Saturday, February 23, 2008

President BIll Clinton scheduled in Arlington Sunday Feb. 24th

Join President Bill Clinton for an "Early Vote Rally" in Arlington!
Sunday, February 24, 2008 at 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
at Vandergriff Park
2800 South Center Street
Arlington, TX 76014
General Area: Near the Bob Duncan Community Center (an early voting site).

(This park is between I-20 and Pioneer Parkway. There is also an entrance on Matlock Road.)

Vote early for Hillary and then join President Bill Clinton for a rally in Arlington! Voting for Hillary early takes us one step closer to getting our country back on track. To find the early vote location nearest you.
For more information see website:

Host: Texas For Hillary

For decades most national Democratic campaigns have bypassed Arlington as too Republican and too costly to work.

Sandwiched between the Dallas and Fort Worth media markets, Arlington is viewed as one of the most costly cities to reach voters. Usually campaigns bypass Arlington and concentrate their dollars in communities which are viewed as less red.
Shifting demographics continue to make Arlington more attractive to Democratic campaigns. This year both the Clinton and Obama campaigns have devoted resources to reaching Arlington voters. Earlier this month Chelsea Clinton appeared at UTA and President Bill Clinton is scheduled to appear at a rally in Arlington tomorrow, Sunday, Feb. 24rd.

During the first three days of early voting, more voters have voted in the Democratic Primary at all Arlington early voting sites than in the Republican Primary in Arlington. Democratic turnout Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 19, 20, 21 in Arlington has exceeded the highest turnout of any party in the past decade.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tarrant County Democrats outnumber Republican Voters during first three days of early voting

By Faith Chatham - DFWRCC - Feb. 22, 2008

On the third day of Early Voting, all Tarrant County voting sites except two reported more Democratic Voters than Republican Primary Voters.
At Benbrook City Hall 104 Republicans voted early on Thursday and 98 Democrats voted early. At Nance Elementary 16 Republicans voted early and 10 Democrats voted early. A significant number more Democrats than Republicans voted Thursday at all other Tarrant County Early Voting sites.

County wide, 5,733 Democrats voted early on Tuesday while only 2,605 Repubicans voted early. This year both parties in Tarrant County have exceeded the number of voters participating in their primaries during the first and second days of early voting in the 2000 and 2004 Primaries. On the third day, Republican turn-out was less than in 2000; Democratic turnout on the Third Day in Tarrant County this year is over 6 1/2 times greater than 2000 Day three turnout and over 7 1/2 times greater than in the 2004 Presidential Democratic Primary.

In Arlington this year, larger numbers of Democrats are voting than Republicans. Democratic turnout at the five Arlington early voting sites exceeded Republican turnout for the first time in decades. In Arlington, known as a "Republican stronghold", 1033 votes were cast the first day of Early Voting in the Democratic primary while only 496 Republican votes were cast.
County wide, 5,733 Democrats voted early the first day; 2,606 Republicans voted early in Tarrant County on Tuesday.

On Wednesday Feb. 20, in Arlington, 1112 Democrats voted early; 463 Republicans voted early at the five early voting sites in Arlington.

On Thursday, Feb. 21, in Arlington, 846 Democrats voted early; 421 Republicans voted Thursday in Arlington.

County Wide on Tuesday Feb. 19, 5,732 Democrats voted and 2,607 Republicans voted.
County Wide on Wednedsay Feb. 20, 5,602 Democrats voted and 2,583 Republicans voted.
County Wide on Thursday, Feb. 21, 4,554 Democrats voted and 2,204 Republicans voted.
Wednesday. 5603 Democrats voted early; 2583 Republicans cast early ballots.

During the first three days of Early Voting this year in Tarrant County 15,888 Democrats voted early and 7,394 Republicans voted early.


By the second day of early voting, Tarrant County Elections reported a total of 2,146Democratic Primary mail ballots had been received and 1,982 Democratic Primary Vote by Mail ballots were still unvoted; 536 Republican Primary voters have returned Vote by Mail Ballots; 849 Republican Vote by Mail ballots remained to be voted at the close of the second day of Early Voting.
By Thursday, Feb. 21st, 2,324 Democratic Vote by Mail Ballots had been returned and 1,935 Democratic Vote By Mail Ballots remained unvoted; 584 Republican Vote By Mail Ballots had been returned by Thursday and 856 Republican Vote By Mail Ballots remianed out and unvoted.

