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October 9th, 2004:

What’s the difference?

Sam Rosenfeld asks a very good question: How exactly does the GOP’s removal of tax credits for movie studios in response to the RIAA’s hiring of Democrat Dan Glickman differ from 1998, when the House Ethics Committee chastised Tom DeLay for holding up a copyright bill after the Electronics Industry Alliance hired Democrat Dave McCurdy?

I can think of one difference right off: In 1998, the Ethics Committee took action against DeLay on its own initiative. No way in hell that happens this time around. So now that the bogus “ethics truce” has been broken, will someone file a complaint about this?

Can this sandwich be saved?

The AusChron talks about the troubles at Schlotzsky’s. Personally, I’ve always felt that of the major sandwich chains, Schlotzsky’s offered the least amount of sandwich for the money without being sufficiently good enough to justify it. They’re good, but for the same price I can get as good a sandwich elsewhere that doesn’t make me feel hungry again two hours before dinner. Quizno’s is my current favorite, though I’ve gone through Subway and Blimpie phases in my life. Schlotzsky’s does have good chips, though. I’ll give them that. It’ll take more than that to save them, unfortunately.

Statesman sues Craddick over phone records

The Statesman has sued Tom Craddick to get his phone records during the runup to the 2003 Speaker election.

In its lawsuit, the Statesman alleges that Craddick has refused to release information in his phone records that should be available under state law and that he has too broadly interpreted state law to keep the information secret.

Under that law, as interpreted by Abbott, the Midland Republican could opt to make the records public.

Records pertaining to Craddick’s race for the speaker’s post have been subpoenaed by a Travis County grand jury that is looking into whether outside groups might have improperly assisted his election as speaker in 2002. Craddick has denied any wrongdoing.

“The Speaker’s Office . . . is not entitled to withhold its records of its communications with corporations, associations, and other organizations and had a duty under law to provide unredacted telephone records of all communications with such entities and persons representing them or acting on behalf of them,” the suit states.

Craddick also went too far in redacting other information from the records, including the city and state to which calls were placed, according to the suit.

The Statesman seeks a declaratory judgment requiring the release of information about phone calls to and from Craddick’s offices between Sept. 1, 2001, and Jan. 31.

It names Abbott because he issued a letter opinion in June that allowed Craddick to decide what records to make public, instead of issuing a determination of what is public and what is not.

Craddick is reportedly in the sights of the newly-convened grand jury, which has picked up the corporate campaign contribution investigation. As noted before, he may well have reason to worry.