WE GET LETTERS
Your Primary Voter Guide was outstanding. It was positive and to the point -- I thought that the bios were particularly well done. Five months ago I moved to Pearland and I have a question - I know nothing about the Brazoria County party -- is there anything I should avoid? BTW, you were so right about Cong. 7 -- John hasn't represented my former part of that district for YEARS.
I wanted to send a quick note to you to thank you for all the work that you do in putting together TCR. As a voter with strong conservative values, I appreciate knowing about our local and state issues. So thank you for all that you do.
Hitting the nail on the head again!
H.E.R.O.: why couldn't one stall unisex restrooms be approved and mandated by City Council, or was that just too simple?
I certainly hope that the argument "everyone is doing it" doesn't fly - surely people are smart enough to know that it simply isn't true.
Additionally, it is tragic that time and money have to be wasted on such an intrusive subject, when there are much more serious issues facing Houston, including a looming fiscal crisis.
You do great work.
Paul Burka of Texas Monthly posted the following on his blog:
I try to keep up with Gary Polland’s Texas Conservative Review’s take on Texas politics. The current issue lists the "Top 5 success and failures of the 82nd Legislature."
Visit his blog for his comments:
The Boeing assembly plant is in South Carolina, North Charleston to be precise. Use of NLRB to punish right to work states is unconstitutional and sure to be a deterrent to further investment of manufacturing capital on US shores. The Congress should take this up as issue of the week and vote an end to funding NLRB or severely limit their activity, especially after the plant is operational.
I have a different take on your suggestion for offshore drilling. The GOP needs a comprehensive and coherent message on energy policy that will end our addiction to oil imported from countries hostile to us and our ally Israel, the only democracy in the region. We must admit that we and our economy are addicted to hydrocarbon energy without realistic alternatives readily available. We must immediately loosen the governmental shackles to develop and refine all domestic options or face continuing erosion in our national security as we must defend the flow of imports. Offshore production must be opened on all coasts and we must incentivize exploration and onshore production in Anwar and all of the public lands that have been seized by every administration since Clinton. With the lowering of gas prices that this will realize, use of a modest level of energy taxes and tariffs should then be used for funding a national effort to develop clean and renewable alternative sources for our long term needs. This is a project that can be modeled after the Manhattan project and the Appolo moon mission. Oil import independence within one decade; Freedom from oil addiction in one generation. This boldness will capture the American electorate, but only if proclaimed loudly and repeatedly.
Thanks for being honest about the situation in Texas. I recommend that we start with a top-down housecleaning at Republican Party of Texas.
There are multiple arguments here. Before I get started, I have been a long time GOP supporter. I have voted in many consecutive primaries, donated money and have volunteered for candidates.
1) W – When he was governor, he started losing me. During one legislative session, he laid out several initiatives he wanted to pass. Very few passed. Granted the Texas Governor has limited powers, but he still can control the public mandate. If he couldn’t get things through the Texas House and Senate – would he really be able to handle Congress? On top of that W admitted he never took life very seriously until 40. He was a party boy with a string of failed businesses. One day he found Jesus and borrowed Dad’s Friend’s money to buy into the Rangers. His only successes. For me, I do expect the “leader of the free world” to have the ability to pick himself up without Dad, be an intellectual and to start taking life seriously at 15, not 40.
2) when W was elected in 2000, we had GOP in all the following – President, US house, US Senate, Texas Gov, Texas House, Texas Senate, Most governors, most state houses, most state senates and all of Harris county. At the time I was so happy. I fully expected tax cuts, reduction in the size of government, cuts in wasteful spending, cuts in pork, entitlement overhaul, budget surpluses and cuts in government sponsored social programs. I received none of the above. In fact my taxes went up (thank you franchise business tax), the tax cuts that were provided were out of my reach and I look at the federal budget and deficit which ballooned.
3) Wars on Iraq / Afghanistan / Terror - While I was shocked at 9/11 and wanted action, what I never hoped would happen was two overseas wars that have no end in sight. The lives lost fighting these wars rivals the lives lost in 9/11. The war on terror has only broadened government and has laid the ground for potential privacy violations for years to come. All three were a tough sell on me when they happened and my support has dwindled as they have carried on.
4) Social issues – let’s get real. Are we actually going to convince people who are pro-choice (anti-life) that they are wrong? No we are not. This goes for the rest of the social issues also. Let’s focus on topics that we can make a difference on.
5) Free Market Economy vs. Anything Goes – The recent financial events can be traced back to the 70’s with many items being added to the mix since then. There is no one thing or person causing it. To take a few takeaways from them – why is an insurance company required to keep so many assets for every block of life insurance policies but does not have to for ever insured block of default credit swaps? The answer as I see it is that a life insurance policy is a simple transaction and the default credit swap a complex one that few understand. As much as it pains me to say, this is an example of how the financial markets are under-regulated. I am all about free-market-capitalism, but it seems the pendulum has swung over to anything-goes. Because of this, we have taken greater steps towards socialism then ever before and as a small business owner and middle class citizen, I am having to pay for this, but not realizing the benefits of it.
I voted for McCain and that was the only republican I have voted for in the last two general elections. I call myself a “disgruntled republican”. I am a fiscal conservative who feels abandoned. I almost want to be a democrat. I listen to them for a bit then change my mind. I still want to be a GOP’er but they are not with me either.
For now I will sit back and wait for the GOP to put some candidates up, that will talk about “change” (the kind I want) and hope that next time they actually will change.
Thanks for being honest about the situation in Texas. I recommend that we start with a top-down housecleaning at Republican Party of Texas.
Thanks for your insight.
You left out the part about where Janek hosted his Precinct Chairs to dinner last fall and told us point blank that the rumors of his leaving office were false and that he would not resign. I'm glad the Republican voters strongly rejected the Janek/Blakemore ruse. It's unfortunate that Furse bought their snake oil as it may have ruined a potentially good candidate.
Who is a good candidate for Governor? Is there any way to keep Perry and Hutchison from running?
When are you running for office again?
The GOP got its ass kicked because it was a wholly owned subsidiary of Scum Street (who now own the Dems).
The Republicans were responsible for...
