Lone Star College Trustee Election

With Republicans Like These, Who Needs Democrats?

20130720-135445.jpg By Kyle Scott

Since the 2012 election, there has been quite a lot of talk about Harris County moving from Republican to Democrat. But anyone who is paying attention to this legislative session will see that the Republican legislators from Harris County are not particularly conservative on budgetary matters anyway. There has been a 26% increase in this budget over the previous budget. Rather than banking additional tax revenue this legislature has decided to spend more and then take $4 billion out of the rainy day fund.

With the passage of a budget that allowed for a raid on the ‘rainy day fund’, for an encore Harris County-based Representatives Dan Huberty, Patricia Harless, and Debbie Riddle joined with Democrats to support HB 16 and HJR 2 thus allowing for the rainy day fund to be raided with impunity. The Senate passed a bill that included a baseline under which the rainy day fund would not drop—a poor consolation for raiding the fund in the first place but a consolation nonetheless. When that bill came before the House the baseline was removed. Now, thanks to a coalition of irresponsible spenders, the rainy day fund can be raided with impunity.

The irresponsible budgeting of the Texas legislature during this legislative session has even garnered national attention with the Wall Street Journal comparing Austin to Sacramento. Texas is experiencing a boom—thanks to oil—in the same way California had experienced a boom—thanks to real estate—when it had decided to increase spending in the face of a positive financial outlook. Texas legislatures have failed to learn from California in recognizing that good times come to an end and a budgetary surplus can come in handy down the road. When one asks the government “How much can you spend?” the government usually replies, “How much do you have?” and then it takes some more.

Even a casual observer of politics and economics knows that saving money in good times is generally a good idea and that spending like the good times will go on forever will wreak havoc on a budget in the long run. The Texas legislature would do well to make two adjustments to the budgetary process in order to prevent these mistakes. First, we need a zero-based budgeting approach for all state agencies. Zero-based budgeting would allow legislators to assess how much money is really needed by an agency and not just how much money an agency usually gets. Second, discretionary spending should be handled after mandated spending and matters such as transportation and water are dealt with. Right now legislators are trying to say they need to raid the rainy day fund for roads and water. And they are right, we need to fund road and water projects. But these projects should have been dealt with first, not last, and discretionary spending measures should have been moved to the back of the line. By moving the most important matters to the back of the line legislators manipulated the situation to make it appear as though there is more of a scarcity of resources than there actually is. While money is the most important thing in making budget decisions, timing comes a close second.

We should all be alarmed by the dangerous and irresponsible budget practices by this legislature. What should be particularly alarming is that the conservatives are not acting like conservatives which means the spending will only increase and raiding the rainy day fund will only continue.

– See at: Dr. Scott’s Blog. .

Our Community & KWTP Sweeps Local School Board Elections

Congratulations to Heath Rushing and Angela Conrad, our two new Trustees as well as to the great incumbents we also supported: Charles Cunningham, Robert Sitton, Keith Lapeze, and Brent Engelage. We are looking forward to working with you to make Humble ISD schools even better!

Thank you to all who supported our efforts in electing 100% of of the Kingwood TEA Party Board’s recommendations. This includes our members who helped us block-walk and donated to our mail outs and emails as well as to all those who accepted our recommendations and helped us elect this fine group to continue improving our schools for our children! It was expensive, but worth it. Donations in preparation for our participation in the Houston mayor’s and city council races, as well as 2014 elections are gratefully welcomed.

And a HUGE thank you to all who worked so hard to get the truth about the Lone Star Bond issue out and especially to all who voted with us to make its rejection a reality.

Kingwood TEA Party congratulates and thanks every one of you who voted with us in this important election and to all of our great candidates, new and incumbent, who have stepped up to help make our local schools and community colleges even better!

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God and Guns by Kyle Scott

Dr. Kyle Scott, TheConservative Professor from 1070 AM radio

Click on image for bio.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Texas GOP Vote

Today is the National Day of Prayer and tomorrow is the opening day of the NRA Convention in Houston. Let me try to connect God and guns via Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville wrote, “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” This observation exposes the connection between a nation’s character and its ability to enjoy liberty. It also establishes the point that laws cannot establish the right character for enjoying liberty.

Laws become necessary when men are no longer able to govern themselves. Men cannot govern themselves when they lack the character—which is the knowledge of right from wrong that shapes our behavior—necessary to drive them to right action. But when we establish a law we lose a little bit of liberty because the government now tells us we cannot do something. When this occurs we enact laws to maintain peace and order so that whatever liberty was not given up under the new law can be maintained under the new law. The tradeoff between law and liberty is sometimes necessary—thus making it a reciprocal relationship—sometimes it is excessive. If we had the right character we would not need to make a trade in the first place.

This brings us to Tocqueville’s point: act in the right manner on your own and you will have all the liberty you could ever want, act badly—and bad acts come from bad character—and you will lose your liberty to a government that takes the authority of self-government from people who are not capable of having it. The laws can give us direction but they cannot make the bad man good, they cannot give us the right character. Character—the knowledge of right from wrong that shapes our behavior—must come through faith. We cannot look to the government to make us better people for the government is inevitably a flawed construction for it comes from a flawed people who we know are flawed because they need government. Government is the product from which it is also to be the solution. This makes it incomplete at best and contradictory at worst.

What Tocqueville means by this quote is that we should look inward and upward for solutions rather than to government. Tocqueville advocated small knit communities in which the family, church, and schools played a central role in character development and none of the three—church, family, schools—were entirely independent of the other. They worked in concert for the betterment of the individual’s character so that government constraint could be minimized. The individual—with the proper character—would be left to govern himself.

This brings us to guns; a tool to protect self-government. Guns, in the hands of those with the right character, maintain peace, balance, eliminate the need for government oversight, and create a strong bond among families and communities. But guns in the wrong hands can do some of the most heinous things. We cannot fix what is broken in the people who would use guns badly, we cannot make laws that would make them better people. Placing a ban on weapons will not make the bad people good or the good people safe. If we want to minimize violence we must look for solutions that tap into the core of the problem. We must reunite around family and community. We must return to faith. The problems we face are out of our hands whether we want to admit it or not. We should not stop trying to make the world around us better, but we should recognize our limitations. We do know that laws restricting guns would keep good people from protecting themselves from bad people. It would again turn our right of self-determination over to the government.

We need more faith not more laws.

Dr. Kyle Scott, The Conservative Professor teaches Constitution studies at U of H here in Houston. He is currently (May, 2013) also a candidate for Lone Star College Trustee, Pos. 2.

2013 KWTP Lone Star College & HISD Trustees Recommendations

IMPORTANT – CONSERVATIVE VOTERS:
A Conservative Coalition is Possible if YOU VOTE!

Click on image to enlarge. Click here to download printable .pdf to take to polls.
Scroll Down for Important Information on Election Day Polling Places.

IMPORTANT: DOUBLE-CHECK VOTING LOCATION before  VOTING ON ELECTION DAY!

Find Your 5/11/13 Harris County Voting Location & Precinct

 

Meet the 2013 KWTP LSC Trustee Recommendations

Click here to download printable copy to take to the polls with you.

Scroll down for more information on the candidates and issues!

Dr. Kyle Scott, The Conservative Professor from 1070 AM radio

Vote for Kyle Scott for LSC Trustee.

MEET the CONSERVATIVE PROFESSOR, KYLE SCOTT.

Introducing Houston’s Conservative Professor from 1070 AM Radio: Dr. Kyle Scott.

Dr. Scott’s Bio

Links to Articles Kyle Scott Wrote or is quoted in:

College System Funding Options Available by Kyle Scott

Community Colleges Need to Return to Mission by Kyle Scott

Go Local by Kyle Scott

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Debt by Kyle Scott

Some Say Lone Star College Bond Not Needed, Chronicle article by Bryan Kirk, 4/25/13

Letters from LSC trustee candidate Kyle Scott published in the Tribune

 


Support Ron Trowbridge for LSC Trustee

Vote for Ron Trowbridge for LSC Trustee

MEET RON TROWBRIDGE* Former chief of staff to U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger

* Directed the Fulbright Program at the United States Information Agency

* Vice President at Hillsdale College

* Ph. D. in English from U of Michigan

* Tenured full professor

* Taught at Lone Star College, 2006-2012

* Presently Senior Fellow at Center for College Affordability and Productivity

Drafts Bill Concept for Legislature

Ron recently initiated and designed a proposal for a legislative bill that would help low-income community college students get a four-year college degree. The concept would eliminate the nightmare of wasted time and huge expense that community-college students have had to suffer in transferring course-credits to a four-year school and would enable these students to get a four-year college degree faster and cheaper.


 

Some Say Lone Star College Bond Not Needed

Dr. Kyle Scott - The Conservative Professor

The Lone Star College System’s $497.7 million bond referendum set for May 11 is meeting with some resistance from residents who believe the bond is not necessary.  The bond features a number of new projects to be constructed throughout the LSCS without raising taxes.

