Mike Jackson is the Republican incumbent in the district that was ravaged by Hurricane Ike. Not the most dynamic of senators, Jackson was AWOL at an important meeting in Galveston at which University of Texas officials revealed plans that would effectively decimate the storm-damaged University of Texas Medical Branch and hospital complex, Galveston’s biggest employer. Jackson is positioned to win this race. It’s a Republican district; he enters the last thirty days with $1.2 million in his campaign war chest to Jaworski’s $101,000; and many of the voters in the district, which includes most of Galveston County, a portion of Brazoria, and the Ship Channel towns in Harris County, are unable to return to their homes. Being from Galveston, and having spent time on the Island after the hurricane working on a story for the December issue of Texas Monthly — you can’t imagine how bad things are there — I can’t understand why the district’s senator wouldn’t show up. I once worked for the senator who represented this district (Babe Schwartz). You couldn’t have kept him away. Here’s Jaworski’s press release: Yesterday [Wednesday, October 8] we took our campaign for independent leadership and a new direction to a network televised debate, but Mike “Missing in Action” Jackson didn’t bother to show up — again. On Tuesday, Jackson skipped a crucial town-hall meeting with UTMB [University of Texas Medical Branch] officials and over two thousand anxious UTMB employees concerning mass layoffs at the Galveston campus medical branch. As many as 4,000 people may lose their jobs, and Mike Jackson didn’t even show up to represent his constituents, just like he didn’t show up to debate me yesterday. But it’s even worse when he does show up. Last year, Jackson singlehandedly filibustered windstorm insurance reform that would have added money to the Texas Windstorm Insurance Fund. The fund is now so low on money that it likely will not be able to cover claims from Hurricane Ike. It’s very rare we can point to one man who’s responsible for killing a reform bill, but in this case Mike Jackson stood up for the wrong side and he gambled with our welfare and our property. Now that Ike has devastated our region, we are all the losers thanks to Mike Jackson’ poor judgment. The insurance adjusters are finding a thousand ways to say “no” as a result. For years Mike Jackson showed up for the lobbyists, but he hasn’t shown up for us. Everywhere I go, people tell me they haven’t met him, seen him or heard from him. He may think he can avoid the voters’ swift judgment by not showing up, but the bells of accountability are tolling as November 4 approaches. Now more than ever, we need leaders who will stand up, take the gloves off and fight for our community.
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