02.28.06

Class Warfare, Time For Democrats To Be Democrats Again

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:22 pm by wcnews

Democrats have allowed themselves to be forced to away from their strength. That strength being the theme of the Democratic Party being the party of the people. That theme and the Democrats shrinking and not taking on a Republican whenever they mention class warfare has gone on far too long. Why the Democrats cower when class warfare is mentioned I’ll never know. Allowing this to happen means the game has been played on the Republicans turf by taking away this Democratic strength. Yep, class warfare, I said it.

It’s time for the Democrats to start pointing it out, and NOW! Most economic indicators over the last five years show that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer – the middle class too. Try this, can you name one piece of legislation passed in the last 5 years to help or aid the working person, working families, or just plain ol’ workers? I bet you could rattle off a whole list of those passed that help the wealthy! I know I can. The point, in a round about way, is that whether the Democrats want to play or not the Republicans have been playing the class warfare game for decades now.

Harken, no pun intended, back to the days of yore when our country’s economy was run by Robber Barons. Back in the days before the eight hour work day, the five hour work week, child labor laws, and collective bargaining, and again the list goes on. Most of us have either forgotten or have never known that the middle class in this country didn’t exist until after World War II. Yes, that’s right, another New Deal creation that benefited the country.

There is an simple narrative, I’m sorry they’re called frames now, to all this that the Democrats are missing and even the Republicans agree with. We have an unfair tax system in Texas. That is the reason property taxes weren’t lowered last year. It’s what John Sharp has been saying since he was appointed to head the governors “crony commission”. Hell, even Rep. Krusee said it. It’s what the recently released Tax Foundation study shows. This unfairness manifests itself in the fact that most businesses, corporations, and wealthy individuals pay way too little in taxes and the tax burden falls way too heavily on the poor and the middle class. Fair Taxes, that’s what we are for.

For all this study shows about which states have business friendly tax codes – why isn’t there ever a well publicized study about which state have resident friendly tax codes? – one of the most interesting is the analysis on those huge tax-payer give-aways to corporations to entice them to bring their new boon-doggle to your city, Texas one of 10 best for taxes:

Low tax rates are attractive to business investments and help states like Texas lure new businesses and jobs, (Scott Hodge, president of the Tax Foundation) said. But corporate giveaways like tax abatements are not a good way to lure new business, he said.

Like steroids for athletes, tax abatements provide short-term gains but have no lasting value, Hodge said.

States must not rely on tax abatements and incentives to land new jobs and companies, but must instead create a sound tax structure, he said.

Oh yes, those give-aways to the corporate saviors are not all they’re cracked up to be. To read more on this see this article, Tax Increment Financing: A Bad Bargain for Taxpayers.

The other interesting part of the story on the business taxes was this exchange between think-tanks on opposite ends of the spectrum:

The commission is looking at a broad-based business tax to replace the state’s franchise tax, which many businesses don’t pay, said Byron Schlomach, chief economist with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an Austin-based organization that favors limited government.

“The tax structure is good the way it is,” Schlomach said. “Right now what we run a risk of doing is looking at this relatively strong economy and thinking now is the time we can go out grab some of that money for public purposes. The main thing we need to do is keep control of government growth.”

Most businesses, especially large ones, benefit more from having a skilled and educated work force than from what they might pay in state and local taxes, said Don Baylor, policy analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, an Austin-based think tank that serves as an advocate for moderate-to low-income Texans.

“We think it’s extremely important to stress that the study really only focuses on taxes,” Baylor said.

A skilled work force and a top-flight post-secondary system — including community, technical and four-year colleges — is more important than the tax burden to most businesses, he said.

I’ve always said the best economic development is a well educated work force. You’ll also notice the right-winger thinks our tax structure is fine, jus the way it is.

