Latinos For Texas Blog

2005-Mar-31

Tom Delay, TRMPAC, Influnce peddling. Texas Observer writes it up

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:35 am

Great reporting, excellent summary, loads of sources — excellent article from Texas Observer

“Exhibits from a civil trial reveal potential illegality and influence peddling…”

“What, you may ask, made TRMPAC so “productive” that it could accomplish what “other” political organizations had been unable to do in a century of political campaigning?

It continues: “Rather than just paying for overhead, your support will fund a series of productive and innovative activities designed to increase our level of engagement in the political arena….”

” All told, TRMPAC spent $1.5 million, of which more than $600,000 was undeclared corporate money. (The PAC’s use of corporate cash went unreported to the Texas Ethics Commission.)…”

read more…

2005-Mar-28

Campaign Finance Reform in Texas

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:09 pm

The following is the text of an email I get from Campaigns for People:

“Dear Clean Up Texas Politics Supporter,

BIG NEWS! 36 members of the Texas House of Representatives have signed on as co-sponsors of House Bill 1348, the bi-partisan legislation to restore the Texas tradition of keeping corporate and union money out of our elections. 27 Republicans, led by Representatives Todd Smith (R-Euless, a primary author of the bill) and Terry Keel (R-Austin), have joined 9 Democratic colleagues, led by Representative Craig Eiland (D-Galveston), in a show of strong bi-partisan support.

The co-sponsors of this bill are demonstrating real courage and leadership. Let them know you appreciate it–click on their names to send them a thank you email or call their offices and thank them in person. Just say “Thank you for co-sponsoring HB1348!”

Representative
Capitol Office
District Office

Rep. Rafael Anchía (D-Dallas)
(512) 463-0746
(214) 943-6081

Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton)
(512) 463-0564
(979) 848-1770

Rep. Fred Brown (R-College Station)
(512) 463-0698
(979) 822-9797

Rep. Scott Campbell (R-San Angelo)
(512) 463-0331
(325) 657-0197

Rep. Carter Casteel (R-New Braunfels)
(512) 463-0325
(830) 627-0215

Rep. Warren Chisum (R-Pampa)
(512) 463-0736
(806) 665-3552

Rep. John E. Davis (R-Houston)
(512) 463-0734
(281) 333-1350

Rep. Joe Driver (R-Garland)
(512) 463-0574
(972) 276-1556

Rep. Gary Elkins (R-Houston)
(512) 463-0722
(832) 912-8380

Rep. David Farabee (D-Wichita Falls)
(512) 463-0534
(940) 322-4122

Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van Horn)
(512) 463-0880
(903) 567-0921

Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth)
(512) 463-0610
(817) 738-8333

Rep. Toby Goodman (R-Arlington)
(512) 463-0562
(817) 460-8290

Rep. Tony Goolsby (R-Dallas)
(512) 463-0454
(214) 503-1900

Rep. Bob E. Griggs (R-North Richland Hills)
(512) 463-0599
(817) 581-1000

Rep. Pat Haggerty (R-El Paso)
(512) 463-0728
(915) 532-1391

Rep. Rick Hardcastle (R-Vernon)
(512) 463-0526
(940) 553-3825

Rep. Scott Hochberg (D-Houston)
(512) 463-0492
(832) 252-7336

Rep. Mark Homer (D-Paris)
(512) 463-0650
(903) 784-0977

Rep. Charlie Howard (R-Sugarland)
(512) 463-0710
(281) 565-9500

Rep. Delwin Jones (R-Lubbock)
(512) 463-0542
(806) 763-4468

Rep. Terry Keel (R-Austin)
(512) 463-0652
(512) 463-0652

Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland)
(512) 463-0656
(800) 586-4515

Rep. Edmund Kuempel (R-Seguin)
(512) 463-0602
(830) 379-8732

Rep. Brian McCall (R-Plano)
(512) 463-0594
(972) 881-0890

Rep. Tommy Merritt (R-Longview)
(512) 463-0750
(903) 238-9100

Rep. Elliott Naishtat (D-Austin)
(512) 463-0668
(512) 463-0668

Rep. Aaron Peña (D-Edinburg)
(512) 463-0426
(956) 383-7444

Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie)
(512) 463-0516
(972) 938-9392

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin)
(512) 463-0674
(512) 463-0674

Rep. Wayne Smith (R-Baytown)
(512) 463-0733
(832) 556-2002

Rep. John T. Smithee (R-Amarillo)
(512) 463-0702
(806) 372-3327

Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin)
(512) 463-0821
——————–

Rep. Vicki Truitt (R-Keller)
(512) 463-0690
(817) 488-4098

thank you,
Fred Lewis, Clean Up Texas Politics”


This is a great bill that every progressive in Texas should support, and with this support from Republicans, there is a great chance it will pass if it comes before the full House. So go ahead, thank those who made it popular.

“Conservatives Split in Debate on Curbing Illegal Immigration”

Filed under: — kevin @ 11:51 am

Via Latino Pundit , we have a link to a report about the coming split in the GOP over immigration. Here is a great chunk from Hispanic Online :

“Republican lawmakers are headed for a showdown over illegal immigration, an issue that exposes a deep and bitter rift within the GOP.

The drama will unfold when Congress returns early next month and turns to finish an emergency spending bill to fund the Iraq war. The House version, approved before the Easter break, carries tough immigration restrictions, reigniting a long-simmering battle with the Senate over how to deal with the growing illegal population.

It is a conflict that President Bush scarcely needs as he tries to unite his party behind contentious Social Security changes and judicial nominations. Meeting Wednesday with Mexican President Vicente Fox, Bush promised to continue pushing Congress for a program allowing temporary guest workers. That accommodation is the opposite of what House conservatives are seeking with the crackdown on asylum seekers and state driver’s-license requirements for illegal immigrants that they attached to the Iraq bill. Bush acknowledged the limits of his influence: “I’m not a member of the legislative branch,” he told Fox.

The immigration debate pits one core GOP constituency (law-and-order conservatives) against another (business interests that rely on immigrant labor). One camp wants to tighten borders and deport people who are here illegally; the other seeks to bring illegal workers out of the shadows and acknowledge their growing economic importance.”


I say our best strategy as progressives is to continually pit biz interests against pro-immigration moderates, biz against pro-family conservatives, biz against working people. And we know who the Republican leaders will always side with…Sabemos que para ellos el negocio vale más que todo.

2005-Mar-23

TEXAS NEEDS TO GET MORE HISPANIC STUDENTS THROUGH COLLEGE

Filed under: — kevin @ 3:50 pm

Via Border Buzz section of the Quorum Report :
“A former education commissioner said Monday that Texas would face a less prosperous future if more Hispanic students did not successfully complete college.

Dr. Felipe Alanis, associate dean of continuing education at the University of Texas at Austin was the keynote speaker at the 2005 Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony and Luncheon at the Frank C. Erwin Special Events Center.

Alanis said the 38 exemplary migrant high school students being honored would be at the peak of their careers and earning powers by the year 2040. By then, he said, 53 percent of the Texas population and, more importantly, 60 percent of its labor force would be Hispanic.

‘Without improving your education, Texas will face a decline in household taxes needed to address the services of this state,” Alanis told the students. “A widening economic inequality is beginning to continue to exacerbate.’”

Anyone listening across the way at the Capitol…?

2005-Mar-18

Texas Republicans Hate Freedom

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:08 am

Three bills (HB1706, HB1402 and HB1293), all penned by Republicans, would put serious restrictions on voting, potentially giving Texas the most restrictive voting laws in the nation.

If the bills above, along with HB516 pass… be prepared to carry your birth certificate, voter registration card and an acceptable form of identification. Stace is on top of this with a posting at Dos Centavos.

So nevermind that more than half of eligible Texas voters tend to stay home during elections…. we must wage a battle against the non-existent voter fraud crisis amongst non-citizens. Are they serious?

The Texas Lege needs to recognize that we need a modernized, stream-lined voter registration, education and participation process - not more hoops to jump through. Many LFT members spent months doing VR and we know that the idea of a concerted effort by non-citizens to thwart elections is an absolute farce.

Our “leadership” should be making same day voter registration and permanent absentee ballots the law.

Call your representative and senator, call the House committee on Elections, write your local newspaper… the assault on our right to vote must stop… or somebody’s gotta be defeated in ‘06.

UPDATE: Click here to read about similar legislation in Washington.

From the article:

Erik Nicholson, the regional director for the United Farm Workers… said, “This is a solution in search of a problem. There are no cases of undocumented immigrants abusing the system.”

Corky Mattingly, president of the Washington State Association of County Auditors, said immigrant voting has been rumored but she knows of no cases investigated that resulted in wrongdoing.

Mattingly said her office has contacted federal officials to ask for help implementing the proposed law. Without financial help, Mattingly said the law would be unaffordable.

