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Volume V Number 7 - April 19, 2006
A Periodic Newsletter for Committed Texas Conservatives

In This Issue

Lessons Of 2006 Runoffs For Conservatives

TCR Joins Conservative Coalition Call For Dedicating Surplus To Property Tax Relief

Texas Republican National Committeeman Bill Crocker Tells "His" Side Of The Immigration Dispute At RNC

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







Lessons Of 2006 Runoffs For Conservatives

The conservative era (if it ever was really here) in Texas is on life support, endangered by runoff setbacks in both parties to candidates supported by the educrats lobby.

Lets review the results:

HD 11 Larry Durrett over
TCR Endorsed Brian Walker
HD 28 John Zerwas (ought to be okay) over
TCR Endorsed David Melanson
HD 47 Bill Welch (ought to be okay) over
TCR Endorsed Alex Castano
HD 50 Jeff Fleece (ought to be okay) over
TCR Endorsed Don Zimmerman
HD 54 Jimmie Aycock (says he is conservative)
over TCR Endorsed Dale Hopkins
HD 63 TCR Endorsed Tan Parker
over Anne Lakusta
HD 71 Susan King over
TCR Endorsed Kevin Christian
HD 72 Drew Darby over
TCR Endorsed Scott Campbell
HD 118 TCR Endorsed George Antuna
over Steve Salyer
HD 133 Jim Murphy over TCR Endorsed
Michael Schofield (179 vote margin!)
SBOE District 5 TCR Endorsed Ken Mercer over
Dan Montgomery (big conservative win)
Collin County Judge TCR Endorsed Keith Self over Ron Harris

Of course, anything's possible and the "so called" moderate Republicans elected might support property tax cuts and caps, immigration reform and spending controls, but their key supporters would indicate otherwise.

So what happened and why?

  1. In a very low turnout election, Texas special interests can dictate who wins and who loses.

  2. The base conservative vote was either off-line, disinterested, or irritated by the lack of a full conservative agenda and didn't turn out.

  3. More moderate candidates mouthed the words most conservatives espouse, causing confusion among voters.

  4. The conservative leadership and major donors were not always together and funding was mixed at best with inefficient donations in key races, some too late, some not at all. One Houston candidate got $17,000 last Friday!

  5. A virtual pro-conservative media blackout on the key races.

  6. In a runoff, motivated voters will vote and conservatives didn't motivate their voters.

  7. Major donors were sidelined or out of "focus", figuring the more moderate candidate could win and did. It could make a huge difference in who leads the House and whether we can pass conservative reforms, spending control, and tax relief.

As Jim Cardle, head of the Texas Free Enterprise Fund/Texas Club for Growth, stated in reviewing the problem, "But until Republicans at the state level learn - as did Republicans at the national level 10 years ago when Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey and others galvanized a movement behind the Contract with America - that their agenda needs to be tailored to appeal to a broader audience than is currently being done, and be tactically approached in more consumable pieces, one probably can't argue that the conservative movement in Texas has taken two steps forward, and then one back. History shows one thing clearly though: those who deliver on something and have the courage to be judged on one's record, almost always are re-elected. Those who do nothing, are run out of office."

TCR Joins Conservative Coalition Call For Dedicating Surplus To Property Tax Relief

With a $5.9 to $8.2 billion dollar surplus (depending on how you look at the money available) for Texas, it is time to act and a coalition of conservative leaders and groups, led by Peggy Venable of Americans for Prosperity, are in the process of sending a letter to our legislators.

The letter calls for sending all available surplus revenue back to the taxpayers in the form of lower property taxes and also calls for spending limits and tax limits.

The battle lines are being drawn between the spenders and the tax cutters in Austin, which side are you on? It is important to contact your legislators and tell them what you want to see done, otherwise the special interests will make the decision for you.

The letter states as follows:

"Since former Governor Bush first attempted to fix the problem of rising property tax rates, surpluses have totaled $27 billion dollars; even with the deficit of the '04-'05 biennium considered, the net total of surpluses over the past twelve years is $19.6 billion. In other words, surplus revenue is a recurring feature of the budget cycle in Texas, and represents the best available tool to reduce the school Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax that is fueling outrageous and unacceptable burdens on homeowners.

