully as our responsibility as citizens of this nation. When we fall short, that means we must try harder to be fair, to change for the better, to enable others to have every opportunity that we expect and demand for ourselves and our families.
He looks at policy ramifications. Obviously as an artillery officer in the military, he is not anti-gun. As a former school teacher and a parent and grandparent, he does not think that the classroom is the proper place for guns. Some argue that arming teachers will protect the children. Cozad has been a teacher. He knows how much attention is required to teach a class. Not every person has the temperament to be armed. Some are not attentive enough to secure the weapon under all circumstance. He stands firmly in opposition to guns on campus. When people are armed, Cozad's messages and tee shirts carry a "no guns in school" message.
authorities must get close to them before they can determine if the gun is in the hands of someone who is authorized to carry and will not do harm. If all guns are banned, authorities can easily determine that anyone with a weapon is up to no good.  Some of
The State Senator in a large part of
David's Congressional District drafted the legislation requiring State Colleges and Junior Colleges to permit guns on campus.
He watched his dad and his friends parents serve our country in the military.
He served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corp.
He led developmental/implementation teams which revolutionized the telecommunications industry as a civilian.
He got a teaching certificate and taught High School Math and Science after leaving the telecommunications industry.
He founded a non-profit organization to study how American can keep mobile without harming the environment or the health of people.
He ran for Congress and got the highest percentage of votes in 2014 of any non-incumbent Democrat in Texas with a budget of only $14K.
He continues to mentor, train, problem-solve, target limited resources where they will do them most good.
He helped rebuild inactive rural Democratic County Party organizations.
He enabled Hillary Clinton to have a strong presence at the 2014 State of Texas Democratic Convention.
He is a husband, father and grandfather.
He encourages and assists other candidates up and down the ticket and encourages his staff to do likewise.

David Cozad is a builder. He is an educator. He is a mentor. He is a problem-solver. He is persistent. He doesn't quit because he always sees the people he loves and knows that the man who occupies the Congressional Seat in the US TX 6th District does not rank  their welfare and future as important as the bottom-line of the cement industry, the coal-fired power plants, or other industrial polluters. He knows that there is a better way to keep the lights burning in the homes and businesses of America. He's found solutions which others said were impossible. Doing what was previously thought was impossible is not easy, but when the American people have the vision and they believe they can make a difference, this is a nation which is noted for moving the world to better places by accomplishing what previously seen as impossible.

Not Easy, but not Impossible

Unlike the 33rd Congressional District which is a Democratic opportunity district drawn in a bar bell shape with "pitts" predominately African American neighborhoods in Fort Worth with Dallas residents of "Little Mexico". The 33rd cuts a narrow path through Arlington and Grand Prairie  Taking minorities out of the 6th was intended to make it safely Republican. However, the demographics of Arlington and Ellis and Navarro Counties has changed. The district is solidly purple now. Arlington does not have a "right or wrong" side of the Railroad track. There are some neighborhoods with higher percentages of minorities but most are diverse and integrated. In 2014 Joe Barton lost a large segment of Arlington and all of Meadowbrook and Hanley (East Fort Worth) in the General Election to David Cozad. Barton outspent Cozad by nearly a half a million dollars. On average, Democratic non-incumbents running for Congress in Texas in 2014 had less than a penny and a half per voting age resident of the district to spend. If every Texan who voted for Barak Obama for President in 2012 would give at least $10 a year to non-incumbent Democrats running against GOP Tea Party Congressional incumbents in 2016, challengers would have 20 times more resources to reach the voters with their progressive messages.

Republicans in Austin drew the 33rd Congressional District to be a safe Republican district, but their dislike for Barton was evident in the map. They purposely removed the Arlington Entertainment District from the 6th and put it into the 33rd. Joe was very upset to lose the Cowboy and Ranger Stadiums. There was little economic development he could claim he encouraged. He was not responsible for the Stadium development, but he liked to point to it with pride. Both stadiums are now in Congressman Marc Veasey's District.

The University of Texas at Arlington is in the US -TX 6th District. After earning undergraduate degrees in Math and Physics and Computer Science, David earn a teaching certificate at UNT and returned to graduate school in Computer Science at UTA. His wife earned an architecture degree there. Several of his children graduated from there. He hopes to represent the District where the University is located. He will be a friend to the University. The boy who grew up on military bases in Austria and Germany and the United States was influenced by his father who appreciated knowledge. Books were always the Cozad children's friend. He knows how far an idea must travel for it to become a product or a revenue stream. He knows that revenue streams are essential for job development. He wants to see jobs where this generation and the next can use their minds and creativity and skill and be richly rewarded for their labors. That requires sound labor policies and resources for businesses to compete fairly in the world market place.

