Happening in Grayson County

Grayson County Democratic Party monthly meeting
Thursday, July 25, 2019, 5:30 meet and greet, 6:00 meeting
Fourth Thursdays at Grandy’s  MAP
New friends always welcome!  Wheelchair accessible.
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Debate Watch Parties! July 30 and 31.
Email info@graysondemocrats.org for locations.
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Become a poll worker!
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Hot Summer Nights!
Thursdays, 7 – 9 pm, Sherman Municipal lawn
Music on Main!
Fridays, 7 – 10 pm, 
324 W Main, Denison

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Juneteenth was celebrated in Sherman on June 15, 2019.
View fabulous Juneteenth photos on our FB page
and Like us while you’re there!
We had the pleasure of meeting Mississippi Freedom Barbara BowieRider, Barbara Bowie, who stopped by our booth. Listen to her podcast here:
The Freedom Riders and Me
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View Fabulous Grayson Pride Day Photos
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Kaffee Klatsch, Aug 10, 2019

Second Saturdays at Panera Bread from 8:30-10:30. The “Kaffee Klatsch” is a meet and greet sponsored by Democratic Women of Grayson County. With a come and go format, you may purchase your favorite brew then join us for an informal conversation and connect with others in our community.
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NOVEMBER 5, 2019

Last day to register to vote: Tuesday, October 8th
Early Voting period: Monday, October 21st – Friday, November 1st
Last day to apply for ballot-by-mail*: Friday, October 25th
*Application must be received by this date, NOT postmarked
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2020 Democratic Candidates for President
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TDP Distributed Canvass Instructions for Officers, Pct Chairs and volunteers
Walk targets without cutting a VAN list
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Contribute now! If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

Contact your representatives
US Senator John Cornyn (202) 224-2934
US Senator Ted Cruz (202) 224-5922
US Representative JohN RAtcliffe: (202) 225-6673
Texas State Senator Pat Fallon: (512) 463-0694
Texas State Representative Reggie Smith: (512) 463-0297

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Vote Democrat

Express Yourself

The president swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. And when he doesn’t do that, the people rise up to protest. Let’s make our voices heard!
Contact Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz: 202-224-3121
Call Rep John Ratcliffe: 202-225-6673
Demand that Congress immediately take action to overrule Trump’s emergency declaration and rein in Trump’s deportation force and humanitarian abuses by ICE and CBP.

Call Rep John Ratcliffe, 202-225-6673, and tell him to support H R 1
“To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.”
This Act may be cited as the “For the People Act of 2019” For more information

Texoma Black Expo

2019 Texoma Black Expo
February 16, 2019, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Austin College Sid Richardson Center
900 Grand Ave, Sherman MAP

Photo compliments of Jerry Eldredge

Does Grayson County need paper ballots?

YES! And we’re well on our way to getting them.  

Grayson County citizens attended an ES&S demo of their new Express Vote election machine on Jan 31, and the Hart Systems version on Feb 6. You mark your choices on a screen similar to what we’ve been using, and then a paper ballot is printed with your choices. You verify your choices and insert the ballot into a scanner for tabulation. Paper ballots will be available for audits and re-counts for 24 months. Hart Systems also still has the archaic, unverifiable, and uncountable DREs with no paper trail available for purchase. Contact Glenn@glennmelancon.com, member of the elections committee, and to let him know you favor a paper ballot option. The Elections Committee will make their recommendation to the County Commission very soon.

Here’s why Grayson County needs to order a new paper ballot system and require frequent audits. Watch this 22 minute report.

Example of optical scan ballots with ovals to fill in (for example, mail-in ballots):

Additional reading: article from Verified Voting

Electronic voting was going to be the future. Now paper’s making a comeback.

Unlike a pen or stylus and a paper ballot, there’s no physical connection between a voting touchscreen or electronic button and the hardware that records the vote. The vote is instead transmitted by software. And software has flaws that could potentially let hackers alter the votes. Plus there’s no reliable way to tell if the vote has been changed, either deliberately or by mistake. “Faulty software could very easily add a number to the wrong total when a button is pressed or make some other error, thereby misrecording a vote,” Appel testified. “I strongly recommend that if DRE machines are to be used, they should be equipped to print a voter-verified paper ballot.”

Russian spy agencies tried to hack into election-related systems in 2016, including voter registration databases, in 21 US states. See article: Electronic voting was going to be the future. Now paper’s making a comeback – CNET

The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine

‘‘The incorrect assertion that voting machines or voting systems can’t be hacked by remote attackers because they are ‘not connected to the internet’ is not just wrong, it’s damaging,’’ says Susan Greenhalgh, a spokeswoman for the National Election Defense Coalition, an elections integrity group. ‘‘This oft-repeated myth instills a false sense of security that is inhibiting officials and lawmakers from urgently requiring that all voting systems use paper ballots and that all elections be robustly audited.’’

“In the 15 years since electronic voting machines were first adopted by many states, numerous reports by computer scientists have shown nearly every make and model to be vulnerable to hacking.”  Voters should demand paper ballots that can be manually counted, and voters should demand that random precincts be audited, ie paper ballots manually counted, after every election. More: The Myth of the Hacker-Proof Voting Machine – The New York Times

What Happened Nov 7, 2017

First a little background music.

2017 was a phenomenal year for Grayson County. We have more active volunteers and concerned participation since the Nov 2016 election than we have had for a long time. It began in January 2017, when an overflow crowd attended our monthly meeting. We agreed to meet again on Feb 4, to discuss and form committees to continue the work we knew needed to be done.

Jan Fletcher took the lead for the unstoppable Action Committee. Pamela McGraw headed up the Candidate Recruitment Committee. Jeremy Posadas was selected to chair the Outreach Committee for the purpose of drawing in nonvoters; Terri Rodeffer, Communications Committee, to look into the groups Indivisible, activities in Dallas and other Texas Dem parties.

Continue reading What Happened Nov 7, 2017

Watch entire Beto Town Hall

'Neighboring' Congressman Beto O'Rourke, Town Hall in Sherman, Texas. #AugustRecess #ResistanceRecess. Standing room only. Around 300 people attended!

Posted by Grayson County Dems on Sunday, August 13, 2017


Trump’s Russia ties in 7 charts

What is the real story of Donald Trump and Russia? The answer is still unclear, and Democrats in Congress want to get to the bottom of it with an investigation. But there’s no doubt that a spider web of connections—some public, some private, some clear, some murky—exists between Trump, his associates and Russian President Vladimir Putin. More...
Michael Crowley is senior foreign affairs correspondent for Politico.

Trump Orders Clean Power Plan Dismantled

Trump’s attacks on our air, water, and communities seem to get worse by the day.

He signed an executive order to cancel the Clean Power Plan and resume the practice of leasing our public lands to coal mining companies. His budget would slash the EPA’s funding by one-third and cut critical programs like the environmental justice and Superfund clean-up programs that protect clean air and water for millions of people.

March 28, 2017, President Trump signed a broad executive order intended to kill federal action on climate change and realign the nation’s energy priorities away from renewable sources and back to fossil fuels. Read more…

Health Care talking points

FIX –  DON’T REPEAL  – The Affordable Care Act

The ACA, sometimes called Obamacare, eliminates lifetime and annual insurance coverage limits. Your health insurance can no longer be cancelled just because you got sick.

The Affordable Care Act lowers overall healthcare costs. It does this by providing insurance for millions of people and by making preventive care free. People receive treatment before they need expensive emergency room services.

HEALTHCARE is a HUMAN RIGHT. It cannot be left up to insurance companies alone. Insurance premium rates were going up at a much faster rate before the ACA slowed them down by reducing over-all cost.

Repealing the ACA will kill 43,000 people annually.

17 million children and people with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied health care because of the ACA.

Seniors have preventive health services, such as free gym membership, and Medicare prescriptions cost relief.

Repealing health coverage without immediately passing a replacement plan would eliminate insurance for 2.6 million Texans, including 17,445 in Dist. 4, represented by John Ratcliffe.

Turning Medicaid into a block grant means more painful cuts like the highly unpopular Texas therapy rate cuts for kids with disabilities. Turning Medicaid into a block grant means cutting health care and shifting the costs to states.

Open enrollment for ACA Marketplace hit a record pace this year. While there is a lot of uncertainty about the future of health care, ACA insurance will still be available at least through 2017. Enrollment has been brisk across the country and here in Texas, with 220,300 Texans signing up in November alone. The majority of Texans signing up for health coverage through the Marketplace receive premium assistance. States like Texas could accept more Medicaid money and patients.

Project LIFT

Project LIFT (Local Investment in the Future of Texas) is a new program of the Texas Democratic Party that works with party leaders and progressive partners to recruit, train, and support candidates – with a special focus on winning local, non-partisan races. Source: Project LIFT

Grayson County Democratic Party seeks candidates to oppose Republican incumbents up for re-election in 2018.

Grayson County Democratic Party seeks candidates to oppose local Republican incumbents up for re-election in 2018:
397th Judicial District Judge Brian Gary
County Commissioner David Whitlock, Precinct 2
County Commissioner Bart Lawrence, Precinct 4
County Clerk Wilma Bush
County Court at Law # 1 Judge James Henderson
County Court at Law # 2 Judge Carol Siebman
County Judge Bill Magers
District Clerk Kelly Ashmore
Justice of Peace, Precinct 2 David Hawley
Justice of Peace, Precinct 3 Mike Reeves
Justice of Peace, Precinct 4 Rita Noel
Treasurer Gayla Hawkins
Texas Secretary of State Resources and Legal Library
Senator Ted Cruz
Representative John Ratcliffe
Texas State Representative Larry Phillips
Continue reading Grayson County Democratic Party seeks candidates to oppose Republican incumbents up for re-election in 2018.

5 Calls: Make your voice heard

Spend 5 minutes. Make 5 calls. Make your voice heard. 5 Calls does the research for each issue, determining which representatives are most influential for which topic, collecting phone numbers for those offices and writing scripts that clearly articulate a progressive position. You just have to call. Source: 5 Calls: Make your voice heard

Systematic voter suppression — not ‘voter fraud’ — is the real cause for concern | Southern Poverty Law Center

President Trump resurrected a big lie from the campaign trail, claiming that he lost the popular vote because as many as 5 million people voted illegally – all for his opponent. The latest spree of voter suppression laws was spurred by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder that gutted the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The ruling freed certain states and jurisdictions from a requirement that states clear new voting measures with the U.S. Justice Department to ensure they don’t violate the civil rights of potential voters. During the last presidential election, 15 states had new restrictions in place.

