-Last week, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed Sen. Dan Patrick to head the State Education Committee, instigating what’s sure to be a costly and time-consuming distraction from the business of the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature; that is, vouchers, or “school choice” as it’s well-funded advocates call it these days.
“To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session. Our base has wanted us to pass photo voter ID for years, and we did it.”
If by “base” he means major campaign contributors, he’s right, with deep-pocketed warbucks such as Bob Perry and Dr. James Leininger spending millions in recent years supporting candidates who will press their pet cause in the Legislature at the state and federal level.
-In David Brooks’ post debate column he lauds the new Moderate Mitt, saying that after being pushed to the extreme mean of his party in the primaries, Romney has come to his moderate self just in time to reach mainstream voters in the November election.
Romney recalled the success of his bipartisan efforts as Massachusetts Governor and spoke of the friendship between Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil. (Best buds huh? O’Neil was appalled that Reagan didn’t come to work before ten in the morning, and that he wouldn’t read his briefings.)
So Windsock Willard has done another one-eighty, just in time, he hopes, to close the deal on his leveraged buyout of the Electoral College. But shouldn’t voters wonder about the intentions and probable effects of a leader who has shown that he’ll say anything to get elected? It may well be that “moderation” is not a prudent course.
-I was reading about “the low-information voter” again today. That guy is all over the news, lately. Today he was cited by U of H political scientist Richard Murray in a Chronicle article about County Attorney Vince Ryan facing Robert Talton, a retread from the right wing of the State Legislature. “It’s just mostly which team you’re on, and a little bit how your name looks. We’ve got a lot of low-information voters in county elections, more so in presidential years.”
“Which team you’re on” is a good lead-in to the subject of straight-ticket voting, a subject Patricia Kilday Hart addressed in her column “Two reasons to avoid straight-ticket voting.” She points to a pair of races that could be decided by people ‘outsourcing their vote’ by voting a straight slate that would result in the election of flawed and inferior candidates; one from each party. Sheriff Adrian Garcia and District Attorney Mike Anderson each face candidates who made it through their party primaries notwithstanding their history of misconduct in professional life and the attendant reprimands and other sanctions they’ve been awarded.
Years ago when I was a precinct chair in Houston, a transsexual convicted murderer made in on the ballot for County Chair against an able incumbent whose name contained a more than ample amount of consonants. Though, as an elected party official, I was “sworn to support all Democratic candidates,” I confess that I spent hours on the phone trying to insure that my precinct would not vote to elect an ex-con to lead the local party into derision, if not disgrace.