Jul 18, 2008, 11:17AM

Bloggers Unite In Texas

Rick Noriega nominated his wife Melissa to take his place in the Texas House of Representatives when he deployed in Afghanistan with the National Guard. While in office, Melissa said that the Texas liberal blogging community was a tremendous asset to her decision-making and information-gathering processes, demonstrating just how influential the web voice can be in the political sphere. 

Melissa Noriega is convinced that Texas left-wing bloggers propelled her husband's U.S. senatorial campaign.

While deployed in Afghanistan with the National Guard, Rep. Rick Noriega, a Houston Democrat, nominated his wife to serve in his place in the Texas House of Representatives.

At the Netroots Nation convention in Austin Thursday, Melissa Noriega told a caucus of about 50 bloggers from across the state that blogs were a valuable source of information during her service in the House.

The blogs of the Texas Progressive Alliance, a coalition of liberal Texan bloggers, helped her, she said.
"When they talk about my being effective in Austin when I stood in for Rick, it was because I was reading you," she said to the bloggers gathered in a room at the Austin Convention Center.

The third annual Netroots Nation, formerly known as the YearlyKos Convention, brought nearly 3,000 liberal bloggers and activists to Austin from across the nation this weekend to network and discuss the presidential campaign. The four-day event started Thursday.

"Today, our caucus and the fact that the convention is in Texas speaks a lot to what is happening in our state," said Karl-Thomas Musselman, publisher of the Texas blog Burnt Orange Report, in reference to the prospect of Texas electing Democrats in the fall to national and state political seats for the first time in decades.

Musselman said states where Democrats don't have to fight for representation in government bodies produce weaker progressive blogging communities. He said Texas' possible party transition is pushing left-wing bloggers to organize and unite.


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