Source: Systematic voter suppression — not ‘voter fraud’ — is the real cause for concern | Southern Poverty Law Center

Politicians aiming to cut Social Security and Medicare use weasel words to hide their plans. Let’s call them on it.

In this era in which the Orwellian manipulation of language by politicians to say the opposite of what they mean has reached a fever pitch, we should be especially wary when conservatives hide their plans to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits behind a smokescreen of euphemism.

Source: Politicians aiming to cut Social Security and Medicare use weasel words to hide their plans. Let’s call them on it.

Resist the far right-wing’s dangerous agenda

Resist Donald Trump’s dangerous agenda
These are fighters who, with our help, have the power to make a difference. Millions of people cannot be ignored. Let’s link arms and fight!
Join the resistance: http://front.moveon.org/
Text FIGHT to 668366 to get MoveOn alerts for urgent action.
Check out https://ourrevolution.com/
Join http://www.commoncause.org/ and https://www.momsrising.org/
Protect our planet from Trump, join http://www.sierraclub.org/
Fight back at http://www.commoncause.org/  and  https://www.nrdc.org/
Join http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/ and http://www.freepress.net/
We protect human rights, public health, and the environment from corporate greed and abuse around the world: http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org/
Support Democrats https://www.democrats.org/ and http://www.emilyslist.org/
Help Elizabeth Warren and Democrats retake the Senate http://www.dscc.org/
Support resistance Democrats in the House http://dccc.org/

For a Texas you can believe in, get involved at https://www.aclutx.org/
Also in Texas, https://annieslist.com/ and http://www.txdemocrats.org/


Women’s marches draw Grayson County residents

By Alex Maxwell Herald Democrat, Jan 23, 2017
The day after the presidential inauguration, a number of Grayson County residents walked in women’s marches that were held across the country. As part of the more than 50,000 people organizers reported marched through Austin, a group from Sherman traveled to the city early Saturday morning and met at the Texas Capitol. Randi Tanglen, a professor at Austin College, was part of that group, and she said the reason she marched was to counter some of the rhetoric spoken by the country’s leaders and also to speak up for a more inclusive society.
Read more: Women’s marches draw Grayson County residents

How to Influence the 85th Texas Legislative Session

The 85th Texas Legislature is underway, and already over 1,300 bills have been filed. Many of those bills pose considerable threats to Texans’ freedom and equality. On LGBT equality, reproductive freedom, and immigrants’ rights, many of our lawmakers will stop at nothing to roll back the clock. Want to know what you can do to fight back? Keep reading.First things first: find out who represents you, and how to contact them.

Source: How to Influence the 85th Texas Legislative Session | ACLU of Texas

National Popular Vote

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  It has been enacted into law in 11 states with 165 electoral votes (CA, DC, HI, IL, MA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, VT, WA).  It will take effect when enacted by states with 105 more electoral votes.

Source: National Popular Vote

Hillary Clinton could have legal right to challenge electoral college system and be next US president, says law professor

Hillary Clinton may be able to challenge the election result in the Supreme Court and become the next President of the United States, a law professor has said. Mr Sims said the current system represents an “unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and its bedrock principle of one man one vote,” and therefore the election result could in theory be overturned by a court. “What about the unfairness being felt by the millions of voters whose votes were effectively diluted, or essentially disenfranchised?” he said, suggesting the Attorney Generals of large states such as New York or California could easily walk into the Supreme Court and ask them to hear a case. Hillary Clinton could have legal right to challenge electoral college system and be next US president, says law professor

With Biden in the chair on Jan. 3, the Senate can confirm Merrick Garland.

At noon on January 3, 2017, the terms of the current members of the Senate will come to an end. At that point, the Senate consists of 66 sitting senators, and we would ordinarily expect Vice President Joe Biden, in his capacity as Senate president (in which role he continues to serve until noon on January 20th), to begin swearing in the senators-elect.  With Biden in the chair on Jan. 3, the Senate can confirm a renominated Merrick Garland. Here’s how.

Six Reasons We’ll Need to Ramp Up the #ConsumerRevolution under Trumpism

If ever conditions were ripe for revolution, that time is now—especially for anyone who cares about their health, and the health of planet earth.  President-Elect Donald Trump’s short lists for his environment and agriculture cabinet appointments are dominated by entrenched D.C. insiders, career politicians and industry lobbyists. We’ve outlined six of the reasons to ramp up the #ConsumerRevolution under the Trump Administration.

Source: Six Reasons We’ll Need to Ramp Up the #ConsumerRevolution under Trumpism

Women’s March on Washington

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington, January 21, will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.
We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON, Learn More: Women’s March on Washington

Now Is the Time

The election of Donald Trump has flattened the poetry in America’s founding philosophy: the country born from an idea of freedom is to be governed by an unstable, stubbornly uninformed, authoritarian demagogue. And in response to this there are people living in visceral fear, people anxiously trying to discern policy from bluster, and people kowtowing as though to a new king. Every precious ideal must be reiterated, every obvious argument made, because an ugly idea left unchallenged begins to turn the color of normal. Source: Now Is the Time to Talk About What We Are Actually Talking About – The New Yorker

Frightened by Trump? You should be.

Many of his staffers are from an opaque corporate misinformation network. We must understand this if we are to have any hope of fighting back against them. Tobacco, coal, oil, chemicals and biotech companies have poured billions of dollars into an international misinformation machine composed of think tanks, bloggers and fake citizens’ groups. Its purpose is to portray the interests of billionaires as the interests of the common people, to wage war against trade unions and beat down attempts to regulate business and tax the very rich. Now the people who helped run this machine are shaping the government. Source: Frightened by Donald Trump? | George Monbiot | Opinion | The Guardian

Dan Rather sounds the alarm: ‘Now is a time when none of us can afford to remain seated or silent’

When I see neo-Nazis raise their hands in terrifying solute, in public, in our nation’s capital, I shudder in horror. When I see that action mildly rebuked by a boilerplate statement from the President-elect whom these bigots have praised, the anger in me grows.
More: And when I see some in a pliant press turn that mild statement into what they call a denunciation I cannot hold back any longer.

A realistic path to eliminating the Electoral College by 2020

On Nov. 8, the American people spoke clearly, and chose Hillary Clinton for President. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes. Hillary Clinton received more votes for president than any Republican candidate ever. She lost the election because of the arcane and undemocratic Electoral College—and while the rules are the rules, her margin of defeat under those arcane and undemocratic rules was minuscule. An effort known as The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is an agreement among several U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote. Once states totaling 270 electoral votes join the compact–which requires passing state laws– then the next presidential election will be determined by the popular vote, not the Electoral College. Sign the petition: Elect the president by national popular vote. 

Elizabeth Warren brings the fight to Trump

It is a false choice to say fighting on economic issues means you don’t fight on discrimination issues. Those issues were joined together by Martin Luther King in the 1963 March on Washington, and it is as important today—maybe more important—to join those issues together,” said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Source: Elizabeth Warren brings the fight to Trump

Former Bush Ethics Head Files Complaint Against Comey, Alleging Potential Violations Of Hatch Act

Oct 30, 2016
In a terse Op-Ed published in today’s New York Times, Richard Painter, the chief White House Ethics Lawyer in the Bush Administration from 2005-2007, explains why he filed a Complaint yesterday against FBI Director James Comey with the Office Of Special Counsel, an independent Federal investigative agency which investigates possible violations of the Hatch Act (among others), and the Office of Government Ethics. In particular, Painter explains why Comey’s inexplicable actions this week may warrant prosecution for abuse of power under the Hatch Act.

President Obama Permanently Protects Planned Parenthood

Sept 2016
“Thanks to the Obama Administration women will still be able to access the birth control they need to plan their families, and cancer screenings they need to stay healthy.” The Department of Health and Human Services new rule simply says that states are forbidden from withholding Title X family planning money for any reason whatsoever “other than a provider’s ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner.” The bottom line is that theocratic Republican states can no longer vote to defund Planned Parenthood just because some of its clinics offer abortion services.

Source: With a Stroke of His Pen President Obama Permanently Protects Planned Parenthood

Life-long Clinton attacker hired by Trump

Rachel Maddow reviews the history of David Bossie, who has devoted his life to trying to invent and sell scandals about Bill and Hillary Clinton and has now been hired as Donald Trump’s deputy campaign manager.
NOTE: Dixie cups and plates are owned by the Koch bros. Don’t buy!

Catholic Nun Explains Pro-Life In A Way That Will Stun Many (Especially Republican Lawmakers)

“I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.” Source: Catholic Nun Explains Pro-Life In A Way That Will Stun Many (Especially Republican Lawmakers)

Here’s a List of Facts Debunking Anti-Hillary Clinton Myths, Lies & Ridiculous Conspiracies

Hundreds of millions of dollars over nearly a quarter century has been spent trying to slander her name. The list of conspiracies, misinformation, lies and ridiculous propaganda people use to attack her is seemingly endless. So, in the spirit of the multi-hundred million dollar campaign that’s been spent trying to keep one woman out of the White House, Alen Clifton debunks many (though not all) of the myths, lies and ridiculous conspiracies that many people actually believe about Hillary Clinton.

Source: Here’s a List of Facts Debunking Anti-Hillary Clinton Myths, Lies & Ridiculous Conspiracies

Vote by Mail

Because of the generosity of Bob Slagle and other Grayson County donors, we are proud to report that Texas Democrats exceeded our goal of funding 530,000 vote by mail applications. Texas Democrats will send out 580,000 applications!

If you or somebody you know needs a vote by mail application, please fill out this form. To qualify for vote by mail, you or someone you know must be over 65, disabled, or away from your county during early voting and Election Day (this includes students away at college).

Hillary Clinton Is One of the Most Ethical (and Most Lied About) Political Leaders in America

Hillary has survived the most intrusive and unending vetting process in political history. Time and again she has emerged with her integrity intact. Democrats are sick and tired of the endless lies about Hillary, the character attacks, the distortions of her record, the contorted caricature portrayed in the media. They want an unfiltered connection to Hillary without the prism of GOP-style talking points and false frames.

Source: Hillary Clinton Is One of the Most Ethical (and Most Lied About) Political Leaders in America | BNR

Watergate Whistleblower Proves Hillary Clinton Told Truth To FBI & Congress

It’s time to put this nonsense to rest. John Dean was Republican President Richard Nixon’s White House Counsel during the Watergate scandal.

The 77-year old lawyer just penned a conclusive legal brief which decisively debunks the lies told by the spurned Benghazi Committee members about Hillary Clinton as he makes his case for abuse of power by House Republicans.

Source: Watergate Whistleblower Proves Hillary Clinton Told Truth To FBI & Congress

How the GOP’s Double Life Blew Up in Its Face

The conservative noise machine has done a fantastic job getting poorer whites to accept and internalize the agenda of the 1%. The Republican base still dutifully believes that climate change is a hoax, just as Exxon-Mobil and the Koch Brothers taught them; they still support tax cuts for the super-rich and deregulation to let corporations continue to rip them off and poison their air and water.
Source: How the GOP’s Double Life Blew Up in Its Face

Judge Knocks Down Voter ID Requirements in Texas

NEW ID procedures for voting during the November 8, 2016 General Election:

  • Voters who present a driver’s license, government issued identification card, concealed carry permit, passport, a military ID, or a citizenship certificate will continue to be able to cast a ballot as they did before Judge Ramos’ order yesterday.
  • Texas voters who present poll workers with a utility bill, paycheck, bank statement, government check, voter registration card, or another government issued document containing the voter’s name and address will be able to cast a regular ballot.
    • Under the court order, poll workers will not be permitted to question voters about their lack of an identification card such as a driver’s license. Instead, a voter who presents a document such as a utility bill will be able to conveniently sign a form declaring they have an impediment to getting a photo ID.  They will then be allowed to cast a regular ballot.

Voter Information and Education

  • The Judge ordered the State of Texas to create a $2.5 million “detailed voter education plan” by August 15th to inform Texas voters about how the new procedures will affect them as they head to the polls.

Judge Ramos also ordered the state to quickly develop a “detailed election official training program” by August 15th so that poll workers will be able to effectively communicate the new voting procedures to voters this Fall.

Judge Ramos’ order is a clear victory for the Veasey plaintiffs and other plaintiff groups who challenged the discriminatory ID law.  However, don’t expect Governor Abbott or Texas Republican officials to necessarily follow the order in good faith.  Already, there are concerns that the state has hired a PR firm that specializes in damage control rather than voter education.  Source:  http://lonestarproject.net/

How the AK-47 and AR-15 Evolved Into Rifles of Choice for Mass Killers

Tools of Modern Terror, New York Times, C.J. Chivers, June 2016
Variants of the AR-15 were used in the mass killings in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, and by sympathizers of the Islamic State in San Bernardino. An MCX, a recently introduced military-style rifle designed for the Special Forces but available in semiautomatic form for civilians, was used by the lone gunman who attacked a nightclub in Orlando in June.
Continue reading How the AK-47 and AR-15 Evolved Into Rifles of Choice for Mass Killers

Watch Party July 28, HUGE success!


Thank you to everyone who came together to celebrate Hillary Clinton’s nomination .
And a big THANK YOU to everyone who donated to our tent fund. We met our goal for last night and are well on our way to proudly displaying our true colors at six fairs and festivals this fall. Stay tuned for more details. This is such an exciting year!

Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for President – the first woman ever to be nominated for President of the United States by a major party!
Thurs, July 28, 6:00 p.m. at Lupe’s 
World Famous Tamales
129 E. Wall Street, Sherman TX 75090   Map to Lupe’s

Continue reading Watch Party July 28, HUGE success!

10 Things They Won’t Tell You About the Flint Water Tragedy. But I Will.

Republican Governor Snyder cut services to save money so he could give the rich even more tax breaks. That’s where the idea of switching Flint to river water came from. To save $15 million! It was easy. Suspend democracy. Cut taxes for the rich. Make the poor drink toxic river water. And everybody’s happy.
Except those who were poisoned in the process. All 102,000 of them. In the richest country in the world…

View Article: 10 Things They Won’t Tell You About the Flint Water Tragedy. | MICHAEL MOORE

State investigators swoop into Planned Parenthood offices

San Antonio Express News, Oct 22, 2015

In a surprise visit, three inspectors from the Texas Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General showed up at the local Planned Parenthood affiliate at 9 a.m. Thursday, demanding thousands of pages of documents regarding patient Medicaid records stretching back five years. In apparently coordinated moves, Planned Parenthood clinics in Houston, Dallas and Brownsville were also visited by state investigators,  Continue reading State investigators swoop into Planned Parenthood offices

New laws in Texas

From the office of State Representative Eric Johnson, http://www.johnsonfortexas.com/
On Sept 1, 2015, much of the legislation that was passed during the 84th Legislative Session became effective. Many of the early predictions about the issues legislators would tackle in the 84th session largely came true. From open carry, pre-k, and border security to transportation and tax cuts, several pieces of legislation we as legislators had been considering for several sessions finally made it to the Governor’s desk.

I’d like to share with you some important legislation that will impact the lives of Texans now and in the future.
Continue reading New laws in Texas

Fight to revitalize democracy

Our political system has been hijacked by billionaires and special interests who will spend whatever it takes to crowd out the voices of everyday Americans.

Hillary Clinton is ready to take on the fight to revitalize our democracy and ensure a government of, by, and for the people — not just the wealthy and well-connected.

Here are Hillary’s proposals. Continue reading Fight to revitalize democracy

Negotiate a budget

With few legislative days until the budget deadline on September 30th, Republicans are growing louder and louder in their pledges to shut down the government to deny women access to comprehensive health care. Instead of joining Democrats at the table for bipartisan budget negotiations, Congress is spending this week advancing a new assault on women’s health. But the American people are loud and clear, too: they know our country can’t afford another misguided, unnecessary Government Shutdown. Continue reading Negotiate a budget

Be a Voter

We need a functioning democracy in which 100% of the electorate commits to be voters. Being a voter means faithfully embracing the call to participation in our community. Low voter turnout hurts our democracy. It opens the way for fringe extremist groups and “big money” to decide election outcomes.
NETWORK  A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby

Nothing in Republican arsenal but cheap shots

They’re firing nothing but blanks.

Benghazi? Not the first time a U.S. Embassy has been attacked. Not the last.

Email? There’s no there there. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email system, just as previous Secretaries of State had done. Every government email was either To or From a government account. There are copies of every one of them.

And let’s get real. Sometimes it seems I delete more personal emails in a week than she did in her entire tenure.

At least this time they’re not criticising her hair like they did in 2008. Maybe Trump took the wind out of that one.

The right wing attacks on Democrats are nothing but blanks. Lets get back to the important issues of the day.

  • Avoiding nuclear war
  • Slowing down and then stopping global warming
  • Assuring that every American has affordable, available health care
  • Ending poverty
  • Providing quality education to everyone

…just to name a few.

Bernie Sanders

The official campaign website for the presidential campaign of United States Senator Bernie Sanders. Source: Bernie Sanders

Clinton on the move in Texas


Former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton is gearing up for the
delegate-rich Democratic primary in Texas with fundraising and an invigorated network of supporters. The Texas primary is only six months away on March 1, 2016.

Read more here:  Ft Worth Star Telegram

Watch Democratic Presidential Candidates in Iowa

Watch the 5 Democratic candidates take on the real issues of today. The five 2016 Democratic presidential candidates spoke at the 2015 Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration in the Cedar Rapids Convention Center. The event was the first the five declared candidates had shared the same stage. Each of the candidates outlined their reasons for running for president and agenda if elected president.


Local Leaders Are Answering the President’s Call

“And I’m proud of it particularly when it’s so hard to get anything through Congress – even when we’re talking about issues that most Americans outside of Washington agree on. But that’s also why we’ve partnered with many of you over the past couple of years – to make real progress on the economic priorities that matter to middle-class Americans.” —President Obama at the US Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting, June 19, 2015

Read more

Show me your faith


Forget the people who preach the hate. Remember the ones who teach the love.

I recently attended an event sponsored by the NAACP and the Ministerial Alliance and was subjected to a hate speech that I cannot in good conscience remain silent about. The speaker started off with an excellent talk about steps to success, by-passing an elevator, you understand.  Work your way up, don’t you know. It all made sense. Until he got to the end, when he suddenly turned into a hate monger about opposing marriage equality.  The transition between making sense and not making sense, between Christian values of respecting your fellow man, to the demonic value of hating them and condemning them, was outlandish, and highly disturbing. Do not cast the first stone. Love your neighbor as yourself. I am your neighbor.

Clinton Says Trump’s Sexism Is Offensive, But Here’s What’s ‘Outrageous’


What Clinton found even more outrageous were the statements from other Republican candidates. She pointed out their ongoing attacks against women.

“They brag about slashing women’s health care funding,” Clinton told reporters. “They say they would force women who have been raped to carry their rapist’s child, and we don’t hear any of them supporting raising the minimum wage, paid leave for new parents, access to quality child care, equal pay for women or anything else that will help to give women a chance to get ahead.”

Read more…

Hillary Clinton’s emails

by Jennifer Palmieri, Official Clinton Campaign

You might hear some news over the next few days about Hillary Clinton’s emails. … We wanted to take a few minutes to talk through the facts — we need your help to make sure they get out there.

There’s a lot of misinformation, so bear with us; the truth matters on this.

Here are the basics: Like other Secretaries of State who served before her, Hillary used a personal email address, and the rules of the State Department permitted it. She’s already acknowledged that, in hindsight, it would have been better just to use separate work and personal email accounts. No one disputes that.

The State Department’s request: Last year, as part of a review of its records, the State Department asked the last four former Secretaries of State to provide any work-related emails they had. Hillary was the only former Secretary of State to provide any materials — more than 30,000 emails. In fact, she handed over too many — the Department said it will be returning over 1,200 messages to her because, in their and the National Archives’ judgment, these messages were completely personal in nature.

Continue reading Hillary Clinton’s emails

New laws passed by 2015 Texas Legislature

MINIMUM WAGE AND EQUAL PAY bills were blocked by Republicans. The work of fair pay champions like Democratic Reps. Trey Martinez-Fischer and Senfronia Thompson ensured minimum wage and equal pay were at least debated.

