Friday, June 6, 2014


                                          Brian and Roxanne Babin celebrate with a crowd 
                                           of over 300 after winning the primary run off.

In the Republican primary for Congressional District 36, Dr. Brian Babin won a double digit victory over Ben Streusand. Babin’s deep roots in the district were the reason most people credit him with a classic grassroots win over the mortgage banker from spring who has earned a reputation for spending millions on very negative and deceptive campaigns. Streusand’s strategy was to use his deep pockets to reshape his much better known opponents’ reputation and to use the lack of holding any elective office as a shield to prevent any return fire. In the end, Babin’s twenty years of working to help turn east Texas into a bastion for conservatives paid off.

Babin’s race with Michael Cole, the Democrat party’s nominee for the Congressional seat in District 36 will be a great deal different. Instead of out spending Babib ten to one, Cole will have very limited funds. Instead of it being a race that relies on truist and residency, Cole is a great deal like Babin. He has lived in Orange, Texas for over thirty years. He graduated from Orange Stark High School 1994 and at the age of 38 he works with students with discipline issues at Little Cypress-Mauriceville and is currently attending college himself.

But there are some similarities. Mr. Cole, like Streusand, has run for office multiple times and is yet to win a local, state, or national office. He ran for School Board Trustee in 1994 while he was still a senior in High School, and he ran 18 years later in 2012 for the same United States House of Representative seat he is currently running seeking. Babin’s long list of service in the community is impressive and more than sugest he is trusted by thiose who know him best.

This race will also be different than Babin’s primary race in another way. In the primary, Babin could point back before Ronald reagan’s presdiency and show his allegiance to te conservative cause. Streusand, on the other hand, had a few gliches with campaign donations going to Democrats , but for the last decade he can prove he has consistently promoted conservative republicans for office. Michael Cole is nothing like either of them. In fact, he has changed his allegiance recently.

Cole ran as Libertarian in 2012 and received less than 3% of the vote. Mr. Cole has expressed ideas far from any tea party or liberatarin views most of those groups have and after his defeat in 2012 he joined the democrat Party. He belives the government should do far more for people that it currently does. Some have accused him of opportunism because the likelihood of drawing a primary opponent in this 70% plus Republican district was near zero and he has a chance for better funding and unearned votes because of party labels. But about Democrat party Mr. Cole says, “Looking at the party platform, I am comfortable with it; it fits nicely with my own beliefs.

The other major difference in the general election between Babin and Cole should be that it is not predicted to be a mudslinging race. Dr. Babin count counter punch but he has a history of political contest that focus mainly on the issues. Cole is expected to come from the same frame of mind.

In the primary, some people argued Streusand was much more aggressive and therefore much more likely to gain the attention of Washington D.C. Babin and his supporters often agreed that Streusand was louder and meaner compared to a much more measured and humble country dentist, but that Babin actually had always shown strong leadership and had the grassroots followers to prove it (please note shortly after this was said in a debate, Streusand’s literature added that “he was the grassroots favorite). In the race with Cole we will not see any arrogant braggodocio.

This will be a campaign based on issues. There will be strak differences in where the candidates stand on many issues. When asked about “the biggest issue facing the citizens of the 36th district Cole has a one word answer: “Jobs”. Babin will say ObamaCare. But this is not the kind of differnce I am talking about. Both these men aere very interested in improving the country’s economics and the job market. And Obamacare’s negative influence on the job market and the finances of families across the country will be the sticking point between the two.

When asked about gun control his answer is a bit longer than Babin’s as he takes a jab at conservatives: “ Back ground checks are the answer. I would ask opponents of back ground checks why they are in favor or arming rapists, pedophiles and murders.”

When asked about abortion, Dr. Babin has been pro life for years and he has never waivered. Cole sounds like the majority of Democrats: “Personally, I see abortion as a private matter between a woman, her doctor and her conscience. In a free society we have to trust the citizens of the nation to make their own choices. We already have in place procedures to make the process as safe as possible. If abortion opponents were serious about ending abortions, they would be increasing funding for sex education and birth control measures; that is the only proven way to lower the abortion rate.” Or the way liberals put it: “Instead of trying to have lawmakers dictate women’s reproductive choices, Michael Cole supports a woman and her physician making that decision.

When asked about global warming, Cole takes another shot at Republicans: “I see no credible evidence that it is a hoax. The world's scientists have almost to a person by using the rigors of the scientific method and peer review have come to the conclusion that it is real, that we need to do something. Pretending otherwise is endangering ourselves.” Babin will disagree that it is a settled issue and he will point out the cronyism and just out and out waste the administration is guilty of in the area of “climate change” while the economy suffers.

When asked about immigration, Babin wants to regulate the border as is the right and practice of almost every developed country throughout history. Cole wanders far away from the Libertarian position and says: “If someone is willing to come here, learn the language and customs, take the path to citizenship and work to improve society, why is that a problem? There needs to be a sane way to allow people to enter the country that wish it. And for those that are already here, there needs to be a path to becoming legal.” Or the way those sympathetic to his position put it : Instead of catering to xenophobia, Michael Cole supports immigration reform and a path to citizenship.

Those examples are indicative of what I believe is a real choice for voters. The only question some may have is whether or not ole will return to some of his libertarian positions in order to appeal to a district that is a 71% Republican district.
Richard Pegues Brian Babin Ben Streusand Steve Stockman

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