Friday, June 25, 2010

Bill White Speaks At The Texas Democratic Party State Convention in Corpus Christi

Bill White, the Democratic candidate for governor, left the delegates chanting "We want Bill! We want Bill! We want Bill!!" as he concluded his address formally accepting the party's nomination at the 2010 Texas Democratic Party State Convention in Corpus Christi on Friday evening.

Below is White's prepared text distributed to the press along with video of his address. White's actual remarks differed slightly from his prepared text:

We come from the endless horizons of the high plains to the shaded forests of East Texas, from the bustling morning traffic of our great cities to the calm sunsets along our coasts. Texas is home to proud people. We come from all backgrounds, but we share so much:

Elena White introduces her
father, Bill White, to the Convention

Bill White's Address
to the Convention
We all believe that Texans need more jobs, with real futures.

We all understand that Texans work hard to create a better life for our children.

And we all know that Texans are ready for a new governor!

We gather in Corpus today because we share common values:

We believe in freedom and diversity, but we understand that real leadership unites us.

We take pride in our state's heritage, but we understand that we have come a long way in breaking down barriers and our greatest days can be ahead of us.

I am honored by your support, and especially by the love and fighting spirit of my family. I am inspired by the friendship of so many present today.

We gather with a sense of excitement, preparing for this great test of Texas' future.

In Rick Perry's Texas it is "every man for himself." You see, Rick Perry and his friends put special interests above the public interest.

And in promotion of self-interest, it is fair to say Rick Perry leads by example.

So we find that Perry this year has drawn a full state salary but scheduled only seven hours per week for state work. How can you explain this to state teachers, troopers and so many others are asked to do more with less? Simple: part-time Perry is in it for himself.

We learn that Perry charges taxpayers for a $10,000 a month rented mansion, larger than anything used by prior governors, with chefs and a subscription to Food & Wine magazine. How can you explain this to taxpayers when our state faces an $18 billion budget crisis because it is living beyond its means? Simple: part-time Perry is in it for himself.

We know that Rick Perry accepted more federal stimulus dollars than any Governor except those in California and New York. In fact, federal dollars have been the fastest growing source of state funding since he has been governor. Yet now we hear that he is writing a book on state's rights, called "Fed Up." How does he have time to write a book when he hasn't even written a state budget that adds up? Simple: part-time Perry is in it for himself.

Many may remember that Rick Perry was the statewide chairman for Al Gore's first presidential race, then immediately switched parties when he saw an opening to move up. Now it appears that he spots another opening--national leader of the far right wing. The opening was created when Ms. Palin cashed in. Are we surprised? No: Part time Perry is in it for himself.

Look, I may not have all the practice and polish of a career politician. Perry's been on the public payroll so long that his state pension is higher than the salaries of most Texans. But I can assure you of one thing: Though Rick Perry is in it for Rick Perry, I will always be in it for Texas.

I learned the value of service from my parents, life-long educators. My dad held down two jobs for most of the time I was growing up. My brother and I learned hard work, faith, and the value of education. En San Antonio creemos que todos merecen respecto . We were taught that life is about what you give, not what you take; it's about preparing for the future-- leaving our community, our state, our nation, better than we found it.

I used this background to build great businesses, to create jobs, to balance budgets and meet payrolls.

These values and skills served me well as mayor of our largest city. We cut crime rates, expanded parks and health clinics, cleaned the air, brought dropouts back to school, and improved services for veterans. We did so while building surpluses and cutting property tax rates for five straight years.

Because I'm in it for Texas we'll do the hard work Rick Perry has never done: we'll prepare Texas for a better future. That means moving forward--not standing still--on education and job training.

First, we will expand pre-K programs that work.

Second, we will work with school districts, community colleges, and employers to improve career and technical education.

Third, we will cut drop out rates, by treating it as an emergency when students do not return to school.

Fourth, we will let educators teach writing, reasoning, and problem-solving skills rather than teaching how to make a minimum score on an annual high-stakes multiple choice test.

Fifth, we will make college education more affordable for more Texans.

Moving forward in education and job training will produce a better long run economy, more jobs. After all, people with more skills earn more, spend more, invest more, and that helps the whole economy.

Of course this campaign won't be easy. They will try to scare rather than to inspire. And Rick Perry is a career professional, who will say anything to hold on to power.

Perry will take credit for all that has always been good in Texas, though that attitude alone is proof he has been in office too long.

He will make false attacks, including attacks on our state's largest city. No wonder his handlers don't want him to debate.

Rick Perry will claim he represents Texas values. But Perry's Texas is different than our Texas.

In Rick Perry's Texas insurance and utility rates rise faster than in other states. In our Texas wages will go up faster because we invest in people.

In Rick Perry's Texas we import nurses and welders and other skilled workers from abroad. In our Texas we will train more Texans to do those jobs.

In Rick Perry's Texas the State Board of Education injects political ideology into classrooms. In our Texas we'll put more computers in our classrooms.

In Rick Perry's Texas state boards and agencies are pressured from the top to serve those who help the Governor's re-election. In our Texas government will be the servant, not the master, and our customers will be ordinary Texans.

In Rick Perry's Texas the governor threatens to leave the world's greatest country. He is content allow our state to compete with Mississippi for lack of social progress. In our Texas other states will follow Texas because we will be the leader.

In Rick Perry's Texas citizens are stuck in traffic in big cities because the Texas Department of Transportation was doing the bidding of a foreign company promoting the land grab known as the Trans-Texas Corridor. In our Texas we will work across party lines for a new mobility plan, assisting commuters to get from home to work and all communities to get their goods to market.

In Rick Perry's Texas the best days may be behind us. In our Texas our best days are ahead of us.

Let us go from this convention, staffing phone banks, knocking on doors, and sending emails. Lift up all who share our values, from the courthouse to the statehouse to the double-wide trailer Andrea and I will live in while the Mansion is rebuilt. Describe to friends and neighbors, from both parties, the simple choice we face in the governor's race.

Rick Perry is in it for Rick Perry. By the grace of God and with your help, I'm in it for Texas, for you.

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