Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Twist in Governor's Race

When doing research on the governor's race, I recently came across one of the most interesting things I've found so far. According to several media, including the Austin American Statesman and Dallas News Web sites, Farouk Shami, a resident of Houston, and creator of BioSilk and Chi hair products, plans to make a formal Democratic campaign announcement on Nov. 19. As an avid follower of the race to the capitol, this is the first news I have heard about Shami's interest in the governor's seat.

As a consumer of Shami's Chi products, upon first hearing about this, I thought it seemed like an odd bid to me. I assumed Shami had no political ties or experience and that he was only involved in the hair industry and business world. I was proved wrong when I came across a statement that incumbent Rick Perry made earlier this year, in which he described Shami as a man who "pretty much embodies the American dream."

According to the Austin American Statesman, Shami will reportedly spend $10 million of his own money to run his campaign and will fore go the typical governor's salary, accepting only $1 as a compensation.

Shami's notable acts include bringing back 1,200 Farouk System's manufacturing jobs to Texas that had recently been outsourced to South Korea and China.

Despite my initial doubts, two online newspaper articles later, it seems to me that Farouk Shami is undoubtedly dedicated to the economy of Texas and quite possibly a threat to his other opponents. Needless to say, I am interested to see where this will go...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Perry's Trip to the Big Apple

Although it might not seem like Texas' economy is that great to families like my own who have been affected by the recent surge in unemployment, according to Gov. Rick Perry, Texas seems to be fairing much better than most other big states during this hard economic time.

While many small businesses and even large coporations around the nation are finding themselves forced to decide between relocating or shutting down completely, last week, Perry ventured to New York with a team of business and community leaders to promote Texas as a land of opportunity.

“As the global economy continues to struggle, Texas stands out because of our strong principles of cutting taxes and spending, investing in job creation and strengthening our school system to groom the workforce of the future,” said Perry, ensuring business owners and CEOs that relocating to Texas is a smart move.

As a concerned citizen during these hard times, it puts me a little more at ease knowing that although Texas seems to be doing better than other states, our governor recognizes that there is still room for improvement. I appreciate his effort of going to New York to promote the great state of Texas and its future prosperity.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Debra Medina and her fight for freedom

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to hear Governor-hopeful Debra Medina speak here on The University of Texas campus. As my PR317 group is focusing on the Texas Governor's Race, I saw this as a great opportunity to bring some important information to the group. More importantly, I saw this as an opportunity to become a more informed voter as previously, I had not known very much about her.

After listening to Medina speak yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that I have never met anyone who is as big an advocate of limited government as she. (That could be in part because I have not had the chance to hear very many politicians speak, more specifically, Republican politicians.) Either way, every point and every argument Medina made, fell back on the idea of limited government.

Medina's campaign stresses the idea of freedom; the freedoms that are granted to all American citizens by the U.S. Constitution as well as the freedoms of each state.

In her speech, Medina insisted that there are two things that keep men free: private property ownership, and gun ownership. She feels that if these two rights are taken away, we have completely been over-ruled by the government. She promised that if she were elected governor, securing these two freedoms would be on her list of priorities.

As far as states' freedoms, Medina talked about how the government is controlling such things as our "independent school districts," and that these school districts should be just that, independent. She brought up the point that the demands of each community are different, and that school districts should be able to adjust to those demands. For example, she lives in a rural area, where most young men end up working on farms. She feels that the school district should be able to implement classes to help them learn how to fix tractors and other machines, rather than making them take a class like theater that will not benefit them in the same way it might benefit a student in New York. She also feels strongly that the hospital system in Texas is outstanding and that we do not need the government telling us how to run it. Basically, her mentality is, if it's not broken, don't fix it.

As I myself have been struggling on taking a position regarding the issue of healthcare, as well as other controversial issues, one point that she made during her speech that I could really appreciate was: When you provide things for free and when you take away things that a person works for, that person is inclined to become lazy; even more sadly, you take away their hopes and dreams. People need an incentive to work, and in this case, that incentive is healthcare.

