Yes, I took most of the week off to catch up on actual work, but I promise this won’t happen too often. One thing is for sure, plan on getting the Houston Politics podcasts more often, especially as Primary matters heat up.
Republican Newsflash: Van de Putte is Hispanic!
Oh no! The Republican Party of Denton County reminded their supporters that they shouldn’t support “Barbie” and the “Hispanic” this week. Obviously, the Chair wants to make the distinction between “Van de Putte” and “Hispanic” since not all Mexican Americans have Anglo last names. I mean, working the polls in Kingwood one time I don’t know how many times I heard Republican voters (because they would tell me as much) say they weren’t voting for that “Mexican” Melissa Noriega. In fact, they didn’t vote for Roy Morales for the same reason. One can either be offended or just laugh at these bigots.
My Democratic friends in Denton County have been smacking the bigots around since this came out and I love it.
The Chris Christie Thing…
He says he has nothing to do with it and didn’t know about it. Maybe he’s not lying, but the bottom line is that his pompous attitude is reflected quite clearly in the actions of his minions. All leaders have their loyalists, so, it’s no surprise that staff pompousness can turn to just plain awful behavior like closing roads to get back at a guy who didn’t endorse Christie, or whatever else hasn’t come out yet. Hell, we see it locally, so why not in a state like New Jersey? The question is: Does he have enough teflon in those big-man tailored suits to move forward? An even bigger question: Who are the 60 Democrats he said endorsed him? Because, while Chris Christie is bullish (if not a bully as he says), it’s those who bought into this persona who put him in office.
Sidenote: Gov. Christie, please send me the number to your tailor.
Senator Sylvia Garcia’s Statement to TDI
As Kuff tells us, Rick Perry and his Texas Department of Insurance do not want people to have health insurance. TDI conducted a hearing regarding Affordable Care Act Navigators–people who help others sign up for health insurance. It seems Perry and his folks are doing whatever they can to make it harder for people to sign up given these rules. Senator Sylvia Garcia testified:
“While many of the proposed rules provide important consumer protections and appropriate regulation of navigators, I am very concerned that some of the rules create unnecessary, bureaucratic, and financial obstacles for navigators to do their job. This will result in roadblocks to health care coverage for those who need it most.”
“The fees navigators will have to pay under the rules are excessive. By my calculation, the City of Houston will have to spend as much as $14,300 for registrations, fingerprinting and training its 16 navigators.”
“In addition to unnecessary fees, I fear the Spanish speaking community will be at a disadvantage. I would like to see TDI collaborate with Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve Spanish-language training, which I understand is not fully functional.”
“Our ultimate goal, regardless of your party affiliation, should be to ensure that we allow navigators the chance to help eliminate our shamefully high uninsured rate in Texas.”
Obviously, this is affecting real lives, not that Rick Perry and the Republicans have ever cared. Whatever the Republican mantra of “Obamacare Failures,” the numbers of those insured, whether through insurance or through Medicaid, have increased. It is becoming, I hope sooner, safe to say that the ACA (Obamacare) is here to stay.
Wendy Davis Launches Education Plan
Concentrating on creating more opportunities for future educators in Texas, Wendy Davis, Democrat for Governor, launched her education plan this week. The plan calls for opening opportunities for those who want to teach and graduate in the Top 20% of their classes–automatic acceptance and the promise of a teaching job upon graduation. She also wants to raise teacher pay, which is below the national average here in Texas.
I’m looking forward to more details.
Music Break – The Mavericks – All Over Again (Live)