This past week it was revealed that in a secret, backroom deal orchestrated by insiders, ignored long-time precedent and endorsed in a non-partisan race where two GOP candidates were running. The insiders apparently only visited with one candidate!
The facts as we understand them are:
(1) The HCRP Local Government Committee, where these endorsements originate, spent scores of hours deciding which local government candidates should be endorsed and interviewed in each endorsed race. They had decided not to endorse in the West University Mayor's race as both candidates had GOP primary history.
(2) The HCRP Advisory Board led by County Chairman Cindy Siegel (who up to now was off to a good start as Chair), at the behest of political consultant Mary Jane Smith endorsed Susan Sample "claiming" falsely that there was only one Republican in the race. The Advisory Board does have emergency power in between precinct chair meetings. There was no emergency, nor was the other candidate, Kevin Trautner or his team, informed of Smith's backroom deal. He was never given a chance.
TCR Analysis: While your editor served as party chair, the HCRP stayed out of endorsing in local non-partisan races; instead providing information about public policy positions of the candidates present and/or their records in office.
In this race there is a significant difference between Trautner and Sample on the issues. A review of those issues indicate there is only one conservative in the race - Kevin Trautner.
(3) Let's review the key issues:
- Property Tax Relief: Trautner voted to lower the amount of property taxes paid by homeowners supporting Mayor Bob Higley's proposal.
In her eight years on City Council, Sample never did.
- Public Safety: In an era where anti-police rhetoric from the extremists on the left is out of control, Trautner supported filling vacant police positions in West U and opposes Sample's idea for robo cops or AI police.
Sample questioned the number of beat officers in West University and voted to cut police benefits on City Council. Sounds like defunding the police to us.
- Flood Control: Trautner supports bringing the City of West University to a two-year rain minimum standard to withstand basic rain events.
Sample, after eight years on City Council, did nothing to reduce the threat from flooding.
- Residential vs. Commercial Development: Trautner supports maintaining the residential nature of West University and opposed the AT&T position for more commercialization.
Sample is in bed with the special interests who want West University to look more like Houston where there is no zoning.
The contrast is clear if you want a pro-police, pro-neighborhood, fiscal conservative. Your choice is Kevin Trautner. If you want another tax and spender, not interested in public safety, who resorts to secret backroom deals to obtain an illegitimate endorsement, then Sample is your choice.
Fire Biden's U.N. Ambassador
Being an Ambassador is no different than representing a client in court as an attorney. You never trash your client. In this case, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield's client is the U.S. For some reason, she gave a speech last week and trashed America as racist. At TCR, we disagree and believe we have made progress since the civil rights movements. She has a right to free speech, but not representing America, her client. She needs to be gone as Ambassador yesterday.
Lockdown Lina’s Threat Level Still At Red,
Are You Kidding Me?
Coming up on ten (10) months, Harris County accidental Judge Lina Hidalgo still has the threat level in Harris County at the highest level. She recommended in March, 2020 to "stay home" and avoid leaving except for the most essential needs and still does! No work, no in-person school, no restaurants, and no churches. County Commissioner Cagle questioned Lina; she said she will stick to her approach - so don't confuse me with the facts. Joining her in fantasy land of Code Red is Rodney Ellis and Adrian Garcia.
Incidentally, Texas has made real progress since Governor Abbott opened up the state and naturally we are also making progress in Harris County. Inspect the charts at the link below:
Texas Covid-19 Charts
If you drove around the Harris County area, the citizens have voted with their feet their opinion of the Hidalgo, Ellis and Garcia's Code Red lockdown. Traffic is back to normal, people are working, shopping, going to church and getting out and attending events like the Astros.
Houstonians ignoring Lina Hidalgo's Code Red
stay at home order on April 17, 2021
By the way, Lina's Harris County lockdown is the only county in Texas still doing it, 253 to 1. She is truly clueless.
The public now needs to reject the inept leadership of Hidalgo and her gang and send them all packing in 2022 and 2024.
RIP Roger Sofer, Ron Meinke and Gene Fontenot
Roger Sofer - was a key national leader for AIPAC serving on its Board of Directors for two decades. He spent countless hours traveling to Washington, D.C. and Israel working tirelessly to advance U.S.-Israel relations. He worked both sides of the aisle, but his heart was always with our side. Roger was a great husband, father, grandfather and a highly successful financial planner for 44 years. He was an important leader who will not easily be replaced.
