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Volume XIV Number 19 - October 19, 2015     RSS Feed   

A Periodic Newsletter for Committed Texas Conservatives

In This Issue

Campaign for Houston Takes Anti-HERO Message to Television Airwaves

TCR's Thoughts On The Texas Constitutional Amendments

TCR Election Endorsements

TCR 2015 City Of Houston Candidate Questionnaire

Democratic Debate Number 1, "Thieves, Liars & Idiots"

Red, White and Blue
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Read TCR 2015 City of Houston Voter Guide Online

Download TCR 2015 City of Houston Voter Guide PDF

Campaign for Houston Takes
Anti-HERO Message to Television Airwaves

Last Monday, with just a week left before early voting begins, Campaign for Houston took to the Houston television airwaves with a hard-hitting commercial against Houston's Proposition 1. This is one of the best political television spots I can remember seeing in recent memory and I recommend you go to to check it out if you haven't already seen it. If you like the spot and support the effort, you can make a donation while on their site.

The HERO ordinance is Proposition One (1), and Houstonians need to vote NO.

TCR's Thoughts On The
Texas Constitutional Amendments

State of Texas Proposition No. 1

The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residential homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $15,000 to $25,000.
TCR Recommendation. Yes. Why? With runaway property taxes in Texas homeowners deserve every break they can get.

State of Texas Proposition No. 2

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a residence homestead property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disable veteran who died before the law authorizing the current disabled veteran's residence homestead exemption took effect.
TCR Recommendation. Yes. Why? Why Not? Ultimate sacrifice, we should do our part.

State of Texas Proposition No. 3

The constitutional amendment repealing the requirement that state officers elected by voters statewide reside in the state capital.
TCR Recommendation. Yes. Why? State officials should live where they want. It's the 21st Century, the horse and buggy are no longer used.

State of Texas Proposition No. 4

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit professional sports teams charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles.
TCR Recommendation. Yes. Why? It's charity.

State of Texas Proposition No. 5

The constitutional amendment to authorized counties with a population of 7,500 or less to perform private road construction and maintenance.
TCR Recommendation. Yes. Why? Outsourcing is generally a good thing.

State of Texas Proposition No. 6

The constitutional amendment recognizing the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to laws that promote wildlife conservation.
TCR Recommendation. Yes. Why? Because the constitution shouldn't deal with this but it does.

State of Texas Proposition No. 7

The constitutional amendment dedicating certain sales and use tax revenue and motor vehicle sales, use, and rental tax revenue to the state highway fund to provide funding for non-tolled roads and the reduction of certain transportation-related debt.
TCR Recommendation. Yes. Why? We need all the money we can find to improve our deteriorating infrastructure.

TCR Election Endorsements

At TCR, it is our policy to tell you why we endorse specific candidates. We have carefully examined all of the candidates(and issues) listed on the ballot. Using position stances, voting records (for incumbents) and electoral viability, TCR has provided a list of the best, most qualified conservative choice for the races listed. Please take a moment to review our endorsement explanations and please use our complete list of endorsements to vote for the most qualified conservative candidates and issues.

Houston Mayor - No Endorsement

This year marks the end of Mayor Annise Parker's third and final term on Houston City Council due to term limits. As expected, the race to succeed Parker has produced a crowded field, including several strong contenders, which will almost certainly lead to a runoff election. The odds-on favorites to make the runoff are State Representative Sylvester Turner, a liberal Democrat, and former Sheriff Adrian Garcia, a more moderate Democrat. That is not to say that there is not a path to the runoff for one of the conservatives in the race. The two conservatives — businessman and columnist Bill King and outgoing three term City Council Member Stephen Costello - are Republicans, though both have been careful to eschew the partisan label while aggressively courting the partisan voters. The wild card in the race is Ben Hall, another Democrat, who lost two years ago to Parker, and has pinned most of his electoral hopes to an anti-HERO (Proposition 1) position. Because there are several conservatives in contention, TCR has chosen to not endorse on the first round, but will most likely issue an endorsement in the runoff.

It is no secret that the City of Houston has a strong mayoral form of government. The mayor wields strong authority over city departments, the budget and the weekly City Council agenda, to which only the mayor can add agenda items. A mayor's vulnerability, however, is that he or she needs the votes to pass that agenda, which underscores the importance of electing conservatives to City Council. In addition to a conservative philosophy, TCR also likes a unique perspective from candidates who have expertise in certain areas that they can utilize as Council Members. This year's group of endorsed candidates exemplify that spirit and include a realtor, two educators, two pastors, three authors, three veterans of the HCC Board, military veterans (including a Green Beret), a pharmacist and a chiropractor. This eclectic and highly qualified group reaffirms TCR's belief that we have the right team to tackle the challenges our city faces. Now it's up to you to help elect them so that they can roll up their sleeves and go to work for all of us.

