LaRouche: Rodriguez Victory in San Antonio Is `A Landslide Against Howard Dean'
Dec. 13, 2006 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.
The victory by Democrat Ciro Rodriguez in the runoff election for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas on Dec. 12 was accomplished despite the efforts of DNC Chairman Howard Dean to sabotage the race, said Lyndon LaRouche, after being briefed on the outcome. Dean did everything possible to lose this election, by adopting a mechanical-statistical "strategy" aimed at suppressing the vote, by appealing only to known voters, and acting to prevent Rodriguez from using campaign debates to clarify the crucial stakes in this special election.
In contrast, it was the mobilization by a team of organizers from the LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM), backed up by an effective last-minute intervention by former President Bill Clinton, which ensured the turnout which defeated Republican Rep. Henry Bonilla, who held the seat for 14 years and was a known as an Hispanic "poster boy" for the GOP.
"This was a landslide defeat for Dean's policy," LaRouche said. "His so-called 50-state strategy went down the drain. The electorate has spoken." LaRouche added that the LYM intervention—which focussed on mobilizing the youth vote at San Antonio-area campuses—may not have been sufficient in itself. However, with the visit by Clinton, the combined deployment ensured a level of mobilization which turned the election against Bonilla. This combination, of Clinton plus the LYM, is the most powerful force for the Democrats, LaRouche said. "The Democratic Party must learn this lesson, quickly."
While Dean and the DCCC belatedly pumped money into the campaign, the advice they offered was a rejection of the lesson of the Nov. 7 transformation of U.S. politics, which LaRouche has described as the "New Politics." The Dean/DCCC forces cancelled Rodriguez's participation in a series of debates, and advocated instead spending on television and "robo-calls."
The LYM, instead, continued to build on the momentum of Nov. 7, with a strategy of organizing college students to mobilize a vote against Bonilla, whom they identified as one more "Bush-baby" who had to go. Clinton picked up on this in his appearance at Palo Alto College in San Antonio—where the LYM had established a strong presence—by pointing to the failure of Dean and the DNC to get an even bigger landslide on Nov. 7. Clinton said that there were 10 seats which the Republicans won by a "slim margin," an unmistakable reference to winnable races in which Dean and his allies failed to provide adequate backing. Clinton told the enthusiastic crowd which greeted him, "You have to decide whether this House seat is going to be with the 29 [won by Democrats on Nov. 7], or the 10."
As was the case on Nov. 7, the pundits and pollsters had underestimated the degree to which U.S. voters were looking for an opportunity to express their contempt for the Bush-Cheney policies. Though polls showed Bonilla with a 7% lead just days before the election, LYM organizers found a growing enthusiasm. The main problem was to get voters out to the polls. A former Democratic Party statewide candidate praised the work of the LYM, saying that what they had done during this campaign, "is what the state and national party should be doing," while a leading activist offered his congratulations, adding that he believes that LaRouche is "100% on the mark" in identifying the "New Politics" as the path to future victories."
When asked why Dean is acting to sabotage the Democratic Party, LaRouche concluded that he thinks Dean has not forgiven the Party for rejecting him, in favor of John Kerry, in 2004.