News Release

“Compassionate Conservatism”?

LOUIS DUBOSE
Editor of the Texas Observer, Dubose said: “‘Compassionate conservatism’ is in fact the same old wine, badly soured, in a shiny New Texas bottle. We are dead last in per capita government spending, 49th in spending on the environment — while first in pollution.”
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EVA DeLUNA
Budget and policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, DeLuna said: “Texas has the fifth highest poverty rate — 3.3 million people, 1.4 million are children. On a per capita basis, Texas spends a negligible amount on natural resources, welfare, libraries, the arts or adult education. Things have changed recently, however — spending on prisons has increased dramatically in the last decade.”
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ROBERT BRYCE
In today’s Austin Chronicle, reporter Bryce breaks new ground about Gov. George W. Bush’s involvement in an influence-buying scandal regarding the world’s largest funeral company. Bryce said today: “Bush got $35,000 in contributions from Service Corporation International. It appears Bush then helped them thwart an investigation by the Texas Funeral Service Commission. The former director of the commission, Eliza May, was pressured by Bush’s chief of staff and campaign manager Joe Allbaugh. She has filed a whistle-blower lawsuit.”
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BARBARA RENAUD GONZALEZ
A columnist for the San Antonio Express-News and author of the forthcoming Mestiza, a personal and political look at the future of Latinos, Gonzalez said: “Bush has used the magic of Spanish to seduce Latinos, but his policies have hurt us. Bush has attended the most exclusive schools in the country, but he doesn’t want to pay for ours. Instead, he signed a $2 billion tax cut on property taxes. He betrays democracy by supporting school vouchers which erode diversity and skim the best students. Bush is an avid supporter of the death penalty but he has opposed the right of indigent defendants to adequate legal counsel.”

CRAIG McDONALD
Director of the campaign finance reform group Texans for Public Justice, McDonald said: “Bush is clearly the all-time champion of raising money in Texas politics: $16 million in the ’94 race, $25 million in the ’98 campaign. Much of his money has come from a handful of corporations that have controlled Texas politics for many years: oil and gas, utilities, corporate law firms, the petrochemical industry. Almost half of Bush’s ’98 war chest came from donations of $10,000 and up. Bush has been responsive to his campaign backers. He got lots of money from the tort ‘reform’ groups during his first race. As soon as he got into office, he declared tort reform an emergency — which greased the legislative process, allowing the enactment of a draconian slate of laws that make it difficult for consumers to hold corporations accountable.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167