August 30, 2005
Real reform

If you haven't yet, I commend you to read this post on the Chris Bell blog on what it means to run as a "reform" candidate. Greg and The Jeffersonian have commented on it already, and my reaction is more or less the same as The Jeff's. In fact, I don't think I can improve on what he says:

Our vocabulary should begin, and very nearly end, with one word- Reform.

We live in a state that can't pass school finance reform, but can find a way to kick off 150,000 children off of CHIPs. A state where fifty lobbyists can get into a room and decide how we're going to fund our schools. Not teachers or parents or legislators - Lobbyists. A state where one man single-handedly gives nearly $3 million to various candidates and then has the gall to have his press secretary tell us he expects nothing in return. A state that can remove any and all caps off of tuition increases, and give tuition-setting power to unelected, unaccountable Boards of Regents whose only main qualification is giving Rick Perry, Inc a whole hell of a lot of money. A state where one US House Majority Leader's PAC can, for example, accept X numbers of $250 checks from corporations and then three days later send out X numbers of $250 checks to State House candidates; knowing full well that corporate donations to state government candidates are prohibited by state law. And we can go on and on and on.

I've said before and I'll say again that one advantage Bell will have in this race is that Carole Keeton Strayhorn will be sounding some of these themes as well between now and March. She has to because she can't win by out-Republicaning Rick Perry. She's cast her die with the new-primary-voters strategy, and that means she has to look different. When she loses, it will be natural for Bell to reach out to the people she managed to bring in, and what he'll have to say to them - what he'll have been saying all along - will feel right to them. Good sense doesn't always make good politics, but here I think it will.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 30, 2005 to Election 2006 | TrackBack