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Section A: General News


Editorial: Old politics in new bottles, but more radical




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George Rodriguez
October 24, 2012 | 1,496 views | 5 comments

The Eagle Ford shale oil field is creating an economic boom for South Texas, but it is also causing some political concerns.

The history of South Texas, particularly Duval County, is one of families who controlled local government with their political and economic power. The Parr family in the 1900s, first Archie and then his son George, controlled politics by controlling public works contracts and access to government policy-making positions. They could get you elected, like when they elected Lyndon Johnson to the U.S. Senate in 1948 with a stuffed ballot box, or defeat you like when they defeated Congressman Richard Kleberg in 1945 because he crossed Parr.

However, the Parrs did not act alone. They had allies. Olivero P. “O.P.” Carrillo was a Parr ally who served as judge of the 229th District Court (Duval, Jim Hogg, and Starr counties) before he was impeached by the Texas Senate and removed from office in 1976 for abuse of power and misuse of county funds. The charges alleged Carrillo and his brothers used a phony business to illegally sell items to Duval County and used phony invoices from the store to obtain illegal payments from county and state funds.

The Chicano movement in the 1970s brought political change to South Texas. In 1957, there was one Mexican American serving in the Texas Legislature, but in 2001 there were 41. The vast majority of local elected officials in South Texas are Mexican Americans. Old political machines ended but new ones were created. While old political bosses were voted out, wealthy families that supported them remained. New political bosses replaced the old ones.

The Chicano movement rattled the establishment in the 1970s, but today it is the conservative grass-roots movement led by the Tea Party. A good example of this clash is the Ryan Guillen-Ann Matthews race. Guillen considers himself a “conservative” Democrat, while Matthews is backed by grass-roots conservatives, including the Tea Party. However, there is a big difference between the conservative Democrats of old and today’s radical liberals.

Conservative Democrats like Lyndon Johnson praised God and embraced patriotism. They opposed America’s enemies, rather than apologize to them. The biggest danger to Eagle Ford shale is Obama’s energy policy, which seeks to protect bugs and reptiles, instead of creating jobs and wealth in America. In 2009, Guillen received a 92 percent rating from the Sierra Club, and in 2011 he received a 73 percent rating. When Guillen’s voting tendencies are combined with the old-style family boss politics, the energy business in South Texas could be in trouble. Guillen must support his Party’s environmental platform and philosophy if he wants to move up to greater positions.

Guillen flirted with joining the Republican Party in 2009, but would that make him a conservative? Will

Guillen fight against eminent domain and for private property rights? Will he fight the over-regulation of the energy industry? Is he supported by old family bosses who want to gain more economic and political control? Voters in South Texas should ask and research these questions.

George Rodriguez is president of the South Texas Political Alliance.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
October 25, 2012 4:54pm
 
I thought that was taken care of last year and became effective the 1st of Sept in 2011.

 
Publius Valerius Publicola  
Rome, Tx.  
October 25, 2012 4:15pm
 
Eminent domain as originally intended might be interpreted as an infringement on individual property rights. You correctly point out that without eminent domain the pipeline would not be built. Neither would other infrastructure ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
October 25, 2012 9:37am
 
I know that if you do away with eminent domain, the pipelines will not be built. A recent example was a rice farmer who turned down a $400,000.00 offer and tried to extract more money but ended up with a $20,000.00 payment ... More ›

 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
October 24, 2012 10:33am
 
Your question tells me you understand neither.

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
October 24, 2012 5:49am
 
Is the fight against eminent domain and for private property rights compatible with the full support of expanding our nation's energy resources ? Just wondering.

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