* Enacting the largest new entitlement in decades - the prescription drug program
* Passing social engineering schemes like "No Child Left Behind"
* Starting an un-provoked war
* Gutting constitutional liberties
* Running-up vast deficits
Bush/Cheney/Rove destroyed the conservative movement, decimated the constitution and caused horrific economic damage.
What can I say. I support Ron Paul. I'm sick of big government neocons so I voted 3rd party. In analyzing the election night carnage, Faux News reported that 16% of the folks who voted Republican in 04 did not vote Republican in 08. Gee, I wonder why??
If the GOP can't figure out why they got their ass kicked, then they will have to look forward to being the minority party for a very long time. It's time for serious soul searching, brutal honesty and a ton of mea culpas.
This latest issue of the TCR was excellent.
Every convention and caucus, that I have attended, from the Precinct level on up, has had a Temporary Chair, who opens the session with a Temporary Secretary, etc.
Nominations are then taken for the permanant positions to run the assembly. While, many times, this is just a formality, with the Temporary Chair, etc., being elected to the permanent positions, nevertheless, such a procedure is followed and such actions are recorded in the Minutes.
Anything to the contrary, is certainly not in Robert's Rules of Order, nor in any RPT rules that I have read, and would seem to imply an element of dictatorship by the temorary officers of the assembly.
I may not agree with the Texas Republican Party's fixation on social issues instead of concentrating on fiscal conservatism, but more troubling is, if what happened at the convention is an indicator of how the State Party is going to conduct business, the disenchanted will simply "sit out" the November General Election and that means BIG trouble for the RPT.
I read your article on the "SD 17: For Whom the Bell Tolls" with interest. As an SD 17 Precinct Chair in Galveston County and a delegate to the state convention whose credentials have been challenged, how enthused do you think I am to help anyone in the GOP right now? We eat our own before we’d ever attack a democrat.
I, too, am a believer in the Rule of Law and an ardent conservative. Otherwise, I’d be a democrat. But to randomly challenge anyone who your group thinks violated rules in order to shut them out of participating in the Republican Party is exactly what your article is saying we should not do. You can’t attack the grass roots and then expect them to help out during elections. Obviously Republicans didn’t learn a thing from the last election.
Sandra Jones Tetley
I am a precinct chair/election judge in Tarrant County, the county where District 97 is. Based on what I heard from political activists after the election, it appears that the gentleman who lost inundated potential voters with literature and phone calls, sometimes up to four a day, thus turning off voters.
We saw the same thing happen in Kent Grusendorf's loss to Diane Patrick in District 94, which includes my precinct. After the election, I heard about the disgust that voters had with receiving so many mailings. I had already publicly supported him, and I got 4-5 pieces daily. The flood of mail was not the only reason why he lost, but I know that it turned some voters off.
Keep up the good work.
I read your article "What is ailing the GOP Base?", and I thought you made some good points.
My problem with the Republicans is not so much what is in our platform but what of it is actually put into practice. Our actual proposals for Education support and Health Care insurance and border control seem to be weak echoes of Democrat demands in these areas. The recently passed minimum wage increase to $7.50 per hour was supported by both parties, without any tax or other breaks for businesses that will have to pay this and wages linked to it in various ways. So, the activist may think, why screw around with some Democrat-lite loser party when he could better spend his effort and money getting what he can out of the real thing. If it wasn't for the war on Islamic Fascism, my election year choices would be between vanilla and, well, artificially flavored vanilla parties.
One other thing the Republicans are doing right, however, is that corrupt office holders are being purged. Democrats seem to be retaining and even promoting their bad apples, and I foresee that policy as bringing short-term gains but destruction in the long run for that party.
You had a good suggestion about arranging selection of candidates so that grass-roots leaders have a bigger say, but you know that most voters do not get involved in candidate selection until at best primary election time. However candidates are selected we need to put forward candidates who say plainly what they will do, and do what they say. Voters need to be educated not to fall for soft soap, and bribes disguised as programs for themselves or their district. They cannot be allowed to penalize office holders for speaking unpleasant truths or making unpopular moves, even mistakes, in pursuit of the greater, long term good of all. Now, there's a good job for Political Action Committees. And of course, we must always keep limiting the terms of our bad apples either through primary selection, general election or prosecution [no deals, no mercy, no retirement].
John Jay Blankenship
The original draft for Article VII, Section 22 that I wrote back in the summer of 1978 eliminated most of the subjectivity by expressly tying an increase in all expenditures to one of the federal price indexes(After 28 years I forget which one but it was the one with the lowest historical rate increase) adjusted for actual population increases. The use of "the estimated rate of growth of the state's economy" in the amendment and allowing the legislature to establish what that means is the problem. I said at the time we could stack all the legislators end to end and fail to reach a conclusion on what that phrase meant. If they had adopted the original concept, Texas government would probably be half its current size.
I appreciate your support of what is left of the GOP, after almost six years of Bush in the Whitehouse and Perry in the Governor’s Mansion. However, I would suggest that considering what little is left of the Texas GOP, after those two RINOs have ravaged and subverted the formerly “Grand Old Party,” your loyalty would be better placed, in attempting to oust the RINOs from the party now, so we will still have a party to rebuild, after Bush finally leaves office.
In fact, Perry not only helped craft and signed into law, the largest tax increase in Texas history, but that very law was deliberately designed to subvert the Texas Constitution, under which he serves, in that it is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the Texas Constitution’s ban on any kind of income tax.
We are supposed to be the party of honor, virtue and ethics. Therefore we, above all others, should be the first to denounce any elected official, even if he “happened” to run under our banner, who deliberately attempts to subvert the very constitution that gives him his temporary authority. There is no creature on the planet who deserves scorn more than an elected official, who would deliberately attempt to undermine the very laws that he is sworn to uphold. Perry’s own actions in pushing through an unconstitutional income tax places him right down there with Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, John Cornyn and a host of other, mostly Democrat lawmakers. Unfortunately, there are a lot of turncoat Republicans down there with him, too.
When a lawmaker so deliberately goes out of his way to undermine and subvert the law, as has Perry, it is incumbent of every voter – especially ethical Republican voters – to cast him out of office at the earliest possible time, even if it means voting for the other party. After all, it’s much better to have a well-intentioned fool in office (Friedman) or a well-intentioned moderate (Strayhorn) than to have a totally unprincipled, scoundrel (Perry) in that same office. After all, this is about more that just one issue. It’s about every issue that is addressed in our looooong constitution.
