Location: Webster Civic Center 311 Pennsylvania St Webster, TX 77598
Details: From trial electronic voting (preparing for Convention 2020) to SREC races across the state to minority reports voted up and down to the hotly-contested Chairman’s race; the 2018 RPT State Convention had it all. If you missed it CLTP hosts SD11 SREC Woman Tanya Robertson and SREC Man JT Edwards along with SD11 Caucus Chair Scott Bowen as they bring it home to you! Our SD11 officials and a guest soon to be announced will give you the ups and downs of the RollerCoaster ride that was Convention 2018. Don’t miss it!
The Bipartisan Platform: Why haven’t we accomplished the things we all agree should be done?
SD11 Senate District Chair Scott Bowen finds common ground between the Republican Party of Texas platform and the Texas Democratic Party platform.
As a delegate to the Republican Party of Texas convention, I was honored to testify before platform committees, vote on amendments, and be part of the process of developing the party’s stance on important issues for the coming biennium. Reading the Democratic equivalent confirms that the other party has a much different vision for society and government. However, I was surprised to find several areas of common ground between the two.
The 182 men and women elected to the next legislative session, and the 38 sent to represent this state in the U.S. Congress, will all approach their posts with their own priorities as well as those of their respective parties. I hope, though, that they can set aside some time to come together and quickly accomplish the things both parties agree would be beneficial to the state of Texas. In this article, I’ll detail several issues where both party platforms completely agree. Remember that it’s possible for two groups of people to see the world in very different ways, and yet approach the same conclusion—that often speaks to the urgency of action to solve that problem. It’s a lot to ask for both parties to set aside their differences and avoid using these issues to gain advantage over each other, but if we can do it, you’re about to see just how much can be accomplished, especially for the most vulnerable Texans among us.
No Jail for Non-Jailable Offenses
Democrats make it clear in several of their criminal justice planks that they want to keep people out of jail for low-level crimes, or crimes that would only be punishable by fines. The Republican platform explicitly calls upon the Texas Legislature “to end the practice of jailing individuals for offenses for which jail is not an allowable consequence under the law.”
Ending Debtor’s Prison
The Democratic platform calls for “ending the practice of sending poor people to jail or prison for inability to pay fines and court costs.” The Republican platform goes a step further, asking the Legislature to end incarceration of individuals who cannot pay “tickets, fines, and fees for class C misdemeanors, including traffic violations.”
Age of Criminal Responsibility
Both parties explicitly call for the age of criminal prosecution or responsibility to be raised from 17 to 18.
Consent During Traffic Stops
The Republican platform calls upon the Legislature to “require officers to get written or recorded consent (i.e. body cams) to conduct a search and inform motorists that they can decline to give such consent.” The Democratic platform uses almost the same words, asking to require officers to “get written or recorded consent prior to conducting a search during traffic stops and require them to inform people of their right to decline such consent.”
Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture
The Democratic platform calls for “ensuring civil asset forfeiture only upon a criminal conviction.” The Republican platform calls for the abolition of civil asset forfeiture using the same language, and requests that the Party make this one of its legislative priorities for the 2019 legislative session.
Eliminating 3-Tier Alcohol Distribution
The Democratic platform contains strong free-market language defending the rights of craft brewers: “Democrats support modernizing the TABC’s 3 tier system because Texas’s craft breweries create jobs, encourage tourism, grow the economy, revitalize communities and add incremental tax revenues. Democrats support legislation allowing craft breweries to enjoy the same rights as their competitors in every state that allow them to sell and market their products directly from their breweries to consumers for take-home consumption, and ensure fairness in distribution across the state.” Cheers to that. For their part, Republicans “urge the Texas Legislature to adopt legislation eliminating the mandatory three-tier system of alcohol production, distribution, and retail. Texans should have the freedom to purchase alcohol directly from manufacturers, just as any other retail product.”
Reducing/Ending “Robin Hood”
The Democratic platform calls for the state to “equitably reduce reliance on ‘Robin Hood’ recapture.” The Republican platform goes a step further, stating that Republicans “oppose the ‘Robin Hood’ system of public school finance and believe the Texas Legislature, not the courts, should determine the amount of money spent on public education and the distribution thereof.” While both parties likely come at this issue from different angles and have very different visions for what school finance in Texas should look like at the state level, it is clear that neither party is happy with the status quo produced by the “Robin Hood” program and support its reduction or elimination.
The Republican platform calls upon the Legislature to provide “appropriate funding for the improvement of mental health services for children and adolescents,” especially emphasizing training for people who touch the life of a child in the foster care system and trauma-informed care. The Democratic platform offers several suggestions for this, asking for the number of treatment facilities to be increased and for community-based mental health services for children and adults.
Republicans call upon the Legislature to “improve the 2015 Compassionate Use Act to allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis to certified patients.” Democrats call for “the immediate legalization of medical cannabis use.”
Rape Prevention and Prosecution
The Republican Platform calls for the passage of “Abby’s Law,” which requires prosecution of rapists within 90 days, prioritizes victims’ safety and justice, requires the state to “establish a standard protocol to be followed in regards to claims of sexual assault,” and requires that “the funding of rape kit processing where the assailant is unknown will be continuous with mandatory annual reporting to ensure that the money is being allocated for this intent.” While the Democratic platform is not as specific, it supports “strong enforcement of Texas laws to hold offenders accountable and increase the likelihood that victims will come forward to report these crimes” and calls for training programs for all professionals involved in the reporting of sexual crimes.
The Republican platform calls for a “zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment,” but does not specify a group for this to apply to. The Democratic platform addresses sexual harassment in several planks, and specifically calls for a policy to be adopted in the Texas House and Texas Senate that could include significant penalties such as censure or expulsion.
Eliminating Chapter 313 Property Tax Abatements
The Democratic platform calls for “eliminating tax loopholes and unproductive special breaks, such as Chapter 313 agreements, to simplify the tax system and provide revenue for essential services.” Republicans “support repealing Tax Code Chapter 313 school property tax abatements.”
