Texas election results aren’t funny


DALLAS - The second largest delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, already heavily leaning to the right, tilted drastically further on November 2. The state officers who will draw the lines for new congressional districts, including three or four more seats because of Texas’ population growth, will be even more solidly right-wing Republican than they were during the redistricting scandals of 2002. Many of the most popular Texas Democratic leaders, including the minority leader in the Texas House, have gone down.

Texas may well have even worse news for progressive America, because Governor Rick Perry, a close clone and successor of George W. Bush, handily won an unprecedented third term. He is releasing a book almost immediately after his re-election. It sets forth his far-right, anti-worker vision that included his opinion that Social Security is nothing more than a criminal ponzi scam. Can anyone doubt that he has presidential aspirations? Progressive Texans are not looking forward to extending the years of being shamed about their home state, as we have been since GW Bush took the national stage.

To a considerable number of Americans, Texas may be a crude joke. It’s the place where the governor wants to secede from the United States, where the state authorities change textbooks to glorify rightwing Senator Joseph McCarthy and downplay Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., where there are more official executions than anywhere else, and where every index of unhappiness is so emphatically high that the award for “Most Misery in the United States,” if there were one, would be won handily. But Texas is important to America.

Texas is important because, as the second most populous state, it has the second largest delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. The American ruling class puts such a premium on the importance of that congressional delegation that they finance all manner of underhanded chicanery to make sure the delegation is made up of the most reactionary politicians in America. Don’t throw up “Rand Paul of Kentucky” to us; his FATHER is from Texas, and has represented Texas in the House since Rand was a mere maggot!

In Austin, former Kingmaker Congressman Tom DeLay is on trial for his role in illegally financing the election of the state politicians who re-drew all the congressional districts in 2002 so that rightwingers would prevail. This phase of DeLay’s legal saga was conveniently put off until the day before the election. Texas voters did not get a chance to contemplate this particular rung in the ladder downward. Twenty percent of them had already voted early, and the other voters didn’t get to read about the DeLay trial until the morning of November 2.

The scandal over the Green Party, in which it was revealed that top Republican strategists had financed the petitioning campaign to put Greens on the ballot and draw away Democratic votes, was months before the election and was largely forgotten. But it shows again how important it is to Big Money to keep the Texas delegation within the far right.

Not all the Texas news shares the same dark shades. The labor movement, led by the Texas AFL-CIO, carried out a strong and largely independent program. They even dared to run “one of our own,” former national AFL-CIO leader Linda Chavez-Thompson, for the top office of lieutenant governor. Like all the other statewide Democratic candidates, Chavez-Thompson’s campaign was buried by big money.

Another glimmer of hope came from the second largest Metropolitan area, Dallas County, where Democrats squeaked victories against the Republican tide. Venerable Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson clobbered her Tea Party-endorsed and financed opponent. The nationally famous District Attorney Craig Watkins will continue to make headlines with his dedication to fairness and cooperation with the Innocence Project. Democrats finally took over the County Commissioners’ Court with significant victories by Commissioner-elect Dr. Elba Garcia and County Judge-elect Craig Jenkins. Labor’s hard work was rewarded in Dallas despite the dim results in the rest of the state.

Texas is important to America, and its importance will weigh heavily on workers everywhere during the next political period.

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  • It has not been revealed who financed the gathering of valid petition signatures to put the Green Party of Texas on the ballot. You are repeating false information as if it was fact. It was underhanded, yes. Full of lies and deceit, yes, but...

    No mainstream print media outlet has printed proven information on this case. The revelations were from the Texas Democratic Party leadership and their corporate mouthpieces (namely LoneStar Report). The case has not even been tried yet!

    I have tried to clarify the loophole in the law that allowed a non-profit corporation to successfully lie and misrepresent themselves to the Green Party, and that the funding sources are private - I organized the whole ballot drive and I don't even know who the funders were. Only the radio hosts pay any attention to the truth.

    ALSO, no Democrats lost election because of Green Candidates. The Dem party in Texas is useless and the Republicans have more money to pour into their version of newspeak.

    Close the corporate loophole and educate voters. Also, Chavez-Thompson is a corporate labor person, she is not one of "our own".

    Posted by kat swift, 11/15/2010 9:29pm (5 years ago)

  • I can understand that some people have been sucked into the comforting lies of marxism...it sounds so compassionate and intelligent and benevolent. I can see people not liking Republicans, who have shown themselves happy to trample the Constitution when it's a social issue or some kind of foreign interventionism.

    But when you attack Ron Paul you show yourself for what you are. Nothing Dr. Paul advocates is anything but freedom, getting out of people's way and letting them live their lives. The only reason you can be against him is if you want to hold the gun of government to our heads to force your agenda on us. That's all that Ron Paul stands against.

    Reasonable people can disagree, but attacking someone like that is like wanting to jail Gandhi.

    Posted by msouth, 11/08/2010 9:13pm (5 years ago)

  • I hear $4 bllion was spent on this election to sway peoples' votes. But it is only the pundits' guesses since it will never be disclosed how the funnelling of money took place and who were the donors without disclosure.
    I think if all the unions gave every single dime they had to this election it would leave nothing for all the other needs they have and programs for their workers and they could never survive. What the unions gave was a true sacrifice.
    Corporations awake this morning and as you saw today the stock market and riches increased with the election. Payback for fooling the people into voting for their candidates. They are richer and the people poorer today including their unions.

    Posted by viviana, 11/04/2010 8:40pm (5 years ago)

  • Even the Republicans are smart enough not to take this as a mandate. The way they govern will show exactly who they stand for.
    For me it is my social security disability which has been my 100% income for 15 years due to a brain disorder. I put into it with 45 years of work and my parents contributed years of support to it too. It is not charity and has not contributed 1 cent to the deficit unlike the Bush tax cuts to the 1% of the very wealthy. The wealthy do not contribute to social security according to their income but will have great security in their old age or disability if G.d forbid that should happen. For most of the trillion they got sits in the Cayman Islands.
    So when Republicans talk of destroying social security they are talking of taking my only means of support from which I live and of which I give 30% out of pocket for medical expences not included in medicare (because we still need to be sure the private drug corporations get an extra $100 plus a month increase from me in charges come January for my medications). Instead of improving medicare, Republicans want to take it away and with it the right to live in minimal dignity as we age. This theft and will throw old people away to die. It is immoral.
    If America as a society dies it will be because Republicans are more concerned about a sperm than a fully developed human being.

    Posted by Viviana, 11/04/2010 10:12am (5 years ago)

  • obviously you dont think much of Texas voters, if you dont believe the selection of the office holders represent their sentiments. You should realize there are conservative results because there is a conservative electorate. Before you blame evil money for skewed results please understand liberal candidates and their supporters outspent conservative candidates nationwide by nearly 40%. Do the math but don't leave out union money.

    In God we trust.

    Posted by VL, 11/03/2010 4:40pm (5 years ago)

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