“We don’t have the staff or the time or the money to do all of these investigations,” she said. “People sometimes think there’s a book of immigrants and there isn’t.”

Four largest papers:
Austin American-Statesman:
Letters to the Editor
Austin-American Statesman
P.O. Box 670
Austin, Texas 78767
Fax: 512/912-5927
letters@statesman.com

Dallas Morning News:
Letters to the Editor
The Dallas Morning News
P.O.Box 655237
Dallas, Texas 75265
Fax 972/263-0456
letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com

Houston Chronicle:
Letters to the Editor
Houston Chronicle
P.O. Box 4260
Houston, Texas 77210
Fax 713/362-3575
viewpoints@chron.com

San Antonio Express-News:
Letters
c/o Express-News
P.O. Box 2171
San Antonio, TX
78297-2171
Fax: 210/250-3465
letters@expressnews.net

2005-Mar-16

A Tax by other names is still a Tax

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:08 am

Dumb Tax, Smart Tax, Backdoor Tax…

We need to discuss society’s investments in society in terms people inherently grasp.

We need to round up a list of the “backdoor taxes” enacted by the Republican majority, and show conclusively that these Taxes, beyond whatever you may think of taxes, are not even Smart Taxes. Why not float a proposal that Taxes those with money, as a way of increasing the efficiency of the tax — making it a Smart Tax– instead of repeatedly Taxing the Poorest People, or Dumb Taxes.

LaRazaUnida has an excellent post at Dos Centavos Blog about action that can be taken now about a Dumb Tax.

Democrat and Latina state representative Vilma Luna of Corpus Christi submitted House Bill 2345. HB2345 began as a notion submitted by another Democratic Party Latina, Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia as a means of implementing an immigrant tax to force indigent immigrants to pay for health care services in Houston. Now, the far-reaching effects of this bill will reach other urban centers, such as Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Austin, Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley.

read more…

2005-Mar-15

New Report, Obvious Conclusions

Filed under: — kevin @ 5:54 pm

According to Juan Castillo, writing in the Austin American-Statesman , we must aid new immigrant populations if we want to prosper as a state. He says:

“Texas must invest in education, job training and health services for its growing Hispanic and immigrant work force or, in coming decades, the state will become older, poorer and less educated, a report on the economic relationship between Mexico and Texas concludes.

By 2040, the state will be more diverse, according to the report, “The Economic Integration of Mexico and Texas.”

“Education is the key to take advantage of these trends,” said Justino De La Cruz, the study’s author and an international economist at Trinity University in San Antonio.

De La Cruz’s study bolsters previous research on the shifting demographics of Texas showing that Hispanics will replace non-Hispanic whites as a majority. But it also offers a rare look at the economic dependencies of the state and Mexico.”

If I had a dime for every knuckleheaded report and policy brief like this, I would donate it to the campaigns of progressive Latino candidates in this state so we would could actually do the things these studies advocate. When will the idiot conservatives get smart about investing in the future? Three words describe those in power here and in Washington: selfish, immoral, and dastardly. (I just like that last one. Like Delay’s Dastardly Deeds…)

HB3 Passed Despite Latino Opposition

Filed under: — kevin @ 12:18 pm

Check out the following press releases, compiled by Quorum Report :

The Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce has worked with Republicans and Democrats alike in the past. But on the House Republican leadership’s school finance legislation, TAMACC is firmly opposed. “As a small business owner who employ’s 15 people, I know how devastating additional taxes, such as the payroll tax, would be to my business as well as to all small businesses in Texas,” said TAMACC Chair Joe Lopez.

The Rio Grande Valley Teachers Association opposes House Bill 3 because, the group says, 52 percent of the tax shift would be directed to the sales tax. In a press release, RGVTA President Adrian Fernandez asks where the $11 billion is coming from to buy down property taxes. “Yep! You guessed it! Working families,” Fernandez said. He urges the South Texas delegation to “stand in defiance of the lack of leadership” in Austin.

The Texas League of United Latin American Citizens, the state’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, is “blasting” the Texas House for allowing House Bill 3 to pass. “The House of Representatives has dealt yet another huge setback to Texas,” LULAC State Director Roger Rocha said, in a press release. “It is another indication of the House leadership agenda to limit opportunities for working class Texans and those who are low socioeconomic status.”

