The race for Lt. Governor is somewhat unique this year. We have a man who has the experience of serving Texas as a leader challenged by a bit of a lightweight.
Let’s explore positives that Lt. Governor Dewhurst brings to the table. He represents all of Texas, not just the Republicans. I appreciate that he permitted the Wendy Davis filibuster go to a more civilized natural closure. There are people who share Wendy’s beliefs and voted her into office. Should we silence the elected representatives of the minority? Isn’t the exact same situation currently transpiring in the United States Senate? The minority (Republicans) are being denied the right to debate on many issues. The approach by the Lt. governor shows a gracious fair-minded person who appreciates all Texans should have representation.
The Lt. Governor has shown he can work effectively with all groups of people. He wants the best results for the entire state. The use of effective collaboration is essential in a state as large as Texas. The challenges for such a large state are complex in nature.
Under the leadership of the Lt. Governor, we have seen a hard working Senate perform admirably. The budget is not all that gets done. This job requires a lot of attention to detail and a massive amount of planning. Bills are prioritized, committees meet, debate occurs, etc. There are thousands of bills put forward in the legislature each year. Under his leadership, it all runs smoothly, session after session. This doesn’t begin to cover his hundreds of meetings throughout the year outside the legislature when he sifts through issues and information.
David Dewhurst has put funding and hearings in place consistently regarding our border issues. I recently listened to a public hearing regarding the border. Good people of Texas testified and proposed ideas. Why didn’t you know about it? There are a great many efforts by this leader that go unnoticed. Why is that? He puts Texas first and does not use the position to promote himself.
This race is not about consistent votes in the Senate. It is about strong leadership, pure and simple. Year after year, the Lt. Governor has been an exemplary President of the Texas Senate.
The bottom line for me is that David Dewhurst puts Texas first. That matters, and hopefully will matter to all of you.
A vote for Lt. Governor David Dewhurst is a vote for Texas values!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
People across Texas and the United States know the Straus family enterprises are focused on gambling. There are as many people for gambling in Texas as there are against it. The pros and cons of gambling are for another time and place. There are far more important aspects to the role of this particular Speaker of the House in the Texas 82nd legislature. Some of you are familiar with this information, while others are not. Over the coming months, information will be shared that shine a light on the manipulations and machinations which occurred during this legislative session.
The Speaker of the House position is one of two key leadership positions in active legislative sessions of Texas. This year was particularly challenging due to unfunded Federal Mandates, Redistricting Maps and a budget to balance for the biennium. There was a shortfall in the revenue looming large. The question of the hour was whether there had been a miraculous move toward a more conservative leadership since the last session led by Speaker Straus in 2009. Sadly, this was not to be.
The battle to be “crowned” Speaker again, was contentious at best. There was a challenge to his leadership by two strong conservatives. They could not get enough votes challenge Mr. Straus. Why? Joe Straus had people sign “pledge cards” to indicate their vote of support for him in the elections. His group of confidantes assisted by cajoling and coercing people to the inevitable conclusions of a pledge of support. Why is this important now? The story of this session and this Speaker begins with a brave Representative named Bryan Hughes who came forward with information about the whole intimidation process. Did you hear the rest of the story, as the late Paul Harvey was so fond of saying in his broadcasts.
A June 2nd article by John Alaniz, revealed Speaker Straus and his crew made good on the redistricting threats to those who would not pledge their vote for the his re-election as Speaker. In November of 2010, several months before the 2011 Texas Legislative Session began; Texas State Rep. Bryan Hughes issued a press release stating that he had withdrawn his support from Rep. Joe Straus as Speaker (Bryan Hughes Press Release, 11/2010). Rep. Hughes explained a member of Straus’ leadership team had called and had “ brought up the subject of redistricting and explained to me how that process would be used to punish those members not on Speaker Straus’s list of supporters.” There was an ethics investigation, which raises more alarm bells than brings resolution to the matter. The chairman of the ethics committee gave Representative Hughes and Representative Phillips the option of whether to provide testimony under oath! Representative Hughes voluntarily took the oath and gave his testimony. Representative Phillips who allegedly made these veiled threats on behalf of Straus, did not testify under oath. This raises an important point. Perjury under oath could cause the loss of a license to practice law.
