June 27, 2013

Wendy Davis' Democratic victory on Tuesday in Texas was a shot across the bow to the Texas Republican Party. In short, it sent a message that Democrats are organized, energized and working to turn Texas blue after too many years of Republican dominance. Sen. Wendy Davis was just what the doctor ordered to light up Texas women on both sides of the aisle and set their resolve to oust the old white men who want to put Big Government in their lady parts.

OFA old-timer Jeremy Bird is already in Texas and has been for some time, setting up field offices and getting to work on voter education and registration. In February, Bird predicted that while the road would be tough, it could be done with enough organization in advance. And so Battleground Texas was born.

At the same time, we will be working hard to engage women voters in Texas. Women voters in the Lone Star State supported Obama by just 47 percent in 2008 -- far fewer than the 55 percent nationwide that supported the President in both 2008 and 2012. We can do much better than that.

We know change in Texas won't happen overnight -- we know that turning the state like Texas into a battleground will take a long-term strategy and a sustained push from grassroots activists. But grassroots voices are already changing this country on a scale that was unheard of just a few years ago -- and that kind of organization and local activism can also change Texas.

I wonder, do you suppose Texas women watching last night regardless of party affiliation might be more engaged now than they were back in February?

I certainly hope so, because the extremists on the right have no intention of surrendering Texas anytime soon. FreedomWorks has just announced an $8 million initiative to meet Bird on the battlefield and bloody him up, just as soon as they're done worrying about him.

In a twelve-page internal strategy document obtained by POLITICO, FreedomWorks says that the Republican Party should be alarmed in particular by the Democratic group Battleground Texas, which several Obama campaign officials founded this year with the mission of organizing liberal-leaning constituencies that currently vote at below-average rates.

The FreedomWorks memo likens that offensive to the so-called “Colorado Model” – a successful initiative by Democratic donors and organizers to make Colorado a blue state over the past decade – and spells out an itemized budget for responding from the right.

“In 2012, Team Obama turned out their core supporters by registering new voters, offering transportation to the polls and emphasizing early votes. Battleground Texas is sure to employ similar tactics to take advantage of these untapped constituencies,” the memo says. “But FreedomWorks is ready to fight. We have a track record of engaging the grassroots through previous battles and victories, and have focused for years on rebuilding the Republican brand by holding legislators accountable for their votes.”

I'll wait for FreedomWorks to hold legislators in Texas accountable not only for their anti-woman, anti-family votes, but also for their arrogant and rude behavior while claiming to do the people's business. I'll wait, but I won't hold my breath because I'm sure I'd turn blue and drop dead waiting.

Keep your eyes on Texas. As Jeremy Bird says, he really does know what he's doing.

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