[Ed. note — He’s back! Matthew Owen is a local mover/shaker type who, by his own reckoning, occupies the precise median of political opinion on any given issue.]
For the record, President Barack Obama won reelection last November. That said, Texas may be an immense state, size wise, but it is a normally a sleepy state, politically speaking. Not these last few weeks. First off, besides the voter ID bill, the Republican controlled Texas legislature wanted to pass a bill that required abortion clinics to have the same medical facilities as hospitals, require women seeking an abortion to have a vaginal ultrasound and eliminate abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. This would have effectively shut down 90% of all abortion clinics in Texas.
This past week Texas State Senator Wendy Davis stood up to the Republicans. Literally stood up for 11 hours in her pink running shoes for a draconian filibuster that does not allow the person speaking to sit, lean, have any water or food, nor use the restroom. Overnight a star is born and already there is a buzz about Wendy Davis running for Texas Governor against Rick Perry.
While I personally do not believe in abortion, I strongly believe in a woman’s rights to choose what to do with her own body. Considering the Republicans want government out of our lives, why are they so obsessed with the government controlling a woman’s life? The day someone tries to legislate what men can or cannot do with their bodies (no circumcision allowed, no vasectomy as it’s not what God intended!) I will be protesting in the streets.
Which brings me to our local level. You are entitled to your own opinions, just not your own facts.
Recently the Publisher of a weekly newspaper has gone out of her way to say that four of our County Supervisors are “unfit for office”. That’s her opinion. But let’s get the facts straight. She went on Mike Dronkers’ KHUM radio show and stated, “Estelle Fennell was elected in a close race just last November.” Not true. Most elections are won 51-49% or closer. Supervisor Fennell defeated the incumbent by 6 points. That’s huge. Supervisor Rex Bohn won his race by over a 2-1 margin (63-29%) last June. Supervisor Virginia Bass defeated Bonnie Neely, a 24-year incumbent endorsed by most every Democrat from Congressman Thompson on down, by over 10 points. Finally Ryan Sundberg defeated Patrick Cleary, a well respected local businessman.
She also stated, “Four members were put into office with a lot of money from a few individuals answerable to no one.” Let’s get our facts straight again. These four Supervisors (and Supervisor Mark Lovelace) were elected by a majority of the voters in their respective Districts, not a few individuals. Rex Bohn had over 800 people contribute to his recent campaign. She failed to mention that Bonnie Neely received over $100,000 from just two sources – Bill Pierson and the Blue Lake Casino between 2006-2010. I would classify that as “a few individuals answerable to no one.”
She did however say one thing correctly. “We have to respect the results of an election.”
— Matthew “In the Middle” Owen