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Volume I Number 10 - October 1, 2002
A Periodic Newsletter for Committed Texas Conservatives

In This Issue

What's Ahead

An Exclusive Interview with Attorney General Candidate Greg Abbott
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Gary Polland
(713) 621-6335







Ron Kirk Flubs Saddam Quiz-
Ends Up with Leg in Mouth;
Proves Cornyn Only One for Senate

Well, I know we've all been waiting for Ron Kirk to mess up and show that he is a typical left-wing democrat, and boy did he do it-big time! The mask of moderation has been ripped off him by his recent remarks on the U.S. with Iraq. Specifically, Kirk said:

"Let me say to those who question our patriotic duty to make sure we have a chance to win. I wonder how excited they'd be if I get to the U.S. Senate and I put forth a resolution that says the next time we go to war the first 500,000 kids have to come from families who earn a million dollars or more."

John Cornyn understands the threat Iraq is to the U.S. and all freedom loving nations and doesn't engage in cheap class envy and racism.

Once Kirk was called on the carpet looking like a fool, or playing the race card or both, he beat a nasty retreat essentially disavowing his comments and criticizing John Cornyn for pointing out the obvious.

Ron Kirk has done us a favor. We now know his true feelings about the war on terror -and supporting our military-he is not the moderate he says he is.

What Ron Kirk is - is a risk Texas cannot afford. Spread the word.

Interview with Kyle Janek

TCR: What have you been up to since your hard-fought primary?
KJ: Recovering and getting ready for the general election. It was a hard fought primary and I have been working to unify the party behind my candidacy.

TCR: How is your fall campaign going?
KJ: We are doing fine. This is a turn out race - we must get our Republican voters out. We are not focusing on radio or TV- it's about GOTV.

TCR: Financially, how did you come out of the primary?
We came out of the primary with about $150,000 in debt. Currently, we are raising money to pay for the November election and to pay off the debt.

TCR: Assume your victory in November, tell us your take on the talk of a $12 billion state budget short fall for the biennium?
KJ: The $12 billion shortfall is based on what agencies would like to have. The real shortfall is around $5 billion which was caused by a drop of sales tax receipts, a slump in the economy and increases in Medicaid costs. The problem occurs from both the revenue and spending sides, so we must do what families do - make tough choices.

One area of concern is education funding -more specifically, education funding that is not getting into classrooms. We need to get a handle on how much is spent outside the classrooms (and why) and figure out how we can maximize the dollars spent on instruction.

TCR: What are your ideas on dealing with our current to five-year problems with transportation congestion?
KJ: The long-term plan I like is Gov. Perry's transportation corridor plan. User's fees will minimize the burden on taxpayers. In the near term I like concrete over rail. We can charge tolls on our HOV lanes for single occupant vehicles and use revenue from them to put into new construction in the Houston area. I wonder why we don't blitz highway construction projects-putting on the pressure into getting a project finished more quickly and reducing the inconvenience for our drivers. We need to continue to use incentives to get projects done ahead of schedule.

TCR: Is there any area of the state budget where we can reduce, outsource or eliminate without affecting the responsibility of the state?
KJ: I believe every state agency except public safety and maybe a few others need to be scrutinized for outsourcing. I like Carol Rylander's yellow pages test -if a private business can do it why not let them. But we need to do it smartly, where it makes sense.

TCR: Where do we need to go on Robin Hood school financing?
KJ: My biggest complaint is the state and local school taxes get thrown into a pot and no one defines what the role of each is. The state over the next 2-4 years ought to take responsibility for teachers' salaries. If we can't afford all of it, we can do it for the core subjects-reading, writing math and hard sciences --the local responsibility would be books, building and buses. If we do this, the state puts its money into the classroom and it's uniform for the state and then equalization is not an issue. We would adjust for regional difference in cost of living in regard to salaries

The four Edgewood Supreme Court decisions (which form the basis for Robin Hood) address efficiency, or equity, yet say nothing about the quality of education. In other words, you can have poor quality, but you must have poor quality based on spending roughly the same amounts for all schools. I believe in letting local boards make the decisions on how to spend the money. In a new system, our schools won't be able to hide and must be efficient and possibly some will have to consolidate with other small districts.

TCR: You've been in the news recently talking about local property taxes - what proposals do you support that can pass in 2003?
KJ: We need reasonable limits in the appraisal value. The current 10% cap is taxing people out of their homes. I proposed we lower the cap to 1% per year - that's my offer: let the other side counter. Our present system is just not fair.

