Texas Liberal

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Texas Legislature—Corrupt By Design

A recent Houston Chronicle story details Texas officeholders from both parties spending campaign funds for all sorts of purposes. Many of these purposes have nothing to do with running a political campaign.

It’s not illegal. It’s somewhat corrupt. It sure is a racket. 

Here is a list of some Texas officeholders who have spent campaign funds in varying ways and what they have spent the money on. I became aware of this list reading Charles Kuffner’s blog. Mr. Kuffner is a fellow Texas blogger.

The Texas legislature is structurally corrupt. Nearly everything that comes out of it is lousy. This was true when Democrats ran the legislature and it is true now under Republicans.

Here are some reasons why the Texas Legislature is corrupt by design— 

1. It is a part-time legislature with part-time pay.  A (somewhat) modern state with more people than Australia needs a full-time legislature. This is what the demands of the modern world require.

Serving in the legislature should not be only for people who can afford not to work. Or for those who work at, say, a law firm that will allow an absence. 

2. The Speaker and Committee Chairs In The Texas House Are Not Selected By A Party Line Vote.

Political parties offer voters a choice. When a legislature has a majority of one party and a minority of another party, voters have spoken.

If the Speaker and other officers are picked in behind-closed-door deals, nobody knows what is truly taking place. Why would any Democrat support autocratic far right-wing Republican Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick? It sure is fishy.

When party lines are blurred in such a manner, parties can not be held accountable. It becomes a question of free agent individuals acting for often secret reasons.

Legislators can always cooperate across party lines on specific bills. What party line discipline on the organization of a legislative chamber offers is a record of accomplishment or failure that voters can act upon on Election Day.

Is the majority in power serving the public well or should it be replaced?

Reform of how the Texas Legislature operates is essential to the future of Texas. What we have now is designed to fail and designed to promote curruption and secret double-dealing.    


August 2, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Texas | 3 Comments

Whales, Squid, Gulls—-Marine Life In The News


In the spirit of giving the people what they want, here is a marine life in the news round-up.

The Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” is bigger than ever. It now covers areas close to Galveston Bay here in Texas.

A seagull in Scotland has been caught on video while stealing from a small shop.

Giant squid are occurring in great numbers off the coast of California.

Japan is killing pregnant whales.

An Indonesian fisherman offered additional details about his capture of the prehistoric coelacanth fish two months ago.

The above picture is of a whale shark. Whale sharks keep dying at the Georgia Aquarium because they are really meant to live in the wild. Would you like to live in a tank or a cage?

Thanks for visiting my blog. If politically minded, or even if you’re not, please click this link for a brief series of essays detailing varying responses to the dilemma of finding ways to make a difference in a rough world.                 

August 2, 2007 Posted by | Galveston, Sea Life | Leave a comment