Wednesday, August 17, 2005

It's Time For Leadership (I Know, I Sound Like A Broken Record)

I crack on the lack of leadership in the Republican Party in this state quite a bit, and deservedly so. As I read the first couple of paragraphs of this article form the Houston Chronicle, GOP collapse on Robin Hood: When promises to voters flop, it brought to mind a title of a book I remember seeing shortly after I got married, After Every Wedding Comes A Marriage. I always thought it was a good title that spoke to the fact that getting married is the easy part, staying married is the hard part. In the Republicans case it would be After Every Election You Have To Govern, getting elected is easy, governing is the hard part::
This was supposed to be the era of Republican triumph on some of the most core issues for the Texas party: ending the "Robin Hood" school finance system and cutting property taxes.

But through three special sessions in 2004 and 2005 and a regular legislative session, the only record that has been made is one of repeated failure. The current special session runs through Friday, but lawmakers already have admitted defeat
The rest of the article is just more Republican yammering about why none of this is their fault. Stuff like this is just comical:
"It's baffling to me. There's a total lack of leadership down there," said former Texas GOP Chairman Tom Pauken. "Lobbyists are driving the train rather than having a philosophically driven, policy-driven plan."

[and]

What they discovered was that promises are easier made than kept.

"It's not that we're not trying. It's just that the interests are so different it's hard to find common solutions," said state Rep. Beverly Woolley, R-Houston, who lives in the Robin Hood-paying school district of Spring Branch. "If there were an easy answer, we would have done it a long time ago."

[and]

Conservative activist Jim Cardle of the Texas Citizen Action Network said he thinks this summer's two special sessions have been "a plus" for Perry because he will get credit among voters for trying to get something done. Cardle said it is legislators who need to be running scared.

"These younger sophomore and freshmen legislators ran on one thing and one thing only: to kill Robin Hood, the Robin Hood school finance system, and they haven't done it," Cardle said. "They need to be held accountable."

[and]

But interviews with some Republican county chairs across the state indicate that the Texas Capitol is now regarded much like Congress: Voters hate the Legislature but not their local legislator.

"I don't see any major upheaval, like throw the baby out with the bath water and wipe the slate clean and start over without legislators," said John DeNoyelles, the Smith County chairman.
It's comical but it's sad too. Why? Well there are plenty of people out there willing to believe that the governor does deserve credit just for trying and wasting taxpayer money and forget he went back on his word not to do this unless he had a deal in place. It's has to be countered. They own every state-wide office and control both houses of the legislature and this is the fault of local school officials and the minority Democrats?! This is nothing new, the Republicans have been doing this on the national level since 2002. It's what they do, they are never responsible for anything.
With 63 Democrats in the 150-member House, a specific business tax could push enough Republicans into the opposition to make almost any tax bill impossible to pass.

DeNoyelles said he is convinced that Democrats opposed any plan just to make the Republicans look bad.

"The Democratic contingent down in the Legislature would like to do anything to cultivate an attitude among the people of Texas that the Republicans can't get anything done," DeNoyelles said
Once again, 63 Democrats control the house?! Well in Speaker Craddick's opinion, it seems, if you can blame local school officials for not allowing a deal on school finance then they are also to blame for the teacher's not getting a pay raise:
"If I was a teacher in the state of Texas, I would not be real happy with the school superintendents and administrators. . . . They could have had a pay raise," Craddick said. "Teachers in this state have lost a lot of money."
Not me! I wouldn't be real happy with you and the other two in the "big 3" if I was a teacher. Let me see if I got this right. The governor vetoes the school funding portion of the budget, for political reasons, which included a teacher pay raise. The legislature fails to pass bad public policy and then the governor won't include a teacher pay raise when he funds the schools, and it's the local school officials fault?! It's way past time for some leadership in this state. Every Democrat in this state should be yelling that from the highest mountain or the tallest tree in their district.

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