Because surpluses are a result of a strong economy and rising population, it is reasonable to expect that surplus revenue will continue to flow into the state treasury. The latest report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas underscores this point:

Last year saw the most robust job growth since 2000. Texas' economy gained momentum through its traditional advantages: a resilient energy industry, a favorable business climate, a low cost of living and relatively inexpensive real estate.

In February 2006, the Comptroller of Public Accounts estimated the surplus would be as much as $4.3 billion. Most analysts expect that number to rise over $2 billion given the strength of the Texas economy. Assuming the revenue estimate does not increase, merely applying the current $4.3 billion surplus to property tax reduction would mean that the M&O tax rate could be reduced by twenty cents over the next two years. This is a significant and meaningful tax cut that would get the public school system out of the Courts, an arduous process that has drained financial and political resources for too long.

We, the undersigned, strongly urge the 79th Legislature to use this opportunity to dedicate revenue for property tax reduction. This approach rests on sound, conservative fiscal principle and supports the Governor's current and past recommendation to use surplus revenue for this purpose. As Governor Perry said two years ago, surplus dedication 'means in times of economic growth, Texas homeowners and employers will see their school property tax rates go down even further.'

The time has arrived to restore fiscal sanity to the Texas budget beginning with returning all available surplus revenue back to the taxpayer in the form of lower property taxes.

We further support the legislature enacting meaningful tax and expenditure limits which limit government growth to the increase in population and inflation with voter approval required for additional spending, and continue to dedicate revenue surpluses to further reducing property taxes."

TCR Comment: We Agree.

Sign on to this proposal by contacting your legislators and urging them to support this common sense proposal. You can use your Legislator's Contact Form on their website or you can also call the main switchboard for the House at 512-463-4630, Senate at 512-463-0063.

Texas Republican National Committeeman
Bill Crocker Tells "His" Side
Of The Immigration Dispute At RNC

TCR Comment: As always, we are open to different views on issues and events. Bill Crocker was kind to respond to TCR's offer to tell his side of the story.

Dear Gary,

Thank you for offering the opportunity to correct the reports of my efforts to get a resolution adopted by the RNC dealing with the immigration issue, which has since become as important to Republicans as I then feared it might.

The statements that my original resolution contained "amnesty language" and "opposed the GOP platform" are patently false. There was no amnesty language in my original resolution or in any of the resolutions considered by the RNC. In fact, they all specifically opposed preference or amnesty for illegals, and were consistent with the terms of the Texas and national party platforms.

The resolution adopted by the RNC was based largely on my original resolution. It was forwarded to the RNC with the unanimous recommendation of the members of the Resolutions Committee, including Denise McNamara, that it be adopted.

Excerpts from the national and state Republican platforms, and the resolved clauses of all of the resolutions considered by the Resolutions Committee are attached for your reference.

The members of the RNC were pleasant, courteous and fair throughout the discussions and votes on the resolutions, and every member was free to speak and vote as he or she chose.

For the record, I am and have always been strongly opposed to amnesty, which would give preference to people for violating our law. Amnesty will be a serious threat to our national sovereignty. The marches and demonstrations in cities across the country, largely under foreign flags, are stark evidence that we already have a serious problem.

Rather than trying to divide Texas Republicans, our efforts would be better spent communicating with our Senators, thanking Senator Cornyn for the strong stand he took in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and thanking both Senators Cornyn and Hutchison for the strong stand they took on the Senate floor. They deserve to hear from those of us who appreciate what they did.

Bill Crocker

COMING - (Friday, April 28 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 Republican State Senate District 7 Candidate Dan Patrick.

COMING SOON - Senator John Cornyn, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, Judge Robert Eckels, Former Representative Nick Lampson, Representative Al Green, and Representative Gene 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 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.

© 2006 Texas Conservative Review

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