Houston City Council District A - Brenda Stardig

For District A, TCR recommends a vote to re-elect City Council Member Brenda Stardig to a third and final term. Stardig, a Realtor by profession, has been a solid conservative vote on the Council on issues such as HERO and the city budget and a vocal advocate for the disabled.

Houston City Council District C - Carl Jarvis

TCR gives a hearty endorsement to underdog Carl Jarvis who is taking on incumbent Ellen Cohen who sides frequently with Mayor Parker on many issues, including the ill-conceived Prop. 1, which Jarvis opposes. Jarvis is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and author of The United States of Dysfunction, a book that discusses the takeover of the government by career politicians.

Houston City Council District F - Kendall Baker

Reverend Kendall Baker represents another opportunity to defeat a close Parker ally in his race against incumbent Richard Nguyen. Baker is a solid conservative, a man of faith and will fit well in this ethnically diverse district.

Houston City Council District G - Sandie Mullins Moger

The hugely popular District G incumbent, Oliver Pennington, completes his third and final term this year due to term limits, which creates an open seat. Surprisingly, the contest in this affluent district has drawn only two candidates - HCC Trustee Sandie Mullins Moger and attorney Greg Travis who previously ran and lost in a different district. TCR gives an unequivocal nod to Sandie Mullins Moger because of her perfect candidate questionnaire score, superior grasp of the issues and a temperament ideally suited to the contact-intense position of district council member. TCR also likes the fact that Moger has taken a stronger stand against Houston Prop 1 compared to Travis' tepid opposition.

Houston City Council District H - Abel Davila

In addition to a career as a pharmacist, Abel Davila has served his community as a Houston Community College Trustee where he has consistently exercised his conservative values by raising the homestead exemption for seniors, voting for tax rollbacks and against tax increases. TCR believes that Davila's past conservative performance is a good indicator of how he will perform on City Council.

Houston City Council District I - Herlinda Garcia

In addition to being an outspoken opponent of Houston's Prop. 1, Herlinda Garcia has an extensive background in education with over three decades service as an elementary school principal and 14 years as a Trustee of the Houston Community College System. Garcia's experience will give a first-hand perspective on Houston City Council about a key issue facing our community.

Houston City Council District J - Manny Barrera

Manny Barrera is a 45 year resident of the city of Houston where he earned both his undergraduate and Law degrees (University of Houston). In addition to a 20-year career at HISD and 16 years as a hearing officer, Barrera is also an entrepreneur and active in his community as a current member and former president of the Braeburn Glen Civic Club.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 1 - Mike Knox

Mike Knox is a native Houstonian, a United States Air Force veteran and career law enforcement officer with the Houston Police Department. At HPD, Knox has become a gang expert who helped create the HPD's first gang unit and wrote a book on the subject entitled, Gangsta in the House; Understanding Gang Culture. Our city will benefit greatly with someone of Mike Knox's experience serving on City Council.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 2 - Willie Davis

Pastor Willie Davis is an impressive candidate for Houston City Council. This US Army veteran who volunteered during the Vietnam era and served in the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Political Science as well as a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Theology. In addition to his service as a senior pastor, Davis has impressive private sector experience at companies such as Brown & Root and Phillips 66.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 3 - Michael Kubosh

Michael Kubosh first earned notoriety before his election to City Council as the man who fought City Hall and won in his campaign to remove red light cameras in the City of Houston. Since his election, he has made a major impact at City Hall in his first term on Houston City Council. The scrappy incumbent has been a solid conservative vote and a thorn in the side of Mayor Parker on a variety of issues including HERO (Prop 1.), the budget and the City's ban on charitable feeding. TCR proudly recommends Michael Kubosh for a second term on Houston City Council, At-Large, Position 3.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 4 - Evelyn Husband Thompson

Evelyn Husband Thompson is the widow of Rick Husband who died commanding the Shuttle Columbia. Since her husband's death, Thompson has been a school teacher and an activist speaking on national stages including Fox News, CNN, the Billy Graham Crusades and twice at the Kennedy Space Center. Thompson is also the author of High Calling, The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband. While TCR does strongly recommend Thompson, we would be remiss if we did not recognize the strength of our second choice, Laurie Robinson, who is a strong and well-qualified candidate for City Council.

Houston City Council At-Large Position 5 - Dr. Jack Christie

Dr. Jack Christie is another unique perspective on Houston City Council representing that of the medical community. Christie's coordination and influence with the city's Human Resources Department has helped shift their focus from disease management to wellness promotion, which has taken the Health Benefits Fund Balance from being $18 million in the red to $43 million in the black, a $61 million swing in favor of the taxpayer. These are the kind of innovative solutions that we need to see if the City of Houston is to return to financial health. For his unique perspective, innovative thinking and conservative record, TCR gives a strong re-elect nod to Dr. Jack Christie.

Houston City Controller

The importance of electing a strong conservative for Houston City Controller cannot be stressed enough. This year voters have a wide field from which to choose and TCR has two recommendations for the city's chief financial officer — they are Bill Frazer and M.J. Khan, both of whom TCR has endorsed previously. Because of our previous support for both of these candidates, TCR recommends both and asks voters to choose from these two highly qualified candidates.

TCR 2015 City Of Houston Candidate Questionnaire

The questions on this page correlate to the question numbers on the scorecard. Correct answers are marked on this page. On the scorecard a correct answer is indicated with a "+" and incorrect responses indicated with a "-" symbol. Questions not answered by a candidate were graded as incorrect. Candidates who did not respond are listed as DNR and were given a grade of "F." Mayor and City Council candidates were all posed questions 1-18. Candidates for Controller were posed 13 of the first 18 questions + questions 19-24. Questions not applicable to a candidate are noted as "na".

  1. Do you support capping residential property tax appraisals at a maximum 5% increase per year?Yes

  2. Do you support a requirement that the City not raise taxes without a supermajority of at least 60% of City Council?Yes

  3. Do you support establishing a "Grace" type commission to identify ways for the City to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, incompetence and operating efficiencies?Yes

  4. Do you support the consolidation of City functions with Harris County where practical?Yes

  5. Would you favor outsourcing Houston crime lab functions to the Harris County Crime Lab?Yes

  6. Do you support ending race and gender based affirmative action programs and replacing them with a need-based system?Yes

  7. Do you support the right of City Council members to add items to the City Council Agenda if approved by a majority of members?Yes

  8. Do you support adopting a defined contribution pension plan for all new municipal employees, including police and fire fighters?Yes

  9. Do you support continuing the so-called Sanctuary City policy under which HPD officers are prohibited from inquiring into a person's citizenship to determine if the person is in the country illegally?No

  10. Do you support the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance as passed by City Council?No

  11. Do you agree with the decision by the Texas Supreme Court requiring the City of Houston to place the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance on the November ballot?Yes

  12. Do you support the city's feeding ordinance banning the charitable feeding of the homeless without prior written consent from City Hall?No

  13. Do you support lifting the city revenue cap which limits the growth in city revenues to the combined rates of inflation and population growth?No

  14. Do you support changing HPD policy to require two officers in every patrol car?Yes

  15. Would you support the elimination or sunsetting of tax increment reinvestment zones (TIRZs) in areas that are not economically disadvantaged?Yes

  16. Do you support zero-based budgeting, which would require city departments to justify their budgets on an annual basis?Yes

  17. Would you support a budget amendment requiring that all revenues above projected levels be used to pay down debt?Yes

  18. Do you support the right of ride-share companies to compete with existing taxi cab companies and, if so, will you advocate for regulation conducive to that purpose?Yes

Questions for Controller Candidates Only

  1. Do you support the City of Houston paying bills as they come due as opposed to accounting practices that hide excessive spending?Yes

  2. Do you support privatizing certain city functions, if they could be delivered by private sector vendors at the same or greater level of service while achieving a cost savings?Yes

  3. Do you support City tax abatements to businesses outside the city of Houston?No

  4. Will you agree to provide accurate reports of the City's financial condition and hold public meetings to present that information in a way that is easy for the public to understand?Yes

  5. Do you support eliminating bond pricing trips and other unnecessary travel that can be replaced with online meetings and teleconferences, similar to the policy maintained by Harris County?Yes

  6. Do you currently hold a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation?Yes

TCR 2015 City Of Houston Candidate Questionnaire
Question Numbers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Grade
Demetria Smith + + + + + - + + + + + + + + + + + + A
Ben Hall + + + + + - - + - + + + + - + + + +   C+
Victoria A. Lane
Sylvester Turner
Adrian Garcia + + + + + - - - - - + - + + + + + + D
Bill King + + + + + + + + - + + + + + + + + + A
Rafael Muñoz Jr.
Marty McVey
Steve Costello + + + + + - + + - - + - + + + + + +   C+
Joe Ferreira
Hoc Thai Nguyen
Chris Bell
Dale Steffes
Brenda Stardig + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Iesheia Ayers-Wilson
Carl Jarvis + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Ellen R. Cohen
Michael McDonald
Steve Le + + + + + + + + + + + + + + - + + + A
Kendall L. Baker + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Richard Nguyen
Greg Travis + + + + + + + + + + + + + + - + + + A
Sandie Mullins Moger + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Jason Cisneroz
Abel Davila + + + + + + + + - + + + + + + + + + A
Karla Cisneros
Roland M. Chavez
Herlinda Garcia + + + + + + + + - + + + + + + + + + A
Robert Gallegos
Dung Le
Jim Bigham
Mike Laster
Manny Barrera + + + + + + + + + + + + - - + + + +   A-
M. "Griff" Griffin
Tom McCasland
Jenifer Rene Pool
Georgia Provost
Chris Oliver + + + + + - + + + + + - - + + + + + B
Mike Knox + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Lane Lewis
James Partsch-Galván
David W. Robinson + + + + + - + + + - - + + - - + + + C
Moe Rivera
Eric Dick + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Willie R. Davis + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Andrew C. Burks + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Michael Kubosh + + + + + - + - + + + + + + + + + - B
John Christian Bullitt LaRue
Joseph McElligott - - - - - - - + - - - - - - + - - + F
Doug Peterson
Amanda Edwards
Jonathan Hansen - + + + + - + + + + + + + - - + + + B
Larry Blackmon
Laurie Robinson + + + + + - + + + + + + + + + + + + A
Evelyn Husband Thompson + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
Matt Murphy + + + + + + + - + + + + + + + + + + A
Roy Morales + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   A+
J. Brad Batteau
Jack Christie + + + + + - + + + + + + + - - + + + B
Philippe Nassif
Sharon Moses
M. J. Khan + + + + + + na + na + na na - + + + + na A
Chris B. Brown
Bill Frazer + - - + + + na + na + na na + - + + + na B
Jew Don Boney
Dwight Jefferson
Carroll G. Robinson + + + + + - na - na - na na + + + + + na   C+
CITY CONTROLLER Additional Questions
Question Numbers
19 20 21 22 23 24 Grade
Y Y N Y Y Y 100%
M. J. Khan + + + + + + A
Chris B. Brown
Bill Frazer + + + + + + B
Jew Don Boney
Dwight Jefferson
Carroll G. Robinson + + + + + -   C+

Check your mailbox for the TCR City of Houston Voters Guide with all the information you need to cast an informed ballot.

Democratic Debate Number 1,
"Thieves, Liars & Idiots"

With thanks to Daniel Greenfield of Freedom Center in New York for the title.

Here are a few observations,

  1. The candidates, in an era of $500 billion deficits, proposed a wish list of spending plans. Sanders proposed $18 trillion in new spending and Hillary was doing her best to complete with the lurge left.

  2. They bemoaned the current weak economy but forgot that a Democrat has been President for seven years.

  3. In foreign affairs, nothing on ISIS, Iran's behavior, or the Russians' military move in Syria. A couple of the candidates were more concerned with global "warming."

  4. They all offered free stuff like free college tuition, but no question on speaker fees from colleges totaling millions of dollars, etc., in the debate analysis.

  5. Nothing on their radical pro abortion positions.

  6. Finally, none of the Democrats made Hillary account for the issues surrounding her and that's why she won the debate. In order to defeat her, you need to make her answer the tough questions. When you do, she gets testy and defensive. The others should have taken the debate to her, but if they were running in the GOP primary, only Sanders or Hillary would have made the "adult" debate.

In conclusion, we had better get our act together & nominate someone who can communicate our values and take on Clinton instead of treating her with kitten gloves.

TCR on the Air

Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at

Upcoming shows:
10-23-15 - Houston Mayoral Debate - Part 1.
10-30-15 - Houston Mayoral Debate - Part 2.
11-06-15 - Post Election Roundtable with analysis and commentary on the election results.
Coming soon:
Runoff Debates For Houston Mayor and City Controller.

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 sixteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last fourteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 13 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 14th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.

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