Although I have not found one candidate that I feel very strongly about, I am greatful that The University of Texas provided me with the opportunity to hear Debra Medina speak, and to become a more informed voter. I might not have otherwise gotten the chance to hear her views firsthand without all the twisting, changing and fabricating of information that comes with politics.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gov. Rick Perry and the Cameron Todd Willingham Case

Hi Readers,

If you have been following the Texas governor's race at all, I am sure you are aware of the recent controversy that has arisen in the past two weeks among the Rick Perry Campaign.

In 2004, Cameron Todd Willingham was put to death after being convicted of arson that resulted in the death of his three children. However, recent reports from forensic specialists have brought up the possibility that the fire might not have been arson afterall. Of course this raises questions about a faulty investigation, and Gov. Perry is right in the spotlight of it all.

On their Web site, the Hutchison campaign draws attention to suspicious comments, actions and situations that Perry has found himself in regarding the controversy. One thing in particular that the media is calling attention to is the fact that Perry replaced members on the Texas Forensic Science Comission right before the new investigation on the case was supposed to begin.

In my last blog, I mentioned that during his radio interview with Hugh Hewit, Gov. Perry himself, accused Sen. Hutchison of not being completely conservative after she supported President Obama's bailout plan earlier this year. Gov. Perry claimed this was going to be a race focused on proving who the more "conservative" candidate was.

Since this controversy has come up with Gov. Perry, other candidates have taken the chance to use it against him on the campaign front, including future governor hopeful, Debra Medina.

Medina, another Republican candidate for governor, is taking a stab at Perry claiming that after the Willingham case, he is not as pro-life and "conservative" as he claims to be either. In her opposite-editorial sent to, she points out different situations in which she feels Gov. Perry has failed to prove his conservatism and those in which he has simply failed altogether during his term as Texas Governor.

I think Debra said it best in her opposite-editorial when she stated:

"The question, Governor Perry, is NOT whether or not Cameron Todd Willingham was a "bad" man. The question sir is whether or not justice was served? Was he guilty of the crime that resulted in his execution? You are not jury and judge! You are, for the moment, our governor whose job it is to see that our laws are faithfully executed."

In politics, you can never be too sure about who to believe. This is why we, as citizens, must stay informed and try our best to follow more than one candidate, so that we can hear every side of a story and so we may eventually come to our own conclusions.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Texas in a State of Surplus or Deficit?

Hi readers,

I came across something interesting in regard to the governor's race in Texas after doing some research on the topic recently.

As most of us know, the two main competitors for the race have been incumbent, Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

On Oct. 7, Perry posted a radio interview he had done with well-known political radio talk show host, Hugh Hewitt, to his campaign Web site. In the interview, Perry commented on and even bragged about Texas' $9 billion "Rainy Day Fund." He mentioned that Texas was one of the only states running with a surplus rather than a deficit.

Later in the interview, Perry insinuated that the race between him and Sen. Hutchison was about who was the most Conservative Republican. He claimed that Hutchison could not be as Conservative as she claimed because she voted for President Obama's Bailout Plan at the beginning of the year.

On Oct. 8, Hutchison was on Neil Cavuto's show on FOXNEWS, Your World. In the interview, Hutchison opposed Perry's claim to a a budget surplus of $9 billion, and said that in fact the state would be running at a $12 billion deficit.

Hutchison agreed that there was a "Rainy Day Fund" but ensured Cavuto that Perry had nothing to do with it. She claimed it had been set up years before and that the current surplus was due to bailout money as, "Texas was the biggest user of balancing the stimulus funds," she said.

She stated that at the end of all of this, Texas would be in a state of deficit because it would have to repay all the bailout money that had already been used, an amount that was well over the $9 billion it was granted.

Personally, I think it is funny that Perry frowns upon Hutchison's decision to vote for the bailout plan, and then takes credit for the money that Texas got out of the situation. This is was politics is all about- twisting stories to fit your own agenda.