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Volume V Number 3 - February 22, 2006
A Periodic Newsletter for Committed Texas Conservatives

Download TCR's Harris County 2006 Republican Primary Recommended Ballot

In This Issue

GOP Primary 2006

Statewide Legislative And Education Board Endorsements

Vote Yes On All Four Texas GOP Ballot Propositions By: Hon. Paul Bettencourt

America's Border Situation By: Judge Ted Poe, Congressman From Texas 2nd District

Lessons Of GOP's Election Loss In Austin District 48 Special Election

Common Sense Private Sector Solutions For The Government Sector By: Fred Stockton

What's Ahead

Hard Hitting
Conservative Commentary
Contact TCR

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Gary Polland
3411 Richmond Ave., Ste. 770
Houston, TX 77046
(713) 621-6335







GOP Primary 2006

Republican primaries in a predominantly GOP state are important because it is the one place conservatives can impact who holds elected office.

With a primary turnout estimated at 5% or less it means your vote is magnified. For example, in Harris County (Houston) there are about 1.8 million registered voters, of which 50% generally vote Republican. A small turnout means each vote cast is really worth thirty votes! In a county-wide race that means as few as 2.5% of the registered voters decide who is elected! A small number of votes can make a large conservative difference.

TCR in endorsing, seriously looked at all the choices and did not endorse in every race, only in races where there is a clear conservative choice. We look for candidates who are real conservatives, who will not drink the "kool-aid" of elective office and forget who elected them.

Statewide Legislative And
Education Board Endorsements

TCR, with the help of Jim Cardle of Texas Free Enterprise Fund/Club for Growth, presents its choices in races where conservatives have a true choice between a real Texas conservative and a candidate who only will talk, but not walk the walk.

State Representative Contested GOP Primaries

District TCR Endorsed
2 Dan Flynn
4 Betty Brown
6 Leo Berman
9 Wayne Christian
11 Brian Keith Walker
26 Charlie Howard
28 Michael Franks
47 Alex Castano
50 Don Zimmerman
52 Mike Krusee
54 Hans Dersch
62 Larry Phillips
63 Tan Parker
72 Scott Campbell
73 Nathan Macias
83 Van Wilson
85 Jim Landtroop
87 David Swinford
91 Kelly Hancock
94 Kent Grusendorf
99 Chris Hatley
101 Elvira Reyna
126 John Devine
127 Joe Crabb
133 Michael Schofield

State Senate Contested GOP Primaries

District TCR Endorsed
2 Bob Deuell
3 Frank Denton
7 Dan Patrick
18 Glenn Hegar

State Board of Education

District TCR Endorsed
5 Ken Mercer
10 Cynthia Dunbar

Harris County Endorsements

Office Endorsed Candidate TCR Recommendation Why
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8 Terry Keel Because he is a superbly qualified lawyer, former sheriff and legislator who will be quite simply the best addition to this court in a decade.
State Senator District 7 Dan Patrick Because we desperately need a conservative voice in Austin who will not do the Austin two-step and because business as usual is not getting it done. The opposition though qualified and conservative, can not do what needs to be done. Dan will.
State Representative District 126 John Devine A pioneer in the pro-life movement who while on the bench ruled in favor of lower taxes - he will not rest until he delivers property tax relief to homeowners. His opponent - its been reported - employs illegals while she campaigns as being tough on immigration. There is an interesting website on this issue you can view it at
State Representative District 127 Joe Crabb Long time conservative representative who we can trust. So we should send him back to Austin.
State Representative District 133 Michael Schofield In a race where his opponents both have a history of increasing spending and taxes in their former positions he will put a stop to both in Austin.
183rd District Court Vanessa Velasquez Governor Perry appointed whose opponent is a perennial candidate. On the job, she has shown sensitivity and toughness where called for. Already she has been recognized by law enforcement as one of our outstanding judges. By the way, she trained under former legendary judge and Congressman Ted Poe. She deserves four more years.
245th District Court Annette Galik Judge Galik has served for three terms and has done a good job in a difficult court, she is willing to do it for four more years and we should let her.
315th District Court Michael (Mike) Schneider In an important race, in a court that deals on the front line with the child protective services crisis and juveniles he is clearly the right choice. Mike has the experience, demeanor and vision to be a terrific judge. He also has the support of all conservative groups who give their endorsements and is backed by the political odd couple - County Commissioner Radack and Tax-Assessor Paul Bettencourt. He also recently won the Houston Bar Ass'n Judicial Qualifications Poll of Attorneys. The Harris County juvenile courts will be positively impacted by his election.
County Court No. 3 Lynn Bradshaw-Hull Judge Hull has been on the job for us for three terms and has handled over 54,000 cases. As a judge, she brings her wisdom and experience to her court and is widely respected for her fairness and hard work.
Probate Court No. 4 Georgia Akers A featured race in previous editions of TCR - she is what this court needs - energy, vision, and experience to upgrade this important court. She has innovative ideas of how to get this chronically laggard court up to speed. Her opponent just doesn't have it anymore.
County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez A proven leader on conservative issues like fighting for lower taxes who will make this job a bully pulpit for us. He will be a valuable conservative leader in Harris County.