Eliminating the Driver Responsibility Program
The Democratic Platform calls for “stabilizing trauma center funding by repealing the Driver Responsibility Program fees, which many Texans cannot afford and never pay, and replacing the funding [by] other budgetary means,” while the Republican platform focuses on the Texans affected: “we call upon the Texas Legislature to abolish the Driver Responsibility Program and to immediately restore the driver licenses of the citizens whose licenses were suspended by the DRP and to cancel their debt.”
Elimination of Special Funds
Both parties call for the elimination of certain special funds, but they target different ones. The Democrats object to the Texas Enterprise Fund, referring to it as a “corporate slush fund that rewards businesses owned by political cronies and contributors, despite their failure to meet hiring targets and other program requirements.” The Republican platform calls for the Legislature to abolish the Events Trust Fund program and the Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which also meet that description. Perhaps as a compromise, we can end all three.
Public Information Act/Trade Secrets
The platforms have suspiciously identical language about this: they both, in these exact words, “support legislation that would close contractor and trade secret loopholes in the Texas Public Information Act, while providing due process protections for private companies wishing to keep trade secrets private.”
Home and Community-Based Services
Both platforms call for the Legislature to support HCBS. The Democrats call for HCBS funding to “follow the person” in cases of long-term care. Republicans see this as a pro-life measure, presumably directed at mothers who may be considering abortion for children who would be born with special needs, and ask to “enact language to apply additional protections and to address any loopholes that fail to protect or provide appropriate home and community-based alternatives for children and adults with disabilities, in addition to providing families with information about life-affirming social and medical services available to them in Texas as alternatives to abortion and costly institutional care.”
While the Democratic platform generally advocates for less stringent enforcement of laws against illegal immigration, it does include this plank: Democrats “support strict enforcement and appropriate punishment against those who exploit undocumented workers rather than targeting the workers themselves.” Republicans agree with this approach, asking for Texas to eliminate the employment magnet by “requiring all employers to screen new hires through the free E-Verify system to prevent the hiring of illegal aliens and of anyone not legally authorized to work in the U.S.” Nothing in the Republican platform calls for the targeting of workers who are illegal immigrants—responsibility for these enforcement actions would come down entirely upon employers, as it should.
Legalization of Hemp
The Democratic Platform supports “the legalization of hemp for agricultural purposes.” The Republican Platform recognizes “industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity,” and urges the Legislature to “pass legislation allowing cultivation, manufacture, and sale of industrial hemp and hemp products.”
Opposition to Eminent Domain by Private Entities
The Democratic platform states that “the protection of private property is a cornerstone of freedom and liberty and is central to the Texas Constitution,” and includes strong and detailed language opposing eminent domain by private corporations, allowing condemnation “only where necessary, and only for needed projects such as transportation and utilities that serve a clear public interest.” It also supports an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would eliminate the ability for private entities to “exercise the powers of eminent domain in condemnation of private property” and ensure “all entities seeking eminent domain authority should be required, before any eminent domain is exercised, to prove that they are deserving of condemnation authority and prove that their project serves the public good.” The Republican platform calls for eminent domain to “exclude the seizure of private property for private economic development or increased tax revenue.”
Both parties call for Congress to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Democrats want it removed entirely (and in the interim, to cease enforcement of federal laws regarding cannabis in states that allow it), and Republicans want to move it to Schedule 2.
The Democratic platform opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and opposes “free trade” proposals which “hurt American jobs and workers, the environment, and the American consumer.” Democrats “support fair trade deals to bring back and protect Texas and American jobs.” While Republicans “support free trade as a necessary component of American capitalism and of the United States’ influence in the world,” Republicans oppose the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Republicans also demand “the immediate withdrawal” from NAFTA and CAFTA.
“The kids are used as pawns by smugglers and traffickers,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Let’s just pause to think about this statistic: a 314% increase in adults showing up with kids that are not a family unit. Those are traffickers. Those are smugglers. That is MS-13. They are criminals. They are abusers.”
Over the past two weeks, a chorus of voices has demanded an end to a policy that has seen adults and children separated at the border as they await processing by immigration officials. Across the mainstream news media, immigration officials are depicted as unnecessarily stripping children away from their parents, leaving families separated and traumatized.
But many reacting to the situation forget there is a sinister element involved at our southern border. And it is that sinister element that makes a solution to these problems very challenging.
For many Americans, being separated from their child by immigration officials is the worst thing they can imagine. But for many of those entering this country across our southern border, such a hardship scarcely qualifies amongst the worst things they’ve already experienced, much less imagined.
Liberals in knee-jerk fashion have called for an immediate stop to the policy of separating children and adults at the border. Current law prohibits immigration officials from housing adults and children together, so the only immediate solution would be a return to a policy known as “catch and release.”
Under the terms of a decades-old court ruling, immigration officials are prohibited from jailing children as they await immigration proceedings. That ruling led to decisions by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations to release children and adults into the public as they awaited hearings. That “catch and release” policy was recently reversed by the Trump administration which recognized that it effectively encouraged further illegal immigration and made children more vulnerable to exploitation by gangs and smugglers.
But it is essential to remember that not every child paired with an adult who comes across our southern border does so as a family. Mixed amongst the legitimate asylum-seekers is a sinister element— those who are trafficking children into this country for exploitation.
“The kids are used as pawns by smugglers and traffickers,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Let’s just pause to think about this statistic: a 314% increase in adults showing up with kids that are not a family unit. Those are traffickers. Those are smugglers. That is MS-13. They are criminals. They are abusers.”
A return to catch and release would mean the release of adults and children before any hearing and before any determination that the pair are, in fact, related. Human smugglers could be released, along with the victims they claim as their children. That’s not acceptable.
But even this matter is more complicated than it first appears.
According to DHS, 10,000 of the 12,000 minors currently detained at the borderare “unaccompanied” and didn’t enter this country with a parent. Many are appalled to imagine parents placing their children in the hands of smugglers and sending them away, often to be raped and abused on the journey northward.
But yet again, they fail to recognize the sinister element involved in the dilemma faced by some parents in Central America.
