Soda ban: Texas edition

Michael Bloomberg has a new ally in Texas. Who, you ask? Senator Carlos Uresti. I am being somewhat facetious, of course, but the legislature has just given final approval to a bill that would ban sugary drinks, such as Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper, from public elementary and junior high schools.

HB217 completely flew under the radar. It passed the House on May 10th by an official vote of 95-44. However, a lot of members later complained that their votes were incorrectly attributed. Taking into account all of these errors, the real roll call was 92-49. All of the opposition came from Tea Party Republicans. Among the moderate Republicans voting in favor was Sarah Davis. I have heard for a while now that her close call election has moved her into the centre, and now I am really starting to see it.

At press time, the journal hadn’t gone up, but this article by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram states the roll call at 24-6. I can guess who the half-dozen Senators are, but I am positive as to their political party.

A few months ago, I penned an op-ed about how, by and large, Soda bans like the one in New York are silly, stupid and unneeded. However, I do see some good in this legislation. There is a big difference between a consenting adult and a little kid (14 and younger). This legislation would not apply to High School students.

The bill is not especially contentious, with most beverage associations as well as Coca-Cola itself supporting it. Time will tell if the Governor does too.


Gene Green and the Democratic Party

I’m surrounded by a lot of Republicans in this state, and that includes the Democrats. Gene Green is one of those such Democrats. While Congressman Green (Gene, that is, not Al) has historically been somewhat liberal on most issues, including healthcare and social policy, he is dragging up the rear of society on the issue of gun control. Michael Bloomberg has recently come up in the news for pushing a Super PAC that would seek to “primary,” i.e., defeat in primary election, moderate Democrats who are pro-guns and pro-NRA. If Mr Green does not change his regressive views about gun control, perhaps the “Bloomberg solution” would be best.

Gene Green has an “A” rating with the National Rifle Association, the same rating as Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. Further, he recently stated some pretty disturbing rhetoric in an interview about gun control, stating his unequivocal opposition to the assault weapons ban, saying “Instead of saying we need to outlaw certain types weapons, we need to find better ways to enforce current law, the kneejerk approach of those who want to control firearms may not be the solution.’’ Excuse me?

The Democratic Party has seen their ambitious social and economic policies killed, or severely maimed, because of their own party’s dysfunction. To quote a very wise man from the Texas Democratic Convention last year, we have too many “soft Republicans” who are running around masquerading as Democrats. For example, I support strong bans/regulations on most deadly weapons, gay marriage and the abolition of the death penalty. Are these the radical policies of some socialist? Try Stephen Harper and David Cameron.

Gene Green opposes most gun control measure with any hint of a spine in them. Similarly, he STILL opposes gay marriage, and believes the state has a right to execute someone. Accordingly, I offer Mr Green an ultimatum. Either drag your political beliefs into the 21st century, or answer to the voters.

The 29th District is heavily Democratic. Even in the horrible 2010 election cycle, Green was re-elected with 65% of the vote against Roy Morales, a candidate who had just run for Mayor (had a great name-recognition). A more liberal Democratic nominee would not put the district in jeopardy of a Republican being elected. Additionally, at 66% Hispanic, it is getting a little bit ridiculous that a white guy who isn’t even very liberal is the Congressman. I have no idea who would possibly challenge him next year in the primary, but I would hope that the individual would have the heavy backing of Bloomberg’s SuperPAC.