ABORTION was again a target for GOP politicians, passing a bill that could give abusive and absentee parents final say in teen abortions. Planned Parenthood was ousted from the state’s life-saving cancer program.

Thankfully, Democratic Representatives were able to defeat proposals that would have further limited access to safe, legal, affordable, and timely abortion care, including a bill that would have banned insurance coverage of abortion. Even Republican Rep. Sarah Davis demonstrated independence by supporting these common-sense measures, while Republican Rep. Geanie Morrison refused to answer questions about her own abortion bill.

AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE was pushed aside by Republicans, but Democrats like Rep. Garnet Coleman and Sen. Jose Rodriguez championed the issue in the Texas House and Senate. Ultimately, GOP lawmakers blocked proposals they said were necessary in order to increase access to care.

LGBT EQUALITY came under attack via bills and amendments proposed by unabashedly backwards GOP lawmakers. But nothing came of these attempts, thanks to Texas Democrats who successfully defeated every discriminatory anti-LGBT effort.

Continue reading New laws passed by 2015 Texas Legislature

Campus Open Carry supporter Larry Phillips

A measure requiring public universities and colleges to allow concealed handguns on campus gained a fast track to passage under a plan to attach it as an amendment to Larry Phillip’s open carry gun bill.

House Bill 910 is the open carry bill introduced and supported by our very own Larry Phillips. Read more at Texas Tribune article.

The New Populism Driving the National Debate

Campaign for America’s Future, April 6, 2015,  Robert Borosage

A populist energy is building in America, and beginning to drive the debate in the Democratic Party. It’s escalating both in the battle of ideas and action on the ground. It’s starting to propel change at the state and local level, and challenge the limits of the debate at the national level.

Read article…

Social Security Works

Five years ago, when the mainstream media said “everybody knows Social Security benefits will be cut soon,” we fought back. When they insisted that expanding Social Security was a fringe issue that nobody should take seriously, we fought back. The fight continues, but I want you to see how far we have come.

Over the last couple of days, 115 of the 188 Democratic members of the House and 42 Democratic Senators have voted to support expanding Social Security benefits. Just before recessing this morning, the entire Senate was put on record on how they plan to handle the future of Social Security. And these votes hold major implications for 2016 and beyond.

During a marathon budget “vote-a-rama,” two important Social Security amendments were offered. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) offered an amendment protecting all Americans against cuts to Social Security benefits. And around 2:30 in the morning, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) offered an amendment advocating for the expansion of Social Security.

Every Democratic Senator who was present but two voted to expand Social Security. Every Democrat but one voted against all cuts.

In sharp contrast, no Republican voted to expand Social Security.

Continue reading Social Security Works

President Obama and TPP

Right now, America is in a race with China to secure a trade deal with countries in the Asia Pacific — the fastest-growing markets in the world. The countries that would be part of our trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), received 62% of U.S. goods exports in 2014.

So the question is not whether we will trade, but how? 

As President Obama has said, “past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype. That’s why I’ve made it clear that I won’t sign any agreement that doesn’t put American workers first.”

TPP gives America the greatest opportunity to change these rules and level the playing field for American workers. How? By putting in place tough new standards on labor, the environment, and in other areas that will make the Trans-Pacific Partnership the most progressive trade deal the world has ever seen.

Here’s what that would look like.

Affordable Care Act today

March 2015.  Democrats continually work to implement and improve health care reform to ensure that the best health care system in the world only gets better.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans are already seeing lower costs and stronger coverage:

  • 105 million Americans have had a lifetime limit on their coverage eliminated.
  • Up to 17 million children who have pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by insurers.
  • 2.5 million additional young adults up to age 26 now have health insurance.
  • 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities have saved $3.2 billion on their prescription drugs.

The reforms in the Affordable Care Act have transformed the quality of coverage that Americans can expect from their health care plan:

  • If you are a young adult, you can now stay on your parents’ health plan until your 26th birthday, if you do not have coverage of your own.
  • If you are among 4 million eligible small businesses, you can receive tax credits if you choose to offer coverage to your employees – covering 35% of the cost of coverage.
  • Now, you can no longer be denied coverage by an insurance company for having a “pre-existing condition.”
  • Your insurance company can no longer place a lifetime limit on your coverage.  Such limits have caused some families to declare bankruptcy.
  • If you are a senior, you will now be receiving a 50% discount on brand-name drugs if you enter the Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ coverage gap – a discount that grows until the ‘donut hole’ is closed in 2020.
  • You can no longer be dropped from coverage by your insurance company simply because you get sick.
  • Your insurance company can no longer place restrictive annual limits on your coverage.
  • If you are in a new plan, you now have free coverage of key preventive services, such as immunizations, mammograms, and other cancer screenings.
  • Your insurance company must now spend at least 80 percent of premiums on covering medical services – rather than administrative expenses, CEO pay, and profits.
  • Your insurance company must now publish on the Internet detailed justifications for any premium increases they are seeking that are more than 10 percent.

Learn more about what the Affordable Care Act means for Americans across the country:

Source: http://www.democraticleader.gov/issue/healthcare/

Watch, listen, sign!

Over 80,000 Social Security Works members have joined with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to demand that the Millionaire Class begin paying their fair share into Social Security.

Social Security Champion Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has a message for you about protecting and expanding Social Security. Watch it now and join in!

Bernie says: We need to make sure of two things: One is that our Republican colleagues do not cut Social Security, and two is that we fight as hard as we can to expand social security benefits. And the way you do that is by lifting the cap on taxable income, and in my view, starting at $250,000 dollars. If you do that you can create a situation where millionaires begin paying their fair share of contributions into the Social Security trust fund. We can extend the program not just for 18 years but for decades beyond that, and we can expand the benefits that our beneficiaries receive.

Right now there is a coordinated attack underway in Washington to destroy Social Security benefits. Republicans and their Wall Street backers are attempting to divide the American people over who should receive Social Security, going as far as to demonize Americans living with disabilities. Currently, 94% of wage earners in America pay into Social Security on all of their earnings, but the top 6% do not.

This is because only the first $118,500 of a wage earner’s income is subject to the payroll tax that funds Social Security. Together we’re making sure that our message of expansion is drowning out the Republican message of cuts and privatization. And with Social Security Champions Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown fighting for us in the U.S. Senate, we’re exposing the Wall Street lies and bringing more members of Congress on board every day.

Watch Senator Bernie Sanders’ message for Social Security Works members and take action today to continue fueling our efforts to expand, not cut Social Security! Thank you for all that you do. Michael Phelan Social Security Works

Exploding oil trains: You are in the blast zone

Millions of Americans live in the blast zone, including half of Grayson County.  The hazardous rail line goes through Denison to Pottsboro, Whitesboro, Collinsville, Tioga, and continues southward thru Dallas. Check the map: http://explosive-crude-by-rail.org/

Every day the oil industry sends millions of gallons of highly flammable crude oil through cities and towns across North America. Our rail system was never built for this dangerous cargo.

Safety standards lag far behind the massive increase in oil train traffic.

Guy Who Gets Paid to Say Obamacare Doesn’t Work Can’t Find a Single True Fact to Support His Case

New Yorker Magazine, Feb 18, 2015

Obamacare has increased enrollment in its health care exchanges to more than 11 million, and the conservative response to the law’s demonstrable success at carrying out its goals has been fascinating to behold. Measured by volume, the right-wing backlash has diminished severely, as great roaring waves of furious anger have given way to irregular ripples of discontent. But measured by its content, very little has changed.

Read more

How the President’s Actions on Immigration Will Impact Your State

“Passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is snatched from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”

— President Obama, State of the Union Address, January 20, 2015

On November 20, 2014, President Obama took executive action to start fixing our broken immigration system so it works better for our people and our economy. The three main pillars of his action include:

  • Making it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as many business leaders have proposed.
  • Dealing responsibly with certain undocumented immigrants who are DREAMers or parents of citizens or lawful permanent residents, by requiring that they pass background checks and pay their fair share of taxes.
  • Building on our progress at the border and enforcing our immigration laws in smarter, more effective ways.

These actions not only live up to our heritage as a nation but are essential to building on our hopes for a brighter future. In fact, the President’s steps will allow people to contribute more fully to their communities and spark an economic boost for every single state.

Click here to check out the map to see exactly how the new steps we’re taking to fix our broken immigration system will improve the economy in your state

Texas will see a $8,200,000,000 increase in GDP due to the President’s actions on immigration.

What it means to be a Democrat today

Watch this 20 minute video to be inspired.

Senator Elizabeth Warren rips the Republican talking point that when the rich get richer, it trickles down to everyone.

Warren is showing Democrats how to be Democrats again — fighting to make college affordable, expand Social Security benefits, lift worker wages, and break up “too big to fail” Wall Street banks that hurt our economy.

Watch Elizabeth Warren’s incredible speech here. Then, chip in $3 to help propel her ideas this year.

Or watch on YouTube.

Take notes. There will be tests.

From Progress Texas

January, 2015.  It’s a new year, but it’s the same old story: Republican policies that were struck down as unconstitutional by lower courts in 2014—Texas’ same-sex marriage ban and anti-abortion law HB 2—are back on trial in 2015.

As Republicans continue to defend backwards policies that hurt Texas families, we are standing up for the rights of LGBTQ Texans and fighting to protect access to safe and legal abortion.

Republican Overreach: A Preview Of The 84th Legislature

With your help, we can push back on Republican attacks on issues we all care about.

Together we can make a difference!

Lucy Stein
Progress Texas, Advocacy Director

PS – Be sure to check out our blog for updates on issues like these and share them with as many people as you can.

From Washington, DC

January 2015.  The last time the Republicans held this many seats in the House, Ford’s Model A was replacing the Model T. There were only 16 Major League Baseball teams. And The Star-Spangled Banner had just been made our national anthem.

Our country has changed a lot since the 1930s. But you wouldn’t know it from reading Republicans’ policy agenda. They’re still demanding huge tax cuts for the wealthy, letting big banks run amok, and making things harder for working people.

We know “trickle-down” economic policies don’t work. That’s why we’ve rolled out our own priorities, and we need the resources to fight for them.

Our plan will put more money in the pockets of working people by requiring CEOs to tie their own bonuses to average worker pay. We’ll put blue-collar workers back on the job and create opportunities for tomorrow by investing in American infrastructure. And we’ll reform the tax code to encourage companies to bring jobs back home from overseas.

A return to the policies that brought us the Great Recession is a bad idea. A return to the policies that brought us the Great Depression would be even worse. Democrats have a plan for 2015, while Republicans are stuck in the 1930s.

We need your support.

Thanks for your help.

Nancy Pelosi

Republicans want big govt to dictate medical decisions

January 2015

Republicans in Congress want big government to dictate medical decisions.

On Tuesday, the new Congress was sworn in with Republicans in complete control of Congress for the first time since 2006. And what did they do on their very first day?

Introduce legislation to ban abortion nationwide after 20 weeks.1

This bill is the anti-choice movement’s latest favorite strategy to attack abortion rights. Similar bans have passed in 12 states so far–with tragic consequences for women facing severe second trimester complications.2

After the last election, it’s going to be a huge fight to keep the bill off the president’s desk. But we can do it by getting just a handful of senators who are on the fence to vote our way.

While abortions after 20 weeks are rare, they’re desperately important in cases of severe fetal abnormalities and other heartbreaking second trimester complications.

Take for instance the experience of Danielle Deaver. She and her husband were “over the moon” about her pregnancy–but when her water broke after just 22 weeks, doctors told them that her baby could not survive.3

Because she lived in a state with a ban on abortion after 20 weeks, the doctors would not induce labor. She had to wait to get sick or for the baby to die inside her.

This isn’t pro-life. It’s not even humane. It’s simply right-wing politicians trying to control women’s bodies.  Continue reading Republicans want big govt to dictate medical decisions

Examining disappointing election results

Nov 21, 2015.  We often fall prey to the opinions of Republicans like Wayne Thorburn, the author of a widely distributed article on why Democrats lost in Texas. Let’s not succumb to the tactics of divide and conquer. We need Battleground Texas. We need the Texas Democratic Party. We need everybody willing to join the fight. We share one goal: to elect Democrats because Democrats represent all people, not just corporate billionaires. Let’s concentrate on that by looking at what went right as well as what went wrong.

One thing we can be proud of is that our mail-in ballot campaign was a huge success. In 2010, the number of mail-in ballots for Grayson County was 711. In 2014, we had 1,927. Our donations to this project were well spent!

Another thing we can be proud of is voter registration. Grayson County had 1,423 more registered voters in 2014 from 2010. I attribute 90% of this increase to Jaden Slagle and our local Battleground Texas team.

Unfortunately, the Republican efforts to reduce voter turnout was an even bigger success.

  1. Grayson County went from 54 polling locations in 2010 to 36 in 2014, a 33% reduction. Voter turn-out was down by the same percentage.
  2. Voter ID was enforced, making some voters think “why bother?” and others simply ineligible due to no state issued picture ID.
  3. Negative attack ads started even before Wendy Davis announced her candidacy.
  4. Texas continues to use unverifiable electronic voting machines, making counts impossible, never mind recounts.

We support the group that worked so hard to make a difference in this state and, in doing so, laid the groundwork for the future. We will prevail. We Democrats are in a slow moving train, going up hill, but moving forward.

With great gratitude and respect for Battleground Texas, and all our active volunteers in the Wendy Davis campaign. We gave it our best!

A note from Lander Bethel, County Chair

Dear Democrats,

Thank you for your hard work leading up to this election.  You gave your heart and soul, your money and your time, sweating it out at festivals, knocking on doors, and making phone calls.  You met and talked with people.  You showed your support for our candidates and our party.  We had the excellent help of Jaden Slagle, from Battleground Texas, the dedication of our officers Barb Rush, Debby West, and Judy Baker, and your diligent efforts to change the way things are done in our great state of Texas.

We didn’t win this election.  But, through everything that you gave we began laying the groundwork for change that will come to Texas.  It’s a very big challenge to make sweeping changes in a mid-term election, especially when 2/3s of eligible voters don’t show up at the polls.  It’s important to remember we’re working on bigger change.  It’s important to remember to keep our eyes on the prize of the national election coming up in 2016, when there will be much more interest in all of the races as we cast our ballots for president, vice-president, every member of the House of Representatives, and many state-wide offices, including members of the Legislature.

Let’s keep moving ahead to put sensible, resourceful, and thoughtful Democrats in office in our local government, state-wide offices, and in our federal government.  We can bring good change to our state.  We can be a part of bringing progress, growth, and fairness to our state.  To do this we need to keep our party visible and let people know the good things we stand for.  We can do this as we work for a brighter, more promising future for Texas and for our country.

Thank you again for all of your hard work.

Lander Bethel
Grayson County Democratic Party Chair

A letter from Wendy Davis

The genius and beauty of our democracy is that, ultimately, the power rests with the people. Even when the results don’t go the way we want them to, we celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which the people get to decide their elected leaders, and tonight the people of Texas have spoken.

Just a few minutes ago, I called General Abbott to congratulate him on being elected Governor of this great state. And I wished him the very best because it is in every Texan’s interest that he have a productive four years as Governor.

Tonight, I know that you are disappointed. And being disappointed is okay. But being discouraged is not. Because what we have before us is an opportunity to remake this state and to prove to the world what we’ve always known: that this was never about Wendy Davis or Greg Abbott. This has always been and forever will be about you. Continue reading A letter from Wendy Davis

When Women Succeed, America Succeeds.

August 2014.  Across the country, House Democrats are raising the drumbeat for our Middle Class Jumpstart action plan to put America’s families first by promoting job creation, increasing accessibility to affordable education, and at the center of our initiative, increasing opportunities for women with our agenda, When Women Succeed, America Succeeds.

Although nearly a century has passed since women gained the right to vote, women on average still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Working mothers face an uphill battle in finding affordable, quality child care. Nationally more than 80 percent of low-wage workers do not have a single paid sick day. Women’s reproductive rights are increasingly coming under attack with House Republicans’ attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and the Supreme Court’s deeply misguided Hobby Lobby decision. We need to fix this. Women deserve equality in the workplace, security at home, and access to affordable child care and health care. Your ideas and voices are vital to every policy discussion in our nation. You have the power to make progress in our continued fight for equality. Make your voice heard. Share your story.

Watch this video.

Confronting and solving the climate crisis

August 2014, from Al Gore.

Folks like you know what I believe: We have no more important priority than confronting and solving the climate crisis.

Luckily, we have a President who has taken up that task with both determination and seriousness of purpose, and it’s amazing what a difference that can make.

In June, President Obama empowered the Environmental Protection Agency to cut carbon pollution, a move which will help reduce dangerous CO2 from power plants by 30 percent in 2030. On top of that, he has established new fuel economy standards that reduce CO2 levels and will save us all money at the pump. With the Recovery Act, he made the single biggest investment in clean energy in the United States, ever. All these steps will have a lasting impact on the planet our children and grandchildren inherit — and they wouldn’t have happened without your support, Barbara.

As Bob Dylan sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” We’re seeing real, important progress in the fight against the climate crisis — and it’s coming not a moment too soon.

But you and I both know there are still a lot of deniers out there, Barbara. The time for leadership in the face of this threat has not passed. If ever there were a moment to send leaders to Washington who make climate legislation their top priority, this is it.

Support Democrats, and tell Congress to address climate change:



Al Gore

Enthusiastic supporters celebrate new campaign headquarters

Grayson Democrats celebrate open house
Aug 2014.  Enthusiastic supporters celebrate the opening of campaign headquarters

Grayson County Democratic Party and Battleground Texas celebrated the opening of a new office with a well-attended open house Saturday. Located at 218 S. Walnut in Sherman, the office will serve as a staging ground for canvassing block walks, administrative tasks, and phone parties. This is an important gubernatorial election year, and we encourage the citizens of Grayson County to register and to vote Nov 4.

We are in search of volunteers to work phone banks on Monday evenings, block walks on Sat mornings, and voter registration drives on Friday evenings. Support our Democratic candidates for Texas Governor, Wendy Davis, and Texas Lt. Governor, Leticia Van de Putt.

Opportunities for volunteers also include participation in fall festivals & fairs, and admin duties at the office. To volunteer, please email Jaden Slagle or Barb Rush, or attend our monthly meeting at Grandy’s this Thursday at 5:30.



Healthcare coverage options if you lose your job

If you lose your job and are no longer covered through your employer, you may be able to find affordable health coverage in the Marketplace.

Use our screener now to find out if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Here are some important things to know about job loss and health coverage:

Marketplace health coverage. If you lose your job-based insurance for any reason, you can buy a private health insurance plan in the Marketplace. This is true even if you leave your job outside of Open Enrollment. When you apply for Marketplace coverage, you’ll also learn if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

COBRA coverage. If you have COBRA coverage you can keep it. In some cases, you can buy Marketplace coverage instead. If COBRA ends outside of Open Enrollment, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Continue reading Coverage options if you lose your job…

The HealthCare.gov Team

Republican Efforts to Undermine Children’s Nutrition

May 2014.  Playing Politics with School Lunches 

This week, the House Appropriations Committee passed an agriculture spending bill that would allow schools to opt-out of nutrition standards that were established under The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which requires school meals with more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains while using less sodium. The legislation also weakens the Women Infants and Children (WIC) initiative, making items like white potatoes eligible for purchase despite their weak nutritional value.

72 million children live near or at the poverty level in the United States, with one-third of these children either overweight or obese. With nearly 32 million children nationwide participating in the National School Lunch Program and more than 12 million participating in the School Breakfast Program, these daily meals play an essential role in combatting poverty and obesity.

Republicans are determined to overrule the views of medical professionals so these children can eat fewer fruits and vegetables, and pregnant mothers and infants can consume more potatoes and not enough of the nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables they need. Instead of playing politics with the health of our nation’s future leaders, Congress should focus on improving children’s access to the nutrients they need to succeed in the classroom and lead healthy lives. We must come together to address the priorities of our children, not those of special interests and food industry giants.
-Sen. Nancy Pelosi, May 30, 2014

Whitesboro, Texas has taken steps to improve nutrition for students. All Hayes Primary School students will receive free breakfast and lunch starting next school year, thanks to a federal grant based on campus poverty levels. The Hayes school has more than 40 percent from households below the poverty level. Thanks to the federally backed Community Eligibility Provision, all Hayes students will be fed 2 meals a day for the next 4 years. The program is under the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.
-Whitesboro News Record, May 22, 2014

Support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon

May 2014.  Would you have guessed the U.S. Senate would hold its first vote so soon on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and McCutcheon?

For anyone who thought a constitutional amendment is too high a bar or who thought We the People today are not as powerful as the American citizens who won the previous 27 amendments, the time for doubt is over.

The U.S. Senate will be voting on a constitutional amendment this year.

Use this handy page to see where your senators stand. If you have a senator who has not yet supported an amendment, send an email urging him or her to do so. If you have a senator who is already on board, send a thank-you email and encourage him or her to reach across the aisle for support from colleagues.

Our work won’t stop with this first vote in the Senate. We still have a movement to continue growing, many states and cities to get on board, and many members of both parties to win over.

But this upcoming vote indicates the undeniable progress we’re making.

We are moving forward, and we will not take one step back.

Email your senators now and tell them to speak out — loud and clear — for an amendment.

Thanks for all you do.

Aquene Freechild
Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign

Federal judge strikes down another state’s voter ID law

April 2014.  U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in Milwaukee determined the law requiring voters to show one of a narrow set of photo IDs at the polls violated the federal Voting Rights Act and established an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. He issued an injunction barring the law from being enforced.

Read more…

The 1% Should Pay Their Fair Share in Taxes

by Robert Reich

It’s tax time again, when our minds turn toward paying the taxes we owe, or possibly getting a refund. But what we don’t think of enough is whether our tax system is fair.

The richest 1% of Americans are now getting the largest percentage of total national income in almost a century. But many millionaires pay a lower federal tax rate than many middle class Americans. Some don’t pay any federal taxes at all.

That’s because of deductions for things like mortgages on large homes, business entertainment, and gold-plated health care plans. It’s because of tax loopholes like offshore tax havens and capital gains loopholes. The situation is even more lopsided with the Social Security tax, which doesn’t apply to income greater than $117,000. You can see why Warren Buffett pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.

And Republicans want to lower taxes for the wealthy even more! When the rich pay low taxes, everyone else has to foot the bill–or important programs and services get cut. It’s time to change that.

That’s why you should sign a petition to The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama, which says:

“It’s time for higher taxes on the super-rich to pay for what America needs.”

Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name:

Watch this short video that makes it all very clear:

No one is pro-abortion

Not too long ago, I was at a meeting of Democrats when one of them mentioned the habit of some people who are toward the conservative end of the political spectrum to vote a straight Republican ticket is partly because Democrats are pro-abortion. An astute feminist stated that no one is pro-abortion.

Propaganda from the professional conservative talkers is most effective when we let them control the language. And on the issue of abortion, we have. For example, what does pro-life mean?

We must redefine what it means to be pro-life. We must clarify what privacy means. What liberty means. What personal responsibility means.

“I am pro-life,” Wendy Davis recently told a University of Texas at Brownsville crowd. “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”

“This isn’t about protecting abortion,” Davis explained. “It’s about protecting women. It’s about trusting women to make good decisions for themselves and empowering them with the tools to do that.”

Senator Davis explains why she stood up for Texas women: “Texas state leaders have again taken up a partisan effort to impose severe restrictions on the ability of women in our state to receive reproductive and other crucial health-care services. I spent nearly 13 hours filibustering this bill. I stood up to filibuster the bill because Texas Republican leaders would rather pursue a partisan agenda than help Texas women. I stood to oppose the bill because it rolled back constitutional rights and would reduce the number of women’s health clinics from 42 to 5, thereby threatening the health and safety of thousands of Texas women.

“I know how important this is because as a young woman, the only health care I received — preventative care, cancer screenings, checkups, etc. — came from a women’s health clinic close to where I live in Fort Worth. Indeed, more than 90 percent of the care provided by these centers has nothing at all to do with abortion. Quite the opposite, their services are absolutely critical to preventing unplanned pregnancies and to providing much-needed health-care screening.”

The issue isn’t abortion. Abortion is not favored by anyone. Ending a pregnancy is a public issue only to the extent that someone’s religion dictates a theocratic governmental policy for personal matters, as with Sharia Law in Iran and now Iraq, which suggests to some that the government, not the individual, should define personal liberty and privacy, and determine this very personal, private decision even in the most difficult of circumstances. In a Democracy, which Democrats believe we still have in this country, privacy rights trump religious dictates, primarily because your religious dictates and my religious dictates differ. Thus the American Revolution, which was in part, we’ve been told, to obtain freedom from religious persecution. Forcing your religious beliefs on others through governmental laws is religious persecution that is not tolerated in this country. Therefore, if you are opposed to abortion, as many of us are, fine, don’t have one.

By the way, the Christian bible says that life begins when the soul enters the body, and that this occurs when you take your first breath, after separating the umbilical cord. A fetus is not a living person with a soul until after drawing its first breath.* In fact both the Hebrew and Greek words for soul are synonymous with breath. Even if you dismiss that, Pope Francis warns Christians against turning their faith into a rigid ideology.+

The language of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is ours.

* Genesis 2:7, God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and it was then that the man became a living being.”
Job 33:4, -“The spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
Ezekiel 37:5&6, “Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will come to life.”
Numbers 5:11-22, instructions on how to end a pregnancy that results from adultery.
John 3:1-5, Christ explained to Nicodemus that we have to be born of water (the amniotic fluid of the womb) and born again spiritually. Life begins after birth thru the birth canal and amniotic fluid.

+The anti-choice movement is uninterested in scripture; they are interested in controlling women through a series of un-American, theocratic laws.

B. Rush, April 16, 2014

60 Minutes missed the point

Did you see the show April 6, 2014? The TV show 60 Minutes said they were reporting on people left out of Obamacare. What they meant was, they were interviewing people left out of health care by Republican governors who refuse to allow them access to Medicaid.

Proof that what we’re doing matters

April 3, 2014.  The news this week is proof that what we’re all doing matters.

More than 7 million Americans signed up for health insurance on the
marketplace. That’s on top of the millions more who have been able to get
covered thanks to other parts of health care reform.

That’s lasting change.

Today, we want to make sure everyone who had a hand in making it happen gets
the recognition they deserve.

OFA is creating a permanent record of all the people who stood up and fought
for health care reform — whether that was a month ago, a year ago, or even a
generation ago.

Your name belongs in the permanent record — watch this powerful video on what this moment means, and add your name.

The success of this first
enrollment period is a huge step forward in the struggle to fix our health care
system. That’s a journey that didn’t start with this presidency, and it won’t
end here, either.

Since President Teddy Roosevelt first proposed the idea of making sure every
American could get health insurance, millions of Americans have been dedicated
to this cause. Along the way, we took huge steps forward, and several steps
back. I’m so proud that ours was the generation that finally got it done.

That’s why this victory is one worth celebrating, and remembering for years to

The permanent record, which we’re going to install at OFA headquarters in
Chicago, will remind us of what can happen when millions of Americans stand up

If you fought for this, you deserve to be recognized – watch the video, then make sure your name isadded:



Jon Carson
Executive Director
Organizing for Action

The U.S. Supreme Court fuels corruption, again

April 2, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.

Sadly, alarmingly, infuriatingly — it’s Citizens United all over again.

In a nutshell, the  Supreme Court just permitted individuals — those who can afford to do so, at  any rate — to dole out up to $5.9 million per election cycle to political candidates and parties.

Until today, the limit was $123,000. Continue reading The U.S. Supreme Court fuels corruption, again

Contact us by email

Debby West, Secretary, sec@graysondemocrats.org;

Barb Rush, Co-Chair, info@graysondemocrats.org;

Mail donations and/or membership fees to:
Grayson County Democratic Party
P.O. Box 2141
Sherman, TX 75091

Phone:  903-327-4684

Join us in person on the 4th Thursday of the month at Grandy’s on Texoma Parkway, just north of Hwy 82 in Sherman. We meet at 5:30 for dinner and conversation, or you can join us at 6:00 for the meeting. We usually skip Nov and Dec because of the holidays.

Subscribe to our email list at http://graysondemocrats.org/register-here/

Koch Brothers pay actors to Lie about Affordable Care Act

March 2014. Everyone working on the Medicaid expansion issue needs to expose the Koch brothers latest ruse to discredit the ACA!

In Solidarity, Ginny Webster, OK RO, MoveOn.org
Co-Director, Coalition for Medicaid Expansion

From ABC News:

A new political attack ad from the Koch brothers-funded group Americans for Prosperity calls on Louisianans to tell Sen. Mary Landrieu that Obamacare is hurting their families.

The ad shows a number of people, who appear to be Louisianans, opening their mail to find a letter stating that their health care policy has been cancelled because of the Affordable Care Act.

“Due to the Affordable Care Act, your monthly premium has increased,” a voice-over says in the ad as a man in a rural neighborhood opens a cancellation letter and looks at his young daughter standing next to him. “No longer covered, due to the Affordable Care Act.”

But the people in the emotion-evoking ad are not Louisianans at all; they are paid actors

…”Hiring professional actors to impersonate Louisiana families is low even for the billionaire Koch brothers,” Friends of Mary Landrieu Campaign Manager Adam Sullivan told ABC News. “If the Koch brothers had even a shred of credibility before launching their latest misleading ad campaign against Sen. Landrieu, they’ve surely lost it now.”

8.9 Million Determinations for Medicaid and CHIP

February 28, 2014
HHS Intergovernmental and External Affairs Notification
From: Paul Dioguardi, Director, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

According to a new CMS report released today, between October and January, more than 8.9 million individuals were determined eligible for Medicaid or CHIP through state agencies and through state-based Marketplaces. More than 2 million people were informed in January that they are eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); more of those individuals are in states that have chosen to expand Medicaid coverage to more of their residents. Continue reading 8.9 Million Determinations for Medicaid and CHIP

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Has Already Helped the People of Texas By:

Feb 2014.

  • Expanding health insurance coverage to thousands of Texans.
  • Providing new insurance coverage options for young adults.
  • Making prescription drugs much more affordable for seniors.
  • Covering preventative services with no deductibles or co-pays
  • Providing more value for your premium dollars through the 80/20 Rule.
  • Removing lifetime coverage limits on health insurance benefits.
  • Creating healthcare coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • Creating affordable health insurance exchanges (market places).
  • Providing grants & awards for building new community health centers, training of new medical personnel, and for the development of public health and wellness programs.