We must send a message to EVERY politician of EVERY stripe, that we, the people, will not tolerate a lawmaker who violates the law under which he serves.
ActionAmerica.org is withholding its endorsement for Governor, until closer to the election. Our endorsement will go to the person who will be most likely to unseat the man who not only gave us, the largest tax increase in Texas history, but who gave us an unconstitutional income tax, at the same time. Also, in the interest of electing conservatives, we have just decided to endorse Libertarian Bob Smither, for Tom Delay’s old seat, since endorsing a write-in candidate would be tantamount to endorsing Lampson. Along that same line, people using our search field, at the top of each page, have searched for the word “Smither” over 700 times, so far, this month.
For your information, ActionAmerica.org is a widely read traditional conservative (as opposed to GOP party line RINO) webzine that has a loyal following and that takes hundreds of thousands of hits every single month. Our most recent article on the newly released IRS collections data was posted about 5 days ago and for the last few days, a Google of related search terms like, “IRS collections data”, “IRS collections by percentile”, “tax collections by percentile”, “IRS collections by income category” and several other related searches, place that article and its related press release numbers one and two out of as many as 6,790,000 related pages (numerous other related search terms place us on the first page). I’m sure that you know that you don’t get a Google number one and two position out of millions, for such common search terms, in any time frame, let alone, in a couple of days of posting, if people don’t follow those links and other sites don’t link to yours. As a voice for many conservatives, who have found their voices muffled for the last six years, by the RINOs who now control our party, we are dedicated to doing everything possible to unseat RINOs this election, so we will have uncontested GOP primary races in which to elect REAL Republicans, in two, four or six years.
Electing Democrats, Independents and Libertarians would seem like a high price to pay, but it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. After all, since so many of our US Senators and some Representatives have revealed themselves to be RINOs, it is only an illusion that we control Congress. Thanks to Bush, liberals, with an “R” after their names, really control Congress. Therefore, kicking out a RINO, is only changing liberals.
I enjoy reading your newsletter. I am in agreement that Federal Court was the wrong place to hear the Tom DeLay case. I never heard it articulated as well as you did, however. State law gives lots of leeway on residency issues, and it is intent that determines residency. Judge Sparks ruled, as I read in the Austin American-Statesman, that "DeLay could not prove that he would be in Virginia on November 7th." Well, duh, since when does the Defendant have to prove anything? Talk about legislating from the bench! But DeLay has been muzzled on that issue; I'm sure he would love to have come out ranting and raving. I do not read Texas Monthly, since I throw up easily, so did not read "Judge Burka's" opinion. The Austin American-Statesman is bad enough.
I fear we will lose some hard-won seats in November due to the new maps. Bonilla may not make it, unfortunately. What do you think?
I am an attorney with a limited law practice in the small town of Llano, a Republican stronghold. Thanks for your eye-opening comments.
One point, Peggy Noonan has it exactly right. I am so frustrated at the State and Federal level. I have been a contributor to the Republican's and voter for 30 years. I have all of the pins and Christmas Cards for several years. I vote a straight Republican ticket. Guess what, I don't send my money to the Republican's anymore and I am ONLY VOTING FOR JOHN CULBERSON this November. Our Senator's and our Govenor and Lieutenant Govenor are so off the reservation that I will not vote for them. Our Senator's voted for the wall on our Southern Border then voted against funding the wall. Sounds like John Kerry, "I voted for the Bill before I voted against the Bill." They are so full of themselves that they don't care what we think.
PEGGY NOONAN HAS IT EXACTLY RIGHT.
James M. Reynolds
Great one Gary!
One point, WELL over 3800 delegates were unhappy with HB3. 3800 were willing to keep the language and definitely were on the unhappy list. I would suppose that at least half of the 4300 who did not want the amendment were unhappy with HB3 but were as you say, loyal to Governor Perry.
I don't find sycophancy all that loyal but I may be exaggerating. I support the Governor 100% and I voted FOR the amendment.
Regarding CD 22, I think that the 8 Republicans who think they are going to be the Candidate should start raising and spending money as if they already WERE the candidate. Let that little creep, Lampson, run against 8 Republicans if he is too afraid to run against one. Once we get it cleared up in the courts then Nick will feel like a human pinata after 8 Republicans spend a couple of hundred thousand bucks apiece proving that they can hit Lampson the hardest. In redneckian that goes something like, "If you didn't like my first answer you SURE won't like my next one!"
Finally thanks for your work supporting CLOUT.
Former Galveston County GOP Chair
GOP Candidate for County Judge
Gentlemen,These Boots are made for Pauken!
As a newly elected SREC member I am continuing to fight for our conservative principles and ideals, sadly from within the Republican Party! However, I believe it is a fight we must continue to fight if we are to advance our proven conservativ philosophy. To that end, I am sending you this opinion piece I have recently written in response to all of the communication Tom Pauken has generated regarding HB3.
I appreciate your e-newsletter and all that you & Dr. Hotze are doing to advance our conservative cause!
Far be it from me to be able to inject any more sense in to this ongoing argument regarding the recent bills passed during the Special Session. I have been fighting vigorously to tell lawmakers during the recently concluded Republican state convention that we as Republicans have to deal honestly with the public. Remember the days of Congress telling us that a "cut in spending" was when they were going to raise spending by 10% but voted to "only raise spending by 5%"? Oh wait, that's still happening. However, my point is that we had a minor revolution in 1994 when it appeared that conservatives had mustered enough votes to put "our guys" in charge and change the way we do business in our legislative halls. In Texas it took a few years longer (a few court cases and a map drawing class) for Republicans to take control of the State Legislature as well as 29 statewide elected offices.
As we stand on our sand hill looking to where we're going as well as looking where we came from, I can't help but wonder what road have we taken our rank & file, conservative soldiers down? Have we dealt honestly with the ones who slog through the political battlefields to get good Field Generals elected to an office of trust only to be ordered by them to go back to their over-priced pup tents and leave the "smart work" to them? Conservatives don't bleed just to have fun.
