Sunday, August 07, 2005

Shootout at the Fantasy Factory ...

Most people fantasize about money and sex, but not the Houston Chronicle's chief political hatchet man, Rick Casey.

Check him out as he
concocts a malicious, libelous fantasy about one of our local Conservative Republican state reps.

In the article, Casey performs his trademark specialty at the Chron: twisting and distorting the facts to make them show just the opposite of what they really show.

Only, this time Casey's distortions are so far out, he has to couch it all in terms of a "fantasy"
to avoid being sued for libel.

Casey's distortions are intended to make people suspect or believe the Republican state rep he is out to smear via fantasy was trying to "extort" --- Casey's word, interjected into the entire affair solely by Rick Casey in his "fantasy" story --- a political contribution from a special interest PAC.

But in reality it was the state rep who, concerned by language contained in a hand-written note from the PAC, subsequently turned the letters over to the DA.

Check out these excerpts from the first Chron story on the matter:

[Texas State Rep Corbin] Van Arsdale, R-Tomball, had requested a
campaign contribution from TX Friends of Time Warner Cable PAC in a July 19 letter. That was three days after Van Arsdale had voted for Senate Bill 21, a telecommunications bill opposed by the cable television

Time Warner Regional President Ron McMillen's hand-written reply said:
"Because of your vote in support of SB21 during the special session, our PAC committee cannot support you at this time."

SB21 died in the last special session, but an identical bill is pending
before the House in the current special session.

Van Arsdale said the phrase "at this time" in McMillen's note made it sound like he might receive a contribution if he voted against the second bill.

"I don't want to attach incorrect intentions to this language, but the words struck me as Time Warner PAC hinging their campaign contributions to a particular official vote on a particular bill," Van Arsdale said in a letter to McMillan.

Van Arsdale sent copies of his letter to prosecutors in Travis and Harris counties, but he said he did not want to launch an official investigation. Officials in those two offices could not be reached for comment.

More: Follow a debate ( Here, Here ) over Casey and the Chron's disreputable "journalism", involving yours truly in the audience comments section at Charles Kuffner's OfftheKuff, an excellent, nationally- popular Houston blog with a special emphasis on democratic campaign strategy in Texas.

Some of the dems at OfftheKuff wanted to buy into Casey's distortions, others seemed a little bored with it but wanted to blame the state rep for applying for a donation, and so forth.

But of course the real issue here is not a flap between a local state leg and TWC's PAC.

The real issue is the decrepit state into which the Chron's political and public affairs news coverage has deteriorated, and whether the time has come for we Chron subscribers to organize and take major public action to force the Chron's parent company to repair Houston's last big metro journal.

Stay Tuned ...


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