The Texas Tribune provided this golden nugget of testimony from Representative Phillips: “Representative Hughes statement is unequivocally false,” Phillips said in response. ”I did not tell Representative Hughes that maps were already being drawn to get rid of Representative-elect [Erwin] Cain or Representative Flynn. I also did not tell Representative Hughes that there was a plan to use redistricting to punish those who were not on Speaker Straus’ support list.”
The House map was finalized and signed into law. The new map was exactly what Representative Hughes had indicated was in “the warning”. The facts now vindicate the elected officials who earnestly tried to warn the people and the legislators of the power that was being wielded to re-elect Joe Straus.
The House Redistricting map was a carefully orchestrated event, utilizing powerful lobbyists, legal resources, and some expert negotiation with various legislators. The map that emerged as the winner, punished the strongest conservatives who had stood together to vote for an alternative leader of this session. Somehow, it was voted through by the House legislators, despite what had been done to their colleagues. Read what actually happened beginning with a point of order by Calendars Chairman Todd Hunter which was specific to this bill (this timetable forced work on Good Friday and the Easter Weekend): http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/82r/pdf/82RDAY60FINAL.PDF#page=4
This map was expedited much like the notorious Obamacare, presenting many obstacles to people who would like to have a voice for their constituents. Speaker Joe Straus presided over final proceedings for the House Bill. Representative Hunter and Solomans indicated this was an “emergency” that must be finalized and moved to the Senate. Who uses the same strategy in Washington that everything is a crisis and must be rushed through prior to people having input? In the above link, please read through a few pages, when Representative Hunter (Calendars Chair), and Representative Solomons (Redistricting Chair) explain their rule which would cause Christians to be working on Good Friday and Easter Weekend to accommodate the point of order.
Redistricting maps are always difficult, is the mantra of every person in the House and Senate. There is difficult, and there is contrived. I draw your attention to a speech given by Representative Cain in the House Journal when this map (which punished those who opposed Straus) was coming up for the final vote: http://www.journals.house.state.tx.us/hjrnl/82r/pdf/82RDAY64FINAL.PDF#page=37
The people of Texas got exactly what they feared with the re-election of Joe Straus. This session reflected a liberal leadership from day one. Speaker Straus had a far reach and was able to “convince” many people to overlook things that were glaring throughout the session. A conservative majority was elected, and great hopes were pinned on this session. There were a limited number of conservative bills that were passed which kept the public from noticing many of the appalling decisions/actions in this session. Think for a moment about what is being said by the politicians. Over 10,000 bills were filed. More than 1400 were passed, including resolutions. Yet, the representatives boast about the same 5-6 bills in speeches across the state. Odd. Not to worry, over the coming months, many of the passed bills will be discussed with the public. You may find it illuminating. Texas may have a spooky dude…Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )
The past few days in Texas have been enlightening as far as patriot groups and news outlets are concerned. Granted, the frustration of Texans with this legislative session is at an all time high. The most disturbing part of all is the number of patriot leaders seeking moments of “limelight” in the press, without having the facts. Assuredly, most of these people mean well. However, there is a sacred honor that should be evident, when trusted sources report to the people.
Let’s begin by talking about the time between the election and the legislative session. There were no doubts about Speaker Joe Straus, due to his track record previously in the state as speaker and representative. The man is liberal, and makes decisions based upon his own needs. Yet, there was a primary teaparty leader of a group in Houston Texas who wrote an article that it didn’t matter if Joe was elected Speaker of the House. Per this leader, the people could “control” the legislature. After all, we were awake. This tea party leader has a fair amount of reach and knowledge. Today, I might say to her followers, you believe in her credibility – WHY?
Having spent hours and weeks in Austin, studying the legislature and bills, it is astounding to see the number of misinformed people in Texas. Well-known patriot groups, patriot members, bloggers, and media have been actively circulating incomplete and wrong information to suit their political preferences. How dare any of us exploit the everyday working Texans? What happened to accurate reporting for all the right reasons? It is egregious for people to use social media outlets to misguide the people. How is it the informed people speaking to the masses don’t know the Texas constitution or the procedures for a bill to pass the legislature? How is it they do not know who has the power in Texas during legislative sessions? How is it they don’t know exactly what happened to a bill, yet they continue to circulate inaccurate information to the masses?
In a legislative session, the Lt. Governor of Texas has the most power, closely followed by the Speaker of the House. The Governor may make suggestions on what is slated as an emergency item for the legislature. He has zero power to force the Speaker of the House or the Lt. Governor on the how and when they take actions. If a person studied the legislature this year, a pattern would emerge.
When Straus and Dewhurst named committee chairs and worked with them to determine the members, these actions determined ownership of the power. There were a handful of people controlling the personal agenda for Straus and Dewhurst. It had nothing to do with the people of Texas.
In May, Straus and Dewhurst openly defied the Governor with their choice on the formation of the committee to look at Higher Education. The Governor had focused on Higher Education reform for quite a while. He mentioned some of his ideas in speeches to the public and the legislature. Take a look at the press release and the names of people who have been appointed to the group. None of the conservative legislators heavily involved in reform ideas were included. The people on the list are the ones who will support the status quo in higher education. Why do you believe the Governor has the power to dictate actions to the Speaker and Lt. Governor? Where is the basis of those “facts”?
Yes, we got some good bills out. Those bills did not interfere with the agenda at hand (of Speaker Straus or Lt. Gov. Dewhurst), and distracted the public while other things were being discussed in the legislature. What was the agenda? If one looks at the overall number of bills and content, it appears to be a power play that will be completed in 2012 and 2013. Redistricting maps ensured the strongest conservatives in the state, who are against gambling will likely lose their seat. Deals were made to get a lot of people in a position to agree with these measures. Undue amounts of money were spent in the budget, regardless of the enormous bills facing Texas in 2013. Special interest groups ruled. This weakened Texas, but guaranteed the number of votes needed to pass legislation wanted by Straus and Dewhurst. Some might say this is politics. It is the selling out of Texas.
Specific actions by people in the press, placed the blame for this year’s debacle at the Governor’s door. Of course, the liberal press is counting on no one in Texas knowing how the legislature works! Liberals have wanted to topple Texas conservatives for a very long time. Has anyone stopped to ask who that would benefit and why?
The politic gameplaying this season, was a textbook study in deception, blocks, and innuendo to achieve goals of the people in charge. Over the next few months, I will publish specific examples proving the allegations made in this article. In fact, go look for the facts yourself. You will be surprised at the amount of public data that can be found on this session, fully supporting these points.
What will happen in 2013, when we do not have the money to pay the bills? Would it be a state income tax that is suggested as a solution, or will it be gambling? Formula One Racing was passed this session. It has already been approved by the City of Austin. This will be a large complex, that is surrounded by more open land for more vendors and projects. Think about this. Even if you are not against gambling, statistics show the crime rate will rise 3 to 1. Can we afford more of a crime issue, given the open border and immigration problems? People from dozens of terrorist countries come and use the Mexican border as the gateway to America. Currently there is a war on crime in our state, do we need more?
Seven people controlled the legislative agenda for the most part. Without these gatekeepers, good legislation would have gone to the floor in a timely manner, and been passed. There were choices on what went to the floor. On the House side, the most powerful gatekeepers appointed by Straus were Jim Pitts (Appropriations), Burt Solomans (Redistricting), and Todd Hunter (Calendars). None of the key legislation could get to the floor without touching one of these chairmen. On the Dewhurst side of the house, we had Ken Seliger (Redistricting), and Steve Ogden (Finance). By looking at the impact of those chairs, and the people on those committees, you will see the whole picture.
A closing comment to patriot groups. The majority of the groups are thoughtful people, trying to get to the truth, so it may be shared with others. What is the purpose of this article? It is time to warn people they need to be careful when getting information from so-called leaders. Whether it is me, or someone else in the patriot world, it is time to question everything. A multitude of people with conflicting agendas have infiltrated these groups. They want third parties. They want a bit of the spotlight.
Thank you to the groups who continue to strive for the truth, when educating the masses. It isn’t important who gets the recognition with the masses or the media. It is important we get it right, and remove the people from office that sold us out. As for the misguided people spreading vicious gossip without substance, more credibility would be gained by telling the truth. Think about it.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 20 so far )
The ISD’s throughout Texas and across the country have worked hard to grow their empires. Sources of Education funding ( State, Federal, and local funding) comes to the ISD administration. The small committee of people are tasked with the creation and management of budgets for the respective district. What has occurred through the years is the administration has grown, along with the budget required by the ISD. One could argue there are so many students representing a diverse population both economically and cultually, it is a direct impact on the needs of the community. This point of view is not standing up to scrutiny in the majority of the ISD’s in Texas nor in other states.
