Sunday, December 18, 2005

Karen Felthauser, Press Release On Filing In HD 52

Below is Karen Felthauser's press release on her filing for State House District 52. She does an excellent job of pointing out the failings and schemes of Rep. Krusee over these many years. If there was ever a poster boy for term limits it's Mike "toll road" Krusee.


Williamson County Democrat Files to run for State Representative for District 52, Cites the Failure of Current Representation to Deal with Education Issues as Motivation for Second Run at Public Office.

Karen Felthauser filed on Friday, December 16, 2005, with the Williamson County Democratic Party Chair to run as a Democratic candidate for State Representative for the 52nd district. Her application for a place on the Democratic Party Primary Ballot was filed with over 600 signatures from Williamson County’s District 52 residents. Ms. Felthauser, along with seventeen campaign volunteers, circulated her petition, speaking with residents throughout the district. Her organization also registered a number of new Williamson County voters during the petition drive.

[Pictured, l to r: Gretchen Froehler (WCDP elections administrator), Jane Van Praag,( Campaign Manager) , Karen, Jimmy Rocha (WCDP Chair)]

An active member of the education community for many years, Ms. Felthauser is a certified teacher, a member of Education Round Rock, the Texas Federation of Teachers, The Texas State Teachers Association and two PTA’s. She is the mother of 5 and the wife of Jim, a software engineer.

“I choose to run, once again, because I don’t believe the current representative adequately addresses the very real needs of Williamson C ounty’s District 52 residents. These needs include a good public education system, access to affordable healthcare and a rational approach to the funding of new highway systems.”

During the 78th legislative session, legislators cut 2.3 billion dollars from primary and secondary education and deregulated college tuition, causing huge jumps in the price of a college education. During the watch of the 79th Legislature we were the only state in the nation to cut per pupil expenditures! The most recent National Education Association study to be released puts Texas at 40th in per pupil expenditures. Williamson County School Districts, as well as those across the state, have been facing unacceptable cuts to their education budgets. We have seen increasing class sizes, fewer electives offered, sports programs being forced outside the school day, coaches being asked to teach more academic classes, and elementary teachers forced to teach two grade levels at the same time. The level of state funding for public education is down to 38% - the lowest level since WWII. This is just unacceptable in these times of foreign competition for U.S. jobs.

Texas is 1st in the number of uninsured children and yet the 79th legislature continues to under fund the Children’s Health Insurance program! Since the federal government matches each dollar invested by the state with $2.59, this is a foolish thing to do. Many federal dollars are left on the table and our local governments are forced to pick up the tab for health care when these children show up in emergency rooms. This is poor public policy.

Lastly, while I firmly believe in the necessity of transportation development in our rapidly growing district, I strongly believe the decision to fund this development with privately owned toll road schemes is ill conceived and unnecessary. Under the traditional method of paying for our roads, 25 cents of every gas tax dollar goes to education. Under tolling proposals 40 cents of every dollar will go instead to private, for profit, often foreign companies. We will be paying for toll booths and a toll collecting infrastructure and profits for a foreign company. We are effectively outsourcing our transportation dollars to a foreign firm. Converting roads our citizens have already paid for with their hard earned tax dollars to tolled roads is not acceptable, and is not fair. Additionally, the massive land grab from private land owners to give to other private interests that is proposed by the Trans Texas Corridor supporters is unconscionable. The Trans Texas Corridor is ¼ mile wide super toll road proposed to cross eastern Williamson County. Also, tolling is a massive commuter tax and Williamson County is a commuter community! Road construction is an area best addressed by good government, not by “for profit” companies.

Many of our current representatives have stood in front of us boasting of having not raised our taxes. But what they have really done is push expenses for necessary services down to the local level with regressive, backdoor taxes. This is forcing high property taxes, outrageous toll road schemes, and skyrocketing college tuition. I believe Texas can do better than this. Money spent on education, health care and an improved transportation system for our citizens is an investment in our future.

Texas needs to invest in Texans!


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