Much like what is happening to Tom DeLay in Washington, another Tom, Tom Craddick has ethics problems of his own. In response, Texas Republicans beat back the ethics bill in the Texas house right now.
This bill is more aimed at cleaning up elections, however the Speaker of the House, Tom Craddick, has done a lot of questionable fund raising. Craddick's campaign reportedly received funds from corporations, which is expressly prohibited under Texas law.
The move to try and get this ethics bill out of committee, headed by a Craddick loyalist, was executed by a Republican:
Rep. Tommy Merritt of Longview, who had been the target of attack ads funded by undisclosed corporate donors during his unsuccessful Texas Senate campaign last year, asked for the vote on bringing the ethics bill to the floor. The maverick Republican warned colleagues that if the measure didn't become law, they were all vulnerable to scurrilous attacks from anonymous sources.
However, much like the Republicans in Washington, the Republicans in Texas blamed it all on Democrats.
Democrats in Austin, have been doing a slightly better job communicating the issue than their counterparts in Washington:
Rep. Jim Dunnam of Waco, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, said that he and others were only trying to support a popular bill and that he had tried to extend nothing but respect to Mr. Craddick.
"The highest priority of the session should be ethics," he said.
Supporter Fred Lewis, chairman of the watchdog group Campaigns for People, said after talking to aides, members, lobbyists and "seeing it myself," he believed Mr. Craddick used all the influence in his arsenal to stall the bill.
"Craddick's killing the bill," Mr. Lewis said. "He's trying to protect himself and his friends."
In Texas and throughout the country, Democrats need to be trying to tie Republicans down with the ethics changes. That Republicans are fighting against ethics regulations is something that Democrats everywhere can use.
A site for cross-posting and posting original stories from around Texas that reveal the character of the Texas right wing. So much dirt. Such a big state.
This site brings Texas bloggers together to keep an eye on the actions of Texas right-wingers. Yes, friends. The radical conservative Republican politicians and activists who rule this state assume that nobody is watching.
They are hoping that nobody remembers Sen. John Cornyn's statements justifying violence against judges or Majority Leader Tom DeLay's zealous intervention into a private family dispute that spawned a media circus. Or Congressman Sam Johnson's intimation that he could personally nuke Syria. Or that Kay Bailey Hutchison has hired one of the "swift boat" smear architects for her gubernatorial campaign. Or that Republican corruption in the Dallas County Police Department has contributed to outrageous crime rates. Or the actions and stunts of the Young Conservatives of Texas on college campuses all across the state.
Well, they have had over ten years to lead. They haven't led. We will.
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