Open Letter To Jason Staford and Tom Pauken Regarding KXAN’s Poorly Advertised Townhall Meeting

Date Put forth on October 21, 2012 by XicanoPwr
Category Posted in activism, Elections

Dear Jason Staford and Tom Pauken:

Texans want something more – and different – from you. And you’re running out of time. They want you to occupy a certain space in our political discourse which is wide open, if only you will seize it. It’s there for the taking. People will revere and respect you for doing so this state will be better off.

The time allotted for a true discussion of the propositions that are on the ballot is not only inexcusable but disingenuous to the democratic process. I tuned in by chance while channel surfing, Having watched several primetime lineups during the week, not once did I hear or see any announcement about last nights televised Townhall meeting. Yet, you had no problem airing ad how KXAN reports the news that matter to us. Here is my question to KXAN after noticing that the two moderators looked unprepared and uninterested. Why wasn’t last night’s Townhall as important to you as it is to me?

One of the issues that were asked why there was a low voter turnout in Texas. Your answer revealed how out of touch you are with the Texas voter. When people say, we want more from our political leaders, it doesn’t mean creating more volume or being more contentious or exhibiting more bravado. Last night, near the end of the night what began as swipes at one another, turned into a brawl. All it proves both of you can throw a good punch. So what!

But what if as a political party both your platform and party membership is no longer in tune with the majority of the country?

As I watched the debate Friday night, I wondered if audience were people off the street or friends of the panel. If they were off the street, I wondered if their questions were truly being answered, assuming KXAN asked for their input prior before the Townhall started. Yet, the panelist seemed to looked right past them, like a school child sitting at the edge of their seat waiting for the school bell to go off.

The Texas Democrat Party love to point out how Republican party has a Latino problem. Once Democratic consultant Jason Staford saw his opportunity remind former GOP Chair Tom Pauken, we were off to the races with the typical denial. There are several reasons for the complacency. This is Texas, Pauken has the typical “conservative” attitude of the stereotyped southerner regarding race relations. The word “conservative” here follows the literal dictionary definition, meaning “disposed to maintain existing institutions or views; opposed to change.” What follows from this attitude is a situation which sees no real concern in problems comes to race or situation. The general attitude toward these matters is that the situations of which we complain are normal and natural and should be expected to exist as long as long as we continue to believe we are “victims.”

Nor should one be led to interpret the absence of open racial conflict in the Texas Democrat Party as an indication that Jason is correct all that is needed was more funding to the Democratic Party — as if these actions alone will meet people’s true desire to reengage and reconnect. Sure may very well enable some individuals, and other interested groups to win an election, a policy debate, or appeal to more new members or supporters for their cause. They may result in greater attention for one point-of-view or another.

Question: As one of the state’s top consultant and part of the party’s inner circle, how was it that you could not see that the state budget cuts affected your child’s education? Were there no discusses between the elected officials and you and other campaign? I have no quarrel with you, but with all the moaning and groaning about how voters skip down ballot candidates, somewhere along the way, we no long mattered, you were in it for the prize. It seems this time around, your daughter’s education future became collateral damage. I hope you will reflect on this and do some soul searching because it wasn’t your daughter’s education you jeopardized, it was all of Texas.

On the same topic, Tom Pauken, last night you mention you are part of a collation to end the high stake testing. Does this collation know you took an indirect role implementing Texas’ current model of mandatory testing that was put into place when George W. Bush when you were chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. At that time it was teaching to pass the TAAS. Using HISD’s rising TAAS scores under Rod Paige as a model of good policy, Bush was able to pass No Child Left Behind, regardless of the warning from educators and parents that policy is a diversion from real learning. As this policy under your watch, this is what Barbara Bush had to say in her OpEd plea to save our schools:

“We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. … We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy, and 46th in average math SAT scores.”

Why the low voter turnout? Because the 100 politicians who came before you abused our trust, stole our time and disrespected my attention.

Why the low voter turnout? Perhaps I’m not buying from you because the last time someone like you earned my trust, they wounded us.

Unfortunately advancing the happiness of humanity is so far from being properly improved given the current path we are heading. Lulled by the siren songs of power and domination, the states political elite into the means of obtaining their nefarious ends.

Your task is to lower the noise and prove me and who also feel this way wrong and help people gain a sense of possibility and hope about a way out – and a way forward. It is to engage people in what they can do, together, not just what you promise you’ll do for them.

We can’t afford a 47% write-off. We must not give up on restoring our humanity.

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  1. Gravatar Icon Andy Dec 19th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Dear XicanoPwr,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! Good questions.

    I take opposition, however, to your assertion that Commissioner Pauken “indirectly” supported the goals of George W. Bush. This is a classic case of guilt-by-association.

    I’ve known Mr. Pauken for a long time and he was no strong supporter of either Bush Administration. If anything, Mr. Pauken was in DIRECT opposition to the rise of “The Bushies” following the Reagan years and kept the Republican Party of Texas conservative during the mid-to-late ’90s.

    I invite you to read Mr. Pauken’s book “Bringing America Home” (available on Amazon — see excerpt at the link above), which not only criticizes George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and their ilk, but also questions our intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs under a so-called “conservative” Administration. It’s a fascinating read from a true conservative who stemmed the tide of neoconservatism for as long as one man could.

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