What all this means is that for too many years the Democrats have be too afraid of being accused of playing class warfare and scared away from pointing out the economic inequities arising in our country by Republicans that are doing just that. I’m sure there are more than a few Democrats that have been complicit and that is why they’ve been silent. I remember in 2000 election and Al Gore was behind going into the convention and went populist and even had some class warfare in his speech. He got a bounce out of that convention until the media started jumping on him for it and his consultants made him back down. Democrats are the party of the people, or were. That is the message that wins for Democrats and not were like a Republican only nicer. Fighting for the people over the powerful is what got Democrats to power and going back to fighting that battle, whether it’s called class warfare or something else, is what will bring Democrats back to power.

02.27.06

Candidate Forum In Coupland Tonight

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:33 pm by wcnews

TDP has the story, Coupland candidate forum Monday:

The forum is sponsored by the Coupland Civic Association (CCA) and will be at St. Peter’s Church. A visitation period from 6:30 to 7 p.m. will allow citizens to talk with candidates, and the forum will follow immediately.

According to an announcement by the CCA, some or all of the candidates running for state representative from District 52 may attend. The incumbent is Rep. Mike Krusee, and he is opposed in the Republican primary by Barbara Samuelson. The winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Karen Felthauser in the November election.

While the discussions with the candidates are expected to cover a variety of issues, the high-profile, front-burner issue for Coupland residents is the plan for the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC

News Roundup

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:40 pm by wcnews

Congressman Carter said this last week at the Tom DeLay rally:

“Houston should be proud that they have the best member of Congress in America representing them.

If you want to hear it for yourself just go here, it’s a decent analysis of his primary. If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing just scroll to the 7:10 mark.

Common Sense has a great analysis of Leininger’s AAS editorial last week, Leininger speaks. Nate’s got it right. It’s pretty much what I was thinking when I read it. What the doctor’s saying is that if you put children in a school that is well funded, committed to education, and less crowded they will get a good education. Fully funding public education would take care of that and then there is no need for vouchers.

The Houston Chronicle has a good article today on the Republican primary races, Gloves have come off in GOP primary races:

“If Republicans are vulnerable, it is on education. Collectively, they have not been able to give us anything more than gridlock on this issue,” said Greg Thielemann, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Grits For Breakfast has the poop on you governor’s plan for more eavesdropping on the border, No border-based need to expand wiretapping:

Here’s a non-solution searching for a problem: Currently wiretapping in Texas is limited to prosecuting drug trafficking and murder, so Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he wants to expand eavesdropping authority to combat border violence. But that makes no sense – aren’t drug running and murder exactly the crimes we’re trying to stop on the border? How much more authority could they possibly need to use wiretaps to combat smuggling rings? The whole thing seems like an odd non-sequitur – another idea promoted for show that doesn’t make anyone safer.

And Greg has the analysis of why the Texas GOP, that controls every branch of the government in Texas, will not be trying to outlaw abortion anytime soon, “Phonies” Alert:

Seriously. For all the faux concern over the number of unborn children lost to abortion. Let’s go back and question what it really means to be considered “pro life” shall we? I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that “doing nothing” does not qualify a political party as being worth calling “pro life.”

What’s entirely curious is that there’s a majority in the State House and State Senate who favor banning abortion in most/all situations. There’s a Governor who’s flaunted his desires to do the same. There’s a court who, apparently, we can tell if they’re pro-life based on what church they go to (hat tip: Nathan Hecht). There’s every other statewide official who shares this worldview. So there’s absolutely zero hurdles in the way of Rick Perry (a so-called Pro-Life Governor) getting such a bill passed.

Then, there’s this quote from the Chron:

“I’m not saying we don’t support a total ban. It’s just not realistic at this point,” said Elizabeth Graham, director of the Texas Right to Life Committee. “We would much more prefer to pass a law that saves 5,000 lives than go for something that will never be passed.”

I’m sure what Mrs. Graham meant to say was “We would much more prefer to pass something that appeased a few meddlesome voters than pass something that would actually be viscerally opposed by the majority of Texans and likely cost the Texas GOP their majority.”

Have they been playing politics with abortion far all these years?