At the close of the third day of early voting 15,888 Democrats had voted early (in person and by mail) and 7,394 Republicans had voted early. In Tarrant County on each of the first three days of early voting, over twice the number of Democrats cast early votes than Republicans.

In 2000 in Tarrant County more Republicans voted early than Democrats during the first three days of Early Voting; In 2004 more Democrats voted early during the first three days of early voting than Republicans. However, this year a much higher percentage of Democrats are voting early than in 2004.

Tarrant County - 2000:

Democratic Voters: 372 - Republican Voters: 1,558
Tarrant County - 2004:
Democratic Voters: 396 - Republican Voters: 286
Tarrant County - 2008:
Democratic Voters: 5,732 - Republican Voters: 2,607

Tarrant County - 2000:

Democratic Voters: 558 - Republican Voters:2,518
Tarrant County - 2004:
Democratic Voters: 464 - Republican Voters: 387
Tarrant County - 2008:
Democratic Voters: 5,602 - Republican Voters: 2,583

Tarrant County - 2000:

Democratic Voters: 713 - Republican Voters: 3,319
Tarrant County - 2004:
Democratic Voters: 591 - Republican Voters: 496
Tarrant County - 2008:
Democratic Voters: 4,554 - Republican Voters: 2,204

SOURCE: Tarrant County Election 3-4-2008 Primary Elections Combined Early Voting posted Friday, Feb. 22, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

TX House Elections Committee Public Hearing: Considers lobbyist fee ban and use of state funded e-mails for political communications


TIME & DATE: 1:00 PM, Monday, February 25, 2008

PLACE: E2.028

CHAIR: Rep. Leo Berman

The committee will hear invited testimony on the following charges:

Study the exemption in the Texas lobby contingent fee ban, which currently permits contingent fees and does not require lobby registration, for influenceing the purchasing of goods or servisces by a state agency.

Consider whether this exemption should be amended or repealed.

Research the current Texas law prohibiting the use of public resources
for political advertising, and determine whether the law needs to be amended to clarify that publicly funded e-mail systems may not be used for political communications.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Williams' Acceptance Of Super Bowl Tickets Highlights Need For Contribution Reform For RRC

By Vince Leibowitz - Dale Henry Campaign - Feb. 13, 2008

AUSTIN--Following revelations by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Railroad Commissioner Michael L. Williams accepted free Super Bowl tickets from a lobbyist for CenterPoint Energy in 2004, the Dale Henry Campaign released the following statement:
"This episode highlights the need for real campaign finance reform for the Texas Railroad Commission," said Dale Henry (D-Lampasas).

"The Texas Railroad Commissioners should not have such a cozy relationship with the industries they regulate. It just promotes the continued rubber-stamp culture of the Commission. Of course, given the culture of the Texas Railroad Commission, I suppose it should come as no surprise to us that a sitting Railroad Commissioner would take Super Bowl tickets from a CenterPoint Energy Lobbyist and then turn around and vote on cost-of-service rate increases that are passed on directly to consumers," said Vince Leibowitz, Campaign Director.

"This is exactly why I've proposed my "Texans First Campaign Finance Reform" package," said Henry. "The members of the Texas Railroad Commission should not take money from--and should not be beholden to--the industries they regulate. This is why I plan to, as Railroad Commissioner, ask the Texas Legislature to pass a campaign finance bill that will prohibit the practice of Railroad Commissioners accepting money from the industries they regulate," Henry said.

Dale Henry, a petroleum engineer with more than four decades of experience in the oil and gas service industry, is the most experienced candidate in the race for Texas Railroad Commission. Henry is endorsed by State Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, The Harris County Democrats, the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, The Austin GLBT Political Caucus, Stonewall Democrats of Austin, longtime progressive leader David Van Os and other individuals listed on his campaign website.

Henry faces Art Hall of San Antonio and Mark Thompson of Hamilton in the March 4 Democratic Primary. The winner of the March 4 Democratic Primary will face Commissioner Michael L. Williams in the general election.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Water Conservation Key Issue for Railroad Commissioner Candidate Dale Henry

By Sandra Cason - The Marshall News Messenger - Friday, February 08, 2008

It's all about water, said Dale Henry, Democratic candidate for Texas Railroad Commission.

