Category Archives: Texas Politics

How The Texas Solution Was Defeated At The Texas GOP Convention Part 1

How The Texas Solution Was Defeated At The Texas GOP Convention Part 1

I can give you an inside look at how this went down. I interviewed and took notes from the delegate who authored the minority report, TJ Scott.  I spoke with the grassroots activists working the floor. This is meant to be an amalgamation of our grassroots experience, opinion, and impressions.  We at RagingElephantsRadio.com expose the inconvenient truths of the plutocracy of Texas.  We are the voice of the Texas grassroots! Here’s what I can tell you thus far…
Originally, it was a strike and replace amendment of the platform committee and voted on 15-15 (hardly a “pass” as Mechler presented it to the body).  The Chairman of the platform committee, Tom Mechler (who has designs on the RPT Chairmanship when Munisteri resigns), refused to break the tie (which he had done previously to pass medical cannabis).  A tie kills the amendment, and thus it became the minority report signed by 12.  One of those 12 was a reluctant (by his own admission) Mark Ramsey, SREC of SD7.

Tom Mechler wasted about three hours of TJ’s time by not assisting him with filing the minority report on Friday.  No one seemed to know what to do or how to do it.  Finally, a frustrated TJ attempted to pin Mechler down on the procedure, but could not get an answer.  On Saturday morning, TJ called Mechler and again asked how to get the minority report submitted to the floor.  Mechler told TJ to not worry because Mark Ramsey was going to “take care of it.”  (Why Ramsey?  He didn’t even really support the minority report, so why not one of the minority report authors who could really champion it?) When TJ questioned the tactic, and said he was planning to present it at one of the floor mics, Mechler revealed that Ramsey was going to present the minority report from the stage “with some compromises”.  TJ asked “who had compromised what with whom?”  Good question! TJ had spent four hours Friday morning and early afternoon in meetings with people on the other side trying to hammer out a compromise but TJ would not give in on granting legal status to anyone in the country illegally and the talks broke down.  Oddly, Mechler proceeded to lecture TJ about “working with people” and that he needed to get off the phone.

TJ and several other activists tried to reach Ramsey – he did not return their texts or calls, thereby leaving them in the dark about his intentions.  That made them very worried.  Ramsey had voted against similar language to the minority report in the subcommittee meeting. And now he was the one who was going to present it to the body?!  Something was very wrong.

We activists were warned on Saturday morning that Ramsey may sabotage the minority report.  We were told we needed to vote against anything that was substituted for the minority report. Instead of properly presenting the minority report, Ramsey used his stage time to propose an amendment to the Texas Solution plank, thereby accepting the 2012 plank by default and then tweaking it by adding a so-called “trigger”.  He was out of order by the rules, and no one corrected him.  However, it created mass confusion when the vote was called.  Were we approving an amendment to the Texas Solution plank of the platform or the minority report?  Where was the dang minority report?!  Ramsey never properly presented it (though he did tell us he didn’t like it).  By the way, I thought it was strange that his “trigger” amendment to the Texas Solution passed, until I talked to delegates afterward who thought they were voting for the minority report!

Other amendments were proposed. We lost one made by Pastor Terry Holcomb. Then someone made a motion to accept an amendment that was currently on the floor and the minority report in the same vote.  Good grief!  The mass confusion over that lasted for a half hour!  Eventually, the vote was separated  – and the amendment was approved, but the minority report was already botched and therefore killed.

At this point, we had just lost two keys votes – a striking amendment and the minority report. We believed the chaos was intentional due to the switcheroo with Ramsey – the fix was in!  Delegates questioned the fact that they never got a chance to debate the minority report – or see it even!  Overruled. We had folks waiting in line at the mics to try and strike further language from the Texas Solution.  It was our last hope.

And then this is what happened (as I posted on my FB page):

After debate on the minority report was denied, and then killed due to the mass confusion, things were very chaotic! Then unexpectedly, a pre-filed amendment to the platform was proposed. What was this, who was this, what should we do?! I was busy running between activists and groups, when I realized that the new amendment had been proposed from the microphone nearest to me. I went straight to the author, Peter Batura, and got a hard copy which I was able to share with JoAnne Fleming and Larry Korkmas before it ever went up on the screen. It looked really good! Strong! We didn’t know Peter, the minority report was dead thanks to Mark Ramsey, but this amendment gave us new life!

We quickly confirmed with other groups via text and Facebook – who had reached the same conclusion – and the word went out: vote yes on the amendment, it will kill the Texas solution!

It’s a true testament to the grassroots adapting and overcoming, using every available means to network, and literally flash mobbing the vote!

And more than anything else, it was a God-thing!

I will say that this was not a planned strategy, but a miracle.  Because we had our communication lines wide open, and activists from around the SDs pre-positioned with vote placards we were able to take advantage of an unforeseen blessing – the pre-filed amendment very closely matched the minority report!  It was about 98% of the minority report we wanted and we took advantage of our networks to spread the word throughout the delegates.

Also, it took split-second judgment from the grassroots activists and leaders who had to decide whether to put their hard-won reputations on the line for an unknown person and unforeseen amendment.  Peter Batura’s amendment might have failed because he was an unknown to all of us who had been working on this issue in Texas.  He stood there quietly and calmly answered every question I asked as I tried to ascertain his intent.  Remember, the Texas Solution lobbyists had been intentionally sowing confusion to deceive the delegates into accepting the Texas Solution again.

At the end, the vote was called.  The ayes had it (by my ears), but Munisteri said the Parliamentarian and the Secretary disagreed on the results, so then called for a stand up vote.   A confused Norm Adams and Dr. Steve Hotze had previously taken to the mics to protest and now were working the crowd to suppress the vote.  Norm, the big bad lobbyist, was reduced to running up and down the aisle flapping his arms to signal people to stay seated.  Hilarious.  Again, I thought it was obvious that we won, but Munisteri said it still wasn’t clear and wanted there to be no doubt and then called for a roll call vote!

THIS WAS IT!  Our chance to shine!  We knew the people didn’t want the Texas Solution but most were so confused at this point. They looked for clarity and found it in the leadership of the grassroots activists who had been involved from the beginning.  We worked the SDs hard in the minutes before the vote, but so did the lobbyists and Mark Ramsey.  (He whipped the votes in SD7 against the Batura amendment, as did the other SD7 leaders.) We lost only a few SDs, and won all the rest!  The vote on the amendment was 4763 for 3735 against.  We struck down the Texas Solution with over 1000 votes – it was not even close!

I will have Batura on my radio program on Monday, June 9th, to discuss how this all went down from his perspective, which is heretofore unknown.  (www.RagingElephantsRadio.com). I will have TJ Scott, the author of the minority report on as soon as he is available.

Also, Peter Batura sent me the language of the approved amendment.  The Texas Solution was replaced with the following language (most of it taken from the minority report):

Amended Text
America is proudly a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, our nation has attracted productive, industrious and gifted people to America because she is exceptional, and those immigrants and their descendants helped make America the world’s unrivaled economic and military superpower. It remains imperative to create fair and consistent procedures that will again enable freedom-loving, hard-working and law-abiding immigrants to join us, by providing them an efficient, practical method of legal entry, so they can lawfully take positions where their labor is needed, without exploitation or harassment.
Our national interests are poorly served by our broken, embattled, and outdated immigration system, and patchwork attempts to mend its deficiencies will not prepare us to continue to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex global economy that demands the legal movement of people to fill jobs at all skill levels. An efficient, pro- family and market-based system will provide a more workable solution that is compassionate, equitable and respects the rule of law.
But by failing to create a rational and effective system that encourages and facilitates legal immigration to the benefit of the nation, Congress has forced states to deal with the consequences of a broken immigration system, including human, sex and drug trafficking, the direct criminal activities of cartels and gangs. This situation must end so America can, once again, enjoy the fruits of a vibrant and beneficial system of legal immigration.

