Monday, October 25, 2010

Election 2010: TX Governor

My 3 issues for choosing are:

1. Factual sources of information (most definitely not campaign ads).
2. Re-elect no incumbent that you cannot personally verify did more good than harm.
3. Look for real specifics in proposed actions(names and numbers, not slogans).

Factual data as reported by the newspapers:

Governor Perry was behind the attempted land grab for the Trans-Texas Corridor, a proposed foreign-owned toll road. He vetoed the eminent domain reform bill passed by the Legislature specifically to make this possible. At stake was almost a million acres of privately-owned land to be forcibly taken by the state, and turned over to a foreign company for their profit. The bill he vetoed specifically outlawed this taking of private lands for private profit.

He was also behind the attempted fast-tracking of permits for a big cluster of old-technology coal-fired power plants to be built close to the greater Waco area. This would have driven McLennan county into air pollution non-attainment status, forcing local residents to get their cars emissions-tested for state inspection, at increased expense. It would have also driven the Dallas-Ft. Worth and Houston non-attainment areas into direct federal EPA control, something no one here wants.

More good than harm:

The two items listed above would have done great harm to the people of Texas. I see no way that the good Mr. Perry has done, and he has done some, outweighs these two items. He fails, and Mr. White wins, on this selection issue.

Proposed specifics:

I have not yet seen much (that I trust as factual data) from Mr. Perry or Mr. White in the way of specific policy proposals. It's a "wash".


I recommend voting for Bill White for governor. That's what I will be doing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

On Election 2010

It’s election time, which is always a very important decision, one I encourage you to make. Allow me to share three ideas, which I heartily recommend you consider, as you make your decisions.

First: believe only sources of factual information, campaign ads and internet forwards most definitely do not qualify. Stick to public debates refereed by responsible parties, and to interviews by actual professional journalists, as reported in the newspapers.

Do not place much weight on simple speeches. Those are good for drawing your attention, not so much for honest, factual, and substantive information.

Second: there is the tendency of incumbent politicians to become corrupted as time-in-office passes, in the sense that special interests buy them with lots of financial contributions. This takes time to occur, so as a general rule, regular turnover insures better, more honest representation for the common man.

There are exceptions to this generalization, but only down at the 1-3% level. If you can verify for yourself, from factual information, that an incumbent did more good than harm, then he is worth re-electing.

Third: when comparing two candidates, look at the details of what they say, not just the “sound” of it (which is really your own ideological “filter” talking, rather than anything the candidate actually said). Look for names, numbers, and other specifics. If you do not see specific proposals with actual figures and names, then you are seeing only slogans and ideology.

Better to choose the candidate with substantive ideas than the sloganeer. Ideologies and slogans historically made very bad public policy, such as happened in the former communist world, among many other examples.

In my book, looking at candidates with those three issues in mind trumps any possible politics, be they the candidate’s or yours. What you are looking for is an honest, thoughtful person, with substantive ideas, who will do right by you.

You choose for yourself. But I do offer these two thoughts:

I recommend re-electing Chet Edwards. He has by far the more substantive ideas about what to actually do. And by voting against his own party at times, I really do know Chet does more good than harm.

I also recommend re-electing Doc Anderson, and for the same reasons. Doc voting against his own party is partly why our kids will not grow up under a pall of coal ash. That is most definitely more good than harm.

As for the rest? I haven’t made up my mind yet. But, if I don’t know, then I vote “no”. A lot of them have not made their cases to me.