 Under the Affordable Care Act, you may be eligible to receive:

  • A new tax credit that can immediately help pay your insurance premiums for health coverage, which will help you stay well.

Free, or low-cost insurance from Medicaid, or from the Children’s health insurance Program (CHIP).

Affordable private health insurance plans that offer comprehensive coverage.

Single Adults who are eligible under the Affordable Care Act Include:

  • Those who aren’t offered health insurance coverage from their employers.
  • Those who have no dependents.
  •  Those who can’t be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

In Texas, a family of four could pay as little as $57 per month for health coverage, depending on income. A 27-year-old could pay as little as $83 per month.


ConnectED Initiative


Feb 2014. “In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, why shouldn’t we have it in our schools?”    -President Obama.


President Obama announces major progress on the ConnectED initiative, designed to enrich K-12 education for every student in America. ConnectED empowers teachers with the best technology and the training to make the most of it, and empowers students through individualized learning and rich, digital content. Continue reading ConnectED Initiative

Speak Out in Support of Health Care Reform

Jan 2014. 85% of Americans have already benefitted from the Affordable Care Act.

Consumer Rights and Protections

In the past, insurance companies could take advantage of you. They could deny coverage to children who had asthma or were born with a heart defect, put a lifetime cap on the amount of care they would pay for, or cancel your coverage when you got sick just by finding an accidental mistake in your paperwork. The Affordable Care Act creates a new Patient’s Bill of Rights that protects you from these and other abusive practices.

End to Pre-Existing Condition Discrimination: Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition like asthma and diabetes, providing peace of mind for parents of the more than 17.6 million children with pre-existing conditions. Starting in 2014, no American can be discriminated against due to a pre-existing condition.

End to Limits on Care: In the past, some people with cancer or other chronic illnesses ran out of insurance coverage because their health care expenses reached a dollar limit imposed by their insurance company. Under the health care law, insurers can no longer impose lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits and annual limits are being phased out by 2014. More than 105 million Americans no longer have lifetime limits thanks to the new law.

End to Coverage Cancellations: Insurance companies can no longer drop your coverage when you get sick due to a mistake you made on your application.

Better Access to Care

From the Whitehouse

Jan 1, 2014. Americans across the country have new health insurance that starts today, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.

Today, health reform is real in a new way for people like Daniel, a 22-year-old student who enrolled in a gold-level insurance plan and is paying just $70 a month after subsidies. It’s real for Lucy, from Texas, whose deductible is dropping from $7,500 to $3,000 a year, and for Mark, a small business owner who says that keeping his health care costs down will help his consulting business thrive.

Today, these people are covered. Continue reading From the Whitehouse

A Healthy 2014 For Millions, For the First Time

by Kate Kendell, NCLR Executive Director.

In August 2012, I had (another) bike crash. It was my own idiocy that caused the crash. I was riding down a hill in San Francisco, just blocks from home, when, in trying to beat the light, I swerved around a MUNI train. My bike tire got wedged in the MUNI track and I was thrown to the ground. I landed on my head (thank the goddess I always wear a helmet). A very sweet guy stopped to help me. He called 911, I called Sandy, an ambulance came, and I was taken to the emergency room. Everything I just related to you about the crash, I do not remember. The last thing I really remember in this whole experience is the moment I swerved around the MUNI train. Continue reading A Healthy 2014 For Millions, For the First Time

A win for Republicans and the Pentagon

This week, a bipartisan committee chaired by Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Patty Murray struck a deal and the House passed a two-year budget proposal. The press, the White House and many Democrats praised the deal as a “compromise” and a “good first step.”

If you didn’t know the details, you might think that this was positive news coming out of Washington, DC. After all, it was just a couple of months ago that we won an important battle when Democratic leaders stood up to Republican hostage taking and the result was the total collapse of the Republicans’ dangerous and reckless attempt to shut down government and tank the economy. Continue reading A win for Republicans and the Pentagon

I was so lucky to have insurance

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

There are up to 129 million Americans living with some condition — like a heart problem, or diabetes, or asthma, or even a pregnancy — which an insurance company can use to deny them coverage or drop them from a plan.

But on January 1st, 2014, that kind of discrimination against people with a pre-existing condition becomes illegal. Continue reading I was so lucky to have insurance

The myths of Obamacare’s ‘failure’

By Michael Hiltzik, LA Times,
November 18, 2013

Attacks on the Affordable Care Act have stepped up over the last week or so. You’d think that the healthcare reform known as Obamacare is leading to the wholesale loss of affordable insurance by huge sectors of the American public, many of whom will be impoverished by being forced into low-quality health plans at exorbitant prices.

You’d think the entire reform is on “life support,” as the usually judicious National Journal  put it today, speculating that Democrats may soon start calling for its repeal.

Don’t buy the hype. The numbers tell an entirely different story. What they also demonstrate is that the myth of Obamacare’s “failure” is a product of the same Republican noise machine that has been working to undermine this crucial reform since Day One. It’s assisted by news reporting about canceled health policies that typically ranges from woefully misinformed to spectacularly ignorant, and even at its best is incomplete.

Read the complete article

America’s retirement crisis has received far too little attention

by Elizabeth Warren Nov 2013

America’s retirement crisis has received far too little attention.

With employers cutting back private pensions and family savings decreasing, Social Security is rapidly becoming the only lifeline that millions of seniors have to keep their heads above water after a lifetime of hard work and playing by the rules.

And yet, instead of taking on the retirement crisis, instead of increasing our commitment to Social Security, some in Washington are actually fighting to cut benefits. Continue reading America’s retirement crisis has received far too little attention

JFK editorial by Oliver Stone

USA Today – JFK Op-Ed

Living through the media assault of the last few weeks leading up to this 50th year’s commemoration marking the violent end of JFK’s Presidency, I’m amazed there is any single adult left in the USA who would not think that Lee Harvey Oswald was the one and only assassin.

Although national polls from 1964 on clearly signal the public’s distrust of the official story, the mainstream media has never given up telling us how superstitious or illogical the common people are in this belief. As one of that multitude, the motivating factor for my disbelief has not been my idealistic view of Kennedy or what he might have done had he lived, but the very evidence of the shooting itself, which remains, then and now, highly dubious. Some basic examples–

Honoring our Veterans

On Veterans Day, Americans pause to honor the boundless courage and heroic sacrifice of the men and women who have served our nation in uniform. Our veterans are the great guardians of our nation, our values, and our way of life. Far from home, on distant battlefields, our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have fought and died in the name of liberty and freedom. Continue reading Honoring our Veterans

Wendy Davis Redefines ‘Pro-Life,’ Enrages Anti-Choicers

From a speech given by Wendy Davis:

“I am pro-life,” she told a University of Texas at Brownsville crowd. “I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children’s future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else.”

“This isn’t about protecting abortion,” Davis explained in the same appearance. “It’s about protecting women. It’s about trusting women to make good decisions for themselves and empowering them with the tools to do that.”

Read the complete article from The National Memo
November 6th, 2013, Jason Sattler

Obama strikes at the heart of Reaganism

by Ian Reifowitz for Daily Kos

Barack Obama took to the podium a few hours after his unyielding stance had forced Republicans to cry uncle, raising the debt ceiling and allowing the government to reopen in return for a sandwich full of sawdust. The president spoke about the real pain that the Republican shutdown of government inflicted on the American people. He then used that pain to strike at the very heart of modern Republicanism, the myth put forth by Ronald Reagan that “government is the problem.” With one deft stroke, Barack Obama made clear that the shutdown and the threat of a national default flowed directly from Reaganism, that the tea party Republicans are no fringe element, but rather represent the core values of today’s Republican Party: Continue reading Obama strikes at the heart of Reaganism

Grayson Democrats enthusiastically participate in fall Festivals and Fairs

Grayson County Democrats enthusiastically participate in Grayson County festivals and fairs. The emphasis for our booth in 2013 is voter information and voter registration, Affordable Health Care insurance, and Wendy Davis for Governor. Please look for our booth, and if you are interested in volunteering for this fun experience, please send your name and phone number to info@graysondemocrats.org.

Sept 14, Hispanic Heritage Celebration, Sherman Municipal Grounds, 10:00am to 4:00pm. For more information, http://hhctexoma.org/. HUGE success! For photos, please see https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=590280D12FD85027&id=590280D12FD85027%21369.

Sept 21, Pioneer Day, Collinsville, 10:00am – 4:00pm; see schedule at http://collinsvilletxchamber.org/PioneerDay/Schedule.pdf

Sept 28, Pottsboro, Friendship Park, 615 Hwy. 120 East, 9am – 3pm; http://pottsborochamber.chambermaster.com/Events/details/frontier-day-2012-6164

Oct 5, Denison Main St Fair, 9am – 5pm;  info and map

Oct 11 – 13, Grayson County Fair, Loy Lake Park. Please see website for times and events, http://www.graysoncountytexasfair.com/Home

Oct 19, Whitesboro Peanut Festival, Main St, 8am – 5pm , http://www.whitesborotx.com/PeanutFestival.html

Nov 2, Grand Street Festival, Whitewright, 9am – 4pm;  http://www.whitewright.org/grand_street_fall_festival

The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare: Do the math

Oct 2013. Your approximate Premium Limit, Based on Income as a percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL):

Up to 133% FPL, 2% of income;
133 – 150% FPL, 3 – 4% of income;
150 – 200% FPL, 4 – 6.3% of income;
200 – 250% FPL, 6.3 – 8.05% of income;
250 – 300% FPL, 8.05 – 9.5% of income;
350 – 400% FPL, 9.5% of income.

Chart showing Federal Poverty Levels:

When you use the Health Insurance Marketplace you may be able to get lower costs on monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs, or get free or low-cost coverage. Continue reading The Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare: Do the math

ObamaCare: Signed. Sealed. Delivering.

For years, millions of Americans have been denied the security and peace of mind of having health insurance. Too many have been priced out, locked out, or dumped out by insurance companies.

But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, all of that is changing. January 1, 2014, marks a New Day, when coverage will be more accessible and affordable. On that day, coverage begins for those who signed up in the Health Insurance Marketplace at https://www.healthcare.gov, by December 15, 2013.