Kyle Scott, who is seeking a seat on the LSCS board of trustees, said he has several reasons for his opposition, part of which involves a January report issued by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, which projected lower enrollment numbers between 2013 and 2018 than the college system forecasts.

Robin’s Commentary: The report predicted a flat line in enrollments, the Chancellor said it in last year’s Report, AND Enrollment dropped last semester. KWTP agrees with Kyle Scott and Ron Trowbridge that the bond is NOT needed at this time. So at the very least is would be wise to wait and see if the record enrollment was population driven, or driven by the downturn in the economy that had many people enrolling to expand their marketability when unemployment went so high.

Read the whole article from April 25, 2013 by Bryan Kirk of the Chronicle online.

EARLY VOTING: Humble ISD & Lone Star College Trustees (School Board) Elections

via Harris County Clerk, Stan Stanart’s Harris Votes
NOTE: ELECTION DAY POLLING PLACES SUBJECT TO CHANGE!

Saturday, May 11, 2013 Election

Early Voting Hours of Operation

April 29 – May 3:        8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
May 4 – May 5:             Closed
May 6 – May 7:             7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Early Voting Locations: You may vote at any of these locations. Bring your Driver’s License and Registration Card with you.

Location Addresses (links to Maps)
1 Harris County Administration Building, Room 100 1001 Preston, Houston, TX 77002
2 Lone Star College-Fairbanks Center Room 107 14955 Northwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77040
3 Lone Star College-Victory Center Room 102 4141 Victory Drive, Houston, TX 77088
4 Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center Room 107 205 N. Sam Houston Parkway East, Houston, TX 77060
5 Lone Star College-CyFair LRNC 131 9191 Barker Cypress Road, Cypress, TX 77433
6 Lone Star College-Tomball Room E164 30555 Tomball Parkway, Tomball, TX 77375
7 Lone Star College-University Park Building 11 Universe Room 20515 State Hwy 249, Houston, TX 77070
8 Lone Star College-North Harris Library Building, Room 103 2700 WW Thorne Drive, Houston, TX 77073
9 Humble City Hall Council Chamber 114 W. Higgins Street, Humble, TX 77338
10 Humble ISD Administrative Building Room 300 20200 Eastway Village Drive, Humble, TX 77338
11 Humble ISD Instructional Support Center Room 1038 4810 Magnolia Cove Drive, Kingwood, TX 77345

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT DOES EARLY VOTING BY PERSONAL APPEARANCE MEAN?

Early Voting By Personal Appearance means that a registered voter in Texas may vote prior to General Election Day during a period designated by state law.

WHEN DOES EARLY VOTING BY PERSONAL APPEARANCE TAKE PLACE?

General Election: During a General Election the period for early voting by personal appearance begins on the 17th day before Election Day and continues through the fourth day before Election Day, except as otherwise provided.

Runoff Election: The Early Voting Period for a special runoff election for the office of state senator or state representative or for a runoff primary election begins on the 10th day before election day.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE EARLY BY PERSONAL APPEARANCE?

Any qualified voter may vote early by personal appearance. No reason is needed.

WHERE CAN A REGISTERED VOTER IN HARRIS COUNTY VOTE DURING THE EARLY VOTING PERIOD?

Any qualified voter may vote in person at the main early voting polling place or at any other designated early voting branch location during designated times. Usually, there are 37 early voting locations in Harris County during the conduct of a countywide election.

WHY WAS THE PERIOD FOR EARLY VOTING BY PERSONAL APPEARANCE ESTABLISHED?

Early Voting by Personal Appearance was introduced in Texas in the mid-1990s to make voting more convenient for the citizenry. It also provides voters who may be away from the county of residence on Election Day the opportunity to vote in person.

HOW ARE EARLY VOTING SITES DESIGNATED?

By law, in counties with a population of 400,000 or more, the commissioners court has the authority to establish at least one early voting site at each state representative district.


EARLY VOTING IN-PERSON: LIMITED BALLOT

A registered voter in the state of Texas may qualify to vote a limited ballot at the main early voting site during the early voting period in a federal and state election. For more information see section 112.001 to 112.0012 of the Texas Election Code.

College System Funding Options Available

Dr. Kyle Scott, TheConservative Professor from 1070 AM radio

Click on image for bio.

Letter to the Editor, The Observer – Atascocita
Published Thursday, Mar. 28, 2013

Dear Editor:

When there is a revenue shortage government entities seek to sell bonds or raise taxes. Either way the government is asking taxpayers to foot the bill in the long term and the short term. We should be particularly concerned with bond sells because of the debt load they produce. Adding debt simply because it is the way things are traditionally done is not a good enough reason to keep doing it. Cyprus should be a warning bell to every government entity. The strategy of adding debt to fund unnecessary projects is being adopted by the Lone Star College System (LSCS) as it has approved a bond issue to be put before the voters on the May 11th ballot. LSCS is looking for voters to approve an additional $500 million in debt after they just approved a bond issue six years ago. Rather than tacking on more debt and burdening the taxpayer LSCS needs to get creative. There are four strategies LSCS could adopt if it wants to raise more revenue in a responsible and debt free manner.

