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White Candidate Wins Texas Election by Pretending He's Black

Houston board candidate uses excuse that politicians lie every time they speak to defend his deceptive campaign.

By Chris Hoenig


How does a conservative, white Republican win an election in a district overwhelmingly made up of Black Democrats? He pretends he's one of them.

Dave Wilson did just that to win a six-year term on the Houston Community College System's board, misleading voters into believing that he is Black. "I'd always said it was a long shot," Wilson tells KHOU-TV. "No, I didn't expect to win." But he did, and he went to great lengths to do it.

Wilson sent out fliers that featured almost exclusively Black people, all of them smiling. On it, he added the call to action: "Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson." Only the faces are not Wilson's friends or neighbors, but rather just pictures that he stole off of various websites.

Another flier proudly announced his endorsement by Ron Wilson, suggesting a Black former state legislator who is well known in the area. Beneath the endorsement announcement, a disclaimer is printed: "Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins," it reads. Except the Ron Wilson that Dave Wilson is talking about is not that Ron Wilson, who suffered a stroke in 2009 that left him barely able to speak and may never have heard of Dave Wilson.

Dave Wilson does indeed have a cousin named Ron Wilson, and this Ron Wilson did endorse Dave Wilson's campaign ... from Iowa, where he lives. "He's a nice cousin," Wilson says, suppressing a laugh. "We played baseball in high school together. And he's endorsed me."

The plan worked and Wilson beat 24-year incumbent Bruce Austin, who is Black, by just 26 votes. "I don't think it's good," Austin said, adding that the campaign caught him off guard. "I don't think it's good for both democracy and the whole concept of fair play. But that was not his intent, apparently." Austin said he did counter with his own mailers that included Wilson's face and warned voters that he was a "right-wing hatemonger" who "advocated bringing back chain gangs to clean highways." He plans to ask for a recount, though there is little chance that the results will change.

Wilson says his lies were really no different than any other lawmaker's lies. "Every time a politician talks, he's out there deceiving voters," Wilson admits. And some analysts say Austin was done in because of insider business deals and expensive overseas expenditures, which forced other incumbents into runoffs. "I suspect it's more than just race," says Bob Stein, the Rice University political scientist and KHOU analyst. "The Houston Community College was under some criticism for bad performance. And others on the board also had very serious challenges."

Non-Whites Make Up Half of Post-Millennial Generation: Study

Latinx post-Millennials represent the future of American voters. Democrats need to pay attention for 2020 and beyond.

REUTERS

A new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data finds that the "post-Millennial" generation, which are those born after 1996, "is already the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, as a bare majority of 6-to 21-year-olds (52%) are non-Hispanic whites."

The only population of youth that has grown substantially since the age of the Baby Boomers in 1968 is Latinx. They were born in the U.S. and go to college before entering the workforce.

In the 2018 midterm elections, millions more Latinx voted than in 2014.

According to Pew, "Latinos made up an estimated 11 percent of all voters nationwide on Election Day, nearly matching their share of the U.S. eligible voter population."

Exit polls for the midterms this year said 67% of youth overall voted for a House Democratic candidate and just 32% for a House Republican candidate, according to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.

Thirty-eight women of color — Black, Latinx, Native American — won seats of real power—including the youngest Congresswoman, Alexandria Oscario-Cortez, 29, a Latina.

However, Democrats lost Texas and Florida because they didn't pay attention to voter decline among Latinx (36.5 percent) across the country.

Pews' analysis on changing demographics correlates with author Steve Phillips' discussion in "Brown Is the New White," which explains that people of color and white progressive voters are America's new majority.

Democratic candidates of color and women (Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama) have outperformed previous candidates in statewide elections in Florida and Georgia over the last 20 years, Phillips wrote in a recent New York Times column. Abrams garnered more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia's history.

Phillips says Obama's playbook is what wins: mobilization over persuasion, along with inspiring people of all races to vote, and being strong in their positions on racism, Medicaid expansion, criminal justice reform and gun control.

"Yes, the strategy of mobilizing voters of color and progressive whites is limited by the demographic composition of particular states. But what Mr. Obama showed twice is that it works in enough places to win the White House. And that is exactly the next electoral challenge."

Phillips said, "These campaigns laid the groundwork for future Democratic success, because the thousands of volunteers, operatives and new voters will pay dividends for the 2020 Democratic nominee."

Reader Question: Do you think the 2020 candidates will tailor their approach to meet the demands of a diverse generation?

Voter Registration Deadline for 15 States Today

"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warns activist Shaun King.

REUTERS

"Do not assume you are properly registered to vote," warned Shaun King repeatedly. His wife went to vote with her registration card in her hand, and they said she couldn't vote. King said some of the reasons that people are being turned away are nefarious.

Fifteen states close registration today, including Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. States that do not have online registration: Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, and Texas.

A list of every state's deadline and links to each state's voting requirements was published by the New York Times.

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UPDATE: Elections Board Blocks Bid to Close Polling Places in Largely Black County

The decision "is a triumph, not just for the people of Randolph County, but for every Georgian," said Stacey Abrams, Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia.

A Georgia elections board on Friday blocked a bid to close most polling places in Randolph County, a largely Black county, after critics called it a blatant attempt to undercut Stacey Abrams, who could become the country's first Black woman governor.

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Sarah Huckabee Sanders Admits to False Statement on Obama and Black Employment

Trump's administration, again, attempts to downplay the accomplishments of the first Black president.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted Tuesday evening on Twitter that she gave false information when attempting to tout President Trump's record on job creation for Black Americans.

Sanders told reporters, Tuesday, during a White House press briefing:

"This president, since he took office, created 700,000 new jobs for African-Americans. After eight years of President Obama in office, he only created 195,000 jobs for African-Americans. President Trump, in his first year and a half, has already tripled what President Obama did in eight years."

She greatly undercounted the number of jobs created under Obama.

According to the official count from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the Great Recession, most of the employment gains for Black people took place during the Obama administration.

From January 2009 to January 2017, Obama increased employment for Black Americans by about 3 million jobs.

"Sanders' error dramatically alters the comparison between the two presidents," according to PolitiFact.

"Rather than Trump tripling Obama's increase in African-American employment, it is actually Obama who in eight years quadrupled the increase Trump oversaw in a year and a half. And Obama had to deal with the fall-out from the Great Recession during that period."

After the backlash from Sanders' statement, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) said in a tweet: "Apologies for @WhiteHouseCEA's earlier miscommunication to @PressSec."

Sanders then re-tweeted the CEA, adding her own message:

Citing Trump, Some Republican Women to Vote Democratic in Ohio Election

In interviews with a dozen women, mostly Republicans, in the Midwestern state's 12th Congressional District, several said they would buck their voting habits to support the Democratic candidate on Aug. 7.

Democratic candidate Danny O'Connor meets with campaign volunteers ahead of a special election in Ohio's 12th congressional district in Dublin, Ohio, U.S., July 15, 2018. / REUTERS

(Reuters) — Becky von Zastrow often votes Republican in her affluent central Ohio suburb — but her dissatisfaction with U.S. President Donald Trump has convinced her to back the Democrat in a special-election test for both parties next month.

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If You Want Alexa to Respond, Sound Like a White Person from California

AI products like Amazon's Alexa and Google Home discriminate against minorities with accents.

REUTERS

A study done recently by two research groups, Globalme and Pulse Labs, and the Washington Post revealed that certain artificial intelligence (AI) technology only works for people who resemble the demographic of its creators and testers.

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