Saturday, October 28, 2006
Van Os on Abbott Caught Stealing Taxpayer Money
[Note: this belongs to "In David's Own Words"; however that blog won't allow posts at the moment]
Hey Greg, WRONG is WRONG, LYING is LYING, and STEALING is STEALING.
The "good guy" image of himself that Greg Abbott is spending millions of dollars to promote is phonier than a three-dollar bill. Beneath the glossy campaign ads, he's a thief and a hypocrite, and his claim to be such a nice guy is a pack of lies.
Abbott has been caught red-handed using film produced by state employees on state equipment and on state time in his campaign commercials and in his campaign website. WFAA-TV laid out the undeniable evidence in its 10:00 news on October 27. Anyone with an Internet connection can view the story at wfaa.com.
The WFAA report also reveals that Abbott set up an expensive video department in the AG's office on tax dollars so he could produce films for his grandstanding at the taxpayers' expense.
Greg Abbott is a state employee. State law prohibits state employees from using state resources for political purposes. It's stealing the taxpayers' money.
Hey Greg, WRONG is WRONG, LYING is LYING, and STEALING is STEALING.
There's no difference between stealing a penny and stealing a dollar; cheating on a test or cheating in an election; little white lies or whoppers.
Just like all the other insider politicians, Greg Abbott thinks he has an entitlement to his public office, as if it were his personal property.
Greg Abbott is so sure of his entitlement to public office, he thinks he has a special privilege to steal public equipment and resources to promote himself. If he doesn't apply the law to himself, then he'll also selectively enforce the law -- and that is what he does.
He gives free passes to big campaign contributors through non-enforcement of consumer protection laws; but enforces the law vigorously against those who are defenseless and usually penniless.
He garnishes a child's bank account so he can get a statistic claiming he's collected child support -- by taking the money from the very child the money was intended for.
He calls himself the holy defender of the Ten Commandments while trampling on its injunctions not to steal, lie, or idolize himself.
He calls himself the patriotic defender of the Pledge of Allegiance while disgracing our nation's fundamental value that government belongs to the people.
We the people have got to take our government back from the crooks. Greg Abbott is such a hypocrite it makes me want to throw up, and it's time the people throw him out of the office he is stealing from them.
posted by snarko! at 10:59 AM
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
David Van Os - What I Learned About Texas
Dear Friends, Supporters, and Visitors,
I pledged to meet the public at every one of the 254 county courthouses in Texas, and I have met my pledge. The 254th whistlestop was last Friday, October 20, at the Travis County courthouse in Austin. From April to October touring Texas occupied most of the time and energy of my wife Rachel and myself.
Seeing and meeting the good people of Texas in every county, together with absorbing the natural grandeur of our beautiful Texas, was one of the greatest experiences of our lives for both Rachel and myself.
Even more importantly, having learned about the concerns of Texans in every part of the state will make me a much better attorney general and public servant.
For example, I now understand much more than I did before about the unfairness of unfunded mandates that state government in Austin imposes upon our rural county governments whose budgets are already stretched to the breaking point. Another example is that I understand more about the struggles that Texas farmers and ranchers face in working hard every day in the face of the price-gouging exercised by monopoly and near-monopoly robber barons in the utility, insurance, and energy industries, because I've learned about it first hand. Now I understand more about a child support enforcement system that treats people as statistics for press releases instead of as human beings with problems. And I understand a lot more now about the actual real-life effects that greedy corporate robber barons like Big Oil and Big Insurance have on people's daily lives. The list could go on and on.
To sum it up, as a result of my journey through Texas I now understand more than ever about why the Framers of the Texas Constitution bestowed upon the people of Texas an Attorney General to be the people's lawyer and champion; and I'm more determined than ever to be that champion for the people.
Greg Abbott is now using his millions of dollars of corporate special interest money to blitz the airwaves with his slick package of lies and hypocrisy. To top it off, he is shamefully using children as stage props for his own glory and ambition. In all the talk about protecting children, you don't hear a word about the real job of the Attorney General, which is to protect our children from growing up into a brave new world where they stand to live their whole lives as indentured servants to the banks, the finance companies, and their own government, thanks to the corporate and governmental war on the middle class. Greg Abbott is a general in that war, leading the charge on behalf of the corporate and political elite to deprive our children of the opportunity to live as free and independent citizens in a Constitutional democracy that protects their rights and liberties.
