September 17, 2003
The Statesman blog Lasso makes a couple of points about redistricting stuff from yesterday that I hadn't contemplated:
- Nobody is even pretending any more that redistricting is something being done by the Legislature alone. Instead, the maps are being negotiated through the mind of Rep. Tom DeLay of Houston. Again, the Statesman reports: "DeLay, who has engineered the Republican mapping efforts from Washington, D.C., met Sept. 9 in Austin with (House Speaker Tom) Craddick, Duncan and Sen. Todd Staples, R-Palestine and the Senate's chief mapmaker."
- When negotiations don't work, they are trying bribery. Both Austin and Houston reported a deal that offered U.S. Rep. Stenholm an endowed chair at Texas Tech University if he would resign his seat in Congress. "I did talk to Charlie about some sort of concept like that, but Charlie is not interested in retiring," Rep. Robert Duncan told the Chronicle. With Stenholm out of the way, there would be fewer objections to a new map that changes the boundaries of West Texas congressional districts.
According to Lasso's dictionary, a bribe is "something serving to influence or persuade." Stenholm declined the "offer," saying he wanted to stay in. There was no comment from Texas Tech on the abuse of a public university to solve an intramural Republican Party dispute.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 17, 2003 to Killer D's
[sarcasm on]Golly, if a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman says that DeLay is an evil puppetmaster and every Republican who supports redistricting is his puppet, it must be true! How could I have been so blind![/sarcasm off]
Who has pretended that redistricting was being done without substantial input from both parties' Congressional delegations, ever? Enough with the boogy-man rhetoric.
As for the endowed chair: Last I checked, Sen. Duncan wasn't on the Tech Board of Regents. I could promise Stenholm a rather famous bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan if he'd step down. Quick, call the Statesman's blog I've committed bribery! Even Ronnie Earl knows better than this, although I'm not sure about the DA out in Laredo.
If Beldar thinks the evil GOP b______s wouldn't use a public university to reward people for their political ideas, he ought to take a look at the leadership of a certain public university situated between Houston and Austin. ALL of the major positions are filled with cronies of a certain political family.
Beldar, you don't know much about how things work in Texas if you think that the Tech Board of Regents is the only body that has any say about what goes on at that school. The Legislature is extremely...let's say, active...in the affairs of the state's universities.
Strong influence, I don't doubt. Networks of mutual favors that can easily be traced and observed, I don't doubt.
That's politics as practiced in 50 states, though, folks -- not bribery.
that the influence _exists_ isn't bribery, no. that this influence is being _used_, and in this manner, seems to be pretty close to a textbook definition of a bribe.