John Cornyn Votes for the Senate Bailout- Now What?

Yesterday, the US Senate voted on the new plan to bail out the financial system. I have grave concerns about this bailout at the expense of Texas families.

While we urgently need a rescue bill, and I believe that Congress should work quickly to pass legislation to aid our ailing economy, this is a leadership challenge for reform. This bailout should not just be a rescue; it should also be a reform of the system. This attempt still places too much emphasis on rescue, and not enough on reform.

It’s hard not to think that this bailout is an undeserved reward to the people who got us into this economic crisis. Taxpayers are being asked to clean up the Administration and Wall Street’s mess, and both have asked the taxpayers for a blank check. I do not believe we should give them one.

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Barnstorming Across Texas

(Please welcome Blue America candidate Rick Noriega, who is running against John Cornyn for his US Senate seat in Texas, in the comments. You can donate to his campaign here — jh)

Last night we completed a three-day barnstorming tour of 16 Rio Grande Valley and South Texas communities. We started Monday morning in Corpus Christi , and over the next 72 hours, drove more than 700 miles across 22 counties.

It is an area I am familiar with – in 2006, I commanded the Laredo border sector, leading 300 National Guardsmen as we assisted in the seizure of thousands of pounds of drugs, working jointly with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials to secure our border. Having also served in Afghanistan, I have direct experience with border security and with the threat posed by terrorism. After this visit, I am increasingly convinced that building a wall along the South Texas border – as the administration is doing with the backing of my Republican opponent, Senator Cornyn – is the wrong solution that will not make us safer.

This is not the answer to fixing our broken immigration system. It appears to be a cynical ploy to create the illusion of action, while preserving the status quo that the Republican leadership, including Mr. Cornyn, sees as in their political interest.

The leadership in Washington, D/C. has lost their way. For years they have let problems fester, doing nothing. As the pressure to act mounts, they rush to impose inappropriate solutions that cause more harm than good.

Building a wall will accomplish some things–for one, it rides roughshod over the property rights of those whose land is being taken by the federal government without due process. It insults the local jurisdictions that have been on the front lines of dealing with our serious border (more…)

Blue America Special Edition: Rick Noriega

noriegacolor.jpgI would not be in the race for U.S. Senate in Texas without the netroots. A group of Texas bloggers banded together to form the Draft Noriega movement, and I answered their call in July to run for U.S. Senate. I experienced first-hand the power of the blogosphere and its democratizing effects. There were no smoke-filled rooms filled with power brokers making the decisions – just a group of concerned citizens working together to take back Texas and their country. The amazing thing is this is not an isolated event. From the victories of Ned Lamont, Jim Webb, and Jon Tester to the ongoing fight on important issues like Iraq, net neutrality, the economy, and health care, the progressive netroots have changed the game in politics, and they have changed it for the better.

Yesterday, the San Antonio Express News printed an article discussing the netroots and my campaign. Needless to say, I was disappointed. Disappointed in the article, but more importantly, disappointed in my own quoted statements. I own up to making those statements. I do believe that the politics of Karl Rove, John Cornyn, and right-wing talk radio are based on exploiting wedge issues like flag (more…)