1. Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    today my friend is running for congress in austin 

    – and he’ll probably win

    many moons ago i was lucky enough to meet mr dan grant. he was interviewing for a job and i happened to be the guy who was hiring. dan was a dashing, funny, incredibly sharp gentleman who seemed like a throwback to a better time when men were well-rounded and intelligent and worldly and bright.

    for some reason dan reminded me sort of like a sober dean martin – handsome, suave, witty, and completely personable.

    of course i hired him and he worked for us for about a year i think and right as the internet boom was begining to collapse and it became my job to lay people off, dan volunteered to part ways with us so that we could save one job of someone who wanted to stay on board.

    dan, you see, had arranged to move to Kosovo to help ensure fair democratic voting procedures. Dan later went to Bosnia to help usher in democracy, and a few years later went to Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Remember all of those pictures of people in Iraq voting and then dipping their finger in purple ink? Dan Grant was part of that.

    Grant has an unusually strong grounding in small-d democracy and foreign affairs. In Iraq, his duties included helping the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq prepare and conduct the historic elections of 2005. He consulted with international military forces and local leaders in Basra, Fallujah, and Mosul.

    As deputy director of Iraq’s largest out-of-country voting program, Grant oversaw an unprecedented effort to give democracy a chance in the Middle East by registering eligible voters in major U.S. cities for Iraq’s Transitional National Assembly election. He oversaw a staff of more than a thousand and a budget of millions of dollars and ran the day-to-day operations of all senior personnel.

    In Afghanistan, Grant helped coordinate security and policy planning for that nation’s post-Taliban constitutional convention on the behalf of USAID, and previously served as an operations officer for the massive effort to re-establish Afghanistan’s Central Bank. – Dan Grant for Congress: About

    Today he is running for the Democrat nominee for congress in Austin, Texas. he has gotten the support of pretty much every important group in town from the local papers (Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle, The Austin Chronicle, Daily Texan) to the unions to the people who ran for congress before him.

    this is how the Austin-Statesman described him when they endorsed him:

    Grant Best Choice for Democrats

    The 10th Congressional District is a gerrymandered jumble rambling from Austin’s western edge to the Houston suburbs. The design is a creation of the Legislature’s 2003 redistricting, ordered by then U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to remake Texas and the 10th District as a Republican redoubt.

    But Democrats have been making inroads in recent elections, and there are two strong Democrats running in the March 4 primary for the 10th District seat. Dan Grant, 34, an astute and prepared young man from Austin, and Larry Joe Doherty, 61, a Houston lawyer who plays a judge on a television courtroom show, have mounted solid campaigns.

    Though either Grant or Doherty will give Republican incumbent Michael McCaul a good fight, Grant brings more to the primary election contest. He has youth, vigor and deep experience serving in some of the world’s most dangerous places, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo. Grant has received virtually all of the endorsements from Democratic constituencies in the meandering district.

    Grant is a graduate of McCallum High School and Georgetown University, where he received a degree in foreign service. He also has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and served as a civilian in various positions overseas.

    it’s terribly exciting to see someone you actually know continue to rule and do it solely for the benefit of others. as you watch the results trickle in tonight, keep an eye on the 10th district in Texas and see if our boy beats the actor best known for his role in the tv show Texas Justice.

    looks like he will win. and when i make it to austin later this week it will be pretty awesome if i get to shake the hand of a nominee for congress and be able to say, i knew that guy way back when only hundreds of people knew he was awesome. now tens of thousands know it and will probably vote for him. stay tuned.