First, LSCS should tap the private sector and philanthropic entities. LSCS should sell the naming rights to its buildings to corporations the same way large research institutes and sports franchises do. Corporations get their name on a building which builds name recognition and community good will and the college gets revenue. Smaller items can be included by holding public auctions or fundraisers where local businesses and private individuals can bid on items as small as a desk or a suite of offices.

LSCS can also expand its hybrid and online course offerings. It seems arcane to think that hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on brick and mortar when the entire educational enterprise is moving online. Hybrid classes, which are part traditional courses and part online, would serve as a great compromise. If a class is scheduled to meet Monday/Wednesday from 12-2 then it could meet Monday online and Wednesday in a traditional setting. Another class scheduled for the same time and days could then be scheduled to meet in the same classroom on Mondays and online on Wednesdays. This would allow two classes scheduled at the same time to use one room therefore eliminating the need for additional classrooms or parking spaces.

Additionally, since most of the day classrooms and parking spaces sit empty, the college system should find a way to use all the space all the time rather than building additional facilities to accommodate the few peak hours. Some time slots, such as late Friday afternoon, are unpopular among students and therefore attract fewer students. There is no reason to build more classrooms if the college already has some sitting empty. To attract students to these time slots the college system should offer reduced fees for students willing to sign up for unpopular time slots. Most LSCS students could use a break on fees anyway so this recommendation is a winner for everyone as it helps students, taxpayers, and the college system.

The fourth recommendation builds on the idea that the facilities should not sit idle. If you go on any of the Lone Star campuses in the evening or on the weekends there is almost no one there. This is a waste of space and money. But, this space could be rented out to corporations and non-profit entities who need a place to hold meetings, conferences, or training sessions. The fees would create an additional revenue stream in addition to building the college’s profile among the local business community in a way that would benefit students.

Each of these recommendations would require administrators and board members to think differently. But, the way things have always been done is not the only way to get things done. If our education system is to keep pace with a dynamic business culture then it needs to become fresh and dynamic as well.

Kyle Scott, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science and Honors College
University of Houston


Dr. Kyle Scott is running for Lone Star College System Board of Trustees, Position #2.
Vote for him in the May 11, 2013 Election!

Dr. Scott is also the author of Federalist Papers: A Reader’s Guide. He teaches American politics and constitutional law at the University of Houston. His commentary on current events has appeared in Forbes, Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, Foxnews.com, Huffington Post, and dozens of local outlets including the Orlando Sentinel, Charlotte Observer, Philadelphia Inquirer, Houston Chronicle and Baltimore Sun. Contact him at kyle.a.scott@hotmail.com; 212 MD Anderson Library, Honors College, University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77004.

Lone Star College Bond Proposal: Give Me Liberty or Give Me Debt by Kyle Scott

By Kyle Scott, PhD

In 2008, Lone Star College System (LSCS) administrators and the board of trustees asked voters to approve a bond of more than $400 million. And now they are asking voters to add an additional $500 million in new debt. This would run the total new bond debt to almost $1 billion in only five years. And before any new debt is added, LSCS currently has more than $590 billion in both bond and taxpayer supported debt outstanding.

According to LSCS, the need for new revenue is in anticipation of rapid growth. But LSCS has overestimated the rate of growth it will experience in order to secure more funding. LSCS expects enrollment to reach 110,000 students by 2018 while the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board expects enrollment to only be at 81,000 by 2020.
Read more →

Community Colleges Need to Return to Their Mission by Kyle Scott

By KYLE SCOTT
Guest columnist at Your Houston News , reprinted with author’s permission.

At the February meeting of the Lone Star College (LSC) Board of Trustees, the board voted unanimously to put a new $500 million bond issue on the May 11 ballot. This would increase LSC’s total debt to over $1 billion. Most people have become accustomed to large debts run up by our elected officials and have become numb to the fiscal irresponsibility that lies behind the debt. It would be one thing had the debt been used to increase educational opportunities for the students, but indeed it has not. Rather, the money has gone to infrastructure expansion and administrative costs that do not warrant an additional burden on the tax payer or a debt that could affect the tuition rate of students and families who are already hard-pressed to cover costs.
Read more →