ELECT THE PEOPLE'S LAWYER: David Van Os, Democrat for Texas Attorney General

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Selling our Borders to the World's Hot Spot - Bushite Hypocrisy Exposed

It's been well known for a long time that the Bush royal family is tied at the hip to the kingdoms of the Arabian Peninsula. Nevertheless many well-meaning and good-hearted citizens were unable to see it thanks to being incessantly bombarded with Bushite propaganda by the embedded corporate media.

This time it's too open and obvious for anybody not to see. The Middle East is the world's hottest and most dangerous trouble spot, and the surrounding kingdoms and dictatorships are directly in the line of fire. The idea of contracting out the management and security of major American ports to a non-democratic Arabian Peninsula kingdom right in the world's worst hot spot is intolerable. Just like grassroots people everywhere, the ordinary people of that region are by and large good and trustworthy people; but their governments have no business managing the security of American seaports.

Do Texans have a direct interest in the question of handing over control of major ports to the United Arab Emirates? You bet they do. Some of the affected ports are in Texas. Do Texans have a say in this? You bet they do. Under Article 4, Section 22 of the Texas Constitution the Texas Attorney General, supposedly the people's lawyer, has the power and the duty on behalf of the people of Texas to safeguard against abuses of the public interest in the control of Texas wharves.

Answering my letters is too hard for Greg Abbott, since he refuses to answer my letter requesting what he is going to do about turning over Texas highways to the control of foreign corporations under his crony Rick Perry's nightmare toll road schemes (where the Attorney General's responsibility to protect the people comes from the same provision applicable to wharves.) Call Greg and ask him what he is going to do on behalf of the people of Texas to stop the contracting out of our public wharves to the United Arab Emirates. The Attorney General's telephone number is 512-463-2120. Don't be bashful; give him a call. After all, the office he sits in belongs to you.

posted by snarko! at 2:54 PM |

Monday, February 20, 2006

Abbott Grandstands for Voter Suppression

this is an audio post - click to play

[audio post]

Letter to the editor of the Texarkana Gazette

Dear Editor:

In the recent indictments of Texarkana City Councilwoman Willie Ray and two other citizens by Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, the charges are alleged misdemeanors for picking up completed mail ballots from voters and carrying the ballots to place them in the mail for the voters. No voters are claimed to have illegally or fraudulently voted, and nobody is claimed to have forged or falsified a ballot, a signature, or a vote. So why does Attorney General Abbott trumpet in his statewide press release and on his website that he has achieved indictments for "VOTER FRAUD?"

The alleged misdemeanors occurred in the 2004 elections, yet it took over a year to hand down indictments right before the 2006 primary elections. Could indicting a popular East Texas African-American community leader for "Voter Fraud" right before early voting starts be part of a Republican attempt to scare Texas minority citizens from participating in the political process? There is a track record to consider - the events of Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 leave little doubt of the Republican Party's agenda to suppress and intimidate minority citizens from voting.

If Ms. Ray indeed committed a misdemeanor as alleged, she should be appropriately punished. However, to take over a year to complete an investigation into a relatively simple misdemeanor allegation, to leave Ms. Ray in the dark for over a year through a process that did not give her an opportunity to tell her side of the story to the grand jury, to exaggerate the seriousness of the allegation in a statewide publicity splash, and to time the indictment and publicity splash to the eve of the 2006 election cycle - these factors tell those with eyes to see exactly what is taking place. The Texas Republican Party's minority voter suppression program is well underway.

Lest anyone doubt that Greg Abbott is a top crony in the Texas Republican Party's power machine, consider this. During Abbott's 2002 election campaign for attorney general, Republican political consultant John Colyandro was one of the top operatives on Abbott's campaign payroll. The same John Colyandro has been indicted for his activities in the Tom DeLay money-laundering scandal that took place during the same time frame that he was working on Abbott's payroll. Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, who is one of Rick Perry's biggest contributors, and who financed the "Swift Boat Veterans'" scurrilous attack on John Kerry during the 2004 presidential race, showers some of his most generous largesse on Greg Abbott. From 2001 through 2005, Bob Perry and his wife gave over $570,000 to Abbott's campaigns. In the month of December 2005 alone, Bob Perry gave $50,000 to Abbott's re-election campaign for attorney general. And in 2003, it was Abbott's ruling as attorney general that gave Rick Perry, Tom Craddick, and David Dewhurst the permission to proceed with Tom DeLay's redistricting power grab. The Republican power machine is a private club that has been running roughshod over Texas citizens for too long, and Greg Abbott is a charter member.

The rule of law must be applied fairly, even-handedly, and impartially, with no agenda but the pursuit of justice under the Constitution and the law. Distorting the rule of law for the sake of private power agendas is not the conduct of democracy, it is the conduct of despotism. The elections of 2006 are a time for change in Texas.

posted by snarko! at 10:18 AM |

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Van Os to Abbott: Will you go to court to protect Texans against lawless federal wiretapping?

Dear Mr. Abbott:

The Bush administration's contention that the chief executive of the United States possesses the authority to decide unilaterally what the laws and Constitution mean without subjection to the checks and balances of other branches of government is alarming, to say the least. I've listened to and read the arguments offered by Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to justify the federal government's admitted warrantless wiretapping of personal and private telephone communications of American citizens. To me as a lawyer sworn to defend the Constitution, who has dealt with many issues of Constitutional law in my career, Gonzales' arguments don't hold water.

Since you recently declared in one of your press releases that you support the fundamental right of personal privacy with respect to telephone communications, I assume that you view the federal government's warrantless eavesdropping the same way I do. Do you indeed? Do you agree with my view that Attorney General Gonzales' arguments are legally and constitutionally insupportable? Why or why not? I think this is a matter where the people of Texas have a right to know your views. They have a right to know if their elected attorney general views such important issues the same way Alberto Gonzales and George Bush do, or if he will stand by their fundamental rights to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into their personal phone calls.

