Saturday, June 23, 2007

Three More Reasons Why Rick Noriega Is Texas’ Best Choice For US Senate

I’ve expounded here and here on why Texas State Rep. Rick Noriega (D - Houston) is the one that Democrats should place against John Cornyn (R – George W. Bush) in the Senate race in 2008. They were generalities. He has a track record and he has an inclination towards public service. Rick should run for Senate. He has my vote and my pledge to work vigorously to get him elected, along that of some of my associates.

But let’s concentrate on the track record, shall we? Let’s drop the generalities and see what kind of work this guy has done for his district and for the people of Texas.

Shall we?

Let’s start with his authorship of HB 2293. This was a great idea. So good that it went on the local, consent and resolutions calendar in the House and received a unanimous vote for passage. In the Senate it passed 29 to 1 (Kel Seliger (R-Redneck) again. I tell you the guy is a menace – the only one who is also in favor of idling buses.).

What does it do? It requires all 37 Texas agencies with fleet operations to include at least 10% of the vehicles purchased that have low-emission high-fuel efficiency engines. This has the triple effect of increasing the air quality in metropolitan areas by keeping auto emissions down, decreases the amount of greenhouse gases injected into our atmosphere, does not cost the state anything, and actually will save the state in decreased fuel costs.

We hear all the platitudes all the time about Homeland Security. That it’s good. But who is really doing something about truly increasing our security? Rick Noriega, added a provision to SB 11, the Homeland security bill. This provision allocates increased funding for the Houston Police Department via the Department of Public Safety to enable an increase in their inspections of heavy trucks coming out of Houston’s port. Using federal grants to the DPS, the funds can be funneled to HPD who can now hire additional manpower to ensure that inspection of imported material is increased.

Finally in a House floor speech near and dear to my heart, Rick Noriega, knowing how poorly paid public school educators are in Texas, sought to have the entire HB1 allocation to teacher salaries, based on a Machiavellian performance system, switched to an across the board pay raise for every teacher in Texas’ public schools. And in the House, he succeeded. That the Senate had other designs on that money, and that it could not be moved in committee is no reflection on Rick. He did what he could.

Really, this is like watching a wide screen movie through a soda straw. There is so much more out there, so many more specific cases to point to. All of them showing why Rick Noriega is the one that Texas Democrats should back to run against Cornyn in 2008.

You watch, you wait, you look around. I’ll bet there will be more Draft Rick Noriega supporters out there with stories to tell. If not, I’ll be back with more.


Anonymous said...

Rick entering the race will make the 2008 race REAL exciting, even more than the presidential election is going to make it.

I hope the cards fall in place and he runs. It will be fun!

Anonymous said...

Yessirree, Bob. The more I read about him, talk to others about him, watch him, and speak with him, the more I am convinced that he actually has his fingers on the pulses of Texas' weak spots. Unlike Cornyn and Hutchison who have their fingers up their....well, let's just say their auditory canals, shall we?