Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Arrogance Of Unchecked Power

Representative Raise Your Gas Tax's attempt, er, I mean Mike Krusee's attempt to increase the Gas Tax is floundering:

The sponsor of House Bill 5, state Rep. Mike Krusee, R-Williamson County, said early support among Republicans crested with Craddick's endorsement in February and has suffered recent defections, including one member who had sought to be a co-sponsor. Krusee, chairman of the Transportation Committee, said the bill probably will cool its heels in the Calendars Committee for an indefinite period.

"The members are experiencing tax fatigue," Krusee said of colleagues who passed a bill last month that would restructure the state's tax system. "We'll see if the fatigue passes."

I love what Jim Dunnam has to say though:

Rep. Jim Dunnam, D-Waco, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said the caucus has taken no position on HB 5.

"If we are fixing to turn every road into a toll road, why increase the gas tax?" he said.

I said something very similar a couple of weeks ago. But let's continue:

Krusee was asked whether House members had been hearing from any interest groups.

No, he said, "I would imagine it's political consultants they've been hearing from."

In other words in districts where Republicans actually face a reelection challenge they don't want to have raising taxes like this on their resume. With Rep. Krusee feeling secure and facing, in his mind or in the mind of his consultant, no election challenge, he obviously fells he can do whatever he pleases without any retribution. Oh the arrogance of unchecked power. I thought Republicans abhorred tax increases? Only on the rich, not on the average working person.

No matter where one stands on the issue of gay marriage or civil unions I think we can all agree that it's probably an issue that should be debated. Not Rep. Dan Gattis. He doesn't care what the resolution says he appears to be for anything that bans gay marriage or civil unions, no matter what else it does:

Rep. Dan Gattis, R-Georgetown, an attorney on the committee, said he would have voted for it anyway.

"I think after hearing testimony until 3 a.m., it was beaten into their heads that something was wrong with it," he said. "I do not think it does what the opponents say that it does."

What are those things that other think are wrong with it you ask?
But Mr. Chisum added a section that also prohibited a legal status "similar to marriage," sparking debate on whether that would affect civil unions, custody contracts, living wills or the authority of businesses to allow health benefits for the gay partners of their employees.
Debate is the heart of our governmental system and for Rep. Gattis to arrogantly dismiss it shows how little he cares about other's opinions. For citizens to come to the committee and testify until 3 a.m. it must be a very important issue to them. And for Rep. Gattis to just brush it aside like that is pathetic. Oh the arrogance of unchecked power. These issues and our representatives intolerant views on them reinforce Williamson County's need for new leadership.

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