Ron Meinke - your Editor worked closely with Ron and his great wife Deany while serving as Harris County Republican Chair from 1996-2002 (the golden era for the GOP) and Ron was one of the leaders I counted on for ensuring our success. Ron never said no to helping the GOP advance and be successful. He was a part of a generation of leaders, many now gone, that helped our party achieve total dominance in Harris County. His wife Deany was a major contributor and one of the mainstays of the greatest Republican Women’s club of that era, Daughters of Liberty. Our thoughts and prayers are with Deany and Ron's extended family. They don't make them like that anymore.
Gene Fontenot - I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Gene Fontenot Jr. MD, MPH, JD last week. Gene was a great friend both to me and to conservatives.
I met Gene in 1993 when he was considering a run for United States Congress and sought my opinion regarding his potential candidacy. Within just a few minutes, I was impressed by Gene's credentials and by his commitment to conservatism and immediately encouraged him to run with my support. I believed then and still believe today that the public arena needs more men of accomplishment and character like Dr. Fontenot.
Gene won the Republican nomination for the 25th Congressional District in the 1994 Republican Primary Election. Unfortunately, Gene fell narrowly short To Ken Bentsen, Jr. (nephew of US Senator Lloyd Bentsen) in the overwhelmingly Democrat district. To Gene's credit though, he had significant Democrat crossover votes and earned more votes than any other Republican in that district, with the exception of US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Gene would run again two years later in an open seat in the 8th District; in that race he advanced to the runoff but was defeated.
I take this opportunity to offer my sincerest condolences to Gene's wonderful widow, Reina, and his special children, David and Angelique.
While The Major Media In Texas Slept,
State Sen. Paul Bettencourt Passed A Ban On Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying By Cities And Counties
The mainstream media in Texas is now essentially the propaganda arm for the left in Texas. This means the spike is active, as the media kills story after story that is in any way favorable to conservative politicians or issues.
The good work done in the last week was by the State Senate with the leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senator Paul Bettencourt, Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill passed to the House stops the practice of taxpayer-funded lobbying by limiting the power of cities and county governments from spending public funds to influence legislation by the hiring of a lobbyist with taxpayers funds.
The goals of SB10 were first talked about by State Senator Jane Nelson in 1995. TCR salutes the leadership on this important bill. For more on this bill see the Press Release.
Alarming U.S. Economic Data Says
Problems Ahead With Runaway Deficits
TCR Comment: Dan Denning of the Bonner-Denny Letter recently laid out the threats we face economically due to our crazy federal spending (with more planned by President Biden). www.rogueeconomics.com:
"2021 will be the second year in a row in which the federal government's deficit-to-GDP ratio is greater than 10%, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (And that's assuming President Biden doesn't heed the call for a FOURTH round of stimulus checks.) Before this pandemic run of profligacy, the only other time we had such a high deficit as a percentage of GDP was in 1945, at the end of World War II."
"This is evidence that systemically, institutionally, and politically, our nation's political and monetary leaders are now committed to a path of dollar destruction. They are spending from an empty pocket. They are planning to right historical wrongs with more money borrowed from the future. They are planning to borrow further out in the future than ever before. Why?
"Because they know we'll never pay it back. And that they'll be long-dead before they have to deal with the social and economic consequences of their policies. Those consequences will be lower standards of living and quality of life for most Americans. It will mean the destruction of the savings of what's left of the middle class.
"Don't be so sure they will escape accountability in this lifetime, though. Inflation expectations are more than just a number. They're a frame of mind, an emotional state. And once you enter it, you start to look at the world and make decisions in an entirely different way. Things happen faster. They're about to happen faster."
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
I was taken aback by the positive reaction by many members of the Press who were excited when the Biden Administration announced they were going to resume daily press briefings. Why would they want to listen to a hand-picked flack disgorging half-baked answers about subjects on which they are barely enlightened?
Say what you will about President Trump; he was ever accessible to the Press. He took on every question from the WH press corps and only left when he was being rushed off to do other presidential matters. Many in the Press asked him snarky questions because of their defined distaste for him, but at least they were getting answers directly from the elected President. It was hoped that Trump had redefined access to our elected officials and transparency from our government.
