By Marc Campos

Special Holiday Issue

By Marc Campos

Today is a federal holiday - President's Day - banks and federal government offices are closed, there is no postal service. Everybody else is open for business. Last week, Presidential wannabee, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, and Presidential shoulda been, U.S. Senator John Kerry, issued a press release announcing their support of the "Make Every Vote Count Act". The proposal includes making federal election days national holidays. Not a good idea. The theory that it being a day off, Dem folks would have the time to go vote.

What a joke. Democrats would not benefit from this. Major retail chains and grocery stores never shut down on federal holidays. The best we can figure, the only truly day off is Christmas Day. Only a few taquerias and movie theaters are open on this day. Grocery stores manage to stay open on Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving Day. Nobody closes on the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Even if the law mandated store closings from say 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., it would hurt the hourly worker - the potential Dem voter. Instead of a national holiday, let's look at programs that encourage more early voting or voter education initiatives.

"Say cheese" says Whitmire. In Sunday's Chron, reporter Kristen Mack writes about the Safe Clear freeway towing program deal struck between State Senator John Whitmire and Houston Mayor Bill White. The article says that according to White, Whitmire agreed to go to bat for the city on its legislative agenda. If this is accurate, it is bad news for those that are supporting the anti red light camera proposal and good news for those that want to install cameras at key intersections. Look out red light runners.

Speaking of towing, looks like the Safe Clear tow truck operators may take one on the monetary chin. They plunked down hundreds of thousands of buckaroos for exclusive towing rights. Their fee then dropped from $75 to $50 per tow. Now there are more Harris County Motorist Assistance Program (M.A.P.) vehicles out on the freeways that will surely cut into their action. Understandably they are upset. They think they got screwed.

Unlike poor children without health insurance, Children Protective Service victims, and the family farmer, the Safe Clear tow truck companies are a group that will get very little public support or sympathy. That's the breaks. (Disclosure - Commentary, before Commentary, once represented a group of tow truck companies.)

In Saturday's Chron letters-to-the-editor, Texas GOP Chair Tina Benkiser crows about a gift the Dems gave to Repubs - Howard Dean. Instead of worrying about Howard Dean, Benkiser needs to worry about the potential bloodletting between Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Of course, Benkiser was the one that was leading the charge to steal the election from Houston State Rep. Hubert Vo. Texas House Repubs ignored her completely.

This past weekend on the PGA tour, Tiger Woods was sporting a goatee. When asked why the goatee, Tiger responded, 'boredom". Tiger, you just got married - and you are already bored?

February 21, 2005, 9:00AM

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