With House Bill 3 including a new payroll tax, state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso) has reissued an op-ed he wrote during last year’s special session on public school finance. “If a business tax is expanded to include employee compensation, then let’s call it what it is. It’s an income tax,” Shapleigh said. “While it can raise a significant amount of money, this expanded tax falls short of being fair because it only taxes the wage income of business professionals and is not even deductible on federal income taxes.”

Well, what a surprise. The Texas Lege has once again ignored the pleas of working folks and Latino advocates for a sustainable and equitable public education system and a fair, progressive revenue system.

2005-Mar-13

“He don’t like you guys…”

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:59 am

Concerned that added sales tax will result in a drop in circulation and therefore revenue, publishers from around the state will be having breakfast with Craddick tomorrow morning the S.A. Express-News reports.

The article quotes Craddick as saying he has “no idea why” newspapers are the target of this new tax proposal while radio, billboards and television remain off the hook. However, it goes on to state that three anonymous Republicans know why…

“This is his (mode of operating),” one Republican member said. “He don’t like you guys and what you’ve been writing about him, and this is his payback.”

With newspapers facing declining circulation, “why would you want to hitch your wagon to that star,” another member asked. “The answer is he wants to punish you for what you’ve been writing.”

2005-Mar-12

Wasn’t Grusendorf & Co. Like Totally Getting All the Credit for Crafting HB2?

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:25 am

Well check it, the San Antonio Express-News is reporting that massive chunks of HB2 were actually ‘cut and pasted’ from a report by “The Hoover Institution, founded at Stanford University… a research center for advanced study on domestic public policy and international affairs. It’s widely described as a “conservative think tank.”

Perry, Shapiro and Grusendorf apporached the Institution’s Koret Force - made up of “Hoover fellows and includes several members who’ve written books about school reform, accountability and private-school vouchers” - in December of 2003. The results were published two months later and it “mirror[s] the language in House Bill 2, including rolling back local property tax rates, establishing a system of financial accountability for districts, freeing exemplary schools from state regulation and phasing in computer-assisted testing for state-standardized tests.”

It is not unusual for the Lege to refer to research experts, however motivations should be questioned when your elected officials choose to ignore “virtually every major education group in the state [who remain] opposed to House Bill 2.”

UPDATE: PinkDome.Com has a story on it here.

2005-Mar-10

Mas Taxes y HB3

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:35 am

More taxes, more taxes, more taxes… keep saying it because they are coming..

Austin American-Statesman
“According to the Legislative Budget Board study, only the richest 20 percent of Texas families would benefit overall from lower property taxes, a payroll tax and higher sales taxes. They would save nearly $440 million in the first full year.”

Click here for the story.

News8 Austin
Study: HB 2, HB 3 add up to more taxes

The Dallas Morning News
“Robin Hood really and truly is not the problem. Lack of a definition of – and commitment to – adequate funding for public education is at the heart of the problem. ”
Victoria Sublette: Schools need some guarantees

Related stories:
*Texas League of Women Voter’s Endorses State Income Tax*

“Although we do not endorse a specific proposal, we do believe that an income tax is a fair way to levy the burden of school taxes and perhaps the only means left to provide an adequate stream of revenue.”
Barbara Hankins of the League of Women Voters of Texas, Wednesday

San Antonio Express-News
Carlos Guerra: House Bill 3’s lopsided benefits are boosting income tax option

School proposal passes first test

KWTX - Waco, Temple, Killeen
League Of Women Voters Calls For State Income Tax

Latino Filmmaking SXSW Discussion Panel

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:13 am

The Austin Chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers

NALIP-Austin & LupeArte

present…

LATINO FILMMAKING - A SXSW panel discussion*

Tuesday, March 15, 1 to 2 pm
SXSW Film Conference
Austin Convention Center, Room 18d

Panelists include:
Dr. Federico Subervi
Director, Latinos and Media Project (Mod.)

Hector Galán
Independent Filmmaker
(Visiones: Latino Art & Culture)

Viviane Vives
Barcelona Films

Miguel Alvarez
MFA Film Student, UT-Austin

Heather Courtney
Documentary filmmaker, (Los Trabajadores)

Kimberly Myers
past producer for Fox and TNT, now a producer with Moctesuma Esparza’s Maya Pictures, Los Angeles, California

program subject to change
Post panel Reception follows
3 to 5 pm
Mexic-Arte Museum
5th & Congress

2005-Mar-9

S.A. E-N’s Carlos Guerra: Vote Hell No

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:39 am

HB 3’s taxes will be unreliable and hit the poorest the hardest
Web Posted: 03/08/2005 12:00 AM CST
San Antonio Express-News
By Carlos Guerra (in case you missed his name in the headline)

“Let’s not tax you, let’s not tax me, tax the man behind the tree, tax the man that we can’t see.”

