Conservatives are pondering whether to go or not to the GOP state convention June 2nd - 3rd in San Antonio, Texas.
TCR advises that if you like the present state of affairs in Austin and D.C., go and celebrate. If you are unhappy, go and start making a difference. TCR agrees with the latter thought.
So what can conservatives do to take back the party and state for the grassroots conservatives? First, we need to pass a "Compact With Texas" at the state convention modeled after the legendary Contract with America. Second, we need to require under RPT Rules that all non-judicial GOP candidates respond in writing whether they support the "Compact With Texas" or not. If not, they should be handled as the Rule 43 reformers, led by Robert X Johnson, propose. With simple ideas we establish real accountability for our elected officials. Third, we need to insure that the party leadership are independent conservatives who are not owned by special interests or our elected officials. For example, despite the state platform being violated by the business tax just instituted, the state party leadership was silent, except for RNC Committeewoman Denise McNamara, who stood tall. TCR doesn't blame the leaders, they are between a rock and a hard place with budget problems and personal pressure, but principles should govern us and nothing else.
A Proposal For The Republican Party Of Texas
A GOP Compact With Texas
- Residential property tax cap will be reduced to 5% less an index adjusted for inflation (just like income tax benefits are adjusted for inflation).
- TABOR type state spending controls limiting state increases in spending to no more than the increase in inflation and population.
- Repeal the new gross receipts business tax (which could mean taxing a business that makes no money) and instead institute a broad based consumption tax at a lower than current rate.
- End bilingual education in Texas to be replaced by an English First curriculum.
- Support a constitutional amendment to require a super majority before raising any taxes.
- Eliminate the top 10% rule on college admissions as it discriminates against students going to better high schools.
- Institute a pilot program for school choice for students in under-performing schools.
TCR Comment: Why not pass this or something similar and ask our candidates to stand with us?
Can Texas Conservatives
Runaway State Spending?
With Texas spending growing at an alarming rate since the 1993 session and the recent spending increases from the most recent special session, conservatives are wondering, what happened to state fiscal restraint? With the GOP controlling both houses of the legislature and key executive positions, how did this happen? The short answer from a conservative state senator who asked to remain confidential is "there is NO reliable conservative majority in the Senate and it is marginal at best in the House." So now you know the problems we have, officeholders who ran as conservative Republicans and now serve in office as northeastern Republicans. (RINO's)
So, as many of our elected officials continue to disappoint us, is there anything we, the grassroots can do? Yes, on Friday afternoon at the state convention, be on the lookout for a CLOUT affiliated press conference, where an important step to stop the spending madness will be introduced to the citizens of Texas. You will have a chance to sign up for this effort and be a part of history.
Conservative Backlash In Pennsylvania:
Is It A Preview For Texas?
This story will sound familiar. Conservatives revolt and toss out more than 12 incumbent state lawmakers in Pennsylvania as they were deemed not committed to small government and fiscal restraint.
This shot across the bow is being heard in D.C. and around the country. Of course, in Texas we have other issues too, but clearly everyone who thinks our incumbents are safe both locally and statewide are dreaming. The grassroots are perilously close to taking a hike and if they do, the carnage will be vast, with potential GOP losses in Texas for Governor, some Congressional seats and loss of the State House plus setbacks in counties around the state.
There is a message from Pennsylvania and that is when you abandon core conservative principles as elected officials, there is a price to be paid from conservative voters.
Despite heroic efforts by three outstanding conservative Senate leaders Cornyn, and Hutchison of Texas and Kyl of Arizona, progress for those concerned with getting the illegal immigrants problem under control is mixed at best.
TCR wonders with all the complaining in Texas about the runaway student population as justification for up, up and away state and local school property taxes, is the reason we face this problem because of illegal immigrant students? How much would taxpayers save if we finally get control of illegal immigration and eject those who don't belong? For example, the Houston Chronicle on March 21, 2006 estimates that of the 205,000 students in the Houston Independent School District, currently 20,000 - 35,000 are illegal. If they weren't in the district, the student population would have DECREASED by 8% over the past ten years!
One idiotic idea being pushed in D.C. is to allow people in the U.S. illegally to get green cards and to apply for citizenship and only go to the back of the citizenship line. If this becomes law, we will have given a big advantage to lawbreakers and told those that follow the rules (legal immigration process) "you are a fool to follow the rules, you need to break them and then you too can take cuts in the immigration line."
TCR Comment: If this stupid idea is passed, we might as well repeal our immigration laws and open our borders, because functionally that's what we've done.
COMING - (Friday, June 30 at 8 pm) to Channel 8 PBS in Houston, Texas - the connection - Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones.
COMING SOON - Former Congressman Nick Lampson, former Vice President Al Gore and Clark Kent Ervin.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who recently 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 ninth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last four years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant and can be reached at (713) 621-6335.