We have gone toward an education system where people from prestigious colleges and posessing high visibility in community organizations rule. These people determine how taxpayer dollars will be used in the district. I am not disparaging their qualifications, only to say that the qualifications do not inherently mean they have common sense nor the experience required for a job managing millions of dollars and thousands of students. People in those school districts pay exorbitant amounts of money in school taxes. There is a duty to provide good stewardship of funds and programs to the entire community.
Money does not guarantee a person will excel beyond their wildest dreams. There have been a lot of studies that show when students have it too easy, they don’t necessarily become good citizens. These people continue to expect everyone in society to contribute to their quality of life. A good case in point, is the highly educated people of privilege who brought down Enron. The people making the trade decisions and influencing poor accounting policies were from elite households and had the finest educations. One might also point out without relevant experience, people easily get into trouble on big projects. A good example of the result of lack of experience is the President of the United States.
What are the ISD’s doing to build character within the school community? Is it building character to squander money in the ISD? Are we teaching the children all things are possible with other people’s money? There is no way anyone can convince me that schools should cost in the tens of millions of dollars and be “architectural gem” to provide good educations. Are you getting bids? Are you making smart choices on bond money?
Sadly, the school administrations are not doing a good job. I would suggest the school boards need to be made up of people with varying backgrounds and expertise to counter balance each other and provide well-rounded solutions based on a total approach. There should be a person who truly understands budgets and school financing, a teacher who understands political trickery at schoolboard level, a person who is able to see both sides of an issue and bring good solutions to the table, a person who has experience in IT inclusive of emerging technologies, a person well-versed in state textbook curriculem, a person who possesses knowledge of buildings and structure, and a leader who can facilitate.
The school superintendent should look over the management of teachers and receive the guidance from the School Board. This should be his only job. Simple is better for all concerned, rather than a manifestation of grandiose ideas at the expense of everyone in the community.
Looking into the expenditures of the various school systems in our state, has been eye opening, frustrating, and points to something that has evolved over years of the community not paying attention. The evolution of a corrupt, power hungry, expensive school system in Texas did not happen over night. It will take several cycles to strip away the problems, beginning with school board replacements at local and state level.
What can we do? Please send messages on facebook, email, and twitter to remind everyone of the importance of voting. If you have data on the local candidates, share it! The quality or lack thereof in the education system will directly impact future leaders in our country. It is up to the communities to change current school system challenges.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Some fantastic news was announced yesterday by the Texas Public Policy Foundation! Several conservative organizations have banded together to launch a broadcast campaign reaching out to Texans on important fiscal matters. We all appreciate our way of life here in Texas, and need to take a moment to listen to these messages. They are short and to the point. Fiscal responsibility matters in our state. Let’s keep our state strong, and independent. To continue, we must be willing to make the tough decisions now on the budget.
The founding members of Texans for a Conservative Budget include the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Americans for Prosperity-Texas, Americans for Tax Reform, Empower Texans, Heartland Institute, Liberty Institute, and the National Federation for Independent Business-Texas.
Tonight in the Austin area, the first television commercial will air during one of my favorite conservative shows – NCIS. I am including the links to the three commercials, which can be circulated to others. It is timely and critical that we bring pressure to bear on the Texas State Senate. The House budget was done with a great deal of thought as to how the tough decisions today, would ensure our security in future. As stated in my earlier article, the Texas Senate will add 12 Billion in spending.
Call/write/fax/visit your senators! Tell them we do not have the money to spend! Remind them of the coming Medicaid debt and other unfunded liabilities.
Here are the links for all of you to forward to friends and family:
Texans for a Conservative Budget – First spot
Texans for a Conservative Budget – Second spot
Texans for a Conservative Budget – third spot
A big thank you goes out to these conservative organizations that continue to bless Texas with their hardwork!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
Where does the budget process in Texas stand at this time? The Texas House passed a budget with various cuts, and identified a need for using 3.1B of the Rainy Day Fund. This proposal then went to the Senate. The Senate has their own budget proposal. It spends 12B more than the House Proposal. This budget process is going to end up in conference.
When the House and Senate offer two different solutions to the same bill, the legislation then moves to a committee made up of some members of the House and Senate. Their job is to negotiate a solution which satisfies the legislature as a final solution. In this instance, there will be debates about where to cut money and how much.
Mr. Talmadge Heflin, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation identified 3 priorities for the legislature with regard to the budget for the next biennium. Go to this site for more info on the House and Senate budgets: http://www.texaspolicy.com/legislativeupdates_single.php?report_id=3719
There are 3 things that lead to logical solutions on the budget.
