Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Stealth Open House Chapter II

Since he took a lease on office space in the new part of his gerrymandered District Tom DeLay avoided announcing that the place was open for business. For weeks I have heard of people calling the office to ask when it would be open and their inquiries were never answered. On one occasion several members of the Bay Area New Democrats (BAND) visited the office to ask what was going on and still could not find out when the office would open officially.

On March 29, 2005 a BAND member called to say that there was a rumor that the Grand Opening was to be that night. I called the office to confirm and the person who answered the phone said he was not sure but would find out. He placed me on hold and when he came back he was NOT SURE!!!! A reporter from a major Metro paper called later that day and said he had received a notice that the Congressman was planning to host some people at the office to formally open the venue.

With this late notice the Bay Area New Democrats intrepid warriors that they are were only able to muster out six people to voice opposition to the policies of Tom DeLay. This pretty good showing of community sentiment was an off day for BAND which can usually be counted upon for 15-20 residents who have one bone or another to pick with the Majority Leader. It is well reported on the Web site of the Harris County Democratic Party and in 'The Stakeholder.

A Stealth Open House

Tom DeLay tends to shy away from announcing public events in his own District. The extent of the protests against him when it is known that he will be in town (which is not often) mar his image as one who holds the regard of his constituents.

Since he obtained office space in this part of his new gerrymander Tom DeLay had never announced it was open to the public. We know this because I visited the office in February and asked the staffer when the office would be open to the Public. The staff person said he was not sure. Numerous people have reported calling the office number to ask for the date of the Grand Opening and recieved similarly vague answers. On Tuesday March 29, 2005 I received a call from a reliable source telling me that it had been announced that the Grand Opening was that night and asking that I confirm the event. I called the Office of Tom DeLay and asked if it was true that there would be an Open House that night at that office and was placed on hold while the person on the phone asked. When he returned he said he wasn't sure! Next I received a call from a reporter from a major Metropolitan news organization who said that he had received notice that there would be such an event.

The benefit of the late and vague notice of the Grand Opening was to limit the number of protesters to about six. Their escapades are reported at the Harris County Democratic Party Web page at and in the Stakeholder. (Click on the two links to see the coverage.)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Beltway Banditos Just Wanna Have Fun?

In 2004 an unkown political neophyte nearly toppled a giant here by running an old fashioned I am a nice guy and he isn't campaign. He spoke to issues that mattered to people and the people loved it. He was like a rock star travelling anywhere he went. At the State Party convention it was like he was the only candidate that paid attention. He increased the vote for his party from a nearly rock solid 35% t0 41% and took the giant off his 65% solid base to a paltry 55%. DeLay lost one of the four counties and only won his home county by 52%

Now there is a furor raging, primarily among the D.C. in-bred community, raising a bunch of stink that will most likely only matter in the D.C. community. DeLay and the President have sloughed it off publicly because they know the most crucial fact about it. If it doesn't matter to District 22 it will not matter. If all of the charges now aired are true, and they mean something adverse to DeLay, he could still get re-elected if people do not check the pulse of what the relevant community down here cares about.

May all of those who ardently protest the ills of a government that operates out of Tom DeLay's pay for play book continue to air their greivances. Just don't forget that the true political and legal focus is right here in the Texas 22nd. Will people in Texas prefer to stand with their Mordred as he weathers the storm from the North, or will they side with their nice guy candidate who promises a real change to real Texas values?

With some help and understanding the people here can achieve the change that was started when the nice guy turned the tide against DeLay with little more than hard work and determination. If any of the inciteful beltway banditos want to see the fruits of their labor they will look into what the people here are saying about the brouhaha way up there. Failing to heed Tip O'Neill's admonition will exact its price.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Calls for Resignation become louder

The Public Campaign Action Fund has ramped up the drumbeat for removal of Tom DeLay as a blight on our National scene. Today they call for his resignation listing 10 reasons why he has violated the trust of the Nation. Interestingly, as bad as each reason is, and as much as this column supports the effort, none of their reasons mentions the reason why people in the Texas 22nd need to rebel against his conduct. He no longer represents our interests as our legislator. We demand representation in Congress and, if his resignation from the Legislature is the only way for us to obtain our rights, so be it. Ulitmately our vote will determine whether he should stay in power. As the group with the most at stake in this issue, we the voters will have the final say. This column offers its support to the the Action Fund and will stay on the course of pointing out the failures of Tom DeLay to represent his people. We are the voice that counts.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Can you say CACAPHONY? What happens in Brazoria Plays in Peoria

To the 10,000 people who gave money last year to oppose Tom DeLay your money was well spent. Keep it up. Just because you don't live in his District does not mean that your finacial "vote" did not send a meaningful signal.

In yet another post highlighting the extent of the world media's attention to the broad misconduct of the Congressman from our District the Houston Chronicle and the Washington Post set out the obstacle course Tom DeLay will have to navigate to stay his course on his agenda in Washington. Since the issues that most interest the people who live here have never been high on the list in his agenda we ask you to note the comment that the District 22 Political Forum has been making for months. People around the Country can help themselves by paying attention to what is happening here.

