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July 27th, 2003:

This ought to be fun

So that Ramirez cartoon which has caused such a kerfuffle is in today’s Chron. I can’t wait to see the letters to the editor. I make it even money that at least one person will write to say that he will cancel his subscription because of it. Whatever else you may say about Ramirez, any cartoon that can be this grossly misunderstood has to be considered a flop.

(On a side note, both of the comics on Page 2 of the op-eds were Ramirez cartoons. How about a little variety, guys? There are plenty of other cartoonists out there. One Ramirez cartoon is more than enough.)

Sunday editorials

I thought there’d be some editorial action regarding the effective end of this special session in the major dailies today, but pretty much all there is can be found in the Chron, with one minor exception: This Star-Telegram piece attempts to analyze the claim that state legislatures should draw Congressional boundaries to reflect the state’s political landscape. The conclusion is that this is not the norm around the country, but unfortunately it’s missing a link to a graphic that depicts this. A shame, that.

Anyway, in the hometown fishwrap we have yet another unsigned editorial calling for the end of the GOP’s attempts to redraw the lines and a Clay Robison column that mocks Comptroller Strayhorn for her braying about losing some power in the Death Star government reorganization bill, the fault of which, he tells Carole, lies not in the stars:

The audits, begun by former Comptroller John Sharp under a 1991 state law, are designed to save taxpayers money, and they have, to the extent that the Legislature and local school boards have adopted the comptroller’s recommendations.

But equally important for the politically ambitious Strayhorn, the high-profile tasks also provide frequent publicity opportunities. She can brag about saving tax dollars, even though the comptroller’s main job is something far less attractive — collecting taxes.

Could the audits be performed as efficiently and thoroughly by the Legislative Budget Board? Perhaps. But would the LBB, which is an arm of the Legislature, be as independent as the comptroller? Maybe. Maybe not.

It is an issue that would be better left for the next regular session of the Legislature to address in 2005. But political retribution doesn’t like to wait.

Strayhorn said she was the victim of “political payback” because she was a “staunch protector of taxpayer dollars.”

The comptroller’s primary enemy, however, is her obvious political ambition. She seems constantly on the prowl for higher office, which makes both Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the Senate’s presiding officer, wary, since either — under the right circumstances — could stand in her way.

Perry, Dewhurst and countless legislators of both parties also are still miffed that Strayhorn, with little warning, doubled her projected revenue shortfall on the eve of the regular session last winter and then ranted — ludicrously — about the Legislature throwing a spending “party” two years ago.

A better person than me would not gloat about such things. Good thing I have such low standards.

On the op-ed side, we have this slap at Governor Perry for denying $300,000 in discretionary funds to the American GI Forum, and this call by an “independent” voter for an “independent citizens’ redistricting commission”. Not directly related to redistricting but of interest nonetheless is this piece about the Democratas Unidas project and its attempts to woo Hispanic voters in 2004.

Happy reading. I feel a nap coming on.