Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lamar Smith and Republicans want to hide those who support them

Congressmen Ciro Rodriguez and Charlie Gonzalez have voted for the DISCLOSE Act which would require that those who pay for campaign ads be identified in those ads and they have pledged to support several measures designed to return power to the people. They’ve promised to support amending the Constitution to protect America from unlimited corporate spending on our elections, because elections should be won and not bought. The promised to support the passage of the Fair Elections Now Act, providing public financing to candidates who are supported by small donors so they can compete with corporate-backed and self-funded candidates. They’ve also pledged to support passage of lobbyist reform legislation to end the overwhelming influence of corporate lobbyists

How have Lamar Smith and the Republicans voted and what have they pledged to do? Every single Republican in the senate voted against even debating the merits of the DISCLOSE Act. The House Republicans pledged to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires that will increase the deficit by trillions of dollars. They’ve promised to roll back regulations on big oil and Wall Street, the same industries that killed American workers, polluted Gulf of Mexico fisheries and wrecked out economy putting millions of Americans out of work. They’ve pledged to strike down rules reining in credit card lenders and insurance companies.

Why should any Texan support Republicans in November?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vandalism and violence have no place in politics, or Who's a Nazi now?

First it starts with petty things like stealing political signs, then like today it escalates to vandalism, this is how political violence begins. When my wife was at a local shopping center today someone broke the mirror on the car along with other damage and left a note “Obama sucks” obviously in response to the various political stickers on the car. Since the vandalism occurred around Noon and it is a school day I must conclude the perpetrator was an adult. Vandalism of this nature is a form of bullying the likes of which often continue to escalate into physical violence.

About the time of the vote on health care reform there was a spate of vandalism of congressional offices. Now those who simply support progressive candidates like Hank Gilbert and Jeff Weems are victims. I have heard and seen many on the right claiming that the President is a Nazi, but it is not the President who has used Nazi tactics of vandalism and intimidation. No, it is the loud mouth angry Right that uses those tactics.

I want the perpetrator and anyone else like him to know that I will not be cowed. I want the bullies on the Right to know that violence will not stop me or my friends and associates from supporting candidates of our choice. In fact it has only made me more determined and I have doubled the donations I’ve already made to Democratic candidates as well as added a few more.

Mercer and SBOE extremists at it again, this time "Islamophobia"

Ken Mercer and the other extremists on the State Board of Education would have us believe that Social Studies textbooks in our state have been promoting the “Islamic agenda”. The only problem is that the textbook used as the exemplar isn’t in use in Texas and if it was it could only have been with the approval of the very members of the SBOE that are making an issue of it.

To paraphrase Pastor Niemoeller’s famous quote: “First they came for the Muslims and I did not speak out – because I was not a Muslim. Then they came for the Mormons and I did not speak out – because I was not a Mormon. Then they came for the Catholics and I did not speak out – because I was not a Catholic. Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Perhaps Mercer and his fringe associates believe that Texans live in fear of “the other” and scapegoating members of other faiths will bring them votes in November. I believe that Texans are better than that and electing Rebecca Bell-Metereau to the State Board of Education will prove that.

Hooray for Congressman Rodriguez, he signed a pledge to support the Fair Elections Now Act

I was there when Congressman Ciro Rodriguez stepped up to the plate Saturday and signed a pledge to support passage of the Fair Elections Now Act, lobbyist reforms and overturning the recent Supreme Court decision which opens a new floodgate of corporate money in all election campaigns. Rodriguez should be congratulated by everyone in his district for standing up for “the people” as opposed to corporate sponsors. He realizes that in America elections should be won and not bought, something that can’t be said about all candidates for office.

The problem with our political system isn’t so much that individual members of Congress are corrupt but that the system is corrupt. Sure, there are always a few bad apples in a barrel, but the real problem is that the barrel itself is rotten. No matter how honest you are, when your ability to get elected depends on collecting millions of dollars from special interests, there’s no way you can be objective. And having to spend so much time fund-raising just discourages good people from running and prevents those who do get elected from doing what we sent them there to do: solve the problems of everyday Americans. It’s time our elected officials started listening to the voices of everyday Americans, not their corporate sponsors. We need to clean up our elections, and do it now. 

Constituents of Congressman Rodriguez should be very proud to have him as their representative and support him for re-election.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Public debate between an incumbent and challenger is imperative for our society to survive

Numerous sources report that the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas has urged State Board of Education member Ken Mercer to follow Rick Perry’s lead and not debate challenger Rebecca Bell-Metereau.

If this were a war or a football game I’d appreciate the tactic since winning is what matters. This is about governance and service to the people of Texas and in that context avoiding debate on issues of consequence to voters is unforgivable. As a Texas citizen I resent any candidate whether from my party or not for failing to do justice to the people they claim to want to represent. This is not a game, this is about the quality of education that our children will require to succeed in the twenty-first century.

A full airing of the views of the candidates is not only appropriate but absolutely necessary in order to maintain a democratic society. Any candidate who refuses to debate indicates that they don’t have what it takes to persuade the public that they are fit to lead and therefore should not receive the public’s vote. I urge Mr. Mercer to reconsider his preposterous position and agree to debate Rebecca Bell-Metereau at the earliest opportunity.