Thursday, June 23, 2005

Turner on a Tightrope, 6/24/2005 - The Texas Observer

Turner on a Tightrope, 6/24/2005 - The Texas Observer: "Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) performs one of the trickiest political balancing acts in Texas politics. He is Speaker Pro Tempore, ostensibly the second most powerful position in the Texas House. Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland)—the first Republican speaker in 130 years—appointed Turner to his leadership spot in 2003, at the beginning of the 78th Legislative session. But Turner is not a Republican. He is an African-American Democrat who represents a district where 19.6 percent of the population is living in poverty (as compared to 15.5 percent for Texas as a whole), according to the 2000 U.S. Census. None of Craddick’s leadership team fully embraces Turner’s concerns for more funding for public education and healthcare, consumer rights, human services, and juvenile justice. In fact, the direction of the House since Turner received the position of Speaker Pro Tem has taken a hard right that runs counter to the interests of his inner city Houston district. "


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