Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Face Of The Right Wing In Texas

I always said that the Republicans loved Tom DeLay but they didn't want him to be the face of their party. I always thought that if and when Tom DeLay became the face of the Republican Party it wouldn't be a good thing for them. Some people operate best out of the limelight. The problem is when someone is responsible for success, sooner or later they are going to get public recognition for what they've done. The media will start to notice them and they will no longer shun the limelight. They won't necessarily search it out but they feel they've earned it and it's about time they get their attention they deserve. By this time they've become so powerful nobody's going to tell them to shun attention anymore.

I'm starting to feel the same way about James Leininger. He's starting to get noticed, a lot. I don't think the Republicans want this billionaire puppet master to be the poster child of the upcoming election. But they're gonna have trouble keeping him quiet and out of the limelight. He's been bankrollin' them for a long time and now is his time to shine.

He had given $550,000 and pledged an additional $250,000 to the Texas Republican Legislative Campaign Committee through Jan. 26, the last day of the most recent campaign-finance reporting period. That nascent committee has helped the challengers who are trying to take out incumbent Republicans Carter Casteel of New Braunfels, Delwin Jones of Lubbock, Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, Roy Blake of Nacogdoches and Tommy Merritt of Longview.

Some of the challengers, at least in their early fundraising, relied almost exclusively on Leininger's money. Nathan Macias, who is running against Casteel, received about $183,000 of his $198,000 from the committee or Leininger directly. Wayne Christian received almost $161,000 of his $185,000 from the committee or directly from Leininger in his race against Blake.

In a written statement, Leininger said every citizen has a right and a duty to "pitch in and make their government and their community work better."

"I support candidates for the Texas Legislature who share the concerns of me and many Texans that property taxes are too high, our borders need to be more secure and that Texas has the opportunity to do a better job educating our children," he said.

Some of the incumbents he is targeting have made Leininger's support of their opponents key issues.

Hopefully the candidates he backs will lose and he'll start to become a liability. This quote shows what's at stake for Mr. Leininger, these incumbents and the Democratic process in the state of Texas:

"If those people survive, others will be emboldened," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University. "If they don't, others will be intimidated."

You gotta stand up to a bully no matter how much money he has. So check him out in those two articles. He is the face of the right wing in Texas. He's proud of it and if he wins these races you can bet he'll be bankrollin' a right wing shill in your legislative district soon.


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