04.30.06

Krusee’s Like A Teacher In The Summer..

Posted in Election 2006, Williamson County at 9:02 pm by wcnews

..no class:

“These are all such easy votes. I don’t know why everybody’s squirming about it.”

–Republican Rep. Mike Krusee, whose Round Rock district is one of the few where voters are thought to support all the tax bills passed this week, making Mr. Krusee one of the few reps seen smiling after each vote.

He’s smiling, while others are squirming.  Do voters in his district support all the tax bills passed last week?  He better hope so.  I can picture him on the house floor leaning back in his chair, with his feet kicked up on his desk saying this. While he votes to make sure that none of the “new taxes” go for a teacher pay raise, for better schools, etc.. Raising taxes on small businesses all over the state is an easy vote for him. This is a man who thinks he has absolutely no chance of losing. Yea, there’s an easy vote, and it’s coming up in November, and it’s for Karen Felthauser.

04.29.06

Dubai, Take II

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:52 pm by wcnews

I received this in an email yesterday, thanks for the tip Jane:

I don’t regularly subscribe to the Statesman but did read today’s and in an article so small it could easily be missed was something that I hope will become another big issue and maybe the last straw. I wrote to Hutchison, Cornyn, and Carter at their contact addresses below and am encouraging everybody else to do something similar. The Bush Administration is insufferable.

http://www.senate.gov/~hutchison/e-mail.htm http://cornyn.senate.gov/index.asp?f=contact&lid=1 http://www.house.gov/carter/contact.html

And this reminder came later:

Thanks for pointing this out. I will write and also make phone calls and urge you all to do the same. Years ago at a WCDP meeting I questioned an intern for Chet Edwards about the most effective way of getting our legislator’s attention, and she said phone calls were best, with post mail second, and email third. Whatever anyone can do to express their outrage over this is better than nothing however!!!

Phone numbers:

Carter: 202-225-3864 or locally: 512-246-1600

Cornyn: 202-224-2934 or locally: 512-469-6034

Hutchison: 202-224-5922 and in Dallas: 214-361-3500

Here’s the whole story from the NYT, Bush Set to Approve Takeover of 9 Military Plants by Dubai, and a few graphs to whet your whistle:

President Bush is expected on Friday to announce his approval of a deal under which a Dubai-owned company would take control of nine plants in the United States that manufacture parts for American military vehicles and aircraft, say two administration officials familiar with the terms of the deal.

The officials, who were granted anonymity so they could speak freely about something the president had not yet announced, said that the final details had not yet been set and that Mr. Bush might put conditions on the transaction to keep military technology in the United States.

Surely this is something we’d all feel better about if it was owned by an American company.  Again, like last time, this raises all kinds of questions. I’m sure that your representatives would like to hear from you on this. And like it says above you know which one grabs there attention most. I don’t know about you but I’ve got nationwide long distance included with my plan on my cell phone.

Upcoming Fundraiser’s For Karen Felthauser

Posted in Adminisphere, Uncategorized at 11:21 am by wcnews

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.

Read the rest of this entry �

Sen. Ogden Insures No Amendments In Senate To HB 3

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:16 am by wcnews

The Senate Finance Committee, headed by Sen. Steve Ogden, passed HB 3 out of committee yesterday. They passed it, as is, from the House version, no amendments, and therefore cannot have amendments during Senate debate unless there is a 2/3rd’s vote to bring up an amendment:

The business tax could be debated by the full Senate early next week. A Senate rule prevents amendments from being offered on the floor if they have not been discussed in committee. Unless that rule is suspended with a two-thirds vote, the Senate would vote up or down on the tax bill. If passed, HB 3 could be on Perry’s desk sometime next week

In other words, they are trying to pass it Perry’s new business tax without Senators being able to amend it. Ogden in the AAS story:

“It’s the only solution I’ve seen,” said Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan. “I didn’t want the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

There is a promise that it could be amended later in a separate bill. Also, apparently, Craddick and Dewhurst have agreed on a $2,000 teacher pay raise to be paid out of the surplus. From the HChron story:

Also Friday, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Tom Craddick agreed to use more than $1 billion of the state budget surplus to raise teacher pay by at least $2,000. Perry has said that lawmakers could pass legislation on teacher salaries after they finish work on his tax package.

