It turns out that Tom DeLay showed up at that Clear Lake candidates' forum after all. I'm hoping to get a report on it later. I guess maybe this excellent letter from Jack's stepson Adam to Tom DeLay helped him see the error of his ways (well, at least as far as his craven avoidance of the forum goes).
I find your blatant attempt to blame your decision on the voters (Ive been doing this for 20 years and you show up to a forum where there are more candidates at the forum than constituents. Galveston Daily News, 10/16/04) abhorrent and slimy. In addition, it contradicts the next sentence in your sound byte (Id much rather be out with constituents, meeting them and going to events. Galveston Daily News, 10/16/04). If you would rather be out meeting with constituents and going to events, why not this event? Why not these constituents? Do you have some scheduling conflict? Will you be at some other event during this time block? Do you plan to invite your Clear Lake constituents to your house for tea and crumpets?
Tonight on TV I saw an amazingly warm and fuzzy ad run by the DeLay campaign - we're talking soft focus, all smiles (none of these looks), women and children - and not one but two pro-DeLay ads run by the Club for Growth. With all of the competitive races out there, with the battleground and the polls largely favoring the Democrats, is anyone going to seriously suggest that someone isn't a little worried about DeLay's re-election chances? It's not like there aren't plenty of other places where the CLub for Growth could spend its money.
Did you know that DeLay is responsible for redirecting funds to connect rural Americans to the Internet to wealthy suburbs?
Nearly $23 million meant to bring the worldwide web to rural America instead will underwrite fast Internet service to affluent Texas suburbs represented by House Republican Leader Tom DeLay, a situation Democrats and rural critics called outrageous on Thursday.
The loan, from the rural development wing of the U.S. Agriculture Department, includes work in communities outside Houston, in DeLay's district.
Farm and telephone groups questioned the wisdom of the $22.7 million loan to ETS Telephone & Subsidiaries, a Houston firm that advertises itself as providing telecommunications for "quality master-planned communities."
Congress created the loan program in 2002 to help rural areas, including communities of less than 20,000 people, to gain Internet access. The ETS project qualified, a USDA official said, because it was in a traditionally agricultural area and met the population limits.
Some of the seven communities affected by the loan have golf courses and houses selling for $125,000 to $1 million, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper.
Parts of Fort Bend and Harris counties, on the western edge of the Houston area, were a 45-minute or 60-minute drive from downtown Houston, a USDA official said, calling Internet access "a real boon" if it allows population growth in rural areas.
Farm and ranch groups questioned whether the Texas loan reflected the intent of the broadband loan program, which was part of the 2002 Farm Bill and designed to spur economic development.
"The need is out in true rural areas where the costs per mile are too high for many commercial companies. Not in Katy," said Gene Hall, a spokesman for the Waco-based Texas Farm Bureau, a major agriculture organization.
"We support bringing infrastructure like broadband to rural areas because farmers and ranchers are the last in line to get those services -- all the way back to rural electrification," Hall said.
Hilda Legg, the Agriculture Department official overseeing the program, defended the loan as conforming to requirements even though nearby farms or ranches would not get broadband access.
According to the department, a rural community is one with 20,000 or fewer residents, a definition met by the white-collar housing developments built in unincorporated areas about 30 miles from Houston.
Legg confirmed that farmers living next to one of the planned communities would be ineligible for service because any additional connection outlays could heighten financial risk for the taxpayer-subsidized loan. A request to revise the agreement would be needed, she said.
However, ETS said such a change would be rare.
Luke Scanlon, 31, of David Weekley Homes said Long Meadow Farms is attracting interest from middle- to upper-middle-class professionals. Amenities include a six-lane adult pool, a children's pool with slides, two tennis courts, a nature path, several small lakes, a creek, a recreation building with a gym and an outdoor amphitheater.
Located near Katy in the district of Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, the House majority leader, Long Meadow's 3,000 homes are priced from $130,000 to $500,000, Scanlon said. A tollway expected to open next summer will cut commuting time to Houston to under 45 minutes, he said.
"It bothers me," Shane Sklar, executive director of the Lockhart-based Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas, said of the loan to ETS.
"We know Fort Bend and Harris are far from rural counties," Sklar said. "I imagine politicians voted for rural development thinking the money would go to places like Hopkins County or Jack County, real rural counties -- not some planned community outside Houston."
There's a new DeLay watchdog blog in town: The Daily DeLay. They'll be providing a new example of Tom DeLay's pay-to-play politics, ethics violations, strong arm tactics, and all-around anti-democractic and pro-special interests fervor from now until Election Day. Check it out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 19, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack