Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Says Funding On The Way For Houston City Pools Planned For Closing As Hot Summer Nears

Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is saying that she may be able to find funding to keep City of Houston swimming pools and community centers open this summer.

(Above–Houston is very hot in the summer and people need relief. Photo copyright 2011 Neil Aquino.)

Some pools and community centers are due to be cut in the city budget being proposed by Democratic Mayor Annise Parker and the Democratic Majority Houston City Council.

Congresswoman Jackson Lee says in an interview with a Houston TV station that she is likely to be announcing some private funding to keep these facilities open this summer.

As of June 11, we’ve already had two 105 degree days in Houston.

I’m glad that these pools and community centers may be kept open for the summer.

Though they never should have been cut. Will private funding also be available next year if needed?

If our elected Democrats in Houston balance the city budget on the backs of those least able to lose city services, than just why is it that we vote for and trust these people?

Budgets are moral documents that reflect who we are as a city. We can do better.

If some of the cuts and layoffs we are seeing in Houston had come from a Republican mayor and council, there would be many more objections from Democrats and liberals.

The people impacted by these cuts are equally out of luck regardless of what party is in control of the process when the cuts are made.

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

Ron Paul To The Left Of Three Texas U.S House Democrats?—Rating Texas U.S. House Delegation From Right To Left

I recently bought a copy of the 2008 The Almanac of American Politics.

It’s a big book. It has information about politics in Texas and across the nation. If you follow politics, this book is well worth the $74.95 cover price. 

What better way to spend your time than reading about Ron Paul, Pete Sessions and Sheila Jackson Lee?  

The Almanac profiles each member of the U.S House, Senate and all the Governors. For members of Congress, a rating computed by the National Journal magazine is used to rank each member on a liberal to conservative scale relative to other members of Congress. 

The ratings in the 2008 Almanac take into consideration votes from the Congressional session of 2005-2006. Each member is rated between 0 and 99 on economic, social and foreign votes for both years. This is a total of six ratings from these three categories over a two year period.   

I took the ratings, added them up and divided them by six to come up with an overall liberal rating for each U.S House member from Texas. It is somewhat depressing.  

For example, my U.S Representative, John Culberson, voted on the liberal side of economic questions 26% of the time and 2005 and 32% in 2006. That might seem high and I wonder if some of it comes from protectionist votes from this immigrant basher. (Though I see he voted for the Central American Free Trade Agreement.)  

Mr. Culberson was at 0% on social issues for both ’05 and ’06 and at 11% on foreign issues in ’05 and 0% in ’06.

Add up these percentages, 26, 32, 0, 0, 11, and 0, and you get 69. Divide that by the six categories and you get a dismal 11.5%. 

Here are the ratings for each member of the House from Texas along with their district, party affiliation and hometown as listed in The Almanac. The last number is the percentage of voters in 2004 who voted for John Kerry. 

I have a few thoughts on Rep. Paul and a few others at the bottom of this post.

The list goes from right to left. (The left being such as it is in Texas.) 

( Nick Lampson and Ciro Rodriquez, both Democrats, were not part of the last session and are not rated.)

30. Pete Sessions 3.5%—32, R, Dallas, Kerry 40%

30. Randy Neugebauer 3.5%—19, R, Lubbock, Kerry 23% 

28. Sam Johnson 4.6%—3, R, Dallas, Kerry 33%

27. Kenny Marchant 8.3%—24, R, Cappell, Kerry 35% 

26. John Carter 11.0%—11, R, Round Rock, Kerry 33%

25. John Culberson 11.5%—7, R, Houston, Kerry 36%

24. Lamar Smith 13.3%—21, R, San Antonio, Kerry 34%

23. Kevin Brady 14.3%—8, R, The Woodlands, Kerry 28%

22. Jeb Hensarling 14.7%—5, R, Dallas, Kerry 33%

22. Michael Burgess 14.7%—26, R, Highland Village, Kerry 35%

20. Joe Barton 15.6%—6, R, Ennis, Kerry 34%  

19. Mike Conaway 17.0%—11, R, Midland, Kerry 22%

18. Mac Thornberry 17.5%—13, R, Clarendon, Kerry 22%

17. Louie Gohmert 19.3%—1, R, Tyler, Kerry 31% 

16. Mike McCaul 19.7%—10, R, Austin, Kerry 38%

15. Kay Granger 21.8%–12, R, Fort Worth, Kerry 33% 

14. Ralph Hall 22.0%—3, R, Rockwell, Kerry 30%

13. Ted Poe 25.0%—2, R, Humble, Kerry 37%

12. Henry Cuellar 53.3%—28, D, Laredo, Kerry 46% 

11. Chet Edwards 56.0%—17, D, Waco, Kerry 30%

10. Solomon Ortiz 58.7%—27, D, Corpus Christi, Kerry 45%

9. Ron Paul 60.3%—14, R, Surfside, Kerry 33%

8. Silvestre Reyes 63.2%—16, D, El Paso, Kerry 56%

7. Gene Green 63.3%—29, D, Houston, Kerry 56%

6. Ruben Hinjosa 63.8%—15, D, Mercedes, Kerry 49%

5. Charles Gonzalez 68.7%—20, D, San Antonio, Kerry 55% 

4. Al Green 76.3%—9, D, Houston, Kerry 70%

3. Sheila Jackson Lee 77.3%—18, D, Houston, Kerry 72%

2. Eddie Bernice Johnson 80.3%—30, D, Dallas, Kerry 75%

1. Lloyd Doggett 85.2%—25, D, Austin, Kerry 54%      

Just a few observations—-

These ratings, a rough but accurate enough measure, do not really capture what Ron Paul is about. The economic Darwinism of libertarianism is right out of the jungle. Yet you see how Mr. Paul’s views on social issues and opposition to the Iraq War are fooling some on the left.

In a 30% Kerry district, I’d say Chet Edwards is doing his best.

It seems to me Gene Green, Al Green and Shelia Jackson Lee could move just a bit more to the left.

Pete Sessions seems somewhat out of step for even a 60% Bush district.  

I know better days are ahead for Texas and for our U.S. House delegation.  

November 26, 2007 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Houston, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments