Monday, November 06, 2006
Fighting for Texans
The first meeting of this campaign's steering committee was on March 12, 2005 in my wife Rachel's and my living room. Twenty long months have passed. During that time Rachel and I have met personally with thousands of our fellow Texans who once were strangers and now are friends. During that time a remarkable statewide network of grassroots volunteers and supporters has carried the message of this campaign to every nook and cranny of our magnificent state. It has been an amazing and exciting journey.
My 254-county courthouse-to-courthouse whistlestop tour reconfirmed much that I already believed about my state. It reconfirmed for me that the average Texan is still one of the friendliest people on the earth, who will give his neighbor the shirt off his back in a heartbeat in a time of need. It reconfirmed for me that the average Texan believes in the promises of the founders of Texas, and wants government of, by and for the people instead of government of, by and for big money and big business.
It also confirmed for me that the average Texan knows things are off track in our political-governmental system and wants it back on track. It confirmed for me that the average Texan is not happy about living under a reign of greed. It confirmed for me that the average Texan wants to protect democracy and civil liberty. It confirmed for me that the average Texan believes the Constitution should be honored not ignored. It confirmed for me that the average Texan thinks our forebears meant exactly what they said when they declared to the world that government exists only by the consent of the governed.
It also confirmed for me that the average Texan does not want to rip up hundreds of thousands of acres of beautiful, fertile, private Texas land so that greedy European companies can make billions of dollars from collecting tolls on a Trans-Texas Corridor. It confirmed for me that the average Texan does not like government taking private property without the owner's consent unless there is an especially good reason, and helping private corporations make large amounts of money is not a good enough reason.
The Framers of the Texas Constitution intended for the Attorney General to do and be many things besides a collection agency for child support. The Attorney General of Texas is supposed to be the people's champion. The Texas Constitution declares that the Attorney General is supposed to do everything necessary and proper to prevent any private corporation from exercising any power not authorized by law. The Attorney General is supposed to be the people's first line of defense to protect their rights and liberties, to fight for them as individuals, consumers, taxpayers, homeowners, and property owners.
Thus in my first month in office I'm going to issue investigative subpoenas to the Big Oil companies to get to the truth about their claim that they are just bystanders to making 3 billion dollars per month profits while millions of Texans at $3.00 per gallon could not afford the cost of gasoline. Thus I'm going to reorganize the Attorney General's office to create a People's Watchdog Division to utilize our Texas antitrust laws and consumer protection laws aggressively on behalf of the people.
The present Attorney General doesn't lift a finger because he is part of the clique that runs Texas government of, by and for the power grabbers and robber barons. If you the citizen think the present Attorney General is fighting for you against Big Oil robber barons, Big Insurance robber barons, greedy toll profiteers, greedy utility barons, credit sharks, water profiteers, and anti-Constitution power grabbers, then you should vote for him. If you don't see anybody fighting for you against the robber barons and power grabbers, I recommend that you vote for me. It's the Attorney General's job to fight them on the people's behalf, and I will fight them.
The Texas Constitution requires the Attorney General to do everything necessary and proper to prevent and restrain any private corporation from demanding or collecting any species of tolls not authorized by law. I say the Trans-Texas Corridor is unconstitutional because of the massive abuse of eminent domain and the massive profits the European hogs want to make at the Texas trough. That is why I am going to use every legal means available to me as Attorney General to bring it to a halt.
The present Attorney General utilizes child support enforcement as a source of collection statistics for his press releases. He only cares about statistics, not about individuals. I'm going to revamp the child support enforcement system to change such a perverted value system. On my watch the child support program will stop treating people as statistics and come back to treating them as people.
To learn more about where I stand on specific topics and issues, check out my summary of positions on the front page of my campaign website. To learn about the sworn pledges I made to my fellow Texans in the affidavit I filed in the public records of every courthouse, you can read the affidavit at my campaign website.
Most importantly, I'm a fighter and a winner. I know that a loser thinks about losing but a winner thinks about winning. I know that "can't" never could and never will achieve anything. I know that we the people will never whip the power grabbers and robber barons into shape if we sit around coming up with excuses not to fight them.
In this political season, I want to remind my fellow Texans that the corporate robber barons and political power grabbers are not beating us up as Democrats or as Republicans or as Libertarians or Independents, but as human beings and as Texans. I'm proud to be a Democrat and a nominee of the Democratic Party, but my message is not just for Democrats, it is for every Texan regardless of political affiliation. We the people, all of us together, have got to take our government back for the people, for all the people. I am pledged and determined to fight the robber barons and power grabbers that have afflicted us with a reign of greed. I'm going to fight them on behalf of all my fellow Texans. I'm going to fight 'em till hell freezes over; then I've going to fight 'em on the ice. Thank you for joining me in the fight.
posted by snarko! at 12:40 PM
Friday, November 03, 2006
Van Os to media: question Abbott's use of public funds
OPEN LETTER TO THE NEWS MEDIA
David Van Os urges the news media to pursue common sense questions about Greg Abbott's use of state property in his political campaign.
Statement of David Van Os:
The attorney general of Texas, the state's top lawyer, has publicly admitted through a spokesman that he is using, in his political campaign, videos that he produced with state property and state employees in his capacity as attorney general. All state employees know they cannot convert state property to private purposes and that they cannot use state time or resources for personal business, and most state employees would question Greg Abbott's political use of state videos that were produced with state equipment under his own direction as a state employee. Is Abbott privileged to give himself special rules with special exceptions?
