Luncheons for June, 2010

Dallas County DA Craig Watkins

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Speaker: Craig Watkins (Dallas County DA)

Why the Dallas County DA at CTDF? Because he’s one of the most remarkable elected officials in Texas—and may have a critically important impact on the 2010 elections.

Craig Watkins has been a unique District Attorney in Texas—and consequently he has received unprecedented state and national recognition and awards:

• Craig was elected in 2006—the first African American DA in Texas.
• Craig established a Conviction Integrity Unit, which has reviewed more than 300 cases and helped free 22 wrongly convicted inmates. His office cooperated with the Innocence Project to investigate fully the cases of doubtfully prosecuted defendants—including using post-conviction DNA testing to confirm guilt and exonerate the innocent. Convicting the innocent is unjust—and bad law enforcement. No other Texas DA has ever embraced that simple truth so dramatically and effectively as Craig Watkins!
Consequently, Craig has been profiled and honored across the state and the nation:

• The Dallas Morning News named him “Texan of the Year” in 2008.
• Craig has been a featured guest on 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, The View, German National News, and The Colbert Report.
• Craig has been interviewed by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chicago Sun-Times, and many other major publications.
Craig led the Democratic ballot in Dallas County in 2006. He outperformed straight-ticket Democratic voting by 29% and outperformed both major party gubernatorial candidates by more than 30,000 votes.

With five key legislative races potentially determined by the Dallas County turn-out, Craig Watkins’s race is one of the most important elections in Texas!

Super-Spectacular Door Prizes:
1. An autographed photo of Rick Perry’s $10,000/month taxpayer-funded, lavish, non-double-wide rental home. Of course not autographed by Perry—but maybe by someone at Texans for Public Justice. See:
http://info.tpj.org/press_releases/pdf/mansion.teccomplaint.pr.jun22.pdf
2. An autographed photo of Rep. Linda Harper-Brown’s 2010 Mercedes E550 sedan with State Official license plates. Of course not autographed by Rep. Harper-Brown, who, entirely coincidentally no doubt, is a member of the House Transportation Committee—but maybe by Durable Enterprises Equipment Ltd., the company that pays her husband and owns the car and which, entirely coincidentally no doubt, earns millions on state transportation contracts. See: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/local/stories/061710dnmetharperbrown.b2379636.html
3. An autographed copy of Red Wassenich’s world-famous book, Keep Austin Weird. Of course not autographed by Red Wassenich—but maybe by world-famous Craig Watkins.

Cost: lunch is $15.00 for members, $20.00 for non-members

Parking: 816 Congress Avenue/IBC Bank parking garage. Enter the parking garage on 9th Street, between Colorado and Congress. Bring your ticket to the receptionist on the 7th floor and you will be given a coupon to use to exit the garage at no charge.

Reservation required: To reserve your seat, email jerben@herring-irwin.com or cherring@herring-irwin.com or call Chuck Herring or Judy Erben at 320-0665. Please tell us if you intend to bring a non-member guest and if you have any special dietary concerns.
PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS BY 5 P.M. ON FRIDAY, JULY 9. Seating to this event will be limited.

About the Forum: The Forum meets monthly for lunch to hear Democratic speakers. Membership is $120/yr. Non-members may attend, but members have priority and receive discount prices for lunches.

Oil Spills, Acts of God, Snakes, and Other Environmental Issues in the 2010 Election and Beyond

Friday, June 18th, 2010

eva head shotSpeakers: Eva Hernandez (Sierra Club) and Jim Marston (Environmental Defense)

Environmental issues may play a key role in the 2010 elections in Texas.

The issues include:
(1) Rick Perry is rushing to build a dozen coal plants in Texas. We would import more coal from Dick Cheney’s Wyoming and further damage our state’s air and water and health—instead of relying on our abundant natural gas, wind, and solar energy to protect the environment and human health and to create green jobs.
(2) The BP/Halliburton oil spill in the Gulf appears likely to cause perhaps unprecedented environmental damage, raising questions about current offshore drilling safety and future offshore drilling plans.
(3) Perry proposes to make Texas the dumping ground and burial site for radioactive waste from 36 states. A major beneficiary would be a private company, Waste Control Specialists, owned by Harold Simmons, one Perry’s biggest campaign contributors.
(4) And of course that plague of snakes in February in the Estates Above Lost Creek so frightened our timid Governor that he felt the need to carry a laser-sighted .380 Ruger pistol in his belt while jogging, resulting in the needless death of a 30-pound song dog.

Eva Hernandez is the Texas Field Organizing Manager of Sierra Club. She is dynamic, a brilliant organizer, and many consider her a likely future choice to head Sierra Club—the largest environmental organization in the world.
marstonmugJim Marston heads Environmental Defense in Texas, and is unquestionably one of the leading environmental voices in America. He has been instrumental in shaping the national dialogue on these issues, negotiating the advances in California, treaties with Mexico, and the new auto industry standards. And he fears no snake.

Super-Spectacular Door Prizes:
A Field Guide to Texas Snakes & The Best Laser-sighted Pistols for Jogging Through Your Gated/Walled Residential Area.
Red Wassenich’s book, Keep Austin Weird – the best-selling book in the history of Austin, except of course for Summa Theologica.
A pair of Avia “Oil-Resistant Shoes”—the perfect gift for your next trip to beaches along any Gulf Coast state.

Cost: lunch is $15.00 for members, $20.00 for non-members

Parking: 816 Congress Avenue/IBC Bank parking garage. Enter the parking garage on 9th Street, between Colorado and Congress. Bring your ticket to the receptionist on the 7th floor and you will be given a coupon to use to exit the garage at no charge.

Reservation required: To reserve your seat, email jerben@herring-irwin.com or cherring@herring-irwin.com or call Chuck Herring or Judy Erben at 320-0665. Please tell us if you intend to bring a non-member guest and if you have any special dietary concerns.
PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS BY 10:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, JUNE 17. Seating to this event will be limited.

About the Forum: The Forum meets monthly for lunch to hear Democratic speakers. Membership is $120/yr. Non-members may attend, but members have priority and receive discount prices for lunches.