And Sen. Shapleigh is not happy, and rightfully so:

Ogden said that keeping the business tax bill free of amendments would give opponents fewer opportunities to kill the bill. It also prevents the business tax from getting “hung up in negotiations over other issues” such as teacher pay or education reforms, he said.

But Ogden’s action ruffled Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso. Shapleigh, who is not a member of the Finance Committee, had several amendments he was hoping to have discussed.

Shapleigh said he had been told that he had until 5 p.m. Friday to file his amendments. But the committee took its vote at 3 p.m., passing the bill 9-4. Four of the five Democrats, including Whitmire of Houston, voted no.

Ogden said amendments to the business tax could be attached to a separate bill.

There sure are a lot of promises of what can be done later. I sure hope these people are held to account for what is or isn’t done later

The southern strategy, mapped

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:07 am by dembones

Baptists in U.S., 2000If you want to appeal to voters in the southern states, you have to appeal to Baptists. Here is a map that is a reality check for Democrats in the South. Go to Baptist churches. We must build bridges with our neighbors where they worship.

Check out all the fascinating maps of the religious landscape in this county. The data are from the Glenmary Research Center. Read the rest of this entry �

04.28.06

As The Senate Committees Meet

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:17 pm by wcnews

Best I can tell as the Senate does it’s committee work this weekend what we are going to get next week is a rehashing of what the House did this week with some education stuff – teacher pay raise, incentives, increased accountability – tacked onto it.  Dewhurst isn’t sold on what the House did or Perry’s plan.  When they finish It won’t match the House plan therefore pushing it to the old conference committee.  So by the end of next week we will all be back to where we were last summer.  conference committee members shuttling between the Speaker and Lt. Gov’s office trying to make a deal.

04.27.06

Net Neutrality

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:44 am by wcnews

I’ve been delinguent on this as well. But if you want your internet, like in the 80’s, “I want my MTV”, it’s time to get involved.

To get the short course on what the issue is go here and watch the short video.

And to catch up on what happened yesterday, where we stand and what to do now check out these posts from the Agonist. (here, here and here).

This is one of those issues that Democrats should be using to draw a distinct and clear line between themselves and the corportist/cheap labor Republicans, not joining with them.  Get involved if you like the internet the way it is.

Glen Fine Files Ethics Complaint On HERO PAC

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:27 am by wcnews

I’m a way late getting to this but last week Glen Fine filed an ethics complaint against HERO PAC for not filing their ethics papers on time.

Cedar Park council candidate Glen Fine filed a formal complaint yesterday with the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC), charging the HERO PAC with violating the law when it failed to file its required disclosure reports.

[...]

“The ‘why’ is very simple,” Fine said about his complaint. “It’s a violation of the law.”

Here’s the funny part, guess what HERO stands for? Helping Elect Responsible Officials, that’s right. Well anyway who are those “responsible people”? Well it’s former Cedar Park mayor Bill Young and current candidate for mayor Phil Duprey who, “..reportedly resigned from his post as treasurer of the PAC in March this year.” That’s pretty cozy. No big deal though, right, it’s not like Mr. Duprey has gotten any money from HERO PAC.

The HERO PAC gave two separate donations totaling $1,500, to Duprey’s campaign and $200 to (Melissa) Beaudoin, according to the candidates’ 30-day reports.

Melissa Beaudoin is who Glen Fine is running against. As the above story points our and this one from the AAS, Cedar Park hopeful files complaint against PAC, not much will come of this. I believe, again as I’ve said so many times, this points out problems of “responsibility”. And hasn’t Cedar Park had problems recently with irresponsible city officials? For his part, Mr. Fine is just asking to get the information he should already have gotten in a timely fashion:

“I want to see where the money came from,” Fine said. “They have to file where they got the money from at the same time they’re doling money out.”

