Friday, August 17, 2012

Brainy endorsements: Henry Cooper

Henry Cooper is the Green running against Jessica Farrar in Texas House District 148. There is no Republican or Libertarian in the contest.

Here's why he is challenging the Texas House Democratic Caucus chair, a well-respected -- and usually progressive -- Democrat.

I’m a native Houstonian, married and have two children. I’m a machinist by profession and have worked for more than 20 years in the gas and oil manufacturing industry. In my line of work, I’ve seen how oil companies have grown and profited through the years, and yet the good old jobs have vanished, outsourced, or transferred to subcontractors to lower the cost of labor.

Yet, despite the steady growth in the private sector, we are told that there is not enough revenue for the public services or schools and that the state is in an ‘economic crisis’. I don’t think so!

I am asking for your vote because I stand for:
  1. Promoting the development of new jobs and solve the revenue ‘crisis’ of our state, especially when we live in Texas, one of the richest and most profitable states in the United States.
  2. Impeding in the next legislature's funding cuts to the education budget and instead invest in our children’s education to prepare them for the challenges ahead (prepare them with a high quality education).
  3. Enforcing fiscal responsibility on the multi-billion dollar corporations that are not paying their fair share of taxes by eliminating loopholes that allow them to evade their fiscal duties. If you are paying your fair share, so should they!
  4. Developing and promoting alternative technologies to the carbon-based fuels with the scientific participation of some of our best universities in the state. We can start changing the fossil-fuel consumption and increase the wealth of all Texans.
  5.  Increasing the capacity, delivery and quality of medical services across all our communities.
  6. Supporting our children’s vision to pursue a higher education by making their college education affordable across all disciplines, and particularly medicine and nursing studies.

I am asking for your vote to be a state representative that is not only willing to present solutions that will benefit all Texans, but will also lobby among the electorate of those representatives that don’t have in mind the best interest of our state and its residents. A legislator is not limited to represent his or her constituency but works for the benefit for all Texans.

Here's a bit more, also in his own words.

Más sobre esto de Henry en Español.

Henry is holding a meet-and-greet tomorrow, Saturday, August 18, at the Oak Forest Library, from 2-4 pm. I encourage residents of the district to introduce themselves. You can also see Henry's Facebook page for more, and donate to Cooper's campaign here.

Here's the part where some Democrats are going to want to know why I passed over Farrar, the kind of Democrat I can usually support.

Keep in mind also that I not only, like Cooper, have a great deal of respect Farrar personally and for her long list of accomplishments, but further that I accepted her invitation to ride to Austin on her bus -- at her expense -- for the opening day of the Texas legislative session in 2011.  Here's my post about that. I and the rest of my TPA blog brethren endorsed Farrar in 2008.

Farrar has, in my opinion, lost her way a bit as a progressive. Cooper notes incorrectly in the first video above that Farrar supports the Keystone XL pipeline; she does not, according to a staff member in Austin I spoke with shortly before posting this. Though I found it extremely difficult to get that opposition on the record.

This letter, signed not only by Rep. Farrar but also Cooper and many other progressive elected officials and environmental activists over one year ago, requested that Secretary Hillary Clinton utilize all legal and environmental checks and balances, including public hearings, before moving forward on Keystone XL. Hearings were held; no official approval has been granted by the State Department, and construction of the Keystone XL pipeline quietly proceeds apace. Without noticeable opposition, I might add, from anyone except a few community activists.

Farrar has also stood behind Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and his well-documented and vigorous efforts to execute the Obama administration's controversial Secure Communities program. She also -- very much a rarity for a Texas House member, much less the caucus chair -- made a public point of endorsing the Corporate Democrat in the CD-07 primary.

That was the last straw for me, personally.

Farrar had a fairly close go of it but only in relative terms in 2010, the year of the Red Tea Tide, and no Republican stepped up this year... probably on the thought that 41% was their high water mark. Cooper is only likely to expose whatever vulnerability the Democratic Leader has on her left as a result of abandoning a few precious progressive values, but my feeling is that she's in for a bigger challenge in two years if she keeps forgetting to dance with the ones that brung her.

Thanks for all you've done, Representative Farrar, but there is a better choice in November 2012; someone who comes a little closer to representing working people and progressives in the Texas House. I hope you get the message he's sending.

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