2012 Primary Flashback: Gnashing of Teeth. Today: Applauding Judge Michelle Slaughter

Substantial effort goes into our endorsements – both the candidate research as well as candidate promotion. And we’re proud of the performance of those candidates we endorsed whom have been elected. Ted Cruz, Greg Bonnen, Henry Trochessett, John Kinard, Cheryl Johnson… the list goes on.

We took major heat in the last primary over the decision to endorse former Judge Wayne Mallia over candidate Michelle Slaughter. Worried about Michelle’s relative inexperience and the lack of substance in the hyper partisan arguments made in favor of her, we decided the best course was to stick with the incumbent. Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensued. Given all that, we wish to state firmly, for the record, that we could not be more pleased at Judge Slaughter’s performance in her first year on the bench.

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In Case You Missed It: Videos of Recent Candidate Forums

In case you’ve been busy “burning the candle at both ends”…”drinking from a firehose”…”got too many irons in the fire”…”having to take a ready/fire/aim approach”…”having to jump through hoops because the big cheese is making lots of noise”… or in some way descriptive by any of the comedic clichés we all use to describe our lives, a quick digest has been assembled of some of the recent candidate forums, debates and what not that may give insight into the folks on the ballot and what their positions on the issues are.

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Big Empty Argument Will Put Criss in the HD23 Seat

The Houston Chronicle has a blog called Big Establishment Republican Politics, aka ‘Big Jolly Politics’ which makes an argument that although Craig Eiland soundly defeated Wayne Faircloth in the last race, 53% to 46%, ‘ole Craig is retiring because he feared he’d lose in his next re-election contest. And since he’s retiring and presumably an R win is all but certain, and although Craig just gave the presumed Democrat nominee Susan Criss $5,000 in December, Republican Bob Senter is Eiland’s secret plan to keep the HD23 seat under quasi-Democrat control.

Only an idiot or someone in Wayne Faircloth’s camp could propose such blather.

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Your Call: Back Room Deals or Let the Voters Decide?

Sunday’s Galveston Daily News ran a story about Barbara Meek’s intention to adopt a “Seal of Approval” process for bestowing the party’s blessing on Republican primary candidates. Fellow Republicans must strongly oppose this action and instead support letting the voters decide who our candidates will be. Here’s the back story you need to know which was only summarized in the GDN article. Continue reading

Updates from Austin: Oust Straus 2.0, Budget Surplus, Big Spenders Panting.

As the 83rd Legislative Session gets underway, over the weekend the GCC team saddled up, loaded the wagons and moved to its Austin base camp. Some notable events so far:

Oust Straus 2.0 – The Battle Ensues Today

The patron saint of Barbara Meeks and other moderate, opportunistic Republicans everywhere, Joe Straus finds himself under seige yet again. Straus, as you may recall, was elected Texas House Speaker in a palace coup led by 11 RINO Republicans and 65 Democrats. Challenged for control of the gavel by Ken Paxton in the 82nd Legislature, Straus was successfully protected by Larry Taylor and others who feared the loss of plum committee chairmanships. This time around, a spirited campaign was led off early by Bryan Hughes to replace Straus as speaker, as attendees to the most recent state convention will recall. Hughes later backed out and endorsed a challenge by David Simpson. Given the huge advantages of incumbency, such challenges are always a long shot but there are some indications that Simpson has a fighting chance.

Why it Matters

Straus has consolidated power such that most conservative legislation dies in committee. Zero-base budgeting? Margins Tax Reform? Real Fixes for TWIA? Sensible School Finance Proposals? Pushback Against the Feds? Forget about it. The 82nd featured a Republican super majority yet was notable for its lack of conservative successes and its budgetary gimmicks. So long as country club Republicans and Democrats control the speakership, efforts to get the good guys elected at the local level and achieve real reforms that will ensure the prosperity of Texas and stop the growth of government will continue to achieve minimal results.  Did you enjoy the GLO shoving Austin-based solutions down our throats (hint: housing)? 

Update: Simpson withdraws, cedes to Straus.

Big Spenders Panting at New Opportunities to Grow Government

“Even a blind hog occassionally finds an acorn” is an old time maxim, indicating that good fortune at times finds some in spite of their individual efforts. So it is with the State fiscal situation. In spite of the budgetary gimmicks and massive debt kicked down the road by the 82nd Legislature, we find ourselves facing a budget surplus at the start of this session. Bloomberg has a good summary here. Some notable excerpts:

Lawmakers…in 2011 put off about $4.7 billion in future Medicaid costs and $2 billion for public schools under the current budget, and now must pay those bills. With Combs projecting an $8.8 billion surplus by Aug. 31 and a 12 percent jump in general-purpose receipts for the next two years, Democrats sense an opening.

“Given that we’re seeing an increase in revenue, let’s use this opportunity to fix those things that those in control of the budget have broken,” said state Senator Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat. “Some people clearly want to starve the necessities of our people, things like schools, health care and transportation.”

From whence cometh this newfound prosperity, you ask? Must have been all those green jobs, or the Obama stimulus – you know, all that government intervention, right?

As the taxable value of oil produced in Texas surged to $39.1 billion in 2011 from $18.4 billion in 2009, the state led the nation in employment gains, adding about 700,000 jobs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg…oil and natural-gas drilling rigs more than doubled by mid-2012 compared with two years earlier, and the industry’s workforce climbed 9.2 percent, Combs said.

The Texas economy is outpacing other U.S. states because it has the financial strength of Germany and the cost competitiveness of China,

Let’s keep it that way. Abolish the margins tax altogether and keep Texas strong!

More to come.




Party Chair Meeks’ War On Fellow Republicans Must End

If you’re an elected Republican official, you know firsthand the cost in time and dollars of campaigning. Does the fact that the local party chair is actively working to undermine the efforts of other Republicans seeking office bother you at all? Or, so long as her efforts are directed toward others, are you okay with this? Continue reading

Republicans Ahead with Hispanics: Voter Outreach Priorities for the Local GOP

If you’ve been tempted to believe that the presidential polls have swung decisively in Romney’s favor because of a strong 1 ½ hour television performance, think again. As Rush explains, the polls of June through September telling us that Obama has been in the lead were not intended to reflect public opinion but rather to shape it. Alleged weakness among Hispanic, youth and various other voter categories has not suddenly reversed.  Instead, the pollster bias identified in a previous post has been reduced as we near Election Day, enabling us to see a more accurate reflection of what has been in existence all along.

Conspiracy theory? A close look at voter behavior right here in Galveston County would suggest that Rush is right and the conventional wisdom – that Republicans overall and the Romney/Ryan ticket in particular trail Democrats badly among younger voters and Hispanics – is just wrong. Continue reading