Posts Tagged ‘michael burgess’

Public disclosure forms released Wednesday show that Texas lawmakers have widely varying financial situations.  In an OpenSecrets blog post, Tarini Parti breaks down how many members of Congress invest in media organizations.  Parti explains that this could be a conflict of interest because many members have a “vested interest…in the performance of the same organizations that are supposed to be their watchdogs”.

Of the 60 lawmakers that have media organizations investments, 6 of them come from Texas.  They are Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-TX26), Kenny Marchant (R-TX24), Michael Burgess (R-TX10), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX25), William Flores (R-TX17) and Blake Farenthold (R-TX27).

          From left to right: Congressmen Bill Flores, Blake Farenthold, Kenny Merchant, Michael Burgess, Lloyd Doggett, and Michael McCaul.

The largest investor in media organizations from the Lone Star State is Rep. Michael McCaul with anywhere from $179,018 to $505,000 invested in companies like Comcast Corp., Walt Disney Co. and CBS Corp. The disclosure reports only require members of Congress to list their assets and debts in broad ranges.

Disclosure reports also show that not all members of Congress from Texas are wealthy enough to invest in media organizations however. A Washington Post article points out that many Republican freshman lawmakers who campaigned on reducing the federal debt are in substantial debt themselves.  One such freshman lawmaker is Congressman Farenthold.  The disclosure reports show that the Congressman could have anywhere between $45,000 and $150,000 in credit card debt.  However, Flarenthold does list that he has anywhere from $2,002 to $30,000 in personal media investments in the Walt Disney Co.

The public disclosure reports that came out this week provide the public with a better understanding of how lawmakers chose to spend their money. The reports show that some lawmakers have chosen to invest in companies that are supposed to report in a fair and unbiased manner on campaign issues and congressional ethics. The documents show yet another example of why disclosure laws are important. The public has a right to know how lawmakers spend their own money so they can trust them with their tax dollars.

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round upThe Texas Progressive Alliance is starting to feel an odd craving for can-shaped servings of cranberry sauce as it brings you this week’s highlights from the blogs.

TXsharon continues to follow the abuses of Aruba Petroleum in a Barnett Shale backyard and Wednesday the Wise County Messenger picked up the story. It’s all on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is really p*ssed that some South Texas Democrats voted against women’s health care.

WhosPlayin posted an interview with Neil Durrance, the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat Michael Burgess in Congressional District 26.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on some of the talk this past week about raising the statewide gas tax. All that being said there are only two options to pay for transportation in Texas, which will we choose Taxes or tolls?.

McBlogger takes a look at Sen. Hutchison’s decision not to resign from her Senate seat.

Off the Kuff looks at a threatened outbreak of homophobic behavior in the Houston Mayor’s race.

The War on Christmas starts early at The Texas Cloverleaf, complete with a beach landing at WalMart.

Sue Schechter announced for Harris County Clerk last week and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs caught the press release.

With Thanksgiving almost here, Neil at Texas Liberal ran a picture of a sultry pilgrim holding a turkey, and included in this post information about the status of women in Colonial New England.


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, cleaner cars, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.

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round upThe Congress may be in recess, but the Texas Progressive Alliance is always in session. Here’s the weekly roundup of blog highlights.

Off the Kuff takes a closer look at the crimefighting plan of Houston Mayoral candidate Annise Parker.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson encourages everyone to get involved in lobbying their elected officials and engaging in the political process in You get out of it, what you put into it.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme says John Cornyn is full of sh*t!

Neil at Texas Liberal is in Chicago. He has no notion of how to insert a link in an e-mail with the WordPress iPhone application. Neil hopes you and yours are having a nice summer. Neil will be visiting the Indiana State Fair this week. He’ll be the guy in a Houston Astros hat. (Note: link to Neil’s site inserted by link roundup editor.)

The Texas Cloverleaf looks at why whitey in Denton County is scared of ACORN.

Over at McBlogger, Mayor McSleaze is having some issues with churches that closely resemble Vegas casinos.

Following his return from North Korea with two American journalists, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs came to the realization that Bill Clinton is The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Over at TexasKaos, Libby Shaw gives us chapter and verse on the “Obstructionist Politicians on the Take and Corporate Teabaggers who are attempting to sabotage Health care reform. Well worth the read and viewing…..

WhosPlayin reports on an eventful week in North Texas: Drafted Congressional Candidate Jennifer Giles attended a town hall meeting for Rep. Michael Burgess and asked a question that earned her some air time on CNN.

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round upIt’s Monday and it’s time for another version of the Texas Progressive Alliance weekly highlight reel.

Off the Kuff suggests that a pro-science PAC could do a lot of good, nationally and in Texas.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson reminds us that despite the brouhaha over transportation during the recently passed legislative session TxDOT is still broken.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is outraged at the way Texas Republican crony capitalism whips patients in hospitals and psychiatric facilities.

Nat-Wu at Three Wise Men takes a look at the nation’s unemployment picture, and finds it’s even worse than the numbers make it appear.