My fellow Texans, you have the right and the power to fight back. Our forebears in 1776 and 1836 had to charge imperial cannon fire to win our freedom and our liberties. We have it so much simpler. We don't have to charge cannon fire and massed imperial regiments. All we have to do is vote. We don't have to sacrifice at all. The real sacrifice will be if we don't fight back, because then we will be sacrificing the Constitutional birthrights of our children.
Don't let anything stand in your way. Fight 'em til hell freezes over; then fight 'em on the ice.
David Van Os
posted by snarko! at 10:32 AM
Monday, October 23, 2006
David Van Os Completes 254-County WhistleStop Tour
On October 20, 2006, David Van Os gave his final courthouse speech in Austin Texas, at the Travis County Courthouse, amid much car-horn honking in support.
David has fulfilled his oath to every county and every voter count in the great state of Texas.
David Van Os went to every county courthouse in Texas, and spoke in the most public of places in the open air to whomever would listen. He was joined by Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, Independents, and just plain people.
He is also filing affidavit at every county courthouse with sworn promise to do everything within his legal authority as Attorney General to stop the Trans-Texas Corridor, and to uphold all Bill of Rights and the Constitution. SEE AFFIDAVIT >>
posted by snarko! at 12:20 PM
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Austin Chronicle:"Strongly spined"
Now this is how a newspaper endorses a candidate:
The race for attorney general's office hasn't garnered one-umpteenth the attention of the tragi-comic governor's draw, despite the Texas-sized personality fighting for the public interest. With an omnipresent Stetson and bolo tie, Van Os is a striking figure, even before he opens his mouth. A specialist in constitutional and labor law, Van Os has targeted Texas oil barons and insurance and pharmaceutical giants, in his populist, anti-corporate, whistlestop campaign. The implicit contrast is that incumbent Greg Abbott has let such corporate wrongdoers run roughshod over the state – as indeed he has. Despite several splashy "cyber crime" initiatives (remember getting tough on MySpace?), Abbott has done little to make Texans safer, especially from the pollutant-spewing, scofflaw conglomerations drawing Van Os' ire. Abbott has also been a complicit servant to Tom Delay and Gov. Perry in the disastrous redistricting saga, never hesitant to defend another gerrymandered map on behalf of his bosses. Partisanship and hoary headline-hogging have defined Abbott's tenure, and we'd be happy to see him go; we're even happier his challenger is as strongly spined as David Van Os.
posted by PDiddie at 4:05 AM
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Policyholders of America endorses David Van Os
The nonpartisan Policyholders of America has endorsed David Van Os for Texas Attorney General in the upcoming elections.
Policyholders of America is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide free assistance to insurance policyholders in dealing with insurance companies under auto or homeowners policies. It has 3.4 million members nationwide.
"David Van Os has a strong record of supporting the rights of consumers in dealing with insurance companies and we wholeheartedly endorse him for Attorney General of Texas. We believe the policyholder, not the insurance company, will rule under David Van Os as Texas Attorney General. Incumbent Greg Abbott has miserably failed the good people of Texas who elected him into office four years ago," stated POA President Melinda Ballard.
"I thank the good folks of Policyholders of America for their support of my candidacy for Texas Attorney General. It is high time the office of Texas Attorney General be used for the purpose for which the Texas Constitution intended it, to protect the rights of the people instead of giving the insurance companies free passes to the people's pocketbooks," said Van Os.
posted by PDiddie at 3:43 PM
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
David Van Os, Democratic candidate for state attorney general, proposed a state constitutional amendment Monday that would allow the use of eminent domain to seize property only in cases that involve public safety and security.
The San Antonio lawyer made the announcement to about 50 supporters at a rally in front of the Tarrant County Courthouse.
It was the 250th county courthouse Van Os has visited this year as part of his "whistle-stop tour" of all 254 county courthouses in Texas that ends Friday in Austin.
Van Os said his proposed amendment is a direct response to the Trans-Texas Corridor, a planned network of toll roads, freeways and rail lines that would be built in part on land seized via eminent domain. The amendment would prohibit the use of eminent domain to acquire private property for economic reasons.
"That's not democracy. That's dictatorship," Van Os said.
The proposed amendment also calls for banning the creation of a toll road in any county where voters haven't approved the creation of such a system.
Democratic candidates statewide have used their opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor to rally voters.
Van Os, shouting over the roar of passing cars on Weatherford Street in downtown Fort Worth, touted plans to investigate allegations of price-gouging by oil, electric and insurance companies.
"Come Jan. 1, when I get sworn in, I'm coming after you," Van Os said, referring to oil companies.
Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for his second term, investigated complaints of high gas prices in late 2005 and said that, for the most part, higher prices were not the result of gouging but rather of market forces.
posted by PDiddie at 9:17 AM
Monday, October 16, 2006
Don't Miss the Exciting Finish of the Whistlestop Tour Oct. 16-20
Down to only five counties to go, David and Rachel Van Os will finish their whistlestop tour of all 254 Texas county courthouses with stops Monday-Friday this week at the Tarrant (Oct. 16), Dallas (Oct. 17), Harris (Oct. 18), Bexar (Oct. 19), and Travis County (Oct. 20) courthouses. Please see the schedule here for details about the courthouse stops and the after-gatherings.
David and Rachel set out last April on their mission to travel personally to each of the 254 counties of the great state of Texas. As of October 13 they had completed their 249th county courthouse stop. This week's stops at Tarrant through Travis Counties will make the 250th through the 254th and final stops.
David has said that he and Rachel decided to do this "not so much as a campaign strategy but as a moral statement that government belongs to all the people of Texas, therefore the political process has to reach all the people in every part of Texas." David has also stated that, "Rural Texans have been pushed to the bottom of the ladder for way too long. Government is supposed to belong to all the people, not just the urban elite power brokers."
David and Rachel are telling friends the tour has been one of the greatest experiences of both of their lives. Rachel says,
"We bonded with wonderful new friends who met us with incredible hospitality everywhere we went. We learned first-hand about problems and issues our fellow Texans are facing in every part of Texas. We saw the breathtaking landscapes of our beautiful Texas everywhere. And as the tour progressed, David felt more and more touched by the fundamental greatness of this state and goodness of its people. He became more and more determined to do everything in his power as the people's lawyer to protect his fellow Texans and this wondrous land from the political and economic greed and arrogance that are running them over. He loves our state more than ever and will be a better Attorney General for having taken this journey."
Be a part of Texas political history. Attend one of the last five courthouse stops near you. >>
posted by snarko! at 11:17 AM
Friday, October 13, 2006
From the Tyler Morning Telegraph:
A snip of several quotes from the newspaper of record in Tyler. The full article is here.
"I am running in order to change the political culture of greed and chasing money, chasing self-promotion and chasing power that has taken over the top of our political system in state and federal government."
"It (the office of Texas Attorney General) was intended by the framers of the Texas Constitution to be the representative of the people, to protect and fight for the people."
"The AG's office today is occupied by a very ambitious politician who uses the office as a launching pad for endless press releases to congratulate himself. He's nothing but a slick public relations hound."
"It's a disgrace the way the middle-class Texan is getting battered by predatory utility rates, predatory practices by the big dogs of the insurance agencies, predatory oil companies at the gas pumps, and the attorney general hasn't lifted a finger to protect the people. We see him trotting around looking for easy ways to get publicity for himself. I am determined to change that culture."
"If government is going to belong to the people, the political process has to include all the people. I set myself the mission of going to every one of the 254 courthouses in Texas."
"Texas is not being represented by individuals in the political system who are like the average person. The people who have climbed to the top of the political ladder are greedy self-promoters. They're enabled by people with big money. Nobody with common sense believes that people who write those kinds of checks are doing it out of civic interest. They are buying protection, and protection is what they're getting. The AG's office is giving a pass to a certain kind of speeder. The robber barons are not getting ticketed, but it's worse than that. They're not being clocked."
posted by PDiddie at 10:40 AM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Statesman: Van Os as Dorothy Gale
Laylan Copelin, visibly impressed with this analogy:
Democrat David Van Os is taking his campaign for attorney general to all 254 Texas courthouses, trying to invoke memories of President Truman's come-from-behind whistlestop tour in 1948. In this case, it's more like Van Os is touring a yellow-brick road, attacking the wicked witches of Big Oil, Big Insurance and Big Business. Instead of red slippers, Van Os arrives in his wife's red Chrysler Pacifica.
There's more of this equally condescending horseshit.
I'll remind cub reporter Copelin that, as Snarko pointed out to me, an accurate plot synopsis of The Wizard of Oz would be: regular person trumps "evil" wizard that held down the "entire world" with fear, using elaborate facades, with only her heart, brain, and courage as weapons. The "witches" are nothing but support players, distractions to the bigger picture behind the curtain: a cowardly man with no actual power at all.
See, taken in context, that comparison -- particularly the part where the little guy/gal wins -- works just fine.
I believe Laylan Copelin needs to watch the 1939 classic again to get the true meaning.