Barton is not very popular 
In 2014 Cozad ran unopposed in the Democratic Primary and did not spend anything in Ellis County. When Cozad's Democratic Primary votes are added to Barton's Libertarian /GOP primary opponent, Barton had more people vote against him in all except 5 precincts of his home county than voted for him. Without campaigning actively in Ellis in the Primary, Cozad received more votes than the two Republicans did in their primary in 4 precincts.

Barton is no longer Chair of any committee. No other member of Congress missed more votes than Joe Barton during this past session of Congress. He has not brought any new industries or enterprises to the District. He has not gotten any legislation passed.

Barton is pulling two very far right-wing opponents in the Republican Primary. There is an opening for a strong, determined Democratic opponent. Cozad's is building on what he accomplished in 2014.  His 2014 Push Card sums up many of his positions.

To volunteer or to contribute to his campaign go to

To contribute to Cozad's Campaign and the Campaign of Shirley McKellar
and the Federal PAC which supports progressive non-incumbents running against GOP Tea Party Incumbents for Congress in Districts on the Ballot in Texas with one click:

Monday, September 28, 2015

Retired Army Officer Challenging Tea Party Incumbent Louie Gohmert for East Texas Congressional Seat

By Faith Chatham - Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC - September 3, 2015

Shirley McKellar officially kicked off her 2016 Campaign for Congress in the shadows of the Smith County Court House. Earlier this year, KLTV Tyler introduced Dr. Shirley McKellar as one of East Texas' Freedom Fighters. Joan Hallmark features area soldiers who serve in combat zones in the U.S. Military., Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News
"Shirley McKeller served 18 years in the U.S. Army as a nurse. Eighteen months of that time was during "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in an Iraqi Field Hospital that was under bomb threat every day and in a hospital in Germany where wounded soldiers were sent for further medical aid. 
An accident ended McKeller's Army career, and she found out firsthand how difficult it was for veterans to get into the system for medical aid.

McKeller has become an advocate for veterans, and in she 2014 ran for Congress in the 1st District on the Democratic ticket. Although McKeller lost the election, she hasn't ruled out a future run."  - KLTV Joan Hallmark

McKellar combines elegance with the toughness of an Army medical officer who has seen duty in the combat zone. A native of Tyler, McKellar's family tree leads back through generations of small business owners. Working, serving, solving problems, using logic and common sense and getting as much education as possible to be able to understand more, and to be more effective, is automatic to her.

She is a woman who is not easily deterred. When she knows something needs to be done, is convinced that something should be done, she goes into action, almost as though on auto-pilot, to see that it happens. Multi-tasking while giving personal attention to everyone she encounters is innate with Shirley McKellar. She has lots of titles, all earned, but does not see her PhD or retired status as a Major in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps or honoree of so many awards that it is difficult to list them, as anything that should set her apart from others. She says she lists the PhD and other titles to show that she has done "her homework" and is prepared to serve. Her focus is always on how to get things done to improve the lives of others and to make our community and nation an even better place to live.

As the number of women soldiers (and women veterans) increased, the U.S. Military and Veterans Administration lacked many of the medical services women need. McKellar was at the forefront, helping to establish medical services for women. She was instrumental in establishing the Breast Cancer Awareness program for the European Theater of the U.S. Military. She was one of 16 clinicians from around the world to travel to Berlin and establish, "The Best Clinical Practices for Treating Breast Cancer Around the Globe".  Baylor University Health Services named her their  "International Breast Cancer Advocate" for Europe, to represent America at the 4th European Congress at a conference where her speech on the "Healthcare Disparities Among African-American Women" was aired to over 250 Comprehensive Breast Cancer Centers in the world, including The University of Texas at M.D. Anderson in Houston. 

Once back in the U.S., it was natural for her to partner with UT Austin Health Science and launch the African American Breast Cancer Outreach Program and to serve as site manager for the program at UT Tyler. She served as the sexual harassment officer and EEOC officer in the military. In civilian life, she used her non-profit organization to employ social workers and nurse clinicians to provide sexual abuse and domestic violence services to women and children in 12 Texas counties.

