Wednesday, June 15, 2005

DeLay blinks on traffic issue: Or does he?

With all of the modesty that may be due the circumstance the Forum notes that barely 4 weeks after it launched its bumper sticker campaign, regarding Tom DeLay’s refusal to allow funding for Houston’s proposed Metro transit plans, Tom DeLay has announced a 180 degree change in his public position. On Monday it was announced that DeLay would support federal funding for some aspects of a plan to relieve commuter congestion in the Houston area that affects the 22nd Congressional District. He didn’t agree to the rail plan that is needed. He didn’t actually secure any funding. He just announced that he doesn’t oppose it anymore.

We take an appropriate amount of credit for the fact that DeLay recognized that he had to take a different public position on this issue. Our first issue campaign can be called a success because immediately after it was launched a change of position was announced. The forum does not intend to relent on the traffic bumper sticker campaign because we have learned that you have to watch not what Tom DeLay says but what he does. Nothing announced on Monday means that any progress has been achieved. When funding occurs for transportation programs that actually help the people of the District the campaign can claim success. Right now actions on the part of whoever represents the District after the fall elections will speak louder than words. In the mean time if you are sitting in Houston traffic jams you can thank Tom DeLay for standing in the way of transportation progress.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

DeLay calls Sweatshop squalor a "Glowing example of a Free Market Success"

When Tom DeLay got his ride on Air Force One with the President he had just finished another denial that he is protecting sweatshop operators in the Northern Mariana Islands. Even after an ABC News 20/20 program documented the wretched conditions where Tom DeLay’s patrons compete with American Workers by charging imported workers a recruitment fee for the job, paying well below minimum wage and charging them for their barracks style sub-slum housing, Tom DeLay denies that this is happening. There have been Congressional investigations, attempts at legislation in the Senate and the American companies tarred with the embarrassment of having trafficked in the ill gotten goods, have fully apologized and made reparations. Yet, on May 15, 2005, yes two weeks ago, Tom DeLay said: “…there was no evidence of any of that going on. NO evidence of sweatshops as portrayed by the national media…… they could not produce one story or one individual to prove their allegations,”. He totally closes his mind to the evidence that is so obvious to nearly all others who have looked into the matter.

Today, a woman named Carmencita Abad, held a press conference in Houston to declare that she was one of those people. She was put forward by the Houston Interfaith Worker Justice group and the AFL-CIO Council, to show how deceitful Tom DeLay’s support for the sweatshop owners is, when he directly helps foreign interests undermine worker’s here in America.

It is bad enough that the representative of the people of the 22nd Congressional District prefers to support interests that abuse and enslave workers to help those interests sell their products for a price below what American companies can match, but he is directly supporting the loss of over 60,000 American jobs when companies who pay decent wages cannot compete with the corrupt companies. When Tom DeLay supports foreign interests, he is costing us all our livelihood in one way or another. What Republican Senator Frank Murkowski and so many others have called appalling, Tom DeLay called “a glowing example of free market success.”

People in the 22nd Congressional District deserve a representative that will protect their interests ahead of those of corrupt foreign interests. His refusal to acknowledge the problem that the United States Senate has tried to remedy and others have denounced is evidence of his disdain for some elements of common decency.

Reverand Dr. Diana Dale, a leading corporate chaplain who teaches ethics at the Universtiy of St. Thomas said: “I think it’s time for all of us to respectfully ask Congressman DeLay to re-examine his actions and statements, to ask himself if his actions were really in line with God’s teachings . . . .” This forum agrees. Really Mr. DeLay, have you no sense of decency?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

As pieces fall into place Mordred can see the room of the Round Table

Today in Austin State District Judge Joe Hart decided as a matter of law, after trial, that Tom DeLay's co-conspirators acted in violation of law when they illegally took huge amounts of Corporate money to influence the 2002 elections. This was the first legal point in showing to people that the neo conservative agenda to change America was founded on illegal activities that stems from corrupt ideas and corrupt actions.

Around the 22nd District the reaction has been focused on how it effects the people who live here. It is bad enough that the Congressman that is elected from here is being dogged by people who are showing how corrupt and illegal his conduct is, the people here keep asking: "So what has Tom DeLay been doing on our behalf?"

Karl Silverman, the President of the Neighborhood Democrats Club in Galveston County Texas said: "It's bad enough that the way he does business so often violates the rules and laws that apply to his work, but it's another example of the amount of time he spends pounding the pavement for issues that have nothing to do with why he was elected to office."

Karrie Washenfelder, President of the Fort Bend Employee Federation stated: "The people who live here are getting tired of having a Congressman who coldly turns his back on key issues that matter to his constituents."