In the meantime, you can help David get to Austin (Oz) and toss Greg Abbott (The Wizard) out.
posted by PDiddie at 8:39 AM
Monday, October 09, 2006
254 County Courthouses. One affidavit. And YOU.
David is sprinting to the finish line on his 254-county Whistlestop Tour; this week he'll visit Fredericksburg (Gillespie) and Georgetown (Williamson) and next week he'll be at the courthouses in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, completing the tour.
Greg Abbott has $7 million bucks and all of the corruption it can buy. David Van Os has the truth and the power of the people.
Yes, I'm looking at you.
From the time he began his campaign to take back the Attorney General's office from the oil companies and the insurance companies and the banks and the utility companies and all of the other corporate whores infesting it, David has used a simple message and distributed it in a simple way:
"I will fight for economic and social justice for all Texans, and I will fight the powers that be until Hell freezes over. And then I'll fight 'em on the ice."
That message is not delivered in fancy TV commercials or slick mailers, but in the power of the spoken word, from the steps of every single county courthouse in the state.
And then it goes on file as a sworn affidavit, entered into the public record.
This campaign needs just a little help from you to get to the finish line, and it's not just about money.
The Traditional Media is starting to pay attention to this race. The blogosphere has revealed Greg Abbott as a naked partisan hack, long ago sold out to the highest bidder. The choice is clear: more corporate control of our state's leaders, more DeLay-inspired thuggery by the GOP, or a return to government of, by, and for the people.
David will rely on the will of the people of Texas -- that would be YOU, and your friends, and a few people you know who rarely, if ever, vote -- to notice that the stench of corruption from the Republicans in Washington, in Austin and even of Greg Abbott himself is so foul that it MUST be cleaned out.
Please make plans to attend one of these final Courthouse appearances to support this campaign. Please print, copy, and distribute a few flyers about the Courthouse Whistlestop at your clubs and events. Most importantly, invite an Independent, a non-voter, and even an irritated Republican or two to come with you.
To the Courthouse Whistlestop, and to the polling place a few days later.
Click here to make a secure contribution on Paypal, or mail a check to this address (scroll down a bit. And if you're giving online, please use the PayPal link, as Click&Pledge contributions won't get to the campaign for a few weeks.)
On November 7 -- or beginning October 23 at early voting locations near you -- cast your vote for David, along with a few of those friends and acquaintances you took to the polling place with you.
And then just stand back and watch as he gets busy cleaning up the heaping mounds of elephant shit in Austin.
posted by PDiddie at 9:43 AM
Thursday, October 05, 2006
David Van Os Whistlestops - Final Leg of Tour
DON'T MISS THE EXCITING LAST LEG OF THE TOUR!
All major city courthouse appearances approximately 4 PM, but please stay tuned for exact times, or join the newsletter (Interest Group: WhistleStops) for up-to-date information.
Reception, meet and greet the candidate to follow each; details as they become available, or check the EVENTS PAGE >>
No, really check the EVENTS PAGE. I'm updating as fast as I can, but I'm always going there first, so please hit it for most up-to-minute information and the most detailed info, like maps.
YOU CAN ALSO HELP PROMOTE THESE WHISTLESTOPS!
Download, print, and distribute flyers for your area. >>
These flyers will be updated as more info becomes available, so check for most recent copies before printing more.
Monday, October 16
#250: Tarrant County Courthouse
100 W Weatherford, Fort Worth TEXAS 76102
(Gathering to follow at Billy Miner's)
Tuesday, October 17
#251: "Old Red" Dallas County Courthouse
100 South Houston Street, Dallas TEXAS 75202
(Gathering to follow at Founders Grill)
Wednesday, October 18
#252: Harris County Courthouse
301 Fannin Street, Houston TEXAS 77002
(Gathering to follow at Chatter's)
Thursday, October 19
#253: Bexar County Courthouse ("Old Courthouse")
100 Dolorosa Street, San Antonio Texas 78205
(Gathering to follow at Picante Grill)
Friday, October 20
#254: Travis County Courthouse
1000 Guadaloupe, Austin TEXAS 78701
(Gathering to follow at Cafe Caffeine)
posted by snarko! at 11:36 AM
David Van Os Whistlestops October 12
10:30 AM - Gillespie County Courthouse, Fredericksburg
3:00 PM - Williamson County Courthouse, Georgetown
GO TO WHISTLESTOP CENTRAL >
posted by snarko! at 11:35 AM
Monday, October 02, 2006
Houston Chronicle: "Rivals undeterred"
Republican incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott might have the money, the office and odds on his side, but Democratic challenger David Van Os is nothing if not optimistic.
