The GOP legislative caucus Monday voted overwhelmingly for Speaker Joe Straus. One of his opponents, Warren Chisum, endorsed Straus and on Tuesday, the House elected Straus overwhelmingly.
Some conservative activists haven't quit and have threatened GOP legislators with a primary opponent if they backed Straus and to use the speaker vote as part of a legislative scorecard. TCR wonders why? When we look back at this session in July 2011, we will know whether we made progress on conservative legislation, which should be the basis for determining who deserves re-election. After all, that is what we are really concerned about, isnít it?
A Victim Of The Criminalization Of Politics
TCR is saddened by the ridiculous conviction and sentencing to three years in prison by a liberal Austin jury and a hostile Democratic judge who gave Tom no break at all.
As to the merits, they were weak and the statute used in a way it was not supposed to be regarding politics.
That being said, TCR for years has advocated taking away the exclusive jurisdiction of the Travis County District Attorney's office to prosecute state political officials. TCR's suggestion is to rotate every two years among the major county DA offices in the state, Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant and Travis.
The GOP has the majority and has since 2003; what is the holdup?
Cong. Giffords (D-AZ) Attacked By Crazy:
Why Are Conservatives At Fault
Per The Liberal Media?
TCR sends its prayers to Ms. Giffords and the other victims for a speedy recovery.
As for the liberal media, please stop the demonization of conservatives because some nut shoots people. This is politics of the worst kind and that has got to stop. TCR wonders why is it that a rush to judgment is ok when attacking pro-Second Amendment conservatives, but not for example, Islamic terrorists? Could this be an example of liberal medial bias?
Legislative Preview: What Are The Big Issues Facing Texas As The Session Begins?
With the session beginning, it is the right time to review the big issues this year.
1.) Budget and Taxes: So the "shortfall," depending on your definition, is between $10-26 billion. Clearly, budget priorities is number one, two and three. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Red, White & Blue in Houston suggests budget reductions of unnecessary spending and to take $5 billion out of the Rainy Day Fund. Will that be enough?
2.) Illegal Immigration: What can the state do to control our borders?
3.) Federalism: What can the state do to get the federal government out of trying to run Texas? Health care and EPA encroachment are big issues.
4.) Property Tax Reform: The GOP has been promising, as has Governor Perry since 2003 or so, now we have the votes. Do we have the will? This will be a big test for Speaker Straus here.
5.) Criminal Justice: Apply the lessons of juvenile justice reform, and using the pioneering work of Marc Levin at Texas Public Policy Foundation, will reduce costs by reducing expensive incarceration.
6.) Social Issues: Progress looks to occur as the GOP has such big numbers.
7.) Education: How do we handle the budget? Are there efficiencies here, consolidate small districts or at least share administrative overhead? What about higher education funding and tuition?
8.) Transportation: Lack of funding for highways is a challenge. Is the current gas tax relevant in an era coming with a "wave" of high mileage cars?
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones, Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and replaying Sundays at 5:00 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
1/14/11: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst
1/21/11: Congressman Gene Green (D).
1/28/11: 2011 Political Forecast Show with Dr. Richard Murray and Robert Stein.
2/04/11: Judicial Reform Ė Should Partisan Judicial Elections Continue? With Judges Jeff Shadwick (R) and Dion Ramos (D).
2/11/11: City of Houston in Crisis? With Councilmembers Anne Clutterbuck, Oliver Pennington and James Rodriguez.
2/18/11: City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker.
2/25/11: Harris County Public Defender Alex Bunin.
For a fun feature go to www.houstonpbs.org and under Red White and Blue, you can see commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week. The current show as well as past shows are also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last nine years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.