Archive for October, 2010

Is John Frullo Campaigning Against the LISD Bond?

The signs you may have seen around town opposing the LISD bond come from two sources: Lubbock’s crankiest pundit Clif Burnett and his not-so-silent partner-in-sign-placement Jerry Rogers. As far as I know, these two individuals paid for and placed the signs themselves. Nothing fishy about that.

Where it gets a little weird: John Frullo’s most recent campaign finance report includes a $250 payment to Jerry Rogers for “candidate sign installation” on 10/23/2010. That’s about the same time that I noticed “vote against” signs tending to appear next to Frullo signs. It seems pretty clear that Rogers was pulling double duty, installing “vote against” signs everywhere he put a Frullo sign.

The question is: did Frullo know this was going on and did he approve of it?

It seems plausible to me. Robert Pratt, John Frullo’s ideological avatar, rails against the bond almost daily on his radio show. Frullo has taken a significant amount of money from a homeschool PAC and from far-right PACs generally opposed to public education. This sign placement stuff would be par for the course for the kind of worldview that wants to whittle away at public education, especially with a budget crisis as an excuse to do so. $250 is chump change for Pratt’s Puppet, so why not use it against the LISD bond?

Developing . . .

Election Night Victory Party

All are welcome to join the Lubbock County Democratic Party at our Election Night Victory Party!

We will get started at 7pm (Tuesday, November 2nd of course) at The Lantern Tavern at 34th and Slide (3502 Slide Rd). Volunteers, voters, and most of our local candidates will be there to celebrate. All ages are welcome.

Here is the event on Facebook if you would like to RSVP to show your support.

We Democrats are going to be working hard this last week (contact me for details if you want to get involved), so it’s only natural to celebrate our hard work and the victory that comes with it. See you there!

Andy Wilson’s Latest Video

Andy Wilson’s most recent campaign video is one of the clearest, most direct “vote for me” speeches I’ve ever seen. It really is worth two and a half minutes of your time to watch, and it’s worth another thirty seconds to send the link on to your friends by email or facebook.

Real talk: this election cycle, I have learned a lot about why I am a Democrat, and a lot of that learning is due directly to Andy Wilson. The Democratic Party is the party of the working man (and woman!). We believe that wealth is created by hardworking men and women, not handed down on high from the already-wealthy among us. We believe that America is best with a strong middle class, achieved through an abundance of well-paying jobs that provide enough to raise a family and build a future.

Another major campaign issue of Andy’s that really made me stop and think: our farm bill is why we have a secure, domestic food supply, and if we had energy policies that were anything like our agriculture policies, we would not be dependent on volatile parts of the world like the Middle East for our energy security. (Conversely, without the farm bill, we would depend on South America and other parts of the world for our food security.) Neugebauer has been at best a reluctant supporter of the farm bill.

And, unlike our current Congressman, Andy Wilson is not an empty suit. Throughout his campaign, he has been releasing newsletters that go far beyond the incumbent’s empty slogans and rubber-stamping of GW Bush and the GOP. Andy’s newsletters, which he wrote himself, demonstrate serious, independent thought with the interests of our district at heart.

Again, please take a few minutes to watch Andy Wilson’s latest video and send it on to your friends and family.

Bill White Rally Thursday

Come out and meet the next Governor of Texas!

Bill White will be in town Thursday 10/21 for an early voting rally, 5:00pm at the Courthouse Gazebo (Broadway and Texas Ave).

Rumor is that Rick Perry may make a Lubbock appearance the same day to try to steal the local media spotlight. (Another desperate act from Governor Goodhair’s campaign, imo.) We need a huge crowd to show our support for Bill White!

Bonus: enjoy this political cartoon about what really scares Rick Perry this Halloween.