Gayle Fallon of the Houston Federation of Teachers added: "Tom DeLay has managed to secure reelection over the last 10 elections without having paid much attention to the issues of the people in his district but his margins of victory have been declining. With all the stories of the different things he's done that stretched the limits of ethics and legality, his failure to attend to the needs of his people is going to exact a toll when he tries to get the voters' approval in his next election."

The national clamor over Tom DeLays arrogance and refusal to be accountable to normal standards of conduct are noticed in the District but the final quesiton will always be: will the people here want to keep being painted with his bad conduct as their representative on the national scene? These Texas expect more from someone who is supposed to represent them.

Friday, May 20, 2005

This race is one of the most competitive in Nation

Dr. Richard Murray of the University of Houston pointed the Forum to the recent rating by the University of Virginia Center for Politics which lists the Congressional race in the Texas 22nd district as THE most competitive race in the Country. Can anyone remember the word invincible?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

More numbers to crunch

The Forum has always noted that Mike FJetland, who ran as a Republican in primaries against Tom DeLay in 2000 and 2002 got 16% of the Republican vote in his first outing, and 20% in the second effort. Mike got these numbers with nearly no financial support and no name recognition. Nearly 1 in 5 Republicans were already inclined to turn DeLay out back then. Now Mike claims on his blog that 40% of the Republicans who voted in the Republican Primary in 2004, when there was no opponent against DeLay, showed up and voted, but did not check DeLay as a choice among the other votes they cast. They voted in the Republican Primary but did not vote for DeLay. Without checking Mike's numbers it does sound like Tom DeLay's troubles at home are larger than the mainstream media is picking up. This makes it seem like 40% of the Repbulicans in DeLay's district are looking for someone else to vote for.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Bumper Sticker for our Schools Posted by Hello

DeLay really Nails Teachers when it comes to Social Security

Everyone knows that there is a storm brewing over Social Security. As Tom DeLay and his "conservative movement" try to take benefits from working people by the "starve the beast" ideology, few people have been able to appreciate how thoughtlessly he has gone after the people who teach our children: the teachers. Years ago Congress passed a bill called the Windfall Elimination Provision. It cuts the benefits of a small group of people who have vested Social Security rights and also are entitled to Texas Teacher Retirement. This law absolutely cuts this benefit that everyone else would get if they were not teachers in Texas. Yes it is that narrowly unfair and that bad. Read the report of the unfairness on the Teachers' web page. (Click on the Blue link).

Notice it mentions that over 300 members of Congress (as in more than a majority), have co-sponsored the bill to correct this unfairness. The Fairness Act, as it is called, received 193 signatures on a 'discharge petition' seeking to force it out of committee to remedy the unfairness. The only thing stopping it is Tom DeLay's insistence that this way of saving money for the tax breaks for the rich is the fairest thing to do. No wonder he felt comfortable in saying, at the Clear Lake debate last year: "I don't feel it is my job to improve education".

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sitting in Traffic? Thank Tom DeLay Posted by Hello

Sitting in Traffic? Thank Tom DeLay

The first of the issue focused media opportunities of the District 22 Political Forum has hit the streets. The 'Sitting in Traffic' campaign has been rolled out in the form of bumper stickers that can be obtained through the Site. Go to the site, click on donate and for a three dollar donation the forum will mail you a bumper sticker. They have been available at various public events including the Galveston County Jumbo Gumbo cook-off and the Family fun day at Bass park last weekend. Envision the multitudes who sit in traffic having to stare at a bumper sticker in front of them that reminds them that the reason we have constant construction, no master transit plan and one of the worst mass transit programs is that Tom DeLay steadfastly refuses to allow the development of mass transit.

Many of you will remember that Tom DeLay personally stood in the way of transit funding. He adamantly blocked all efforts until our public officials placed the matter up for a bond issue, got public approval and then had to pay 100% of the cost of the initial scaled down transit system we now have. The problems we have with the gallant effort to get mass transit are due to Tom DeLay's efforts to prevent it from happening. When Houston's Metro tried to get additional federal funds, after paying the first 100%, Tom DeLay and John Culberson blocked the legislation that would have funded the next phase last fall.

If you are sitting in traffic. You can thank Tom DeLay. In debate last fall he tried inartfully to explain that there were statistical data that proved it was better to build more roads and have more cars. One need only guess which interests donated to his campaigns to begin to understand where his logic is developed. In the meantime Houstonians and the rest of the District will sit in traffic.

Buy the bumper stickers. Support the program to remind people why they are wasting their time and money going nowhere. Go to the site and get a bumper sticker.