Another Friday, another LinkSwarm:
Posts Tagged ‘Lamar Smith’
In addition to both Texas Senators (John Cornyn, who should have known better, and the retiring Kay Baily Hutchison, who came in like a lion and is going out like a RINO; thank God Ted Cruz is replacing her), four Republican Texas congressmen voted for the “Fiscal Cliff” tax hike deal:
All should have known better than to vote for a bill that contained $41 dollars in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts, but the name Lamar Smith certainly sticks out thanks to such previous hits as “Hi, I’m a SOPA/PIPA Recording Industry Whore.” It’s no surprise, given the bill includes big tax breaks for Hollywood. I guess Smith is one of those politicians that stays bought.
All should expect primary challenges.
I’m happy to say that my own Representative, John Carter, voted against the bill.
I haven’t had time to read the entire bill yet, so I can’t tell you whether it’s merely bad or actively horrific…
The latest Democratic Party filing information shows Daniel Boone no longer running for U.S. Senator, but rather running in the U.S. 21st Congressional District against the SOPA-loving incumbent Republican Lamar Smith. I’m not sure this is a good move for Boone, since I think he was at least as likely as Paul Sadler to win the nomination. Republican Charles Holcomb has also dropped out.
Conversely, a Grady Yarbrough now appears on the list of Democratic candidates.
He appears to be a personal counselor [update: apparently not the same Grady Yarbrough; see comments] and his named is spelled differently than the late Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough, who helped transform the Texas Democratic Party from a majority conservative party to a minority liberal one.
I’ll update the candidate page tomorrow.
The website for former sheriff Richard Mack, the man who is challenging SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith in the Republican primary for the Texas 21st congressional district, is back up.
His issues page shows there’s much to like about Sheriff Mack. He’s for restraining spending, controlling the border, and against ObamaCare. Not only does he support the Second Amendment, he was a leading opponent of the Brady Bill, was the very first Sheriff (and very possibly the first person) to file suit to get it overturned, and was the second named plaintiff in Printz Vs. U.S., which overturned key provisions. In addition to SOPA, he also opposes the indefinite incarceration of citizens provision of the NDAA.
He also seems to be active in Tea Party circles, and was named one of the Top Ten Conservative Challengers (along with Ted Cruz) by the Conservative Texans Political Action Conference.
As for his opponent, Lamar Smith has long been considered a fairly conservative Republican with some justification, including a lifetime ACU rating of over 92%. But there’s a case to be made that Lamar Smith has not exactly been a tower of conservative virtue in recent years, even apart from his key role in sponsoring SOPA. For one thing, he voted for TARP. For another, he voted to increase the minimum wage. Smith is an example of someone who has simply been in government too long; he was first elected in 1986, and a quarter-century in the House simply too long to expect someone to oppose Leviathan rather than serving it. PACs love, love, love Lamar Smith, to the tune of $467,941 in PAC contributions this election cycle alone (including, ironically enough, SOPA opponents such as Google). (I cannot confirm reports that Rep. Smith spends more time at his house on Cape Cod, which he has owned since 1992, than he does in Texas.) Rep. Smith does not seem to have learned to his lesson about SOPA, as he’s still parroting the recording industry line, and is still working to pass the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (HR 1981), which, while not as bad as SOPA, would still impose fairly onerous Internet data retention and tracking provisions for all American Internet providers.
Need a final reason to oppose Smith? He’s actually been endorsed by the Austin-American Statesman, in the same editorial they endorsed Lloyd Doggett, which should be the kiss of death for a Republican.
Rep. Smith’s problem is that of a boarding school boy being paddled for stealing cookies. It’s not that he was the first one to have his hand in the cookie jar (lots of Republicans have supported bad Internet bills in the past), nor will he be the last, but he’s the one with the misfortune to have his hand in the cookie jar at precisely the wrong time, when the headmaster (i.e., voters) were actually paying attention. He has to be punished as an example to the others.
Just as the tree of liberty must occasionally be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots, so too must the careers of 13-term incumbents be offered up in periodic sacrifice…
Mr. Mack seems to be a Ron Paul enthusiast, which is not my favorite flavor of conservatism, but even knowing nothing else about him, I would still regard him as a significant improvement over Lamar Smith at this point. His bio suggests he supports the Second Amendment, legalization of drugs, and the Tea Party, all of which I approve of. He has a personal website, and I sent him a query asking about his campaign. I’ll let you know more about when I hear back. As Matt Drudge is wont to say: Developing…
I’m sure that if you do any web-browsing at all, you’ve noticed all the Stop SOPA Blackouts (or, in the case of Fark, a white out) in opposition to the ill-conceived, MPAA-backed SOPA IP “protection” bill that would open up roughly, oh 99% of the web or so to frivolous lawsuits and censorship in the name of copyright protection. I haven’t been blogging about it because: A.) I have other fish to fry, B.) Lots of other bloggers are carrying the load there, and C.) I have a innate aversion to jumping on big internet bandwagons that everyone seems to agree with.
But now that Texas Senate Candidate Ted Cruz has climbed aboard the Stop SOPA bandwagon, I have an excuse to do so. This is another example of how quickly the Cruz campaign acts on current events, and seems to get a jump on its rivals when it comes to hot-button issues, as it did on Fast and Furious, and a quick look showed nothing about SOPA up on the David Dewhurst, Tom Leppert or Craig James websites.
SOPA is a bad bill, and while not nearly as big a concern as out-of-control spending by the federal government, it deserves to be killed.
I note that one of the bill’s main backers, Republican Lamar Smith of San Antonio, has not yet drawn any primary opposition for House District 21. Perhaps some San Antonio conservative might rectify that when the extended campaign filing period opens up after the redistricting case is settled…