Texas Legislature

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.


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

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

The Texas TEA Parties standing strong against higher taxes, at the State Capital


TX HB300: Independent School District Bill

From Corie C. Whalen:

Hey everyone, I’m working hard to promote an important school choice bill that has recently been filed as HB300. The press release with details about the legislation is here: http://www.tffeducation.org/bill_press_release. This legislation would gives districts that opt into the new code greater freedom to set goals, curriculum, testing, schedule, calendar, and staffing policies of their schools. Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects who elevate bureucracy over quality education are organizing against this bill. So please check it out and contact your state representative to encourage them to support HB300. http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/find-your-representative/

HB300 Press Release

The “Independent School District Bill” proposes an alternative education code that empowers families to make education decisions and hold schools accountable, and provides the support they need to embrace the best public school for their children. The plan gives districts that opt into the new code greater freedom to set goals, curriculum, testing, schedule, calendar, and staffing policies of their schools.

MUST WATCH: The Real Story Behind TX’s 82nd Legislature

JoAnn Fleming, Chair of Advisory Committee to the Texas Tea Party Caucus, Executive Director of Grassroots America We the People, explains how 101 Republicans were definitely not a conservative majority in the 82nd Texas House (2011 Legislative Session).

Grassroots/Tea Party Citizens Groups Join together to expose the Texas Leadership
Watch this video on YouTube.