Tag Archives: Patricia Kilday Hart

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.

Brookshires, Kroger Don’t Support Equal Pay for Texas Women

Sad, but very true. This shocking story came from Patricia Kilday Hart at the Houston Chronicle

Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have let victims of wage discrimination sue in state court after receiving letters against the measure from the Texas Retailers Association and five of its members, mostly grocery stores, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle.

Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, who authored HB 950 mirroring the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, said she unaware that the group and the businesses opposed her bill, or that they sought a gubernatorial veto.

Among the businesses advocating for a veto was Kroger Food Stores.

“I shop at Kroger’s for my groceries,” Thompson said. “I shopped there just last week. I’m going to have to go to HEB now. I am really shocked.”

Also writing to seek a veto were representatives of Macy’s, the Houston grocery company Gerland Corp. [Food Town], Brookshire Grocery Company, Market Basket, the Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

HEB is a member of the Texas Retailers Association, but lobbyist Rusty Kelley said the company did not lobby against the bill.

The letters to Perry provide a behind-the-scene glimpse of the legislative process. Entities such as the Texas Retailers Association can seek a gubernatorial veto without the knowledge of sponsors. Thompson and her Senate counterpart, Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, say they were blind-sided by Perry’s veto and the retailers’ opposition.

Veteran Austin lobbyist Bill Miller said seeking a gubernatorial veto is a common lobby tactic. “That’s a smart play. You don’t fade the heat (by publicly opposing a bill) on the front end and you win on the back end.” He said that, except for the Chronicle’s open records request, “no one would be the wiser. You do what you gotta do to protect your client.”

Makes you wonder how many of Perry’s other seemingly ludicrous vetos were done in this manner. But in any case, this is unacceptable. I can’t believe that I have to write sentences like these, but women are equal citizens in every way. Why would anyone support laws that discriminate against a woman’s ability to earn fair wages, and pursue those fair wages if they’ve been stolen from her? It’s because of that reasoning that the bill passed the hyper partisan Texas Legislature with bi-partisan support… it’s the right thing to do!! And yet Governor Perry would rather please his lobbyist friends than stand with Texas women?

Give me a break.

Houstonians may be less familiar with Brookshires, but the grocery store chain is a staple of East Texas. In fact for many small towns north of Houston and East of Dallas in the state, Brookshires may be the only major grocery store for 30 miles. Brookshires also has stores located in Arkansas and Louisiana.

Gerland Corp is a prominent grocer in the Houston area as well, as the owner and proprietor of all Food Town grocery stores. I plan to boycott all of these businesses, because I don’t want my money going to places that don’t support Texas women. Kroger is going to be especially tough, but it will happen. Houston State Senator Sylvia Garcia, who had a scheduled appearance at a Macy’s store earlier this week, cancelled that and all other events for businesses affiliated with blocking the legislation. Progress Texas already has a petition drive for the boycott. As readers, I would urge you to do the same. And to make it even easier, here are some handy maps letting you know where NOT to go.

Fellow blogger Dos Centavos has an excellent post on this as well.