Thursday, January 22, 2009

Term Limits Proposal Is A Loser!

Term limits is an infringement on voter’s rights and unfairly inhibits an individual’s right to run for an office.
A voter should have the right to vote for the person he or she thinks most qualified, period. There should be no such arbitrary restriction placed on office holders.
Term limits is a copout. The concept is undemocratic. It’s a kind of supposed easy fix for what some perceive to be the problems with elected officials. The notion of term limits says that voters are not smart enough or able to vote good candidates into office so we should have a steady changing of individuals regularly in order to be rid of these scoundrels which we, somehow, elected into office! One argument often heard about long serving elected officials is that they become corrupted with too long a time in their position. This is wrong, if a person of incorruptible character is elected they will remain uncorrupted.
Term limits proponents say it is difficult to defeat incumbents. Perhaps, but incumbents often lose elections, it depends on the record of the incumbent and the case made by a challenger. If the incumbent is popular with the voters or is doing a good job it should be difficult to unseat them.
The notion that a revolving door for office holders will somehow give us better government is plain wrong. Indeed the opposite may be true and it could become difficult to find people to run if, in the end, they know they are only going to be in office for a limited time.
This current proposal would limit the mayor and council members to eight years of service period, and would combine years served as council member and mayor. In other words if someone spent four years on the council that person would be limited to four years as mayor should they be elected to that position. This is extremely illogical and restrictive. This places an unfair constraint on the office holders and the voters.
The voters already have the power to limit terms at the ballot box.
It is the duty of the voters to do their due diligence when selecting office holders. It is also the duty of the voters to closely observe the representation they receive and be ready to elect a new office holder should the current one be found wanting. The responsibility for the honest and effective administration of government lies with the voters. They should actively pursue and jealously guard this prerogative.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Texas Speaker of the House Tom Craddick To Step Down

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Tom Craddick has said he would not run for the office in the new session of the state legislature. If there is one thing he can do it is count votes and they just aint there for him now! This is good news for Texas. Craddick's rule as the most powerful politician in the state has been arrogant, autocratic and straight from the playbooks of such disgraced Republicans as Tom Delay, Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

Below is an article from AP about the situation. (The layout is a bit screwed up for reasons I just don't quite understand. It's my computer or Blogger, I just don't know.)

Texas House speaker said to throw in the towel

By APRIL CASTRO and JAY ROOT – 2 days ago

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, the longest serving Republican in state elective office, has apparently given up his hard-fought bid for a fourth term in the post, leaving the door open for a rival Republican who is a relative newcomer.
Craddick aides and allies said Sunday the Midland oilman, the first Republican to lead the House since the Civil War era, told his supporters that he did not have enough votes among his fellow members to remain in the powerful job.
"I talked to the speaker. He has dropped his candidacy and released his pledges," Rep. Will Hartnett, a longtime Craddick supporter, said Sunday. "He just decided it was getting too tight."
Craddick's dwindling support became insurmountable as Rep. Joe Straus, gained
strength. Shortly before word of Craddick's surrender spread, Straus, R-San Antonio,
released a list of 85 pledges of support, more than enough to win the election on Jan. 13.
"It is time for a new tone and an atmosphere of trust in the Texas House of
Representatives," Straus said, upon announcing that he had secured enough support to
win the race. "Having received the commitment of a strong majority of my colleagues, it is my goal to restore civility, fairness and transparency to the House of Representatives and its public-policy making process."
Republicans hold a 76-74 majority in the House. The narrow partisan split and divided GOP loyalties mean House Democrats will play a decisive role. All but four House Democrats endorsed Straus.
Most Republicans threw their support behind veteran Amarillo Republican Rep. John
Smithee, who entered the race Sunday.
"We're going to need a little bit of help from a higher power and that's where we're
looking," Smithee said after members of the Republican caucus meeting Sunday night
voted to support him.
At a downtown Austin steakhouse, where Craddick addressed the House Republican
caucus, Craddick rushed through a throng of reporters to get into the restaurant.
Republican Rep. Leo Berman, of Tyler, said the caucus members were not deterred by
Straus' hefty list of supporters. He said they would start calling them to bring them to their side. Berman said he wasn't worried that they were already pledged to Straus because he said they had previously been pledged to Craddick.
Craddick has been a lightning rod of controversy in Austin. He famously faced down a
rebellion at the end of the 2007 session after replacing his rules advisers and claiming "absolute" authority to brush aside challenges to his rule.