Thursday, November 02, 2006

HD-47: why isn't Welch's idea getting attention?

Two of the three candidates for Texas State House District 47, Valinda Bolton and Bill Welch, were recently at the Oak Hill Cruise and Blues festival. (Yvonne Schick, the Libertarian candidate, was not there, pretty much as I expected.)

I spoke with Ms. Bolton at last year's festival, and she is definitely concerned about education. But this year, I met Mr. Welch, and his idea is one I had not heard before. Mr. Welch's proposal is to fund the state's education priorities and expenditures first, before the rest of the state's spending. That could be a really good thing, if it is done well. The education budget should be funded before the rest of the budget is considered. This would present a marked difference from how other "education first" proposals have worked, particularly in Nevada, where with its law, everything can still be considered all at once, just so long as the education spending is done first. My understanding of Mr. Welch's proposal is more like how it should be; I seem to recall his saying that the education needs would be apportioned before the Legislature even touches anything. If so, why isn't this being touted? As far as I can tell, the less the Legislature can mess something up, the better it is for Texas.

(It should also be noted that Mr. Welch's tent was much more festive, with free ice cream sundaes and water bottles, while Ms. Bolton's booth seemed rather subdued when I stopped by, and not really giving out anything except stickers. I wonder if the moods I saw reflect how the respective campaigns are going.)


Sal Costello said...

It is important to note that our Austin Toll Party group is color blind when it comes to party labels.

Why? Many R’s and D’s have screwed the people with freeway tolls and the Trans Texas Corridor mass eviction plan (Mark Strama joined Mike Krusee to vote FOR tolls on roads we've already paid for in 2005). A few cultivated Independent R’s & D’s have fought for us (Eddie Rodriguez & Terry Keel said NO to freeway tolls).

Our mulitpartisan volunteers unanimously endorsed Bill Welch for House Dist. 47 in December. I've gotten to know Bill Welch since then, I consider him a good friend. Weeks ago, Welch actually called to ask me if he could accept the contribution for his campaign. I was impressed and surprised and really respected that call. I thanked him for asking me and told him to take the contribution - because I know how serious Bill is about keeping our freeways free. I've gotten to know Bill. I’ve invested my time as he’s phoned me for transportation counsel, just as some of our other endorsed candidates like Dem. County Commissioner candidate Sarah Eckhardt and Donna Howard has.

I explained all of this to the Valinda Bolton campaign when they called me days ago to ask us to redo our endorsement. I told the Valinda Bolton that we don’t redo endorsements.

Out of respect for my very close friends that work with the Bolton campaign, I offered to keep our group out of the active campaign fight (only including Welch in our long list of endorsed candidates) IF they promised to leave this non-issue contribution alone. The Bolton campaign promised to leave the issue alone and they said they didn’t want to become active in the 47 race.

Frankly, I was shocked when the Bolton campaign took the low road and broke that promise. I saw the Bolton attack direct mail in the Snakesman yesterday. That lapse of judgment triggered us to jump into the ring to fight for our candidate.

So the gloves are off and it begins. Win or loose, this is the fun part.

Sal Costello