Ben and Glenn, the voices behind the Sanchez dummy

Of all the things to report, I do not know why Peggy chose Ben Barnes to interview. Except the fact that the last time ole Ben raised his head was when he got caught buying Marty Akins out of the governor's race. A week or so later, Akins was gone. So maybe Barnes' appearance is a precusor to Tony doing Texas a favor and getting out of the governor race. 

By the way. I like Ben. I do not trust him. But I like him. He makes me laugh. He's a friendly scallywag. Maybe one day we'll do lunch. 

I have responded to the following article, within the article.

John WorldPeace
The next governor of Texas

January 2, 2002


High-profile Democrat says Texas needs a tax increase 
By Peggy Fikac 
Chief, Express-News Austin Bureau 

Web Posted : 12/31/2001 12:00 AM 

<<AUSTIN ; Look for a prominent Democrat to expound this election year on the need for a tax increase to bolster crucial state services. 

Look for him to call a tax increase inevitable, as the state confronts a potential shortfall estimated in the billions. Just don't look for him on the ballot. 

Former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes ; who raises money nationally for Democrats and met with candidates,>>
He has never met with John WorldPeace!

<<including gubernatorial hopeful Tony Sanchez>>
No longer the front runner, thank you, just a hopeful.

<<, as the Texas primary ticket took shape; plans to continue calling for new taxes to lift services such as education and transportation. 

It's a theme he's sounded since last year, perhaps his most visible effort to shape broad Texas policy since his storied political career was cut short in the fallout from the 1971 Sharpstown banking scandal, in which he wasn't charged. He plans another major speech sometime this spring.>>
Ben was never charged with anything and Tony Sanchez, his boy, was not charged with making fraudulent loans when he was the CEO of Tesoro S & L even though Tesoro failed and cost the taxpayers $161 million. And Tony was never charged with laundering $25 million of drug money also through Tesoro. And OJ was acquited of killing Nicole. What do all three of these guys have in common: lots of money (well OJ used to have a lot of money).

<<The theme carries renewed significance in light of the sagging economy and an election in which Democrats are fighting to regain a foothold in statewide office.>>
The degree of sagging in any economy has a lot to do with leadership at the top.

<<While Barnes talks of a tax increase, candidates shy away from the idea, a reaction some observers cast in terms biblical and unalterable.>>
Why was this article written? Who really cares what Ben Barnes has to say? Increasing taxes is not an issue people are concerned about right now. Who knows if the projected budget shortfall is real or contrived.

<<"You can never, ever run for election advocating tax increases. It's the first deadly sin," said Austin consultant Bill Miller.>>
You can run on a pro tax agenda if the taxes are directly tied to a particular service and you have credibility with the people. If you say all the money will go to putting computers in every school and paying for internet access, you could probably make the tax idea fly. But to run on a "we need more money platform is stupid". 

<<Political scientist Jerry Polinard of the University of Texas Pan American said politicians "consider that to be certain death.">>
Those are "run of the mill" politicians who are only marginally leaders. 

<<There's no such concern for Barnes, who was House speaker at 26 and lieutenant governor at 30, and talks proudly of taxes approved during his time in office. Now 63 and a lobbyist, Barnes avows no interest in seeking office again.>>
Right. He is like Pete Rose. He would love to join in but he was given the "mark" and now he must forever remain on the sidelines. Ben is like an alcoholic who is forced to work in a brewery without taking a drink.

<< He said he hopes to set the agenda for a realistic discussion of the state's circumstances among candidates.>>
That is funny. His boy Tony Sanchez wouldn't know an issue if it was tattooed on the back of his hand. Tony won't discuss anything. He reads his note cards that Bullwinkle gave him regarding education. But there are no real ideas in his wooden head about education. He said he wanted to bring a moment of silence back into the schools but then refused to attend a rally in Palestine on that issue. Look at Tony's web page. "I am Tony. I am rich. I think education is a good thing. Bye." Oh well, Ben gave the self financing Tony $230,000 a few weeks ago. I guess the discussion is about how Sanchez will be Ben's puppet. That was the discussion.

