The Democrats victory in a GOP district in Fort Worth (State Representative District 97) is bad news and continues our downward spiral.
Is the message getting through? We need principled conservative government from the GOP in Austin or our troubles will continue.
Lessons From Indiana Upset:
Conservative Issues Still Work
A review of the 2007 off-year election shows despite setbacks, conservative issues advocated by principled conservatives still work.
For example, in Indianapolis, Indiana, superstar Democrat Mayor Bart Peterson was upset by first time candidate Greg Ballard.
How did Ballard do it? Simple, two key issues were higher taxes and a rising crime rate. The Democrat mayor presided over a 65% increase in the city income tax at the same time property taxes have accelerated and a sales tax increase on food and beverages; and crime has gone up over the previous 18 months. There was also a corruption scandal involving the Democratic city council. By the way, Ballard was outspent 8 to 1!
TCR Comment: Traditional conservative issues work. The key is once getting into office, then perform.
Democratic Take On Political Scene In Texas 2007
TCR has always believed forewarned is forearmed and that our opponents words can be most instructive. To that end, TCR has recently reviewed a series published in the Burnt Orange Report entitled 5 Years Ago. This title refers back to the statewide GOP sweep on November 5, 2002.
The two articles that piqued our interest were the ones by Senator Kirk Watson and Ed Martin.
The authors evaluated GOP control in Austin as a disaster. They say problems caused or not dealt with are:
- No enhancement of schools and universities.
- No improvement for health, highways, and at risk infrastructure.
- The GOP has cut truth out of taxation and rigged the budget process to cover campaign promises.
- The GOP instituted and recalled privatization efforts (CHIP enrollment).
- The GOP has unaccountable state government.
The articles suggest a vision for Texas:
- Tackle the big issues, end the politics of polarization.
- Children are our most valuable natural resource and we must attend to "their health, air, water, and schools."
- Economic development means providing and attracting an educated, creative workforce.
- Trust local government to do its job.
- Texas should not give away assets and hand off responsibilities to the highest corporate bidder.
Mr. Martin outlined ten things Democrats must do to continue progress and make change a reality:
- Never quit - as more Texans saw the consequences of Republican rule, we picked up 7 House seats, took out Tom DeLay and won big in Dallas.
- Rebuilding and maintaining a strong party is a year round job.
- Fight smart - state of the art voter file and online tools.
- Teamwork: "we beats me." As a minority party, teamwork is essential. As a majority party, a lack of teamwork is a recipe for losing that majority, just look at the Republicans today.
- Using research and discipline to deliver our message with many voices. "A winning message must convince a majority of voters to vote for us. A principled, well-researched message delivered by the right messenger might reach voters who otherwise would not hear it."
- A winning message does not turn off turnout. "Democrats rarely win unless Democrats draw a clear distinction between us and Republicans to give our base voters a reason to vote."
- Practice the inclusion and tolerance we preach. "One of the most remarkable causes of Republican post-2002 failure is the arrogance with which they pursued an ideological agenda ... coupled with the corruption of money laundering capitalism and they left a majority of Texans behind."
- Money is a necessary evil.
- Building alliances beyond the party. "Most people do not see the world as Democrats or Republicans and that is why it is important for Democrats to participate actively in community and non partisan organizations.
- Respect, responsibility, and accountability. "... our politics is missing the heartbeat of our country ... unless voters believe they have the respect of those involved in politics we will lose the fight to elect a government that can make a real difference in our lives."
TCR Comment: The above words are a guide to where Texas Democrats are headed. Some of the ideas make sense to conservatives and the GOP also. Which ever party gets its act together will be the party of the future in Texas. The GOP has a lot of work to do to stay on top and the Democrats are coming up on the outside.
Henry Hyde, R.I.P.
Former House Judiciary Chairman, Congressman Henry Hyde is dead at the age of 83. Rep. Hyde was a class act who, by the way, was a former Lincoln Day keynote speaker for the Harris County Republican Party. In the House, a strong principled conservative, Hyde was respected by all. Rep. Hyde was a strong defender of the sanctity of life and a stalwart on national defense. This conservative lion was a difference maker and his loss is our loss.
COMING December 28, 2007 at 8:00 pm on Channel 8 PBS in Houston, Texas - The Connection - Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones. New York Times liberal columnist Paul Krugman faces off with the boys in an exciting half-hour.
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.