"My campaign is important for one reason," Henry said, "and that is because the state of Texas is running out of water. It is an abused natural resource and the Railroad Commission has done nothing about it for the past 106 years."

If he is elected in this, his third bid for the seat, Henry said he will be the first commissioner with hands-on experience in oil and gas exploration, the industry for which the commission provides oversight.

Henry faces Art Hall and Mark Thompson in the March 4 Democratic Primary. If he is the party nominee, Henry will face Republican incumbent Michael Williams in the November general election.

A resident of Lampasas, 50 miles west of Austin, and a graduate of University of Texas, Henry is a retired employee of Schlumber J company, having worked in the oil fields of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf.

"I spent a number of years in research and development and I hold several fracturing patents," Henry said.

"I've been out there and seen it all," he added.

While many people may not stop to think about it that way, Henry pointed out that oil and gas drilling operations have a tremendous impact on ground water.

"Oil and gas activity inherently produces a lot of water," Henry said. "Water is what is used to bring it to the surface, but on its way, the water accumulates contaminated materials."

A common disposal method for the liquid is "to put it back in the ground."

Henry said he learned of a DeBerry preacher whose church hasn't had water in a number of years. "One well was drilled too close to his church and all the wells in the area are contaminated with salt water. You can drill a hundred good ones, but it takes just one bad well to create a whole bunch of problems," Henry said.

Good drilling practices are particularly important at this point in time because so many production companies are now using a horizontal approach.

"There's an area called the Barnett Shale," Henry said. "It is a very thick layer of stone and breaking through it has never made the effort worthwhile until horizontal drilling. That's the key."

In this method, the pipeline goes down for a distance, "turns a corner," and goes under the stone, Henry explained.

This type of drilling uses "millions of gallons of water per day. Sometimes it will be as much as 275,000 gallons," Henry added.

With such large quantities to be disposed of, Henry said it is more important than ever that the Railroad Commission check all drilling permit applications thoroughly, a practice he claims is not currently followed.

"This rubber-stamping has to stop," he said.

Use of environmentally safe drilling practices are especially important to this area because of Caddo Lake, Henry said.

"I've done hands-on work for the Railroad Commission in Caddo — the plugging of abandoned wells. Ninety percent of those I plugged had not be plugged by Railroad Commission rules and regulations the first time around.

"I will make protecting our water a priority for the Texas Railroad Commission," Henry said in a promotional brochure.

"In dry West Texas, the ranchers have to work hard at salvaging water to grow grass with which to feed cattle and produce beef. At the ranch my wife and I have operated for years, we cut the number of production acres needed per cow and calf from 25 acres to 2.5 acres by getting our water to the right place.

"Water's my passion. I know how to do it," Henry said.

"I'm not a politician and I shouldn't have to be involved in this, but the oil and gas companies are polluting our water, soil, and air, and the Railroad Commission simply turns its back and lets it happen.

"Instead of regulating these industries, the three commissioners are raking in campaign contributions from their executives and political action committees and are burying their heads in the sand.

"It's time for change," Henry said. "I need to bring the knowledge I have back to the people, if they'd like me to share it.

"I can do the job. I want the job.

"The petroleum industry is a great benefit to our state's economy, but that should not come at the expense of our environment or our fresh water supply," he said.

Read more in the Marshall News Messenger

Tx RR Commission Candidate - Dale Henry: Protecting state's water a priority

By RANDY ROSS - Longview News-Journal - Friday, February 08, 2008

Protecting the waters of Texas is a priority for Dale Henry.

The 76-year-old Democratic candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission said the production of oil and gas in Texas does not matter if the industry destroys Texas' natural water sources.

"We have to stop wasting and contaminating our water," Henry said.

Henry faces Art Hall of San Antonio and Mark Thompson of Hamilton in the Democratic primary election on March 4.

Henry has more than 40 years of experience working in the oil and natural gas fields in the United States and abroad, according to his campaign Web site. He has a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

"I've been hands-on from the top to the bottom," Henry said. "I more or less speak the language of the oilfield."

The Railroad Commission is the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, safety in the liquefied petroleum gas industry and the surface mining of coal. Established by the Legislature in 1891, the commission is the state's oldest regulatory agency, according to the agency's Web site.

