State of Texas Archives: on Government Reform


John Cornyn: Create anti-Tea Party PACs to counter Super PACs

In 2010 and 2012, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, headed by Sen. John Cornyn, stayed out of primaries to avoid intraparty battles. But no more. Senate Republican incumbents are ready to play hardball in next year's primaries--including Cornyn, who is up for re-election in 2014. "If super PACs are going to get involved in primaries, there has to be some other people involved in primaries who are interested in actually winning the election in November--and not just purifying the party in the primary," Cornyn said.

There are also Super PACs being formed to aid specific mainstream Republican candidates, to be sure the money backs their campaigns. It's a move to avoid funneling it through large conservative organizations where its impact might be diluted--like Karl Rove's Crossroads network, or Americans for Prosperity, linked to the politically active Koch brothers. Cornyn has challengers--but so far none considered worrisome.

Source: Huntsville Item on 2014 Texas Senate race Nov 15, 2013

Paul Sadler: It's crazy to think Democrats want dependency

Sadler was on the attack from the opening question, when Cruz said: "Part of the philosophy of Pres. Obama and this administration is trying to get as many Americans as possible dependent on government so the Democrats can stay in power in perpetuity."

"That's the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life," Sadler responded. "You are really accusing the president of the United States of using a government program to manipulate people to not get a job, to be dependent on government for services. That's just crazy, Ted. It's crazy."

Cruz replied, "I'm impressed that we're a few minutes into it and you've already called me three times crazy on observing that the president has expanded government dependency."

Several times during the debate, a visibly angry Sadler accused Cruz of lying. At times he laughed derisively while Cruz responded to a question.

Source: Houston Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Ted Cruz: Dems want to get as many Americans as possible dependent

Sadler was on the attack from the opening question, when Cruz said: "Part of the philosophy of Pres. Obama and this administration is trying to get as many Americans as possible dependent on government so the Democrats can stay in power in perpetuity."

"That's the craziest thing I've ever heard in my life," Sadler responded. "You are really accusing the president of the United States of using a government program to manipulate people to not get a job, to be dependent on government for services. That's just crazy, Ted. It's crazy."

Cruz replied, "I'm impressed that we're a few minutes into it and you've already called me three times crazy on observing that the president has expanded government dependency."

Several times during the debate, a visibly angry Sadler accused Cruz of lying. At times he laughed derisively while Cruz responded to a question.

Source: Houston Chronicle on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Randy Weber: No limits on campaign contributions nor campaign spending

Q: Do you support limits on individual contributions to candidates for state government?

A: No.

Q: Political Action Committee contributions?

A: No.

Q: Corporate?

A: No.

Q: Political Party

A: No.

Q: Should candidates for state office be encouraged to meet voluntary spending limits?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Source: Texas Congressional 2010 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2010

Rick Noriega: Legislative escape tp Okla. protected Voting Rights Act

Cornyn criticized Noriega for fleeing to Ardmore, Okla., with fellow Texas House Democrats in 2003 to protest a Republican redistricting bill engineered by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Cornyn said Noriega wasn’t showing leadership “by cutting and running to go to Oklahoma.” He said, “I don’t consider leaving the state leadership.”

But Noriega said it had to be done to protect the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. Republicans have repeatedly criticized the more than 50 Democrats who fled to Oklahoma in a move that brought the 2003 legislative session to a standstill. But Democratic strategists insist the issue was a positive one for Democratic lawmakers.

Source: 2008 Texas Senate Debate reported in Dallas Morning News Oct 17, 2008

Scott Jameson: Increase limits on contributions to federal campaigns

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Jun 3, 2008

Jon Roland: No constitutional authority to regulate campaign finances

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Barack Obama: Lobbyists & special interests have strangle-hold on agenda

Sen. Clinton and I have both offer detailed proposals to try to deal with [numerous problems]. Some of them are the same. Some, we have differences of opinion. But understand that what is lacking right now is not good ideas.

The problem we have is that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die. They go to die because the lobbyists and special interests have a strangle-hold on the agenda in Washington. They go to die in Washington because too many politicians are interested in scoring political points rather than bridging differences in order to get things done.

And so the central premise of this campaign is that we can bring this country together, that we can push against the special interests that have come to dominate the agenda in Washington, that we can be straight with the American people about how we’re going to solve these problems and enlist them in taking back their government.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Consistently in favor of more disclosure around earmarks

I’ve been consistently in favor of more disclosure around earmarks. Keep in mind, a lot of these are worthy projects in our states. I have actively pursued projects that I think are important. But I want to make sure that they’re not done in the dark of night, that they’re not done in committee, that everybody stands up and says, “this is the kind of spending that I think is important.” I have consistently supported those efforts. I will push for those as president of the US.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Created a publicly searchable database on earmarks spending

Q: A recent report said you were responsible for $91 million in earmarks. You have refused to say where the money went.

A: No, that’s not true. We’ve actually disclosed all our earmarks. We’ll be happy to provide you with that information, because I believe very strongly in transparency. One of the things that I did was to pass a bill with Tom Coburn, very conservative Republican but a sincere fiscal conservative. We got together and created what we call Google for Government. It’s a searchable database, where every single dollar of federal spending is posted on the Internet, so that ordinary voters can take a look. If they see a bridge to nowhere being built, they know where it’s going and who sponsored it. If they see a no-bid contract going to Halliburton, they can check that out, too. The idea is that we open up the process so that the American people can make judgments about whether or not government is doing what it’s supposed to be doing with its taxpayer money.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Need a government that listens to the people again

My belief is the will of the voters, expressed in this long election process, is what ultimately will determine who our next nominee is going to be. What I think is most important to the voters is that we have a government that is listening to them again They feel as if they’ve been shut out. When I meet mothers who are trying to figure out how to get health care for their kids, it’s not just the desperation of that single mom. It’s also that when they try to find some help, oftentimes they’re hitting a brick wall. They don’t get a sense that the debates that are happening in Washington right now relate to them at all. What they believe is that people are trying to get on TV and they’re trying to score points and they’re trying to win elections, and that they’re not interested in knocking down the barriers that stand between the American people and their dreams. They want their government back, and that’s what I intend to provide them when I’m nominated for president of the US.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Ron Paul: Signing statements erode constitutional balance

Recently, the General Accounting Office studied nineteen instances where the President issued so-called “signing statements.” In such statements, the President essentially begins the process of interpreting legislation--up to and including declaring provisions unconstitutional--hence often refusing to enforce them. The GAO study found that in nearly 1/3 of the cases studied, the administration failed to enforce the law as enacted. This approach is especially worrisome for several reasons.
Source: Weekly column, “Texas Straight Talk” Jul 9, 2007

Joaquin Castro: Limit campaign donations, plus full disclosure

Q: Do you support limiting individual contributions to state legislative candidates?

A: Yes.

Q: Limiting PAC contributions?

A: Yes.

Q: Corporate?

A: Yes.

Q: Political Parties?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Source: Texas 2006 Congressional National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2006

George W. Bush: No lawsuits on good-faith acts

Source: GeorgeWBush.com/News/ “1999 Texas Legislative Record” Jun 25, 1999

Paul Sadler: Limit PAC and other contributions to legislative campaigns

Do you support limiting individual contributions to state legislative candidates?

A: Yes.

Q: PAC contributions?

A: Yes.

Q: Corporate contributions?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: Yes.

Source: Texas State 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

George W. Bush: Restore individual potential by focusing govt

By trying to do too much, government has undermined one of America’s greatest strengths: individual potential. A government that overtaxes its workers limits the incentive to earn and to save. A government that hands out check after check undermines the incentive to work. Part of our legacy must be to restore government to its proper scope and role. A government whose tax policies create incentives to work, invest and save. A government that respects and nurtures individual liberty and responsibility.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

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