By Jennifer De Guelle
-Austin, Texas: 2/23/10
This past Tuesday evening, more than 9,000 registered Democratic voters “attended” – from the comfort of their own homes –a Telephone Town Hall Meeting with Ronnie Earle, candidate for Lt. Governor in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary.
As Campaign Social Media Coordinator, I saw this unique event as it happened, and afterward spoke to the candidate about why he was hosting it and what he hoped to achieve by it.
Mr. Earle said the idea was simple: to give people a direct voice using a “virtual” town hall that would erase geographic barriers and allow people across our vast state to directly question someone who wants to represent them.
He said he hoped the format would send a clear message; the voters are in control of the process, not only because he respects their opinions but because they are the decision makers who will determine the future of our state. He said his job is to answer their questions, listen to their opinions, and find out how to best serve them.
Part of the reason I volunteered for this campaign is that I admire a candidate who doesn’t rely on focus-group-tested ads, scripted sound bites or the other gimmicks commonly used to manipulate voters in contested political races but who would rather give people the chance to ask him questions directly and to respond unscripted.
In my opinion, commitment to our shared democracy has to be more than an ideal; it must be exemplified by the actions of those we elect to lead. Mr. Earle has made it clear that he intends to serve regular Texans, not the special interests who so often control lawmaking to serve their needs.
As a former state legislator and District Attorney of Travis County for the past thirty years, Ronnie Earle has a long track record of standing up for regular Texans and he wants people to make up their own minds on who to vote for based on who they feel is the most qualified candidate in the Democratic Primary.
Speaking with Ronnie Earle face to face, my lasting impression goes beyond an initial observation of a sharp mind, quick wit, and authentic Texas charm to one of a candidate who has genuine integrity and fierce resolve to govern independently, beholden only to the people of Texas.
The feeling you walk away with is that if democracy is the prize, this is the guy you want fighting in your corner on behalf of you and your neighbors. I’m working on his campaign because I’m excited about the candidate, and I hope I can share some of that feeling with you – this is a genuinely good man, the kind we need to have more of in government.
Tuesday, March 2nd is Primary Election Day. I urge you to join me and Vote Ronnie Earle for Lieutenant Governor.
For more news and information about the campaign, visit www.ronnieearle.com and join the Ronnie Earle Facebook Fan Page. I’ll be posting more of my impressions about this exciting race on my personal Blog http://austinmsw.wordpress.com/.
Join Ronnie for a Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Monday, March 1st.
The call will begin at 6 PM with a second call starting at 8 PM. Each call will last approximately an hour. To join in the call, dial 1-877-229-8493 and when prompted enter PIN# 15592
Listen in and submit your questions by dialing *3 during the call.
Begin sending in your questions now to be answered live on air
Using Facebook: http://ow.ly/19kPG
Or Twitter: https://twitter.com/RonnieEarle
Be sure to include the tag #TelRonnie in your Facebook Post or Tweet.