State Issues

The Battle over Texas by Prof. Kyle Scott

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

Dr. Kyle Scott
The Conservative Professor

By: profkylescott (Diary) | June 25th, 2014 at 10:58 PM | View Red State Blog Article
(Formatting added by rhl)

Now is the time to get Joe Straus out

The most important race in Texas is the one you haven’t heard about. Texas Representative Scott Turner is making his way around Texas, taking his conservative message directly to the people, to explain why he, and not Joe Straus, should be Speaker in the Texas House of Representatives. The message is simple: Without a conservative Speaker there will be no conservative legislation. Conservative leadership in the House is required if Texas wants conservative solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. The Lt. Governor and the Governor are powerful positions in the Texas state government, but without a conservative Speaker in the House, Texans will have to brace themselves for continued excessive spending and liberal social agenda.

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Speaker Joe Straus

The Speaker controls the committee assignments and which pieces of legislation are put into which committee. In practice this means no legislation is likely to see a floor vote unless it receives the speaker’s blessing. Joe Straus successfully won the speakership first in 2009 when he and ten other Republicans, known as the “Gang of 11”, banded together with the Democrats in the House to oust Tom Craddick. Since taking over, Straus has consistently ranked among the most liberal Republicans in the House, and as long as he holds the speakership, only liberal legislation will get through. Representatives who want the choicest committee assignments require the Speaker’s favor, which means backing his legislation.

Rep. Scott Turner

Rep. Scott Turner

Scott Turner offers Texas the best alternative to Joe Straus. Turner is unafraid to challenge Straus’ leadership. Fear of Straus’ retribution is one reason there have been so few challengers. If Turner loses, he will be ostracized in the House by Straus and lose any influence he might have. Turner has the strength of character necessary to take on Straus. Also, Turner is an unwavering conservative with an impeccable voting record. Rep. Scott Turner received a 100% rating from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and an equally conservative ranking from Rice University’s Mark Jones writing for the Texas Tribune.

Given the positive economic trajectory our state is on as a result of the boom in the energy sector, it appears everything is fine and this is much ado about nothing. In good economic times, it’s easy to look the other way when confronted with challenges. Or as the Latin writer Publilius Syrus wrote, “Anyone can hold the helm in calm seas.” But the good times don’t last forever and the gains during those times can be turned into losses down the road under poor leadership. The time to make changes is when the problems are still manageable and our judgment is unclouded by immediate demands. At present, we can rationally comprehend the differences between Straus and Turner and then assess whether Straus’ values align with those of other conservatives. We have the time to calmly deliberate about what’s best for Texas without the burden of a down economy looming over us. If we wait until things take a turn for the worse—because they will under poor leadership—we are more likely to make a rash decision. Now is the time to act by contacting representatives in the House and let them know who conservatives want as the Speaker come January 2015.

With Dan Patrick as Lt. Governor and Greg Abbott in the governor’s seat, Scott Turner would complete the conservative triumvirate that Texas needs to properly navigate next session and beyond. During the 83rd legislature, Texas raided the rainy day fund and increased its spending by more than $22 billion. Pressing issues like immigration, roads, education, energy and water require real solutions and not just bags of money thrown at them as band aids.

The Speaker is not elected by the people of Texas but by the members of the House. So the best way to get Straus out of the speakership is to put pressure on those representatives. And, if they won’t do it, elect someone who will. As the old adage goes: We will never change our leaders until we change the people who elect them. Texas needs Rep. Scott Turner as our next Speaker of the House.

The Texas Ethics Commission Has Run Amok

The Texas “Ethics” Commission has two new mentors: the U.S. Department of Justice and the IRS. Like the Justice Department, the “Ethics” in TEC seems to be what the Commission is avoiding. Instead of probing into Ethics violations, such as legislators getting unqualified students into UT Law School at much higher rates than the average acceptance rate, the commission is seeking to impeach UT Regent Wallace Hall who disclosed violations.

For a bi-partisan scandal of this proportion which reaches into the upper echelons of the TX Legislature, one would expect an Ethics Commission to investigate the problem. Instead, it set about impeaching UT Regent Wallace Hall who is working to ensure the mission of one of Texas’ pre-eminent public universities. By definition, a public university is supposed to serve the People, not the elite elected officials, their friends and families or special interest groups.

