Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Paul Sadler for U. S. Senate

I was disappointed yesterday to see that the Houston Chronicle had endorsed Rafael “Ted” Cruz in the Texas Senate race. I shouldn’t have been surprised, coming from an editorial board that endorsed Tom DeLay for over twenty years, but this one still stung, coming after endorsements for Paul Sadler from the Dallas Morning News and the San Antonio Express-News.

The Chronicle piece said that they admire Paul Sadler, “a moderate with pro-growth business-friendly views” with a “demonstrated ability to reach across the aisle and work productively with his political opponents for the good of Texas.”

They then add a warning to Cruz from outgoing Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison that “He is going to choose early between being loyal to (Sen.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and (Sen.) Mike Lee (R-Utah) and the needs of the people of Texas.”

So the Chronicle Board wants us to ‘just lay back and enjoy it” while a Canadian-born ivy league-educated corporate lawyer who spent millions of out-of-state dollars to win the Republican primary run-off with 630,000 votes from the hard right wing of the party waltzes into the U.S. Senate.

Well, I’d say the Chronicle made a bad call on this one, and that the thirteen million Texans eligible to vote in this election still have a chance to elect Paul Sadler, an experienced legislator acclaimed for his willingness to take on intractable issues and forge the compromises necessary to meet them.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Give Them What They Want

The Chronicle reported today that Sunday was “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” when evangelical churches nationwide, organized by Alliance Defending Freedom preached about politics and the upcoming election.

“1,000 pastors from almost 30 denominations signed up to preach about politics, including about 65 from the Houston area.

“Participants mail the IRS video or printed copies of their sermons in which they endorse candidates or parties in defiance of federal law prohibiting tax-exempt nonprofits from making political endorsements for candidates.”

-Ah, our home-grown ayatollahs; I say give them what they want, and start sending them tax bills. If they feel so strongly about this they’ll have no qualms about asking their steeple people for special “love offerings” to pay federal, state and local levies like everybody else plus the legal and accounting costs associated with having deep pockets. First maybe they could find a history professor to explain how the First Amendment and the “wall of separation” protect them today.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Chupacabra Report

News that Gets My Goat:

-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.

Hart concludes: “In our hyper-partisan world, it’s easy to award our votes to candidates strictly based on party affiliation. This year, in Harris County, that would amount to voter malpractice.”