Monday, November 24, 2008

Right-wing blog interviews Pete Sessions

Today's edition of the ultra-right-wing website Human Events Online had this exclusive interview with Pete Sessions. Excerpt:
“We’re going to develop some new energy as we find our footing while Democrats have all the marbles,” Sessions told me two days after his election. “They are not going to do anything half-way on their agenda. Not when they control everything. They’ll try to do it all, relying on taxing, spending, and regulating the market place.”
In response, of course, to eight years of Republicans borrowing, spending, and deregulating the market, paving the way for the mess we're in today.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's official--Pete Sessions will chair NRCC

From Dallas Morning News: Pete Sessions wins leadership role in GOP campaign efforts Excerpt:
Reeling from electoral setbacks, House Republicans put their hopes Wednesday on Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions to round up the cash and candidates needed to reverse their fortunes.

“Our members will not be satisfied until we regain the majority,” Mr. Sessions said.
Problem is, Pete Sessions gives money to extremists like Robin Hayes, a right-wing extremist who lost to Larry Kissell after claiming that liberals hate real Americans who work and believe in God.
Mr. Sessions’ profile among Republicans grew exponentially when he drove Mr. Frost from Congress in a costly post-redistricting fight in 2004, though it took him more time than he’d hoped to parlay that into a party leadership role.
Yeah, except he didn't drive Martin Frost from Congress all by himself. Sessions would never have been able to do that without help from Tom DeLay's redistricting plan which created this horribly gerrymandered district, cutting out the historic African-American neighborhood of Hamilton Park and the heavily GLBT Oak Lawn area. If he ever had to run on his own merits in a truly bipartisan district, he would never be able to win; even in the gerrymandered TX-32, he's never been able to get a 60% win. In the 2008 race, he came the closest, with 57%. This quote says it all:
As for Mr. Sessions, some Democrats reacted with some glee at news of his promotion to the GOP leadership.

“This guy is about an inch deep,” said Matt Angle, a veteran Texas Democratic strategist. “They just can’t do any better.”

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Boehner Endorses Sessions for NRCC Chairman

John Boehner has just endorsed Pete Sessions for NRCC Chair, saying:
“Pete has the skills needed to recruit top-tier candidates and give them the support they need to challenge a Democratic Congress that has been bought and paid for by liberal special interests. We need Pete Sessions at the leadership table as the next chairman of the NRCC.”
By "top tier," I suppose Boehner is referring to extreme partisans like Michele Bachmanm, who barely won her seat in Congress after making controversial remarks about "anti-Americans" in Congress.

After Bachmann appeared on Hardball and said Barack Obama had "anti-American views," irate viewers sent her opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg $800,000, making the campaign one of the most-watched in the nation.

Bachmann received $2,500 from PETE PAC, so we can suppose that John Boehner is looking forward to working with more "top tier" people like that.

Sessions Watch sends best wishes to Pete Sessions on his run for NRCC Chair. If he's in a high-profile position, it'll make our job easier.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The tide is turning

Though Sessions Watchers are disappointed that we didn't unseat Pete Sessions last night, it's encouraging that Pete Sessions' brand of hyper-partisanship is growing increasingly unpopular across the nation.

Pundits will analyze McCain's loss for weeks, but in my opinion, he lost by not being himself, by concentrating on "the base" instead of moderate Republicans.

In North Carolina, Kay Hagan won Elizabeth Dole's senate seat, mainly because of negative campaigning on Dole's part. When the Dole campaign a voice actor to make it sound like Kay Hagan said "there is no God," the plan backfired, sending a wave of support to Hagan--who happens to be a lifelong Presbyterian and Sunday School teacher!

Michelle Bachmann's negative campaign sent a wave of financial support to her opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg. Although Bachmann (MN-06) ended winning back her House seat, she did so with a margin of only 4%.

And Sessions fundraiser recipient Robin Hayes, the 10-year Republican incumbent who got $10,000 from Pete Sessions' notorious strip club fundraiser was defeated by Democratic Party challenger Larry Kissell. Robin Hayes gained nation-wide notoriety in this election cycle by saying that "liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God." Last night, he found out that over half of his constituents disagree.

The tide is turning, finally, away from negativity and hyper-partisanship. Although we still don't have a representative who works for us, it should be of some consolation to voters in our district knowing that the American people are tired of right-wing extremism, and they're ready to vote for hope over fear. In TX-32, our day will come--but, sadly, not this year.

Pete Sessions: Sore Winner

Although Pete Sessions easily won re-election in the gerrymandered 32nd congressional district, he didn't sound too happy about it last night. While Republicans who lost last night, most notably John McCain, were gracious in defeat, promising to work across party lines, winning candidate Pete Sessions was his old partisan self in an interview with CBS 11. Since I can't embed the video, I'll attempt a transcript:
Nov. 4, 9:52 pm CT
Marianne Martinez: First of all, let's react to some of the state and local wins for the Republican Party.

Pete Sessions: Well, the Republican party appears that we're going to win the congressional races in North Texas; we appear that we're going to pick up the seat that we lost a couple of years ago down with, uh, in Texas 22 with a great Republican victory. And so the State of Texas with Senator Cornyn and the things which we have done to make Texas great, uh, that will we'll be back in power.
Yeah, I know, it doesn't make much sense, but that's how Pete Sessions talks when he's speaking extemporaneously. Continuing on:
Marianne Martinez: Tell me about the national stage, though, there must be a little bit of a down feeling considering the electoral college, 200 to 90 I believe is the last that I saw.