McKellar did not intend to end her military career two years short of her 20 years of active duty. However, on the border of Iraq and Turkey, a fall down a flight of stairs abruptly changed her life. She spent over a year in Brooks Medical Center in San Antonio and some who knew her during that time reported that it was difficult to keep the patient, Shirley McKellar, from serving others. Some of her closest associates and most ardent volunteers today were other injured soldiers whom she met during those dark days while she was undergoing numerous surgeries and physical rehab.

Injured or not, she remained alert to the circumstance of others around her. She remained a thinker always looking for a solution. She was an "encourager".  She worked hard on her own rehabilitation, fighting her way back from injuries which often seemed insurmountable. She didn't fight just for her own recovery. Shirley was fighting for others, some of whom were too injured to fight for themselves.

Shirley has never been a person who fought just for herself. She is someone who always is extending an invitation to others "to get on the bus."  She has done that as an educator, as a founder/director of a Non-profit organization, as an military officer, as a wife and mother and grandmother and friend. "Until we all have succeeded-none of us have succeeded" and "Reach one, Teach one" are more than mottos for Shirley McKellar. 

Some solutions are "high tech" or require enormous co-operation and legal /legislative involvement.  However, there are some obstacles which deter people which can be solved with application of common sense and basic East Texas community co-operation when there is someone to lead. Frequently Shirley McKellar is the person who leads, who enlists others, who mentors, and who monitors until it is accomplished and implemented.

The US-TX First District has one of the state's highest rates of unemployment.
Shirley has worked consistently to create jobs and to enable people to get vocational training for available jobs. She problem-solves to remove obstacles preventing people from becoming or staying gainfully employed. As an R.N. she knew that there were jobs in the medical profession which were unfilled. She also knew there were jobs in the community working shift work or weekends. She heard the frustration of parents who needed work but did not have safe, appropriate child care for evening or weekends. Through her non-profit organization, she partnered with others to establish a 24/7 childcare center.  This fall she is launching a medical transcription school in Tyler to train people to fill some of those unfilled medical slots. These are things which she has accomplished as a private citizen. It frustrates her to see the Congressman from East Texas "grandstand for soundbites" and "neglect tackling issues which are truly life and death for East Texas families."  She is determined to change things for the better. She knows that she can do more for people as a member of Congress than as a private citizen.

Running for Congress has almost become a way of life in the McKellar household. Most candidates set-aside other community service and focus only on campaigning. McKellar campaigns while serving. She doesn't stop doing whatever she can to make things better. She doesn't stop meeting people and hearing their stories and viewpoints. She doesn't stop building and fine-tuning her campaign organization. She works the phone and internet as her driver shuttles her from one city to another, between places where she volunteers and serves on boards to campaign events and team meetings.

Education is a way of life in the McKellar household.  All children matter. Realizing that "education had to start earlier than the first grade and that much of the human brain is formed by age 3," Dr. McKellar and her friend,  Dr. Sally Sanders, RN, MSN, started an early childhood education school serving ages 6 Weeks-Kindergarten. They also launched an after school mentor-mentee program and provided care for children until midnight for the children of parents whose jobs required "shift work". It evolved into a different non-profit which employs social workers who provides service to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in 12 counties.

McKellar's husband, Bro.  Danny C. McKellar,  is an educator who retired from the  Dallas Independent School Systems, and  now serves on the pastoral staff of a church in Tyler as Minister of Christian Education. Juggling children, community, military service, church, and education was a constant in their household. Somehow they pulled it off and frequently amazed people with how effortlessly it appears from the outside. From the inside, there is teamwork and mutual affirmation. She is about building, nurturing, healing, leading. Both of their children are grown; now they have five grandchildren.

She leads a multi-ethnic rainbow coalition and resonates with people of all ages. She has friends and associates that stretch back to her public school days in Tyler or University or years while she was serving in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps. Some related to her because she shares their ethnicity and understands their history. Other gravitate to her because she is   "delightful, intelligent, accomplished, human and caring." Her staff have variations in skin color but share her determination to make things better for everybody. Instead of talking about what needs to be done, she attracts people who do what they can wherever they are to make things better while evaluating what needs to be done next.   
She doesn't want to just end the discrimination that shoved people to the back of the bus, she wants to help people overcome there not being a "bus to get on."  It is important to understand who we are and where we come from in order to find our way to a better tomorrow. It won't be done with hatred and name calling. It must be forged with respect and hard work. Earlier this year, she took a bus load of folks from East Texas to walk across the Selma Bridge. It would probably have been easier for her to just go with a friend or two or by herself. But is not who and what she is. It was wonderful for her to be able to share the experience with many who probably would have been unable to go if she had not "instigate it."


