Sam "The Man" Attlesey ID's the Jackass in the room
I want to thank Sam Attlesey for quoting me in his article in today's Dallas Morning News. The word ranting at the end of my section of the article was just a tiny stinger.
Sam has opened the door to the fact that WorldPeace is very definitely a presence in the governor's race. (I think Sam saw the unspoken truth in yesterday's Scripps Howard poll where both Sanchez and Perry lost 5 points each since the September poll and the Hispanic support for both candidates dropped 20% in total. No one could figure out why all those people allegedly went undecided. But Sam knew it was the "ranting" of WorldPeace. The revolution has not been televised!) Before the end of the month, Sam will be able to see the significance of his article.
Yes, through Sam's significant presence as a veteran reporter for the Dallas Morning News he indirectly reported and gave credibility to the fact that Tony Sanchez is in fact corrupt and that Molly Beth is undeniably just window dressing.
The real Jackass, the real Democrat in the room, is John WorldPeace. A Jackass named WorldPeace; as the Tao says, the truth is often paradoxical: and enigmatic and multi-dimensional. A Jackass named WorldPeace who will shortly be the King of all the Jackasses in Texas.
Thanks Sam. Two things are about to happen simultaneously. 1) The feeding frenzie on Tony Sanchez and his corruption and 2) the dynamics of WorldPeace are going to be reported.
The damn of silence has cracked and very very soon everything is going to change on the political landscape in Texas. The Democratic Party is about to purge itself and re-define itself in a way that may well be considered as miraculous and the Republicans who were counting their chickens before they hatched are going be asking, "What happened?" In a word: WorldPeace!
The next governor of Texas
December 9, 2001
Before election, House Democrats seeing losses
By SAM ATTLESEY / The Dallas Morning News
AUSTIN – The monthlong candidate filing frenzy has begun.
And the first week that candidates can file for next year's elections was marked by announcements by powerful incumbents that they were not going to run for re-election.
Four of House Speaker Pete Laney's key Democratic lieutenants said they were calling it quits and would not return to the Legislature.
That came as more and more analysis indicates that Republicans will almost certainly have a commanding majority in the House after the 2002 elections and that Mr. Laney, the state's highest ranking Democrat, will probably not be able to maintain his powerful post.
The four Democrats, all chairs of key committees who announced they would not seek re-election, are Reps. Rob Junell of San Angelo (Appropriations), Paul Sadler of Henderson (Public Education), Patricia Gray of Galveston (Public Health), and Clyde Alexander of Athens (Transportation).
First to file
So who was the first candidate to file for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Phil Gramm?
Was it one of the half-dozen or so big-name Democrats and Republicans who have announced for the office?
Nope, it was perennial runner and retired military lawyer Gene Kelly of Universal City, who has already run and lost seven statewide races. This will be his third race for a U.S. Senate seat.
Who said this?
"With George Bush riding sky high in the polls, the Republicans having won the redistricting battle, key elected Democrats retiring and the remaining Democrats trying to put a corrupt Hispanic at the top of the ticket, the future of the Democratic Party looks bleak."
Had to be a die-hard Republican right?
No, the speaker was Houston lawyer John WorldPeace, a Democratic candidate for governor.
He made the comments in one of his numerous e-mail news releases where he constantly gigs Democratic gubernatorial front-runner Tony Sanchez and often takes shots at Democratic Party leader Molly Beth Malcolm.
"And amid all this bad news, Molly Beth continues to flit about spouting feel good silliness. Her last function may well be to simply turn out the lights when the party is over next November," Mr. WorldPeace ranted.
Approval with an asterisk
In approving new state Senate and House districts, a three-judge federal court panel adopted, with a few modifications, the maps drawn by the Republican-controlled Legislative Redistricting Board.
The maps give the GOP strong majorities in both chambers.
But at least one of the judges on the panel, U.S. District Judge John Hannah of Tyler, said he was shocked by the partisanship of the redistricting plans.
"The dominant political party treated all members of the opposing party as if they were enemies of the state instead of respected state leaders, many with a great wealth of government knowledge and ability that has and could inure to the benefit of Texas," the judge wrote in a separate opinion after the federal panel had adopted the modified LRB plans.
"The state has obviously ignored traditional redistricting principles in favor of political expediency," wrote Judge Hannah, who was appointed to the bench by Democrats.
He cited two examples of partisan map-making in the LRB Senate plan, including what he said was the unnecessary dividing of El Paso County into two districts.
But even worse, Judge Hannah complained, was a new Senate district in Southeast Texas called the "fish-hook district" because it is shaped like one.
"Even more offensive is Senate District 17, a district described even by the state's own expert witness as weird, odd and bizarre," the judge said, noting the district divides six counties and splits 17 towns.
"Stretching over 180 miles from ... Harris County to the Louisiana border, it is barely a mile wide in spots and requires travel by boat to meet the standards of contiguity," the opinion stated.
"The district continues northeast along the coast of Chambers County where its main inhabitants are the birds in the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, the population maps showing zero for human inhabitants in District 17's section of Chambers County," he said.
"As distasteful as portions of it may be," Judge Hannah agreed with the other two members of the panel that there were no federal violations.
In other words, it may not be pretty, but it's pretty legal.
Sam Attlesey is deputy chief of the Austin Bureau of The Dallas Morning News.