Sunday, August 13, 2006

Getting closer to November, Texas elections are getting nastier

As someone who was born and raised in the Netherlands, I never got 'American politics'. As in, the obvious and not so obvious attempts to make your opponent(s)look bad by resorting in all kinds of ways of means to discredit them. Where I grew up, the journalists were the ones to report on supposed or alleged (political) misbehaviour, fraud, discrepancies etc. . True gatekeepers they were. Attacking your political opponent was frowned upon as 'bad form' and seen as immature. After all, it is in your interest to undermine your opponent's credibility, so by attacking it claiming one thing and stating how you'd be different, would make your source of information pretty suspect. Political maneuvering of the American kind as I'd call it, is part of the 'end justifies the means' idea that lives in this country. No matter what, as long as you win, that justifies it.

In this race, plenty of accusations have gone the rounds. The latest one coming from the Friedman campaign, accusing Strayhorn of using her own personnel to do her bidding for her campaign:
A letter to Earle, written by Friedman campaign general counsel Blake Rocap, said that depending on the amount of state time used, "the comptroller could face first-degree felony charges carrying with them criminal punishment of a fine not exceeding $10,000 and life in prison."

"We urge you to investigate this matter and take proper steps to ensure that no candidate misuses a public office for their personal political benefit," Rocap told Earle
Pretty dramatic and seemingly part of the process of campaigning:
Earle's policy said such complaints can wait until after the election unless there is some compelling reason to believe time is of the essence.

"This policy is intended to avoid the appearance of the criminal justice system being used for political purposes," the policy said

No doubt the Strayhorn campaign would be prepared for allegations such as this, since it would make sense to be the first thing to be accused of is using one's office for their own political advantage. With the amount of money that Strayhorn has to campaign with, mathing that of Perry practically, Bell and especially Friedman will not be able to buy any air time, other than by making statements that would give them free publicity and notice. Such is American politics, gotta love it!
We'll be keeping an eye out for the investigation, and we'll see whether this was an honest attempt at keeping the elction honest, or a political maneuver (what? never watched the West Wing or any political drama for that matter?) of an opponent nearly out of money. I sincerely hope it's the first.
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NEWS ABOUT THE UPCOMING OCTOBER DEBATE

Speaking of the end justifies the means. What is the big idea of excluding Libertarian candidate James Werner from the debate? According to the Dallas Morning News;
Libertarian James Werner was not invited, debate organizers said, because he had not reached the required threshold in polls.

Pardon me but, as an Independent, I stand behind everyone's right to engage in politics, especially since James Werner is on the ballot, and ergo, has every right to be part of any debate. I don't agree with him on all points, I don't agree with all the Independent candidates on all their points (what's new, if I was American, I ought to run myself! never mind..)..the one thing independents and third/fourth, to kingdom come parties should support each other with is the right to be heard in equal measure.

Contact the Dallas Morning News and demand that they reconsider;
The Dallas Morning News is located in downtown Dallas near Reunion Arena, next door to WFAA-TV Ch. 8.
Street address: 508 Young St., Dallas, TX 75202
Main phone number: 214-977-8222

or email:letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com

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