Tag Archives: TLCQ 2018

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.

 

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 their support.

2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire

Remember when we said that in 2018, the goal is not to “Get Ready”, but to STAY Ready??

Such is the case with the TLCQ 2018:  The Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire.  This year, we are focusing on the March 6th 2018 Democratic Primary, and depending on those results, may do a second cycle for the General Election.

 

1. What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

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

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

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

5. 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.

6. 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?  

7.  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.

8. What makes you the best candidate for this office?

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

 

And there you have it… the questions for TLCQ 2018.

Run ’18: Texas Democrats Prepare For Most Active Primary Election in Decades

Do you hear it??

Off in the distance, there’s a big blue stampede starting in Texas.  If you can’t hear it yet, just wait until February and March.

For years now, Texas Democrats have been trapped in something of an electoral feedback loop.  Save for a few gerrymandered districts, the party has been unable to gain traction across the state, with virtually no hope of taking a statewide office or gaining a legislative majority anywhere outside of the city hall or county courthouse.  The loop basically works like this… in order to recruit down-ballot candidates to run, Democrats first need to find an inspiring top-ticket candidate.  But the only way to find a top-ticket candidate was for them to rise up from a crop of good down-ballot candidates.

But, as all things seem to be in 2017, new rules abound.  As Ashley Lopez of KUT Austin reports, Texas Democrats are done sitting on the sidelines, and ready to run next year…

In deep-red Texas, Republicans will have to fight for every congressional seat in next year’s midterm elections. For the first time in 25 years, Democrats are running in all of Texas’ 36 congressional districts, according to documents filed with the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

Mark Jones, political science fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, says those filings set a record for the number of Democratic challengers in an era of Republican dominance, and are a departure from 2016 – when eight Republican-held congressional seats went uncontested by Democrats.

“We are seeing a groundswell of unusually high support and mobilization among progressive Democrats who are really angered by the Trump administration,” Jones said.

But, Democrats aren’t just gunning for congressional seats. According to preliminary numbers from the Texas Democratic Party, Democrats are running in 89 percent of the seats in the Texas House and 88 percent of the seats in the Texas Senate. Both are the highest percentages the party has mustered since at least 1992.

Though the Secretary of State’s office is still awaiting final certification from the Parties, you can view the impressive list of candidate filings hereIf you’re not yet registered to VOTE in the March 6th Primary Election, you can get that info at VoteTexas.gov.

Call it anger, inspiration, education… call it what you what.  As 2018 approaches, Texas Democrats seem to have found “it” again.  Finally a blue stampede is on for the Lone Star State.  But whether all of that motivation can finally turn into some results remains to be seen.  But like the big blue skies of a Texas Winter or the bluebonnets of a Texas Spring, hope springs eternal.

Historic times call for historic activities.  Along with a bigger-then-ever TLCQ 2018 series, Texas Leftist will also be working to report on select races as they unfold.  Keep your eyes and ears ready.