Shutdown? Blame the GOP

As many readers know, Texas Leftist is in the midst of a very interesting interview process. I have submitted Candidate Questionnaires (on here as the TLCQ) to candidates on Houston’s November ballot. Thankfully, the process is going well, and I must say it’s quite fascinating to read the myriad of answers given by the candidates.

Houston municipal elections are also non-partisan, and I wanted to garner some information about the political views of each candidate. But rather than ask them outright what party they belong to, I decided to ask candidates to share why government is important. In my opinion, the answer to this question can reveal a deeper truth than a particular party affiliation. It lets readers know what motivates this person to devote so much time, energy and money into running for public office.

Given what’s going on in Washington right now, I keep trying to also interpolate the answer to this question from someone like Texas Senator Ted Cruz or Texas Congressman Louis Gohmert. Judging by their actions, one can only conclude that their answer would go something like this…

Government is important to me because it gives me something to screw up. It is a vehicle by which I make lots of money and garner lots of national attention. When not serving me with self-promotion, government is wasteful spending aimed at society’s losers.

It’s no coincidence that one might associate this view with the Republican Party writ large. Their long-held plan to shut down the government has finally been realized. Most Republicans did not go to Washington to govern this country. They went to ruin it, and beat Obama. Of course GOP leaders will turn right around and say “no… this shutdown was caused by Harry Reid and the President. We didn’t want this.” They’ve said that or something similar a bunch over the last few days, and they’ve been lying.

I know everyone doesn’t watch the Rachel Maddow show, but I sincerely hope that you take a few minutes to watch this clip. She goes back and traces every move by the House GOP caucus, and proves that they have wanted a government shutdown since 2010, and would stop at nothing to get it. Democrats have been the ones held hostage to each and every of their growing list of demands. This is worth watching.

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Health Reform Facts Made Simple

Though the Affordable Care Act has been the law for over 3 years, there’s still plenty of political wrangling going on. But the truth is, many people still don’t understand exactly what “Obamacare” is, why we need it, and how it is transforming the American healthcare system. This 2010 video from the Kaiser Foundation is the best I’ve found that boils everything down to simple and clear examples. It leaves out the politics and just gives the facts.

Check it out…

TLCQ 2013: Neeta Sane

In the Tenth installment of the 2013 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Hon. Neeta Sane, incumbent Houston Community College Trustee, District VII. She is running for reelection.

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim 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?

NS: Neeta Sane

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

NS: Yes, I am a current elected official. I was elected in 2007 to serve as a Trustee of Houston Community College (HCC) and I am seeking re-election to this public office. I represent HCC District VII which is comprised of Stafford, Missouri City and a portion of Alief. Alief was annexed into HCC system in 2008 with overwhelming support of the Alief Community. The annexation of Alief expanded the educational opportunities and workforce programs for the students and the community of Alief. More information is on

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

NS: I believe that in order to accomplish common goals for public good, it is necessary that government provides a platform for two major functions – 1) To uphold the values that take into account humanity, social justice and public safety 2) To ensure the growth of a society or a region in terms of productive populace and better means of living. That is why, I believe, government is important.

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

NS: Appointing a highly qualified and experienced Permanent Chancellor to lead day-to-day operations of HCC – I will continue to ensure that the Chancellor Search uses best practices including involvement of HCC’s stakeholders.

 Completing the 2012 bond program effectively– I will continue to provide governance and oversight on behalf of the constituents of HCC to ensure that 2012 bond program produces the desired outcome.

 Graduating more students for the 21st century academia and workforce – I will continue to strengthen the partnerships and dialogue that I initiated with area school districts and industry sectors. I will continue to work hard to ensure that students graduating from high schools are ready to take college-level courses and student graduating from college are equipped with knowledge and skills necessary for the 21st century job market.

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?

NS: Yes, HCC continues to position itself well as one of the leading institutions in the educational and professional landscape. HCC continues to remain responsive to the regional needs for the academic and workforce training opportunities. By offering educational opportunities in over 70 different career pathways, HCC is paving the way for 1) industry sectors to have skilled workforce and 2) regional economies to have educated and productive base of citizens.

HCC also enables students to have workplace skills to succeed in the 21st century marketplace. HCC’s highly diverse student body plays a significant role in widening students’ educational and professional horizon enabling them to have experiences to interact with peers who have varied perspectives and backgrounds. These experiences are highly valued by the 21st century employers in the workplace.

HCC continues to collaborate with area schools and businesses to ensure success for our students in the classroom and in the workplace. HCC, being an affordable choice that offers quality education, continues to remain highly innovative in bridging the gaps in the educational and professional arena. As a dedicated Trustee of HCC, I have been instrumental in establishing productive partnerships for HCC.

Overall, it is crucial for the success of the students and the economy of our nation that we build a foundation that strengthens the educational pipeline from high schools to colleges to careers.

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

NS: I am seeking re-election to HCC Trustee District VII. As a Houston Community College Trustee for the past six years, I have a proven track record of leadership, dedication and stewardship focusing on student success, faculty empowerment and community partnerships.

The following are the highlights of my leadership accomplishments that I believe exhibit my commitment to students’ success. I believe that my effective service to HCC, students and the community as a whole makes me the best suited candidate with six years’ experience as HCC Trustee.

My Leadership Accomplishments:

 –Propelled HCC to greater heights with the following programs in the growth areas  New educational and workforce initiatives – HCC Alief: Early College High School, UT Tyler Engineering Degree Program, Certified Nursing Assistance Program, upcoming Bissonnet Workforce Building, HCC Stafford: Fine Arts Center, Expanded Learning Hub, AAS degree in Logistics and Global Supply Chain Management, upcoming Stafford Workforce Building, HCC Missouri City: upcoming Center for Entrepreneurship, Health Sciences and Technology, Athletics and Intramural sports at HCC.  $140M investment for educational programs and buildings in HCC District VII

 –Instituted Workforce Support Scholarship for HCC Students

 –Instituted HCC-ASPIRE Scholarship Program in support of Diversity and Inclusiveness for HCC Students

 –Leadership Summit for Alief Early College High School Students

 –Workforce Summits to align HCC’s educational offerings with industry needs  Built Community & Industry Partnerships for HCC

Honors and Awards:

 -Special Congressional Recognition Certificate (2013) – from Congressman Al Green

 -Certificate of Recognition (2013) – from Harris County Judge Ed Emmett

 -Recognition & Resolution from State of Texas (2011) – from House of Representatives

 -2013 Greater Houston Service Award – from Volunteer Houston

 -2012 Leadership Award – from Asia Houston Network

 -2010 Minority Achievers Award – from YMCA

 -2010 Community Entrepreneur of the Year Award –from Asian Chamber of Commerce

 -2009 DiversityFirst Award – from Texas Diversity Council

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

NS: When I have some free time, I spend as much time as possible with family.

Thanks to Ms. Sane for her participation.