Democratic War Ref
It looks like Texas Democrats are following California's lead. Scott Cobb, President of the Texas Moratorium Network, has started a "Vote US out of Iraq" campaign to place an Iraq referendum on the ballot for the 2008 Texas Democratic Presidential Primary. Democrats in California are a bit farther along-- a bill has already been drafted, passed the state's Rules Committee, and should come before the legislature in the next few weeks. Which means Governor Schwarzenegger, a supporter of an Iraq withdrawal timetable, should get his injustice-crushing hands on the bill in the next month or so.
Cobb's efforts are a little more grassroots. The referendum can be added to the ballot only by the Texas Democratic Party's State Democratic Executive Committee, and to drum up interest and support, Cobb has been campaigning with Texan democratic groups and at the Democratic Party's series of Town Hall meetings.
Though asking state voters in a presidential primary to vote on the Iraq question has very little immediate effect on the war-- we do, after all, have a Senate-- the measure can pay ultimate dividends. Its chief purpose exceeds that of a poll and forces Democratic candidates to address the issue that is for most voters most prescient-- should we or should we not cut our losses and pull out of an unpopular war? It's a symbolic gesture with tangible effect on the voting and campaign process.
Since California's "Tuesday of Destiny" February 5th primary is nearly a month earlier than Texas', there is less probability that our March 4th process will ultimately decide the Democratic candidate. But having the issue on the table-- and on the ballot-- would be an invaluable asset. To support the referendum, Democratic voters have to let the TDSEC know what they want. Scott Cobb brought the issue up last week in the Austin Town Hall Meeting. San Antonians can do the same this week at the San Antonio meeting, held this Saturday from 10-12 a.m at the Northeast Service Center (10303 Tool Yard).