When the Texas Republican Party is not imposing more government regulation on a woman's right to choose or when it is not busy passing Voter ID laws that will make it more difficult for certain segments of the population to vote, or when it is not frantically scheming to shut down Planned Parenthood, it is shamefully redrawing district maps in order to keep this sorry red state a perpetually sorry red state. Indeed the rights robbing Republican Party has overdosed on right wing steroids for the past two years. The puppets for right wing anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist have been on a ruthless crusade to slash and burn the state's budgets. This is especially true of school budgets. As my colleague Lightseeker has shared, in addition to witch hunts against women and voter rights, there has been a Republican all out assault on Texas school children.
I guess this is what happens when a Party's politicians are so morally bankrupt that their only goal is to stay in office in order to serve themselves. To do this for the long-term takes some creative scheming because even Republicans know that one day a majority of people will no longer put up with the kind of insanity we've seen over the passed two years. Indeed, a Party with such hapless lawmakers is driven to desperate measures in order to hang on to its seats in the big bad evil government. At least it is big and bad according to Republican politicians who will routinely resort to scorched earth politics in order to keep their jobs in the place they say they hate the most.
Eventually folks are going to wake up and say enough is enough. We are not taking any more right wing lunacy policies that harm more than they help. The GOP knows this and so it redraws district maps to make it easier for them to keep their jobs that mostly consist of throwing their constituents under the bus. But if taxes are low, low, low, everyone should be happy, at least according to right wing thought.
So imagine my displeasure when I voted early the other day and I could not find the candidate for whom I had decided to vote for U.S. Democratic House Representative in CD-07. Her name was not on the ballot because my precinct which is inside 610 near the Texas Medical Center in Houston has been redistricted out to tea party land in suburban Houston. According to a friend who knows far more about redistricting than I do said the GOP moved Republican precincts out of districts like CD-07 into tea party land in order to keep Republican areas in suburban Houston securely loony as long as possible (my words, not his). Apparently the GOP thinks U.S. Rep. Culberson is so invincible that he can hold a less red district with no problem.
Voters will decide Culberson's future in November. I just won't be among them this year. For I have been gerrymandered to ol' Houston hanging Judge Ted Poe's district. Hell hath no fury, Judge. I remember getting grilled by you when summoned for jury duty years ago. I also remember how the Judge would humiliate convicted shop lifters by making them stand outside the store from which they had stolen wearing a sign acknowledging their former thievery. I think it would be equally fitting for Ted Poe to stand outside the U.S. House of Representatives while wearing a sign.
Many of us know that the Republican Party has been lying to the American people on so many levels for over 30 years. During the Reagan and G.W. Bush years we heard all about trickle down economics and its wonders. According to the tiresome right wing spin artists if the rich are given tax cuts they will create more jobs for the middle and working classes. Except that trickle down has never created jobs. Everyone knows this by now but that does not stop the GOP and Fox Faux News from its continual lying about it. Trickle down is a Trojan horse for tax cuts and a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the 1%. Media water carriers for Republican propaganda, Fox Faux News, has been faithfully beating the drums for the Party's voodoo economic policies for as long as I can remember.
Even the venture capitalist below gets the hard and fast reality that tax cuts don't create jobs.
Congressman Doggett released the following statement to Burnt Orange Report today on the SCOTUS opinion, emphasis mine:
"There is good news and bad news. The good news is that only Justice Clarence Thomas insisted on imposing the crooked Perrymandered map and rejecting the vital preclearance requirement of the Voting Rights Act. The bad news is that the Supreme Court did not affirm every aspect of the ruling by Judges Garcia and Rodriquez in San Antonio, so our primary election is not likely to proceed on April 3. Yet nothing in the Supreme Court order precludes a final congressional map like that already drawn by this San Antonio court. Republican comments to the contrary are wishful thinking at best. The mishandling of this matter by Rick Perry and Greg Abbott may unfortunately again delay this election, but it need not prevent full implementation of the Voting Rights Act to assure fair treatment of our Hispanic and African American neighbors. Better later and right than earlier and wrong."
"However the final lines are drawn, I will seek reelection wherever most of my constituents live. That is CD 25 composed of substantial parts of Travis and Hays Counties under the court map and CD35 under the Perrymandered map. To ensure that our shared progressive values continue to be advanced in Washington, I will continue working hard every day. I have been in San Antonio this week, like last week, and next week, and at every future opportunity. With active campaign offices in both San Antonio and Austin, I need all the volunteer help we can get now at each. I want to be as strong an advocate for working families in other parts of the I-35 corridor as I have been for the communities that I already serve in Congress."
Republicans are so determined to draw Lloyd Doggett out of Congress that they hacked Austin and Travis County into five Congressional districts with their illegal racist gerrymandered map. This isn't the first time Doggett's district has had to be re-drawn by the courts. In 2006, SCOTUS threw out Tom DeLay's mid-decade redistricting that forced Doggett into a district that ran from Austin to Mexico. That district was redrawn into the current CD-25. That district was warped by the Republican legislature into a conservative monstrosity running from Fort Worth to Austin.
