PRESS ADVISORY - Van Os to Filibuster at Special Session;
Accuses Abbott of Twiddling His Thumbs
"For 24 hours from noon April 17 to noon April 18, I'll be filibustering in front of the Capitol with fellow citizens, demanding a just and Constitutional system of free public education for all Texas children, like our forebears demanded when they declared independence from despotism in 1836, and like every generation of Texans has demanded ever since. Like every fight I take on, I'll fight this one 'till hell freezes over, then I'll fight it on the ice." -- David Van Os
Commencing at high noon on April 17, the first day of the special legislative session on school finance, Democratic Attorney General nominee David Van Os will conduct a 24-Hour Citizens' Filibuster for a Constitutional System of Free Public Education for all Texas Children.
Van Os in particular blasts Attorney General Greg Abbott's handling of the latest round of school finance litigation, pointing out that, "Instead of rolling up his sleeves and going to work for the people of Texas to help craft a Constitutional public education system, Greg Abbott sat back and twiddled his thumbs while the legislature struggled through session after session with no assistance from the state's top legal officer. Then when the legislature kept fouling it up so bad that citizens had to keep asking the courts to intervene, Abbott's response was to try to convince the courts of Texas they had no authority to do anything about it under the Abbott theory of Constitutional law, otherwise known as 'Constitution, what's that?' "
"So now the courts have given the governor and the legislature their last chance, and again where's the attorney general in this acute and long-running Texas Constitutional crisis?" Van Os asks. "The legislature is facing its last stand, the governor and they haven't agreed on anything, any bill has to pass Constitutional muster, and still the state's chief lawyer and Constitutional advisor is nowhere around."
"I'll answer my own question," says Van Os. "Instead of jumping in and doing his part to help his fellow Texans solve this pressing and urgent issue, Greg Abbott is saying to himself, 'Why should I care? I got my education, I made it through law school, I got appointed to a big job on the Texas Supreme Court by my pal George Bush, I got to run for Attorney General when my Republican political cronies raised a lot of money for me, and I get lots of money from my political buddies in the boardrooms and big law firms to keep me in office; heck, I'm doing fine, so what's the fuss? Why do some people have to fret all the time? Aren't we all doing fine?' "
"Greg Abbott may be too busy hobnobbing with his silk-stocking buddies to worry," continues Van Os, "but I know where I'll be on April 17, on the grounds of the seat of government, demanding that the leaders of my State cease the political games and remember who they are. They are Texans, and we Texans don't put up with mediocrity. From the earliest days, we Texans have demanded the best in public education and we even rose up in revolution over it. When our forebears declared independence from despotism and proclaimed a new nation, one of the reasons they did it, to quote from the Texas Declaration of Independence, was because the tyrannical central government had 'failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources, (the public domain,) and although it is an axiom in political science, that unless a people are educated and enlightened, it is idle to expect the continuance of civil liberty, or the capacity for self government.' "
"Fellow Texans," Van Os concludes, "what was true to the authors of the Texas Declaration of Independence in March of 1836 is just as true today. The continuance of civil liberty and the capacity for self government depend on the bright light that education shines on all of society. From noon on April 17 to noon on April 18, I will be filibustering in a call for Texas to turn that light on. Like every fight I take on, I'll fight this one 'till hell freezes over, then I'll fight it on the ice. Fellow Texans, this is a fight we all have to win. Please join me."
(Contact: Rachel Barrios-Van Os at 210-225-1955)