Thursday, January 26, 2006

As below, so above? The "Texanization" of American politics.

Alot of the criticisms that have been leveled at the Bush administration ( cronyism, no bid contracts, catering to special interests) in Texas are just buisness as usual. Let me give you one really good example. You may have noticed that your credit card bill went up by 50%+. W proposed that himself. And guess which three companies contributed millions to his campaign? MBNA, Wachovia Corp, Bank of America and Citibank.

MBNA donated over 600,000( MBNA's CEO donated over 90,000 personally in addition to coporate donations), Wachovia 275,000, Bank of America 218,000, Credit Suisse of Boston 330,000, and Citigroup 320,000.

I wish I could find that link I had but the long and short of it was last year one of our state reps (D) proposed a bill that would forbid and city from offerring high speed wireless internet service for free or as a utility. Which one has to admit seems like an odd thing to do UNTIL I went digging into his campaign finances and discovered that Time Warner, SBC, and Cox were three of his largest campaign contributors. And this is just one little example of Texas' politicians selling out their constiuency to corporate interests. If you read the papers in Texas it pervades the political system in both parties.

Normally this would be called a conflict of interest. But in Texas its called buisness as usual and now that there's a Texan in the White House you're seeing the macrocosm mirror the microcosm.

It is truly sad that ethics have taken a back seat in politics. I believe Tom Delay summed it up when he said, "It wasn't illegal when we did it.". Illegal no, unethical yes. But what passes for ethics in Texas politics and national politics these days would make a loanshark uncomfortable.

And this sort of behaviour is exactly why Kinky Friedman, an independent candidate with no real experience in law or politics, is actually able to give the party financed candidates a real run for their money. Kinky is more of a statement of what voters are against than what the people are for. It'd be great for him to win for one reason; To watch both parties scramble to figure out what they did wrong. Because if an independent can wrest Texas from Republican control anything becomes possible in the House elections. Libertarians, Reformers, and Greens oh my!