Pete Sessions: Well, well certainly the national scene is way different. The national scene is way different, uh, Senator Barack Obama, now what I assume will be President-elect Obama tonight has done a very good job of selling the view that we ought to raise taxes, uh, and, and do things differently. That we ought to change the way things have been done. He's going to have that opportunity. The Republican Party, while we disagree with that, we want to see the country move forward and do better. And that's where the Republican Party is going to be very much in favor of trying to work to make sure this country gets what it needs to compete and be ready. If that does not happen, the Republican Party will have a message that we have about cutting taxes and growing our economy, which we'll get back to.
(This is an example of what I refer to as "Pete Speak," circuitous sentences that don't really add up to anything resembling a coherent thought, kind of like we heard with Sarah Palin).
Marianne Martinez: Obama talked a lot during his campaign about reaching across the aisle to the Republicans. Do you think that can be done, especially considering that the Democrats will have a stronghold also now in the Senate?

Pete Sessions: Well, I don't think that Nancy Pelosi, uh, even once these past two years has reached across the aisle, not once. So if she reaches across, they'll be somebody to shake her hand and work with her, but I have not seen that desire or effort on behalf of Speaker Pelosi yet.
Again with Nancy Pelosi! He's so hung up on her. Good grief, the Democrats could conceivably elect another House Speaker, and the interviewer asked specifically about Obama. Would it kill Pete Sessions to at least acknowledge Obama's gracious message of inclusiveness, where he promised to work on behalf of people who didn't vote for him?
Marianne Martinez: Describe your mood here at this particular watch party.

Pete Sessions: Well, the mood here is, is one of disappointment. It's one, uh, where we are not going to throw in the towel. We recognize that we have a lot to be proud of. We believe the Republican Party still has a lot to offer, not only the State of Texas but really Dallas County. We believe what we did during a period of time of, of Republican control was to transform this county to what it is, and that is that it's one of the greatest cities in America, entrepreneurship lives and breathes here and the growth of jobs and the opportunity to grow jobs and have people call this home is what the Republican Party's made this.
I'll swear, I listened to that last part three times, and it still doesn't make much since. Watch the interview for yourself at this link and see if it makes sense to you: Interview with Pete Sessions, Nov. 4, 2008

What the interviewer should have asked is if Pete Sessions felt inspired by Obama to reach out to the 40% of voters in the District who didn't vote for him. But seasoned Sessions Watchers already know the answer to that--he barely reaches out to constituents in his own party, except to ask them to vote for him and put his signs all over the place every two years. The rest of the time, he's concentrated on marketing the Republican brand and raising money for other right-wing extremist Republicans.

As it stands now, the gerrymandered 32nd District remains safe for Pete Sessions; although Dallas County turn solidly Democratic in 2006 and remains Democratic in 2008, the Tom Delay gerrymandered district remains a Republican stronghold. So the next step will be a push for redistricting--not to make "safe" Democratic or Republican Party enclaves, but to better represent districts. Until that happens, Sessions Watch is watching...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Closing arguments: the case against Pete Sessions

Since January of 2007, I've kept track of the voting record of our Congressman, Pete Sessions, operating under the assumption that Sessions keeps getting elected because voters don't really know anything about him. Since 2004, he's been elected solely because he's a Republican in a district gerrymandered as a "safe" Republican seat by Tom DeLay and his cronies. Voting for the "R" label, in my opinion, is like continuing to buy your favoring "Made in U.S.A" product, not realizing that it's now made in China.

So let's review the record of Pete Sessions.

Pete Sessions has been pretty much of a rubber stamp for the extreme right-wing of the Republican Party, and supports President Bush about 90% of the time.

But sometimes, when it suits his own special interests, Pete Sessions has been known to vote with people like Barney Frank on a bill supportive of online gambling.

That's what Pete Sessions' strip club fundraiser was really about--Pete Sessions' Vegas trip was really about online poker.

What Pete Sessions really wants is leadership of the Republican Party. He's already looking forward to winning--not to serve the constituents, but to become chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Pete Sessions is scared of Democrats, except when there's one lone protester among 100 Republicans, flanked by Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Then, Pete Sessions is brave enough to taunt the protester, but with a really strange comment that makes one wonder, "Did Pete Sessions own son lead an anti-Sessions protest?"

Pete Sessions thinks anyone who doesn't agree with him is "unhinged."

Pete Sessions votes against rate cuts to student loans, SCHIP and renewable energy. Pete Sessions also voted against the anti-predatory lending act, and Sessions Watchers know that the current economic crisis was caused, in part, by predatory lenders.

Pete Sessions got an "F" from MiddleClass.Org, which monitors votes affecting ordinary people all over the nation.

Pete Sessions' "power ranking" in Congress is 349th most powerful out of 435 members. That's actually a step up, since Pete Sessions used to be 10th from the bottom in power, at 425, pretty good for a beginning Congressman, but not for someone like Pete Sessions, who has been in Congress since 1996.

Tomorrow's Election Day, and it's time to vote for change. Once again, here are the candidates running against Pete Sessions, listed in alphabetical order:

Alex Bischoff, Libertarian: League of Women Voters survey; Project Vote Smart bio; Campaign website

Eric Roberson, Democrat: League of Woman Voters survey; Project Vote Smart bio; Campaign website.

To find your Election Day polling location, visit the Dallas County Elections website.

(And to the person who posted advertisements for another blog in my comment boxes, yes I'm "censoring" your posts, because this website is specifically about watching Pete Sessions, not watching some other candidate. By the way, your blog doesn't allow comments, so you're censoring, too, right?)