The Stakeholder.....Picks Up Congressman Carter's (mis?)Statement
The Stakeholder is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Weblog, So Many Crooks, So Little Time
The contacts and cooperation between Mr. Craddick and Texans for a Republican Majority were so extensive that two experts on state campaign laws say that the ban on outside influence in speaker races may have been violated. Mr. Craddick's attorney said the activities were nowhere close to illegal.More on the TRMPAC scandal, TRMPAC in Its Own Words. They always hurt the most. That article is from The Texas Observer, always a great resource. So is this one, Texas Democrats Can Win on Values.
John Carter visited Round Rock and a few other cities over President's day weekend on his mission from Bush to drum up support for the Privatization of Social Security. During that meeting, he actually stated "If it weren't for all these people having these abortions and using birth control we'd have enough workforce to support Social Security from now on". The room was aghast. Immediately I said "There is tons of unemployment now!" Others joined in "Our jobs are being outsourced" and "our factories are closing down!". Carter knew he had made a big mistake,and turned sideways to pack up his papers so that he wouldn't have to look any of us in the eye as he continued his denials of our claims. As he walked down the aisle to leave, he was still answering someone's question about the "privatization" of Social Security and he actually said "Oh I am not supposed to call it 'Privatization'. If my aide hears me say 'Privatization' one more time she'll choke me" I do hope Tom DeLay relies on John Carter for legal counsel. He is one dull cookie.In our Republican dominated county I can find no media reference to these comments, so far, but that is not surprising. Was there any local media at this "town hall" meeting? If so they should have reported this. If this statement was made Congressman Carter needs to clarify his statement at the least. Let's hold Congressman Carter to account. Contact him here.
"The GOP's all-out assault on the middle-class has now officially become intolerable," Soechting said. "With this proposal, Republicans have shown that they are running out of gas and may soon be run out of office."That last part is the most insidious. It's a one time Republican tax increase on that hurts the poor the most, a regressive tax, and it just rises automatically. It's a Republican tax increase that keeps on giving.
The GOP gas tax hike, sponsored by State Rep. Mike Krusee (R-Round Rock), would peg the price of gasoline to the consumer price index so that gasoline prices would automatically rise with inflation -- without the need for lawmakers to vote to raise gas taxes in the future.
Gattis told the Star-Telegram in November 2003 that he didn't intend to block access to details about completed investigations and that he believed state bureaucrats were misinterpreting the law. If the confusion wasn't straightened out, Gattis said, the problem would be fixed.Fair enough, a mistake was made, and it will be fixed. Or so he says. Last session a mistake was made on an amendment he authored. It would seem that he would be eager to correct that mistake, right? Well here is the next sentence,
However, he does not appear to have introduced any legislation to open the records, based on a search of pending bills. Gattis did not return several phone calls from the Star-Telegram this week.Hmm, didn't even return phone calls. I'm sure Representative Gattis meant what he said when he said he would fix the problem but he doesn't seem very eager to fix his "mistake".
A 2001 trip to South Korea was financed by the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, in violation of House rules banning foreign agents from paying for congressional travel.Let's put aside the fact that ignorance is not excuse. There was an item a few weeks ago on 60 Minutes, The D.A. And Tom DeLay. You can watch it here. The man in the video defending Tom DeLay and attacking Ronnie Earle is none other than, your Congressman, John Carter. One of my favorite parts is excerpted below.
The organization also paid for trips to South Korea by other members of Congress from both parties, including U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who said the ethics committee had approved the council paying for the trip.
DeLay said last week he was not aware that the group registered as a foreign agent three days before his trip.
And these activities, he (Craig McDonald the director of Texans for Public Justice) says, are "spelled out."John Carter being a member of the No Frivolous Law Suits Party thinks we need a court to decide whether - "(a)ctive candidate evaluation and recruitment. Message development. Market research and issue development." - are administrative procedures? WOW! Remember how Republicans used to howl about, "That depends on what your definition of 'is' is"? This is the same thing. Now DeLay is in quite a bit of trouble but he is still very powerful. All of this stems from illegal cooperate money being funneled to state legislative races, which is illegal in Texas. They needed the legislature so they could redistrict the state out of turn and increase the Republican majority in Congress. But, of course, we already knew that.
"Candidate evaluation recruitment. Message development and communication," says McDonald. "These activities cannot be paid for with corporate dollars under Texas law."
But that very point is being challenged.
DeLays fellow Texan, Republican Rep. John Carter, says whether the law was broken depends on what your definition of administrative is.
"No court has actually defined clearly what administrative purposes is," says Carter.
60 Minutes showed him TRMPAC's brochure with the statement of how the corporate funds would be spent.
"Active candidate evaluation and recruitment. Message development. Market research and issue development," says Stahl. "I mean, how is that administrative?"
"Active candidate evaluation and recruitment, thats a party of administrative procedure," says Carter. "Thats a party function."
"I thought administration was the running of the office. The Xerox machine. Paying bills," says Stahl.
"This is what the court has to rule on," says Carter. "If they find all these things are administrative, therell be no convictions in this case."
Don't know who's behind this new blog from Williamson County, but I'm glad to see one from there. Williamson, like Fort Bend, voted for Bush in lesser numbers in 2004 than it did in 2000, and I think it stands a chance of being competitive for Democrats in a couple of cycles. I hope this blog will help me get a little more insight on it.So do I. In the grand scheme of things, this blog may not mean much. Hopefully, we can learn more about new technologies such as blogs and wikis that are available, and use them to our advantage. Also, maybe this can be the start of an ever-broadening conversation about what is happening in Williamson County.
The gasoline tax has not changed since 1991, and is set at a flat rate of 20 cents per gallon. Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Round Rock, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, told lawmakers that because of inflation the state is short 40 percent of what it needs for highways and other projects.Rep. Krusee sure does have a major itch for highway money. Aren't toll roads enough?
Linking the tax rate to inflation would allow the rate to grow over time, rather than shrinking as the cost of living increases, Krusee said. The Consumer Price Index grew about 2 percent this year.
The increased gasoline tax is expected to generate as much as $50 million per year in revenue.
The gas tax will hit the poor harder than wealthy Texans, said Dick Lavine, senior analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which advocates for low-income Texans.
"We should focus on business and professional taxes, which would generate $6 billion and reduce the regressivity of sales tax a little," Lavine said.
"This bill is only a tax savings for the people in the highest income brackets," said Rep. Scott Hochberg, D-Houston. GOP Reps. Todd Baxter of Austin, Dan Gattis of Georgetown and Mike Krusee of Williamson County voted for the bill.All the locals voted the same as they did on HB 2 except for Terry Keel who switched sides.
Rep. Terry Keel, R-Austin, voted against it. Also voting against it were Democratic Reps. Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs and Dawnna Dukes, Eddie Rodriguez, Elliott Naishtat and Mark Strama of Austin.
Locally, GOP Reps. Mike Krusee of Williamson County, Dan Gattis of Georgetown and Terry Keel and Todd Baxter of Austin voted for the bill.
Democratic Reps. Patrick Rose of Dripping Springs and Elliott Naishtat, Mark Strama, Eddie Rodriguez and Dawnna Dukes of Austin voted against it.