In El Salvador, many parents are forced to make a nightmarish choice: send their teenage daughter north alone, likely to be raped during the journey, or have her stay and be taken as a sex slave by the terrorist gangs that control the country. It is the same with the boys: flee, and accept all of the danger that entails, or stay, and be pushed into a war zone and likely killed.
Crafting policy that fulfills American values of upholding the rule of law by deterring illegal immigration and human trafficking while sheltering legitimate asylum-seekers and keeping families united is a difficult proposition. Cruz’s bill appears to be the best one on the table at this time.
Americans of all political persuasions empathize with the difficult situation those in Central America face, but if the rule of law is cast aside and the borders are flung open, the streets of Houston could become as dangerous as those in El Salvador. The individuals who work for border and law enforcement, as well as those in the halls of Congress, have a duty to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Crafting successful public policy is an arduous process on its own, but it is made harder by the sinister element in Washington.
One of the most startling facts about modern American government is that the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, who served as the third most powerful person in Washington from 1999-2007, was a serial child molester and was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for his offenses.
It is well-recognized that power attracts megalomaniacal personalities. Without naming names or pointing fingers about something that is inherently difficult to prove, the fact remains that some not-insignificant minority of those in power in Washington operate with sinister motives and are not interested in the well-being of children. This makes the job of crafting policy that protects the weakest amongst us all the more difficult.
Americans can find a solution to the crisis at the southern border that protects children and families and upholds the rule of law. But it will require many Americans to snap out of their middle-class, suburban mentalities and realize that these matters are more complicated—and the world is a grittier place—than they may care to admit.
As many of you know Jeremiah Thomas was struck with a very aggressive cancer. We have not given up hope or prayers but through this trial, God has given Jeremiah a platform that has reached world wide. One video alone has over 200k views!
This being said the Make A Wish Foundation visited Jeremiah and offered him one wish. His wish was to meet his Governor and the Oklahoma Gubernatorial Candidate #DanFisher to share with him his wish to Abolish Abortion and end the 45 year Long holocaust against the pre-born which has be responsible for 250,00 babies. In this video/interview with Dan he speaks directly to Oklahoma and shares his wish and charge to all Oklahomans!
So here is the initiative:
* CALL EVERY TELEVISION STATION IN OKLAHOMA AND ASK THEM OF THEY HEARD OF JEREMIAH THOMAS A 16 YEAR OLD BOY’S LAST WISH TO MEET WITH TEXAS GOVERNOR AND OKLAHOMA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE DAN FISHER TO SHARE HIS REQUEST / WISH TO ABOLISH ABORTION. (The young man’s last wish is to save innocent babies!!! ) Jeremiah asked if Dan when he becomes governor will in his honor name the bill, Jeremiah’s Bill (a bill that would abolish abortion) please let them know why this is important also is because Dan Fisher is the only candidate running who will abolish abortion.
Below is the list and phone numbers of the mainstream television stations and numbers. If there are more that are not listed please call them also. (please post done below so we know how many times they have been reached)
Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself or for someone else.
Sometimes bravery involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, or everything you’ve ever wanted, for the sake of something greater.
But sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes bravery is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain. It is bearing down through the hard work of every day life. The slow walk towards a better life.
And sometimes it’s letting go.
Hey guys, my name is Jeremiah Thomas. I was raised on the front lines of the ongoing battle for the soul of our nation called abortion. It is a hidden holocaust that has wiped out one third of our generation. I’m from a family of 12 siblings, a stay-at-home mom, and a fiery preacher for a dad. I remember growing up watching my father fearlessly preach and plead with women going into death camps. As a result, I always wanted to grow up to be a preacher.
One thing you should know about my family. We are really big on sports. Both the boys and girls. The football and volleyball seasons are huge for us. I am the youngest of the guys in the family. So naturally growing up meant I got destroyed playing backyard football.
I learned a lot from my older brothers. I watched them all practice. I watched them all play. I watched them all win State. I wanted to be THAT good.
My brothers played for a private Christian school that allowed homeschoolers to participate. For two years, I woke up early and drove with them to practice so I could be the team’s water boy. The school’s athletic policy changed right before I got my chance to play. Only enrolled students were allowed on the team. So, in the fifth grade, my parents enrolled me because they had promised me the opportunity to play football and my Dad never goes back on his word.
After some years of flag football practice, my turn to play tackle football finally came in the seventh grade. We went 9-1 ending my junior high career on a good note. My parents pulled me out immediately after my last game and brought me back to homeschooling. I skipped 8th grade and went straight into my freshman year. I played with a different Christian school, the Parkview Pacers. I played with them my freshman and sophomore year, winning state my sophomore year. This meant that all the Thomas’ boys had won State. I received awards and got selected both years to play in the “All Star Game.” I don’t say this to brag but to share what my life was before cancer.
Growing up, I always had one foot in Christ and one foot in the world. I attended church, did Bible study, and ministered with my family but when I was at school or hanging with friends you couldn’t tell that I knew Christ.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky that I experienced revival. I was baptized along with forty-eight other kids (and some adults). I came home to Waco, Texas on fire for Christ.
I immediately ran to the roar of the battle and began to do ministry outside our local abortion clinic. With my Bible and a handheld microphone, I began sharing the Gospel on high school and college campuses.
Football came and went way too fast. It was a great season. We won State! Football season became basketball season. I continued to minister and play sports.
One night before Christmas, our family watched the Muppet Christmas Carol. I cried through the whole film. I thought I was feeling the Christmas spirit, but I soon realized it was the presence of God.
I was so moved, after the movie, I offered to do all the dishes for my siblings. My dad told me, it was our “Christmas miracle.” There were a lot of dishes and it was late. My tired sisters mumbled a “thank you” as they went off to their bedrooms. My parents and older brother went to bed too, leaving me alone to do dishes.
As I started washing the dishes, I regretted my decision. I decided to worship the Lord. I started to cry again, which then turned to weeping. Soon it was too much for me. I couldn’t do the dishes. I tried to run to my bedroom, so I could collapse on my bed. But I didn’t make it; I collapsed in my dad’s office.
