Republicans Slipping in Texas

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A number of items crossed my view in the last 24 hours, which appear to point to a slippage by Republicans over the State of Texas. Yesterday afternoon, I read a newsletter sent me by my State Representative, Carter Casteel. What was surprising was that much of her talk and legislation appears to be championing traditional Texas Democratic Party issues.

She is working to increase funding and pay for teachers, while seeking a plan to reduce property taxes, which Texans from all parties are in a growing furor over. Poor and retired Texans on fixed incomes are losing their homes due to rapidly escalating property taxes in many areas. She is seeking more state funding for schools, which will pressure an increase in state taxes while lowering property taxes. Since, in Texas there is no state income tax, raising state taxes means increasing taxes on business.

Representative Casteel has sought judicial pay raises, and increases in Worker's Compensation, Privacy Protection, strengthening public education, and beefing up the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The only solidly Republican stance she has taken of late is on eminent domain where she laudably backs legislation to halt government taking of private property for other private party uses. The respected Texan blogger Burnt Orange Report says of her:

Rep. Casteel reminds us of days under the dome when our representatives had [a] better blend of bipartisanship, courage, and respect for the concerns of the state over party ideology.

But there is more in the headlines this week. The Associated Press announced yesterday:

Former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson said Monday that he has filed paperwork to run for the congressional seat held by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. ...

Lampson, a conservative Democrat, represented an adjacent district for eight years until redistricting that DeLay engineered cost him enough Democratic votes that he lost to U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Houston, in 2004.

Lampson is the first Democrat with name recognition and political experience to challenge DeLay since he was first elected in 1984.

Given DeLay's poll numbers in his district, it appears this House seat may actually fall to a conservative Democrat in 2006.

The AP also reports yesterday of a Republican defector in Texas.

Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn turned her back on the Republican Party and announced Monday she will run for governor as an independent.

The move allows Strayhorn to escape a potentially ugly primary battle against Gov. Rick Perry. The GOP primary is set for March 7.

Though Republican Governor Perry's tanked poll numbers rebounded a bit after a better than adequate response to the hurricane that hit the Texas Coast last year, his popularity has not recovered its once lofty numbers.

Is Texas marking a sea change in American politics foreshadowing what will happen on the national level as it did back in the 1980's when it shifted from a Democrat to a Republican state? Time will tell. It is important to remember that even when Texas was a Democratic Party controlled state, it was a conservative Democratic Party that held the reins.

2 Comments

I have heard others state the same issues you mention in your article in regards to Texas. I think it is good to look these actions over and understand what is really going on.
How is Delays' image fairing in Texas right now? Hmm, I wonder.
Ryamond B
www.voteswagon.com

Raymond B, one thing for sure, DeLay's prospects will only worsen as Abramoff spills the beans.

DeLay is reported today to be bullying the Texas judicial system in attempts to hasten proceedings. The House has agreed not to return to session in January in the hopes of awaiting DeLay's charges to be dismissed, and allowing him to return to his leadership role in the House.

With the advent of Abramoff's ties to DeLay, it would appear the House of Rep. is wasting its, and the American tax payer's time waiting for DeLay. Even if Texas dismisses charges against DeLay, it likely will not be long before he is arraigned on Federal Charges which would cause him to step down yet again.

I see where the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert has admitted to taking $69,000 of bribe money from Abramoff's lobbying efforts. Hastert in a state of remorse, said he will donate that money to charity. A meaningless gesture after the fact. If Hastert had real misgivings about his bribe money, he would have given it up BEFORE Abramoff spilled the beans. Doing so afterward, only says Hastert intended to hold on to his money if at all possible. Now of course, that won't be possible.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on January 3, 2006 10:37 AM.

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