The self-described environmentalist from Lampasas is a former city manager and county commissioner. He also founded 4 Arrows, the first cementing service company contracted by the railroad commission.

Henry said his experience in the oil and gas industry make him an ideal candidate for the commission. He said he knows the commission's rules and regulations from working as a contractor, and he would be able to begin working on his first day.

The oil and gas industry has a strong economic impact on the state, he said. That impact has come at a cost to the public, he said.

Henry said the commission has for many years considered the economics of the industry more important than public safety. He said that philosophy has changed in recent years, but it needs to continue to change. He said the commission must consider what is in the public's best interest.

"Environmentally, we have a problem," Henry said.

He said companies often cut corners when installing casing in wells to save money. As time erodes sealing and concrete shifts, water begins flowing and drawing out contaminants.

By forcing companies to install casing properly, Henry said companies would save more money in the long-term by avoiding remedial and repair work.

"These are serious matters," Henry said.

Attempts to reach Republican incumbent Michael Williams for comment were unsuccessful Thursday.

Read more in the Longview News-Journal

Monday, February 11, 2008

Consumer issues likely to play large role in Texas Railroad Commission race

By R.A. DYER - Star-Telegram Staff Writer - Mon, Feb. 11, 2008
AUSTIN -- With North Texas residents feeling the economic pinch -- and home energy prices on the rise -- consumer issues could take center stage in the race for the Texas Railroad Commission.

Agency Chairman Michael Williams, 54, a Republican, is seeking re-election. Three Democrats are also running in their party's March 4 primary: former San Antonio Councilman Art Hall, 37; retired chemical engineer Dale Henry, 76; and Mark Thompson, 48, a mobility specialist for the blind. Thompson lives in Hamilton.

Set against the backdrop of the race are several home heating rate increases authorized by the commission. In at least two major North Texas cases, Williams joined with other commissioners in setting rates higher than the agency's own panel of experts had recommended.

Williams said that while he sometimes disagrees with those experts -- they're administrative law judges, and they conduct hearings and consider evidence in rate proceedings -- he nonetheless strives to reject unwarranted requests by utilities.

"But we can have a difference of opinion with regards to policy questions," he said.

The three Democratic candidates say the commission and Williams are too close to the industry they regulate. Each Democrat lambasted the panel for not doing enough to protect consumers.

"Citizens need to get upset -- they need to write the Texas Railroad Commission and talk to them," Thompson said.

The Texas Railroad Commission, an agency little-understood by the public, regulates the oil and gas industry and is charged with ensuring pipeline safety. It also makes environmental decisions regarding oil wells and authorizes cost-of-service rates for natural gas utilities.

Each of the Democrats gave the commission poor marks when it came to protecting ratepayers.

But it's also clear that not all the Democrats are well-versed on commission responsibilities.

For instance, Thompson has claimed that the agency lacks authority to set municipal rates. "When you think about it, they don't control rates in the cities," he said.

Actually, the commission has great authority over cost-of-service rates charged within cities.

Likewise, Hall stated at one time on his Web site that he would make railroad safety an issue in the race. Despite its name, the Texas Railroad Commission has no authority over railroads.

But Hall also said he has received an earful of complaints from North Texas residents about high utility rates. He described the commission as a "rubber stamp" for industry.

"I think it'll definitely be an issue during the general election," he said.

Henry, the retired petroleum engineer, said, "The Railroad Commission of Texas should not sit idly by as energy companies stick bills for hotel rooms and cases of wine to their ratepayers through cost-of-service rate increases" -- a reference to various luxury items put in a recent rate case by Atmos Energy.

The North Texas utility removed the items after reports appeared in the Star-Telegram.

Henry also said the commissioner has not done enough to ensure that Texans pay only the appropriate commodity price of natural gas and has "not done a credible job in reviewing and approving cost-of-service rate increases for natural gas companies."

A recent analysis by the Star-Telegram found that annual home heating bills are about the same now as they were in 2005, even though the commodity price of natural gas has come down dramatically since two hurricanes disrupted supplies that year.

The reason that bills remain high is related, in part, to repeated cost-of-service increases authorized by the commission.

"They need to keep down rates so that they're more reasonable," Thompson said.
Read more in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram