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Keeping An Eye On Williamson County, Texas
The bad weather in Dallas Wednesday night caused EOW’s down time yesterday. We are back online and will have new posts up today.
Both Harvey Kronberg at News 8 and Jason Embry at the AAS are reporting that CHIP and the System Benefit Fund (SBF) will be held up until, of course, the GOP’s number one budget priotity is secure. But Kronberg knows that the Craddick D’s need a win or they’re in deep trouble, no matter when the primary is.
News 8 on CHIP:
As he promised, Craddick gave the CHIP restoration bill a shot lost week but consideration was delayed by a point of order. The bill is ready to return to the floor this week, but it did not make it on the calendar. Some believe that the CHIP bill is being held hostage until Democrats vote for a budget that reserves billions of dollars for future property tax cuts at the continued expense of social safety net and public education dollars.
It’s a fascinating political game. The Craddick Democrats need a significant win or some won’t be coming back in two years. As go their fortunes, so go those of Craddick.
AAS on the SBF:
The fund comes from a 65-cent fee on electric bills in areas that are open to electric competition. In other words, not places like Austin, where we get electricity from the city. The money is supposed to provide an electric-bill discount for low-income residents, but the state has used it instead over the last couple of years to justify other areas of the state budget.
The House was scheduled to vote Monday to use the money for those discounts and a couple of other programs, such as electricity help for nonprofit nursing homes and for consumer education programs. But the vote has been postponed until next week, which will be Thursdayâ€™s vote on the full House budget. For that matter, a vote on loosening requirements of the Childrenâ€™s Health Insurance Program also has been delayed past the budget vote.
It could be that House Speaker Tom Craddick is holding off on the two proposals in order to get Democratic votes for the budget on Thursday. Maybe heâ€™s having a harder time getting support for the budget from Republicans in general than he did in the Appropriations Committee, where all of them voted for it.
Nice, holding children and the elderly hostage to make sure tax cuts for the wealthy get passed. How much more of this are the Craddick D’s going to take?
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There are three opportunities coming up in the next month to help out Karen Felthauser’s campaign. First is for Cinco De Mayo Enchiladas for two. You get a whole bunch of food for $20 and it goes to help out her campaign.
Next if you have those things from spring cleaning that you haven’t been able to get rid of yet “Bring Them On” for the “Trash to Treasure” Yard Sale to benefit Karen’s campaign.
And Last, but by no means least, it’s a Memorial Day Brisket Party.
Click on “Read the rest of his entry” to see all the details.
This article yesterday from G. Selby at the AAS on one George Shipley, aka, Dr. Dirt was pretty humorous. Mr. Shipley was at one time a pretty hot commodity for the Democrats in Texas, a Karl Rove type shall we say. The article goes on to say that he has changed his ways, and his nickname (Mr. Clean, I guess?), and gone to work for OTG.This leads to the question we all want the answer to, what good is he to OTG’s campaign if he’s cleaned up his act? Are we supposed to believe that a former smear merchant has been hired in the middle of a bloody race to come in and give “nice advice”?
Shipley, 59, insists that this round, he won’t churn gunk on opponents. “I’m past that in my life; I’ve changed,” he said. He adds, “I no longer count myself as an insider,” a statement hard to swallow. Shipley dealing himself out of the loop is like Texans forsaking iced tea and football.
He and OTG go way back and he’s responsible for her becoming Mayor of Austin back in the ’70s and all the pain that caused. The end of the article devolves into petty name calling by Mr. Shipley, the previously renounced Dr. Dirt remember, of former colleagues and current consultants. Mr. Selby does leave Gov. Perry and his campaign out of this article, and above the fray for some reason. But he does add this one little nugget that had slipped my mind. It needs to be put back into the consciousness for all Democrats and Independents out there that are thinking of voting for OTG:
…Bell’s fundraising has improved, and his campaign will give Democratic voters sticky reasons to doubt Strayhorn, such as her 2001 vote for new Texas House districts that helped Republicans capture the House and Tom Craddick become speaker. “We’re going to continue to pull the curtain back on her.”
That right there should be enough to keep any Democrat from voting for her. The Legislative Redistricting Board (LRB) decided redistricting in Texas last time around because the legislature couldn’t. That’s right, when she had a chance to show her independence, and do what was right for Texas, and side with two well respected Texas leaders (Pete Laney and Bill Ratliff), she instead decided to side with the likes of David Dewhurst and John Cornyn.
This is just another stunt by OTG to bring in washed up or washed out Democratic Party people, add him to Ben Barnes and Tony Sanchez, to make her palatable to Democrats.
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