Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas has come under assault by the far-left ranging from Sheila Jackson Lee to emotional editorial writers ranting about supposed problems with "jail standards."
Here in Houston we have a growing population and rising crime. As our sheriff, Tommy Thomas has to deal with housing the growing criminal population in our Harris County Jail. While City Hall bureaucrats wring their hands with ineffective policies, Sheriff Thomas handles the real work of keeping violent criminals and drug dealers locked up while a state's prison system is slow to take convicted felons. He does a good job, and we need to support Sheriff Thomas when he comes under attack from the agenda-driven left and useless bureaucrats.
It's no secret why the left would attack our sheriff; they'd rather see criminals let loose, turn a blind eye to victims' rights, and have Sheriff Thomas softened up so he can be knocked off in 2008. Even worse though, is when bureaucrats from the State of Texas breathe down our local law enforcement's necks because of "overcrowding" at the jail. The reality is that the state doesn't move prisoners from our jail fast enough and their actions amount to an unfunded mandate on Harris County taxpayers.
If this were the "new" Dallas County or New Orleans, we'd simply let the criminals run free and not have to worry about jail crowding. But Tommy Thomas takes his job seriously and does the hard work of protecting our neighborhoods by keeping violent offenders off the streets.
The next time you see a far-left politician or newspaper editorial attack our sheriff, remember why we work so hard to keep local conservatives in office, Sheriff Thomas is the poster child for that effort.
Cornyn Stars In Immigration Showdown
Anyone who doubted the growing effectiveness of Texas's junior U.S. Senator had their eyes opened during last month's summary execution of Ted Kennedy's immigration bill. Sen. John Cornyn was at the center from start to finish. He demonstrated again why he is fast emerging as a leader among an energetic younger conservative group in the Senate GOP caucus.
Both Cornyn and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison were fully engaged and constructive on immigration reform, with good reason. Both are in GOP leadership, and Texas, with its long international border, is Ground Zero on immigration issues. Early on, it appeared that about ten "grand bargainers" had hatched a plan behind closed doors that would survive any filibuster attempt.
Cornyn was convinced otherwise. He had joined the bargainers for two dozen meetings over three months, but soon realized that Kennedy's bill had fatal flaws. His bottom line: despite good intentions, the new law couldn't be enforced. It wouldn't establish border security or an enforceable compliance system. In short, it repeated mistakes of the 1986 amnesty.
Even so, neither Cornyn nor Hutchison joined the handful of Senators by openly using every tactic to torpedo the bill. Absolutists are often tuned out in the Senate, and ignored.
Instead, they offered amendments designed to highlight deficiencies in the bill, provoke examination and discussion, and force detailed consideration of legislation that backers were trying to ram through quickly. In the end, the Cornyn-Hutchison approach proved most effective.
Cornyn, former chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, is proving to be a serious legislator. He'd been working on immigration reform for four years, and had filed his own comprehensive bill in 2005 that was unfortunately shunted aside by the Bush-backed Kennedy-Kyl legislation. But Cornyn knew well the weaknesses of Kennedy's new proposal. As the grand bargainers urged speedy passage, Cornyn quickly floated ideas for 30 amendments and filed nearly a dozen himself. Other Senators were able to borrow from his work.
Hutchison also proposed amendments - to protect Social Security, and to mandate a return-home provision for all who lacked documents. Both had wide support.
Cornyn's first amendment, removing convicted felons, terrorists, sex offenders and absconders from benefits under the bill provoked howls of outrage from Kennedy and grand bargain supporters. After two weeks of stalling, Kennedy produced an "alternative" that only barred some felons. Kennedy managed to muscle his version through, but Cornyn had done major damage.
Cornyn then followed with an amendment to allow information sharing among law enforcement officers so that illegals found ineligible for easy-to-obtain Z visas could be apprehended and deported. Cornyn made a persuasive case that without his amendment, the bill would be unenforceable. This time, the Senate voted 56-43 for Cornyn, further weakening the bargainers and their solidarity.
With their coalition fraying, the bargainers prevailed on Senate leadership to restrict further amendments. Cornyn, unsurprisingly, was denied opportunity to get a vote on any of his other amendments. That created yet another storm of protest, since respected Senators were not being allowed their traditional right to debate and amend freely.
Hutchison pounded another nail in the bill's coffin by successfully portraying her return-home amendment as the acid test on Senate willingness to remove amnesty. When her amendment failed, 47-52, the dye was cast.
Early on, some 64 Senators had signaled they were ready to vote for the bill. But under the combined assault, and backed by a growing number of grassroots phone calls, letters and emails, support eroded and then collapsed. At the end, there were only 46 votes to move to passage.
The approach of both Texas Senators was laudable. Especially when it appeared the bill might pass, they worked to improve it and remove its worst excesses. They were constructive and responsible. They helped force extended debate, a more careful examination that led the Senate majority to reject a poor bill. It was masterful; duty called, and our Senators responded. Conservatives should be proud.
Radical Muslims Want You Dead:
A Report From London
TCR received these photos from a friend.
View the pictures below and decide how you really feel about the future of the Western World.
These pictures are of Muslims marching through the streets of London during a protest on February 3, 2006.
The Muslims have stated that England will be the first western country they take over!
These pictures have not been shown on American TV or in American newspapers, but TCR thought Americans ought to know!
COMING (Friday, July 27, 2007 at 8 pm) on Channel 8 PBS in Houston, Texas - The Connection - Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones with special guest Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Coming soon, in August look for a joint appearance by Congressmen Ted Poe and Al Green.
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 tenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last six years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.