Instead of working to bring jobs to East Texas, the Republican Incumbent Louie Gohmert's positions frequently make it more difficult for employers to keep people working. For over two years he fought to close down the Export Import Bank. He called it "Corporate Welfare" even though not one cent of taxpayer money was required for its operation. In fact, the fees and interest charged foreign borrowers who utilized the bank's services to finance their purchases of goods and services produced by American businesses employing American workers generated a profit which was transferred to the U.S. Treasury. In 2014 over $674Bil went into the U.S. Treasury after all expenses were paid by the Export Import Bank. It made no sense for Gohmert and others (who frequently voted for tax breaks and subsidies for their pet industries) to target the Export Import Bank. Yet they did. One of the last acts on June 30th, before Congress adjourned for their break, was Gohmert, Jeb Hensarling, and others succeeding in blocking the renewal of the 81-year old Export Import Bank's charter.  There action is one which is causing American businesses to lose contracts to foreign competitors. It is  an act which,  in the short-term,  is costing the U.S. Treasury the millions of dollars a year in profits the bank earns on interest and fees and, if not rectified, will cost the American economy in the long-term. The immediate consequence was loss of several large contracts by American based manufacturers. Without these contracts, corporations are announcing lay-offs. Loss of one satellite contract is prompting Boeing to announce the cut of 3,300 American workers by December 2015. There are reports of similar job cuts in almost every state in the nation. Why? Because some members of Congress decided to end our nation's bank of last resort for exports.

This makes no sense to Shirley McKellar. She views it as "an unnecessary and illogical move. Instead of focusing on solving real problems and working to keep American jobs here, and working to create new jobs, Congressman Gohmert's position in the Export Import Bank is causing American manufacturers to have to turn to foreign governmental banks to finance their exports." These governments are requiring that their citizens are employed instead of American workers. Without jobs, people do not earn. Without earnings, people are not taxed. Without taxes, the government has greater deficits. It makes no sense to many people and it certainly makes no sense to this problem-solving, logical, intelligent, obstacle attacking former U.S.Army Nurse and Officer.

 Gohmert's time on the bench as a judge had been filled with controversy. Once he even overstepped his authority and ordered a couple to marry within 24 hours under duress. He promised to commute the man's sentence only if he married his girlfriend. McKellar saw a pattern of failing to follow the Constitution and failing to focus on solving the real problems facing people in East Texas from Congressman Gohmert.

2016  will be the third time she has challenged Louie Gohmert for the US-TX 1 seat in Congress. The first time, was a learning experience. The second time she was able to build a campaign organization. This time she is strengthening her organization and reinforcing her network.

She also is host or co-host of three radio shows per week. She recruits volunteers locally and nationally. Working from a virtual office in Kentucky, co-host Rhena Piegols is a key part of McKellar's campaign staff.  Traveling with her to many of her campaign events, Ellis County resident First Sargent (ret). Eddings is a familiar sight. They met in Brooks Medical Hospital, both injured soldiers who were helping others.

Her schedule is tight.  Between campaign events, she always sandwiches in service at the V.A. Hospital in Dallas. It is not unusual for her to drive from Tyler on Tuesday morning, serve at the V.A. Hospital in Dallas until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, make a meeting or two that afternoon, drive to East Texas and speak at a Club or Democratic or Community gathering in Tyler, Longview, Marshall, Carthage, Nacogdoches or Lufkin and return to Dallas on Wednesday to serve again at the V.A. Her newly redesigned campaign logo reflect the many hats and roles this multi-faceted human being brings to everything she does. She is the great great granddaughter of one of East Texas' noted rose growers. She described growing up on "500 acres of roses and cabbage" in an interview with Joan Hallmark of Channel 7-Tyler. Her family has been farmers in business in Smith County for over 5 generations. Several generations of her family owned and operated Mitchell Erwin Roses of East Texas, which was a major supplier for roses for Tyler's Rose parade. She says: "I learned from watching them. They started businesses and ran businesses and employed the family and other people."