However, covering up the misuse of legislative privilege is not the only area of concern for Texans. This so-called “Ethics” commission is also targeting Michael Quinn Sullivan and his organization, Empower Texans, in response to complaints by two of Speaker Straus’ committee chairs. In February, 2014 the TEC voted to conduct a formal hearing into the charges despite the fact that the Commission had ruled they had insufficient evidence of wrongdoing against Sullivan and his Empower Texans organization.

Texas is the last place an Ethics Commission should be over-reaching much like the IRS by requesting the names of Empower Texans’ donors, yet that is exactly what they are doing while cloaked in secrecy also reminiscent of the U.S. government.

We are closely following these cases under the purview of the Texas Ethics Commission, but we are also looking to our elected officials to ensure the Texas Ethics Committee is working to maintain Ethics in Texas Government rather than taint them. We understand that that all the branches of the Texas government appoint the various members of the commission, and we are watching to ensure that those looking out for the People’s best interests are appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House.

Please let us know what we can do to help you ensure that our Texas Ethics Commission protects average politically active citizens rather than persecutes them. Kingwood TEA Party is looking forward to an imminent and thorough housecleaning of the TEC, so that Texas is truly the American bastion of Liberty and economic prosperity.

Robin Lennon
Kingwood TEA Party
President, Co-founder
832-341-0414
http://www.KingwoodTEAParty.com

Related Articles:

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/02/27/Michael-Quinn-Sullivan-Files-Federal-Lawsuit-Against-TEC

http://www.empowertexans.com/features/sullivan-tfr-to-tec-nuts/

http://online.wsj.com/articles/university-of-texas-regent-wallace-hall-jr-becomes-a-lightning-rod-1402875666 (Subscription may be required)

Sowell & Williams: 2 Issues that Unite the Races

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Reaching out to Blacks does not mean offering them the same programs that have destroyed their families and blighted their hope for achieving the American Dream. Studies show that the Way of the American Dream is paved by Faith, Stable two-parent families, Education, and Hard Work.  These three things seem to make avoidance of having children out of wedlock before graduating high school, gang-related activity, crime, and violence more likely.

In Thomas Sowell’s JWR column of March 25, 2014, Republicans and Blacks , Mr. Sowell cites School Choice and Minimum Wage Results as two topics Republicans should publicize and shout out about in order to reach out to Blacks. In the article, Sowell further cites the book, Race and Economics by Walt Williams, as a definitive study of government programs which have hurt Blacks.

Walt Williams on School Choice:

Though many black politicians mouth that we should fix, not abandon, public schools, they themselves have abandoned public schools. They see their children as too precious to be sacrificed in the name of public education. While living in Chicago, Barack Obama sent his daughters to the prestigious University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When he moved to Washington, President Obama enrolled his daughters in the prestigious Sidwell Friends School. According to a report by The Heritage Foundation, “exactly 52 percent of Congressional Black Caucus members and 38 percent of Congressional Hispanic Caucus members sent at least one child to private school.” Overall, only 6 percent of black students attend private school.” …

“According to a 2004 Thomas B. Fordham Institute study, more than 1 in 5 public school teachers sent their children to private schools. In some cities, the figure is much higher. In Philadelphia, 44 percent of the teachers put their children in private schools; in Cincinnati, it’s 41 percent, and Chicago (39 percent) and Rochester, N.Y. (38 percent), also have high figures. In the San Francisco-Oakland area, 34 percent of public school teachers enroll their children in private schools, and in New York City, it’s 33 percent.”

“Only 11 percent of all parents enroll their children in private schools. The fact that so many public school teachers enroll their own children in private schools ought to raise questions. After all, what would you think, after having accepted a dinner invitation, if you discovered that the owner, chef, waiters and busboys at the restaurant to which you were being taken don’t eat there? That would suggest they have some inside information from which you might benefit.”
Williams’ JWR column, Racial Trade-offs, of Oct. 9, 2013

Thomas Sowell on Minimum Wage:

“Minimum-wage laws are classic examples. The last year in which the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930. That was also the last year in which there was no federal minimum-wage law.”

“The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was in part a result of a series of incidents in which non-union black construction workers enabled various contractors from the South to underbid northern contractors who used white, unionized construction labor.

“The Davis-Bacon Act required that “prevailing wages” be paid on government construction projects — “prevailing wages” almost always meant in practice union wages. Since blacks were kept out of construction unions then and for decades thereafter, many black construction workers lost their jobs.”

