After years of good times and budget surpluses, the now GOP-controlled House, Senate and Governor's Mansion will be forced to tackle multiple major crises, any one of which could cause a backlash.
"It's kind of like the dog chasing the pickup. What happens if the dog catches the pickup?" quipped Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock. "Does he get run over?"
The road promises a bumpy ride, anyway:
· Homeowners have either lost their insurance or feel they are being robbed by policy premium hikes.
· The budget shortfall could hit $12 billion, but new taxes are taboo.
· The "Robin Hood" school finance system is stressing out more school districts and property taxpayers alike, but lawmakers never seem to agree on the solution.
"Yes, we're nervous, and rightly so. It's a very difficult time to take over," said Rep. Beverly Woolley, R-Houston. "Some things you aren't given the choice on. You just bite the bullet and do the best you can."
Second, of course, is the redistricting itself, which helped give the GOP such a wide advantage in each chamber. Debra Danburg may have been a sore loser (scroll down to the bottom), but she really did get screwed, going from a district in which she won reelection in 2000 with 67% of the vote to one that was majority Republican.
I'm sure there'll be opportunities for the Dems to bounce back in 2004. I can't say for sure where the most tempting targets will be yet, but it's too early for that. Get the message ready first. Everything else will follow.Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 11, 2002 to Election 2002 | TrackBack