Other than Miles filing to run for county chairman of the party, no local Democrats have filed thus far to seek any elective office in 2012 in what he noted was once a Democrat-dominated county.
(Whereas no Republican held a county office as late as the mid-1990s, today the only Democrats in Upshur offices are County Treasurer Myra Harris and Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace W.V. Ray. 115th District Judge Lauren Parish, who sits in Upshur and Marion Counties, is also a Democrat.)
Republicans—several of whom were once Democrats—now hold all other Upshur County elective offices.
Miles lamented that “not one” of 1,495 Democratic candidates for office throughout Texas (counting those running for such county offices as sheriff) is from Upshur County.
“We got to do better next time,” Miles said. “We’ve got to find somebody qualified to run. (This) looks like an all-Republican county.”
Miles also said eight million persons have reached voting age since the 2008 election and “we really need to talk to our young people. . .To get them interested in politics is hard.” He noted he carries voter registration cards with him.
In other business, the nine persons present at the DAV headquarters discussed holding a fund-raiser for Dr. Shirley McKellar, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Louis Gohmert in his bid for reelection to Congress.
Local Democrat Ann Glenn praised Dr. McKellar, of Tyler, as a “fine lady” who holds a doctorate in nursing, and who is retired from the U.S. Army after being injured in Iraq. Rev. Huey Jones said the candidate is a retired major.
“She is definitely for the veterans. Very sharp,” said Ms. Glenn, noting Dr. McKellar recently spoke during a candidate forum at a chili supper at the Pritchett Community Center. Miles said he hoped to have the candidate at a local Democratic Club meeting soon.
Mrs. Glenn said Dr. McKellar had talked to her about the possibility of a local fund-raiser for the Congressional candidate. After Charles Penney raised the possibility of a cake auction, the club also discussed holding a spaghetti supper and Ms. Glenn said she would talk with the candidate.
Concerning another matter, Miles discussed the ongoing legal battle that has delayed the state’s Democratic and Republican primary elections until a date yet to be determined.
He said Republicans had wanted three of the four new seats Texas will gain in the United States House of Representatives, which he termed “unfair” and which he said triggered the litigation.
Miles said the state is paying legal expenses for the court battle (which arose from the redistricting plan drawn up by the GOP-dominated Texas Legislature.)
“We don’t have money for education, but we got money to fight politics,” he complained, an apparent reference to the legislature’s decision to cut education funding.
Miles also charged that the U.S. Justice Dept. and a 3-judge federal panel in San Antonio “can’t make a decision” on the redistricting controversy because “nobody knows how to draw a line down a map, and it’s absolutely ridiculous.”
The club president also discussed the current Presidential campaign, saying it “really disturbed me” that a candidate for the GOP nomination, Rick Santorum, charged that Democrat President Barack Obama “was weak for apologizing for the burning of the Koran in Afghanistan” because “as Commander-in-Chief, it’s his responsibility to apologize.”
He also assailed donations toward GOP candidates’ Presidential campaigns, citing “millions of dollars that somebody’s donated to them every month. . .It’s really sad what this country is coming to . To support a politician is more important than putting food in somebody’s mouth.”
Apparently defending Mr. Obama from his Republican opponents’ attacks, Miles charged the GOP candidates aren’t saying what they would have done different from him. Miles said he was waiting for them to form a platform.
“Presidents do not have that much authority,” Miles said. Although Republicans control the U.S. House, the nation’s problems are alleged to be Mr. Obama’s fault, he complained.
Miles said two million persons “went on the unemployment” line when Republican George W. Bush became President, but “nobody mentions that.”
Rev. Jones accused Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner of telling a “big lie on the President about gasoline.” Jones told The Mirror the speaker had charged that the price of gasoline has been rising ever since Obama became President.