Monday, February 08, 2010

Bill vs. Farouk

Tonight, live and in person, on your teevee. And lately also in the news and in the blogs.

Here's Red White and Blue's video interview with Shami (it goes 26 minutes plus). And the TexTrib has compiled several links and video in "The More You Know ... About Bill White". Charles Kuffner has audio interviews with both men.

The Texas Observer's The Mayor and The Mogul has some good Q&A. Here's a bit from both fellows ...

TO: Can you elaborate a little on your plans for stimulating the economy? you said you want to start at the bottom. What does that mean?

Shami: I’ve been to El Paso, and I visited the colonias. I understand there are thousands of these. In Houston, I see the Fifth Ward, Third Ward, Sunnyside, Acres Homes. Such poor people. As long as those people are poor and having no jobs ... so my concept is to start with these people and create jobs. Bring factories to these communities.

I’ve been working for the last few months with engineers and experts on solar panels. Soon we will be building the first solar panels in El Paso and hiring hundreds of people and working there with the community for people to do installing of those solar panels. [Shami has been a major investor in a solar panel project in El Paso.] I’m hoping we can do that in all poor communities and create approximately 150,000 jobs in the next couple of years.

So that’s where I say stimulate the economy starting from the bottom. Those people, when they get a check, they spend it the next day. It goes back to the economy. And that keeps the money in the state. That’s how you stimulate the economy.
We need green jobs. They would serve many purposes—working with the solar panels, using the sun, which is the cheapest form of energy and the cleanest form of energy, and it’s creating jobs.

TO: We’re in a time when there’s a lot of anti-Obama backlash and a lot of antigovernment sentiment. Clearly you are running on a good-government message, which hasn’t always worked in Texas, to say the least. How are you going to sell people on competent governance?

White: You know, Texas will be a poorer state without an economic future that’s as much as it can be. We lead the nation in the percentage of adults without a high school diploma. Texas is unusual among American states and countries on Earth of having the younger generations having a lower percentage of college degrees than older Texans. We will not have a solid economic future unless we invest in the people of this state and have people who are productive, that can save and invest in small businesses, that can purchase consumer goods. And I think Texans understand this.

We need to move our state forward. We’ve had too much of the wedge politics issues in the past. And I think that most Texans are ready for somebody just to work for the people of Texas on solutions.

I think what you’re seeing a backlash against is what people consider to be a lot of political theater in Washington. There’s a lot of hype and rhetoric. When you have two wars going on, when you’re in a global and economic recession, and we’re in a state that is last in a lot of things we ought to be first in, then people are ready for some new leadership.

Despite being the house organ for the Texas Democratic establishment, Burnt Orange Report breaks with the party line in their aggregate of the Austin Statesman's reporting. The AAS's PolitiFact breaks down Shami's racism allegations against White. And Dr. Richard Murray of the University of Houston and ABC13 predicts that White will get 60% of the primary vote on March 2 (a contention I dispute in the comments there and in this post as well).

Hal levels a critique on the Shami campaign and specifically campaign manager Vince Leibowitz, who is the president of the Texas Progressive Alliance, in which the three of us of are members. Muse posted about Shami's "beefy aides", and compared statements between White and Kay Bailey (personally, I can't tell the difference).

I posted about the exclusion of the other five candidates for governor from tonight's debate here, an entreaty that fell on completely deaf ears. I also had a compilation of news and blog articles on Shami last month, and my 2007 meeting on e-Slate issues with White, before and after.

No comments: