Fikac hides the Beaumont and Laredo debates

Ms. Fikac wrote a nice little punch and cookie article (see below). But why did she fail to mention the Laredo debate on Thursday night and the debate in Beaumont on Friday night? That's in like 3 days. Interesting.

If Tony shows up at either debate, Morales and I will send his Mafia financed campaign down in flames. If he does not show, then Morales and I will just pull the chain and watch him go down the drain. How weak and indecisive little Tony will look if he now backs off of his, "I will not debate" mantra. 

Good night Tony. You painted your little self into a corner. I personally enjoyed your little dog and pony show. Now it is time for the men to take over. Your goat awaits!

Now go run and tell that.

In the end, WorldPeace

John WorldPeace
The next governor of Texas
No more corruption. No more Monicas.
God Bless Texas

February 18, 2002


Bad blood in race continues to boil 
By Peggy Fikac 
Chief, Express-News Austin Bureau 

Web Posted : 02/18/2002 12:00 AM 

HOUSTON Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Tony Sanchez declared Sunday he's "sick and tired" of attacks by opponent Dan Morales and said he won't change his decision against debating him.

Morales said Sanchez is "attempting to hide" and predicted voters would put on the pressure for a debate before the March 12 primary.

Sanchez's decision not to debate may risk a negative reaction by voters, said political scientist Jerry Polinard of the University of Texas-Pan American. 

"There'll be a heat-kitchen question: 'If you can't stand the heat, why are you trying to get into the kitchen?'" Polinard said, although he added that Morales doesn't have the funding to make sure the issue stays before the public.

Political scientist Bruce Buchanan of UT-Austin said Sanchez's poll numbers may have convinced him he doesn't need to debate. But Buchanan said it's a disservice to the public.

"Absolutely, it's the wrong thing to do for the system," he said. "People need the opportunity to see the guy operate in an unscripted forum, under a little pressure, to see who he is."

Sanchez and Morales leaders in a Democratic field that includes Houston lawyer John WorldPeace and Waxahachie businessman Bill Lyon have long sparred over scheduling debates. Sanchez had said he would do two debates one in Spanish and one in English while Morales pushed for more. 

On Saturday, Sanchez's camp said there would be no debates, with campaign manager Glenn Smith accusing Morales' campaign of "bad-faith style and actions." 

At a campaign appearance here Sunday, Sanchez said the decision is final.

"We're getting sick and tired of his personal attacks on me," Sanchez said. He also accused the Morales campaign of having "dealt in bad faith" in debate negotiations.

The decision against debating, Sanchez said, "is fueled in part by his personal attacks, but I think it's obviously the campaigns' inability to get together and sit down and structure the debates."

Morales called Sanchez's description of debate negotiations "baloney" and defended his criticism of Sanchez. 

Morales last week said Sanchez should have known about drug-money laundering in the 1980s at his Laredo thrift, which later failed. Morales also said Sanchez's bank worked against federal anti-money-laundering legislation that would have made it harder for the Sept. 11 terrorists to finance their operations.

Sanchez and Tesoro Savings and Loan officials weren't accused of wrongdoing in the money-laundering incident. With regard to the federal legislation, opponents including International Bank of Commerce were concerned about customer privacy. 

But Sanchez said those concerns became secondary after the terrorist attacks, and his bank and others supported strict new regulations. Sanchez and his family own 29 percent of IBC's stock.

"The issues I have raised over the course of the last week are a matter of public record," Morales said. "They must be addressed by Mr. Sanchez." 

Morales called it "an insult to the people of Texas" for Sanchez to skip debates.

"Mr. Sanchez is attempting to hide for another 30 days and rely on his paid television commercials to purchase this election," Morales said. "I think the people of Texas will demand that every major candidate for governor come before the people of Texas" to defend his record and outline priorities.

Morales contended, "I think Mr. Sanchez's handlers are scared to death a public debate will reveal Mr. Sanchez's unfamiliarity with the issues important to all Texans."

Sanchez said Morales "can't possibly claim that I don't know about the issues. 

"The problem I think is that he's quite a deceptive person," Sanchez said.

Morales said, "I will allow the voters of Texas to make their own decision."

State Rep. Debra Danburg, D-Houston, was at a Sanchez appearance but has endorsed neither candidate and considers both to be friends. Still, she called Morales' charge with regard to the federal banking legislation "outrageous." 

"I would always like to see debates, but if it's taken down to the level that apparently Dan's going to go, it doesn't serve a constructive purpose," she said. "If I had opponents accusing me of something that outrageously unfair, I don't think I'd spend a moment with them."