In addition, with 92 million Americans not working, the labor force at 36-year low and a lethargic economy, the United States of America can ill-afford a guest worker program designed to depress wages.
The following outlines specific actions needed to address these critical issues:
• Secure the borders through

o Increasing in the number of border security officerso Increasing joint operations and training with local law enforcement, DPS and the Texas State Guard

o Contiguous physical barrier coupled with electronic, infrared and visual monitoring

• Ending In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants

• Enhancing state smuggling laws

• Prohibiting sanctuary cities

• Prohibiting the knowing employment of illegal immigrants

• Providing civil liability protections for landowners against illegal immigrants

• Protecting the ability of law enforcement officers to inquire of the status of someone in custody

• Modernizing Current Immigration Laws to address the following:

o Any form of Amnesty should not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally

o We support replacement of the current employment visa system with an efficient cost effective system

o We support ending country of origin quotas

o We support ending the annual green card lottery

• Once the borders are verifiably secure, and E-Verify system use is fully enforced, creation of a visa classification for non-specialty industries which have demonstrated actual and persistent labor shortages.

http://www.heidifortexas.com/how_the_texas_solution_was_defeated_at_the_texas_gop_convention

Talk Show Host Michael Berry responds to Dan Patrick’s political consultant Allen Blakemore morning 5-16-2014

Video: Jerry Patterson: “Dan is not the Man”!

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TODAY: May 12, 2014 Lt. Gov Dewhurst on RagingElephantsRadio.com at 2:00pm CT with Apostle Claver!

LT Gov Dewhurst on RER with Apostle Claver

“Tea Parties Need to Take a Second Look at Lt. Gov. Dewhurst”

dale huls

“Here we are just days away from the 2014 Republican Primary Run-off Elections. Patrick or Dewhurst…Dewhurst or Patrick, is there a clear and simple choice for the Texas Tea Party movement? Is there one candidate that the tea party can trust to advance our agenda of personal freedom, economic freedom and a debt-free future for our children and grandchildren? Who knows? Ultimately, it’s a crap-shoot…or is it? Let’s look a little deeper now that we only have two choices left for the Republican Lt. Governor candidate.

To be fair, I have supported Lt. Gov. Dewhurst for re-election since the four challengers (Dewhurst, Patrick, Patterson, and Staples) announced their candidacies. This surprised many of my friends in the tea party movement. They looked at me like I had two heads (and both of them crazy). How could I support Dewhurst! Look at what he did to Ted Cruz during the US Senate campaign! He’s the establishment in Austin that we are fighting against! Talk about hard to defend your pick, it didn’t get any harder than this.

Indeed, even before the campaign season started…for most tea parties…David Dewhurst was not an option. Opinions were already set. An unspoken “anybody but Dewhurst” approach was pursued by everyone driven by their revulsion of the previous “scorched earth” tactics used against Ted Cruz and the continuing overspending and increases in the Texas State budget. Indeed, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst had become radioactive to the vast majority of tea parties in Texas. It seemed that everyone, including my own tea party, was searching for reasons to support one of the other remaining candidates. And for the most part, they found one reason or another to throw their support to one of the other three. The Clear Lake Tea Party endorsed Todd Staples by an overwhelming majority. It was a cold and lonely place on the CLTP Board standing up for Dewhurst and my arguments fell on deaf ears.

Yet, in the months before that vote to endorse Staples. Like many others, I was also looking for that “white knight” tea party candidate who would champion our principles and causes. However, Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert already had jobs. So I sat down and did my own analysis of the Republican candidates with their names in the hat.

