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October 12, 2004

Bad Baxter

By Karl-Thomas Musselman

If you happen to be able to watch the local Austin news channels tonight do so. There may some reports running about Todd Baxter and a very interesting protest of sorts that is being done by University Democrats members... a copy of the following letter will also have been released to the press...

Dear Representative Baxter,

As this year’s election approaches, young people across the country are becoming politically involved in record numbers. In Travis County alone during the last week of voter registration 12571 people registered to vote. Of those voters, 47% are under 25 years of age. Even more impressive, over 7,000 of those have been registered on campus at the University of Texas at Austin— 3,000 in just one day.

With so many young people engaged in politics, races like yours are gaining more attention - especially given that many of these students live in House District 48. Recently, the Travis County District Attorney deemed the corporate campaign donations given to TRMPAC in 2002 illegal, and because your campaign directly benefited from this illegal money, several disappointed, disillusioned, and upset students have expressed concern and feel you should be held accountable.

I write to you on behalf of these students and your constituents, “How will you make this right?”

As a public servant, you’ve taken the awesome responsibility to serve the people of your district and set an example for the citizens of this state. Leaders sometimes make mistakes, but great leaders resolve them.

I understand that you have been called to donate the $35,000 to a non-profit organization, such as the local children’s hospital. Not only will this allow you to give back to your community, this donation will also begin to atone for the 147,000 Texas children who lost eligibility for the Children’s Health Insurance Program as a result of your vote in 2002.

Please also consider donating the $35,000 to a college scholarship fund to assist Texans who, due to your vote to deregulate tuition, find it harder to afford the rising tuition at Texas’ fine college’s and universities.

For several years, we experienced the results of apathy in America’s youth and have seen the downward trend in civic participation; however, this trend is sure to change this year.
We will be a voice to be reckoned with this campaign season. We will be a decisive factor in this election, and we will not stand quiet while politicians make shortsighted decisions, with long-term consequences of which will affect our lives the most.

Please reassure us hope that the health of Texas children will be cared for and make certain that these children will have the means to pay for college. Furthermore, please restore our confidence that our officials will work for us and not for their next election and not for the special interest with the biggest checkbook.

Whatever you choose, the more than 300 active members of our organization eagerly await your decision.

Respectfully submitted,

Marcus S. Ceniceros
President, University Democrats
University of Texas at Austin

Beth Olson
Vice President

Alison Puente

Yashoda Sampath
Volunteer Coordinator

Karl-Thomas Musselman
Membership Chair

Emily Cadik
Public Relations Director

Larkin Campbell

Sukanya Misra

David Strauss

Posted by Karl-Thomas Musselman at October 12, 2004 02:02 PM | TrackBack


I missed the memo that stated that the Travis County District Attorney decided that what contributions were legal and what contributions weren't.

Last time I checked, that was a decision for a judge and jury to make. I would hope that such a notable organization such as the UT Democrats would be able to make the distinction, so as not to give the impression that they were assuming that everyone that even touched the money was automatically guilty until proven innocent.

Posted by: Drew at October 12, 2004 03:58 PM
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