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Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - September 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company


Ogden calls for balanced budget

Trinity Standard -

TRINITY – Calling for a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced federal budget, State Senator Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) told a Trinity crowd Saturday it was time the U.S. government gets its financial house in order. During a Republican Party Rally held in Trinity, state representative candidate James White, county judge candidate Frank Cowan, Precinct 2 commissioner candidate Rich Chamberlin and Pct. 4 justice of the peace candidate Kenneth Holland joined Ogden to meet local voters. In his address to the group, Ogden said he plans to introduce a resolution during the coming legislative session calling for a constitutional convention. “If Texas does this, and I think it will, and we can get two-thirds of the other states to join in, we can call a convention and draft an amendment requiring the federal government to balance its budget,” Ogden said. Once such an amendment is presented to the states, three quarters of the state legislatures would have to ratify it before it was formally added to the constitution. “This is something that we’ve had to do in Texas and it’s worked out well. Under our constitution, the state must balance its budget and it must get permission from the people before it can borrow money,” Ogden said. “This has made Texas stronger,” he asserted. He noted that during the past year, the federal government’s deficit climbed by $1.4 trillion because the leaders in Washington have no such control on their spending. “I don’t know if anyone has a firm grasp of how large a number one trillion is,” Ogden said. “To give you an example, if you had been able to spend $1 million a day, every day since Christ was born, you still wouldn’t have spent $1 trillion.” Ogden said the federal deficit now stands close to $10 trillion and something must be done to get control over the situation. The senator also addressed the recent move to create the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) – a wide, multi-lane highway system that would include a area for rail lines and utilities. After massive public opposition to the plan arose throughout East Texas, the Texas Department of Transportation announced it was dropping the TTC plan. Ogden said that throughout history, the biggest battles fought by Texans did not involve politics or ideology. He said the biggest fights came over land. “The Trans-Texas Corridor will never come back in the way it was first proposed because it is an assault on land and the people of Texas won’t stand for it,” he said. Ogden, who has held the District 5 state senate seat since 1997, is being challenged in the Nov. 2 general election by Democratic Party nominee Stephen M. Wyman of Georgetown. During his talk Saturday with Trinity County Republicans, he noted that his campaign finances were in very good shape and as such, he wanted to contribute $1,000 to help the local party. He presented a check for that amount to Trinity County Republican Chairman Sid Wilson. James White White, who is seeking the District 12 state representative’s seat now held by Jim McReynolds, said he entered the race because he felt McReynolds was out of step with the area on issues ranging from taxes to property rights. The Woodville teacher/rancher said while McReynolds is a nice man, that is not enough. “I’d like to think that I’m a nice guy, too. But as a government teacher, I have a little insight about how things should work. “For instance, you can’t vote for the TTC and then step aside and say you want to support the property rights of people in Trinity County,” he said. White also charged that McReynolds’ record on immigration was not something the people of East Texas would support. “Immigration is an important issue in Texas. We are a nation of immigrants and I think it should continue, but it should be done right. Those coming into our country should follow our laws, assimilate and learn the language – English,” he said. He charged that McReynolds voted in favor of allowing immigrants to use their foreign identification documents when voting and voted against requiring a photo ID when voting. “He has also voted to give public benefits to those who violated our laws and came here illegally. “Being an American is more than just coming here to find a job,” he said. Frank Cowan Cowan, who is seeking the post of Trinity County judge in the Nov. 2 election, noted the county currently is in the process of increasing its property tax revenue by 17 percent. “I was the only candidate to opposed the tax increase (during a Sept. 10 public hearing),” he said. He told the audience that because of the current economy – which he said probably would not improve for “the next couple of years” – now is not the time for the county to increase taxes. “I fear that as our government continues to reach into the pockets of its citizens, they’ll find only loose change and lint,” he said. He is seeking the post now held by Mark Evans, who did not seek re-election this year. His Democratic Party opponent on Nov. 2 will be Doug Page. Cowan, a retired airline pilot, said he has a four-year plan for the county judge’s office and said he would work to “restore liberty, safety and pride to our county.” He noted that while there were only three Republicans seeking election to local offices this year, none of the three were part of the “good ol’ boy” network and all would work to “take the county to new heights.” Rich Chamberlin Candidate of the Precinct 2 commissioner’s post, Chamberlin told those present for the rally that one of his key objectives would be to support improved law enforcement throughout the county. Chamberlin is seeking the post now held by Jannette Hortman, who was defeated in the Democratic Primary. Former Commissioner Bill Burton is the Democratic Party’s nominee for the office. He noted that he was motivated to run for the office after serving on a Trinity County grand jury last year and seeing first hand the growing problem of illegal drugs. “I got to see all the hard work of our law enforcement officers and saw how almost every case is somehow linked to drugs,” he said. He also said that if elected, he would strive to work with the other commissioners on the issues facing the county, noting that it is teamwork that gets the most accomplished. “We don’t need to be suing each other when there is a problem,” he said. “We need to work together to get the job done.”

 

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