The Marketplace is a new, simpler way to purchase health insurance –all in one place. You can go online to find and compare options, see if you qualify for lower costs, and select coverage that meets your needs and budget.

Here’s what else is happening on January 1:

  • Health insurance plans can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a pre-existing health condition, such as diabetes or asthma.
  • More people than ever will qualify for Medicaid.
  • Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to limit lifetime coverage for essential health benefits.

The small business tax credit expands.

October 1, 2013, marks the beginning of an intense six-month long open enrollment and public education campaign. You can enroll through the end of March.

Many will enroll online at HealthCare.gov. For some, it will be easier to enroll by phone,
1-800-318-2596, in person (Find Local Help at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/), or by mail. To make the process even easier, we have trained assisters to help answer all of your coverage questions.

Spread the word to your friends, neighbors, and colleagues that new options for affordable, quality health coverage are in sight.

An easy guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace

Here’s a quick rundown on the most important things to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace, sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange.” Links for more information on each topic are at https://www.healthcare.gov/, lower left, click on “Get covered: A one-page guide.”

The new Health Insurance Marketplace helps uninsured people find health coverage. When you fill out the Marketplace application we’ll tell you if you qualify for:

No matter what state you live in, you can use the Marketplace. To find the Health Insurance Marketplace in Texas, go to https://www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

Most people must have health coverage in 2014 or pay a fee. If you don’t have coverage in 2014, you’ll have to pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child, or 1% of your income (whichever is higher). The fee increases every year. Some people may qualify for an exemption to this fee. For example, you are exempt if the lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8% of your household income. https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/

You’re considered covered if you have Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, any job-based plan, any plan you bought yourself, COBRA, retiree coverage, TRICARE, VA health coverage, or some other kinds of health coverage.

If you’re eligible for job-based insurance, you can consider switching to a Marketplace plan. But you won’t qualify for lower costs based on your income unless the job-based insurance is unaffordable or doesn’t meet minimum requirements. You also may lose any contribution your employer makes to your premiums.

If you have Medicare, you’re considered covered and don’t have to make any changes. You can’t use the Marketplace to buy a supplemental or dental plan.

Marketplace open enrollment ends March 31, 2014. If you enroll by December 15, 2013, coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2014.

Questions? Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)

Ready to apply? Get started here:  https://www.healthcare.gov


We are not a country of anarchists

by Elizabeth Warren.

If you watch the anarchist tirades coming from extremist Republicans in the House, you’d think they believe that the government that governs best is a government that doesn’t exist at all.

But behind all the slogans of the Tea Party – and all the thinly veiled calls for anarchy in Washington – is a reality: The American people don’t want a future without government.

When was the last time the anarchy gang called for regulators to go easier on companies that put lead in children’s toys? Or for inspectors to stop checking whether the meat in our grocery stores is crawling with deadly bacteria? Or for the FDA to ignore whether morning sickness drugs will cause horrible deformities in our babies?

When? Never. In fact, whenever the anarchists make any headway in their quest and cause damage to our government, the opposite happens. Continue reading We are not a country of anarchists

This is no way to run a country.

by Senator Jeff Merkley.

Across Oregon and throughout America, there are people out of work. There are kids who want to go to college but can’t afford it.  There are bridges literally in danger of falling down and schools with leaking roofs and out-of-date textbooks.

We have big challenges that we should be coming together to try to solve. Instead, the Tea Party has shut down the government and made many of our problems worse.

Here’s the situation: The House and Senate laid out different budgets six months ago, assuming different levels of spending and investment. For the last six months, Republicans in the Senate have repeatedly filibustered every attempt to negotiate an agreed-upon budget.

More recently, to avoid a shutdown, the Senate simply agreed to the House level. Unfortunately and incredibly, House Republicans refuse to accept their own budget unless we accept their ransom demand of gutting or delaying the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading This is no way to run a country.

Ignorance vs. Reality on Hunger in America


House Republicans: Ignorance vs. Reality on Hunger in America


Fighting for Full Plates

Millions of Americans—particularly children, seniors, and veterans—struggle with hunger every day, and rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, just to have enough to eat. One in five children go to bed hungry every night and nearly 22 million children receive SNAP benefits. Thursday, House Republicans heartlessly voted to gut SNAP by $40 billion over the next decade, slashing the legs on which many families stand.

This partisan bill—which every Democrat voted against—would take away the next meal for nearly four million seniors, 170,000 veterans, and 5,000 active-duty military families. It is unconscionable that this bill passed, as it undermines who are as a nation and that we do not even want to meet the needs of the people. As former President Ronald Reagan said—“As long as there is one person in this country who is hungry, that is one person too many.” Continue reading Ignorance vs. Reality on Hunger in America

Why I stood up for Texas women, By Wendy Davis

Washington Post 

Why I stood up for Texas women
By Wendy R. Davis, Published: July 15, 2013

Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis represents District 10 of the Texas Senate.

Texas state leaders have again taken up a partisan effort to impose severe restrictions on the ability of women in our state to receive reproductive and other crucial health-care services. Just a few weeks ago, I spent nearly 13 hours filibustering this bill. I stood up to filibuster the bill because Texas Republican leaders would rather pursue a partisan agenda than help Texas women. I stood to oppose the bill because it rolled back constitutional rights and would reduce the number of women’s health clinics from 42 to 5, thereby threatening the health and safety of thousands of Texas women.

I know how important this is because as a young woman, the only health care I received — preventative care, cancer screenings, checkups, etc. — came from a women’s health clinic close to where I live in Fort Worth. Indeed, more than 90 percent of the care provided by these centers has nothing at all to do with abortion. Quite the opposite, their services are absolutely critical to preventing unplanned pregnancies and to providing much-needed health-care screening. Continue reading Why I stood up for Texas women, By Wendy Davis

An open letter to Texas Sec. of State in opposition to fewer polling locations in Grayson County

July 24, 2013

An open letter to:
Texas Secretary of State John Steen

P.O. Box 12060
Austin, Texas 78711-2060

Reducing the number of polling locations in Grayson County would make voting more difficult for those whose usual polling place is no longer there. Rather, we must do what we can to encourage more people to vote. The population of Grayson County has increased by 12% in the last 10 years and is predicted to continue to increase. We need more, not fewer, voting places.

Recognizing Texas ranks last among all states in voter turnout, any reduction in polling sites can be viewed as a step backward in promoting voter rights and turnout. Further, reduction of polling sites is known to be a Republican Party strategy to disenfranchise voters. Such tactics are dirty partisan politics. Continue reading An open letter to Texas Sec. of State in opposition to fewer polling locations in Grayson County

Are Grayson County Commissioners violating the Help America Vote Act?

From 2005 to 2010, the Help America Vote Act granted $928,000 to Grayson County.  http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/hava/county-distribution.shtml

What has been done with the money? How much of it has been used to increase voter participation in Grayson County?  I doubt that reducing the number of polling locations from 54 to 22 was intended by HAVA.  Is Grayson County in violation of the spirit if not the letter of the law?  The law specifically lists as a possible good use of the funds:

Improving the accessibility and quantity of polling places…Title I, Sec. 101 (b)(1)(G)


US Election Assistance Commission, established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), recommends counties:

“Work to obtain access to existing GIS data base information to determine location…

Contact area city planning departments to review future use and zoning maps to determine where and what type of future growth is expected within the next election cycle. Periodically review new occupancy permits to assist with population density projections. Example: It is important to know when and where large apartment complexes are scheduled to be constructed as it may require additional polling places to efficiently serve the voters.

Conduct a public hearing to gain input and approval of the vote centers and early voting locations. Be sure to invite members of the major political parties.

Consider merging the data collected on all possible locations with your county’s GIS computer system. By merging voter registration and “expected to vote” numbers by precinct with the GIS data, you are able to visually locate buildings that are within close proximity to precincts and voters and with sufficient capacity to serve the number of voters expected on Election Day.”

The GOP views voter supression as ‘their ticket to success’

July 2013
Chris Matthews:  I think the hearings this week up in Pennsylvania tell a huge story. They show how Republicans view voter suppression as their ticket to success.

Here you have a party chairman saying that merely the attention given to a voter photo ID requirement — even one that the court set aside – cut in half President Obama’s margin of victory in the state.

Forty-one states had voter suppression bills introduced by Republicans last year. Do you think people are going to forget which party wanted them to be shut out from their democratic rights?

Do you think parents might be telling their teenage children — perhaps on the verge of voting for the first time — to remember who wants them to vote and who doesn’t?

This effort by the Republican party across the country — countenanced by RNC chair Reince Priebus, is an assault on black America that’s historic, that’s deliberate, that’s unforgettable — and, you could say, unforgivable.

Keep your eye on this one. Watch report.


Grayson County Democrats oppose reducing polling locations

The Grayson County Democratic Party opposes reducing the number of polling locations in the county as proposed by the County Clerk’s office. Reducing the number of voting sites to 22 from the current 36 was put forth by Wilma Bush, the Grayson County Clerk at a meeting of the Election Advisory Committee. As presented, the plan would allow a Grayson County citizen to vote at any of the 22 proposed ‘voting centers’ on election day, many of which could entail more travel than the traditional precinct voting locations. The plan was unanimously rejected by the Grayson County Democratic Party general membership in their meeting on June 27. Continue reading Grayson County Democrats oppose reducing polling locations

This TED Talk Was Banned For Attacking The Job Creator Myth

This TED talk wasn’t posted on the TED website. Apparently they felt it too politically controversial. Nick Hanauer talks for six minutes on why the rich aren’t the job creators — and  as someone worth $1 billion, he knows a bit about the rich.

To view the video, scroll down after clicking this link:

Or watch on YouTube at

“The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote.”

-President Barack Obama.

Over the next month, the President and Congress face a tough road toward positive resolve for the fiscal cliff, sequestration, the deficit, and other budget challenges. Your voice matters today just as much as it did on Tuesday — and NPP has all the information you need to understand and participate in these imminent federal budget debates.

Democracy happens every day, and as President Obama said last night, “Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated.” We agree. That’s why NPP is your guide. We cut through noise. We break through spin. And we bring you the data of our democracy, so you can make your voice heard.

It’s an honor to be with you on this journey,

Jo Comerford Executive Director