Thursday, September 11, 2008

Money for Matula

Here's a TWM PSA, via Vince Leibowitz at Capital Annex:


As a blogger and political observer, one of the greatest moments of this election cycle has been watching Sherrie Matula's campaign down in House District 129. Sherrie is a people-powered, grassroots candidate that has exceeded the expectations of "the establishment" and is in an excellent position to defeat incumbent State Rep. John Davis (R-Clear Lake).

Recently, Annie's List has taken notice of Sherrie's campaign and is matching every contribution made to her campaign dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000 until Saturday, September 13.

Since the match is a $10,000 match, we thought we would give readers 10 Good Reasons To Give To Sherrie Matula. However, the more we thought about it, the more we realized that it would be more fun to give our readers 10 Reasons To Give John Davis The Boot. (Believe me, if we had time, we could give you 10,000).

So, please read the below, and help Sherrie meet her matching funds goal by contributing today.

1. John Davis Thinks a 44 percent increase in college tuition for Texas families is "reasonable." Yes, John Davis actually said that. He said that the spike in tuition costs to Texas public colleges and universities of almost 50 percent was reasonable. Of course, when you illegally spend $1,500 on a pair of boots with campaign cash, that probably is reasonable to you.

2. John Davis Voted For The Trans-Texas Corridor, Tolling Existing Roadways, Allowing Private Toll Roads, And Double-Taxing Texans. John Davis voted for every piece of legislation in the quartet of bills passed over two sessions which created, authorized, and set up the funding mechanisms for the Trans-Texas Corridor, and also allowed for the tolling of existing roadways already paid for by taxpayers, as well as private toll roads. [House Journal, 67th Day, 78th Texas Legislature, Record Vote 608, pp. 2963-2964; House Journal, 77th Texas Legislature, 76th Day, p.3500; House Journal, 77th Texas Legislature, 77th Day, p. 3557; House Journal, 77th Texas Legislature, Day 75, Record Vote 446, p. 3333].

3. John Davis Voted To Create An Entire State Agency To Protect The Business Interests Of One Of His Big Contributors. John Davis voted to create the Texas Residential Construction Commission by voting for House Bill 730, which helped provide cover and protection from lawsuits for Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, one of Davis? major contributors. [House Journal, 78th Texas Legislature, Day 56, Record Vote 364, p. 1950].

4. John Davis Puts Corporate Welfare Above Human Welfare. John Davis voted for legislation which created the Texas Enterprise Fund [SB 1771, 77th Texas Legislature], a giant corporate welfare fund administered through the Governor?s office. [House Journal, 78th Texas Legislature, Day 80, Record Vote 778, p. 4559]. But, he voted against helping keep kids out of institutions and voted to continue roadblocks that prevented the elderly and disabled persons from getting Food Stamps. Davis voted against Amendment 25 to CSSB 1, 77th Regular Session, which would have provided appropriations (tied to HB 1213) to establish family-based alternatives to the institutionalization of children who could not remain with their birth parents. This amendment also included a measure to ?kill? electronic finger printing for Food Stamp applicants. Electronic finger printing, which cost the state more than $3 million a year is a huge hurdle that the elderly and disabled must overcome to get Food Stamps. And, the program has uncovered relatively little duplication or attempted fraud for the money it costs. [Amendment 25, CSSB 1, (Hse. 2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 77th Texas Legislature, Day 40, Record Vote 126, p. 1065].

5. John Davis Took Money From Lobbyists For Accenture And Passed Legislation To Help Them Privatize Health And Human Services Call Centers. John Davis voted FOR House Bill 2292, the sweeping re-organization legislation that combined 12 HHS agencies into five. [House Journal, 78th Texas Legislature, Day 57, Record Vote 367, p. 1981]. The legislation also: (1) brought about cutbacks in Medicaid benefits and coverage; (2) brought about full-family sanctions to TANF; (3) mandated the use of call centers to determine eligibility for HHS programs, and required private contractors to operate those call centers; (4) gutted the requirement that children in schools and child care facilities must be immunized; (5) defunded the Medically Needy program; (6) provided for ?estate recovery,? meaning that the assets of deceased Medicaid patients could be taken by the state to pay for those patients? care; (7) eliminated income disregards for CHIP; (8) established an asset limit for children in families above 150% FBL within CHIP; (9) provided for a shorter coverage period for CHIP; (10) reduced benefits packages and increased premiums and co-pays; (11) provided the potential for privatization of state schools and state hospitals; (12) eliminated mental health professional services for adults on Medicaid; (14) created a ?healthy marriage development program? for TANF recipients.

