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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/4/18

Texas Senate and Attorney General Races from NY Times, Corpus Christi, Dallas, The Hill & Willie Nelson and Ro Khanna

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This has been a long, brutal, and fascinating battle, truly a match between intelligence vs. stupidity, good vs. evil, reason vs. logic, democracy vs. corporate totalitarian kleptocracy. At this point, who knows who will win? At some point, like waiting for a child to be born, we have to step back and just hope for the best.

Victories might stem from last minute Hail Mary's, from perseverance, from consistently applied genius level political strategies, from highly polarized choices, from appeals to the inner goodness of a majority of the American people, from tireless efforts of inspired campaign volunteers, and from the firm and clear pronouncements of editorial boards (if indeed anyone is listening to what editorial pages have to say anywhere in these stressed, befuddled and coerced United States of ours).

I have taken on a monumentally challenging task of gearing up as many Beto O'Rourke supporters as I could to write letters to the editor to Texas newspapers, not only to be read on their own, with a kind of ripple effect in each respective community, but to also hopefully influence the editorial boards who wrote the endorsements at the end of October to comprehend the sincere and articulate insights of their readers.

If the editor of a small town newspaper in Texas got, for example, 255 letters in support of Beto O'Rourke and 12 in support of Ted Cruz, how could this not figure into the rationale behind their eventual endorsements?

This was not an easy task. I had suggested early on to Beto's campaign staff that they take this editorial page battle on, just once, as in instead of asking for contributions 8 times a week, try 7 times a week and just once, ask supporters to write a letter to the editor and send that to 3 newspapers.

I knew the results would be staggeringly positive and might give him an eventual 1-2% margin, but the staff didn't get it. Instead of responding incisively, I would get polite generic thank you notes thanking me for my support, and even once got a letter stating that only Beto could write opinion/editorials, which of course missed the point entirely.

So I joined about 60 Beto Facebook groups, with membership ranging from 5000+ like Houston's, down to ones with 15 and 18 members in small communities, and stirred up what I am sure were hundreds, maybe thousands, of letters to the editor.

Beto's own unprecedented and perfect Facebook strategies were nothing short of brilliant, however, I must say. Broadcasting live feeds gave people a sense of being in touch, a sentiment terribly important compared to his opponent who left Texas and missed a record number of votes in the Senate when he went to all 99 counties in Iowa, as well as New Hampshire and South Carolina, a point not lost on the more politically savvy Texans.

I wrote articles about the Battles for the Editorial Pages, and posted them widely and often enough that I got slammed into Facebook Jail* numerous times since January 1, 2018. I am presently in FB jail, by the way, just for 7 more days, because of my last article. (*the way activists put their being "restricted from group posting on Facebook, usually about a week ~~~ many activists see it as a badge of honor or as a right of passage, but the implications regarding the First Amendment remain very troubling to me.)

One never knows whether it was the content or whether it was the volume of group posts, or whether some Facebook monitor (Human or Robot, who knows?) who doesn't like what you posted and/or how many times you posted it. Facebook never posts neither rules nor anything that would clarify anything at all, except some vague references to community standards, as if that clarified it all.

That will be the subject of a large article coming out very soon from me at OpEdNews, not just my own jaundiced subjective accounts, but those of some of the most active people in Facebook politics, whose opinions and comments I have compiled for an article to run after the Midterm Examinations.

Five out of five of the largest papers in Texas have endorsed Beto, and I am sure these supporters' letters to the editor helped achieve this, and the main reason is of course Beto himself.

These included the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Dallas Morning News, The El Paso Times, and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Why Austin's American Statesman let this endorsement go this long is beyond me. Maybe they are waiting till the Monday before the Tuesday?

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, and of course the real question remaining is whether Editorial Page endorsements have much of an effect at all. I think they do, and I think they will have even more of an effect in the 2020 elections, hopefully as much as did Dr. Howard Dean's 50 state strategy a few years ago".

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Early in the 2016 Primary campaign, I started a Facebook group: Bernie Sanders: Advice and Strategies to Help Him Win! As the primary season advanced, we shifted the focus to advancing Bernie's legislation in the Senate, particularly the (more...)

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