So, as I reviewed a letter I received recently from a former "Field General" Tom Pauken, I felt once again the pain that comes from a dutiful conservative soldier who spent time, talent and treasure helping one of his own get elected to State Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas only to be dismissed as a critic and rabble rouser. Here is where I believe some are being ignorant of the facts or just plain deceptive in discussing HB 3 which WILL tax more businesses:
Mr. Pauken should remember the "boots on the ground" that elevated him and others to a place to fight FOR us and not AGAINST us poor, uneducated critics. Our Conservative Movement is about Principles and not People. People come and go but these Principles we fight for should still be standing and should be seen from every sandy mountaintop we stop on, before we Conservative Soldiers take another deep breath and plunge into the next valley below.
- Our statewide elected leaders and their supporters have cast 15 out of 16 business owners as corrupt, filthy, evil doers for not paying their "fair share". Exactly how did they "rob" the state, you ask? They decided that would NOT Incorporate their businesses! Who determines what forms of businesses the STATE will recognize? The LEGISLATURE! Who determines which forms of businesses will pay which taxes? The LEGISLATURE! So if Mr. & Mrs. Taxedalot opened a flower shop and decided that a "Sole Proprietorship" was the way to go for them, then they have just stuck a gun in the back of the State of Texas and taken the State's dilapidated wallet. This quote from the Texas Tax Reform Commission's (TTRC) own report tells exactly the purpose of a "franchise tax": The original purpose of the franchise tax - and that which the Commission finds is still valid - was to collect a modest levy in return for the tremendous value afforded to businesses that chose to benefit from a state-provided liability shield. In addition, this "admission of guilt" in the report proves my point: Many active businesses, some quite large, operate in Texas under a state provided liability shield and compete with taxpaying companies while contributing nothing to franchise tax revenues. So, the state provided a liability shield FOR FREE to certain forms of businesses (through legislation) and has now accused those business of wrong doing…I believe I will give my friend a watch and then accuse him of stealing it from me because I didn't ask him to pay me for the watch.
- Mr. Pauken states in his letter "Our property tax burden in Texas is one of the highest in the country." So he admits that our taxes are obscene in one category (property taxes) and the legislature has been admitting for months that we have offset the property tax reductions with new taxes on businesses and with SOME of our OVERPAYMENT of taxes this year. If the dollars we have been spending on our property taxes is ridiculous and obscene (and which produced a "surplus" to the state) what does that make the corresponding SHIFT in taxes?
- Mr. Pauken further states in his "Rodney King Letter to Delegates" that "critics" are mistaken when we call the Governor's plan a tax increase. What do you call a dollar an hour raise on your paycheck; a wage reduction? If these shifting taxes produce one dollar more for irresponsible bureaucrats to spend frivolously as they have proven themselves capable of, then it is a tax increase. Period.
- Lastly, while all of us have become sickened by "appraisal creep" we are shooting at the bad guy in the mirror. When property values go up it is the DUTY of local elected representatives to LOWER the tax rate to the "effective tax rate", i.e. the rate that effectively brings in NO NEW DOLLARS. It is hyperbole to go after ONLY the Appraisal District and their boards as Mr. Pauken does in "The Letter". I continue to support appraisal caps (for taxing purposes) because obviously politicians will continue to refuse to fulfill their elected duties by lowering the rates relative to the appraisal increases. In addition, a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) is the only sure cure for making politicians work within a smaller boundary in a field full of cash. That way TAXPAYERS have the final say in how much government they are willing to pay for.
SREC Senate District 31
In your Immigration Update you forgot to add to your numbers all the "anchor babies" who are considered part of the legal student population. It is estimated that the combined total cost is around 4 billion dollars! In addition, most get free breakfast and lunch, bilingual ed., health care, affirmative action perks...
The demographic studies are horrific.
SBOE District 6
Thank you for your efforts and your website. I enjoy and appreciate the read!
I have just received my first Texas Conservative Review Official Voter Guide and want you to know how excited that I am. It is a great tool for educating the public on voting, candidates, issues, etc., locally.
I like reading about each candidate in one publication, (I hate to inform all the candidates that I throw their mailers into the trash as soon as I receive them, but I do. TCR magazine I keep because it has additional value and information).
I like that it is a hard copy that I can read at night while relaxing and going over other mail. Articles that come via email are sometimes deleted because I don't want to spend the time reading while being rude to my family. My family doesn't mind if I read a magazine and interact with them at the same time....so, this format is perfect for me.
I totally love your magazine. Example: I trust Paul Bettencourt when he says vote "yes" on March 7th propositions and gives reasons. The "bait and switch" proposition of 2003 that stated "vote yes to rail on Westpark" turned out to be a real lesson for me. The rail is close to being installed on Richmond, a fear that my neighborhood (Afton Oaks) has fought against for years. With deceitful wording on the ballot the city got us to vote "for" our biggest fear. Currently I really study propositions before voting and look for loopholes, or, ways that I can be deceived by tricky wording. I don't feel like I get accurate information from the newspaper, so I am looking for honest opinions/input, then I will be the final judge of my vote. With information from Paul's article in the TCR, I felt better about voting, more knowledgeable.
I'm a big fan of truth and clarity.
Nell Stauch Gitschner
This morning I received a telephone call by you (recorded), making me aware of this valuable website. In our many times of seeing each other in the community & at simchas, you never mentioned this site or organization. I am elated I now have this site to help me decide on who to vote for in the upcoming primaries. It is now on my favorites list.
Say hi to Esther for Linda & I and see you soon.
I really enjoy reading the "Texas Conservative Review" and appreciate all the hard work you put into it, but I have to disagree with you concerning your rating of Barbara Larson.
Barbara is a true conservative and she is extremely concerned about over the top spending with regard to Education. The problem cannot be fixed with throwing more and more money at it. If you had the opportunity to meet and speak to her about the issues, you would have a very different idea of who she is. I know she has tried to contact you on several occasions, but has not heard back.
Thank you for your time,
Thank you for educating me on Republican, Texas and US politics.
This issue is particularly instructive and creative. I will suggest an Israeli edition of RINO - LINO (Likud...). How sad that such an "impersonation" - in the case of Israel - is undermining the survival of the Jewish State.
Regards to Esther and keep up your campaign of no-nonsense "Carpet Education."