I urge the news media to pursue these questions they have not pursued thus far:
- At the time the videos were being produced, did Greg Abbott know that he was going to be running for office in 2006? A simple review of his political fundraising reports discloses that he has been raising money for a 2006 race since at least 2003.
- At the time Candidate Abbott's campaign submitted the open records request to Attorney General Abbott for the videos, how did the campaign know about the videos?
- Does Greg Abbott exercise authority over his campaign's actions? Does Candidate Abbott approve of the contents of his television commercials and campaign website? Was Candidate Abbott unaware of the use of the state produced videos in his campaign ads and website before the ads and website were published?
- When did Candidate Abbott first know that his campaign was submitting open records requests for the videos? Did Candidate Abbott approve of his campaign making the requests? When did Attorney General Abbott first know that Candidate Abbott's campaign was submitting the requests?
- Is Greg Abbott familiar with Texas Penal Code Section 39.02? Does the fact that Candidate Abbott submitted an open records request to Attorney General Abbott mean we should act as if Candidate Abbott did not know he had produced the videos as Attorney General? Does it mean we should act as if Attorney General Abbott did not know he was asking himself for the videos?
- Does Greg Abbott hold himself as Attorney General to ethical standards that include avoidance of conflicts of interest?
- Does Greg Abbott perceive no conflict of interest in using an open records request from himself to himself to obtain the personal use of state-produced videos?
- Did Greg Abbott consider the possibility that the transaction reflected a conflict of interest?
- If Greg Abbott the person was ignorant of the transaction, does that absolve him of responsibility for either or both sides of the transaction that was conducted in his name from himself to himself?
- If Greg Abbott the person was ignorant of the transaction, what kinds of ethical standards does he require in the Attorney General's office, and in the Abbott campaign?
- Do the ethical standards in either organization include recognition of conflicts of interest?
- Why didn't Greg Abbott ask a lawyer not connected with his public office or his campaign to render an independent opinion about his use of the videos in his political campaign?
- When Greg Abbott's spokesman publicly claims that the transaction is legal, is he speaking on behalf of Candidate Abbott or Attorney General Abbott, or both?
- Is there a conflict of interest in Greg Abbott publicly pronouncing the transaction to be legal when Candidate Greg Abbott is receiving a benefit from the transaction?
- Since Candidate Abbott is the same person as Attorney General Abbott, who can the public count on to independently monitor the legality of the transaction?
posted by snarko! at 12:07 PM
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Abbott's term as Texas AG is about Abbott, not the People
"Whether it's using mothers and children as statistics while ignoring them as individuals; building an expensive film department to glorify himself on the taxpayers' dollar; using the Ten Commandments to idolize himself; or using state property for his campaign commercials, Greg Abbott's term as attorney general of Texas has been all about Greg Abbott, not about the people."
Statement of David Van Os:
"Greg Abbott has a real problem. He thinks using public office to glorify himself is the same thing as representing the people.
"Whether it's using mothers and children as statistics while ignoring them as individuals; building an expensive film department to glorify himself on the taxpayers' dollar; using the Ten Commandments to idolize himself; or using state property for his campaign commercials, Greg Abbott's term as attorney general of Texas has been all about Greg Abbott, not about the people.
"He says it's OK to use state-produced film for his campaign because Greg Abbott the candidate requested the film from Greg Abbott the Attorney General, then Greg the Attorney General granted Greg the candidate's request. It is an embarrassment for Texas that an Attorney General who was also a Texas Supreme Court justice would be this fast and loose about conflicts of interest.
"I've recorded this sworn pledge to my fellow Texans in 254 county courthouses:
I solemnly promise that I shall treat the office of Attorney General of Texas as exclusively the property of the people of Texas, which I shall hold in trust exclusively for the benefit of the public and never as my personal domain or tool of personal advancement or profit, for so long as the people may choose to entrust it to me."Texans are tired of good ole boy government. They want integrity back. They are entitled to it. November 7 will be a great day"
posted by snarko! at 4:48 PM
Abbott's False Idol of Money
"Greg Abbott puts his faith in the false idol of money. I'm glad to put my trust and faith in democracy and the people of Texas. He cannot buy this election." ~David Van Os
Statement of David Van Os:
"Greg Abbott is outspending me at least 50 to 1. His millions come from corporate executives who are used to buying government. My funding comes from ordinary people who want government to belong to all the people.
"He cannot buy this election. Only people vote; I've never yet seen a thousand-dollar check that carried a voters' registration certificate.
"Abbott can trust the false idol of money all he wants. I'm glad to put my trust and faith in the people and in democracy."
posted by snarko! at 4:28 PM
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Federal court blocks Abbott's unconstitutional voter suppression program
"Greg Abbott set up his unconstitutional voter suppression program for the same purpose that he does everything else -- to get publicity to promote himself at the taxpayers' expense."
Statement of David Van Os:
"Yesterday the federal court in Tyler ordered Greg Abbott to stop violating the voting rights of Texas citizens through his unconstitutional 'voter fraud' program.
"The Attorney General of Texas is supposed to be the first line of defense for the Constitutional rights and liberties of Texas citizens. It is disgraceful that a federal court had to step in to stop our state’s Attorney General from interfering with citizens' constitutional rights to vote."
posted by snarko! at 1:48 PM
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