Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Congressman Lamar Smith - Shameless Solar Liar

Congressman Lamar Smith, District 21:

Thanks for wasting my tax dollars to send me your color brochure promoting yourself and your wasteful government programs. You are a perfect expample of the reason I abondoned the Republican Party and now serve as Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Texas:

Smith, please check all that apply to you:

__I am a Republican and believe that government can solve our energy problems better than the market.
__I don't care how inefficient solar energy is, doggonnit, I just love it:
__I thought since you lived in Molly Ivin's and Jim Hightower's neighborhood, you must love solar power, so I thought I'd tell you what you wanted to hear.
__I think that if I pretend to sound like a liberal, liberals won't hate me so much.
__I didn't know that my cynical promotion of stupid policies designed for short-term political gain might be teaching all the Republicans out there to support stupid policies like incentives for solar energy.
__I'm just an idiot. To be honest, I don't know or care whether solar energy works. Please vote for me regardless.

Lamar, you say you want to "ban price gouging in gasoline." Would you rather see people stuck in gas lines? Did you forget that the opportunity to make an extra buck is an incentive for distributors to anticipate shortages in order to ensure a supply at the most critical times?

Lamar, I won't comment on your plan to add to the federal government's control over more of our land. You've explained yourself quite clearly.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Austin Council Members Contradict Police Association PAC Testimony

November 11, 2005

Austin Council Members Contradict Police Association PAC Testimony

For Immediate Release

Wes Benedict: 512-442-4910,,

Austin, Texas - According to a letter from the Texas Ethics Commission dated November 8, a sworn statement by a former treasurer of the Austin Police Association PAC (APAPAC) has been contradicted by the testimony of three Austin City Council members.

In 2003, APAPAC spent over $40,000 on advertisements that supported City Council candidates Raul Alvarez, Will Wynn, Danny Thomas, and Brewster McCracken. APAPAC's treasurer, Sean Mannix, was required to send a letter notifying the supported candidates that APAPAC had spent money on their behalf. The candidates were also required to report that notification on their own finance reports.

However, none of the candidates reported the notification. That concealed the link between APAPAC and the candidates.

Candidate Wes Benedict, who ran against Thomas in 2003, filed several complaints with the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) when he learned of the problem.

In response to one of the complaints, Mannix testified that it was his practice to give affected candidates notification of any direct expenditures made for them. This testimony allowed him to avoid TEC penalties.

However, Alvarez, Wynn, and Thomas all testified that they did not receive any notification from APAPAC.

Wes Benedict said, "It's pretty hard to believe that all those candidates would commit the same violation, and lie about it later. My hunch is that Sean Mannix lied when he said he notified them. I don't think he ever sent the letters. If he did, I'd like him to show copies of them. If he failed to notify four candidates, it obviously was not his 'practice' to notify them."

Failure by a PAC to provide the notification is a Class A misdemeanor. Failure by a candidate to report the notification is also a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, the TEC may impose civil penalties.

Making a false affidavit to the TEC constitutes perjury.

APAPAC was fined by the TEC earlier this year because it was late notifying candidates of direct expenditures related to the May 2005election.

The TEC documents may be found here:

The earlier APAPAC fine may be found here: