Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Whiskey Sam Introduces Will Pryor

Burnt Orange Report diarist Whiskey Sam believes that if Dallas exurbanite Democrats would stop cowering in the hedges during the upcoming election, then corrupt
Congressman Pete Sessions would go down in flames:

"The history of the 32nd Congressional District in Texas is well-known by now. In 2003 Tom DeLay’s redistricting efforts focused on marginalizing the political career of Martin Frost, who had served Texas as a faithful Democrat for 26 years. DeLay marginalized Frost’s old district by splitting it up, marginalizing the African-American vote and incorporating part of the district into Smokey Joe Barton’s district.

Unfortunately, DeLay’s gambit paid off. In 2004, Martin Frost moved to the new 32nd Congressional District and took Pete Sessions on in one of the most expensive Congressional races in United States history. Both sides spent over $4 million in a fight for this computer-drawn, pro-Republican district that incorporates most of WASP Dallas; including Highland Park – the former home for both Bush and Cheney.

Ultimately, Martin Frost received 44%of the vote, and the DeLay redistricting scheme had one of its four victims. Two of the other DeLay victims, Nick Lampson and Chris Bell, are both figuring heavily into Texas politics this year.

Which brings us to Will Pryor.

Will is a traditional Texas Democrat, which means that he believes that Texas belongs to all Texans, and that the government owes an obligation to its citizens to spend their money effectively – with minimal waste. He is the son of a Presbyterian Minister, and his roots to the 32nd District go back to his childhood.

Mr. Pryor attended Yale as an undergrad, and was the Captain and MVP of the Yale Baseball Team (a distinction he shares with George H.W. Bush). Following undergrad, he attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1981.

Will has been honored by local publications for his advocacy and skills as an attorney, but service remains his calling. In the 1980s, Will was one of the co-founders of the South Dallas Legal Clinic, a clinic providing legal services to those in need free of charge. Will met his wife, Ellen, during this time when they were both providing volunteer legal services for the indigent in the Dallas area. Ellen later became a Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University, where she emphasized to many a law student (myself included) the importance of not losing perspective of faith, service and community during the stress of law study and practice.

In the coming days, I intend to list the reasons why I think Will Pryor can do what Martin Frost could not. To many this race appears quixotic….a nice race with no chance of change. To the doubters’ credit, there is probably a good reason to think this is so. The 2006 race in the 32nd does not have the firepower that the Frost/Sessions race had in 2004, and accordingly, Pryor’s campaign is working on a fraction of the warchest Frost had. Additionally, Martin Frost spent over four million dollars and came away with only 44% of the vote.

However, this is a different year with different attitudes. Will Pryor is a fiscal conservative with the kind of drive towards lifelong service and altruism that you cannot fake, or dress up for a political campaign. Pete Sessions is a Conservative who is corrupt to the core, recently being named one of the most corrupt members of the 109th Congress by The Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington.

I asked my wife tonight if those 44% who voted for Martin Frost in 2004 would view the last two years of Republican failure and decide that they should vote for Pete Sessions this year. The question is laughable… but the converse is not. This race is not about converting half of the would-be Sessions voters to Pryor voters. This race is about reaching out to those 6% of Sessions voters who have seen the last two years of corruption, of ties to Abramoff, and the utter lack of any real commitment from their representative in Washington, and presenting those voters with a moral candidate who lives his faith through service to his community.

The conventional wisdom in this race is that the 32nd District belongs to Sessions. I refuse to believe that this is true."

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