Saturday, October 23, 2010

Flores Campaign Backpedaling On Social Security Issue

Oil and gas man has run afoul of yet another right wing media figure

Waco – Conservative media types continue to call Bill Flores out about his tendency to try to reverse his march in a back step cha cha when he gets a touch of hoof-in-mouth disease.

Following a Big D debacle in which the conservative oil and gas man from Houston tried to tell the editorial board of the Belo Corporation, publishers of “The Dallas Morning News,” that he is opposed to “government bail-outs,” he then failed to keep an appointment with that rock-ribbed tribunal of solid conservatism. He had a headache.

Then ran head-long into a dispute with the venerable publication's radio outlet, Channel 8, when he said he is “not opposed” to raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.

The Dallas “News” had one of their formidable courthouse reporters scour the bankruptcy courts and found where he personally signed the petition seeking relief from creditors when he was Chief Financial Officer of Marine Drilling 200, Inc., a Sugarland outfit that owed the Federal Maritime Administration $10.5 million on a loan to acquire an offshore drilling rig, ran out of dough and got reorganized under federal protection.

Marine Drilling settled with Uncle Sam for $3 million and walked away from the table without having to pay the additional $7.5 million still owed, according to court documents.

If only they had followed his advice, he could have paid them back the whole amount – with interest – Mr. Flores said, as he retreated.

But they were just getting warmed up. They chased him deeper into the corner where the tar baby and the wet paint may be found.

In the next episode, Mr. Flores tried to wriggle out of the mess when he tried to persuade the WFAA news crew to withhold his remark about raising the Social Security retirement age to 70. He said it was a stutter step, a blooper, something he really didn't mean.

He told Bryan's WTAW Radio 1620 “...I've always said that I am opposed to raising the retirement age for Social Security.”

Why, he's made more than 120 appearances during the campaign and never once before said he is in favor of raising the age at which seniors are eligible to begin to draw against their annuity from the Social Security Administration.

Now comes Shane Warner of KWTX NewsTalk 1230 in Waco, an impeccably conservative voice of the Republican cause, who dug up an audio clip in which Mr. Flores said in April that raising the retirement age is something that has to be considered.


Because of “the bad policies of people like Chet Edwards.”

Mr. Warner wasted no time posting that little doo-dad on his blog.

Headache. Double Excedrin – corona corona, Ibuprofen, ice pack, Alka-Seltzer, and a wet cloth over the eyes. Coming right up.

When the Waco daily held up the tar baby, Mr. Flores promptly slapped it aside. He tried to brush it all off, but it didn't work.

According to the Edwards campaign's media relations officer, Megan Jacobs, as quoted in an article in the Waco “Tribune-Herald” by Michael W. Shapiro, “His 'headache' excuse didn't hold water with voters then and it certainly doesn't now.”

Ouch. That stings - and I wasn't even there.

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