Sunday, August 06, 2006

The "culture of corruption" resurfaces in Texas

The meme "culture of corruption" is very clearly tied to Republicans in power, and it is apparent in Texas as well. This story describes the $1.5 million loss of money from the Texas Employee Retirement System, caused by a 41% drop in stock price of KCI.

  • The Texas ERS purchased 80,000 shares of KCI under the direction of ERS boardmember Bill Ceverha.
  • Bill Ceverha was appointed to the ERS board by Texas Speaker of the House, Tom Craddick.
  • Independently Bill Ceverha was found to have illegally funneled money to Republican candidates as Treasurer of Tom Delay's Texans for a Republican Majority.
  • But by then he had left his mark on the Texas ERS, which still held 80,000 shares of KCI.
  • KCI is owned by Republican multimillionaire James Leininger, one of the largest donors to Republicans in Texas.
  • The Republicans have yet again demonstrated their penchant for playing financial circle-jerk with other people's money, and the taxpayer is typically the victim.
Not all Republicans suffer from this malady, however the Republicans in power are notorious for strongarming their own kind into supporting the current administration. There's very little room in such an environment for conscientious Republicans, and even a supposed "maverick" like John McCain can't get their legislation signed into law without the administration stamping it out with a presidential signing statement.

I guess I understand why this GOP congresswoman, Oklahoma state Senator Nancy Riley, has switched parties to join the Democrats.
"The treatment I received in the last legislative session was abhorrent," she said, adding that her focus in the Senate has been "on families, children and the average Oklahoman."

"I was totally disregarded," Riley said. "The moderate Republican no longer has a voice."

She said her shabby treatment was in part because she is a woman. "We're supposed to be the cheerleaders and not be serious-minded," Riley said. "A pat on the head and a roll of the eyes is basically what I've gotten over the last four years."
Let's hope that the Democrats can regain control at the national level this fall from the frat boys that are drunk with power and pissing all over our country. Democrats have also shown a history of abusing power, but the left won't tolerate it. Conservatives however have done very little to put the brakes on this administration. Democrats, despite their flaws, are our only hope for saving our constitution and our country.

Update: A fun bit of schadenfreude from PinkDome.


Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of the Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature, but neither Democrats nor Oklahomans more generally are getting any prize in the defection of Nancy Riley (who is a state senator, and thankfully not a "congresswoman"). Spend a few minutes looking at some of the bills she's sponsored. She says her focus is on children, and I'd have to agree. For example, this year she introduced a bill that focused on treating 15-year old offenders as adults.

Likewise, I'll agree that the temporary displacement of Tom Delay is wonderful. But then I'll ask what you know about Nick Lampson. Nice guy, but committed to spending millions and millions of dollars to save portions of empty Texas coastland that are below sea level. Dikes. Levees. Can anyone remember New Orleans? Hurricanes hit the Texas Gulf coast from time to time, too.

Texas Hippie said...

I did reference her as a state senator, does that not make her a state congresswoman? Or is that term exclusively used for our nation's Congress?

Thanks for the insight, and I would like to check these people out more carefully. However I do think that one of the most pressing needs of our nation to revive its checks and balances, and I applaud any momentum in that direction without feeling too guilty about legislative collateral damage. Given the shots across the bow our country has already taken, we need to push back immediately on this most pressing issue, in my opinion