Whack-a-Pol Update

Election 2004

Take Back Texas would like to see the defeat of all Republican state representatives in contested races, but the Democratic group's favorite target is none other than Jack Stick. They've even dedicated a new Web site to the District 50 incumbent (www.jackslick.com), which examines, among other things, Stick's insurance-friendly voting record. Stick didn't help himself any when he solicited re-election assistance from insurance industry representatives during a meeting last month. Afterward, Stick pledged to return contributions from any industry reps who attended the meeting. So Take Back Texas has called on Stick to "Give It Back, Jack," referring to his Oct. 4 campaign report showing that nearly $10,000 came from representatives of three different insurance PACs. Take Back Texas says the contributors attended the insurance meeting where Stick made his now-famous pitch.

For its part, the GOP – specifically, Travis Co. Republican Party Chair Alan Sager – has blasted Stick's opponent Mark Strama for not disclosing his business ties to a lobbyist on his personal financial statement. The lobbyist is Strama's brother, Keith Strama, and Sager charged that the business is a family trust. "Does he want us to believe he forgot he had a brother that was a lobbyist?" Sager said. He called the nondisclosure "the ultimate in political hypocrisy."

Meanwhile, in the equally lively District 48 race, former board members and SafePlace supporters have rushed to the defense of the center's former director Kelly White, whose name and record were besmirched in an attack ad that her opponent, state Rep. Todd Baxter, mailed to thousands of households over the weekend. In the mailer, a former SafePlace board member, Michael Cox, criticizes White's business skills. Cox, it turns out, resigned from his seat in 2001 at the request of other board members, many of whom attended a press conference Tuesday to defend White's record, pointing out that the center's family shelter bears her name in her honor. They also released a letter containing the names of dozens of supportive community leaders with ties to SafePlace. One prominent name was ex-mayor, ex-board member, and ex-Baxter supporter Bruce Todd. For more on these two races, see p.34.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Election 2004, Jack Stick, Take Back Texas, Mark Strama, Kelly White, Todd Baxter, Alan Sager, SafePlace

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