Ordinarily, Patrick should be a shoo-in for tea party support. He truly does have one of the more conservative voting records in the Texas Senate. He did form the Texas Legislative Tea Party Caucus during the 82nd legislative session. Additionally, he assembled a Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee composed of many leading tea party activists in the State to advise the caucus. So why was this not a slam dunk for Senator Patrick? Patrick claims that new “authentic conservative” leadership is needed in the Lt. Governor’s office. Maybe the problem seems to be with the word “authentic.” The sense of many in the tea party was that they were being “played.” Several Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee members have said that the Texas Tea Party Caucus has been ineffective in setting tea party supported policies and championing them in the legislature. Although Patrick often casts conservative votes on many issues (such as his voting against the State budget this session), his votes are never a deciding vote. Patrick also has a reputation as a “bully” and an “ideologue,” which was visibly demonstrated when he stormed the House floor to confront Rep. Steve Toth over his CSCOPE oversight bill which Patrick promised to scuttle in a backroom deal with the CSCOPE administrators. This particular instance gave some in the tea party a deep glimpse into his character. Some of us still remember, Dan Patrick’s ambush interview of Ted Cruz on his radio show that upset the grassroots state-wide. With his election year revelation regarding Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s leadership abilities, the tea party grassroots should remain unconvinced of Senator Patrick’s motivations and ultimate goals. Ultimately, I decided that Dan Patrick was no “tea party champion.”

So if not Dan Patrick, what other choice is left? It was not enough to only vote against someone. I needed to vote for someone in this election, so I gave David Dewhurst another look. I found that the original disagreements over spending and the State budget with Dewhurst still remain. I am still against the water amendment (No. 6) passed in November that was supported by the Lt. Governor. However, as I looked at the overall performance of Texas during the national financial crisis starting last decade and the hardships and anti-prosperity policies of the Obama regime, I began to evaluate things in a different light.

The tea parties are looked at as the L’Enfant Terrible of the Republican Party. We are conservatives who are terrifyingly candid by saying embarrassing things to and about the Republican Establishment. We are also portrayed as uncompromising and naive with respect to politics. While it may be true about us saying candid things that embarrass the establishment, we are growing up and maturing.

Getting past the Senate race campaign, the State budget, and a revolving-fund water amendment, I began to focus on the whole Dewhurst record. I discovered that he has be responsible for increasing the DPS budget by $800 Million to build the infrastructure necessary for Texas to be able to close its own borders for the first time. That after Patrick’s Sonogram Bill stalled in the Senate that Dewhurst personally pushed through the bill’s passage in the Senate. That under Dewhurst, as Lt. Governor, Texas has had lawsuit reform, election reform, stopped the State from adopting Medicare expansion, rejected Common Core, and greatly expanded our internal energy sources. With these in mind, I looked at other States and how they are faring with respect to Texas. Texas leads the nation in job growth. One third of all jobs created in America are in Texas. Approximately, 1200 people a day from other States come to Texas. If Texas has been so bad under the watch of Lt. Governor Dewhurst, then why are we in such great shape compared to the rest of the country?

After I looked at the Lt. Governor’s entire record, I next looked at the man. Who was this guy who ran such a cutthroat campaign against Ted Cruz who I actively supported during the campaign? Who was this politician that from the CLTP perspective seemed hardly to recognize that there was a Texas tea party movement? My questions were answered as I worked with the Dewhurst campaign team last year when they reached out to grassroots around Texas. I and other activists were brutally honest with our advice to the Dewhurst campaign. Sometimes our suggestions and input were taken and acted upon, sometimes not. However, they kept coming back and asking. That is all we in the tea party are asking for. A chance to be heard! We know that we won’t get everything we ask for, but that is all right. As long as you are listening and making valued, principled judgments, I am okay with being on the losing side of things from time to time. Just ask my CLTP Board!

And then, I finally got to interact with David Dewhurst directly. From the time I spent with him in person and on the phone, I gathered my own sense of the man and who I thought he was. I got a feeling of “authenticity,” “integrity,” and “sincerity” from the Lt. Governor. He seemed earnest that I understand his positions and rationale, yet was never condescending or dismissive over my concerns and issues. Sometimes we would agree to disagree and others I could see enlightenment enter his eyes regarding concepts and concerns he had previously not thought of. For the first time my personal assessment agreed with my political assessment, that I was indeed backing the right horse in this race.