Vote Yes On All Four
Texas GOP Ballot Propositions

By: Hon. Paul Bettencourt

Republicans all across Texas have the chance to cast their votes for four excellent Ballot Propositions during the Tuesday, March 7th Primary Election. These four non-binding ballot propositions were proposed by State Republican Party Chair, Tina Benkiser, and I had the chance to testify for them in committee before the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) Members approved each one unanimously.

My reasoning, like the chairs', was it was high time to get the Republican Party back to basic grassroots concepts like stopping voter fraud, protecting your property from governmental seizures for economic gain only, slowing the growth of all governmental revenues that are going up twice as fast as needed across the state, and keeping homeowners taxes from "going through the roof" literally across the State of Texas!

Prop 1 calls for a "Photo ID" to vote in any Texas election. Prop 2 provides "Private Property Protection" against the terrible Supreme Court ruling last year allowing purely economic based seizures of private property, your home for example! Prop 3 sets a "Spending Cap" limit on all government's ability to ask for more revenue to the sum of their district's yearly population growth and the area's inflation rate, and Prop 4 lowers the existing "Appraisal Cap" from 10% to 5% saving Texas Homeowners hundreds of dollars a year even if property tax rates stay the same from year to year.

As you can tell, these four non-binding Ballot Propositions deserve your vote, as they will tell every Republican Elected Official from the Red River to the Rio Grande how you feel about each issue as a member of the Texas Majority Party! Don't miss a Grand Old Party opportunity by joining your "Taxman" and Voting Yes on all these Ballot Propositions March the 7th.
Vote Conservative, Vote "Yes" on Props 1 thru 4!

Paul Bettencourt has served as Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector for six years. Paul previously served in a number of positions in the Harris County Republican Party, including Vice-Chairman and Treasurer, and has worked in various capacities in at least 40 political campaigns.

America's Border Situation
By: Judge Ted Poe,
Congressman From Texas 2nd District

The "situation," as folks up here in DC like to call it, on our borders is a serious threat to our country. This is not a Texas problem or an Arizona and Southern California problem, this is an American problem. And, this is not a "situation," this is a State of Emergency. I wonder what the response would be if boat loads of illegal immigrants docked along the shores of Cape Cod or set up a human trafficking shop in the Hamptons? I imagine the media and my northern colleagues would see that as a problem. Just because your backyard doesn't back up to the border doesn't mean that illegal immigration isn't taking a toll on your community, your pocket book and above all your safety.

In December, Congress passed the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005. This is the first, in a series of steps, to address the crisis along our borders. But, it is time that everyone from all corners of our nation to take notice of what they perceive to be someone else's problem.

First, we must look at the root of the problem. Life in the United States is better than anywhere else, but not everyone can live in the Untied States. On an almost daily basis, Mexican officials in the United States are interfering with immigration matters and our control of it. If the Mexican government spent as much time enforcing their own rule of law and fighting corruption in Mexico and less time undermining laws by promoting corruption in the United States, then maybe the Mexican economy would be worth staying for. Perhaps countries south of our border should take advantage of their many natural and mineral resources and strong tourist economies to improve their own countries so that their residents will stop leaving. They need to address their problems at home instead of sending them north to us.

In the past several months we have heard numerous reports of drug traffickers being "escorted" into our country by machine-gun-toting men dressed in Mexican Military uniforms. We have even discovered an elaborate tunnel under the state of California. Most recently was the incident near El Paso, Texas in Hudspeth County where deputy sheriffs intercepted a group of drug runners flanked by what they believed to be Mexican Military personnel. When the suspects were confronted, the men in military uniforms, driving a Humvee, covered as they unloaded the drugs and fled back across the border. I have been to Laredo, Texas and met with local, state and federal law enforcement there and they don't have a Humvee. This was not an isolated incident, border patrol agents have testified to numerous encounters with armed Mexican Military personnel. We are out-armed and out-manned and that's a shame.

Unfortunately the crimes on the border don't stop at drug trafficking. The murder rate in Nuevo Laredo is staggering and the number of cases unsolved is, well all of them. Crime apparently doesn't recognize our borders either, because the city of Laredo, Texas sees its fair share. Human smugglers, commonly known as Coyotes, thrive in a corrupt environment. These thugs profit from human transport by collecting smuggling fees and forcing many women into prostitution and a life of servitude to pay off their debt. This is no way for any human to live and better policy and strict enforcement of our borders will start to put an end to all of this violence.

I want to make it clear that I fully support immigration - legal immigration. But, we are sending the wrong message to the world as it applies to our immigration policies. The next terrorist that wreaks havoc on our country will not arrive here on a forged student visa, he will simple walk across our accessible and open borders. The bottom line is simple, we have a crisis in our country and it is time for ALL Americans to wake up and take action.