It seems like with this President who refuses to engage the Press unless in highly scripted manner that we really have President Psaki. Except she spends most her time obfuscating. Here is a hint on life: when a politician comes into office and talks about how transparent their administration is going to be, bet the house that it will be the exact opposite.
President Psaki is always avoiding answers to questions. She has often used a phrase that should be stricken from the English language: "I will circle back to you on that." If the question ever gets answered it certainly does not at the next press briefing. A recent innovation she had adopted is telling the members of the WH press corps to go get the answer from a department in the Executive branch. Someone finally asked her something akin to does not the WH get information flowing up from the departments. The question regarding the crisis at the border is kicked to Homeland Security and the question never gets answered.
When we do get to see the other person (supposedly is President), it is in a limited setting or with one extremely friendly reporter like when he sat with George Stephanopoulos. There the big news was a change in position on the filibuster rules in the Senate. It was stated we should go back to the rules in place when he came into the Senate. Senators actually had to stand at the podium and talk for hours on end - the Talking Filibuster.
That was an outright lie. In 1972 the Senate Majority leader, Mike Mansfield (D-MO), changed the rule to have Silent Filibusters. He did it because with the Talking Filibuster the only thing that went on in the Senate was Senators talking on end. The Silent Filibuster allowed for a separate track where nominations could be processed, treaties reviewed, etc. Since this person who supposedly is President did not come into the Senate until a year later, he never experienced the Talking Filibuster. He may have recalled an actual change two years after his arrival - the lowering of the requirement to break a filibuster from 67 members to 60 members.
If we had a functioning press that would have been broadly pointed out instead of the inaccurate position being repeated over and over again.
Follow this with the recent first press conference from the person we thought we elected President. When asked about the filibuster, he spoke of dismantling it and cited the fact it had recently been used in an excessive fashion. Yes, it was just last year by his own party with participation by his own V-P. You would think his handlers would give him less damaging talking points.
I recently experienced a functioning press via a wonderful movie that has now been nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film. For the sake of not ruining the movie, my commentary will be limited.
Collective tells the story of a 2015 fire in a Romanian night club that caused the death of 64 people. The incident initially gained world attention, but what followed was the real story. A group of journalists led by a sports publication came to discover rampant corruption in medical care throughout the Romanian hospital system. More people died from infections in the hospitals (37) than died from the fire. That does not include individuals who survived, but with lifelong disabilities.
Catalin Tolontin, who led the investigation, dug in asking question after question demanding answers. The story uncovers rampant corruptions, a suicide to avoid guilt and a fascinating story. The after story obscures the initial story of the fire in the club caused by pyrotechnics where there were no emergency exits. The film shows the fire in the club and how amazingly quickly it spreads. It is fascinating to watch. What were they thinking setting off these pyrotechnics in this location?
Mr. Tolontin states at one point how the press is guilty of accepting at face value answers given by officials and they do not examine the answers. He admits he has been guilty of doing that himself. That is how the Romanians got to this point of dysfunction in their health care system.
We used to have a functioning press that rooted out corruption and questioned statements coming from authorities not just from government, but other institutions. They now seem to only question one side of the political aisle and abandon investigation of statements from the other side.
That is how we ended up with President Psaki.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee. You can follow Bruce on Twitter @brucebialosky.
TCR on the Air
Gary Polland has recently undertaken the hosting duties on a new interview show, Tell It Like It Is. The show is available at American Star TV and at its YouTube Channel. Currently on hiatus.
Red, White, and Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland on Fridays at 7:30 pm on Houston Public Media TV 8, replaying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Monday at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
Red, White & Blue, Like all business and education campuses, our show is off the air as we can't meet to tape. We hope to be back as soon as possible.
Gary is now a regular on "What's Your Point?" hosted by Greg Groogan on Fox 26 Houston, appearing every other week. Tune in or set your recorder for 7:00 am Sundays.
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 twenty-sixth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last twenty years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 18 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 21st year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on Houston Public Media TV 8 PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary serves on the Board of Directors of American Values, a national pro-family, pro-faith, conservative organization supporting the unity of the American people around the vision of our founding fathers and dedicated to reminding the public of the conservative principles fundamental to the survival of our nation. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.