Prior to 1964, disproportionate representation on Capitol Hill was an ad rem concern. For example, in the New Hampshire General Court one township with a population of three had a representative in the lower house. Another district with a population of 3,244 had the same representation rendering the vote of a resident of the former 1,081 times more powerful. This is only one of many examples. Many of these disparities were in urban areas, so as a result, these communities were grossly underrepresented.
In 1964, basing their decision on the ideal “one person, one vote”, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Reynolds vs. Sims that the state legislature districts had to be approximately equal in population. Chief Justice Earl Warren stated “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.”
In a perfect system, the voterselect legislators, not economic interests. But in today’s broken political apparatus the unfortunate permeating reality is he who has the gold makes the rules or in this case the laws.
Let’s take a look at some of those Texas legislation and their impact:
- Senate Bill 21 relating to furthering competition in the communications industry passed July 17, 2005.
- House Bill 168 extending the hours of sale for alcohol passed April 21, 2005.
- House Bill 3732 passed May 28, 2007 and was created to provide financial incentives for coal plants by allowing limitations on the appraised value of the property used for such purposes. Thus enhancing pollution control property tax exemptions, and exempting ultra clean energy sales from gross receipts taxation.
- House Bill 2683 diverts funds from TANF to promote marriage programs and other family strengthening programs passed April 12, 2007.
- HCR 183 is a bill urging Congress to reject provisions of President Barack Obama’s budget that would eliminate certain deductions currently available to the oil and natural gas exploration industry, passed May 30, 2009.
- HCR 60 is a bill urging Congress to propose and submit to the states for ratification the Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed May 18, 2011.
In all of the aforementioned bills, Rep. Marc Veasey cast a vote which benefited not those whom he promised to advocate for, but rather those who contributed to his campaign account.
- Time Warner
- Beer Alliance of Texas
- BG Distribution Partners
- Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas
- Chesapeake Energy
- Texas Pipeline Association – just to name a few.
In the dirty business of politics, it is understood candidates receive monetary campaign contributions from corporations, however, in a true democracy we do not expect those contributions to be cloaked bribes. We are not accusing Rep. Veasey of being “on the take”, but as the old saying goes where there is smoke, there is fire. Furthermore, his voting record over the past six years in no way indicates he has ever been about the business of promoting the interests of his constituents.
Our goal is neither to persuade, nor dissuade you, but rather to present the facts so that you may make an informed decision. Do not take our word, nor the word of a preacher or anyone else who is giving Marc Veasey a blanket endorsement in the runoff election on July 31 for Democratic nomination for Congressional District 33. Voters are invited to investigate his record for yourself and determine whether if sent to Washington, will he advocate for his constituents or his financial donors.
There was a reason why Chief Justice Warren and the other Supreme Court justices voted to equalize the legislative representation in Washington. The people sent to Washington are there to represent “we the people”, not the economic interests of corporate America. How can Tammy the school teacher or John the carpenter compete with a multi-million or billion dollar enterprise? It is the quintessential case of David versus Goliath. We all know how that story ended. Yes, sometimes even big bullies can be defeated one stone at a time; in this case one person, one vote.
Pick up your stone, cast your vote.