Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Conservative Trial Lawyers And Republicans Eating Their Own

Conservative Trial Lawyers
Just Another Blog points us to this article that was in the Express News today, Conservatives' eyes on trial lawyers. There are so many things in this article that get the old brain working but I think the biggest point is how the so-called "grassroots conservatives" took the-trial-layers-are-always-for-Democrats talking point hook-line-and-sinker over the years. I wonder if they know that businesses and corporations give to Democrats? Trial lawyers have been giving to Republicans for centuries, yes that's plural. Here are the words of Mark Lanier, trial lawyer, Republican and, even worse, in the grassroots Republicans eyes, a Texas tobacco lawyer:
Lanier has given tens of thousands of dollars to GOP candidates and to political action committees supporting non-Republican establishment candidates.


Lanier said he was a Republican long before he became a trial lawyer.

"Abraham Lincoln was a trial lawyer, and he was a Republican, so technically we had control of the Republican apparatus before Janelle Shepard was born," Lanier said. "Are there trial lawyers who want to be active in politics? Absolutely."

Lanier said he has taught Sunday school for 25 years, considers himself "pro-life" and believes in states' rights, limited government and minimal taxes.


"Tort reform is not a Republican agenda because it's not a free market agenda," Lanier said. "It's taking rights away from juries and giving them to politicians. That's not a Republican agenda."
And then comes this statement:
Willie Chapman, a spokesman for the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, said lawyers always have participated in both Democratic and Republican politics.

"I don't think it's a matter of anybody trying to take control over anything," Chapman said. "I think it is people participating."
That's really gotta hurt the grassroots! The article ends with a GOP consultant saying this:
"Everyone is trying to infiltrate the Republican Party, because we are Texas politics," he said. "Teachers should be trying, everyone's going to be trying, because we are the only act in town."
That's arrogant but until the Democrats win unfortunately it's true. The other thing he is saying is, "We are open for business and if you want something, no matter who you are, give us your money and you will ge it for you". They will take anyone's money as long as it's green. What this article also shows is that the Democratic Party in Texas is not owned by anyone and is the party of the people.

Republicans Eating Their Own
The other part of Matt's post is about Rep. Carter Casteel drawing a primary opponent. It's about the moderate vs. right-wing battle currently taking place inside the Texas GOP:
When a party gets in power, they tend to read their own press clippings a bit too much, they drift further to their extreme flank, take more money, and push an agenda more and more out of the mainstream.
Representatives from either party that do what's right and don't just vote the party line should be commended. This is all about the fight over vouchers of course. More from Harvey Kronberg in his News 8 Commentary:
We are now full tilt into primary season with early voting beginning in about five weeks.

The most exciting action so far is in the Texas House, where there are two separate efforts to purge Republicans. Both are over education, but the two efforts strongly oppose each other.

The first purge effort appears to be financed by a handful of wealthy school voucher supporters and targets independent Republicans who have refuse the pro-voucher party line. Those familiar with the Legislature will recognize some of the names such as: Charlie Geren of Ft. Worth, Carter Casteel of New Braunfels.
And today there was this little nugget I found on Rep. Casteel's website, House Speaker Endorses Casteel Re-Election:
Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) formally endorsed State Representative Carter Casteel (R-New Braunfels) for re-election to the Texas House today. "“I whole-heartedly support Carter Casteel'’s decision to continue her service as a state representative, and I wish her the best of luck," Craddick said.

"I am grateful for Speaker Craddick'’s support,"” Casteel said. "“Tom and I have worked together to advance the Republican Party'’s conservative values. We both come from West Texas and were shaped by communities that taught the importance of conviction and integrity. Under his leadership, those principles guide the Texas House of Representatives."
Ain't politics fun?


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