I am pleased that you noted that Diane Patrick, candidate for House District 94, is a RINO. I am a public school teacher, and my decision to vote for Kent Grusendorf is based on the following:
1. While on the Arlington ISD school board, she voted 6 times to raise taxes.
2. While I served on the committee to write the English curriculum K-12 (TEKS) for the state, she served on the State Board of Education. She was no friend of basic skills being added to the curriculum. In addition, under her watch millions of dollars that had been earmarked for forums to gain public input on our document and for committee meetings to consider and incorporate the input into the document disappeared. Had the social conservatives not investigated and found the money, the committee would have been disbanded, the public would not have a chance for input, and the document would have been written or revised by TEA bureaucrats whose agenda is contrary to Republican values.
3. The teacher groups supporting her make stuff up about Grusendorf. Patrick's literature places all the responsibility for the school finance problems at Kent's feet. Her supporters tell me that he wants to not pay for secondary English instruction. The list of their fabrications is endless.
4. Teachers tend to be myopic, failing to see that there are more issues to be considered than just education. I try to look at the bigger picture, and I find it instructive to read the bills rather than have someone "interpret" them for me. During the last legislative session, teachers were circulating information that stated that the Republicans wanted to close down the Teacher Retirement System (TRS). I offered copies of the bills, the statement of the author's intent, the analysis of the Legislative Budget Board, the votes taken in committee and on the floor, and articles about the bills from around the state (to see how other papers were reporting the issue). No one asked for copies of any of these items.
5. I am not afraid of merit pay or vouchers, but teachers are, even a limited trial program. I am disappointed that those in the profession of trying to help kids learn, oppose what could help kids learn.
6. Kent is a friend of mine.
The leadership of the Patrick supporters is employed at my school, thereby making it a somewhat difficult environment for me up to the primary vote. If anyone tries to give me hard time, I tell them this true story:
Recently I was speaking with the husband of a teacher who railed against Kent for several minutes. After he was through, I began to inform him of a few things that he might not be aware of. When I was done speaking, he wrote a check for Kent.
The man, whose name appears on Kent's campaign finance report, gave $100.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for including me on the distribution list for your Texas Conservative Review postings. I have a couple responses for your consideration....
Regarding your thought about integrating immigrants who want to cut all ties to their homeland and assimilate to American culture, I propose that federal and state governments should provide tax credits for private enterprises that provide integrative skills (like English as a second language) as part of their job training. For more info, see:
Also, on the topic of prop. 2 passing, I have some thoughts about where the pro-traditional family movement can go from here. Learn more at
These are really DLC goals? Maybe we should not publicize this .....they could win elections with such ideas!!!...but at the same time one could use these to shame some moderate Democrats into coming over to our side because the left wing of their party won't countenance these ideas.
Precinct Chair 0139, HCRP
I wanted to share with you a couple of thoughts after reading your online commentary on the Paris riots.
1. I concur with your assessment that we should reinvigorate our comprehensive immigration reform efforts as a matter of national preservation.
2. It's not entirely clear what you mean by sealing our border, but at the very least we should "manage" our borders. No nation state has ever survived in history without first managing it's borders.
3. I also agree that we should focus "legal immigration on those who can enhance the U.S. economy." That makes perfect sense, but what of these folk's kids. My father for example was a Geo-Physist working on some technical stuff that earned him a move and eventually citizenship in America, now his kids aren't interested in becoming scientists. Say our family further integrates into the dominant capitalistic American culture and his grandkids decide to graduate from college at the national average (1/4) and are then not providing anything special to the US economy. You see what I'm laying out, with integration comes a need for a national solution to our economy's long-term needs for a whole host of factors like science majors for example.
4. While I personally agree with the importance of English to "integrating" into the American culture, I do however feel that you're not doing the subject credit by analyzing it so shallowly. I grew up here in Dallas, so don't misunderstand my point of reference, and I did study Latin for two years so that I can increase my understanding of English and Western civilization. One thing I learned a long time ago as a racial minority, the more the dominant culture is "comfortable" with you the easier it will be for you to excel.
I'm interested in solutions, so I'll be point blank it for you. Assimilation is dead! Integration is the future! That doesn't mean that American culture is going to die, but what that means is that globalization has created lower barriers between my Sociology Professor in College called, Sub-Cultures. A component of globalization is to create a free-market of ideas, and culture with it's mores and language is a collection of societal structural ideas. Many Latin and Asian societies have a strong anti-American backlash because their home country's culture is having a hard-time competing and is losing "customers" to American culture. At home we must accept that what's good for the goose is good for the gander. We must exercise a larger degree of tolerance for sub-cultural differences as long as they are strengthening the American culture overall, and we must vigorously oppose sub-cultural traits that are damaging to American culture overall. But that doesn't mean that we must oppose Spanish as a language to be transacted in the public square, we should embrace that. Though I only know English, Arabic, Latin and French; I'm learning Spanish as both my kids in school. That doesn't diminish my American Identity or Western Civilizational outlook, it enhances it. If a minority culture, for example Southern White Anglo Saxon Protestants, push for an "assimilation" approach it will only not only fail as a policy but will inevitably create a backlash from the majority non-southern WASPs. A constructive approach on this topic is to start a public dialogue on what it means to be an American? What is the American culture?
5. Your suggestion for equal treatment for all entering the US is fine, and that's what everyone wants. It's when we selectively promote certain nation of origin preferences or choose to discriminate against the flavor of the month country of origin, that we get ourselves in trouble.
I'm sharing these views from a certain point of reference, and that is the child of immigrants who lived through the American Immigrant Assimilation process with all its pitfalls. For the past three years, I've been heading up Texas's first statewide Muslim organization (F&J). F&J's work on state public policy has helped this half-immigrant community "integrate" down in Austin on many social public policy matters. I don't want to write a bio here, but believe me when I tell you that many Texas Muslims have been working on the hard side of 'integration' way before 9/11 and certainly after. Things would have much worse if these admirable and unrecognized citizens hadn't been quietly integrating millions of American Muslim immigrants into mainstream society.