For the next two hours I was pinned to the ground, shaking in the presence of God. At that point, deep intercession and travail filled me, leaving me undone. I knew God was demanding more of me. I began to hear a Voice. It was almost like it was speaking into me. I recognized the words the Voice was saying, when I knew that I shouldn’t. It spoke in a different language, saying the names of the Lord. It was the Lord! He was speaking to me! I woke up to see my brother, Valiant, and my dad sitting in chairs around me.
“What just happened?” I heard my Dad say.
After I recovered, Valiant and my other brother, Josiah, had about an hour-long worship session in our bedroom. The presence of the Lord was in the room. It was so thick, you could cut with a knife. But this time His presence was sweet and convicting, causing my brothers and me to weep and hug each other as we confessed our sins to one other.
Fast forward, basketball season was almost over. After a game, I came home with a small injury. A little bump on my ribs. Thinking it was your average rib injury, I wrapped it up and finished the basketball season. It was hurting a lot more by baseball season, but I had already started playing, so I kept my commitment.
I kept my ribs well wrapped and it didn’t give me too much of a problem. It wasn’t until I got home and tried to fall asleep that I would have major problems. I couldn’t sleep to save my life. My ribs hurt, and my back hurt as well. The back pain was excruciating. Sometimes I would pound the ground with my fist and cry out. My mom or dad would wake up and hold me as I grimaced in pain.
The first doctor said the pain was scoliosis in my back and a contusion on my ribs. But the pain only grew worse. We went back to the doctor’s office and they took a CT scan. The doctor said we would have to wait for the radiologist to read the scan. We went home expecting to come back sometime next week. As soon as we entered our house, the doctor’s office called us saying we needed to get back A.S.A.P.
My parents and I headed back with a bit of anxiety. The doctor received us back into his office and sat us down. The next few moments were a blur as my world was turned upside down and inside out. The only thing I could really understand was that I had a tumor in my front chest and it was malignant. I was dying.
My dream to play college football was DEAD. My dream to minister was DEAD. We were absolutely blindsided. I was the healthiest I had ever been. I was in my prime! I had so many plans and goals for the year. I couldn’t accept the news that I had a malignant tumor, not yet. Not now. Maybe a tumor at seventy years old; I could die at seventy. Not at sixteen.
I was in fulltime ministry mode at that time. I went out to my local abortion mill, Baylor college, and high schools. I would share the Gospel of the Kingdom with complete strangers to fulfill the Great Commission. I was pursuing the call that was on my life. I thought I could only serve God if I was healthy. I thought if I was hospitalized, I would lose all opportunity to minister to others. Little did I know that God was going to use my sickness to reach the lost and encourage brethren throughout the world.
After a few months of cancer and a bunch of different treatments, here I am. I’m lying down in bed, typing this letter. I have lost my hair, my ability to walk, fifty pounds of healthy muscle, the sensation in my legs and back, and my football career. But I haven’t lost my faith and hope in God. In fact, my faith in Him has been strengthened. I have grown so much closer to my Savior, knowing full well my life is in His hands. He has been with me every step of the way, guiding me and teaching me.
I’ve learned no matter what you get hit with in life, you sometimes have to lower your shoulder and keep trucking, just like in football. Trust God to keep your feet and sustain you. In less time than it takes to play a full football season, my life has been taken over by cancer. I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth, but with what time I do have, I want it to count for God and my generation. This is my call to my generation, “Leave it all behind and come back home!”
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
We have grown up in a culture of death, sexual confusion, immorality and fatherlessness. This culture of death I speak of consists of abortion, homosexuality and suicide. One third of our generation has been wiped out due to abortion. Over 25 million people have died as a result of AIDS. Even without AIDS, the life expectancy of a homosexual man or woman is about 33 years shorter than that of a heterosexual. More young people die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined.
We have been handed a bill of goods that has completely destroyed us. In our nation, we have chosen death and received the curse.
I would like to use a parable of the Prodigal Son to describe our generation. We have taken our Heavenly Father’s blessings and have turned from Him. We’ve squandered our godly heritage and we still haven’t turned back to the Father. How bad does it have to get in order for our generation to wake up and realize that we are a long way from home?
My call to you today is to come back to the Father. Leave behind the darkness, deception and despair. We are a fatherless and lawless generation searching for identity. Meanwhile, our heavenly Father is standing with arms wide open, beckoning to us to return to Him through the good news of the Gospel of the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
If you’re going through depression, there’s hope in Christ. If you’re battling disease, there’s healing in Christ. If you’re contemplating suicide or abortion, there’s abundant life in Christ.
Abortion is more than wrong. It’s an abomination. It’s the murder of an innocent baby. It turns mothers into murderers and men into cowards. Abortion goes against everything God intended. He made men to protect women and children. He made women to love and nurture. So, in conclusion, abortion is more than just a “woman’s issue.” It’s an act of murder that should be penalized by law. It is our generation’s duty to rise up and abolish abortion.
It’s time to wake up and stand against the evil in our day. There’s a battle to fight and souls to save. Everybody else is joining in the confusion and chaos that is ruining our nation. They are literally killing themselves and others trying to prove that they are right. True rebellion is going against the flow of what everybody else is doing.
Finally, to the liberal student activists who think they are fighting “the establishment” on college campuses- you are the establishment! Your professors are liberal. Your parents are probably liberal. Your friends are liberal. The music you listen to is liberal. Hollywood is liberal so the movies you watch are liberal.
Who or what are you truly rebelling against?
To the college kids who complain that they can’t trust our government- you’re doing everything in your power to make it bigger. The government is taking away our natural, God given rights. You’re making the problem worse. This is insanity.
If you want to be a rebel on college campuses fight for freedom! Stir the status quote, don’t go along with it. True examples of counter culture are the Christians who fight against abortion. They’re actually fighting to end the grave evil in our day.
Look at history. Over one hundred million people have been murdered under the ideologies of Democratic Socialism and Communism. When we forget our history, history will always repeat itself. That’s why one third of our generation has been wiped out by abortion. That’s why our rights our slowly being ripped out of our Constitution. That’s why the establishment is evil.
