Time may keep Obama from honoring pledge
By GROMER JEFFERS JR. - The Dallas Morning News - Saturday, July 19, 2008
Long before he clinched the presidential nomination, Barack Obama promised Texas Democrats that he would return to help them raise money for state and local races.
That, state party officials say privately, meant appearing at at least one fundraiser in Texas.
Mr. Obama will be in Houston for a July 31 fundraiser, his campaign told The Dallas Morning News on Friday. But it's for his national campaign, not the Texas party.
Dallas Democrats are also expecting Mr. Obama to make a visit here, perhaps on the same date or in early August.
Texas Democrats have been long annoyed by national party leaders who turn the state into a giant ATM, taking money to campaign elsewhere while leaving local candidates to scrap for the remaining resources.
Mr. Obama campaigned in Texas before the March 4 primary and attended a fundraiser for the state party in February. He's already promised to send staffers to Texas and help down-ballot candidates get elected. But he hasn't said when he'll return to raise money.
Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, Mr. Obama's point-man in Texas, said he was aware of the agreement but didn't know how it would be honored.
Mr. Kirk said the realities of running for president have trumped all other endeavors.
"Our first priority is making sure he has the resources for his campaign," Mr. Kirk said.
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