Like I said before, backing Dewhurst was a lonely place in the tea party. However, after the primary and the field now down to just two candidates, the CLTP was trying to figure out what its next steps would be regarding the run-off. The Patrick team contacted Robert Gonzalez, then President of the CLTP, to set up a meeting to “bury the hatchet” regarding our opposition to his candidacy for Lt. Governor. We agreed, and in good conscience, Robert decided it was only fair to give Dewhurst a similar opportunity to address our tea party board. Dewhurst accepted our invitation and on a Friday at the First Baptist Church of Seabrook, the Lt. Governor sat with the CLTP Executive Board. Sitting down, the CLTP Board was very anti-Dewhurst for all the reasons previously stated. My fellow board members began questioning with a vengeance and hitting on topics like education, the TSA anti-groping bill that failed, the Wendy Davis filibuster, budget issues, border security, open carry, Obamacare, tort reform, local elections and debt reform to name just a few. Dewhurst spent three and a half hours with us answering questions, giving background information, and discussing problems and solutions. After our meeting, my fellow board members seemed rather stunned at the way things had turned out. I was asked “was that for real” to which I replied “that is the David Dewhurst I have been working with for months, you are just seeing this for the first time.” In fact, one of my friends on the board commented that “if this is for real, I owe you an apology.” No apology needed. I understood their mindset intimately because it was once my own.

After a week of reflection and debate, the Clear Lake Tea Party Executive Board announced their endorsement and support of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for re-election as Texas Lt. Governor. To those who read these words, take note that it is a rare thing that so many strong and opinionated people can re-evaluate their positions, change their minds and publicly reverse their stance.

But this is not the end of this story. If it was just the CLTP Board who reconsidered their opinion of David Dewhurst and ended up supporting him, it could be looked at as an atypical outcome in a turbulent political season. But the story doesn’t just end there. Immediately upon the announcement that the Clear Lake Tea Party had formally endorsed Dewhurst for Lt. Governor, all the leadership of the surrounding area tea parties began to question the wisdom and sanity of backing the Dewhurst. In order to answer this question, the CLTP organized another meeting with Dewhurst and the leadership of six area tea parties all mainly hostile to the Lt. Governor last week.

Folks, lightning struck twice. After the meeting, what were once critics of David Dewhurst came out with a new understanding and perspective of the man and his efforts for Texas. Within a day, two tea parties that were represented by their boards immediately endorsed David Dewhurst for Lt. Governor and representatives of the others went back to advocate an endorsement from their respective boards. Their decisions are pending. What all this demonstrates is that if the tea parties of Texas temper their initial opposition and take a hard long second look at both candidates, they just might come to a different conclusion regarding the candidates.

Finally, do a grassroots activist’s due diligence by throwing out conventional wisdom and judge the situation on the entirety of the facts present. Get your facts first-hand by doing your own research, picking up the phone or setting up a meeting. Oh, by the way, how did the CLTP meeting with Dan Patrick go you may ask? After several canceled meetings by the Patrick team, we were never able to get him to sit down with our board. Who knows, what would have happened if he had thought it important to keep his appointments with the Clear Lake Tea Party.

Dale Huls is a founding member of the Clear Lake Tea Party. ”

http://bigjollypolitics.com/2014/05/01/tea-parties-need-take-second-look-lt-gov-dewhurst/

Video: Border Security: Texas LT. Gov David Dewhurst plan to secure the border

Sen. Dan Patrick Cuts a Deal on CSCOPE- Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst Stands with Parents!

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Pearland TEA Party 2014 Primary Endorsed Candidates!

Candidates

Video: Lake Jackson TEA Party Town Hall Jan 29, 2014

Video: 2014 Texas U.S. Senate Republican Candidate Dwayne Stovall interview with BigJolly Politics

Dwayne Stovall

http://www.texansforstovall.com/