It’s time for my generation to wake up. It is time leave our sin, unbelief, rebellion, and lust behind. Let’s make a journey of saving faith back to the Father’s House. It is there and there only that we will find light, love, and life through Jesus Christ our Lord!
It is my sincere prayer that you who read this will take my words to heart, change your mind, and be reconciled to the Lord through the merits of Jesus Christ. May God’s Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven in Jesus’ name!
Attend the hearing and register your position. Testify for 2 minutes or submit written testimony. You can do it even if it’s your first time!
When you arrive, go down the elevators in the North wing to level E2. From the elevators, walk down the corridor and you’ll see E2.014 on the left. Find the kiosks in the hallways behind the hearing room and register for the hearing. The TFF position is “AGAINST” these issues.
Expect the hearing to last several hours. You can register to give testimony as long as the hearing is still in progress. Typically witnesses are called in the order they register – register early if you want to go first! Oral testimony will likely have a 2-minute time limit. Pick one important point to make and tell a personal story or give statistics to emphasize that point. Written testimony is also best short and to the point.
Call each of the committee members and tell them you oppose the red flag proposal and oppose changes to firearm storage laws. You’ll talk to a staff member; ask them to pass the message along. Stay courteous — remember, an armed society is a polite society.
Chairman Joe Moody (D) – 512-463-0728
Vice Chair Todd Hunter (R) – 512-463-0672
Rep. Terry Canales (D) – 512-463-0426
Rep. Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D) – 512-463-0708
Rep. Cole Hefner (R) – 512-463-0271
Rep. Mike Lang (R) – 512-463-0656
Rep. Terry Wilson (R) – 512-463-0309
Red Flag Proposal:
This would allow family members and others to file a petition seeking removal of firearms from a person they believe is potentially dangerous.
The Red Flag proposal is dangerous because it forces people into court of law without any probable cause of a crime having been committed.
Our justice system is supposed to prosecute and punish people who have broken an actual law, not those who are thought to be likely to commit a crime in the future. Wading into predictive judicial action is very dangerous.
Any hampering of the ability to keep and bear arms should only come through a criminal conviction or a professional diagnoses of a mental illness. Any other hindrance or barrier can be abused or misapplied.
A vengeful relative who dislikes guns could report someone’s gun ownership with a personal opinion that they are unfit to own guns.
This would set a dangerous precedent for lowering thresholds for stripping people of other Constitutional rights.
Firearms Storage Proposal:
Current law states that a person commits an offense if a child 16 or younger gains access to a loaded firearm and the person with criminal negligence failed to secure the firearm (see full law, Texas Penal Code 46.13). This proposal would raise the age to 17, raise penalties to a possible felony, and create an offense even for an unloaded firearm.
It is the responsibility of gun owners to keep their firearms safe. Government mandating of firearm storage violates the principle of personal responsibility.
This undermines parental rights in letting the parent determine responsibly how to teach their children firearm safety and allow access as they see fit.
People have been charged under the current firearms storage law only 62 times since 1996, leading us to believe that this change would cause harm without adding any meaningful benefit.
The proposed language does not just tie it to the home; it also would apply to vehicles.
This could have the unintended consequence of reduced safety in hindering the ability of mature, responsible, trained youth from having much-needed access to firearms for personal defense when they’re home alone.
An alternative proposal:
We recommend ending gun free zones for law abiding Texans — the least expensive and most efficient way to harden schools and provide responsible adults a fighting chance at protecting themselves and students and mitigating harm from inevitable attempts at violence.
Instead of looking only at law enforcement-based solutions, look at reducing barriers for everyday Texans who are teachers and volunteers in schools to be able to carry a firearm if they choose. Let’s find solutions that increase safety without reducing freedom.
Although the Democrats and other amnesty for illegal immigrants do so from a compassionate high ground, anyone who claims its about giving these migrants from other countries a better life is either lying or refusing to see the truth. We must STOP the human trafficking magnet our nation has become, to our ever-lasting shame. We are the magnet for human traffickers to bring sick, abused and dehydrated children here. Some of these children are raped more times than can be counted…on the way to our border. They ate malnourished and dehydrated. As happens so often the children are simply the pawns of evil adults. Their plight is no matter once they are in our country. Our shame should overwhelm our desire to be accused of racism and heartlessness.
If you truly care for the children help us stop this. Our hearts are breaking for them. Shut the border! Shut Down all Immigration until we get this under control. STOP THE MAGNET that draws the adults here.
It was my generation which celebrated the era of death ushered in by Old Men on SCOTUS. We said over and over “I, personally, would never abort a child but I’m so glad other woman can do so if “needed”. “ May God forgive the ignorance of the young. I saw too late the evil being perpetrated on our nation.
Being the Godly nation we claim to be we have been incrementally attacking abortion ever since the ruling came down. Last year, Texas incrementalism watched as 55,000 defenseless Texans died with no voice!
The time is now!
Now we have the foundation laid by truly Godly men and women of the Abolish Abortion in Texas movement. That movement is growing as the conviction of our Lord falls on His people.
I pray my generation will also be the generation that calls an end to the ERA of DEATH!
It is rare that the internal struggles of a major political party are contentious enough to draw public attention. After all, the participants are all members of the same organization. The differences between candidates are often so nuanced as to leave the outsider baffled as to why there is a contest at all. Sometimes the outcome of these internal contests have consequences that are so enormous, that it can reshape the political map in fundamental ways. Nowhere is this principle more readily observable than in the current race to see who will lead the Republican Party of Texas — one of the largest and most influential state parties in the country.
After presiding over historic gains while leading RPT, James Dickey now faces an unlikely opponent — the anointed successor to Tom Mechler, Cindy Asche.
After the sudden resignation of the wildly unpopular Tom Mechler (defeat in all but name), Dickey, the former County Chair for Travis County, found himself in charge of a Republican Party that seemingly had lost its way.
At the mercy of highly leveraged and well-funded special interests, faced with plummeting fundraising, and suffering from a lack of transparency and accountability indicative of a tottering establishment clinging to perceived power, Mechler was killing the party.
In stark contrast to the corrupt politics of destruction practiced by Mechler, Dickey brought a renewed sense of purpose to the party. His victory as chairman energized the base, motivated the most dedicated party activists, and reengaged peripheral constituent groups long neglected by the elitists formerly in control of party leadership.
