New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 4, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 2A — Herald-Zeitung — Sunday, December 4, 2005
Precinct IJP announces intentions to run for third term Congressional Democrats
lack unified position on Iraq
From Staff Reports
Republican Precinct I Justice of the Peace William L. Schroeder announced Saturday he would seek a third term in office.
The filing period for county offices runs through Jan. 2. The primary election will be conducted March 7. The general election will be Nov. 7.
The office of justice of the peace hears Class C misdemeanor criminal cases punishable by fines and functions as a magistrate.
The JP issues warrants for searches and arrests, conducts preliminary hearings, administers oaths and performs marriages. A justice of the peace also acts as a small claims court when the amount in question is less than $5,000 and deals with
matters concerning foreclosures, evictions and enforcement of liens.
A former 12-year Comal County district attorney, Schroeder has been a local public servant for nearly 19 years.
“I want to continue to give the people of Comal County the kind of representation that they deserve,” Schroeder said in a campaign announcement. “I bring commitment, dedication and experience to this job.”
While in office, Schroeder has served as an unpaid instructor for the Texas Judicial Training Center, which is associated with Texas State University. His responsibilities have included travel
Judge William Schroeder
throughout Texas conducting training seminars for other judges.
One of the major roles of Schroeder’s office is in dealing with juvenile crime and truancies. Before moving to New Braunfels from Killeen-Fort Hood, Schroeder and his wife, Audrey, a teacher, were involved with a program that allowed teenagers to work with mentally challenged children.
While district attorney, Schroeder prosecuted more than 90 percent of the felony cases that went through his office, he said. It was Schroeder who secured the conviction of execution-style killer Rodolfo Hernandez, who shot five
Mexican nationals in the back of the head near Bulverde on March 7,1985.
When Hernandez received his lethal injection in March 2002, he became the first man executed for a Comal County crime since the 1930s.
As a state attorney, he received educational training in ballistics, crime scenes, questioned documents, forensic psychiatry, forensic pathology and toxicology, Schroeder said.
This has given him invaluable preparation for handing inquests, which is an important responsibility of the justice of the peace.
Schroeder has been married for more than 40 years. The Schroeders have two sons and three grandchildren.
House Democratic leader wants redistricting decision investigated
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Democratic leader wants an independent inquiry into the Justice Department’s decision to approve a Texas redistricting plan that staff lawyers concluded diluted minority voting rights.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the decision by senior officials to ignore the staff lawyers’ conclusions — contained in a 73-page memo made public Friday — was political.
“There must be an independent inquiry into the contemptible politicization of the Justice Department to rubber-stamp Congressman Tom DeLay’s illegal redistricting scheme in Texas,” Pelosi said.
The plan was pushed through the state legislature by DeLay, R-Texas, to help elect more Republicans to the House when he was the chamber’s GOP leader. It was approved in time for the 2004 elections.
Because of historic discrimination against minority voters, Texas is required under provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to get Justice Department approval for any voting changes to ensure they don’t undercut minority voting.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who was not in that post when the plan was approved, defended the department’s decision. The senior officials who approved it were "confirmed by the Sen-
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ate to exercise their own independent judgment,” and their disagreement with other agency employees doesn’t mean the final decision was wrong, he said.
The decision appears to have been correct, Gonzales said, because a three-judge federal panel upheld the plan and Texas has since elected one additional black congressman.
Of the state’s 32 House seats, Republicans held 15 before the 2004 elections. Under the DeLay-backed plan, Republicans were elected to 21 of the state’s seats in the House. Six delegation members are Hispanic, one a Republican, and three are black.
The redistricting plan has been challenged in court by Democrats and minority voting groups that claim it is unconstitutional and that district boundaries were illegally manipulated to give one party an unfair advantage.
Taiwan opposition party wins local elections
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan’s opposition Nationalist Party won an overwhelming victory in island-wide municipal elections Saturday, putting it in position to push its agenda of reunification with China during the 2008 presidential campaign.
With more than 97 percent of the votes counted, Nationalist candidates or Nationalist allies won 17 of the 23 constituencies, while candidates of President Chen Shui-bian’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party were assured of vic-tory in six, according to results from the Central Election Commission.
The results constituted a huge vote of confidence in Nationalist Party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou, who was elected to office five months ago. He likely will lead the party’s ticket in the 2008
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The Nationalists’ policy is eventual reunification with rival China, from which Taiwan split in 1949. Beijing still claims sovereignty over the island and has refused to talk with Chen because it sees him as a strong supporter of Taiwanese independence, unalterably opposed to the Nationalist platform of reunification.
With Chen and Ma at the forefront, the campaign has been marked by widespread allegations of vote buying and fraud.
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says it’s time for U.S. troops to start coming home from Iraq. Her top lieutenant, Rep. Steny Hoyer, says a precipitous pullout could be disastrous.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid calls on President Bush to develop a timetable for the phased withdrawal of troops. Some of his Democratic colleagues, including Sen. John Kerry, craft their own plans for the military’s eventual return.
The only position Democrats seem to share is that Bush’s current strategy is flawed.
Otherwise, they have widely disparate views about how — and when — to get out of Iraq, raising the question of whether the lack of a unified message could hinder Democratic efforts to turn Bush’s woes and mounting public frustration about the war into liabilities for GOP candidates during congressional elections next fall.
“There simply is no party position on Iraq ... It’s every man and woman for themselves,” said Ross Baker, a political analyst at Rutgers
University in New Jersey who closely monitors Congress.
Democrats say positions on the war are deeply personal and should be left up to individual lawmakers—who represent districts and states that also have vastly differing views. But Democrats also don’t have one standard-bearer to look to for direction, unlike the Republicans, who have the president.
GOP leaders in Congress have lined up behind Bush in rejecting a timetable for withdrawal. But some in their rank-and-file — Sen. Chuck I lagel of Nebraska, for one— have started challenging the administration on future U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Other Republicans are questioning the administration’s path forward carefully and privately so they aren't perceived as crossing an administration known for demanding loyalty.
“There isn’t a unified position in either political party on exactly what to do moving forward in Iraq,” said Michael Feldman, a Democratic consultant in Washington. “This is a big and difficult and sticky issue. Lives are at stake.”
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