Thursday, May 04, 2006

Texas: Linda Curtis, Independent Texans: Strayhorn is taking on the special interests

Thanks to Linda for her email to the Hankster:
The One Tough Grandma continues to take on the special interests. In this case, it's the home builder's who got Gov. Perry to set up an agency that allows them to govern themselves. According to the Texas Observer, the Texas Residential Construction Commission has, "In practice ... become another Texas state agency captive to the very industry it’s supposed to regulate. Homebuilders are some of the state’s heftiest contributors to political campaigns." One of them is Bob Perry (no relation) who is part of the bevy of contributors who are pushing the Trans Texas Corridor -- 8,000 miles of toll roads cris-crossing the state at a cost of $187 billion -- and never voted on by ordinary Texans! It's been exhilarating having a statewide elected official, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, to do battle with these guys. All she needs is a few of the 4.2 million independent Texas voters behind her to make it stick and to stick it to them! --Linda Curtis, Independent Texans.


ABBOTT SAYS STRAYHORN DID NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO EXAMINE RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION COMMISSION
Strayhorn says if Abbott wants to take her to court, get it on
House State Affairs Chairman David Swinford (R-Dumas) challenged Rep. Todd Smith's (R-Euless) over his request of the Comptroller to do an investigation of the controversial Texas Residential Construction Commission. Smith sought answers to six questions about the performance and customer satisfaction of the agency.
In his effort to block the Smith requested Comptroller's review of the TRCC, Swinford sought an Attorney General's Opinion.
In his
opinion, Abbott agreed with Swinford. He ruled that prior to 2003, the Comptroller did have the authority to independently examine agencies. However, in the 2003 session, the Legislature explicity removed that authority from Strayhorn's office and handed it over to the leadership controlled Legislative Budget Board.
In response, Strayhorn today said, “I was asked by a legislator to investigate the Texas Residential Construction Commission. I did it, and if the Attorney General wants to take me to court, let’s go. If a legislator requests me to act when it comes to the fiscal matters of this state, I will act. This is a constitutional office and we disagree with the opinion. What the Attorney General needs to do is issue an official, formal opinion on whether or not Rick Perry’s tax increase bill is an unconstitutional income tax, immediately, while the Legislature is in session.”
ã Copyright May 3, 2006 by Harvey Kronberg,
www.quorumreport.com, All rights are reserved


Strayhorn rapped over investigation
Attorney general rules she didn't have authority to recommend an agency be closed

By CLAY ROBISON Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau May 4, 2006 AUSTIN - Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn exceeded her authority when she investigated the Texas Residential Construction Commission and recommended it be abolished, Attorney General Greg Abbott said Wednesday.
The main ramifications of Abbott's ruling, however, are political, not legal, and Strayhorn was unapologetic.....
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