Party of Insiders

The Democratic Party has lots to celebrate.
Sure, the president has fumbled his way into near-irrelevancy, and both houses of Congress are held by the GOP. And, yeah, Texas Democrats did lose the governorship to a Republican who actually has an agenda and is acting on it. And maybe 17 Democratic judges were swept off the bench in last November's electoral wipeout in Harris County, but, you know, stuff happens.

Not to worry. The Democratic Party has a proud history and is still "the party of Middle America," at least according to David Mincberg, the chairman of the Harris County Democratic Party, in a letter to fellow Democrats asking them to help celebrate the party's past and future (?) at a fundraiser on April 8 at the Westin Oaks hotel.

And how might those good middle Americans who make up the backbone of the Democratic Party help? Well, if they really want to be of assistance they can sell the family car and ante up $10,000 to be a "host" for the fundraiser. For that ten grand, Mincberg's letter explains, the donor will receive ten tickets to a private reception prior to the evening's festivities and "recognition from the podium" during the main event.

If that's too steep a price for the working stiff, he might want to dip into the kids' college fund and come up with a $5,000 donation to be a "sponsor," entitling him to five tickets to the private reception. Alas, sponsordom does not include recognition from the podium, but will get the donor's name listed on the program and marquee for the event.

If that's still too big a financial hit, take that $2,500 you set aside for car insurance and other sundry incidentals and buy the honorific of "patron," which will set you up with three ducats to the private get-together and a listing in the program. And even if you were caught in that last wave of layoffs... er... downsizings, surely you can forgo paying your city of Houston water bill for the next year and scrape together a $1,000 donation. For that, you'll be a "friend" (only one measly ticket to the private reception, though).

Which just goes to show that money can buy friendship. It can also buy access, for those who attend the private reception will get to make or renew acquaintances with (according to Mincberg's letter) three "leaders of the highest character and integrity" -- U.S. Representatives Ken Bentsen, Sheila Jackson Lee and Gene Green.

Mincberg, a real-estate developer who was elected party chair last year over Leslie Perez, Houston's favorite killer transsexual, explained via phone that he's hoping some individuals and corporations "will be so moved" by his appeal that they'll urp up the ten grand. "They may or may not be middle-class Americans," he adds.

-- Jim Simmon


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