As we move into the March 4th primaries, conservatives are wondering what are the twelve key races for conservatives in this year's primary in Texas? With special thanks to Jim Cardle, Texas Free Enterprise Fund and TexasInsider.org, here goes:
Can We Stop The Obama Crusade
- Dist. 4: Stalwart conservative Incumbent Betty Brown vs. attorney Wade Gent.
- Dist. 29: Retiring Mike O'Day has 3 Republicans vying for this seat. A likely runoff will determine whether conservatives are moving forward, or not. Randy Weber gets good marks from conservatives.
- Dist. 40: Stalwart Incumbent Aaron Pena vs. recent-DWI offender Jose E. "Eddie" Saenz.
- Dist. 52: Retiring Mike Krusee has 4 Republicans vying for this seat. A runoff is most likely and we will see if conservatives can win the day. Bryan Daniel gets good marks here.
- Dist 55: Retiring Dianne Delisi seat has 4 Republicans vying for this seat. A likely runoff will determine whether conservatives are moving forward. Mike Pearce gets good marks here.
- Dist. 56: Stalwart Incumbent Charles "Doc" Anderson vs. Jonathan Sibley. Sibley just last week went back on his pledge to support Speaker Tom Craddick in a likely-pre-planned publicity stunt.
- Dist. 61: Stalwart Incumbent Phil King vs. Joe M. Tison, whose gambling interest ties have just recently been exposed, following his using publicly-funded ISD resources to market his campaign & turn out voters coming to light.
- Dist. 73: Stalwart Incumbent Nathan Macias vs. Douglas Miller, whose gambling interest ties have recently been exposed with Retama Park horse track, yet this district has a strong conservative anti-gambling base.
- Dist. 78: Ne'er-do-well Incumbent Pat Haggerty vs. Dee Margo, who's just recently won the endorsement of Gov. Rick Perry and other key Republicans.
- Dist. 97: Retiring Anna Mowery has 4 Republicans vying for this seat. This field points to a runoff, we'll see if a conservative will be challenging Dan Barrett, who won recent Special Election as a Democrat while Republicans sliced each other to defeat.
- Dist. 112: Retiring Fred Hill (property tax reform blocker) seat has 3 Republicans vying for this seat. A likely runoff will determine whether conservatives are moving forward, or not. Randy Dunning is the choice here.
- Dist. 144: Retiring Robert Talton has 3 Republicans vying for this seat. A likely runoff here will determine whether conservatives get a replacement for Talton. Ken Legler gets high marks.
To The White House?
Barack Obama's sold out U.S. tour is truly fascinating. He draws crowds like the top rock groups, or like Joel Osteen, the outstanding leader of Lakewood Church, or the best college basketball team. The excitement he is building will probably lead to the Democratic nomination in Denver and maybe the White House.
For the most part, his campaign has been long on uplifting rhetoric and short on substance with comments about seeking change and looking for hope, unity and the future and we the listeners can add the details.
Obama, surprisingly has taken a page from Ronald Reagan, who ran for president saying America's best days are ahead (Hope) and that Washington is broken (Change), and just like this worked for Reagan, it's working for Obama.
So is he beatable and if so, how to do it?
If the election were held today, McCain v. Obama, it would be very close. The current Democratic enthusiasm to recapture the White House is evidenced by their larger turnout and by more dollars raised.
However, the race is winnable. When you look though the lofty rhetoric Obama essentially is a younger version of your typical left-wing Democrat, like John Kennedy, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, and Jimmy Carter, except more so. The National Journal in its congressional ratings for 2007, rated him the most liberal senator. On critical issues facing America, Obama follows the liberal line except he favors merit pay for teachers. So first and foremost, draw the battle lines on key issues like the military and foreign affairs where Obama is dangerously na´ve (his ideas: bomb our ally Pakistan and talk to the head of axis of evil Iran.) Taxes and spending, where he wants to raise taxes on the wealthy (really the middle class and up) and spend hundreds of billions of dollars on new programs. He'd end the war in Iraq now and bring home the troops (resulting in a defeat for U.S. interests in the Middle East and a victory for the radical Islamic forces.) He is wrong on every social issue and will send the Supreme Court to the left for the next thirty years (remember he wouldn't even join the bipartisan gang of 14 involving judicial confirmation) and he voted no on the bipartisan deal on FISA (to help guarantee domestic security), and on and on.
As Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson said recently, "He (Obama) has run on the vague promise of 'change', but on issue after issue: immigration, the economy and global warning, he has offered boilerplate policies that evade the underlying causes of the statements... the contrast between his broad rhetoric and his narrow agenda is stark."
So in simple terms, we win by framing the race as a choice on issues and draw clear distinctions with Obama. Conservative columnist Michael Medved suggests the McCain campaign be based on the following big questions facing the U.S.
- Do you think America will be safer if we surrender to terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere?
- Do you want to pay more in taxes for a bigger government?
- Do you want to pay for your neighbor's health insurance?
- Is the nation stronger when we emphasize individual responsibility?
- Do we want more freedom and opportunity or do we need more government supervision and regulation?
Senator McCain, in addition to drawing contrasts on issues, also needs to articulate his vision for the future of America. Because, at the end of the day the Obama excitement is about just that and we can likewise provide our own future vision.
The good news: it is February and Obama has not been fully vetted (more in future issues of TCR) and by November, if we all do our jobs he will just be another out of touch left winger. One more in a long line of out of touch Democrat nominees and on his way to defeat. But, we have our work cut out for us.
The Highly Competitive Job Market For First Responders, What To Do Now?
With the emerging recruitment battle for new police cadets between Dallas, Houston, and other cities it's time to ask, what do we do?
In simple language, cities need to recruit the best and brightest and pay them competitively and insure an appropriate work environment.
Competitive recruitment bonuses are fine, but we can't forget existing officers. One thought is to institute a system of retention bonuses similar to ones given on a larger scale to college football and basketball coaches to encourage them to stay in place.
Under such a scenario, every three to five years, rank and file police officers and firemen would receive a retention bonus. Will it cost money? Yes, but in the long run it's cheaper to retain your experienced first responders than to have to train rookies because we can't replace what our cities and counties already have.
Chuck Rosenthal: Enough, It's Time To Stop
After two months of the now former Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal being under the gun, TCR believes that the media frenzy needs to come to an end. The public got what they wanted when he resigned. Now it is time for him to be left alone with his family, get the help he needs, and get on with his life.
COMING Friday, March 21, 2008 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 with author and former Bush speech writer David Frum and on March 28, 2008 the liberal's version of Frank Luntz: George Lakoff, author of the book Thinking Points - Communicating Our American Values and Vision.
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.