6. John Davis Took Money From Companies That Run Privatized State Mental Hospitals, And Then Led The Charge To Make It Easy To Privatize Texas' State Schools And Hospitals. John Davis took contributions from Joey Jacobs, CEO of Psychiatric Solutions, and contributions from PSI?s federal and money from PSI?s lobbyist, Marsha M. Jones. He then led the charge to make privatizing state schools and hospitals easy. John Davis introduced Amendments 137 and 138 to House Bill 2292 [House Bill 2292, 78th Texas Legislature, Regular Session] which would have allowed the state to privatize state schools if they could be run at a mere ten percent cost savings [Amendment 137, CSHB 2292, (2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 78th Texas Legislature, Day 56, p. 1923] and privatize state hospitals if they could be run at a mere ten percent cost savings [Amendment 138, CSHB 2292, (2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 78th Texas Legislature, Day 56, p. 1924]. As we've seen with Accenture, privatization doesn't work with health and human services.

7. John Davis Voted To Allow Radioactive Waste To Be Buried In Texas. Davis voted for HB 1567 [House Journal, 77th Texas Legislature, Day 53, Record Vote 316, p. 1713-1714] which allowed for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste from Texas, Maine, and Vermont, within Texas. [Bill Analysis, CSHB 1567, 78th Texas Legislature].

8. John Davis Thinks The Air In Harris County Is Great! John Davis has voted several times against clean air. And, as a matter of fact, Davis actually thinks that air quality in Houston is better than it was 30 years ago: "It's much cleaner than it was 20-30 years ago. I believe we are on the right track. I don't want to choke off industry," he noted in a debate in 2006. John Davis voted against funds for daily ?fence-line? monitoring emissions pursuant to Title V of the Clan Air Act. Davis voted to TABLE the amendment, meaning he cast a vote AGAINST clean air. [Amendment 16, CSSB 1, (Hse. 2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 44th Day, 79th Texas Legislature, Record Vote 228, pp. 1453-1454]. John Davis voted to TABLE an amendment to the General Appropriations Act which would have funded Diesel Emissions Reduction Programs. John Davis voted FOR dirty air and AGAINST clean air. [Amendment 98, CSHB 1, (Hse. 2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 46th Day, 80th Texas Legislature, Record Vote 242, pp. 1344-1345]. John Davis Voted Against Clean Air And Against Helping Non-Attainment Areas Improve Air Quality. John Davis voted to TABLE an amendment to the General Appropriations Act which would have required the installation and operation of ambient air quality monitors in non-attainment areas . John Davis voted AGAINST cleaning up the air in his own district! [Amendment 100, CSHB 1, (Hse. 2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 46th Day, 80th Texas Legislature, Record Vote 243, pp. 1346-1347]. All the while John Davis was voting against clean air, he was taking money from Texas' top polluters, including $9,000 from TXU and its PACs. TXU planned to build at least half a dozen smoke-belching coal-fired power plants in Texas, which resulted in a protracted environmental battle before the TXU/KKR merger. Additionally, TXU?s existing Texas power plants rank among the top 50 in the nation in terms of overall pollution and specific pollutants. Davis has also taken money from AEP, which runs the nation?s dirtiest power plant in terms of mercury emissions and is situated in Texas.

9. John Davis Killed Responsible Sex Education. Davis MOVED TO TABLE an amendment to CSSB 1, 79th Texas Legislature, which would have allowed the Department of Health to contract with agencies that provide abstinence-based sexuality education that included information about contraception which was age-appropriate and medically accurate. Davis? motion resulted in responsible sex education being scuttled. [See House Journal, 79th Texas Legislature, 44th Day, Page 1464]. Davis is also against accountability for abstinence-based sex ed programs. During debate on the General Appropriations Act in 2005, an amendment was proposed which would have required that agencies receiving state funds for abstinence education report back on the programs? successes at reducing teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases/infections to the Department of Health. That amendment was amended to stipulate that general revenue funds could not be used to compile the reports. Rep. Davis voted AGAINST the amendment as amended on final passage. This was a vote AGAINST accountability in abstinence-based sex education programs. [Amendment 38, CSSB 1, (Hse. 2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 44th Day, 79th Texas Legislature, Record Vote 233, pp. 1464-1466]. John Davis also voted against requiring that family planning service agencies receiving state money be required to abide by federal regulations. Davis voted to TABLE an amendment which would have required any provider receiving a grant of state funds appropriated under the GAA to comply with the Family Planning Policy Manual for Federal Titles X and XX. [Amendment 45, CSSB 1, (Hse. 2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 44th Day, 79th Texas Legislature, Record Vote 234, pp. 1467-1468].

10. John Davis Voted Against Texas Veterans. Davis voted to TABLE an amendment which would have ensured that veterans, their dependents, and survivors, receive all due benefits from the Texas Veterans Commission. [Amendment 23, CSSB 1, (Hse. 2nd Rdg.), House Journal, 44th Day, 79th Texas Legislature, Record Vote 231, pp. 1458-1459].

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