Let’s hope he gets it.

[UPDATE]: Glen Fine sent me these updates:

The only correction is Melissa got $500 not $200, and I beleive Iris Davis (in Leander got $100)

04.26.06

More On Rep. Carter Photo-Oops In Iraq

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:13 pm by wcnews

There was a snippet on this in the Washington Post today, When Special (Photo) Ops Turn Oops:

Vast numbers of lawmakers have signed on to the congressional delegation shuttle to Baghdad. And nary a one has failed to ensure that troops from the home district — who, of course, have nothing better to do — are rounded up to have lunch and talk to their representative.

These chats — and the fine photos they produce — pay handsome dividends. Obviously there are the bragging rights: “Well, I’ve been over there talking with our troops, with Jimmy Jones and Sally Smith — whose parents are here today — and with others, and let me tell you . . .”

More ominously, the lawmaker might even return from these forays thinking he or she actually knows what’s going on over there. A truly frightening thought.

But it’s the photos with the brass, Iraqi leaders and especially the troops — suitable for signing, for newsletters and for campaign literature — that are the key benefit, though some photos don’t quite work out.

For example, here’s a very nice shot of Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.), whose district includes Fort Hood and its 4th Infantry Division. As always, some troops from home were selected to meet with the congressman.

Apparently somebody had a sense of humor. Carter found out afterward that this warm “grip ‘n’ grin” shot was with Sgt. 1st Class Rob Harrell, whose mother, Mary Beth Harrell, a lawyer in Killeen, Tex., will be Carter’s Democratic opponent in November. The challenger’s husband, we’re told, is retired military. Another son, also on active duty, is to be deployed in Iraq this summer.

It was picked up in a Daily Kos diary, GOPer meets opponent’s son–in Iraq! Which added this little nugget:

Yet another classic case of a Republican trying to look tough, and running into a Democrat who is.

For what it’s worth what Rep. Carter was none too excited about this when he found at what happened. The one thing I think is very telling in all of this is the fact that Rep. Carter seemed to have no idea this could happen. Mary Beth Harrell has been campaigning as a military wife and Mother ever since she entered the race. She’s from the Fort Hood district and so is her son that’s in Iraq. She speaks of this all the time. For the congressman not to know this shows the lack of preparation, not only by him, but by his staff. He did contact Mary Beth on his return to let her know her son is doing fine.

What Our Representatives Have Been Up To So Far

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:05 pm by wcnews

Can’t find much on Rep. Krusee or Rep. Gattis so far in the special session. Both have voted the party line, rubber stamp, the whole way so far. Krusee had this to say about the passage of the business tax:

Thought to be wavering were some conservative Republicans concerned that they could pay a political price for enacting new taxes when the state has a robust surplus.

But supporters of the plan, trying to bring more votes on board, argued that it could have a political benefit.

If the bill passes, Mr. Perry “will run for re-election based on the tax cuts made possible by this bill,” said Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Round Rock. “People who vote against making the business tax fair are obstructing property tax cuts.”

By evening, support was solidifying again.

A vote for the governor and fair business taxes? From what’s coming out the “new” business tax is a huge tax increase for small businesses and a decrease for large businesses and corporations. Fair? I wonder how it effects foreign corporations? Well not to worry Rep. Krusee was at the seminar on rail in Central Texas yesterday. Not much to do with Transportation in this session so Krusee will be off the radar, just voting the party line.

Dan Gattis hasn’t done much better but at least he’s filed something. A resolution for Aggie Muster, and promises to file a bill that would:

…that would make it easier to prosecute the owners of dangerous dogs.

“Lillian’s Law” was inspired by Lillian Stiles, a 76-year-old Thorndale woman who was attacked and killed by a pack of roaming dogs while in her front yard in Milam County last year.

Steve Ogden’s turn is coming up as we turn to the Senate.

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