Further, will you utilize the powers of your office on behalf of the Constitutional rights of the people of Texas, and file the lawsuits to protect Texans against lawless federal wiretapping, which individual Texans do not have the means to pursue on their own? Today, I challenge you to fulfill your oath of office to the people of Texas and file those lawsuits now. The people will be waiting.

posted by snarko! at 2:57 PM |

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Van Os to Abbott: Explain these connections!

Texans have a Constitutional right to uncorrupted government that serves and benefits the people instead of power-hungry political dictatorships. Texans most especially have a right to expect the state's chief lawyer to be independent of any such taint.

Texans have a right to know that wheeler-dealer Republican political operative John Colyandro, a central figure in the Tom DeLay-TRMPAC money-laundering scandal that funneled large sums of corporate dollars into the hands of Texas Republican candidates in the 2002 general election, served on Greg Abbott's campaign payroll during the same time frame in 2002.

Texans also have a right to know that Greg Abbott is one of the favorite candidates of Bob Perry of Perry Homebuilders. Perry is one of the biggest financiers of Karl Rove's infamous political tactic of smearing the opponent with insults and lies. For example, he financed the so-called "Swift Boat Veterans" in their 2004 smear of decorated veteran John Kerry. Since 2001 Bob Perry and his wife have contributed over $570,000 to Abbott's campaign accounts. In the month of December 2005 alone, Perry gave Abbott $50,000 in one payment.

This might explain Abbott's unswerving allegiance to the Rove-Bush-DeLay political machine, such as when he gave prompt legal clearance in 2003 to DeLay's power-grabbing redistricting scheme--from which the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted an appeal on constitutional and voting rights grounds and will conduct expedited argument on March 1.

No doubt Abbott's cronies in the Rove-Bush political machine will give him the best hatchet men Republican money can buy to smear me with their usual lies in their desperation to stop me from restoring the Attorney Generalship to the people.

Greg Abbott would do better addressing questions he needs to answer, such as the still-unanswered inquiry I sent him over three weeks ago about his Constitutional duty to investigate Rick Perry's toll-road schemes. Abbott also needs to tell Texans about the connections that brought and kept John Colyandro in his employ at the same time Colyandro was taking care of Tom DeLay and TRMPAC, as well as why one wealthy right-wing Houston homebuilder continuously showers him with so much green. The people will await his answers, but they won't be holding their breaths.

posted by snarko! at 12:40 PM |

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Constitutional Crisis Continues

this is an audio post - click to play

[audio post]

The argument that George Bush's puppet Alberto Gonzales uses to defend illegal wiretapping to the United States Senate boils down to the outrageous assertion that neither the Congress nor the courts have any authority to place limits on whatever the president decides the Constitution means or an act of Congress means. Gonzales and his master have made it as plain as day that they do not consider themselves restrained by anybody's version of the law other than their own. As far as they are concerned, there are no checks and balances, and they are the law. This is a trait of dictatorship, not democracy.

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights belong to Texans just as much as to any other Americans. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott took an oath to uphold the Constitution when he accepted the office. Where is his voice in this crisis? Why has he not spoken up on behalf of the Constitutional rights of his clients, the people of Texas? He sure can't say that he has no authority to intervene, when he is intervening in Georgia federal court right now on behalf of inserting creationist doctrine in place of science in Georgia school textbooks. Fellow Texans, there is a simple reason why Greg Abbott follows the Bushites' power-grabbing ultra-right wing party line to the hilt. He is one of them.

Fellow Texans, are you familiar with the name John Colyandro? You may know that Colyandro was a central figure in the Tom DeLay-Republican Party money-laundering plan that placed huge sums of illegal corporate dollars in the hands of Texas Republican candidates in the general election of 2002. But did you know that during that same 2002 general election campaign Colyandro was a senior staff member in Greg Abbott's campaign for Attorney General?

And are you familiar with the name Bob Perry of Perry Homebuilders? You may know that Bob Perry is one of the biggest financial contributors to Rick Perry and to various ultra-right wing campaigns. You may know that Bob Perry was the primary financier for the lying insults the so-called "Swift Boat Veterans" hurled at the honorable John Kerry. But did you know that Greg Abbott is one of Bob Perry's favorite candidates? Since 2001 Bob Perry and his wife have contributed over $570,000 to Abbott's campaign accounts. In the month of December 2005 alone, Perry gave Abbott $50,000 in a single payment.

Bush and his puppet attorney general Gonzales will probably still be defying the Constitution and the rule of law and spying on American citizens in January 2007 when I take office as Texas Attorney General. As your new Attorney General, I will file the lawsuits against the federal government and federal officials, including the president and attorney general, which individual Texans do not have the means to file on their own to stop this headlong rush to trash our Constitution. And today, I challenge Greg Abbott to fulfill his oath of office to the people of Texas and file those lawsuits now. The people will be waiting.

posted by snarko! at 6:20 PM |

Thursday, February 02, 2006

36 Billion and Counting

While working Texans were struggling harder and harder to deal with the vicious catch-22 of not being able to afford not to go to work and not being able to afford to go to work at the same time due to $3 per gallon gasoline, Exxon-Mobil was raking in a staggering amount of profit far surpassing any other corporation of any kind in any industry in any year--36.1 billion dollars net income for 2005.

Does the Texas Attorney General have the power to challenge such monumental greed? You bet he does.

Why doesn't Greg Abbott do so? Call him and ask him, at (512) 463-2100. Let us know what excuses he gives you.

posted by snarko! at 9:41 AM |


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