When Abbott's taking his message to the masses with television ads in the weeks leading to the Nov. 7 election, Van Os will be arriving at the last of the 254 county courthouses, giving stump speeches and hoping for a populist revolt.
After all, Van Os had just $3,200 in campaign funds left at last report. Abbott's war chest was overflowing with more than $7 million.
On. Nov. 7, voters will choose between incumbent Abbott, who has made his primary focus protecting children from sexual predators lurking online and on the streets, and challenger Van Os, a self-described "people's lawyer." Jon Roland, an Austin computer programmer, is also running as a Libertarian.
As the state's 50th attorney general, Abbott last year argued successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court against a lawsuit seeking to remove a Ten Commandments monument on state Capitol grounds. He also sued Sony BMG, alleging it imbedded compact discs with "spyware," and he has uncovered $150 million in Medicaid fraud.
Abbott has drawn criticism, however, for a string of news releases touting his fight against an "epidemic" of voter fraud. A federal lawsuit filed in September on behalf of the Texas Democratic Party and other plaintiffs accuses the attorney general of prosecuting technical violations of the state election code to intimidate minorities and suppress votes for Democrats. Abbott dismisses the suit as "flat wrong."
His focus on the campaign trail is child protection, which he lists as his highest priority. In mid-September, he announced the 500th sex predator arrest under two units he's created since taking office in December 2002.
The fugitive unit tracks down and arrests convicted child sex predators who violate conditions of parole, while investigators in the cyber crimes unit enter Internet chat rooms, posing as teenage girls.
He said child predators are getting more cunning, no longer resorting to the "playgrounds of yesterday." Now they hunt in cyberspace, including popular networking sites, such as MySpace, which he's asked to increase their efforts to protect children. Meanwhile, he said his teams are stopping predators before they can strike.
"Eighty-eight times we have shown up and met a predator who thought he was going to assault a 13-year-old girl and arrested him," Abbott said. "I'm most proud of protecting the children of this state. The children of Texas are always vulnerable to predators."
Van Os 'whistle-stop tour'Abbott previously served as a district judge in Harris County and a Texas Supreme Court justice, but he declines to answer questions about whether his millions in campaign funds suggest higher ambitions than attorney general.
"It's important for anyone running for office at any level to not take anyone's vote for granted," he said. "I am going to be using the campaign funds I've raised to buy TV commercials to help get out the message."
Van Os readily admits he can't afford such mass exposure, but he's counting on his power-to-the-people philosophy to carry him into office. "I truly believe I'm going to win," he said last week, predicting a populist uprising as yet undetected by pundits and pollsters.
The candidate's so-called "whistle-stop tour" largely lacks a train, but Van Os and his wife, Rachel, have been trekking across Texas in her red Chrysler Pacifica. Van Os' goal is to speak on the steps of all 254 Texas county courthouses. Last week, he still had 40 to go.
"I'm running because I have to," he said. "I feel a personal responsibility to give the people of Texas a people's lawyer like you're supposed to have in the attorney general's office."
If he lacks a television presence, he has splashed his likeness on a billboard, decked out with string tie, Stetson and vest. "Notice to Big Oil: I'm Coming after You," it says.
Abbott's campaign manager, Daniel Hodge, said the attorney general sent civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, to 12 large oil companies or refiners in November 2005, requiring them to produce information about soaring gasoline prices. He said the attorney general's monitoring of gasoline pricing is ongoing, part of a multistate effort.
Van Os, however, accuses Abbott of going easy on energy companies and said his first act will be to issue his own investigative subpoenas to chief executive officers of giant oil companies.
"Price manipulation is easy," he said. "It would be easy for the price to be jacked up artificially from the transfer of product from the refinery to the distributor."
Roland targets greedHe also attacks the state's metropolitan daily newspapers. He accuses them of not recognizing the populist revolt he said he sees from ordinary people whose pocketbooks are taking a beating.
"Corporate greed is running roughshod over the people, from big oil corporations, from the insurance monopolies, from the pharmaceutical industry, from private utility barons, from water profiteers," he said.
Roland, the Libertarian, said he's upset because public officials in Texas who abuse their offices are not held accountable. He isn't ready to name names, though.
"My main concern is official corruption," he said. "It's also corporate corruption from the private sector, but I'm mainly concerned with the public sector. Nobody's doing anything about it."
posted by PDiddie at 5:35 AM