Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Amarillo Globe-News pick for guv insults decent Texans

The countdown to the mid-term elections continues and, with it, the editorial endorsements for candidates by the legacy media — newspapers. Those endorsements usually come after visits with the “editorial board.”

So, the Amarillo Globe-News, a tired vestige of what was once a newspaper, backs the Republican candidate for governor, Greg Abbott, the current Texas Attorney General. The Globe-News did so with the title of its endorsement “Editorial: Abbott best reflects Texas values.” The basis of the endorsement is this, from the editorial: “Voters choosing the next governor of the state of Texas have a simple question to ponder: Which of the two major party candidates best reflects their values and beliefs related to government?”

What the local bird cage liner endorsement is telling Amarillo is it backs a hypocritical liar who, without compassion, embraces the very worst in self-serving politics and in purchased political power. And in couching its endorsement as it did, the Amarillo Globe-News told Texans that they, too, lack compassion as they lie, cheat and spurn their fellow citizens’ needs in favor of enriching themselves.

Here is a small sample of Abbott’s record, from the Austin American Statesman’s PolitiFact Texas’ reckoning of mostly false. The American-Statesman’s definition of “mostly false is that “(t)he statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.”

In other words, Abbott knowingly lied.

·       Abbott said Democratic opponent Sen. Wendy Davis was complicit in barring the attorney general from settling a lawsuit over school funding.

·       Abbott’s accusation that Davis’ legal work as an outside counsel for the North Texas Tollway Authority is the target of an FBI probe as mostly false, on the basis that Abbott had no proof. The FBI, as noted, will neither confirm nor deny an investigation.

·       Abbott said Davis would raise taxes in Texas up to $35 billion.

·       There were no problems with the Texas voter ID law, Abbott claims, but that isn’t true either.

·       The claims that more than 200 dead people voted in the most recent Texas election — false again.

These are but a sample. And maybe voters are willing to let lies slip by as part of Texas’ “contact sport” of politics. But there is no doubt that Abbott slinks and sinks lower into the slime of corruption with other activities. The Texas enterprise Fund is a clear example not only of the Abbott-Perry corrupt alliances and cronyism, but also an example of how public records rulings of the attorney general’s office can also be corrupted. Two media sources, the Texas Tribune and Dallas Morning News took note of an audit that lacerated Perry and Abbott for the allocation of millions of taxpayer dollars — money shuttled to friends, cronies and political operatives allied with the incumbents. Abbott’s ruling to protect the records that would document corruption so clearly makes him complicit.

If using our money to help pals isn’t enough, Perry and Abbott’s use of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute for the same purposes instead of seeking cures for one of the most dreaded diseases we know just makes Abbott more evil than we thought any politician could be.

The issues with CPRIT go back many years, but in 2012, the Dallas Morning News broke the story that $11 million awarded to a Dallas biotechnology firm lacked the required review of scientific and other experts. The dominoes began to fall. Seven scientists, including a Nobel laureate, had recently resigned from the advisory board in protest that politics and commercialization interests were placed ahead of science. The resignations went further and deeper when, according to the Huffington Post, “chief scientific officer Dr. Alfred Gilman resigned in protest after the CPRIT approved a $20 million grant for a so-called incubator project at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The Nobel laureate told colleagues in heated emails that he was trying to prevent misuse of taxpayer dollars and funding decisions based on political considerations.”

Then came the first indictmentalmost a year ago. Jerald “Jerry” Cobbs is slated to go on trial after the elections. Abbott’s office has defended all of these activities.

Abbott certainly doesn’t represent my political interests. His anti-women, and anti-choice and continual right-wing agenda positions disqualify him from my support anyway. But even if I were conservative, in the best sense of the word, I don’t believe I could support someone this corrupt. Therefore, one must ask what is instructive about the Amarillo Globe-News endorsement?

Clearly, the answer must be that Abbott reflects the values of the leadership in Amarillo and the values imposed by the leadership in Augusta, Georgia. And that, fellow Amarilloans, is one of the saddest things to say about it local newspaper.