"House Republicans are publicly standing by DeLay, R-Sugar Land, but some wonder privately whether the reports by Washington-based reporters will seep into news media outlets in their districts and derail their legislative initiatives." Houston Chronicle March 13, 2005

Effective action to publicize the failure attend to local issues by the Majority Leader will make his cronies in Washington all take note of the risk they face in their own Districts for their affiliation with a bad agenda. What happens in Brazoria plays in Peoria.

Friday, March 11, 2005

And what does this mean? Is he slipping?

At the bottom of a Chronicle Story about how we are getting more highway money (which apparently is instead of mass transit money), there is just a little comment about how the provision that Tom DeLay wanted was not part of the proposed legislation. If you attach significance to such tid bits it suggests that the Majority Leader doesn't have complete control. Is that possible?

The District 22 Political Forum maintains that an active process of letting the people who live here know how they are being represented by their Congressman will let the other members of congress know that there is discontent in DeLay's home District. With enough attention broadcast to the voters here in the District one might expect to see a change in his status after the next election. Enough evidence of voter dissatisfaction here in this homeland should empower other members of Congress to know that they can stand for their own interests and not be kowed by abuses of power by the leadership. Can we hope that this article is a portent of things to come?

His conduct no longer reflects the values of the mainstream voter in this area now, if it ever did.

Here they come. Cuts at NASA

As always it is hard to sift information from the chaff we get in the press releases but this article in the Houston Chronicle has an aroma that suggests that the budget funding for NASA that has been touted as 100% funding does not mean that NASA jobs in Houston are better off. It also does not mean that it will be NASA that will stay stable in the Houston economy. Note the mention of jobs in other states. The principle work will apparently be done by contractors and their positions will likely be in other communities. Where is the benefit to having Tom DeLay as the Congressman for this District? If you are already wealthy purchase stock in one of the winners in the Contractor bidding wars.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Tom DeLay is in the News

The coverage of Tom DeLay last night by Leslie Stahl of CBS 60 Minutes focused upon the sly way that the people who stand with Tom DeLay try to assume that the laws that apply to the rest of us do not apply to them. All of the complaints that they levy at the legal profession for trying to fight for the people on the "wrong" side of social issues are expressed out of their own mouths when it is their feet being held to the fire. What a sleazy contortion of the law they reach for when they try to explain that all of DeLay's people's expenses were administrative. It follows DeLay's own explanation for why it was O.K. for lobbyist Abramson to pay $14,000.00 for his trip to a luxury hotel in Paris. PARIS, as in FRANCE! (e-mail Ombudsman to get the link for that article)

If you want to see an example of anti-lawyer hypocrisy you should read the answer Tom DeLay's lawyers filed to the Chris Bell ethics complaint. They raise every objection to the Bell complaint that they whine about when a lawyer raises the same argument for other people that are in the legal system. Let us eliminate the rights of people who are unfortunate enought to have to go to court to solve a problem but wait. Don't change anything until after my problem is out of the way. I want all of the benefits of our legal system while they are there but when I don't need them any more then don't let anyone else obtain them.

What is comes down to is that the Washington Post article highlighting how he is in trouble back home (as in here in Webster, Texas) is just a precurser to the stories that are in the wings which will demonstrate how he is no longer seen here as a representative of the values of this community.

While I was writing the post below another e-mail came in from a disaffected republican asking what he and his wife could do to address the problem of how DeLay represents us here in the District. This two party family became a one party family over how re-districting was effected.

Hold the Phones: Republicans want DeLay out?

A Republican resident of Fort Bend County (where Tom DeLay lives), just sent me a post through the web site to vent the views of a group of Texas District 22 Republicans over how far the majority agenda has moved away from mainstream Texas values. A lengthy telephone call followed in which a major effort by Republicans to find an opponent to DeLay was discussed by this disaffected resident. If you credit the testimony of one voice from Richmond, the people of Faith and mainstream residents in DeLay's home area view the dishonest and manipulative way that things have been done in their name with embarrassment. Since a total unknown Republican ran against DeLay in the Primary in the past, and garnered 20% of the Republican vote, in DeLay's best years, you might think a well developed Republican candidate would be a serious problem for the ethically challenged Majority Leader to face in his own primary. The move is afoot among decent folks to find an alternative to pay for play politics here in the Texas 22nd.

What effect will it have on members of the Republican conference in Washington if they begin to realize that the Majority Leader may not even be re-elected next time? Could they learn to live with the concept that Americans have come to know as compromise? Could there be honor and fairness in Washington if the corrupt power plays of the past were marginalized? Stay tuned. Things are getting interesting.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

DeLay Decides to meet his constituents

The Washington Post seems to have picked up one of Tom DeLay's Press Releases and reports that he plans to act like a representative of the people. Last year the local Congressmen and Women who returned to their Districts dutifully nearly every weekend used to joke that they never saw Tom DeLay on the flights from Washington. Now the Post reports that he is back all the time. No one here noticed his presence yet but the times they are a changin'. Next we might find out that he would like to pass legislation that improves the lives of his constituents or something progressive like that. Like maybe the clear highways initiative.