Memo to Republicans: Doggett won't quit, and every time you try to draw him out, he just keeps fighting back. Maybe you should give up and get a new legislative priority other than forcing out Central Texas' progressive voice in Congress?
In response to today's ruling from the United State's Supreme Court Supreme Court, 10th district Congressional candidate Dan Grant issued the following statement, emphasis mine:
"With continued uncertainty surrounding primary dates, district lines and a time line for when we will have definite answers, one thing is still clear: Texans deserve a voice in Congress that understands and fights for them. For years Michael McCaul has failed to be that voice. Our campaign will continue to work hard reaching out to Texans who want better than the status quo and who demand more than the self-serving politics of Michael McCaul."
Dan Grant, an Austin-based foreign policy expert, is a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Texas' 10th Congressional District against Rep. Michael McCaul.
Michael McCaul is one of the richest individuals in Congress, and represents the 1% more than the people of his Central Texas district. As we've previously reported, McCaul is on the most recent list of biggest water-wasters in the Austin area. McCaul is so out of touch with working people he didn't even seem to notice that his water bill had skyrocketed to almost 20 times that of the average Austin resident. McCaul previous made the list in 2009, ranking seventh of all utility customers for the water consumed by his 1.9-acre mansion. He claimed at the time that it was a leak in his sprinkler system, and that he had it fixed immediately. City records show, however, that the McCaul household water use had averaged around 100,000 gallons a month. The average Austin home uses 10,000 gallons a year.
While McCaul's neighbors continue blame leaky pipes, I don't know too many people who could just passively afford to keep paying so much, let alone squandering our most precious resources.
Dan Grant: won't waste all of our water and watches his own utility bills. Put that on a tee shirt!
Below is a statement from State Senator Wendy Davis on the SCOTUS opinion released today. Davis' district was hacked apart by the Republican gerrymander in an effort to run the Democrat out of office, and in so doing deny Fort Worth a Senate district anchored in the city.
Press release below, emphasis mine:
Sen. Wendy Davis Encouraged By SCOTUS Ruling That Allows For Changes Where "Reasonable Probability" of Violations Exist
WASHINGTON D.C. - Senator Wendy Davis said the opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court provides legitimacy to the prior action of the San Antonio court when it drew the interim Senate map and we are therefore hopeful that we will see them replicate their actions in drawing a new interim map. Davis is hopeful of such an outcome because there is a 'reasonable probability' that the Washington D.C. court will deny preclearance of the Senate map because it is intentionally discriminatory and harms black and Hispanic voters, and it seems likely the San Antonio court will enhance minority voting strength in Senate District 10 to fairly reflect the minority population growth.
"On behalf of the thousands of voters for whom we are fighting, we are delighted that the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that adjustments should be made where the San Antonio court has found the likelihood of Section 2 violations or a "reasonable probability" of Section 5 violations, which was exactly how the San Antonio panel of judges drew the current interim maps," Davis said from a federal courthouse in Washington D.C., where she testified today in the Section 5 trial on Texas' redistricting plans. "The interim Senate map kept districts in place as they were drawn by the Legislature, except in Senate District 10 where the San Antonio court redrew the district I represent because there are likely violations of Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act."
SCOTUS issued an opinion today instructing the San Antonio panel that drew the interim maps to toss out those interim maps and draw new interim maps. The SCOTUS logic is based on the fact that since the San Antonio maps where based on the districts used in the 2010 election and not the illegal racist gerrymander of the 2011 legislature. Evidently SCOTUS thinks that the San Antonio panel needs to make a silk purse from a sow's ear and somehow turn the racist maps from the Legislature into something that's not a wild, minority-stifling gerrymander.
In a unanimous, unsigned opinion, SCOTUS writes:
"To the extent the District Court exceeded its mission to draw interim maps that do not violate the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act, and substituted its own concept of "the collective public good" for the Texas Legislature's determination of which policies serve "the interests of the citizens of Texas," the court erred."
The Houston Chronicle has become a gift that keeps on giving good news for Democrats in the Houston area.
Today's lead story:
"Except for Emmett, Poll Sees Dem Sweep."
Judge Emmett is ahead because he and Houston's Mayor Bill White worked well together in addressing Hurricane Ike's aftermath. He is likable and folks trust him.
The surprising and great news is that Harris County's Democratic judicial candidates are in a dead heat tie with Republicans.
Voters favored Democratic candidates over Republican candidates by 7 percentage points in elections for county leadership jobs, except in the county judge's race, where Emmett has a 13-point lead over Democrat David Mincberg, according to the survey. Sixteen percent of the respondents were undecided or said they lean toward neither party's entry.
The number 7 also popped up specifically in the race for district attorney; Democrat C.O. Bradford ran 7 percentage points ahead of Republican Pat Lykos in the poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday as early voting began for the Nov. 4 election.
The poll results indicate tough years lie ahead for the GOP. This is absolutely drop dead fabulous news considering it was not long ago when Karl Rove and Tom Delay hatched their Texas Permanent Republican Majority scheme. We are now stuck with the consequences manufactured by these two Republican low life crooks.