Over at Texas Kaos, Lightseeker shares an email indicating Big Insurance doesn’t just want to maximize the profits in makes from its members, it wants them to help protect them from competition. No, REALLY. Big Insurance Wants YOUR Help to Block Competetive Reforms.

Barfly at McBlogger takes a look at an exciting new movie coming out soon that’s sure to draw in every douchebag you know.

With the news that the CIA concealed a clandestine counter-terrorism program from Congress on direct orders from Dick Cheney, the recently loquacious former veep has once again clammed up and disappeared. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs notes the turnabout.

Teddy at Left of College Station asks whether or not soon to be former Governor Sarah Palin is going with the flow, swimming upstream, or flopping on the shore? Teddy also answers the question of whether or not Congressman Murphy can push through legislation that would be the beginning of the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. Also, Left of College Station covers the week in headlines.

Neil at Texas Liberal watched a 35 year old rerun of All In The Family. In the episode Neil watched, George Jefferson called Archie a honky.

WhosPlayin posted video of an inappropriate campaign solicitation at Congressman Michael Burgess’ recent Town Hall meeting.

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round upIt’s Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance’s weekly round-up.

Neil at Texas Liberal writes about the relocation of the National Cash Register company from Dayton, Ohio to Georgia. Treating people like dirt for 200 years gives Southern states an advantage in creating a so-called business friendly low-tax low-wage climate.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is so amazed at the short sighted policies our state and country continue to pursue. Buy American is a path to destruction. Isolationist Trends Protect US From Reality

Lamar Smith wins South Texas Chisme’s asshat of the week award. Hyper partisan Smith thinks all media should be like Fox News.

Who would have thought that an otherwise-obscure bill about granting homestead exemptions to folks who lost their house in Hurricane Ike would become the most controversial issue in the first week post-sine die, including a threat by the Land Commissioner to refuse to follow the law if it gets signed by the Governor? Off the Kuff has the details.

Burnt Orange Report writer Todd Hill has been selected as an Archer Fellow by UT-Arlington and will be headed to Washington DC in 2010 for a semester.

Vince at Capitol Annex takes a look at the former Tyler Mayor looking to replace State Rep. Leo Berman.

Over at TexasKaos, liberaltexan argues that even Christians at Liberty U should be able to dissent. What a radical idea!

A Devon Official strongly suspects a connection between recent North Texas earthquakes and the widespread hydraulic fracturing. Devon and other operators are leaving their mark on TXsharon‘s statcounter. She wonders what they are so worried about on Bluedaze: DRILLING REFORM FOR TEXAS.

Teddy at Left of College Station reports on the College Station red light camera debate, and covers the week in headlines.

Bay Area Houston has the scoop on Perry calling a special session on Voter ID.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the excellent first session for Williamson County’s Democratic state representative, Diana Maldonado, Freshman of the Year.

The Texas Blue looks at the big winners and losers of this year’s legislative session in Sine Die: The Aftermath.

Robert Reich describes how Big Pharma and Big Insurance plan to kill the public health care option, excerpted at Brains and Eggs.

WhosPlayin has AARP’s call for Michael Burgess to act decisively on health care.

This week, McBlogger takes a look at some fashion advice from Details.

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shockingNEWSFLASH!  Carbon Dioxide emissions may represent a threat to public health or welfare.

Shocking, I know.  But what is old news to the rest of us, released in the form of a proposed endangerment finding by the EPA, is actually a really big deal.  Environmentalists and concerned citizens alike have been waiting years for this announcement.  In 2007, as a result of the landmark Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA, the court ordered the EPA administrator to determine if greenhouse gas emissions could “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”  The Bush Administration delayed reacting to this order, but Friday EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson signed a proposed endangerment finding which identified six global warming gasses that pose a threat to human health.

The finding will now enter a 60-day comment period, and have no immediate regulatory effect, but could give the EPA power to regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act.

According to the EPA’s official statement,

Before taking any steps to reduce greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, EPA would conduct an appropriate process and consider stakeholder input. Notwithstanding this required regulatory process, both President Obama and Administrator Jackson have repeatedly indicated their preference for comprehensive legislation to address this issue and create the framework for a clean energy economy.

After years of global warming being the elephant in the room that the government would not address, the EPA’s proposed finding finally gives the agency the ability to take action on climate change — though as stated, everyone would rather Congress take care of business.  Hopefully, this finding will light a fire under cap-and-trade negotiations.

Its kind of like when my mother used threaten that she’d clean my room herself if I didn’t get cracking — which I knew meant she would just come in with a trash bag and clear everything out.  The EPA could straight up regulate carbon dioxide — but few people would really be happy with the result, most environmentalists included.  By creating new policy, Congress is simply better equipped to deal with our greenhouse gas emissions than the EPA.

So sorry Congress — no more reading the comics you found with the dust bunnies under the bed.  Go clean up, or Mom’s going to start vacuuming.

But don’t take my word for it.  Andy Wilson (Citizen Andy, if you will), Global Warming Program Director here at the Texas Office, wrote a statement on how this finding relates to the big picture, and Texas specifically.  Check it out!

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