Barbara Mallory Caraway for Congress?

No, and here is why...

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The Best & Worst Legislators 2011


The term “furniture” was born to describe those lawmakers whose level of participation in the legislative process was indistinguishable from that of their desks and chairs.

Marva Beck  R–Centerville

Barbara Mallory Caraway  D–Dallas

Senator Mike Jackson  R–La Porte

Inocente “Chente” Quintanilla  D–Tornillo

Ralph Sheffield  R–Temple

Raul Torres  R–Corpus Christi

Source: Texas Monthly,
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Barbara Mallory Caraway's legislative record leaves much to be desired

There's no doubt Dwaine and Barbara Mallory Caraway have grown tired of the spotlight that has been trained on them during the last several weeks. Plenty has been written and said about the domestic disturbance that spilled into the public arena, so I won't belabor that topic. But regardless of what Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway's constituents think about her right to privacy, they should have serious questions about what she's been doing to advocate for their interests during the last four years.

Caraway is now in her third term in the Texas House, and not a single bill she's introduced has become law. Of course, she's authored so few bills during her time in Austin that the odds are not great that she would get one passed. Caraway also earned a score of zero in the Morning News' Power Index, which measures a lawmaker's influence and leadership.

As our reporters wrote last week, she's filed a grand total of three bill this year. Are the needs of District 110 really being met if the area's representative is not getting any legislation passed?

Just for the sake of comparison, it's worth noting that Rep. Rafael Anchia, who represents nearby District 103, filed 28 bills this session. And freshman Rep. Eric Johnson, who represents neighboring District 100, filed 13 bills in this, his first legislative session.
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Austin Notebook: Few Texas House members reimburse state for missed days

The 17-day special session was intense until the very end, particularly in the House where the budget, school funding and other issues came close to defeat. As we blogged last week, a number of House members from North Texas and beyond missed the special session's conclusion, with some of them skipping out to launch summer vacations.

Despite the absences, few lawmakers refused the $150 special session per diem granted to them for lodging and other expenses, according to a public information request. Only seven of the 150 House members would not accept or reimbursed part or all of their per diem, House documents show. Many more were absent for at least part of the special session, a review of the House journal shows.
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Among the North Texas lawmakers who were absent for at least part of the special session but have kept their per diem, House records show, include Reps. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, Linda Harper-Brown , R-Irving , Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas, Ken Paxton , R-McKinney, and Burt Solomons , R-Carrollton .
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Caraway Tape Released

Judge denies interim mayor's request to stop recording's release to media

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In the tape, Caraway is heard saying that he thought his wife, state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, was suffering from a chemical imbalance and that when she gets upset, people have learned to get out of the way.

"I think Barbara has a chemical imbalance. I hate to say that, but I think that is probably what it is," Caraway is heard saying on the tape. "She sometimes can get in a fit of rage. It's not about infidelity, it's not about me hitting her. She's the smartest person in the world, and when she gets set off, everybody just gets out of the way. And she took it too far tonight."

In the tape Caraway said his wife was kicking in the door and that at one point a knife was brought out.

"I don't think Barbara had intentions of hurting me, but, in the midst of a fit of rage, you never know what will happen," Caraway said. "It's important that Larry (her brother) and her family get involved because they need to get some kind of counseling."
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Editorial: Tape raises questions that Rep. Caraway should answer

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On a chilly January evening, Caraway sat in an unmarked police car and told officers that his wife, state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, had brandished a knife and tried to kick in the door as he hid in their home’s game room. The tape offers a troubling tale of marital woe.

But the records released this week tell us only half the story, a story with more questions than answers.

The Caraways are trying to “no comment” their way out of this unpleasantness, citing their right to privacy. But both are public officials, and when Dwaine Caraway involved the police in their disturbance, this became a matter of public record.

The whole saga has raised concerns about the Caraways’ judgment, ability to lead and fitness to serve. Their constituents should expect some answers.

Barbara Mallory Caraway has stayed silent as this drama unfolded in slow motion during the last several weeks. But her husband’s assertion that she is prone to fits of rage and is potentially dangerous demands a response.

If any elected official is accused of threatening a spouse with a knife, the public is right to wonder whether that person is well-suited to serve.

The Democratic legislator has not offered her version of the conflict that played out at their home — nor has she disputed her husband’s. As he calmly recounted to police the dramatic events of that evening, Caraway suggested that his wife’s ire-fueled fit was a recurring issue — not a one-time overreaction.

While this episode has spurred concerns about Barbara Mallory Caraway’s mental health and stability, her husband’s credibility also has taken a significant hit.
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So far, Dwaine Caraway has done all the talking about this episode. But the release of the police tape creates a whole new batch of questions. And at this point, Barbara Mallory Caraway should provide the answers.

Tale of the tape
In a recorded interview with police, Caraway said that his wife threatened him with a knife and is prone to fits of rage.

Caraway: I think Barbara has a chemical imbalance, I think. I hate to say this. But I think that that is probably what it is. She sometimes can get in a fit of rage.
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Police tape of domestic violence call to state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway’s house released, despite efforts to keep recording secret

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It [a police recording of the domestic violence call ] pretty much turned out to be what everybody expected, a battle royal between Caraway and his wife, state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway, D-Dallas, according to the tape released today and carried by NBC Dallas Fort Worth.

While pretending not to be a bit interested in the lurid circumstances of a politician pulling a knife on another politician to whom he happens to be married, what is fascinating is how much taxpayer-financed civic machinery got cranked up to keep a police blotter item secret.

Not to mention questions about what is to be done about the mayor pro tem’s original and now discredited account of what prompted him to call police in the first place, involving friends Archie and Arthur who may or may not exist.

Unlike the average citizen, the chairman of the City Council's police department oversight committee managed to be patched through directly to the police chief on that day. The chief thought it best to send the Special Investigations Unit rather than the usual two-officer squad. Remarkably, given the contents of the now-public tape, this crack unit found no evidence of violence or of a crime.

When the Dallas Morning News asked for all documents relating to the rather extravagant police call, the city attorney’s office intervened, contending the matter involving all these public figures was private. It took nearly four months, but the Attorney General respectfully disagreed.

Some people in Dallas, including reporters for reporters for KDAF-TV, are wondering today if, just maybe, Caraway and his wife, who has declined to comment on the matter, were treated differently than the average Dallas taxpayer.
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