Now like a lot of Arab-American families, mine has relatives in France who've lived there for decades. And though I didn't have any extended family rioting, I do however take issue with your oversimplified and misdirected assertion on why they rioted. Your third paragraph assessment is very off the mark. The rioters were closer to 1968 Black America, then to pawns in an Iranian/Syrian plot. Marginalize people in any society and you can expect a violent backlash when they cease to feel contained by authority. The French government was "retarded" in bluffing to the initial rioters and insulting their dignity, for nothing makes an Arab more irrationally violent then an insult to his dignity. The Interior Minister bluffed, the rioters called his bluff, and the French population didn't back the government's bluff. Check Mate...Now France must drop its internal societal prejudices.
I spoke with the French Ambassador to the US a year an half ago when they were considering banning the hijab (head scarf), and advised him that this red-herring of an issue will cause them bigger problems because it'll fertilize the grassroots immigrant community for a future backlash. As a Conservative and former Harris County GOP Chair you should be very aware of Liberal social policies through welfare handouts and where they lead. The rioters weren't rioting because they never learned French, I saw, heard and read much of what they stated and their French was just fine. Typically when you get to 3 generations deep as some of these folks were, you can't get more French then that. As one rioter put it, "we don't have the American dream here, we don't even have the French dream." Now that doesn't excuse the rioting, but it does prove that laying all the world's problems at the feet of Islam is ridiculous. Personally I have eight identities that impact my thought process heavily; Texan, Southerner, American, Westerner, Muslim, Arab, Egyptian and Male. Now when I do something, crediting that action totally to one identity is the "mother of all underassesments".
If you'd like to discuss solutions to our problems, you'll always find a willing ally in me. But I hope that you'll recognize the new realities in our society and not be as accusatory towards Islam and Muslim unnecessarily.
President & CEO
The Freedom and Justice Foundation
TCR Comments: Thanks for your words and there is hope if moderates in the Islamic community speak out against terror and hate. I remain concerned about agitators from outside of France who helped encourage the rioting.
You hit the nail on the head. The system in Austin would be a lot healthier if one prosecutor wouldn’t be in charge of our elected officials ethics, whether it is Travis Co. or not. The charge should be from a more neutral higher plain or group, maybe an offshoot of the Ethics Commission, if that isn’t too political. Interesting issue and/or problem, but you got it right, it has to change and the legislature has the power to do it.
The ten points in your lead article were “right on.”
I have not yet read “Sex Appealed . . .,” However, having already read “Men in Black,” it’s very clear that the Supremes will undoubtedly find that prohibition of same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The ground work was completed when “Lawrence” reversed (or over-ruled; I’m not a lawyer) “Bowers.” My quandary is “What would Roberts do?” Is he another Souter?
No, we thought we voted for Conservatives to stop big government and big spending and return power to the voters. I am extremely upset at what has been happening. RINO'S just about all of them, we will get rid of as many as we can in 2006. The Texas Legislators are a joke.......They should all be fired.
Thanks for your newsletter Volume IV, Number 5, May 12, 2005.
I am responding now just to let you know we appreciate your voice. Keep up the good work.
I would like to suggest a topic our party needs to address: Casino Gambling. We are losing too much money to Louisiana, Vegas and elsewhere by not having it in Texas. All of my friends (conservative Christians) are against it but I think they are being too shortsighted about this issue. They should "cut us some slack" and realize that voters have common sense about losing money to the casino - they are going to do it anyway - so why not provide for it and keep the money at home?
Precinct Chairman 488, HCRP
Appreciated your issue as always, but disagreed with your analysis on appraisal caps. I believe they are a clumsy way of dealing with ever-increasing property taxes. The 10% cap we have now is sufficient protection against short-term appraisal shocks but a cap at 5% or below will, over time, cause a distortion in the real estate markets and freeze a substantial amount of capital in homes that people would like to replace but for the tax consequences. I have several relatives who live in California, where longtime homeowners are paying taxes on a small fraction of their home's market value. They may want to upgrade or downsize but can't afford to because they can't afford to give up their appraisal exemption. Meanwhile, their new neighbors are paying several times the tax bill on a similar house because they are assessed taxes on their house's full value.
A better (but still not perfect) approach is in HB 1006 by Rep. Carl Isett, which limits the REVENUE that governments can spend. Appraisals would still rise or fall based on mostly market forces, but instead of reaping a windfall from increased appraisals, governments would have to lower their tax rates. Why I say it is not perfect: it merely lowers the 8% rollback threshhold to 3%. I would rather tie it to a combination of CPI and population/enrollment growth within that jurisdiction. By doing that, you freeze the size and scope of government unless the voters affirmatively say, "OK, we'll let you spend more." The only way a government will win a rollback election is if they: (1) demonstrate they are spending money responsibly and efficiently, and (2) dedicate the new dollars to specific services that the public demands -- first-rate math and science teachers, better roads, more police, etc.
Why aren't conservatives talking about illegal immigration? If something is not done, it will eventually lead to another civil war. The costs to the taxpayers of the Dallas Independent School District exceed $570, 000, 000. Isn't this news of importance. Check it out.
50 years ago the IRS leader had a few good points,
This was repeated by Boortz's website:
"Congress went beyond merely enacting an income tax law and repealed Article
IV of the Bill of Rights, by empowering the tax collector to do the very
things from which that article says we were to be secure. It opened up our
homes, our papers and our effects to the prying eyes of government agents
and set the stage for searches of our books and vaults and for inquiries
into our private affairs whenever the tax men might decide, even though
there might not be any justification beyond mere cynical suspicion.
The income tax is bad because it has robbed you and me of the guarantee of
privacy and the respect for our property that were given to us in Article IV
of the Bill of Rights. This invasion is absolute and complete as far as the
amount of tax that can be assessed is concerned. Please remember that under
the Sixteenth Amendment, Congress can take 100% of our income anytime it
wants to. As a matter of fact, right now it is imposing a tax as high as
91%. This is downright confiscation and cannot be defended on any other
The income tax is bad because it was conceived in class hatred, is an
instrument of vengeance and plays right into the hands of the communists. It
employs the vicious communist principle of taking from each according to his
accumulation of the fruits of his labor and giving to others according to
their needs, regardless of whether those needs are the result of indolence
or lack of pride, self-respect, personal dignity or other attributes of men.
The income tax is fulfilling the Marxist prophecy that the surest way to
destroy a capitalist society is by steeply graduated taxes on income and
heavy levies upon the estates of people when they die.
As matters now stand, if our children make the most of their capabilities
and training, they will have to give most of it to the tax collector and so
become slaves of the government. People cannot pull themselves up by the
bootstraps anymore because the tax collector gets the boots and the straps
The income tax is bad because it is oppressive to all and discriminates
particularly against those people who prove themselves most adept at keeping
the wheels of business turning and creating maximum employment and a high
standard of living for their fellow men.
I believe that a better way to raise revenue not only can be found but must
be found because I am convinced that the present system is leading us right
back to the very tyranny from which those, who established this land of
freedom, risked their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to
forever free themselves..."
T. Coleman Andrews, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service
for three years, from 1953 until 1955.
Rayford K Brown
I enjoyed your observations about your Asia trip. I made three two week trips to China, Korea and Taiwan last year, and spent three weeks in Thailand the year before. China has free enterprise figured out much better than we do in many respects. In fact, their premier has stated many times, "for China to become an economically successful country, some people have to get rich first." Can you imagine an American politician saying that in public?
Very good issue. You are right on target on Bonilla and on ballot security. I am strongly pushing Bonilla’s expected candidacy already.
Chairman, Fort Bend County Republican Party
This is great. More people need to understand our energy problems which only get worse, not better!
Will cheap oil come back? Yes, at least for a while. After the international economies collapse due to the high prices of oil, then we will go at it again. Ultimately oil is depleting so the prices will always go up until we get another source of energy. Like gasoline from corn? Not a chance. It has to be something like hydrogen. And the hydrogen has to come from nuclear or solar energy to separate the hydrogen and oxygen from H2O.
The Court of Justice??? How dare they call themselves with a name that in any way is close to the word Justice!!! When we have countries like Libya handling human rights issues in the UN, what kind of "Justice" can they bring?
I’m so glad to see that you mentioned seeing the FairTax booth at the Democrat Convention. It was quite the experience for us as well. We were yelled and screamed at, laughed at and taunted. All in all, we survived.
In the meantime, keep doing what you are doing. We greatly appreciate conservative, impressionable men such as yourself making a difference.
Americans For Fair Taxation, www.FairTax.org
I have been receiving your online newsletter for some time now and I have to say that I have enjoyed every issue. I am a native Texan having been born in Midland, Texas. I thank my birth in the oil patch for my limited government outlook. My family moved to Hobbs, NM in what the Santa Fe liberals call "Little Texas" for its conservative politics.
I am currently working for the re-election campaign of conservative Republican congressman Steve Pearce of Hobbs. I have the great honor of having "Little Texas", from Hobbs all the way west to Alamogordo, as my political battlefield. I still keep an eye on Texas politics, having been WBU GOP Chairman, and I just wanted to say keep it up.
I am very thankful to you for fighting the misinformation being thrown around about the supposed dangers of capping Texas property taxes. Texas property taxes is the one issue that my conservative friend in Houston and I fight about. He is a municipal employee. I hope to finally move down there and get at him on a daily basis. Well, I am sorry to go on and on but I just wanted to thank you for your efforts, to keep up the good work, and to keep those newsletters coming .
Hobbs, New Mexico
Good analysis of the recent convention and the state of the Party. My sense is that a lot of conservatives are on the sidelines these days for a variety of reasons which accounts for the declining attendance. We sure did not have those problems in the mid '90s. Hope that all is well with you.
RPT Chairman, 1994-1997
You hit the nail on the head when you point out the very limited focus on issues which are important to many Texans. The TX GOP Party has become a narrow fraternity of special issue control freaks and I, among others, "are outa here."
Not only has the Party failed to attract "minorities" ( Black, Asian, etc.), but they have lost the support of many fine conservatives at the expense of inflexible positions on many of their special issues.
I SEE NO CHANCE OF THESE PEOPLE BECOMING AN OPEN PARTY FOR ALL CONSERVATIVES.
former Republican Pct. Chair (28 yrs), Harris County
former City Councilman, Baytown, TX
You make six points: In-Line comments:
1. Declining convention attendance,
RXJ: Socializing, Entertainment and Confusion is the menu at our State Conventions. Loss of hope and the realization that the individual delegate has no real say in anything. (even the elections are dominated by the cloud of confusion, fear, and vilification) The platform does not matter, the leadership does what it wants, and the elected officeholders are all independents and un-accountable. Rule 43 would change all of this.
RXJ: See: http://actinfo.net/static/linked_documents/robert/rule43.doc and try to at least read the rule and first page of legal supportive proof. You will find it both legal and a mild "administrative" step towards making the platform matter.
2. A convention schedule
RXJ: The problems you cite are intentional abuses, which are illegal, in violation of our Party Rules, and in violation of parliamentary law. The fix is to Demand the law be followed, the Order of Business be adhered to, and the motions to ensure delegate rights are supported. See:
http://actinfo.net/static/linked_documents/robert/conventionchairman.doc note the blatant violation of law by our State Chairman, and many past Chairmen, to maintain control of the convention as long as possible. The result, the delegate gets a circus not deliberation and the non-incumbent candidates are prevented from delivering their message. In a fog of confusion and fear incumbents fair much better.
3. No nationally renowned speakers to excite the troops.
RXJ: Not only is our Platform irrelevant so is the RPT itself, only candidates, officeholders or renowned speakers who calculate that our RPT convention crowd will aid them in some way would bother. The RPT is tarnished by our long history of infighting and our impudent few (myself included) that continue to attempt to hold leaders accountable. If, we ever succeed in making the platform matter, then holding candidates and officeholders accountable is not far behind. In other words when the RPT exercises its inherent powers as enumerated in the US and Texas Constitutions, then money, those threaten by or respect for this RPT power will flow back into our ranks.
RXJ: Upon request I can provide detailed plans to "defend" our party from raiding by Political elites, RINOs, big money, and major internal competition.
4. A platform that is over twenty pages long
RXJ: The platform has lots of good stuff in it, but your right is needs to categorized and pruned into legislative agenda formats. Then with "offensive" plans the Platform will become the dominant working document for all Republican Officeholders. This is much easier to do than most realize and all top leadership from D.C. to Austin knows well the contents of these plans. My statewide vilification and the seemingly irrational crushing of any debate on the topic is leadership's answer to stopping any further advancement. From their view Rule 43 is just the camel's nose under the tent. For details of these plans just ask.
