Texas Open Election System Texas Essay

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This provision allowed voter registrars reject the applications where voters did not check the box or checked it mistakenly. 40,000 out of 70,000 rejected applications were results of Bohac's HB1268 provision.

The corruption certainly goes beyond these problems. According to a report by Texas Observer, numerous Texas officials elected to public positions use campaign money in violation of campaign regulations and advocate the interests of various interest groups in exchange for monetary and other material support. For instance, Troy Fraser has served in Texas Senate for fourteen years and has won two elections unopposed. His worst showing of the last decade was in 2008 which he won with 85% of the vote. He has amassed a whopping $1.3 million in campaign funds and of that 97% came out of special interest contributions. The Observer writes:

You might wonder what Fraser, with no competitive election in sight, is doing with all this campaign money.

He's living off it. Fraser, like all Texas legislators, is allowed to use campaign money to augment his lifestyle: to rent a condo, take his family on opulent trips and stay in exclusive hotels and resorts. Since he was elected in 2008, Fraser has spent more than $388,000 in campaign funds, most of it unrelated to any election. Fraser tapped campaign money to help pay for a trip with his wife to Park City, Utah, during ski season. He and his wife also used the money to travel to Hawaii, San Francisco and Monterey, Calif., England, Spain, Russia, Germany, Puerto Rico, Panama and Costa Rica, where they stayed at a $400-a-night resort nestled among some waterfalls. Under Texas law, he could legally use campaign money to pay for these trips as long as they could be somehow connected to state business (Mann & Rapoport).
It is clear that Fraser is using interest group money for his own benefit, rather than that of the state of Texas, in exchange for supporting his contributors' interests in legislature. The report also notes that some other elected officials use campaign money to pay for their cell phone bills, dry cleaning (in violation of the law) and that Gov. Rick Perry was accorded to free flights in private jet belonging to Toby Neugebauer, and oil and gas investor, whose interests Gov. Perry supports. These are serious problems and they violate the principles the United States was built on as well as the provisions of the Constitution. It is important that Texans take matters into their hands by holding these officials accountable. One way of doing this is to stop voting for elected officials who only represent the interests of lobby groups but not those of ordinary Texans. Citizens should be aware of the fact that well-financed campaigners have better means of airing their voices. But having access to these means does not mean that they are good for Texans. Voters should be aware of the fact that campaigners can lie. Voters should also use their right to free speech to publicly criticize corrupt officials in press, conferences, and meetings. In this way, there is a hope that corruption may be more or less contained and the democratic principles upheld. Works Cited Dye, Thomas, et al. Politics in America: Texas Edition (5th edition). New York: Prentice Hall, 2002. Mann, Dave and Abby Rapoport. "Lifestyles of the Corrupt and Elected.' Texas Observer, 16 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011. "Public Corruption Investigation Urged in Texas." Campaign Legal Center Blog. 21 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2011 "Texas Voters Tiring of Corruption, Cronyism." Estate.....

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