She has a strong network of supporters in East Texas and a network that spans across the United States. From former military associates, to educators and medical associates, to leaders in numerous groups and associations, and listeners on her radio programs which are broadcast in the Tyler/ET market, and across then nation on Blog Talk USA, she engages people. As people grow to know her, her supporter base grows. She is an individual who does not accept what is "hard" as being "impossible." She sees working for improving things as a calling and refuses to be deterred. Every time Congressman Gohmert distorts the facts or lies to the media or the people of East Texas, it strengthens her resolve and energizes her to continue communicating with people, to continue doing what she can whenever she can to improve things, to continue treating people respectfully and fairly.

In July 2015 Gohmert addressed the Lions Club in Carthage and stated that "President Obama lied when he said no money would be transferred from Medicare to fund Obamacare." Gohmert continued, saying: "Over $70 Billion dollars over ten years was transferred from Medicare to pay for Obamacare." McKellar shook her head when asked about Gohmert's statement. No money was transferred form Medicare or Social Security to fund the Affordable Care Act. Gohmert knows this. He is probably counting   on retirees thinking that the rise in Social Security Supplement Insurance premiums in Texas is because "President Obama did something to cause it."

Dr. McKellar and others who have researched it know that Congressman Gohmert is misleading people. The rise in Social Security Premiums would be greater if the Affordable Care Act had not been enacted. It is based on the cost the insurance companies have to pay for medical services which are driven higher in proportion to the losses providers have to cover for service to uninsured patients. So where did Gohmert get the $70 Billion over ten years? It comes from an estimate of SAVINGS over ten years from improving the process which enables the government to detect Medicare Fraud. McKellar understand this, She knows her opponent. She knows health care. She understands the economic cause and effect of uninsured losses and the human costs of denial of access to medical care. She is appalled at the incumbent feeding the fear of senior citizens, his crass disregard for the truth, and his refusal to work to improve services which are lifelines for so many worthy Americans. She cannot change him. It merely makes her more determined to be better herself, to serve others, to respect our American process, to find solutions, and to Win so that she can do more for more people.

One difference between her 2016 Campaign and previous races is news coverage. She has continued building her coalition, strengthening her team, training and learning and teaching and sharing. Instead of contacting the media trying to get them to mention her, this year, the media contacts her. She has already been featured or included on more television interviews in the East Texas market this year than in her two previous campaigns combined. The January 2015 feature Joan Hallmark did on her for "Freedom Fighters" which aired on Channel 7 was excellent.  When Gohmert said he'd retire from Congress if the Iran Agreement became a Treaty she was interviewed again by Channel 7. "Skeptical. Of course I'm skeptical. He's just saying that to get news coverage." she said. "He doesn't intend to not run. I do agree with one thing he said. No one wants him in Washington anymore." She was referring to Gohmert's alienation of the Speaker of the House and G.O.P. party establishment. He is no longer chair or member of any important committees. When you challenge the Speaker of the House and lose, you become less effective at getting the job done for the people in your district. Gohmert only got 3 votes when he ran for Speaker in 2015.  He lost much more than he gained and with his decline, went opportunities to make substantive improvements for his district. His attempt to defund Homeland Security earlier this year led to the Republican American Action Network, the sister PAC of the Republican Congressional Leadershp Fund, spending $10K on digital advertising in his district. This was he first time that organization has advertised against one of their own party's incumbents.

The Longview News ran a story March  3, 2O15:
"After a week of legislative chaos over funding the Department of Homeland Security, a Republican group is taking aim at U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, in his East Texas district over his opposition to a DHS funding plan.
American Action Network, which calls itself a "center-right" advocacy group, has bought $10,000 worth of digital advertising in the district in the hope of building support for a congressional bill that will fund the Department of Homeland Security.
"Global threats against our security are increasing … and some in Washington are playing political games with our national security," the ad says. "Tell Congressman Gohmert: Fund Homeland Security."...
AAN and its sister Super PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund, have unofficial ties with House GOP leadership. Former leadership staffers work for AAN and CLF, and House Speaker John Boehner participated in a CLF fundraiser in 2013, according to Politico.

Both organizations are capable of spending millions during campaign season. This is the first time either group used negative advertising against sitting members of the GOP."

The 2016 Campaign in East Texas will be interesting to watch. It is a rematch between the multi-term far right of center incumbent who has alienated the leadership of his own party and a highly decorated retired East Texas female soldier who considers getting fewer votes than her opponent on election day as "not as a defeat but as preparation for when I come back and win it."

