A Few ItemsThe SAEN has this article today on the Leininger election wrap-up, GOP winners say cash won't guide their votes. Right, and George W. Bush is a compassionate conservative. Tell me another one. Here's a few quotes:
Two victorious candidates who filled their campaign war chests with money from a wealthy San Antonio businessman resent allegations that they were "bought," despite sharp criticism from their opponents after the Republican primary votes were counted.The long and the short of the Casteel v. Macias race is that if he doesn't get all that money from Leininger it doesn't matter what his message is, it doesn't get out. How much worse do you think Rep. Krusee would have done if Barbara Samuelson would have had that kind of money? Exactly. He'll also think twice, at least, when he benefactors pet project(s) are up for a vote.
Both Nathan Macias of Bulverde and Wayne Christian of Center said Dr. James Leininger's money - although much appreciated - would have no influence on the way they vote on the state House floor.
Furthermore, they said, it wasn't the money that led them to victory, but their effective campaigns against two incumbents who had lost favor with their constituents.
"I think our party is in trouble," she said. "I don't think it's representative of the masses who vote Republican. We've turned it over to the extremists."
Casteel pointed to well-funded interest groups that can flood mailboxes and airwaves with slick ads and misleading claims.
"The more immediate threat is the purchase of seats," she said. "First, it may stifle independence. 'If I don't vote the way so-and-so wants me to, I won't be back.' It scares me that democracy is for sale. That's not a good thing.
Looks like things with the TTRC, aka the Sharp Crony Commission, changed over the weekend. They were scheduled to release their report tomorrow and hold hearings Tuesday and Wednesday. Now from this article in the AAS on Saturday they are delaying it for a while,
Preparations for special session begin. Here's the subtitle, Business groups, lobbyists, lawmakers gearing up to consider possible solutions to school finance system. I'm sure that parents, teacher's, school administrators and hopefully voters are too. Anyway, here's the part about the delay:
A commission appointed by Perry is studying the state's tax structure. The panel of two dozen business leaders, led by former state Comptroller John Sharp, is expected make recommendations soon. However, the group's report may not be issued next week as planned, its staff director said.And they've postponed the hearings (scroll to the bottom) until the end of March. I wonder if those business groups, lobbyists and legislators had anything to do with that?
The recommendations might include reducing school property taxes by a third without raising the state sales tax. To do that, they will probably suggest revising the business franchise tax, raising the cigarette tax and using $1 billion of the state's $4.3 billion budget surplus.
Capitol Annex has the latest from PLAN on the 65% Rule.