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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Lots of Interesting Goings-On

DeLay that Indictment!

It seems that Mr. Tom DeLay, a republican Representative from Texas and former House Majority Leader, had reason to smile when his now-infamous mug shot was snapped. Mr. DeLay has successfully lobbied to have the judge in his case removed source. It seems that Mr. DeLay didn't like the fact that State District Judge Bob Perkins has, in the past five years, donated money to democratic candidates. So, Mr. DeLay went to Mr. Perkins' boss (a republican, appointed by a republican) and had Mr. Perkins replaced.

It seems odd to me for several reasons. The first is simple: judges are supposed to be impartial. There shouldn't be any difference between a judge who votes democrat and a judge who votes republican.

The second reason this seems odd to me takes a little reverse engineering of the facts. Doesn't it seem strange that a man who has not only been arrested for money laundering, but also has had numerous ethical charges and is well known for abusing his power source, can virtually hand-pick the judge who sits on his trial? Does that seem right?

A few facts about Mr. DeLay before I move on... Did you know that Mr. DeLay's fellow republicans once signed a petition asking that DeLay be removed from office? He has lied to the FBI, he has lied on depositions, and led a power grab in Texas to gain more republican seats via redistricting - which caused Texas to waste millions of dollars in legislation whilst healthcare and education needs were being unmet source.

In general, not a man I'd trust with MY last candy bar.


Local Elections

I was poking about the Internet trying to find out what I could about our local candidates for next Tuesday's elections. It seems that the Sioux City Journal ran a series of articles about the candidates, but there's really nothing else of substance out there.

I did learn a few interesting things about the candidates from the Journal, though... It seems that there was a debate recently, but of the six candidates for City Council, only three managed to attend. Brent Hoffman, businessman, barber Donna Jensen and Jim Haigh, engineer, did not show up for the debate. Mr. Hoffman had a prior commitment, but the other two simply declined to attend source.

The three that DID make it to the debate were Mayor Karen Van De Steeg, Jim Rixner - executive director of Siouxland Mental Health, and Councilman Dave Ferris. From what I heard and read of the debate (I wasn't actually there - I learned of it after the fact), Mr. Rixner would like to help individual citizens of Sioux City by increasing police protection in the neighborhoods, putting street lights up in dark corners, making sure people have enough to eat, and generally making the city a nice place again. Ms. Van De Steeg thought the city needed a better water supply. Mr. Ferris felt that the city should encourage new housing growth for the wealthy.

From what I've heard, Mr. Rixner is the only one who seems to understand the city's true problems (as I see them) and could articulate them. He gets my vote.

If you've read this blog before, you know that my neighborhood needs help. Graffiti and vandalism is rampant, there's a very high number of homeless people wandering the streets, and I think my neighbors are shady. In one night last summer (for example) we had our door knocker stolen, a truck drove through my front yard, and a drunk passed out in the street - all in the space of ten minutes. Something needs to be done; I've informed the local police, but nothing much seems to change. The only way to get police presence in my neighborhood is to start calling the gunshots in to 911, but that just seems to irritate the dispatchers these days. (The last time it was just a neighbor shooting at another neighbor's dog.)

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