The chaos that was the Texas State Senate on June 25th when the end of the session crashed was troubling.
First, Wendy Davis' filibuster, which didn't follow the rules, but was successful in stopping all Senate action on the last day of the session. In addition, it boosted Davis' "hero" status among the left and Democrats, made her a logical statewide candidate and is a new national liberal hero. Our mistakes created this opportunity and Davis took advantage.
Second, the effort to kill off pro-life legislation supported by the majority killed other important bills like transportation and juvenile justice. One wonders whether there could have been better calendar planning. Maybe we should have made better use of the first two weeks of the session. Senator Robert Deuell (R) Greenville, got it right, just pass the other bills first and leave the pro-life bill for another special session.
A Week of Houston & Harris Co. News That Reminds Us Why Conservatives Have Work To Do
Reading the newspapers and the online media the week of June 17th, TCR found many distressing developments that remind us that eternal vigilance by conservatives is necessary or disaster will befall our state and country. So what concerned us?
HISD Wants Into Your Pocket Again
First, HISD is fresh from an almost 10% increase in appraised property values, which will result in a significant tax increase for homeowners and higher rent for renters as landlords pass through higher property taxes. But for HISD leaders, that is not enough. So the big spending board, except members Juliet Stipeche, Anna Eastman and Michael Lunceford, voted for a $1.62 billion dollar budget. A vote on the extent of a tax increase (on top of the one already coming) will be held in the fall. This while we still have a dropout problem and declining enrollment, and no one bothers to scrutinize the budget for waste, fraud and unnecessary spending like the outrage in the next paragraph.
Our other pet peeve about HISD, why in heaven's name has HISD spent over $800,000 and counting for legal fees for the Trustee Marshall case regarding "alleged" bribery involving HISD contracts. Shameful.
Liberal Do-Gooders Want To Raise Your Taxes
To Support Their Pet Program
A private non-profit that came out of interest from businesses in the Greater Houston Partnership to improve and expand early childhood programs wants you to pay a penny more on you county property taxes for their program. It would initially raise $25 million, but if it happens, you know the number you pay will increase.
So here is TCR's question, if the businesses in the GHP like this idea, why not set up a non-profit foundation and go out and raise the funds by getting voluntary donations from prosperous GHP members?
Think of it, voluntary donations as opposed to compulsory taxes.
If the Harris County Board of Education who votes on this has any pro-taxpayer bones in their body, they will reject this turkey. County Judge Ed Emmett uncovered this new taxpayer scam and has asked the agency to tell the do-gooders trying to fleece taxpayers to take a hike.
ObamaCare Will Save Us Money, Not
Already proven wrong, the Obama administration is ignoring the fact that we are getting the worst of both worlds, higher premiums and rising out of pocket expenses and less coverage. A recent study by the Baker Institute at Rice University shows we now pay 25-29% of all health care costs from our money. If you are a government employee, you pay less, around 10%.
Real health care reform would be empowering individuals with information and a free market with competition so we can all be informed medical service consumers.
Obama's Power Grab Trying To Regulate Carbon,
Hint: Hold On To Your Wallet
President Obama has decided to ignore the Constitution and Congress by executive orders (fiat) to impose a social cost A.K.A. taxes on carbon (electricity, gas, oil, coal etc.).
Remember, in his first two years in office with a Democratic Congress, he failed to pass legislation that would have imposed these new taxes and regulations. This idea was hatched in the Department of Energy. This reminds us why conservative control of the U.S. Senate in 2014 is so important. TCR's first proposal in 2014 is to defund the Department of Energy.
It's How We Say It:
Why The GOP Seems To Be Losing
We are constantly told our conservative positions are losers, but guess what? Most are winners. The problem is we are not as good at communicating our positions as we should be. Witness the current debate on third trimester abortion bans where the majority of the public supports this ban. Likewise, in the area of immigration reform, while most support a pathway to citizenship, an overwhelming majority support that immigrants get NO government benefits.
So the answer is not to abandon issues that have long defined our party, but to communicate in a tone that is not hostile, divisive and mean.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland, liberal commentator David Jones and moderator Linda Lorelle on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Sundays at 12:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs; Ben Hall, Candidate for Houston Mayor; State Senator Wendy Davis; Lt. Governor David Dewhurst; Erica Grieder, Author of Big, Hot, Cheap and Right; What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas and many others.
Note: RWB has been nominated for a Lone Star Emmy and was recently renewed for an eleventh year.
The current show as well as past shows are 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 fifteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last twelve years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 10 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his eleventh year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.