<<"Leadership is telling the people the truth," he said. "I've got enough faith in the people that live in Texas that if you tell them the truth, that they'll do the right thing.">>
Well the truth is that Tony Sanchez is corrupt, intellectually lacking, politically apathetic, and needs to be in jail. But I agree with Ben. A real leader can motivate the people by being truthful and credible. Too bad the citizens of Texas determined that Ben was a corrupt liar: so much talent, so much abuse of power. (And that does not speak to the book he never published. "Monicas I have known")

<<He noted that state Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, a Republican he supports, has said lawmakers could face a $5 billion shortfall in 2003 to meet commitments in areas including teacher health insurance.>>
Yeah right. And teacher health insurance is the only thing affected. I will believe the shortfall when I see it. And when I see it, I will make the appropriate cuts in the state budget and they will not have anything to do with the education system. The education retirement system is already hurting due to the efforts of Ron Paige, Bush's token, to get the school systems investing in Enron and thus edging the stock up artificially and eventually cutting teachers' retirement.

<<"There's not going to be any way" to avoid a tax increase in the next session, Barnes said.>>
Sure there is. You just cut the budget. You tell the people, "I am cutting this and this and that". There is way more than $5 million of fat in the budget. What I intend to do is cut out the fat to balance the budget and then reallocate what is left and put it into education beginning with a $2,500 across the board raise for teachers.

<<Barnes said he'll continue to advocate an increase in the gasoline tax, as well as other levies as part of the effort to turn around a state he believes is headed for mediocrity.>>
Hey Ben, did you say mediocrity? I think corruption is the more appropriate word if you continue to back Tony Sanchez. Face it Ben, you can put a horse in the gate but you can't make him run.

<<"Everybody can run and hide, and they're not going to talk about it in 2002 ; probably none of the candidates are. That's the reason that my Democratic friends are not going to like me making that speech any more than my Republican friends," he said. "Everybody wants to kill the messenger, and I'm sure a lot of people want to shoot me.">>
No Ben I do not want to shoot you. I like to hear your stories about JC and LBJ. Unlike Marty Akins, I know you knew LBJ. I think you are smart as hell Ben and my only peer. But you screwed up. Times have changed. You can't ride a wooden headed Hispanic to power in Texas no matter how much drug money he has laundered.

<<Both parties put distance between themselves and tax promotion.>>
The Party is a bureaucracy. The Party does not put its name on the ballot. Candidates are on the ballot. It's the candidate who will lead the tax discussion if there is to be one, not the Party.

<<"The people of Texas don't want new taxes,"said Democratic strategist Kelly Fero. "If they have been clear on anything, they have been clear on that. Nor is there a need for new taxes. What there is a need for is smart leadership that knows how to run a state budget.">>
Democratic strategist: considering the last 8 years of Texas political history, that is sort of an oxymoron isn't it. Didn't Kelly endorse the Tony Sanchez insanity? Wow. Can't wait to see what strategies the Fero brain trust comes up with next.

<<Fero accused Republicans of squandering a budget surplus, a large portion of which went to tax cuts under then-Gov. George W. Bush.>>
Well no one accused George of being smart. Just a good ole boy who loved to BS and drink and enjoy the high life that came with being the annointed son of Daddy George
while selling out the state to anyone with campaign money.

<<GOP spokesman Ted Royer said, "We are not going to be campaigning on tax increases and we're not going to be running away from our record of lowering taxes.">>
Well Ted what you meant to say is that you are not going to campaign for any corporate tax increases. What you mean is to heck with education: why do we want the people understanding what we are doing to them?

<<Republican Gov. Rick Perry, seeking election to the office he assumed when Bush became president, "is not going to propose new taxes, and he will address the budgetary needs in a fiscally conservative and fiscally responsible way," said spokeswoman Kathy Walt.>>
Give me a break. Rick Perry, the wooden headed, Coca Cola cowboy. The problem with Perry is that he lacks the brain cells to hide his corruption. No politician that I can remember has been so blatantly corrupt as Rick Perry. His problem though is that he does not have the blue blood that little George has and he is sort of white trash to the Bushes. I don't think it has to do with Rick being an Aggie and the Bushes being Yale boys.

<<Asked if Perry would make a no-new-taxes pledge, Walt spoke of uncertain times.>>
Yeah, Walt speaks for the brainless Perry and Glenn Smith speaks for the brainless Sanchez. Does anyone know if Glenn and Kathy date? They both represent the Republican candidates Perry Sanchez.

<<"Not knowing what the future might hold, if there were some, God forbid, some terroristic disaster in Texas,>>
The chances of a terroristic attack on Texas is greatly reduced if the governor is John WorldPeace. Terrorist have a political agenda and that agenda would be severely questioned if they attacked WorldPeace. They would then look like ordinary criminals instead of political activists with a cause.

<<the state would have to look at addressing the kinds of economic issues that would result from something of that nature at that time," she said.>>
Yeah right. This is why Rick Perry told everyone they needed to worry about an attack on the schools which even after Columbine and after 911 were not adequately prepared for such attacks. Rick put all the children in this state in fear because he was not prepared for an attack on our schools. He was too busy negotiating campaign funding to worry about our children.

<<Sanchez, of Laredo, first will "see how the money is being spent today," said campaign manager Glenn Smith. "He thinks there may be a way to stretch a dollar of revenue into $1.20 worth of value.>>
When is the last time that anyone heard something from Sanchez lips directly. You know in all of 2001 I only saw the Mafia man once in Waco. All the rest of the time he sent one lackey or another to speak for him. Everyone and his brother speaks for Tony. Now old Ben is out campaigning for Tony. And what is so ridiculous is that Tony bankrupted Tesoro S & L and that is hard to do when you have tons of Mafia money coming into the bank. Tony would not know a budget if he saw it. 

<<"If the public sees, sooner or later, the dollar has been stretched as far as it can, the waste has been eliminated, and still economic times require new revenue, then responsible public officials ought to look at that," Smith said. "But not until then, and as nothing but a last resort.">>
Glenn thank you for saying absolutely nothing. And by the way Glenn, no one cares what you think.

<<Smith distanced his candidate from Barnes, for whom Sanchez worked when Barnes was lieutenant governor. Barnes was among those who sought to persuade Sanchez to make the race and recently had a fund-raiser for him.>>
Yeah, how do you get distance when you just picked up $230,000 in campaign contributions for the candidate who was going to self finance a $30 million gubernatorial campaign? Glenn do you really think we are all idiots?

<<"He is one of thousands of people Tony has talked to about whether to run, with no more or less influence than any other Texan," Smith said. "Ben's probably got far closer relationships with several Republican officeholders than he does with Tony Sanchez.">>
Yeah but Tony took his money didn't he Glenn. And wasn't it Ben who got Marty Akins out of the race so to make it easier for Tony. Glenn do you really think anyone is buying the BS you are selling. Glenn, go get a real job. Your horse is dead.

<<Republicans were quick to tie Barnes' views to Sanchez.>>
And so they should. But they better watch out. They have also dipped into the Barnes cash bag.

<<"There's a very small group of people that sit in a smoke-filled room and call the shots in the Democratic Party, and Ben Barnes is one of those guys," said Royer. "The fact that he's calling for a big tax increase lays the foundation for Tony Sanchez to do the same.">>
Tony Sanchez doesn't care one way or the other. He has people speak for him, appear for him, think for him. I wonder sometimes if he even knows he is running for governor. The smoke filled room thing is really a joke. The Republicans set their all White top five statewide candidates in smoke filled rooms. Hello.

<<Barnes said he's not speaking for Sanchez.>>
Well then Barnes does not have a dog in this fight. So who cares what he has to say? Truth is Ben that your boy hates the political arena but he is so indecisive that he is having as much trouble getting out of the race as he did getting in. But have no fear, the forums begin in a few weeks and I am going to take care of your boy if he is still in the race. My bet is that he is not going to show anywhere I go. God what a loser. If only money could be converted into brain cells.

<<"I'm a Democrat, and everybody knows that," he said. "I hope it's a nonpartisan message, that this needs to be done and Republicans are going to have to be responsible as well as Democrats.">>
Yes it is a non-partisan message Ben. And you are a non-partisan guy.
You are the most politically active non partisan guy that I know. Your horse is dead Ben. He was DOA when your brain trust came up with the Tony Sanchez vision over a year ago. Walk away Ben. Tony is an embarrassment to everyone in the Party and with each passing day Democrats are becoming more and more disgusted with him and more irritated at you for bringing him on board. You just did not plan on WorldPeace did you. You of all people should have expected the unexpected.

All that being said, "I agree with Ben. A real leader can sell the idea of taxes. But you have to have credibility to do it."