Shirley McKellar:
Born: Tyler, Texas

Married: Danny C. McKellar
Parents of a son and a daughter and five grandchildren

Education: R.N., Nurse Clinician, PhD

Bachelors, Texas Women's University:  

Nursing and Chemistry
Masters, University of Texas, with honors: 

Community Health Nursing
Criminal Justice  

Organizational Speech Communications

Community Minority Business Advancement
Doctorate, Columbus College of Public Health and Administration: 
Nursing Management with Dissertation on "Spiritual in breast cancer patients" written at the UT Health Science Center, Tyler, TX  
Military Services: U.S. Army Nurse Corps, Major (ret.)

  • Served 18 years active duty
  • Deployed overseas for 18 months in support of, "Operation Iraqi Freedom," and "Operation Enduring Freedom," serving in combat zone medical units in Iraq and at the U.S. Military Hospital in Stuttgart, Germany.
  • Served as Major (rank 66 H-8A,MOS for the 94th Combat Support Hospital, Seagoville, TX. 
  • Served as the Officer-in-Charge of Combat Life Saving School,
    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),
    Consideration of Others 
  • Served as Unit Sexual Harassment Team Officer
Member or serves with:
American Biographical Institute Research AssociatioAmerican Business Women's Association
National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer
National Black Nurses Association

The Intercultural Cancer Association 
National Sisters Network, (cancer awareness for black women)

American Biographical Institute Research Association

American Business Women's Association

Texas Democratic Women

North Tenneha Church of Christ

Numerous Veterans organizations

Radio Talk Show Host:
          Radio KGLD 13.30 AM  at Thursday noon , "A View From The Top," covering local and national topics
         "Marvelous Monday's with Dr. Shirley J. McKellar" on Blog Talk USA, Monday from  8 to 10 pm CST
          RGLO Baltimore, MD , co-host "Wellness Wednesdays with Donny Walker",  8 a.m. CST.

Two Texas Democratic women have declared their candidacy for U.S. Congress in 2016. The Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC has an appeal for funding for these two candidates. With one click a donor can contribute directly to these two candidate's campaign and assist the Federal multi-candidate PAC in its assistance to non-incumbent progressive Democrats who are challenging Republican/ Tea Party congressional incumbents in Texas' currently red Congressional Districts.

 Donors can use debit or credit cards or pay pal securely on-line.

To contribute to McKellar for Congress campaign from her website:
To contribute to the two women (McKellar and Caiden) running in Texas and to the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC (which supports them and other progressive challengers running against incumbent Republicans for Congressional Seats in Texas with one click:
(Note: the part that is given to the candidates using this form does not count against the $5000 per candidate cap per election the PAC can give to them).
To contribute to the two former officers (McKellar and Cozad) running for Congress in Texas and to the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC with one click:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Authors have been invited to contribute to "Reclaiming the Texas Turf"

By Faith Chatham - September 19, 2015
"Reclaiming the Texas Turf" was established in 2008 as a sister site to "Wise Women Won't Wait Any More", "Grassroots News U Can Use" and "About Air and Water".

During periods of intense political campaign activity in Texas, we have used these sites to communicate about issues and candidates who often were ignored by the "main-stream media."

Behind the scenes for years Steve Blair assisted with these sites. My name was usually more prominent, but his hand and brain was always there feeding me research and serving as a sounding board.  With his illness and death, and my involvement as Chief of Staff for a U.S. Congressional Campaign in 2014, these sites frequently grew stale and/or were neglected.

This year is an important election year. With the launch of the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC in February, my calendar remains full. It is essential that we communicate to Texans and to the nation about Texas Progressives who are fighting on the ground to regain the Texas Turf, to return our nation to the people and to the values upon which our nation is founded, and to take back control of our political system from a few deep-pocketed multi-billionaires.

Instead of attempting to be the "gatekeeper" for these sites, I am opening them up to various trusted progressive leaders who are either running for public office in 2016, actively engaged in political organizing in their communities, or are folks who I know who are "in the know" and have constructive news to share.

The posts will be from the viewpoint of the poster and frequently will probably vary from my own political position or that of others associated with "Reclaiming the Texas Turf."  Comments will remain moderated. This is necessary to screen out spam.

These changes are being made to enable a fuller use of a resource which has informed, created dialogue and occasionally inspired. Hopefully, by engaging these new contributors, we will be able to inform more people about more things before it is too late to act and make a difference.

If you have received an invitation to contribute to this site and need assistance, please contact Faith Chatham.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cargas kicks off his 2016 Congressional Campaign Sept. 20th

James Cargas, Houston Assistant Attorney, and former member of Bill Clinton's Energy Department has John Culberson's Congressional seat in view. Cargas differs with Culberson on jobs. Culberson's opposition to renewal of the 81 year old Export Import Bank's charter has cost some of America's largest employers and many middle and small American firms contracts. Lay-offs have been announced and thousands of American workers have been informed that they will be getting "pink slips" by the end of the year.  Cargas will fight to keep American jobs here and will work to create more jobs. 

Cargas ran in 2014 and was endorsed by numerous publications and city and state leaders.

Texas needs Gallego back in the U.S. Congress

It takes more than ambition to serve a 29 County 48,000 square mile district.
Republican Hurd tried and has failed. It is time for Texans to return Pete Gallego to Congress. Pete combines an incredible heart for the people, logic and intelligence with integrity and common sense. Gallego is the leader Texas needs serving us in Washington.

Texans Uniting to Push Back Tea Party /GOP Congressional Incumbents.

Stop Republican Men from Determining Our Priorities and Setting our Nation's Agenda

Shirley McKellar and Tawana Cadien have campaigns on the ground working to win U.S. Congressional seats occupied by Texas Republican men. Tawana is challenging Mike McCaul (of Clear Channel and i-heart Media family money) and Shirley is challenging Louie Gohmert.  Gohmert is so "infamous" for his lies that he is referred to by some as "Louie, Louie, Liar, Liar."

With one click you can contribute directly to the McKellar and Cadien Campaigns and to the Texas Federal Blue Seed PAC (a federal multi-candidate pac which supports Federal Candidates challenging GOP incumbents for U.S. Congressional seats in Texas Districts.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Brains and Eggs: #FightBackTexas

Brains and Eggs: #FightBackTexas: Reading this is like reliving it.  It's a powerful testament to everyone who pushed back against the radical right last summer.  Here&...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

'Turn Red Seats Blue and END the Obstruction in Congress'

'Turn Red Seats Blue and END the Obstruction in Congress': We're fundraising at ActBlue for Turn Red Seats Blue and END the Obstruction in Congress

I'm supporting David E. Cozad for U.S. Congress. We must elect at least 7 more Democrats to Congress from Texas to change the 3R:1D ratio in our State's Congressional delegation so that important priorities for our state get funded.

NO Texas districts are Targeted Red to Blue by the DCCC so Texas's Democratic nominees will not get funding through the National Democratic Party. For Texans to determine our own fate, we must do this ourselves.

If you, like me, are one of the fortunate Texans who live is a Democratic Congressional District, please support your incumbent and help your neighbors in a Red District send another Texas Democrat to Congress.

Give whatever you can.






Friday, June 6, 2014

Davis campaign agrees to date for gubernatorial debate in Rio Grande Valley - The Monitor: Elections

Davis campaign agrees to date for gubernatorial debate in Rio Grande Valley - The Monitor: Elections

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Brains and Eggs: Nobody likes Barry Smitherman

Brains and Eggs: Nobody likes Barry Smitherman: It's not just the residents of Azle and elsewhere in Frackland, but also the media and even a few Republicans.  Let's see what&#39...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Water! Water! It's about Water and Education for Texas Senate District 9 Candidate

By Faith Chatham - Jan. 13, 2014
Gregory R. Perry is a quiet-spoken intelligent man. When asked why he is running for Texas Senate District 9, he replied: "Mainly Anger!"
When he begins talking about public policy and how it impacts his grandchildren, it becomes clear that Gregory R. Perry is determined to change the course of Texas public policy. Gregory is convinced that the trajectory of this state is at odds with the opportunities facing his grandchildren and their generations. Gregory R. Perry is a man with a purpose and he knows what must be done and is ready to get to work seeing that it gets done!
1. Education - "Without education no one is going anywhere!" Perry says that even highway funding is inconsequential if we do not educate our children. He is running in an urban district (Arlington,  Irving, Grand Prairie and the Mid-Cities) which has over 89,000 adults who have not graduated from High School.  Unopposed in the Democratic Primary, Gregory R. Perry is facing incumbent Kelly Hancock (R) in the General Election. Hancock voted to slash school funding in 2011 while in the Texas House. In the Senate he has done little or nothing to restore the funding or to strengthen the public education system in Texas. In the Senate, Hancock opposed Equal Pay for Equal Work for women.