“Minimum wages were required more broadly under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, with negative consequences for black employment across a much wider range of industries.

“In recent times, we have gotten so used to young blacks having sky-high unemployment rates that it will be a shock to many readers of Walter Williams’s Race and Economics to discover that the unemployment rate of young blacks was once only a fraction of what it has been in recent decades. And, in earlier times, it was not very different from the unemployment rate of young whites.”

From Thomas Sowell’s article of April. 27, 2011 in National Review,  Race and Economics

VIDEO: Sen. Ted Cruz with Jonathon Karl on “This Week.”

I’m excited about Sen. Cruz coming to KWTP on Aug. 19, are you? In the meantime, here’s Sen. Cruz with Jonathon Karl on “This Week.”

Sen. Ted Cruz with Jonathan Karl on 'This Week'

Watch this video on YouTube.

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. .

MUST READ: Why Liberals Should Oppose the Immigration Bill

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FTA: Why Liberals Should Oppose the Immigration Bill: It’s about low-wage American workers, by T.A. Frank, New Republic

Most of America’s college-educated elites are little affected by illegal immigration. In fact, it’s often a benefit to us in terms of childcare, household help, dinners out, and other staples of upper-middle-class life. Many therefore view the problem as akin, in severity, to marijuana use—common but benign, helpful to the immigrants and minimal in its effects on Americans or anyone else. I know, because it used to be my own view.

Oil and gas from the fracking of U.S. shale will end OPEC’s dominance

After years of dismissing U.S. energy production as insignificant and expensive, OPEC suddenly said it would “study” the growth in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, a deceptively bland response to the biggest challenge the cartel has ever faced on its monopoly.

African nations sounded the sharpest warnings because they have been the first to see the impact of our fracking revolution on their exports, which fell 41% in 2012 from 2011. Not a single one of these oil cartel members, nor any country with a state-owned oil company, faces a bright future as U.S. fracking goes on.

What all this shows is that the private sector, operating in a free society, sensitive to consumer demand and innovating a solution, is an even more powerful engine for upending a corrupt global monopoly status quo than even U.S. military might. All signs show that fracking is ending the power of these cartel states.

FrackingTheDeathKnellOfOPEC 05June2013

How Gov’t Regulations Began as Corporate Cronyism

Crony Capitalism is NOT Capitalism!

AEI Feb. 2013 Panel: Big Government and Big Food vs. Food Trucks, Foodies, and Farmers Markets – click here.

Earlier this year, KWTP attended a local Chamber Taste of the Town event where I met a couple who made the local areas Farmers Markets circuit. They explained to me how new regulations and fees were forcing them out of the market. They had to purchase expensive equipment they did not need for the produce and home-made soaps and lotions they produced. Then had to pay large fees to all three counties the FMs they attended were in. This was one of those small businesses that used to crop up and grow, hiring more Americans as they did so. But now, regulations and laws passed by our local and state governments at the behest of large dairies and farms intent on pushing little men businesses out of the market were strangling them into bankruptcy.

It is simply un-American and antithetical to the level playing field competition and free market ideology that made this nation great.

The vise is long, and a little boring to those who don’t care about the philosophy and history of current legislation, but given where our country is today, it is something every one of us needs to see. I urge you to follow the link and watch the video of this panel discussion.

And for the record, I have tried to get local media interested in the plight of some of our small farmers and businessmen at our local Farmers Markets to no avail BEFORE I ever found this link.

A Tradition of Sacrifice, from Yorktown to Ramadi by Leif Babin

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This entire article from the WSJ Online is a MUST READ this Memorial Day!

It was not the Declaration of Independence that gave us freedom but the Continental Army. America was born from conflict, delivered by soldiers willing to pay with their blood the tremendous cost of freedom.

The dead did not wish to be martyred. They no doubt longed to return to their homes and families. But they believed in the “glorious cause,” something far greater than themselves. Despite knowing the dangers before them, they followed Gen. Washington into the fray even when victory seemed hopeless and the cause all but lost.

Read the entire article at WSJ online.

Development of Shale Gas Resources Could Boost New York Economy

According to the Manhattan Institute’s report, the fracking moratorium is blocking New York counties from seeing a potential $8 billion in added income over four years. The report zeroes in on 28 New York counties that sit above the Marcellus and compares jobs and income growth in 50 Pennsylvania counties that produce gas.

ShaleEconomicBenefitNewYork 08May2013