02.20.06

The Face Of The Right Wing In Texas

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:12 am by wcnews

I always said that the Republicans loved Tom DeLay but they didn’t want him to be the face of their party. I always thought that if and when Tom DeLay became the face of the Republican Party it wouldn’t be a good thing for them. Some people operate best out of the limelight. The problem is when someone is responsible for success, sooner or later they are going to get public recognition for what they’ve done. The media will start to notice them and they will no longer shun the limelight. They won’t necessarily search it out but they feel they’ve earned it and it’s about time they get their attention they deserve. By this time they’ve become so powerful nobody’s going to tell them to shun attention anymore.

I’m starting to feel the same way about James Leininger. He’s starting to get noticed, a lot. I don’t think the Republicans want this billionaire puppet master to be the poster child of the upcoming election. But they’re gonna have trouble keeping him quiet and out of the limelight. He’s been bankrollin’ them for a long time and now is his time to shine.

He had given $550,000 and pledged an additional $250,000 to the Texas Republican Legislative Campaign Committee through Jan. 26, the last day of the most recent campaign-finance reporting period. That nascent committee has helped the challengers who are trying to take out incumbent Republicans Carter Casteel of New Braunfels, Delwin Jones of Lubbock, Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, Roy Blake of Nacogdoches and Tommy Merritt of Longview.

Some of the challengers, at least in their early fundraising, relied almost exclusively on Leininger’s money. Nathan Macias, who is running against Casteel, received about $183,000 of his $198,000 from the committee or Leininger directly. Wayne Christian received almost $161,000 of his $185,000 from the committee or directly from Leininger in his race against Blake.

In a written statement, Leininger said every citizen has a right and a duty to “pitch in and make their government and their community work better.”

“I support candidates for the Texas Legislature who share the concerns of me and many Texans that property taxes are too high, our borders need to be more secure and that Texas has the opportunity to do a better job educating our children,” he said.

Some of the incumbents he is targeting have made Leininger’s support of their opponents key issues.

Hopefully the candidates he backs will lose and he’ll start to become a liability. This quote shows what’s at stake for Mr. Leininger, these incumbents and the Democratic process in the state of Texas:

“If those people survive, others will be emboldened,” said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University. “If they don’t, others will be intimidated.”

You gotta stand up to a bully no matter how much money he has. So check him out in those two articles. He is the face of the right wing in Texas. He’s proud of it and if he wins these races you can bet he’ll be bankrollin’ a right wing shill in your legislative district soon.

02.19.06

Candidate Forum In Taylor On Monday

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:20 pm by wcnews

The Taylor Daily Press has the story, Candidate forum set for Monday.

A candidate forum for those seeking the county judge and Pct. 4 county commissioner posts will be at 7 p.m. Monday in the Taylor High School Auditorium.

The forum is organized by the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Taylor Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the Taylor Daily Press.

Come out and support Brig Mireles.

Teacher Rally Turns Into Campaign Event For OTG

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:16 pm by wcnews

That’s sure the way it looks from all the media links I’ve found do far today. Granted she appears to have been the headliner. The media seems to be doing a great job of making forming her campaign message for her. Former teacher is peppered throughout all of these stories. The News 8 story is the only one that doesn’t put OTG’s name in the title, Teachers rally for better pay, benefits, it also mentions that someone other that OTG spoke:

Texas teachers rallied on the steps of the State Capitol this weekend to call for better salaries and benefits.

Several different teacher agencies organized educators from around the state.

Speakers included gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton-Strayhorn and newly elected District 48 Representative Donna Howard.

Teachers say they want pay raises, better health and retirement and a little more respect.

Those at the rally believe teachers can flex some political muscle in several elections planned for this year. “I think we’re going to have a lot of weight.

There’s a lot of teachers out there upset at what has happened, the way they’ve addressed us in the past, it’s going make us come out,” Tina Briones, a teacher said.

Most observers expect Governor Rick Perry to call a special session on school finance reform sometime this spring.

Like I said, at least as far as the media is concerned A teacher’s rally broke out at a OTG campaign event.

02.18.06

Under construction

Posted in Adminisphere at 3:22 am by dembones

Welcome! You have found the new Eye On Williamson County web log. Feel free to look around and make comments.