Monday, August 28, 2006

TX-21 update

Thanks to the third round of redistricting since 2000, the Texas 21st Congressional District now will have an open election.

Our candidates (per our friends at the Austin American-Statesman):

Lamar Smith (R, incumbent): apparently so confident in his win that he hasn't bothered to have a campaign website, Mr. Smith is tied by his detractors to a certain former House Majority Leader over in TX-22. Pretty strict on immigration, pretty lousy on tax policy.

The rest, in alphabetical order:
Tommy Calvert (I, consultant, San Antonio): his website states that he is "running on a centrist platform". That is the only issue-related statement on the whole site.

John Courage (D, teacher, San Antonio): his website is well organized, with statements regarding many issues. One of the most important to him appears to be veterans' benefits. Another, as one might expect from a teacher, is education. As I have said before, his ideas give no indication of how they are to be funded. More on Mr. Courage in a later entry.

Gene Kelly (quasi-D, perennial candidate, Universal City): no website, and he is apparently banking on the hope that a lot of people don't realize that Gene Kelly, the actor, has been dead for 10 years. And since this guy doesn't articulate any positions, I'll go off the board and just say that the other Gene Kelly was quite a good actor, and I really enjoyed Singin' In the Rain.

James Lyle Peterson (I, computer programmer, Austin): couldn't find anything online for him, either. Also, he does not share a famous name. In a seven-man race, those two points together can't help your chances.

Mark J. Rossano (I, automotive management, Austin): several empty pages on his site (plus solitications for signatures for the May deadline), but he does have a platform page spelling out his positions, which apparently include heavy government involvement/interference (take your pick) in health care and energy. This includes reinstating the wildly popular windfall profits tax, which will make those people nostalgic for the 1979 gas lines happy.

James Strohm (L, technical writer, Austin): he readily admits that his website is still under construction. His three issues of choice appear to be immigration, taxes, and "good government", though only the Taxes section has any information. As has been mentioned on this site, he is a FairTax supporter. More on Mr. Strohm in a later entry as well.

This race was originally dominated by Mssrs. Smith & Courage, and honestly, it probably still will be. The loudest supporters are definitely those of Mr. Courage, but TX-21 is still majority-Republican, so it appears that Mr. Smith will retain his seat. But we'll see.