- Make the necessary cuts
- Don’t raise taxes
- Don’t use the Rainy Day Fund
The Senate chose to disregard the advice of economists, experts, the Governor and the people of Texas. They have elected to spend more money when they are fully aware of the unfunded mandates the state is facing in 2013. New sources of money were used by the Senate to help pay for some of their programs, but it does not solve the future problem.
Before Texas gets into dire straits, there must be austerity measures taken in the state. In the past year, Americans have witnessed many states teetering on the verge of bankruptcy trying to make quick fixes. Several states have bond ratings now in jeopardy of a downgrade, due to excessive spending. Is this what we want for Texas?
Please call your legislators and state clearly the need for fiscal restraint prior to the emergency! Let’s show the rest of the country how it’s done.
As a final thought of what to say to the legislators: We pay you to be smart and do the very best for the citizens that elected you to office. Show you have the integrity and character to do what is best for Texans.
- Get rid of duplicity across departments
- Freeze all discretionary spending for two years
- Freeze hiring in all departments of the state for two years.
This week, Katy Texas was the scene of unprecedented power plays by the School Superintendent. Texas has a budget shortfall due to many contributing factors, but primarily from unfunded Federal mandates. Mr. Frailey, Katy ISD Superintendent, decided to leverage teachers against the legislature for his own purposes. For the past couple of days, he authorized the immediate firing of dozens of teachers due to the shortfall. Here is a few links to the local news media that had several stories on the events: http://instantnewskaty.com/ , http://katytimes.com/news/article_c3a35ab6-66c6-11e0-9b79-001cc4c002e0.html
The official story is an administrator would call the teacher out of the classroom to inform them. They would also inform them of all “their options” and then the teacher could either return to the classroom or go home. Several teachers were too devastated and tearful to continue working, and the school already had substitute teachers waiting to help.
Students were upset and staged protests at several schools. Tomorrow in Katy, there are a minimum of 7 staged school protests that have been planned. There is also a major protest rally at 11:30 in front of the school administration building. Parents are upset, students were disrupted and upset, teachers were traumatized, and for what?
Tonight at a town hall in Katy, the teachers, students, and community gathered to try and make sense out of this week’s dramatic actions by the administration. Tearful teachers spoke about the event, and wondered what can be done. Everyone was looking for answers. The community united and determined it will remedy this situation. People will gather tomorrow at 11:30 in front of the administration building in Katy. They are demanding answers and deserve them on so many levels.
Why is this so ridiculous? The Texas House passed a budget which cut education, and other departments across the board. It has not passed the Senate. The Senate is introducing their own bill with fewer budget cuts. It is likely to pass. At that point, the Senate and House bill will go to conference. In this process, 5 members of the House and 5 members from the Senate will compromise on a final bill. The budget battle is far from over, and the Superintendent begins firing teachers and blaming the legislature. This begs the question of why this Chief Administrator of Education for Katy ISD would arbitrarily elect to fire large numbers of teachers before the budget is settled.
What is the truth of the matter? Local ISD’s have built up mini empires of administration. In Texas, there is a one to one ratio of non teaching individuals to teachers. The Superintendents command enormous salaries and perks for themselves and an abundance of non-teaching personnel. Specific ISD information was published recently on a website sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, Texas Chapter. For the highlights of statistics onState Education Spending: http://www.americansforprosperity.org/021511-grassroots-resource-talking-points-education-spending-texas Americans for Prosperity took it one step further and have invested the time and resources to make ISD information readily accessible to the public. It is called the Red Apple Project. You can access all the financial details here: http://www.redappleproject.com/ Katy ISD, in particular only spends 49.7% of each dollar on the classroom. The Administration makes a lot more money than the teachers. Add this to the fact, that over 80M is sitting in a bank account in the district, and you see just how ludicrous the actions were of this administrator. There is zero requirement for 80M to be in the reserve funds of the ISD. Yet, he still wanted to make political points.
To add insult to injury, Mr. Frailey sent out a letter to the students with his spin on why he had to take the actions this week. You can read his letter here: http://instantnewskaty.com/2011/04/14/20699
I urge all parents and teachers to investigate the money being spent in this ISD and the decisions made by the Superintendent. Students deserve quality teachers that are paid appropriately. Bureaucratic overhead is destroying the budget. Good solutions to the budget dilemma can be had without firing teachers. Perhaps the Superintendent didn’t do his homework?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )