Tag Archives: Texas 2018 Elections

TLCQ 2018: Margarita Ruiz Johnson

In the Fourth installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Margarita Ruiz Johnson,  candidate for U. S. House, Texas’ 22nd Congressional District.

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?

MRJ:  Margarita Ruiz Johnson. District 22, US House of Representative.

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

MRJ:  Retired.  Will work full time on District 22, Community issues making progress in economic and social issues impacting our community.

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

 MRJ:  Goverment is by the People and of the People and for the People.  Our representatives, when elected need to truly represent the needs and dreams of its community at the local level, the state level and the federal level, in a fair manner.  Government is needed and can be helpful to solve many of the problems the citizens and the local communities have to make their lives better and to help them fulfill their dreams to improve the lives of their children and grandchildren to have  a better future and to retire with dignity.  The representative is to work for its community and not to get himself or herself rich.  They should represent their communities with dignity and respect.

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.

MRJ:  I will, work  daily to reverse many of the dangerous bills and laws passed by President Trump affecting the lives of individuals in our communities.  I will draft legistation and will spend most of my time doing this to repair the damage done in enviromental laws, climate change, taxation of the rich, tax code, salaries, jobs, health care, senior and veterans benefits, children care and benefits, community health centers, senior care and benefits in nursing homes, middle class jobs and salaries, pensions and retirement funds, and the regulation of wall street, to include the protection of the consumer protection agency.  We need to do this, right away, to get us back on track to have a better economic future for our children and grandchildren.

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is on course to have an unprecedented boom in the state’s population. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.

MRJ:  Texas infrastructure needs to be improve to accomodate the larger population and congestion problems that we are having.  We are beginning to convert our roads into toll roads, but most of these contracts are going to “entities from foreign governments”, the funds will leave our communities and will not be reserve for repairs, nor to improve  traffic congestion.  This is wrong and most people don’t know about this “glitch” that will drain money from transportation to other countries…. We need to reverse this to insure that the moneys stays local to help improve transportation. In addition, the transportation of the future can shift to more speed trains using green energy and fewer cars to help with the environnment and the traffic congestion.

TL:  Even as impressive growth continues in around the state’s urban centers, rural Texans are faced with a healthcare crisis.  According to Laura Garcia of the Victoria Advocate, rural communities across the state have lost 18 hospitals in less than five years, and this was before any additional challenges worsened by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.  Without hospital services in or near their local communities, the medical and emergency care is at an increasing risk our citizens.  As a legislator, how would you plan to address this issue and help Texas’ vital rural healthcare facilities stay open?  

MRJ:  There has to be a true commitment to our rural communities in health care, education and technologies in order to have a rural healthcare that provides quality health care at a fair price for our citizens.  What I have noticed is that the state and federal representatives in this rural areas are committing  and pleadging alligiance to the gun lobby, to the oil lobby and to large corporations and that’s how they get re-elected and make a career of being senators and congress representatives.
After the election, there is very little contact with the community and the rural areas are left fending for themselves in dealing with very complex issues that require coordination and funding from the state and the federal level.  We need to change this and we can only change it at the local level by monoring exactly what the representative and senators are doing to help the rural areas and hold their feet to the fire.  If it does not work and the representative is working for the lobbiest, they need to be sent home packing. We need to” empty” our Congress and start all over again.  It is corrupted and not functional.

TL:  In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn an Obama-era rule which classifies internet service providers as public utilities, and thereby governed under the 1934 Communications Act.  This decision essentially erases the principle that Internet Service Providers should treat all online content equally without giving preference to particular sources, otherwise known as Net Neutrality.  Please describe your views on this decision, and whether or not you would support legislation at the State or Federal level to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality.

MRJ:  Everyone knows that Mr. Trump and his administration made promises to middle and poor Americans and then he hired the wealthiest people he could find and went about the business to destroy our communities and to make changes that will benefit AT@T, Comcast, Verizon. Apple, Microsolf, Oil and the Big Corporate Giants, that at any time can slow down our internet lines, can stop our access to the internet, and can raise the prices charge to middle America.  This corruption from the highest level of government, and we need, via legislation support NET NEUTRALITY AND REVERSE THE DAMAGE CAUSE BY PRESIDENT TRUMP.

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

MRJ:  I prepared for this position for the last two years by learning all the issues impacting our local communities, how to fix the problems and I am retired and can promise my community that I will work full time for them.  I don’t have any debts, the work will be for them and them only. I don’t have any minor children at home that will depend on me, I will be working full time for you.  I have no sckeleton’s in my closet that you would have to worry about when you sent me to Congress to represent you.  I do not smoke, drink, nor mess around.  You will not be asked to pay for legal fees for my misbehavior, there will be none.
I am the best educated candidate in finance, accounting, strategic planning, budget, health care, mediation, working in groups, expert in the education field, worked in the past in human resources therefore, I know all the federal laws that deal with employment and consumer goods. I served in the US ARMY and know military financing , accounting budgets, therefore, I can represent our veterans well and with dignity.  I come from a trully military family committed to our family, our community and our country.  I have a Bachelors in Languages (English, Spanish, Portuquesse).  My Masters is in the Behavioral Sciences,  I am an expert on Mental issues and group behavior dynamics.  I am well verse on all currents events that impact our communites.
The competing candidates have economic(large amount of bebt) issues, social issues(drinking issues), commitment issues and lack of knowlege issues( not ready for the jobs that will take a long time for them to catch up with my excellent and special qualities needed for this job.  I am the only candidate ready to address the issue of impeachment, if presented to me, when you send me to Congress. Finally, I will never tell you a lie…. The last panel that I attended, the candidates were telling you, exactly what you wanted to hear, and that is how Mr. Trump was elected. Be aware of know it all, fast talking salesman….there is trouble ahead…

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

MRJ:  As I said earlier, my commitment is to my family, my community and my country. I am retired with no bebt.  Since all I need is your vote to continue to help you dealing with a complex system at the federal and state level, you will not find me raising money to get me re-elected.  I don’t believe nor trust packs, so you will not find me searching them out to get me re-elected.  I will be talking to you and your problems to see how I can help to make things better.  I will respond to your questions, via e-mails, letters, one on one and any other way you want to communicate that is easy for you to help resolve the problems of our community in coordination with state and federal partners.  I can do this and I can do it well.

 

Thanks to Ms. Johnson for the responses.

 

Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th.  For the Primary, you must register to vote no later than February 5th (if you’re unsure of your voting status, here’s where you can check your registration).  Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery County, and Galveston County

For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

 

(if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense ideals in the Lone Star State!!)

TLCQ 2018: Mike Collier

 

In the Third installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Mike Collier candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor.

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?

MC:  Mike Collier 

 

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

MC:  No 

 

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

MC:  We simply cannot do for ourselves in all things.  We must band together as a community and help one another.  And government is precisely that.  Moreover, government is an expression of the values we cherish. The quality of our life is profoundly influenced by the values our leaders display in their work in government.  

 

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.

MC:  We are in the grip of a fiscal crisis in Texas, which means we are struggling to invest in the things that matter to us like public education, healthcare, transportation, Child Protective Services, mental health services, and on and on.  Of course, we CAN invest in these things; our fiscal crisis is the result of Republican fiscal orthodoxy that says, “I’ve got what I want.  Good luck getting what you want.”  We can resolve this crisis specifically by turning our relationship with big corporations into a partnership wherein they help us invest in the things that matter to us. The Republican idea that we need to enrich corporate shareholders while our services and infrastructure collapse, and while our values of compassion and empathy are thrown out the window, is what I am campaigning against.  In my first legislative session as Lt Governor, I intend to close the big corporate property tax loophole that robs our state of $5 billion per year (based on the last estimate, from 2006, adjusted for inflation) and use that money to increase our investment in public education.  There is more work to do in reforming tax policy and investing in our state, but this is my first-session objective.

2. We also need to eliminate corruption, and in the first session I will propose the creation of The Texas Audit, Performance and Integrity Commission (“APIC”) which will have a highly innovative structure that will completely eliminate political influence.  Every politician and trough-feeder will fear APIC. Every Texan will love it!

3. We also need to kill gerrymandering for good before gerrymandering kills our democracy.  We can do this by adoption a Redistricting Commission, similarly designed to be completely free of all political influence, which I will introduce in my first session as Lt Governor.

 

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is on course to have an unprecedented boom in the state’s population. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.

MC:  As discussed above, we need to change our relationship with big corporations in Texas and bring them back into partnership with us to invest in infrastructure. We MUST invest infrastructure, and we MUST NOT land every penny of this on the backs of homeowners and renters.  Republican fiscal policy has been shifting the burden of investing in infrastructure, including education, away from the big corporations and onto the backs of homeowners and it has led to property taxes that are way too high and services and investment that are not keeping up. Reversing these unwise fiscal policies will produce the revenues we need to invest in infrastructure without raising taxes on ordinary people.

 

TL:  Even as impressive growth continues in around the state’s urban centers, rural Texans are faced with a healthcare crisis.  According to Laura Garcia of the Victoria Advocate, rural communities across the state have lost 18 hospitals in less than five years, and this was before any additional challenges worsened by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.  Without hospital services in or near their local communities, the medical and emergency care is at an increasing risk our citizens.  As a Lieutenant Governor, how would you plan to address this issue and help Texas’ vital rural healthcare facilities stay open?  

MC:  Rural healthcare is indeed a crisis in Texas and I hear it everywhere I go.  We should expand Medicaid and reform it so that it marries well with the requirements of healthcare providers including rural healthcare providers. And we should support and improve ACA, not destroy it. In the end, we must treat healthcare as a basic human right, including for those living in rural Texas, and we need to be prepared to invest. We should attempt to do this by working in concert with federal policy.  If we lose confidence that this is possible, Texas is large enough, smart enough, and prosperous enough to design and implement our own healthcare system, one that gives rural Texans confidence that they too will have access to high quality healthcare.

 

TL:  In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn an Obama-era rule which classifies internet service providers as public utilities, and thereby governed under the 1934 Communications Act.  This decision essentially erases the principle that Internet Service Providers should treat all online content equally without giving preference to particular sources, otherwise known as Net Neutrality.  Please describe your views on this decision, and whether or not you would support legislation at the State or Federal level to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality.

MC:  I think we should adopt a pure common carrier system, which would be even better than net neutrality as it has been recently debated. Every Texan should be able to access any ISP and switch as often as they like. The physical infrastructure that makes this possible should be completely separated from ISPs and work on a simple fee structure. And while we are at it we should invest in high speed internet in rural Texas.

 

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

MC:  Many of the issues we face in Texas require investment. So the Lt Governor has to find the money, without raising taxes on the people who live and work here and without drowning our state in debt.  I make my living diagnosing complex financial situations and recommending solutions. I have a very clear idea as to how to raise the money without raising taxes on people, without increasing debt, and without choking our job-creation machine.  In short, we need to reverse the decades-long trend of shifting the tax burden away from big corporations and onto the backs of homeowners and small businesses. We can do this by closing the technical loopholes in the Equal and Uniform (property tax) law, and we need to reengineer the 2006 tax swap and this time do it right. We can live in a state that is great for creating jobs, and that is also compassionate and welcoming.  But it will take considerable financial and commercial expertise to do it, and I bring both to this endeavor.

 

 

Thanks to Mr. Collier for the responses.

Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th.  Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery County, Galveston County For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

(if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense solutions in the Lone Star State!!)

 

TLCQ 2018: Fredrick A. Infortunio

In the Second installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Dr. Fred Infortunio, candidate for the Texas State House, District 130.

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?

FA:  Fredrick A. Infortunio

 

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

FA:  I was the Precinct Chair for PCT 926 (2016 and 2017).

 

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

FA  Government is supposed to help provide for the success, well being, and prosperity of the governed.

My campaign motto is

“For the Good of All Texans”

 

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.

FA:  So many items have been promoted by the incumbent Republicans that it is difficult to know the best place to start.

Here we go:

A.  The philosophy of the Texas legislature and governor’s office has been to cater to the very wealthy business interests under the guise of attracting business to Texas.

This in actuality, this has meant that they have consciously worked against the people in the favor of business concerns. Yes, we all need to work; businesses are where we work.  This being said, the supporting of socially responsible businesses is a priority.

I am approaching this by looking at the TCEQ. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has been crippled in their pay policies and the rules they promulgate to control pollution/polluters.  The TCEQ chronically underpays their employees and has a high turnover; their policies encourage adverse selection of employees.  Their lack of punitive teeth and the legislative pushback allows the polluters to poison Texans.

B. The tax system in the state is horribly regressive; it burdens the poor and the middle class. I have read that Texas has the third worst regressive tax system. I am not sure how much support I will get, but I am looking to impose impact fees on builders (their customers) which can be brought into the ISD or other necessary state coffers.  I saw this system used very effectively in Florida. I lived there from 1986 to 1990.

  • I suggest Imposing a small tax on luxury vehicles (over $50,000 +-)
  • in addition, a small inheritance tax on estates over $10,000,000.
  • I also believe that imposing a (small) tax similar to that in Florida on portfolio high value accounts held by Texans will help the Texas economy.

These tax proposals may not be possible in Texas. The wealthy will get the poor to get out the pitchforks.

 

The ISD tax system is also grossly unfair, it creates a very uneven playing field for the school systems, and it boosts property taxes in the districts.  The pooling of property taxes in the state to Austin and the distribution on a per student basis would serve the school systems.

This may not work but the use of the rainy day fund (ESF) to even out the distribution would be helpful.  Presently our fund is around $10B which brings in an additional $800M per year in interest. Overall, this fund is equal to about 18% of general revenue expenditures.

Other state funds average about 6.5% of expenditures. The size of the fund as it relates to the lack of services provided is grossly unfair.  The education system and the flood control systems, other infrastructure could be improved using a more equitable management of this fund and tax management.

C. The voter ID laws for Texas have been struck down by the Supreme Court, as being repressive for minority voters.

They were originally (falsely) developed to combat voter fraud in Texas.

The original voter fraud was created and implemented by the Texas legislature in their gerrymandering (again struck down by the Supreme Court) of the districts. Again, the Texas Republican controlled legislature, and governor have shown their fraudulent nature in promulgating these laws and resisting any changes. I will work in any way that I can to implement the redrawing of districts to properly represent the people of Texas.

 

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is on course to have an unprecedented boom in the state’s population. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.

FA:  As mentioned above the restructuring of the tax system is one of the keys to improvement of the infrastructure. I know that draining the ESF is counter productive past a certain point but effectively using that money is a good place to start.

A commuter rail system between the major Texas cities will also improve the growth of the state economy.

I am not sure of the utility or pricing of the toll roads; I would like to look at the pricing and growth of the toll road systems.

The impact fees mentioned above will also help take the strain off the tax systems.

 

TL:  Even as impressive growth continues in around the state’s urban centers, rural Texans are faced with a healthcare crisis.  According to Laura Garcia of the Victoria Advocate, rural communities across the state have lost 18 hospitals in less than five years, and this was before any additional challenges worsened by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.  Without hospital services in or near their local communities, the medical and emergency care is at an increasing risk our citizens.  As a legislator, how would you plan to address this issue and help Texas’ vital rural healthcare facilities stay open?  

I have not given much thought to the rural healthcare system.  Having said that, I point out that Governor Abbot has turned down $65B for the Texas Medicaid system just to spite President Obama. This hurts all Texans.  I would rely on House colleagues from those districts to propose systems that will help the rural medical problems.  The opposition to Planned Parenthood, I am sure, did not help the situation.

 

TL:  In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn an Obama-era rule which classifies internet service providers as public utilities, and thereby governed under the 1934 Communications Act.  This decision essentially erases the principle that Internet Service Providers should treat all online content equally without giving preference to particular sources, otherwise known as Net Neutrality.  Please describe your views on this decision, and whether or not you would support legislation at the State or Federal level to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality.

FA:  Net neutrality is necessary to the fair distribution of communication services throughout the country.  The opposition to net neutrality is another instance of controlling the money in the country in favor of the aristocracy and against the people. The internet can be considered to be a public utility.

 

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

 

I truly care for the condition and success of the society, of the people.  Everyone’s life improves as the whole boat rises. I am not controlled or beholden to the Republican plutocracy.  I am running for this position because of what the Republicans have done to the citizens of Texas.

I have a broad scope of knowledge and a philosophy which looks to the improvement of the condition of the people.

I am an Chemical and Safety engineer (Certified Safety Professional – retired, with a PE(fl) license).  which allows me to understand the production methods and pollution problems in Texas; I have an excellent understanding and experience with the oil, gas, chemical, , pharmaceutical, utility, and general industries.

Further, I have audited, surveyed, and consulted to over 1,000 businesses in the US.   From my experiences, I have found companies that are excellent, good, bad and ugly. It is the bad and the ugly ones that kill people and destroy the environment. There are a small number of socially irresponsible industries/companies which harm our society.

I hold an MBA-finance which helps me to understand the budgeting and finance problems of Texas, the people, the school systems, and businesses.

Moreover, I am well read holding a  doctorate in business and management with sub specialties in organizational and general culture. I do have a broad scope of knowledge.

 

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

FA:  I like to hang out with my wife watching television, I study political problems and philosophies, and I work against Trump at every chance I get. I like to shoot my pistols then reload the ammunition (reloading ammunition is very relaxing and requires a great deal of focused concentration).  I like to work around my home; I also like to hang out in my pool listening to music.

 

Thanks to Dr. Infortunio for their responses.

Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th.  Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery County, Galveston County For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

(if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense ideals in the Lone Star State!!)

Redistricting War: SCOTUS To Hear Texas’ Gerrymandering Case

If there’s one thing Texas seems to do well, that has to be disenfranchise and suppress minority voters.  After the mostly Republican state legislature drew maps that were clearly, undeniably discriminatory from the 2010 census, minority rights groups immediately moved to sue for fairer maps.  Now, for the majority of the decade, the state’s redistricting process has been caught up in court.

As Alexa Ura of the Texas Tribune reports, the Redistricting War now enters year 8 as the Supreme Court finally wades in, this time at the request of Republicans…

Further extending a drawn-out legal battle, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case over whether Texas’ congressional and House district boundaries discriminate against voters of color.

[…]

The Supreme Court’s decision to weigh the state’s appeal will further delay any redrawing efforts even after almost seven years of litigation between state attorneys and voting and minority rights groups that challenged the maps. It’s unclear when the court will schedule oral arguments in the case, which is formally known as Abbott v. Perez.

In ruling against the maps last year, a three-judge panel in San Antonio sided with the voting and minority rights groups who accused Republican lawmakers of discriminating against voters of color, who tend to vote for Democrats, in drawing the maps. The state has denied targeting voters by race and admitted instead to practicing partisan gerrymandering by overtly favoring Republicans in drawing the districts.

The panel specifically flagged two congressional districts and nine House districts in four counties as problematic. But the Supreme Court in September temporarily blocked the lower court rulings — and any efforts to redraw the maps — in two 5-4 decisions as it considered the appeal from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

So in case you missed that, Texas Republicans are only denying blatant gerrymandering based on race, but they’re perfectly fine with blatant gerrymandering based on political party.

But at some point, the buck on this type of behavior has to stop.  Surely the 9 Justices of the Supreme Court are smart enough to see the unfairness of of one neighborhood like Houston’s diverse Museum District being sliced, or cracked between three Congressional Districts (because you know, minorities).  The practice of extreme gerrymandering, in combination with the state’s stringent Voter ID laws, should be more than enough evidence o the wrong that has been done.  Even if the Republicans consider this a win, let’s hope it also presents an opportunity for fairness.

 

TLCQ 2018: Glenn “Grumpy” Williams

In the First installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Glenn “Grumpy” Williams candidate for the Texas State Senate, District 5.

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?
GW:  Glenn “Grumpy” Williams
TL:  Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
GW:  no
TL:  As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
GW:  Government’s main purpose (on all levels) should be to serve victims. This includes prevention (insuring that individuals do not suffer discrimination from racism, sexism.
homophobia and abuse programs to address elder abuse, child abuse, domestic violence, and abuse/discrimination directed toward minorities of all descriptions)
prosecution of those who abuse or discriminate, elimination of programs that facilitate economic oppression, and compensation for those who have suffered governmental abuse or discrimination.
TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.
GW:  Engage all Texans in meeting needs of abused and neglected children through a series of programs including election of vulnerable citizen commissioner, reversing the disastrous course of privatization of conservatorship function of Department of Family and Protective Services and rewriting DFPS policies to make them friendly to ‘customers’ of the Department. (more fully discussed on my manifesto “Twelve Modest Proposals for the State of Texas, the Greatest State in the Greatest Nation of the Greatest Planet in the Greatest Solar System of the Greatest Solar System of the Greatest Galaxy in the Greatest Universe Known to Man” found on the ‘ Read My Propaganda’ section of my website located at www.WilliamsforSD5.com  proposals 1 and 2,)
Level the playing field so that prosecution of police officers for excessive force does not face unfair and often insurmountable burdens favoring the police officer defendants.  (more fully developed in my manifesto – proposal #4.)
Address the ‘lack of exercise’ epidemic by developing a physical fitness voucher (more fully developed in my manifesto proposal number 6)
TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is on course to have an unprecedented boom in the state’s population. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.
GW:  I would start by implementing the recommendations of the American Society of Civil Engineers, I would reverse the trend toward the building of more toll roads, and examine more fully what the legislature can do to promote public transportation.
TL:  Even as impressive growth continues in around the state’s urban centers, rural Texans are faced with a healthcare crisis.  According to Laura Garcia of the Victoria Advocate, rural communities across the state have lost 18 hospitals in less than five years, and this was before any additional challenges worsened by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.  Without hospital services in or near their local communities, the medical and emergency care is at an increasing risk our citizens.  As a legislator, how would you plan to address this issue and help Texas’ vital rural healthcare facilities stay open? 
GW:  A major cause of the crisis in rural health care is the uncompensated costs that hospitals face – we need to address this by expanding Medicare and by restoring rates that were slashed due to a flawed study (Rider 315 in 2015)
On a national level we need to support single payer system
We need to increase prevention efforts (see my manifesto – proposal 3) and deal with the lack of exercise epidemic through a physical fitness voucher (see my manifesto proposal number 6)
TL:  In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn an Obama-era rule which classifies internet service providers as public utilities, and thereby governed under the 1934 Communications Act.  This decision essentially erases the principle that Internet Service Providers should treat all online content equally without giving preference to particular sources, otherwise known as Net Neutrality.  Please describe your views on this decision, and whether or not you would support legislation at the State or Federal level to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality.
GW:  This was a terrible decision which has many negative ramifications. I would support legislation but it needs to be on a federal level. We can not have fifty different sets of rules and regulations addressing the internet.

