Thursday, April 07, 2005

Leave Willie Alone Senator Ogden!

Our State Senator, Steve Ogden, doesn't want Willie Nelson's name on any part of SH 130 that runs through our county, Willie Nelson Turnpike hits roadblock. Why would he not want a road named after Texas icon Willie Nelson? Here is his excuse:
Asked about their reservations about Nelson, Ogden said he doesn't favor naming roads after people who are still alive and declined further comment.
So he doesn't like naming roads after people until they're dead. Really? Here is what the article then goes on to say:
He (Sen. Wentowrth) was in the Senate and Ogden in the House when the Legislature in 1995 and 1997 named roads for the first President Bush and former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, both very much alive.
Interesting, I think that makes him a liar! Senator Ogden didn't say anything after that. Senator Wentworth however was much more forthcoming:
"Let's be candid: This is a political deal," Wentworth said, Nelson "was out there having fund-raisers, raising money for (Democratic presidential hopeful) Dennis Kucinich against President Bush, and that was just last year."

[and]

"To compare a former president of the United States with a country singer, surely that's self-explanatory," Wentworth said.

[and]

The Legislature, in that same 1995 bill honoring Bentsen, named a road in Brazoria County after Nolan Ryan, at that point only just retired from his baseball career.

Wentworth and Ogden both voted for that bill. Ryan, a Republican, has never served as president of the United States.

[and]

But Ryan, unlike Nelson, also hasn't had any trouble with the Internal Revenue Service or brushes with the law over marijuana. To Wentworth, at least, Nelson's past matters.

"All of that figures into it, from my standpoint," Wentworth said. "He's not exactly a role model."

So it's payback for not supporting the president? For him to refer group Willie in the same category as GHW Bush is ludicrous, Willie has always been more loved and respected. Not to mention minimizing Willie's accomplishments by referring to him as just "a country singer"! They also voted for naming a road after St. Nolan but he plays for the right party so it's OK. Then the moralist Senator tells us that because Willie had trouble with the law, the IRS and marijuana -- just like our current president, by the way -- he's not a role model. If we needed a role model to name things after then everything would be named after Mother Teresa. Well after all the hypocritical statements by the Senators were over, what does Willie think about all of this?
Nelson was in Ireland, according to Barrientos, and unable to comment on all of this.

But Barrientos said that he had talked with the singer about the possible renaming and that Nelson "was kind of shy, even a little bashful about it. He said it would be an honor.
Willie is a humble man. I'm sure he will be embarrassed by it all. He probably just wants an answer to the question, What Ever Happened to Peace On Earth?

Don't forget to tell Senator Ogden what you think.

Update! Senator Ogden didn't object to this, HCR 178 from the 77th Legislature(scroll down):
On Tuesday, the Senate adopted a resolution honoring the recipients of the 2001 Texas Medal of Arts Awards. The recipients included Texas actors, musicians and other artists, along with art teachers and patrons. Among the honorees was actor Tommy Lee Jones, writer Horton Foote, pianist Van Cliburn and musicians Flaco and Santiago Jimenez. Willie Nelson also received a Texas Medal of Arts Awards, but did not attend the Senate proceeding.

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