Ted Poe first made a name for himself in Texas as a straight-talking, no-nonsense Assistant District Attorney and criminal court judge famous nationally and locally for his "shame punishment" of criminals. His successes and no-nonsense style helped him get re-elected six times. Today, Judge Poe takes his passionate, common-sense approach to problems to Washington, D.C. where he has a commitment to security for the citizens of Congressional District 2 and the entire state of Texas. In February 2005, Congressman Poe was one of three members of Congress to travel to Iraq to observe the historic Iraqi elections. Congressman Poe has obtained significant appointments to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, the House Committee on International Relations, and the House Committee on Small Business.

Lessons Of GOP's Election Loss
In Austin District 48 Special Election

Is this the election that portends a Democratic revival in Texas? No, but it's still not good news. This is at worst a lean Republican district that should have been held. The GOP candidate Ben Bentzin previously ran strong in a losing race for the Texas Senate in Travis County two years ago. This time, a combination of a no message campaign (not enough campaigning on lower property taxes and Robin Hood), a Democrat who successfully got away with running as a moderate, and an ineffective ground campaign when compared to the Democrats, spelled doom.

This confluence of events, if repeated in Texas, can switch other seats to the Democrats. GOP candidates in swing and lean districts need to learn the lesson of the Bentzin defeat in Austin or they can find themselves in the same position. At the end of the day, all politics is truly local.

Common Sense Private Sector
Solutions For The Government Sector

By: Fred Stockton

When Gary Polland asked me to write an article for TCR, I must admit that I resisted. My thought was, "What can I contribute to a political publication?" I am not a professional writer or politician or policy expert. Sure, I am concerned about issues facing us this country, and especially concerned about issues that impact us here in Harris County, but at the end of the day, I am just a taxpayer, concerned citizen and business owner. Then it hit me; that is exactly why government is such a mess today-because there are not more taxpayers, concerned citizens and business owners speaking out and getting involved in the process. I believe it is government's responsibility to listen to the grass roots, but first it is our responsibility to speak so we can be heard. So I have accepted the challenge.

I want to clarify one point. When some people hear the words "business owner" an image comes to mind of some guy in a starched white shirt and power tie, his Gucci loafers firmly planted atop a mahogany desk. I am not that business owner. I still get my hands dirty, review sales figures and financial reports and I meet with my customers on a daily basis. I like getting face-to-face with the people who are responsible for my success. It keeps me connected and focused on what I do. It also keeps me in tune with what my customers want and helps me anticipate their needs. If my service or products are not meeting the demands of the market, we find ways to meet those needs. If customers are not getting value from us, we find ways to create value and solve problems. If our prices are out of line with the market, we find ways to streamline and become more efficient. If we run low on money, we stop spending and cut costs.

These are the things that must be done to run a successful business and they are the same things that our elected officials must start doing if we are to save our country and keep from bankrupting the taxpayers. There are many businesses that can show government how to run better. There are even a few politicians who actually "get it" and utilize the business model. Take Paul Bettencourt for example. When Paul took over the Tax Assessor's office, it was a bureaucratic mess plagued by long lines, poor service and a very disgruntled constituency. After his election, he immediately began talking to his "customers" and listened to their complaints. Then he put together a group of very bright people who developed a plan to modernize, streamline and overhaul the office and its procedures to make it more customer friendly. Today, the Tax office is more like FedEx or UPS and a whole lot less like the Post Office. The result? Customers are happy, the tax office runs more like a business and Paul is one of the most well-regarded elected officials in Harris County. Are you paying attention, Mr. and Ms. Politician?

I do not have all the answers. Nor can ALL the answers be found by simply applying business practices to government. But it is a darn good place to start. Here are some of the lessons that I have learned from running two successful companies that I know can help government at all levels.

  1. Find out what your customers (constituents) want and give it to them.

  2. Think outside the box by investigating the best practices in other well-run organizations and businesses and implement the ones that make sense.

  3. Benchmark EVERYTHING. Which basically means: determine what you do and why, measure all the processes and find ways to do it better. Sometimes that means going back to the drawing board.

  4. When you are spending more money than you are taking in, stop. Become more efficient, cut costs and give all us taxpayers a break.

  5. Encourage imagination and creativity which are the seeds that grow into the ideas for greater efficiency, increased productivity and higher morale.

Finally, stop trying to protect your "turf" and stop worrying about re-election. First of all, it is not your "turf." It belongs to us taxpayers. Second, if you do a good job, give us good service, and stop wasting our money, you will get re-elected. That's my advice, but then again what do I know? I'm just a taxpayer, concerned citizen and business owner who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and does not mind getting eyeball-to-eyeball with the people who put me where I am.

Fred Stockton is President of the Stockton Companies, a long-time conservative activist, and presently serves as a leader in the Houston Rodeo.

COMING - (Friday, February 24 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. The guest is State Representative Rick Noriega.

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.

Tune in Thursday Nights - Houston Warner Cable channel 17 at 6:30 PM for Texas Politics-The Real Deal with co-hosts David Jones and Gary Polland, awarded Cable T.V. personalities of the year by the Houston Press.

© 2006 Texas Conservative Review

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