The result? Fundraising increased to levels not seen in years and turnout in the March 2018 Republican Primary was higher than any in recent memory.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone would believe that all of that was a bad thing. But those who previously supported Mechler and were caught off-guard by his resignation, think success is a very bad thing — if anyone but Mechler is responsible.
Enter, Cindy Asche.
Out of Nowhere
To say that Asche was “recruited” is perhaps a dramatic understatement. In fact, until she announced that she was running for RPT chair, there were no indications that she had any intention of doing so.
When candidates are preparing to run for any elected office, they conventionally make use of every opportunity to show their faces, shake hands and kiss babies — unless they are a dark horse (i.e., someone else’s political avatar).
The comedy comes when a candidate, laying the groundwork for their last-minute run, begins to show up at events and meetings — as if they’ve been there all along — feigning concern for the major issues. Asche’s theatrics are indeed consistent with the MO of a dark horse candidate.
Asche previously showed little concern for how the RPT was being run until she announced that she was running — much like local judges who voted for BHO twice, but need to win a red bench in a red district. It’s amazing how quickly candidates “get religion” when they need other people’s money and support.
Instead of being driven by a desire to advance the RPT and concern for the status quo, Asche’s motivations are arguably less than altruistic. Delegates still upset that their hand-picked successor — Rick Figueroa — didn’t get the job when glorified accountant Tom Mechler resigned, begged Asche to run.
It’s the same old story in Texas politics. The political class hates two things – transparency and accountability. In the short time that Dickey has been Chairman, he has instituted an unprecedented level of both. In doing so, he posted record numbers for the party and got results. For those on the State Republican Executive Committee who prefer the party to be governed as a closed-loop system, open only to those deemed worthy by themselves, Dickey’s openness, even-handedness, and results-driven strategic thinking are like sunlight to a vampire.
Who Are You?
One of the by-products of being a candidate plucked out of the ether, is that no one knows who you are. This is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you have to work overtime to build your name ID. On the other, you have the opportunity to, in the absence of an actual record, create your own story. It is the latter which has proven problematic for Asche.
While her biographical information and work history have been fairly consistent, her credentials within the Republican Party have not. Instead, in the early days of her campaign, Asche’s party credentials changed depending on where you saw her speak. She has been fond of claiming that her experience in the Republican Party goes back to when she was a child when she attended a convention with her father. While exposing your child to the political process at an early age is laudable, it doesn’t qualify as party engagement. Using Asche’s logic, the child of a corporate CEO who goes to the office on “bring your child to work” day, is qualified to run a company.
That can be chalked up to the puffery that is a normal part of political campaigning and used car sales. What is conspicuous, is her total absence from party engagement over several decades. Should we call that a slump?
Asche was such a ghost in the Republican Party, that when she announced that she was running for RPT chair, social media was flooded with messages from long-time active party members asking one question – “Who in the hell is that?”
One would think that someone who has made her concern for the principles and platform of the Republican Party the cornerstone of her stump speeches would have been, at the very least, visible in her legislative support of those principles and platform planks over these decades. Instead, Asche is nowhere on record as having testified in front of any committee in the Legislature on any issue related to the Republican Party platform or principles at any time.
An Offensive Offensive
It is far too often that political campaigns devolve into mudslinging and negative attacks. It is rare that you get a candidate like Asche who promises that she will not stoop to those levels, preaches unity in the party, and then immediately and publicly breaks the promise while simultaneously doing her dead-level best to fracture the party by marginalizing and insulting the most active members.
In a speech she delivered near Victoria, Texas, Asche did all of this. Starting off by promising “not to go negative” and talking about how the party needed to “unify,” Asche then went on a toxic tirade against Dickey and subsequently attacked the party’s grassroots activists.
What was missing from her speech? Answer: anything about how she would lead the party.
Her attacks haven’t been confined to stump speeches. Perhaps channelling Josef Stalin, who said that “quantity has a quality of its own,” Asche is sending a relentless stream of mailers insinuating that voting for her opponent will hand Texas to the Democrats and touting the generic labels of “proven leader,” “dedicated conservative,” and “proud Texan.” After all, who in the Republican Party wouldn’t also fit those descriptors? All of these mailers are attempts to convince convention delegates that she is just like them, with the unspoken assertion that Dickey is none of those things.
When Jeb Bush decided to place an exclamation mark after his first name in all campaign literature “Jeb!”, memories were not altered. Americans did not forget that Jeb is the son of “read my lips,” and the brother of “is our children learning.”
In much the same way, the elevated and sensational syntax of Asche’s mailers do not make her claims more true, or her own candidacy more desirable.
Moreover, Asche’s attacks and junk mail haven’t been reserved for mailboxes. Many delegates receive unsolicited emails from Asche’s campaign accusing Dickey of securities fraud. Ignoring the publicly available facts and the easily rebutted assertions, the misinformation and half-truths contained in these emails are still defamatory and legally problematic.
It is this email, and what happened as a consequence, that definitively proved that Asche has a fast-and-loose relationship with the truth. Within days of sending that email, Asche claimed that the email account that was used to send that had been shut down at the request of Dickey. All that came to mind was the line from the GEICO commercial with the senior citizen who showed her friend her wall of pictures. “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”
It turns out that while Asche’s email account may have been closed by the provider, it wasn’t Dickey who was responsible. Rather, it was Asche’s own incompetent and possibly illegal use of the service that was to blame. Asche’s campaign used a popular email list service called Mailchimp. The terms of uploading an email list into the Mailchimp include a provision where you attest that all of the email addresses that you add to the system have given you permission to send them email. Mailchimp, like all other reputable email services, requires list owners to attest that recipients have “opted-in” to receive emails. Further, when uploading a list you are again reminded that you may not upload lists that have been acquired or purchased from third-party providers. Asche literally had to ignore multiple warnings and falsely attest to her compliance to send the email claiming that Dickey was unethical. The irony burns.
