Our Absentee Governor – In the first 16 days since abandoning his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Perry has been to his office just three times and stayed no longer than three hours each time. In 11 of the days since, his schedule shows no state meetings, phone calls or other events. In the five days thereafter, he is shown engaging in 10 hours of state business spread over three days. One day, he taped a message for the El Pasoan of the Year. He toured a racetrack under construction near Austin another day. Perry receives a salary of nearly $133,000 per year as governor and a state pension of $7,700 per month.
Republicans Completely Dismantle Democracy in Michigan Cities and School Districts – Michigan’s emergency-manager law continues to undercut locally elected officials and benefit private corporations. Public Act 4, supported by Governor Rick Snyder and state Republicans, allows the Governor to appoint a single person to control a financially struggling city.
They only report to the Governor, and unlike city council members they do not face the voters.
The Michigan governor placed Louis Schimmel in charge of Pontiac, a city of roughly 60,000, last September. In less than six months Schimmel fired or outsourced nearly all city employees and departments, stripped city council of their powers and placed city properties up for sale. He even threatened to layoff the entire fire department.
Deregulation of Electricity in Texas Caused Rates to Go Higher Than in Areas Not Deregulated – Texas lawmakers deregulated our electricity market 10 years ago and it has cost residential consumers $11.5 billion since deregulation began in 2002. The added cost to all consumers (residential, commercial and industrial) is even greater. The average residential price of electricity in deregulated areas in Texas was up to 42 percent above the national average. A 2009 report on Texas electricity deregulation by McCullough Research found that “lower rates, the fundamental promise of deregulation, have never been realized.” The report found that the average electricity rates in deregulated areas “far outpaced rates in the 25 percent of Texas not deregulated, and in neighboring states that are equally dependent on natural gas.”
The report also states that residential electricity prices in Texas increased 64 percent since 1999. The report attributes the rate increases to “the cumulative effect of deregulated rates increases is staggering for Texas households and the state’s economy.”
America’s Richest Congressman Stuck Taxpayers With the Bill for Private Events With His Biggest Donors – Texas Republican Michael McCaul, one of the richest members of Congress, thinks you should pay for private events with his biggest donors. For years, McCaul has spoken at a private event at the exclusive, members’ only Headliner’s Club, attended by his top donors. Last year, while collecting big checks, America’s richest Congressman stuck taxpayers with the bill – charging hundreds of dollars for the event to his taxpayer-funded federal account. This year McCaul is back at it again. Today, while Congress is on vacation, and instead of making time to meet with the taxpayers who pay his salary, he’ll be schmoozing with his donors at another exclusive event at the Headliners Club.