"The Trans-Texas Corridor may be dead or it may only smell bad, depending upon who one asks."
By Ron Maloney
SEGUIN — Former Houston Mayor Bill White is looking for a job, and he came to Seguin to apply Thursday.
White wants to send Gov. Rick Perry home next November, and he stopped in Seguin for an hour-long visit on his way to Schertz and San Antonio to meet local voters, talk about issues and answer questions.
“This is wonderful,” White said after an introduction by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Edmundo “Cass” Castellanos. “I’m here for a job interview. We’ve had a lot of good interaction with citizens, and people have learned a lot about me.”
Then White talked a little bit about some of the things he believes sets him apart from the incumbent who he chided for calling himself a conservative and an outsider while spending a quarter century in or running for public office, and living very well while doing so.
“We all believe that Texas should be a great state of opportunity,” White said to a partisan crowd that frequently broke into cheers and applause. “I’ve also learned the overwhelming majority of Texans are ready for a new governor. I will shoot straight with you and do what’s right with Texas.”
Perry’s leadership, White said, has divided the state along red and blue lines.
Texas needs a leader who can build consensus among all quarters and bring the state into the future, White said.
“And I will be that person,” the candidate promised.
During his administration in Houston, White said, that city built more jobs than had been created in 37 states — combined.
The Perry administration, White said, has concentrated on creating low-paying, minimum wage jobs.
“I want to build good jobs — jobs with a future,” White said. “Isn’t that what we need right now?”
White has a five-point education plan that can be seen on his website, billwhitefortexas.com, he said he wouldn’t bore his audience with Thursday.
He wants to increase the graduation rate, he said — and he wants to ensure that an education in Texas means graduates have skills they need to succeed in work and in life — and not just pass standardized tests.
“We have a governor who thinks education is all about taking multiple-choice tests,” White said. “We need a governor who is going to support teaching our children critical thinking skills. We need to train people for self-sufficiency, not just for taking multiple choice tests.”
On July 13, White said, Perry axed a state program designed to reduce the number of drop-outs.
“It was old-fashioned stuff that works — funding after-school tutoring and summer school,” White said.
There was no press release or news conference, but Perry did release one that same day, the candidate said, touting a “new” plan for reducing drop-outs — one that has been the law in Texas since 1989.
“He either didn’t know that or didn’t care,” White said of the governor.
The Trans-Texas Corridor may be dead or it may only smell bad, depending upon who one asks. But don’t look for Governor Bill White to bring the idea back any time soon. “What kind of idea was this?” White asked of Perry’s plan to address transportation issues around the state. “You take 600,000 acres of private land — some of it having been in families for generations — through eminent domain, give it to a foreign company, let them put a toll road in and develop all the real estate along the route. What would it do? It would get trucks from Mexico to Chicago better. I don’t know about you, but what I think Texans are more concerned about is getting to and from work.” The Texas Department of Transportation, White said, had a $1.1 billion miscalculation of its biennial budget two years ago, and needs tighter controls — like the ones he brought to Houston, where he lowered crime, increased jobs and at the same time lowered taxes.
“We have a record,” White said. “The city of Houston is bigger than 16 states. We cut the crime rate, reset the traffic lights, tripled the number of community health clinics and added more jobs than 37 states combined, all the while cutting property taxes and freezing property taxes for seniors. We did this because we ran the government as a machine for the people and not a political machine like Rick Perry has. Texas is ready for that, isn’t it? I have a feeling in this state that people are ready to move forward. Help me!”
Texans, White said, deserve a governor with a servant’s heart who knows he works for them.
“You deserve someone who will be responsive to you,” White said. “I will have a servant’s heart, and I will never forget where I came from. With your help, we will have a new governor in November.”
© 2010 The Seguin Gazette-Enterprise: www.seguingazette.com
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