Innocence Project Gets the Ball Rolling in Lubbock

I attended Monday night’s community meeting regarding the Tim Cole Case, its history, and what can be done in Lubbock to achieve justice for Tim Cole’s family while improving our system to prevent something like this from happening again. The meeting was sponsored by the Innocence Project of Texas, which is headquartered right here in Lubbock (no kidding!) and is doing very important work.

Not pictured: city and county officials
The Innocence Project invited the City Council, city officials, and Judge Darnell to the meeting. Only Coucilman Hernandez showed up.

Tim Cole’s family and the rape victim were there and told their stories as Jeff Blackburn from the Innocence Project provided the facts. Members of the community spoke as well.

Like others in attendance, I believe that we need a citizens’ review board at the city and at the county. The purpose of these boards would be to investigate citizen complaints about the legal process. They could be appointed by the Council/Commissioners as other boards and commissions are currently. I believe that this is a major reform that will move Lubbock from a small town to a real city. Larger cities tend to have these review boards to prevent exactly the kind of good-ole-boy coverups that created the Tim Cole case.

The group made a resolution to demand from the Lubbock City Council a public hearing regarding how the case was handled as well as a binding arbitration between the City of Lubbock and Tim Cole’s family. It looks like the next step will be addressing the Lubbock City Council directly at next Thursday’s meeting (10/28). Here’s hoping we see some real progress come out of this effort.

As always, the A-J’s Elliott Blackburn covers this story better than anyone else.

Frullo and Isett: CONservative governMENt?

One thing puzzles me in the HD84 race between John Frullo (R) and Carol Morgan (D): why is Carl Isett’s endorsement of Frullo not a bigger issue?

Carl Isett not only endorsed John Frullo back in the primary, but he also gave Frullo tens of thousands of dollars from his campaign war chest. I had the opportunity on the Wade Wilkes Show to ask John Frullo if he is still happy to have the Isett endorsement and money. Frullo said yes.

frullo and isett cartoon
(Click for big. Thanks to my friend Kevin for taking a break from his weekend to make the above cartoon!)

Folks, this race is the way it is because Carl Isett quit his job early, triggering a special election. Now, Isett is on pace to make a six figure salary by the end of the year from lobbying his former colleagues in the legislature (Carl Isett Consulting website coming soon — wow!). Considering those facts and Mr. Isett’s repeated ethics violations, I believe we are witnessing an endorsement not worth having, let alone trumpeting.

Aside from Isett’s hefty donation, most of the other contributions to Frullo come from out-of-district PACs, including those representing the interests of bankers, homeschoolers, and far-right special interest groups. I think it’s safe to assume that these entities will have some input into Mr. Frullo’s decision-making process, don’t you?

But we’ll never hear Mr. Frullo discuss his decision-making process in any detail, because Frullo is making use of his $2,500 in-kind contribution of “media training” by spewing empty conservative platitudes that avoid specific answers to any question. Listen to any media appearance of Mr. Frullo and hear for yourself.

What Frullo’s campaign message boils down to is another case of “I’m a conservative, vote for me.” That’s what the last guy (Isett) said each election, and look at the result. Now Frullo is saying the same tired lines dreamed up by Robert Pratt and company, all while lining up out-of-district money.

What will Frullo really be like after the conservative catch phrases go away? Is John Frullo preparing for the same enriching exit as his predecessor? Is his inaugural campaign nothing more than the early start to a lucrative lobbying career?

Like the saying goes, you can’t spell “conservative government” without “con men.” I’d just as soon not have to find out the answers to those questions.

That’s one reason I’ll be voting for Carol Morgan.

Early voting is available now, and Election Day is November 2nd.

It Gets Better

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns is my hero of the week.

Yesterday, in a tearful, emotional speech before the Fort Worth City Council, Joel Burns made a simple pitch to the teens of America: it gets better. I hope everyone will take a few minutes to watch the video.

“Things will get easier. Please stick around to make those happy memories for yourself.” This is what America needs to hear right now.

Check out The Trevor Project for resources to help suicidal teens, particularly those in the GLBTQ community.

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