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Culberson’s Univesity Line attack makes it through the House

Great.

It's all on KBH now

Advocates of federally subsidized expansion of the Houston Metro light rail system lost a crucial round to Houston Congressman John Culberson on Friday, leaving dwindling opportunities to overturn spending restrictions on the Richmond Avenue project.

The House adopted a $51.6 billion spending measure on a 261-163 vote that included Culberson’s ban on federal spending for any Metro expansion along Richmond Avenue and Post Oak Boulevard. The measure also requires an in-depth audit of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County by the inspector general of the Department of Transportation.

In a boost for Metro, the spending package included $200 million in 2013 to support continued work on the lines in the North Corridor and Southeast Corridor.

[...]

The House vote left Metro supporters holding their fire and looking to deliberations by a House-Senate conference committee later this year to make the final decision on a ban included in the House bill but not included in the Senate version.

“We will await the outcome of the normal process in the House and Senate,” said Metro Chairman Gilbert Garcia. “We remain hopeful that Congress will respect the wishes of local voters on local issues, as is normally the case.”

Robin Holzer, of the pro-Metro Citizens Transportation Coalition, said voters and civic organizations have voiced strong support for light rail construction along both Richmond Avenue and Post Oak Boulevard.

“Culberson is pandering to a handful of his supporters at the long-term expense of this district,” Holzer said. “Marketing himself as “Letting Texans run Texas,” while pushing his personal anti-rail agenda in Washington is ironic.”

Retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, will be squarely in the middle of any House-Senate negotiations on Culberson’s spending restriction.

Point of clarification here, the CTC is pro-transit, not pro-Metro. If you don’t get the distinction, go look up some of the things Metro was doing when Frank Wilson was CEO. Despite Culberson loading up KBH’s office with his baloney about Metro and rail expansion, I think there’s a decent chance that KBH will do the right thing. But now would be a very good time to contact her office and let her know that she needs to step up and support transit in Houston. Call 713 653 3456 or 202 224 5922, send email from here, write on her Facebook wall, or send her a tweet. Be nice, be respectful, and be clear.

Long term, the only solution is to elect a new member of Congress. To that end, it would be nice if the two Democratic contenders for the nomination in CD07 could take a few minutes out of their busy schedule of sniping at each other and maybe put out a press release on this or something. It would also be nice if the business interests in Greenway Plaza that support the University Line would say something about this. Barring a significant change in the Congressional map resulting from the DC Court’s long-awaited ruling on redistricting, the best chance of getting an upgrade in CD07 is going to be in the Republican primary. That’s not going to happen as long as these folks refuse to rock the boat. Until we all get on the same page here, Culberson will continue his crusade to nullify the 2003 referendum and ensure Houston is unable to move forward as a competitive 21st century city.

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9 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    So much for states rights and federal overreach, eh?

  2. Bethany says:

    Oh, Kuff…. you said:

    “Long term, the only solution is to elect a new member of Congress. To that end, it would be nice if the two Democratic contenders for the nomination in CD07 could take a few minutes out of their busy schedule [sic] of sniping at each other and maybe put out a press release on this or something.”

    It’s a shame you don’t check into your facts before “reporting”, as we have posted “something” about this on Facebook, back on June 21st as seen here:

    http://www.facebook.com/Cargas7/posts/194775610649022

    Not to mention any press releases that I already alerted other people on Sunday were in the works.

    But, perhaps the bloggers want to keep the “sniping” going, as it increases their page views. Yours included.

  3. Seriously, Bethany?

    I admit, I should have checked the Facebook page. My bad for that. But what I did check was the News page on the Cargas for Congress website (http://www.jamescargas.com/news), which as you can see, has nada on this. It does, however, have an attack on Lissa Squiers. You tell me which is “news”.

    (For the record, I’m not a supporter of Squiers, or of Cargas. I don’t live in CD07.)

    I specifically mentioned a press release. I know I never got one, and I haven’t seen one forwarded by Carl Whitmarsh. You guys know how to find me. How hard would this have been?

    But thanks for proving my point about the campaign’s preference for sniping over substance. If you had simply contacted me with this information, I’d have been happy to make a correction, and credit the Cargas campaign for being on the spot. Now I don’t really care any more. Well done.

  4. Bethany says:

    Seriously?

    If you had contacted the Cargas campaign on this issue, prior to posting an inflammatory statement on your blog, we would have been more than happy to issue you a statement on this issue, an issue we have discussed in the campaign for several weeks now.

    Instead, you took the cheap way out and accused us of focusing on our opponent, an opponent of whom has attacked not only Cargas, but his wife, members of his staff, and nationally recognized political figures from the Houston area who have endorsed him.

    We have maybe one press release on Squiers, actually answering her attack on us. Are we supposed to not respond to someone questioning our candidate’s Democratic credibility during the Democratic PRIMARY? The last THREE items on the “News” section are all about issues, are they not? The DREAM Act, the SCOTUS Arizona Decision, and the SCOTUS ACA decision.

    You just accused us of not having enough substance on our web site or topics, after you started the sniping. It would have taken you all of thirty seconds to compose a polite email, and ask, “I don’t see a response to this issue, do you have a statement on it?” Instead, you commented on the superfluous and dragged it back into the debate. Why? I have to wonder what your gain is.

  5. Whatever you say, Bethany.

  6. Noel Freeman says:

    It’s not a blogger’s job to go out of his way to drag a candidate’s message out of him or her. It is the candidate’s job to get their message out on their own. The strategy of making the media come to you is a losing strategy.

  7. Burton Bagby-Grose says:

    Sad to see John Culberson continuing Tom DeLay’s legacy of opposing the vote of Houston area voters supporting a comprehensive rail project.
    Mr. Culberson has a sad record of opposing local interests while maintaining a hardline extremist voting record.

  8. BK says:

    Who pays you, Kuffner? WHO PAYS YOU? I know you don’t do all this voluntarily or go out of your way to personally interview candidates to reach an informed perspective! That would be . . . oh wait . . .

  9. [...] we live with. Rep. John Culberson is a staunch opponent of the University Line, and has done everything he can to block its construction. While I appreciate Secretary LaHood’s honest assessment, the best [...]

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