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

GW:  Being totally devoid of charm and charisma I will allow voters to focus on issues.
Having 41 plus years experience as a lawyer  (with 40 of them being employed in governmental service as CPS attorney, Legal Advisor for Killen and Austin Police Departments and Deputy City in Wichita Falls) I believe I can best demonstrate how various proposals will effect individual Texans.
TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
GW:  Dance!   I do Zumba, Jazzercise, Afro-Brazilian, Hula, etc. (I like to brag that I am usually the best male dancer in these classes but I guess I should admit that I am usually the only male dancer in these classes and that if another guy shows up I am automatically relegated to being the second best male dancer, and if two other guys show up I become the 3rd best male dancer, you get the picture.)
Thanks to Mr. Williams for the responses.
Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th.  Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery County, Galveston County For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.
 (if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense solutions in the Lone Star State!!)

Texoblogosphere: Week of January 8th

The Texas Progressive Alliance knows where the really big buttons are as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff gave his initial impressions of the primary ballot.

SocraticGadfly talked about Beto O’Rourke’s visit to Northeast Texas.

With so many candidates on the Primary Ballot, It’s easy to understand how some Texas Democrats might still be in a state of shock. But in the face of a VERY good problem, Texas Leftist is doing their part to gather solid information for voters. This year’s Candidate Questionnaire, or TLCQ 2018 is up and ready to go, so please check it out and look for responses to come in soon.

Neil at All People Have Value noted that Trump was making a case for street protests against corrupt government in his tweets about demonstrations in Iran. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas bloggers.

G. Elliott Morris gives five numbers that frame where the 2018 Congressional elections stand.

Mike Snyder wants to consider the question of how Houston should grow post-Harvey.

The TSTA Blog urges teachers to be the voting bloc some legislators fear they can be.

The Texas Living Waters Project talks to Dr. Andrew Sansom about his freshwater environmental activism.

Lone Star Ma shared her New Year’s resolutions.

Jordan Maney wants to make San Antonio a more welcoming place for young black artists and innovators.

Texoblogosphere: Week of December 25th

 

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes a Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it as we bring you this weeks’s roundup. From the FINAL week of 2017…

Off the Kuff looked at Democratic filings for State Senate and for races in counties neighboring Harris County.

SocraticGadfly took a look at various regional election filings by both D’s and R’s in Northeast Texas and in the Metroplex, while wondering when and how Joe Straus is going to stay active in GOP politics.

The lingering Russian obsession that has morphed into neo-McCarthyism has PDiddie at Brains and Eggs more than a little perturbed.

Even as the state continues to surge in population and become more concentrated in key cities and suburbs, any politician would be unwise to ignore the voices of rural Texans. Texas Leftist believes that 2018 is the year for Texas Democrats to leave their urban safe zones and reach out across all areas of the state. For those brave enough to run a true, comprehensive statewide campaign, this dedicated community of voters provides a great place to start.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote about a great work of public art in Houston called Hubcap In Grass. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Jeff Balke celebrates the end of Christmas commercials on TV.

Better Texas Blog highlights the impact on Texas of a national DREAM Act.

Paradise in Hell steals a look at Roy Moore’s Christmas playlist.

Texas Vox calls for private industry to contribute to Harvey recovery.

The Lunch Tray bemoans the utter failure of “self-regulation” to limit exposure of junk food ads to kids.

G. Elliott Morris recommends the best political books he read this year.

Wired Magazine pens a long and deservedly appreciative profile of Eric Berger, the Space City Weather founder who everyone turned to for information about Harvey.