—Tax-bill writers’ mantra

It’s still early in the legislative session, so bills could change dramatically before they become final.

But House Bill 3 in its present form makes it glaringly evident that the Texans “invisible” to the House leadership are the 80 percent of families who earn less than $76,037.

The leadership came up with HB3 in response to the clamor for more state funding for public schools and lower school property taxes — which have risen because state funding didn’t keep pace with enrollment growth, inflation and unfunded federal and state mandates.

It would supposedly increase school funding $3 billion and lower the school property tax cap from $1.50 to $1 per $100 valuation.

But the way it would accomplish this is absolutely outrageous.

The state sales tax rate would rise to 7.25 percent from 6.25 percent and the motor vehicle sales tax to 7.35 percent from 6.25 percent. Sales taxes would be extended to auto repairs, car washes, bottled water, newspapers and other items. Cigarette taxes would increase $1 a pack and the easily dodged franchise tax would be replaced with a 1.15 percent tax on wages up to $90,000.

This would make Texas’ sales tax rate the nation’s highest and increase overall taxes for 80 percent of families, hitting Texas’ poorest the hardest.

The state has long taken a higher percentage from poor and middle-income residents’ earnings than from the rich, making Texas the poster child of regressive taxation.

“A tax is considered ‘regressive’ when the tax burden as a share of income increases as income decreases,” according to the Texas Comptroller’s 2005 “Tax Exemptions and Tax Incidence” report.

Of Texas’ eight major taxes, most state and local revenue comes from property taxes (46 percent) and sales taxes (33 percent).

At the current rate, the Comptroller reports that the 10 percent of households that earn less than $12,820 pay 10 percent of it in sales taxes. Those making $39,743 to $61,734 pay 2.8 percent and those who earn more than $135,699 pay only 1.6 percent it in sales taxes.

HB 3’s sales-tax hikes would worsen this disparity. And its other changes aren’t much less regressive. Why stop charging a payroll tax at $90,000? And wouldn’t an extra buck per cigarette pack take a higher toll from the poor?

But this bill also should be rejected because it is bad public policy, a poorly conceived short-term fix that will soon need an overhaul.

Sales-tax revenue as a percentage of Texans’ cumulative personal income is diminishing because our economic growth is in the service sector while taxable, in-state retail sales are declining.

And while raising the cigarette tax is likely to discourage many kids from starting to smoke, its revenue will drop as more smokers stop or taper off, making it good public health policy but a very unreliable revenue source.

As for the payroll tax proposal, it is abhorrent because it will charge 1.15 percent on wages of $90,000 or less. But it will charge only 0.575 percent on wages of $180,000 and a scant 0.345 percent on earnings of $300,000.

So call your House member now and tell him or her not to simply vote “no” but to vote “Hell No!”

HB3 Would Hurt A Small Business In S.A.

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 10:27 am

From the San Antonio Express-News LTE:

Cigar tax hurts workers

House Bill 3, on its way to a vote in the Texas House of Representatives, would increase the tax on cigars by 244 percent.

Finck Cigar Co. has been operated in San Antonio by our family since 1893. We employ 60 people, 17 of them between 55 and 81 years of age. We pay more than $50,000 per year in Texas cigar tax.

We have employed thousands of people in our years in San Antonio without government stipend.

When I was a young man, there were thousands of cigar factories in the United States. Today there are eight independents left. It is more difficult each day to continue.

We could make our cigars in Nicaragua or another Caribbean country for a small percentage of what it costs to make them in San Antonio. What would I do with my mature and loyal friends and employees?

Florida, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico, the main cigar-producing states and commonwealth, have no cigar tax. Does Texas really need a 244 percent increase in our tax?

Bill Finck,

Finck Cigar Co.

NCLR Puts Weight Behind Al Gonzales

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:50 am

Latinos for Texas does not support Alberto Gonzales for Atty General. http://www.latinosfortexas.com/albertogonzales.php

———

From the Washington Post:

By Darryl Fears
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 9, 2005; Page A03

The National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights organization, embraced Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales at an awards ceremony last night, breaking with other civil rights organizations that have denounced Gonzales for his role in producing the administration memo that allowed harsh treatment of detainees overseas.

