Sunday, January 20, 2013

Do you believe in the best government money can buy?

However you feel about the results of the 2012 election cycle you’re sure to have recognized that a lot of money was spent on both sides and much of it was by undisclosed very wealthy or corporate sources. Even when only the losing candidate received the benefit of those funds it sends a chilling message to other candidates near and far.

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson spent nearly $150 million in the last cycle and has vowed to double his contributions in 2016. I don’t mind that Mr. Adelson is exceptionally wealthy but I do mind that he uses that vast wealth to buy my government. Are you comfortable with any one man being allowed to use that much money to influence your congressman or senator?

In the Texas legislature bills have been filed which say “Urging the United States Congress to propose and submit to the states for ratification an amendment to the United States Constitution that overturns Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, establishing that the spending of money to influence elections shall not be construed as speech under the First Amendment, and clarifying that only natural persons are protected by constitutional rights.” The bills are Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 by Sen. Rodney Ellis and House Concurrent Resolution 21 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, if you think unregulated and undisclosed money in our political process is bad for our democracy you should call your state legislators and ask them to support these two bills.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cibolo City Council passes measures to protect future new home buyers

The Cibolo City Council passed a Surety Bond requirement for builders of new homes at the January 8 meeting that the members of Justice for Cibolo are very happy about. They also passed amendments to several parts of the building code to tighten up requirements so that buyers can be more certain of the quality of the construction of their new homes.

Far too many of us have found that the new homes we purchased just a few years ago were not built to the standard of quality we expected from nationally known companies. Some have had their foundations crack wide open all the way across the house both front to back and side to side. Others have suffered from pipes being pulled apart, walls cracking or ceilings pulling away from the walls among many other less severe problems. The builders have often claimed to have fixed the problem but in reality they’ve only put a bandaid on it as the problems have recurred a year later and then again a year after that.

Unfortunately the warranty the builders provide has so many exclusions as to be worthless and is unenforceable as well. Our Mayor and City Council aren’t satisfied with what they’ve accomplished so far and continue to work to provide future home buyers with other measures to hold unscrupulous builders accountable.

Thank you Mayor Hartman, Councilman Liparoto and the rest of the council and city staff for your efforts to protect Cibolo citizens and future citizens.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Even the IMF says austerity doesn't work

Television talking heads and Republican legislators have been screaming about the federal deficit since Obama took office in 2009. They keep telling us that the way out of the recession is to reduce taxes and cut spending also known as austerity.

Until this week we’d been operating for a decade under the lowest taxes in over half a century and that didn’t seem to generate jobs before or after the crash of the financial system. A couple of days ago the International Monetary Fund released a report that shows austerity doesn’t work either; in fact austerity actually makes things worse. That hasn’t stopped the conservative media from continuing to tout austerity in the U.S. as the solution to our problems.

What this nation really needs is not austerity or lower taxes it’s a full employment policy. We need to emphasize putting every able person to work in meaningful jobs so that they’re able to meet their responsibilities to feed and clothe their families and our society gets the benefit of the services and products they provide.