Last week Bill White, the Democratic candidate for governor, issued a press release on the state of public education in Texas. His campaign quoted an Empower Texans critique that “Texas taxpayers are ‘not getting our money’s worth’ in Texas’ education system.” However, Mr. White took it a step further and linked these concerns into an attack on Republican Gov. Rick Perry. If this assignment had been turned in for a grade, it would get sent back with red marks all over it.
This week, the Texas AFL-CIO held a press conference to offer Gov. Rick Perry, and the First Lady of Texas, use of a “single-wide” manufactured home they had hauled to their parking lot and placed on cinder blocks in downtown Austin. While reasonable people may disagree on the type of accommodations Governor and Mrs. Perry should occupy while the historic Governor’s Mansion is being rebuilt, this publicity stunt should be an insult to all Texans.
Former Republican state Sen. David Sibley is in a runoff election to get back his old job in the Texas Senate. But there’s a problem. After he left office in 2003, to become a lobbyist, he made a habit of contributing to very liberal Democrats.
In what The Houston Chronicle described as an “unusual appearance,” Texas’ House Speaker, Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), gave public guidance to the Appropriations Committee last week to prepare a “no-new-taxes” state budget. This was welcomed news for conservatives. But because of a projected budget shortfall, estimated anywhere between $11 to $18 billion, it appears to also be the crack in the door special interests have been looking for to foist full-scale casino gambling into Texans’ laps.
As dean of the Harvard Law School, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan, attempted to block military recruiters from the campus, but only relented when the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could withhold millions of dollars of funding to the university. This position didn’t sit well with then-Dean Kagan, who said at the time: “The government shouldn’t use the power of the purse strings to force educational institutions to renounce their most foundational principles.”
At a recent hearing in Austin, state Rep. Garnet Coleman, a liberal Democrat from Houston, protested the idea of creating financial disincentives for state employees that don’t better manage their health. Rep. Coleman said, “I think that’s a slippery slope,” and added, “next thing, we’ll be charging people by the pound.” On the surface, this sounds like a reasonable comment, but when you look a little deeper it seems to stink of hypocrisy.
It’s a rarity in American politics that a president would encourage citizens to disengage from technological innovations that can further their involvement in the policy process. But that’s just what our president seems to have done.