2. Public Infrastructure - especially Water - For Gregory Perry it comes down to energy and water. The U.S. Government stopped building reservoirs in the 1980s. The Reagan administration tried to privatize building water reservoir. Perry, retired from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, specialized in water management and river engineering. He says that until the Reagan administration, the Army Corps of Engineers built three reservoirs per decade to keep up with water demands from population growth and expanded industrial usage. When Reagan tried to sell of the reservoirs and speculated that future reservoirs could be constructed by private corporations, they failed to factor in the impact of flood control and sovereignty.

Only the United States Government can claim sovereignty. When reservoirs have to open the floodgates in exercising flood control, the government can defend itself from law suits because of sovereignty. A private company cannot. Therefore, it is too big a risk for private corporations to invest in reservoirs. There is a water crisis in Texas and it will not get better. Deferring investment in water solutions -- long term investment in infrastructure is imperative for the quality of life and economic future of North Texans. Gregory R. Perry worked on the Joe Pool Lake, Lake of the Pines, Sam Rayburn, and Lake of the Pines Corps of Engineers water management projects. He understand water and he knows Texas aquifers. With the stress of trillions of gallons of water used by horizontal drilling/fracking in Texas during drought, water is a priority for this next legislative session. He has worked on the rivers and lakes of Texas and now Gregory R. Perry is prepared to bring solutions to the floor for consideration.

Commenting on the power plants which went off-line during the January cold spell, Perry explains that these plants are coal power plants and it takes longer for a coal plant to come on-line. Water powered power plants come on-line rapidly. However, in Texas we do not have the water to power new hydro powered plants.

We have to think ahead and be innovative and apply sustainable energy solutions throughout the state. "Fossil fuel is a limited resource. We must shift to renewable energy for powering our homes and businesses and save the petro chemicals for producing plastics." Perry sees the current use of fossil fuel as "squandering resources which are too precious to use on generating electricity."

3. Equal Pay for Equal Work - Gregory Perry says that failure to index the minimum wage to inflation has eroded the financial base of families and transferred costs to the government which should be included in the cost of business when making a profit. In Senate District 9, over 48% of the households in the district live on less than $50,000 a year.  About 45% of the households in the District are renters. The median gross rent is $850 a month. Transportation cost is high. The Texas Legislative Council estimates that 110,536 people were living in poverty in Senate District 9 in 2011 and the per capita income is estimated as $25,046. Gregory R. Perry believes all workers should be fairly compensated. Gender and racial workplace discrimination must stop. The percentage of Latino and African American workers are three times more likely to live in poverty than Anglo workers. Texas has a higher employment rate than many other states but 28.6% of Texas jobs are low-wage. Gregory R. Perry says that "Trickle-down economic is a dismal failure. Money flows to the top one percent and American jobs have gone off-shore. Money hasn't trickled down to the middle class. The earning of many of the middle class is now below the poverty level." Gregory Perry cites a 2011 U.S. Census Bureau report that the number of families living in poverty in the United States is now at the highest level in 50 years.

Perry sees education as the big divide between economic stability and opportunity.  The Texas Legislative Council reports 26.6% of the adults in Senate District 9 have Bachelor's Degrees or higher. However, 18.1% of the adults 25 years and older do not have high school diplomas. Many of the 45.8% of the district which have graduated from High School have difficulty affording a college education. In 2011 only 45,613 persons in the district were in college, attending university or trade schools. Gregory R. Perry says that lack of education combined with racial and gender discrimination in pay rates and job opportunities impacts the poverty level in the district. When families earn less, they have less to spend. This impacts the retail, housing and wholesale sectors of the district and impacts the overall economics of the region.

Gregory R. Perry does not think in sound-bites. He thinks like an engineer who is interested in macro economics. He views the big picture and looks for short-term solutions as a bridge while  long-term investments can be implemented to prevent future problems.

I found the conversations with Mr. Perry very stimulating. He does not duck and hide from the difficult questions. He is a family man who thinks of the future instead of just trying to put a band-aide on current problems. I find him refreshingly honest and intelligent. He is not a politician. He's neither polished nor evasive! He does have a plan and he has purpose. I like him. He is worth giving serious consideration for replacing the current incumbent in Senate District 9.

Visit his website at