Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pete Sessions votes against Defense, Solar Energy

On October 8, the House passed H.R. 2647, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. The bill passed 281-146, with Pete Sessions joining the majority of Republicans who cast a "no" vote on this bill, presumably because it contained a provision expanding the definition of a hate crime to include crimes against people because of sexual orientation.

The bill passed the Senate 68-29, with both Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn joining the majority and voting in favor (see Roll no. 327).

The bill is now cleared for the President's signature.

Pete Sessions also voted against H.R. 3585, the Solar Technology Roadmap Act, "to guide and provide for United States research, development, and demonstration of solar energy technologies." The bill passed with bipartisan support 310-106, with 4 Texas Republicans (including Joe Barton) voting with the majority.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pete Sessions asks for stimulus money he voted against

Earlier in the month, the Texas delegation signed a letter asking the Obama Administration for money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund NASA (see the letter at the office of Congressman Pete Olson TX-22: MEMBERS OF THE TEXAS DELEGATION URGE STIMULUS FUNDS BE DIRECTED TO NASA
Current co-signers include: Sens. Cornyn and Hutchison, and (26) Reps. Barton, Brady, Burgess, Carter, Conaway, Culberson, Edwards, Gohmert, Gonzalez, Granger, Al Green, Gene Green, Hall, Hinojosa, Jackson Lee, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Sam Johnson, Marchant, McCaul, Nuegebauer, Olson, Paul, Poe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry...
And, yes, that is the same bill that Pete Sessions (and all Republicans) voted against in January.

In other news, one of our Sessions Watchers found new information on why Pete Sessions likes Dede Scozzafava; he likes her because "the money" likes her. From The American Spectator:

Sessions was called out by conservative members of the caucus, and challenged when asked why NRCC resources -- cash and personnel -- were being used for Scozzafava. "We have a conservative running in this race, and the Republican Party is not with him," says a conservative House member who attended the meeting...

...Sessions, according to sources, angrily responded to the criticism...According to NRCC staff, Scozzafava was viewed as the "most cooperative" candidate of a group put forward by local Republican Party bosses in the 23rd District. "She wasn't going to be a loose cannon and the money was happy with her," says one NRCC source, saying that "money" referred to a pool of high-dollar donors with ties to former New York Governor George Pataki.
We kinda figured it had something to do with money.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pete Sessions and Poker, Part 2

On our way to looking up stuff about Dede Scozzafava, the Sessions Watch team found something interesting--Pete Sessions' top donor for the 2010 cycle so far is Poker Road, which leads us back to a question D Magazine asked last election cycle "What's the Deal With Pete Sessions and Poker?"

Take a look at Pete Sessions' list of individual contributors--of the top 20, the first 9 are connected in some way with poker. Five in the $2300-3000 donation range list their occupations as "Self Employed/Professional Poker Player, and list their residences in Las Vegas. Among others in the top 9 include the Poker Room Manager for the Bellagio in Las Vegas, who gave him $2,500, and Joe Sebok, CEO of Poker Road, an internet gambling site.

And poker benefits our district because...? And gambling fits in with Pete Sessions' Eagle Scout image because...?

UPDATE: Speaking of Las Vegas, Sessions Watch would like to thank a reader (who prefers to remain anonymous) for sending this picture of Pete Sessions enjoying himself at Forty Deuce strip club in Las Vegas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pete Sessions supports ACORN-backed candidate

Right-wing Republicans are starting to figure out something the rest of us figured out long ago, that Pete Sessions has erratic judgement and does things for no apparent reason (like giving an earmark to a blimp company that has no experience making blimps)

Now, the right-wing of the party is in an uproar over the NRCC's endorsement of Dede Scozzafava, who has the backing of--wait for it--ACORN.

Yes, ACORN, an organization Pete Sessions hates so much that he was willing to throw the whole military-industrial complex under the bus to get rid of it.

The right-wing of the Republican Party is now asking itself, "What was Pete Sessions thinking when he endorsed Scozzafava?"

At Sessions Watch, we're stumped, too. Besides being backed by ACORN, Scozzafava is pro-gay rights and pro-abortion rights, two issues that Pete Sessions vehemently opposes.

So how come he likes her? At Sessions Watch, our best guess is that she gave him a big political donation, but a search of PETE Pac came up dry, unless she's involved with one of these organizations.

UPDATE: More headaches for Pete Sessions: Dick Armey to endorse 3rd party candidate over Republican in NY House race (from Dallas Morning News, h/t John Peterson):
The special election to fill New York's vacant 23rd congressional seat is perhaps the earliest test of the GOP's chances to reclaim the House in 2010. Yet the GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafava, has struggled to line up Republican support...

...Add North Texas' Dick Armey to the list of conservative stars backing [primary opponent] Hoffman...His endorsement of Hoffman is bound to cause headaches for establishment Republicans such as Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, who chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee and has had to defend his support of Scozzafava to conservative groups. Some Republicans are already worried that tea party activists may lead a revolt against incumbent Republicans who supported last year's TARP bailout.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Know Your District Lines: the Hamilton Park story

At a political event the other night, one of our Sessions Watchers had a long argument with a political junkie who insisted that Hamilton Park, an historically African-American neighborhood, is part of Pete Sessions' district. It is not; Hamilton Park is in TX-3, Sam Johnson's district. Click the map (from Sam Johnson's website) for an enlargement and take a look at the area between Forest Lane to the South and 635 to the North, bounded on the East and West by Coit and Greenville. That's Hamilton Park.

The person who insisted that Hamilton Park is in TX-32 cited the bill Pete Sessions sponsored, designating the Post Office at 8135 Forest Lane as Dr. Robert E. Price Post Office Building, named for a long-time Hamilton Park resident. When the TX-32 lines were drawn, the man insisted, Hamilton Park was included because Pete Sessions was so beloved by this neighborhood from his old district.

Here's the real story, which our Sessions Watcher tried unsuccessfully to explain: Pete Sessions originally wrote a bill naming the post office after Vaughn Gross, a principal of a Hamilton Park school, who just happens to also be a personal friend and campaign supporter of Pete Sessions ; residents of this historically African-American neighborhood petitioned to block Pete Sessions' bill before it went to the Senate:
In 2004, Mr. Sessions had proposed that the facility bear the name of Vaughn Gross, a white educator who served as principal of Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School for five years.

After the U.S. House approved Mrs. Gross, community leaders started a petition drive to block Mr. Sessions' bill when it went to the Senate.
Under pressure from the community, Sessions retracted his original bill and agreed to name the new post office for the person the residents wanted, Dr. Robert E. Price. But the Hamilton Park incident left residents feeling that Pete Sessions was out of touch with voters in the district, so when the lines were drawn to insure a safe GOP seat in the newly created TX-32, Hamilton Park was excluded.