TLCQ 2013: Dane D. Cook

In the First installment of the 2013 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Dane D. Cook, candidate for Houston Community College Board of Trustees, District 3.

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted verbatim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.

TL: What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

DC: Dane D. Cook

 TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?


 TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?

DC: Government is the people deciding what we want in a collective voice. We have decided we have priorities and goals simple examples are Police, Education, and Infrastructure. Government is the organized response in what one would hope would be a methodical and intelligent approach.

TL: If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it. 

DC: have HCC adopt an open and transparent contracting and budget processes. A detailed budget along with contractors and there disclosure of any contractors donating to political campaigns placed on the HCC trustees website. While I am aware I am only one vote I will first find how many of other trustees support the idea then go to organizations and ask them to put political pressure on the any holdout trustees.

TL: As our nation’s educational and professional landscape continues to evolve in the 21st century, institutions like HCC stand to be a critical part of that important process. In your opinion, is HCC ready for the monumental changes coming to education? What can the system do to best prepare?

DC: NO, Successful student’s come from quality educators, HCC needs to look at policies that encourage quality educators to remain within the HCC school system. We currently place numbers of graduates above quality of graduates, and HCC does not even do that well with a 14 percent graduation rate. We must allow our faculty to educate without unnecessary administrative markers and bureaucratic red tape. This will allow for a more rigorous curriculum. I believe when our students are challenged intellectually they will become more engaged and rise to face the challenge. Then we will produce more students with the critical thinking skills to meet the evolving challenges in the 21st century.

TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?

DC: I am the only candidate that has gone to HCC. I have dealt with the issues of HCC not from hearing or being told by administrators. I have dealt with the bottom line issues from the perspective of a student, and student leader. I am completely removed from any contractors and will provide a neutral perspective free from any implied or unapplied preferences.

TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

DC: mountain bike, reading, cooking, going to Houston Dynamo and Astros games.

Thanks to Mr. Cook for his response.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst Hates Veterans?

Many know by now that David Dewhurst, the embattled Lieutenant Governor of Texas, is facing a brutal battle to keep his job as the state’s second-highest public official. As President of the Senate, Dewhurst (according to the GOP) is the one that allowed State Senator Wendy Davis to gain national attention with her filibuster of the state’s omnibus abortion bill. As a result, He’s got four significant challengers for the Republican Primary alone, with potential Democrats yet to be announced. Well after a recent forum discussion with those challengers in Houston, Dewhurst didn’t do himself any favors. Directly from Patricia Kilday Hart of the Houston Chronicle, here’s a small portion of what happened…

Dewhurst reminded the conservative crowd of other highly partisan issues [besides the omnibus abortion bill] he passed, such as Voter ID. “You think that was easy? That was a blood bath,” he said. “We had to change the rules. We had to fight the Democrats.”

He also said taxes have been cut “50 times,” including a $7 billion local property tax cut, since he took office. “I want to come back and cut ’em even more,” he said.

Patrick claimed that Democrats have been allowed to block legislation on sanctuary cities and school choice, largely because Dewhurst has given them too much power.

“I will not appoint half of the Democrats as chairman of committees,” he said.

Dewhurst responded that Democrats led only 5 of 17 Senate committees, and assured the crowd that none of them was important.

He’s supposed to be the Lieutenant Governor of all Texans, right? If so, then why is he BRAGGING about not listening to the citizens of his state? If you admit that you have to “change the rules” to be able to pass bad legislation, maybe it shouldn’t be passed in the first place.

Even more sickening is his comment saying that 5 of 17 Senate committees aren’t important. Among Lt. Governor Dewhurst’s list of “non essentials” is the Committee on Criminal Justice chaired by Senator John Whitmire, the Committee on Open Government chaired by Senator Rodney Ellis and the Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations chaired by Senator Leticia Van De Putte.

For the Lieutenant Governor of a state to imply that any of the work he does on behalf of the people of Texas is “not important”, that’s problem number 1. Each and every committee has some level of importance. Even that Open Government committee is critically important, as the rules they set and refine are the whole reason Texans know what’s going on in Austin to begin with. And to say that the work of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs isn’t important… Does the Lieutenant Governor have some sort of problem with Texas Veterans? Senator Van De Putte responded to his comment with a Tweet. I agree with her assessment… if Dewhurst doesn’t think the work of the Senate is important, then maybe he should find another job.