As Asche’s email began to hit email boxes, most people do what they normally do with unsolicited email. They mark it as SPAM. As Mailchimp tracked the ever-growing percentage of SPAM complaints, they did as they promise they will do in their terms of service – they suspended Asche’s service. Contrary to Asche’s assertion that Dickey was responsible, the fact is that it was Asche’s unethical and irresponsible use of the service which got her suspended. It seems inconceivable that someone who can’t follow the rules of an email service, who willfully ignored the federal laws against spam emails, and who cannot manage a simple email list would be asking to manage the Republican Party of Texas.
Since the email debacle, Asche has ramped up her rhetoric, claiming that Dickey is cooking the books and lying about the financial health of the organization. Her claims have been repeatedly and conclusively proven false, yet she continues to make them. Her willful choice to ignore record-breaking fundraising and electoral results, leads to one of two possible conclusions. Either she is comfortable with repeating a lie or she is simply bad at math.
In public forums, after her attacks, Asche is being pressed to explain how she would manage the party differently. She says that she would make the party more transparent. At this moment, as a result of Dickey’s leadership, it is more transparent than it ever has been and is the most transparent state party in the United States. She claims that she would bring “unity” to the party. It is hard to see how that promised unity can happen when Asche’s entire campaign is predicated on driving wedges between every segment of the party. She claims that she would be more effective at fundraising and in electoral contests. It’s hard to see how she could do it any better than it is being done since Dickey took the reins. It will definitely be infinitely more difficult for Asche since she is going out of her way to alienate the heart of Republican efforts in the field – grassroots activists.
Cue The Boogeyman
As Asche’s attacks are failing to resonate with convention delegates, she is implementing a new strategy. While her campaign began by insisting that electing her as chair was the only way to withstand the “blue wave” of Democrats, when the much-touted “blue wave” failed to materialize, she introduced a new boogeyman – Libertarians. Asche’s grand conspiracy theory goes something like this.
“The Libertarians (or libertarians) are taking over the Republican Party.”
That’s it. No context, details, or proof are necessary in Asche-world. When pressed for details she lists a set of characteristics that fits everyone in the Republican Party who share a legitimate concern about the size and scope of government and its intrusion into the lives of Texans. Asche commits a political bait-and-switch by labeling those who are lovers of liberty as “Libertarians” and seeking to demonize those who want the Republican Party to value liberty as much as the it was valued by the Founding Fathers. By her criteria, the ascension and election of Ronald Reagan constituted a “libertarian takeover” of the Republican Party.
Asche doesn’t seem concerned with the one infiltration of the party that should cause concern for Republicans – Democrats. Over the last two decades Texas has seen a tsunami of elected officials and voters switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. It is understandable. When a political party, which is no different than any other organization, shifts its mission, methods, and values and they no longer align with the personal mission, methods, and values of an individual, they will leave that political party and join the one that does. Asche seems to ignore those who defected from the Democrats and continue to think and act like Democrats but do so under the cover of the Republican brand. Instead, she embraces them and wants to protect them by repealing provisions of the Republican Party rules created to solve this problem and protect the Republican brand.
Asche seems so desperate to find a boogeyman, she overlooked defectors from the party which she used to cause alarm early in her campaign and jumped to those who actually joined the Republican Party because they value the Constitution and liberty. But Asche’s lack of understanding and her constantly moving targets prove one thing. Neither her outrage nor her concern are real. They are just more manipulation tactics in a campaign full of them.
The Race Card
Despite endorsements for James Dickey that reflect more racial and ethnic diversity than a magazine ad for Benetton, Asche has gone out of her way to manufacture a racial divide within the RPT. Asche has launched direct and repeated attacks on how Dickey has handled engagement to the Hispanic and Black communities. Through proxies, her campaign has been even more divisive stirring up accusations of racial bias and creating racially-charged animosity where none existed before.
One Asche campaign operative, in an apoplectic social media tirade, exposes just how divisive Asche’s campaign is on the issue of race. Bianca Gracia, in response to a Dickey supporter on Facebook, said, “…keep telling yourself that and you and your little race as its disappearing while Hispanics become the majority minority…”
While those words would be expected from a member of LULAC or La Raza, they actually came from a high-level campaign operative for someone who is running for chair of the Republican Party of Texas. Cindy Asche has yet to disavow or condemn these remarks.
All of these attacks are calculated to create the impression that Dickey is a racist. If this line of attack seems familiar, it should. It’s a favorite of the radical left and is employed with great skill by the Democrats. It hard to believe that anyone running for chair of the Republican Party of Texas, especially one who professes an undying love for Donald Trump, would deploy this favorite tactic of the left and one used relentlessly against Trump. Yet, Asche has made this a cornerstone of her campaign.
When candidates at any level fail to connect with their political punches, they often resort to the ridiculous. This is exactly what Asche did at the final candidate forum hosted by the Harris County Republican Party. Asche used her allotted time in the first few minutes of the forum to take Dickey to the whipping post for adding a hamburger and ice cream to his expense report while traveling on party business.
Dickey easily deflected the attempted attack by clarifying that it was a cheap hamburger and that his expenses were far less than his predecessor, Tom Mechler, who had endorsed Asche. Despite the fact that those in attendance could barely contain their laughter and astonishment that the race had come to this, Asche went “all in” by bragging how she was wealthy enough to cover her own expenses. This line of attack did not endear her to the crowd. They were able to read between the lines and understand exactly what Asche meant.
Asche’s unspoken argument was that the only people deserving to manage the Republican Party of Texas were those who those who were wealthy. This was a backhanded insult at all of those within the Republican Party of Texas who are on fixed incomes, work two jobs to make ends meet, and those who make just enough to get by, but still share the party’s values and give what they can of their time and money. In Asche’s world, they are unworthy to hold the top job in the party because they don’t make enough money.
It wasn’t until after the forum that it became abundantly clear that Asche was a raging hypocrite on this issue. The first blow came when people began to review her campaign expense reports from the Texas Ethics Commission and saw that despite her claims of wealth, she wasn’t even self-funding her own campaign. Instead, she was receiving infusions of campaign money from former Chairman Tom Mechler and the chief apostle for amnesty for illegal aliens, Norm Adams. After all, someone with her stated wealth and self-professed concern about the financial health of the party should be able to self-fund her campaign and direct those contributions to the party. She didn’t.
