Troubling Contradictions from Gunner DeLay
There are eight Republican candidates for Congress in the 3rd Congressional district. All but a couple of them are trying to tap into the popular discontent that is so prevalent (and justified) these days. Former Sebastian County Prosecutor Gunner DeLay has actually launched a website calling for civil disobedience to over-reaching government action. “This Web site was established to give people the opportunity to join a historic movement across our country in protest of the socialist agenda that’s being pursued in Washington, including government takeover of health care,” DeLay says on the video.
Long time readers of this blog will know that I supported DeLay in his run for Attorney General against Dustin McDaniel. I still believe he would have made a better AG. But his entry into the Congressional race against so many good folks all claiming the mantle of conservatism has prompted me to examine his actual record. I and others are not too happy with the result. This story from the Ft. Smith paper talks about DeLay'a "pro-union" record. I don't have as much problem as some conservatives with a "pro-union" record, but I find DeLay's record is more pro-trial lawyer than pro-union.
Rather than go over each of the five bills in detail and explain why they are more pro-lawyer than pro-union let me just quote a telling synopsis from the article..."The bulk of DeLay’s potential problem with this issue revolves around at least five bills he filed or supported that were deemed pro-union by the business community, and were outside the agreement made between the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas AFL-CIO prior to the 83rd General Assembly in 2001."
In other words the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO were already on their way to an agreement and those bills were "outside the agreement" the two sides had come to before hand. The bills DeLay was pushing mostly concerned the workers compensation laws- and some had the potential to allow trial lawyers bigger payoffs. DeLay has spent much of his life as a paid officer of government. His lack of time in the private sector has concerned some conservatives. But the time he has not spent running for and occupying a public office has been spent as a trial lawyer. I find it highly disturbing that he attempted to use his platform while in public life to make his private life as a trial lawyer more lucrative.
It pains me to write these things. They don't take away from the good he did in, for example, opposing all tax increases. It does not mean that he is a crook. But it does make a reasonable conservative person wonder if DeLay is the right choice to send to a DC environment that already has many temptations for self-enrichment at the cost of doing the will of We the People.
But all that is just the overview. Everything above this point only sets the stage for what I write below. Gunner DeLay has waved the red flag and said that it is time for civil disobedience on health care, and offers his leadership on that disobedience. That begs two questions. One is whether or not the time has come for civil disobedience. I will leave that question for another time. The second question is, if it is time for civil disobedience, is DeLay the right man to lead it?
The answer can be found in another bill which DeLay sponsored during his time in the Senate, SB491 of 2001. The bill is short and I encourage everyone interested in this election to read it. The bill would have would have provided heavy fines or liquidation damage awards against employers that fail to comply with any statute or regulation pertaining to the health or safety of employees. It would have specifically have changed the state law so that not only violations of STATE statutes would be subject to a $10,000 fine per violation, but it would add violation of FEDERAL statutes to the hit list for state enforcement. It would have turned state government into an enforcement arm for federal health and safety statutes.
To me it is unconscionable that a man who sponsors a bill like that now attempts to step in front of the parade and promote himself as the champion of civil disobedience toward health care. He was the champion for PUNISHING disobedience to federal health regulations when it had the potential to profit him. How does he now claim the mantle of the champion of civil disobedience? And if you will read the bill, you will see that is not its only problem. It is so lawsuit-promoting that it makes my blood pressure go up just reading it.
We need a leader, not a poser. I am tired of getting let down by one politician after another. If their record does not withstand scrutiny, then it is better to vote for someone who has no record. Shame on us if we vote for someone based on what they SAY when a look at what they have DONE shows the opposite. I was voting for Kurt Maddox anyway, and have even done some very part-time consulting work for him, but even were I not, I'd have to scratch DeLay off the list.