Although La Raza supported Gonzales’s appointment as attorney general, last night’s ceremony marked a first, highly public step in the group’s effort to alter its image as a left-leaning organization, said Janet Murguia, its president and chief executive.

Gonzales’s appearance at the ceremony was his first before a large Hispanic civil rights group since he was confirmed last month by the Senate. La Raza hopes the warm reception will show the Bush administration that it seeks to move to the center politically and gain more access to the White House. President Bush declined to attend all of La Raza’s annual conferences during his first term, citing the group’s criticism of his policies.

“We want to make sure that people understand that we are reaching out to this administration,” Murguia said. “We think it is a unique opportunity when a president is in his second term . . . to get things done.

Read the rest.

Villaraigosa wins 33% of Vote in L.A.’s Mayoral Race

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 9:23 am

We’re not in L.A. but…

CNN is reporting that Antonio Villaraigosa has garnered 33% of the vote to secure a place in the May 17 run-off election with either James Hahn or Bob Hertzberg.

Villaragiosa, previously on the L.A. Council, was elected to the State Assembly and became the first speaker from L.A. in over two decades. He received broad support from a wide-range of newspapers and local organizations, including the L.A. Times, Hoy, NOW, the Sierra Club and several democratic clubs.

Should Antonio Villaraigosa win, he would become the first Latino Mayor of L.A. in more than a century.

2005-Mar-8

Media Advisory from Rep. Eddie Rodriguez

Filed under: — LaGirlFriday @ 4:30 pm

For Media Use Only Contact: Tim Thetford
Wednesday, March 8, 2005 512-463-0674

Support Growing for Income Tax
–Powerful advocacy group requests alternative solutions to school finance–

As House Bill 2 is being debated in the Texas House, a powerful advocacy group will take a stand on an issue that has recently been gaining support–a state education income tax.

Who: Representative Eddie Rodriguez
Senator Eliot Shapleigh

What: School Finance Press Conference

When: 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Where: Agriculture Museum
Texas Capitol 1W.14

If you can’t make it to the Capitol, watch it here.

Today’s Dropouts are (literally) tomorrows underemployed

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:26 am

A good, if sobering post at Dos-Centavos points out:

by A.S. Medellin
Various newspapers around the state are reporting that dropout (I prefer “pushout”) rates continue to place Texas education in crisis. Not only that, high dropout rates only decrease the probabiliity that Texas will have a strong workforce in the future. Ultimately, equity in education finance assures a healthy economy, lower crime rates, and higher rates of employability. But do Republicans care? As always, they prove that they don’t.

[bold added]
read more…

2005-Mar-7

Why *one* Hispanic guy is conservative

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:53 am

and its not really about religion. very intriguing read, and while i disagree with his conclusions, priorities and (imagined) causal correlations, its nice to see how he arived at them.

from Hispanic Pundit:

Kerry Has Strong Advantage Among Latino Voters.

This is really troubling and, I must admit, very hard for me to understand. Why do my fellow Hispanics overwhelmingly(2/3) support a liberal candidate over a conservative candidate? Maybe it’s time for me to lay down my beliefs, and open up the floor to challenges among Hispanics. I am not going to get specific into an individual candidate, unless it relates to the overall point, but going to concentrate on giving an overall belief why I lean conservative(Republican) over liberal(Democrat). Please feel free to critique where you see necessary in the arrival of my beliefs.

read the whole thing…

2005-Mar-4

National Social Security “Debate” and Latinos

Filed under: — kevin @ 11:22 am

Check out this article from LA Times to see how both sides are honing their message to Latinos nationally.

Excerpt:
“With polls showing public support slipping away for President Bush’s plan to transform Social Security, the White House is revving up efforts to win over traditionally Democratic constituencies.

The latest example came Thursday, in a Spanish-language op-ed article written by Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez, who argued that Bush’s push to revamp Social Security, which includes the creation of private retirement accounts, was of “utmost importance” to Latinos.”

Opponents of the accounts also elevated their Latino outreach, with one advocacy group backed by the AFL-CIO planning a series of town hall meetings in heavily Latino areas, and a leading Cuban American Democrat sending an e-mail to Spanish-speaking supporters. The e-mail warned that a shift to worker-owned accounts could hurt lower-income Latinos who had less experience with private investing than other groups did.

“By privatizing Social Security and allowing the stock market to dictate the size of individuals’ checks, Republicans are destroying the ability for Latinos to pay into a reliable retirement system and trust they will have a steady income for retirement,” wrote Rep. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

Hey, hey, ho, ho, Social Security has got to stay.

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