The real blow came when reviewing her contributions to the RPT. Much like her engagement with the party has a serious gap, her financial contributions to the party before her run for city council in Frisco are almost non-existent. One would think that someone who claimed that her “HOA has a bigger budget than the RPT” would be able to squeeze out regular and substantial contributions to the party, especially when she has criss-crossed Texas feigning concern for the financial health of the party. She hasn’t.
Everything That Is Wrong
In the September 1948 issue of Frontier Times, Adina de Zavala, granddaughter of the hero of the Texas Revolution Lorenzo Zavala, suggested a meaning for each point of the star on the Texas flag. According to the article, Zavala believed that the five points of the star represented the characteristics of a good citizen: fortitude, loyalty, righteousness, prudence, and broadmindedness. Cindy Asche has run a campaign that is the antithesis of these characteristics.
Asche’s campaign is a symbol of everything that is wrong with politics. Her motivations are self-serving. Her tactics are immoral, unethical, hypocritical, and sit contrary to long-established Texan values. She has worked to divide Hispanics, Blacks, and Caucasians within the dominant political party in Texas, using the worst form of race-baiting and enticing delegates to forget that we are all Texans. She has systematically insulted and denigrated those who love liberty, those who are not wealthy, and those who volunteer their time to advance the party’s objectives.
Given Asche’s actions over the past few months, it is reasonable to assume that an RPT under her leadership would leave the party in ashes at a time where we can ill afford to lose a bulwark against outside forces that would seek to render Texas a vassal state to the Federal superstate.
Her campaign is reminiscent of the fake campaign of “Gil Fulbright” except that Asche’s campaign is not a parody. It is, unfortunately, all too real as will be the consequences of her becoming the state chair.
Many delegates to the upcoming Republican Party of Texas Convention have reported receiving an email from an unfamiliar organization attacking incumbent chairman James Dickey.
Sent from “Texas Conservatives for Liberty and Freedom,” the email accuses Dickey of “misplacing thousands of dollars” as chair of the Travis County GOP and lying to RPT delegates — two lines of attack that have been trumpeted by Cindy Asche, Dickey’s challenger for the RPT chairmanship — accompanied by photos of Dickey covered in blood spatter.
As several grassroots members that received the email have pointed out, the organization doesn’t seem to have any history of engagement before today. Indeed it seems to have been created for the purpose of electing Asche at the convention.
As of today, no information on the group is available from the Texas Secretary of State. The footer of the email lists an address, but the address does not seem to exist. A Google Maps search only shows an empty sidewalk across from an east Austin Planned Parenthood.
As for the allegations made regarding Dickey’s time as head of the Travis County GOP, Matt Mackowiak, current Travis County GOP chairman who also served with Dickey, painted a far different picture:
First, in the 2014 cycle, TCRP solicited new, outside funds to conduct an independent expenditure in support of three qualified Austin city council candidates all of whom won. Electing Republicans is why we exist and we were proud to help those candidates. Anyone who claims we did something wrong here is either uninformed and being misleading.
Second, we did conduct an audit while he was chairman to reconcile a marginal amount of funds that was unaccounted for. Our records were inadequate at that time and the audit provided clarity. There was no malfeasance whatsoever and our processes improved after the audit. When James left TCRP to lead RPT, I inherited a healthy organization with a solid balance in our account in June 2017.
Although Mackowiak is holding out on making an endorsement in the race until later, he added, “In my view, James Dickey did an excellent job as TCRP chairman and it was my honor to serve as his vice chair and succeed him as chairman. I have no concerns about his record, leadership or experience. I have always found him to be honest, capable, positive and supportive.”
Dickey himself also denied the “grossly mischaracterized” allegations in a statement released this afternoon:
So far in this campaign for State Party Chairman much has been said about integrity and the desire for truth and transparency to win out. I could not agree more with those sentiments and I have worked hard in the last 10 months to bring the highest level of transparency to the Party in all we do – finances, convention, primaries, meetings, and the day-to-day operations. We have passed every audit, raised record-breaking funds for the Party, and have found ways to be the best stewards of those funds, and we will continue to do so.
Reached for comment by Texas Scorecard, Asche said she was wholly unaffiliated with the organization and had no knowledge of the existence or management of “Texas Conservatives for Liberty & Freedom.”
Asche also said that she had no evidence that supported the allegations made and condemned the characterization of Dickey as a “dishonest con man.”
“I don’t believe that language is appropriate or productive for the future of our Party,” said Asche in a statement. “I do believe there is a history as evidenced by court documents of knowingly and intentionally misleading investors, and a lack of integrity when it comes to our current Chair. However, I do not condone the language.”
Asche is referring to a civil enforcement action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission against Dickey and a former business associate in 2004, which alleged he engaged in wrongdoing in the marketing of securities.
At no time were any criminal charges made, but Dickey did agree to settle the matter in early 2006 for $35,000. The terms of the settlement prohibit Dickey from making any public statement denying the allegations of the complaint.
A number of those who have reviewed the matter have concluded that it is likely Dickey was innocent but chose to settle the matter to avoid a long and costly legal saga.
I suspect that Dickey was faced with a Hobson’s choice when given the opportunity to settle the matter with the SEC: he could pay a modest sum, not admit any wrongdoing, and make the matter go away, or he could incur financially ruinous legal bills (that would almost certainly be exponentially higher than what he would have to pay to settle) to fight the virtually unlimited resources of the Federal Government. I don’t think anybody can blame a father of a young family for choosing the first option.
Unfortunately, Mr. Dickey is legally unable to substantially address the allegations against him due to a provision in his settlement required by SEC regulations. Ms. Asche is unfairly exploiting this for her political advantage.
Texas Scorecard has also reached out to RNC Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell, who has served as one of Asche’s most active supporters, for comment.
This article will be updated with any response given.
PEARLAND TEA PARTY WILL ALSO UPDATE THIS SITE WITH ANY RESPONSE GIVEN.