5. State Party leadership is not an exclusive fraternity.
RXJ: True, but understand the history of how the HQ evolved to what it is. In '95 & "96, the full plan was unveiled and studied by the appropriate staff in the US Senate, the US House, the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals and most top leaders of our party. Their overall conclusion was that the plan was generally constitutional and represented a major shift in the American Political conventional theory on how to achieve political goals. At the 1996 State Convention the Rules Committee passed major portions of this plan and in doing so panic top leadership. Tom Pauken, was pressured to kill it all and set the stage for all future State Conventions. Weddington is from my SD and she has seen the true power of this plan up close and as field tested in all the Bexar County Conventions. Bottom line: Once articulated freely and honestly "the people" gravitate to it in such a manner that no leadership from any faction can effectively stop its elimination and cementing. The Plan is so powerful that the rank n file of the pro-choice, pro-life, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Party, and all other factions begin to adhere to its methods. At its core the Plan aims to change the "principality" of politics from hate, fear, confusion in the pursuit of power TO love, service, sacrifices, and knowledge in the persuade of wisdom, the world's ways vs. His ways.
RXJ: Weddington then picked a path of total control to avoid any possibility of open, honest, or public debate & votes and hammers down anyone who opposes her tactics. Tina is just carrying on Susan's precedence.
6. Finally, the convention points out we have some major schisms among some of our elected officials.
RXJ: These officials all have almost identical world view and issue agendas - it's not a clash of ideas, but a clash of power and rights. The schisms are fallouts of tyranny, but the cause at its core is the foundations of our republican forms being subverted to the detriment of all members of our party and in the grand scale of our nation.
Robert X. Johnson, PRP email@example.com
Professional Registered Parliamentarian & former State Parliamentarian for the RPT.
p.s. My statements may seem a tad egocentric as to the importance of the plan, only knowledge of it and our Party's history proves the validity of my assertions. Susan and I have a deep history.
My name is Kelly Fessler. I am Director for District 5 on the Board of Directors for the North Harris County Regional Water Authority. Even though the board director is a non-partisan elected office, the board as a whole is solidly Republican.
What a refreshing rundown on the RPT Chairman's race. I'm sure Tina/David supporters see it as slanted towards Gina and I imagine Gina supporters are probably, FINALLY, happy to see a more balanced evaluation of the present circumstances.
I am a delegate to the convention from my precinct. I have been deluged with material from the Tina/David camp and have seen little from Gina. With regard to the National Committee races, the incoming material seems to be more evenly balanced. I think what amazes me most is the amount of money that is obviously being spent by Tina/David. If I were a Tina/David supporter, I would be overjoyed at the amount of campaign donating/spending being done on their behalf. However, if I were also a grassroots conservative, seeing all of that money being spent would indicate to me that there is someone or some group behind it that didn't come from the grassroots. After all, how much money does the typical grassroots candidate have to spend?
Regardless of whose side you are on, it is obvious that there are now two sides in the battle for control of the conservative leadership of the Republican Party. My question is: When the battle is over, will the fighting go on?
Thank you for the fine job you did as County Chair. Best of luck in the future.
Way to go Gary! Great expose on the RPT race. I remember 4 years ago when I was doing the Bush/Cheney signs (which I'm starting up again by the way) there were many county chairman and SREC folks who were even wanting ME to run for state Chair! To think, it only took organizing Bush signs statewide to rise to the level of being "party chair worthy" in their minds. I guess my effort was far superior to the ZERO effort of the party back then. They even REFUSED to steer people in my direction to get signs from. Someone would call up there and ask for Bush signs, they would be told "no, we dont have any and do not know if we will yet, but we might or might not but you need to call the Victory 2000 Committee anyway." (of course Victory would give the same answer and they REFUSED to tell ANYONE about calling me for signs). So people were left not knowing anything when the party could have HELPED and said call SREC SD18 Michael Franks!
People want to follow someone who is pro-active and someone who "makes things happen", rather than leadership that sits there and gives confusing answers, vague answers, non commital answers, NO answers, technical mind numbing regurgitation in quoting of rules answers as to why they are sitting on their hands and can not help, no return phone calls, no one even answering the phones, and the folks that did answer the phones had no clue or knowlege of anything, etc (we all know the frustration and horror stories of calling up RPT...no need to keep listing them all).
I attended a meeting with other whites (and other races) at a black church where Barton, Weddington did apologize and encouraged (along with a white pastor), all whites to humble themselves before the blacks in the meeting and ask for forgiveness for the sins of slavery and racism. Oh yes, and Mr. Barton showed a revisionist video on American history that totally distorted the facts about the origin of the Rep. Party and blacks among other things. I remember Weddington stating we stole the Rep. Party from the blacks. David and I were both there and we were appalled! Ed Wendt did an article on this meeting from the tape I made of it.
Your fact-myth-comment piece concerning the state party chair race was very instructive. Regardless who anyone is supporting, to think that the party will stop functioning based on who is vice chair or even state chair is ludicrous and disrespectful of the many people in the party and their unique set of talents.
Thanks, keep up the good work.
Chairman, Senate District 13
In your Myth # 7 you forget one very important point. The Republican Party was formed by abolitionists as an anti-slavery party in 1854 at Rippon. The campaign slogan for the first Republican Presidential nominee was "Free Soil and Fremont." If it weren't for the Republican Party, slavery would have continued for at least a generation longer than it did. The Republican Party freed the slaves. The Democrats segregated the military and the South.
Great analysis of the RPT race!
President and CEO, GOPUSA
I read with interest, your article concerning the battle for the future of the Texas GOP. I have been a delegate to each state convention since 1988. I live in Hunt County near Dallas. Although an activist in the Party, I am not an insider and am having great difficulty discerning the good guys from the bad. It used to be easy to tell the conservatives from the moderates. Now that supposedly we're all conservative, the waters are much muddier. Can you advise me on who you are supporting for the various state party positions and why? I agree with you that the grassroots should be in control, not the "big business/establishment types." However, without having the opportunity to attend the committee meetings before the convention begins, its a little hard to determine just who to believe.
Any advice you could pass along regarding this year's convention would be much appreciated. Thanks for your newsletter. I find it very informative.
Nothing like a good unbiased election analysis.
Congressman Chris Bell
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