TCR: You are unusual for Texas politics- a full time medical doctor who serves in the legislature at significant financial sacrifice - why do you do it?
KJ: When I started in politics I was single - now I'm married and have two boys so the sacrifice is more. I do it because I like it and I am making a difference. I also think it's a good thing to have legislators from a variety of backgrounds and professions.

TCR: Many Republicans had concerns on how congressional and state senate redistricting ended up - do you believe it should be revisited to fairly account for GOP voter strength?
KJ: Clearly congressional redistricting should be revisited, since a court and not the legislature drew the new map. As for the state House and Senate, I'm reasonably happy with the way it turned out.

TCR: Any other legislative priorities for you in the next legislative session?
KJ: I'm interested in the budget for funding our emergency rooms and trauma centers in the Houston area. Tort reform is sorely needed to help small businesses, health care providers, and nursing homes.

TCR: One of the issues that remains from the last session is getting full federal Medicaid reimbursement of our nonprofit nursing homes - will you work to insure the full take down of federal dollars?
KJ: Yes, I have taken some criticism for some of the Medicaid programs I've endorsed, but I see it as a way to keep Texans' federal taxes from going to Connecticut, North Dakota or other places.

TCR: Anything you'd like to add?
KJ: Thank you Gary for doing this interview. My campaign can be contacted at (713) 526-3399.

Races of the Week

Abbott v. Watson - Attorney General. Greg Abbott is a modern Texas hero who overcame his disability to serve with distinction as a District Judge and Supreme Court Justice. He has also been a loyal soldier for the GOP going above and beyond regularly. Kurt Watson is a former so-called pro-business mayor to the People's Republic of Austin who like Ron Kirk garnered some business support. Of course, compared to the many whackos in Austin it doesn't mean much. This race has not gotten the media attention the big three have gotten but it is important. Most polls have Abbott with a lead but with many undecided-the outcome becomes uncertain. Greg Abbott will be a great Attorney General. We need to work to give him the opportunity. Contact Abbott for Attorney General at (512) 477-2002 or on the web at

Roberts v. Hochberg - H.D. 137. This is essentially a new District with a sizeable Hispanic component. Dionne Roberts has run for the Houston City Council enthusiastically and came close. Hochberg is a liberal activist. This race leans to Hochberg since he is a known to the Austin Lobby. Roberts can win with a strong campaign and a strong GOP turnout. You may get involved by calling (713) 334-1545.

Bohac v. Yarbrough - H.D. 138. This is the third time these two have met--with Democrat Yarbrough winning both times- narrowly. But this is a newly configured district that is more Republican. Dwayne Bohac is doing his usual shoe leather campaign and the district is leaning his way.

Yarbrough won't have enough people voting out of his home to make a difference. Like so many other races, GOP turnout here is critical. We should win this race. Contact the campaign at (713) 939-6234 or on the web at

Voter Registration Report and What it Means

According to the Harris County Tax Assessor Paul Bettencourt - registered voters number 1.852 million -- slightly below the number in 2000. Of the newly registered he estimates approximately 63% came from motor-voter registrations. In the last six months we have a total of approximately 160,000 newly registered voters.

Paul Bettencourt concluded, "What all the statistics tell us is that the real battle is about turnout in November."

Which is absolutely correct, as sources close to the Harris County Democratic Party report the "Buffalo Soldier" will be active starting with early voters and funded by the Sanchez fortune.

Editor's Comment - Every question about the election is answered with we must get our voters out and they must vote down ballot… We don't want this to be our worst year in the last ten years. This year there is no margin of error for us, so make sure everyone you know votes.

It's Nice to Still be Held in High Esteem

If you have a chance, read the latest Houston Press --Best of 2002 Edition. After last year honoring David Jones and I as Cable TV Personalities of the Year-this year is different.

This year Houston Press' Tim Fleck obviously decided Kyle Janek was Republican of the Year, but if you read the article, it has more about your editor than Rep. Janek.

Rep. Janek deserves better than being second fiddle to Tim Fleck's left-wing obsession with eliminating your editor from Texas politics.

To Tim Fleck and his friends: I'm not going anywhere!

About Your Editor

Gary Polland is a long time Republican spokesman, fund-raiser and leader who recently completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chair. During his time as Chairman, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events. For six years, Gary put out a bi-weekly newsletter which he has continued due to requests from many Republican activists.

Tune in Thursday Nights - Houston Warner Cable channel 17 for the Texas Politics-The Real Deal -the longest running political Houston area TV talk show featuring your editor and left-wing Democrat, David Jones and special guests.

© 2002 Texas Conservative Review

The Texas Conservative Review is published as a public service by Gary Polland
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