Friday, July 28, 2006

"They are not conducting the people's business. They are conducting business for themselves and their cronies."

Van Os visits Marshall as part of his state attorney general 'Whistle-Stop' campaign

July 28, 2006

Marshall News-Messenger
Copyright 2006

Kilgore native David Van Os is a tough-talkin', cowboy hat-wearin' Democrat who has vowed to dethrone Republican state attorney general Greg Abbott and give Texas government "back to the people."

"Rick Perry and his entire executive branch of government in office in Austin, including the attorney general Greg Abbott, are not doing the people's business and the people have got to fire them," said Van Os Thursday afternoon in front of Harrison County Courthouse. "They are not conducting the people's business. They are conducting business for themselves and their cronies."

Van Os has been a labor lawyer for nearly 30 years, specializing in civil and constitutional law. On his Whistle-Stop tour of Texas, he intends to visit all 294 county courthouses in Texas, made his 97th stop in Marshall.
While Thursday afternoon's unexpected downpour sent people fleeing indoors before a crowd could gather to hear him speak, Van Os outlined his primary objectives to the News Messenger : the price of gasoline, insurance monopolies, child support overhaul and bringing a "value system" to the state government.
Where the price of gasoline is concerned, giant oil companies making what Van Os refers to as "pure profit" while American citizen struggles with an average of $3-a-gallon gasoline is unacceptable.

"What's happening is the people in government are just rolling over and they're just sopping up the bureaucratic excuses from the oil tycoons and from the gobbledygook of international finance," Van Os said. "(They say) 'oh, there's nothing we can do about it. We have nothing do with the fact that we're making $3 billion a month in profit. It's out of our control. We're just bystanders to the big profit we're making as we cry all the way to the bank.'"

One of Van Os' first initiatives as state attorney general would be to serve investigative subpoenas to the giant oil companies, which are consolidating and merging to form monopolies, and the massive insurance corporations that make is hard for Americans to get health coverage, he said.

"The attorney general of Texas is supposed to be the one minding the store," Van Os stressed. "The Texas Constitution says the attorney general shall inquire into the activity of private corporations and shall do anything necessary and proper to prevent any private corporation from exercising any power not authorized by law."

Monopoly power is not authorized by law, he pointed out and as the "watchdog of the people," the attorney general has the power to question large corporations that are "gouging Texas," he said.

In his child support overhaul initiative, Van Os said the current child support enforcement program is "a scandal" where records are not kept accurately and it needs to be "be placed in real-live human being ombudsman immediately to resolve the immediate crisis."

Another important item on Van Os' agenda is the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor, which will run a highway through 4,000 miles of Texas, which he called "the worst gigantic corruption of greed and corporate arrogance that we have ever had in the history of this state."

Recent public hearings involving people whose land will be affected by initial plans of the corridor have yielded heated reactions, Van Os said.

And Cintra, the Spain-based company that would be in control of the highway network, will make billions of dollars a year from people driving on Texas roads.

"Now, this is so radically wrong," he said, speaking of the thousands of acres of Texas farmland that will be sacrificed and the people who own them.

Van Os' intention is to not only reach Democrats, but Republicans, liberals, independents and anyone else who just wants the government to be for the people.

Despite the "naysayers and the smart alecks and people who think they know everything," Van Os is prepared to work toward his goal.

Contact staff writer Bridgette R. Outten via e-mail at:; or by phone at (903) 927-5966.

© 2006 Marshall News-Messenger: