The following is a transcript of the Democratic response to President Bush's weekly radio address, delivered by Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte:
Good morning. I'm Leticia Van de Putte, a Texas State Senator from San Antonio, and Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
When George W. Bush was our Governor, we worked across party lines to address the challenges facing the people of Texas.
Today, the United States faces many challenges: an education system that leaves millions of children behind; a health care system that leaves million of families uninsured or without care; an economy that has left millions of Americans without a job.
But instead of working to solve these problems, Republicans in Washington have chosen to use the tools of government against the people instead of governing for the people.
The three R's: recount, recall, and re-redistricting — are the new playbook for a narrow Republican majority attempting to use government to expand partisan power.
In Texas, they want to use redistricting to cancel the votes of millions of rural, independent and minority voters — and to dictate who their congressman should be.
We already have a legal, new redistricting plan that was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. But Tom Delay didn't like who the voters elected, because a map that favored Republicans didn't elect enough Republicans to suit him.
Redistricting in Texas is still being forced upon us by pressure from the President's chief strategist, Karl Rove. Because contrary to claims he is a "different kind of Republican," our President Bush is using the power of the White House to help Tom Delay steal six congressional seats from Texas voters.
This is not just politics as usual. This is bigger than Texas. It's part of a national pattern that threatens to make a mockery of our precious democracy — where the powerful change the rules when the people get in their way.
Giving Republicans a new congressional map could cost Texas taxpayers up to $20 million — and deny the voting rights of more than one million Hispanics and African Americans.
At public hearings, thousands of Texans — Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike — said "NO" to redistricting. Every major Texas newspaper, civil rights groups, and local community leaders oppose it.
This summer, when we had the votes in the Texas Senate to stop redistricting, the Republican leadership changed the Senate rules. Then they levied fines against us, putting a price on democracy.
When Democrats blocked redistricting in the Texas House this spring, Tom DeLay and other Republicans tried to get the FAA, the FBI, and even a Homeland Security agency - to round up Democrats who stood up for the people. And Texas Governor Rick Perry even ordered Texas Rangers to go to a hospital neonatal unit where the wife of a Texas House member had prematurely given birth to twins.
As elected officials, our ultimate duty is to govern — of, by and for the people. Instead, Republican leaders treat government as another arm of the Republican Party, and that, my friends, is a dangerous violation of the public trust.
Speaking on behalf of the millions of rural, Hispanic and African American Texans we represent, we have urged President Bush to stop this attack on minority and independent voters.
The President cannot claim he wants to win our hearts, while the White House signals it's OK to steal our votes.
Harry Truman said "the buck stops here." So far, the President has passed the buck.
Mr. President, you can end this with one phone call to Governor Perry.
You can call Karl Rove into your office and tell him to end the worst attack on minority voters since the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
You can tell Tom DeLay that Republicans will not relegate Hispanics and African Americans to second-class citizenship.
Mr. President, if you fail to act, your silence will tell Americans you condone and support those who would use government to take power away from the people.
This is Texas Senator Leticia Van de Putte. Thank you for listening, and may God Bless all Americans.