Monday, February 08, 2010

White: no moratoria on death penalty, drilling in Barnett Shale

And for this Democratic primary voter (and soon-to-be precinct chair), that means 'no' on Bill White.
Asked whether there should be a moratorium imposed, Shami said, "Yes ma'am. We need to be 110 percent" certain that a person is guilty. "We can't be just executing people without being sure," Shami said. "We cannot be bragging how many people we execute."

"No," said White to the same question about a death-penalty moratorium, "not in all cases." White said an absolute moratorium would "disrespect" juries, victims and the justice system, but he said there should be extensive investigation in cases in which there are questions about guilt.

"I will never introduce politics into questions of life or death," added White, citing in an indirect slap at GOP Gov. Rick Perry the Forensic Science Commission. ... "By and large, this is a just system ... We also need to look after the rights of those victims."

"We need an immediate moratorium on drilling in the Barnett Shale until the natural gas companies can conclusively show their drilling will not have a negative impact on the public health of those people living in the area. We can always drill later, but you cannot cure the cancer these chemicals can cause."

... The Fort Worth Star Telegram Reported on January 19th that White said, "Companies ought to be able to conduct fracturing operations and completions of gas wells in responsible fashions that don't lead to emissions," he said. "If there are elevated levels of benzene, there ought to be actions taken at the wellhead ... and technology does allow that to be done."

Burnt Orange carried the liveblog again and duplicated the feed on the White site, while Shami's crew did the same.  (Watching both simultaneously was a dizzying experince in twin campaign spin from opposite directions.) The Texas Blue didn't try that again but did get their take up first.

More reactions as they roll in.

Update: Texas Cloverleaf ...

I just watched an utter disaster of a Democratic TX Governor's candidate debate between Bill White and Farouk Shami. It pretty much determined my vote will be for White, though be it with some reservations still. Shami may be a good guy and a good businessman, but he isn't ready to lead Texas. Although the Shami campaign already claimed a win, I think it was on Planet CHI that he won anything. That debate went hands down to Bill White for being prepared, knowing what the Governor does, and being able to answer the questions (though he didn't have to answer whether he would repeal the gay marriage ban or not- what's up with that??).

Harvey Kronberg:

Bill White and Farouk Shami shared a stage in Fort Worth tonight but, truth be told, the men weren’t in the same debate.

And that’s OK. They had different bars to clear and for the most part they cleared them.

As the Houston Chronicle’s Rick Casey pointed out in his column this morning, White won simply by having a debate at which to show up. An hour on statewide TV where he was sharp and hit his marks was probably worth millions that he otherwise would have had to spend on paid TV.

Texas Liberal:

I’ll offer two thoughts—

1. The person you see in the picture above is quite rude and condescending. Her name is Shelley Kofler and she was one of the panelists this evening for the debate.

She was abrasive and condescending to candidate Farouk Shami many times during the debate. Ms. Kofler appears to have an extensive resume in television reporting and I’m sure she is quite well-informed about Texas politics. Yet at the same time, she is abrasive for no clear reason.

2. The debate tonight was the second time I’ve heard Mr. Shami speak and I find him more coherent than I think he comes off to many voters. There is an underlying theme of decency and fair-play in his campaign message. Maybe it is all an act, but I’d be open to the guy if he’d not go on about stuff like jobs for all and free electricity. That kind of talk is simply not credible.

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