"I have no problem in standing up for the constitutional equality of any American regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or mental condition. We have to stand up for equality in America for everybody." That may not sound earthshaking to you but Larry Joe is running against a reactionary Bush rubber stamp who could never say that in a million years–at least not with a straight face.
I had never met anyone named Larry Joe before–and he asked me what part of West Texas my accent is from. But it didn’t take more than a small portion of a phone call to realize that his country boy southern drawl masked a breathtaking mental fluidity that made me very happy that that power is on our side.
Larry Joe Doherty won a tightly fought primary in the Texas district most likely to switch from red to blue, Texas-10, a Tom DeLay creation that stretches from northern Austin all the way to the west Houston suburbs. It was tailor made for a Republican (PVI: R +13) and Michael McCaul didn’t even have a Democratic opponent when he first ran (2004). But last year, with only token opposition he only managed 55% of the vote. (Democrat Ted Ankrum raised $72,000 to McCaul’s $1,155,000.)
This year McCaul, the son-in-law of Clear Channel CEO Lowry Mays, isn’t going to get off so easily. Larry Joe Doherty is definitely going to give him a run for his money–and then some. "I’ve been representing people who’ve had claims against lawyers for more than 30 years," he told me earlier this week. He thinks that helped him win the primary and will help him beat McCaul in November. People saw "somebody who had an appreciation for holding lawyers accountable, making them responsible for their misconduct and their mistakes [and] was willing to take that ethical bearing and responsibility to Washington, DC."
That certainly got me thinking about some much needed accountability. And I’ll go out on a limb and say Larry was thinking along the same lines. "I don’t know what committees I may have an opportunity to serve on but congressional investigations that may be conducted in the future will determine the Bush legacy, however they may come out. The opportunity to get on a committee that may be involved with those kinds of investigations would not be something I would be afraid to serve on or seek."
Fundamentally our Congress has abdicated its responsibility to serve as a check and a balance on the Executive Branch of government. It’s supposed to be co-equal but Michael McCaul has been a knee-jerk rubber stamp with a pledge of allegiance to the Republican Party that punishes him if he steps out of line.
That’s the problem with the way that Republicans have tried to run this government. The Congress is supposed to be separate, equal, independent and protective of our rights when the Executive violates its responsibility. But we don’t have that kind of a Congress. We don’t have congressmen who put constituent rights above their own interests–and that’s the essence of a fiduciary duty.
When I sued lawyers, I sued them for breaching their fiduciary duty, failing to put the interest of their clients above their own. I’ve known how to do that for more than 37 years in my law practice and I intend to see to it that Congress gets an explanation of how to put their constituents’ interests above their own. We don’t have a national health care plan for the public but Congress has one for itself. I’ve called on Michael McCaul to give up his national health care plan until he can legislate one that’s at least as good for the public as he gets for himself. He hasn’t responded to that.
I’ve already pledged that I’m not taking the national health care plan afforded congressmen until we pass a plan that’s available for the public. It’ll be the same for me as it’ll be for them or I’m not going to have it… If you don’t appreciate how suffering takes place until you’ve suffered a little then Congress needs to go without its medical plan until they can give one as good to the public.
I don’t recall ever hearing a clearer statement of the kind of representative Blue America is looking for. I’m really proud to introduce Larry Joe Doherty to the Blue America community today. He’s going to be with us between 11AM and 1PM (PT; 1PM- 3PM in Texas), answering questions. If you like what you hear and you’d like to help Democrats in Texas exchange one tainted rubber stamp for a genuine champion of all-American values, please visit our Blue America ActBlue page.
When You get a chance, please watch the TV ad he made– simple, to the point and just what Blue America is all about: