Tuesday, October 26, 2010

McGuinness responds to Strama's negative ad

The McGuinness campaign released the following press release concerning Mark Strama's negative ad that attacked Patrick McGuinness over some Travis Monitor blog comments:

Strama's desperate attack ad puts politics before Texas

AUSTIN, TX – Patrick McGuinness, Republican candidate for State Representative in House District 50, has responded to a recent advertisement by his opponent. His response follows.

I have focused my campaign on the key issues facing this district and Texas: how we create jobs and build our prosperity. I have been advocating fiscally responsible, pro-taxpayer policies, and excellence in education to build our current and future prosperity.

Rather than debate these issues or run on his record, my opponent Mark Strama has engaged in a desperate and deceptive attack that distorts my positions and statements. This 11th hour partisan attack from a career politician is all spin and no substance:

- He distorts my support for continued democratic oversight of curriculum and textbooks via an elected State Board of Education
- He takes blog comments, including satirical ones, out-of-context to distort my views

I have been critical of politicians who say one thing and do another, and it's my pledge to never be a 'say one thing, do another' politician. Apparently, I am running against such a politician.

Strama's partisan actions do not match his rhetoric. He fails to acknowledge his role in the partisan filibuster conducted by Texas House Democrats in the 2009 session, which killed hundreds of bills in order to stop voter identification legislation. I have pledged to never be as partisan as Texas House Democrats have been recently - I will not engage in partisan filibusters or leave the state to stop legislative progress. As a high-tech professional with a career in semiconductors, I'll bring a problem-solving approach to the challenges that face Texas, and I will work together with all sides to do what's best for Texas.

While I stand on my conservative principles, Strama will not own up to his liberal voting record, his support for Obama and his agenda of expanded government. Considered a "liberal Democrat" in a study released by Rice University, Strama got a failed rating from Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and was rated one of the most liberal legislators in the 2009 session by Young Conservatives of Texas. Mark Strama has spent this campaign hiding from his record as a legislator - his opposition to voter identification laws, his support for higher gas taxes, and his proposed legislation to force Texas electric consumers to buy expensive forms of energy. He is running away from the president he endorsed and the signature "Obamacare" healthcare bill that will impose $27 billion in costs to Texas state budget over 10 years.

Liberal Democrat Mark Strama shouldn't pretend to be one thing on the campaign trail while voting another way in the legislature. Nor should he pretend to be above politics while reaching low to engage in the worst forms of it.

Patrick McGuinness is a longtime Austin resident, an engineer at Freescale with a doctorate in Computer Science, a husband to his wife Celeste, a father of four, and the Republican nominee for State Representative District 50. He can be reached at pat@patmcguinness.org.

UPDATE: Additional response to the specifics of Strama's claims can be found in this article: What 'Freedoms Truth' really said.

Strama Takes the Road Most Traveled

I had the unusual experience this past Saturday and Sunday of hanging out with family members of Mark Strama and, for a while, with the man himself. No, it was not a social call. Rather, it was a campaign call—for my part, a campaign for Strama’s opponent, my candidate for HD 50, Patrick McGuinness. You see, the Stramas (Mark, father Tom, wife Crystal Cotti, and cousin Julie) were occupying the same area under and around a big tree outside the early voting location at Randalls on Braker Lane near Jollyville Rd where I also was hanging out (Tom was there first).

A funny thing happened on the way to the 100-ft line. As I walked toward that point beyond which electioneering is illegal I saw a familiar looking blond girl pushing a grocery cart toward her car and Tom Strama reaching out to her with a pushcard in his hand asking her to vote for his son. When the girl saw my Patrick McGuinness T-shirt she said, “I am your opponent” to both of us. She was Emily Cowan, the Libertarian candidate for HD 50. To jog her memory I mentioned that I was the guy at the PfCONA Candidate Forum who had asked about her position on the legalization of marijuana as is being considered in California. She said “there was not a person [at the Forum] under 30.” Interesting response.

I conversed with Tom in between sightings of approaching “customers” and found him pleasant and very dedicated to keeping his son in office. He was quite competitive (my 11 year old son, Zacahry said “aggressive”) in getting to the potential voters first to ask them to vote for his son and to point out his son’s endorsement by the Austin American Statesman newspaper. I would follow-up, when I could, by handing them a McGuinness tri-fold brochure and telling them that Patrick was the conservative/Republican running against Mark. Tom and I got some odd looks at the juxtaposition of our competing candidates. A while later I finally read the push card and realized why Tom was pushing the AAS endorsement so hard (more about that down below).

Soon Mark’s cousin, Julie arrived to help Tom, and then his wife Crystal and finally Mark, himself. I talked to each of them about various things, including my concern about the TLR’s endorsement of Mark and the connection with Uncle T. At one point I had the opportunity to mention to Julie and Crystal the problem I have with Mark’s support of Planned Parenthood and about Planned Parenthood’s racist origins. I got the usual response about how awful abortion is but how much people (especially the poor and minorities) needed to have access to contraceptives and be educated on the proper use of the same. That is the part of Planned Parenthood they said Mark (and they) support. I told them about the documentary, Maafa 21 but I don’t think they wanted to hear that side of the story (i.e. the truth).

At some point I asked for one of Strama’s push cards and after reading it I realized that he and his relatives were taking full advantage of his endorsement by the Austin American Statesman, which he quoted from on his card to attack his opponent. Here is the full AAS statement on the HD 50 race and their endorsement of Strama with the part Strama had on his push card shown in red:

Another hotly contested race pits Republican challenger Patrick McGuinness against two-term incumbent Mark Strama in District 50. We liked McGuinness in the Republican primary, but Strama, 43, offers the best package of experience and skill to represent the North Travis County middle- and lower-income district that needs a strong representative.

Strama is a moderate Democrat who attracts crossover support, whereas McGuinness is more hard-core partisan. As in the Bolton-Workman race, [E]xperience and knowing how to use it makes Strama the best choice in this race.

He championed green energy job creation and other energy-related bills. We've expected a lot from Strama since he was first elected in 2003. So far, he's delivered.

Notice the parts left out. On the one hand, left out is one of the strongest statements about Strama perceived value as a candidate as measured by AAS. On the other hand, Strama did not draw any attention to the only part of his legislative agenda mentioned, the greening of the energy sector. Could it be because Patrick has been effective at hammering him on it? What is left is relevant to Strama’s purpose here. He is trying to paint McGuinness as a partisan extremist (which to a moderate politician is anathema, in spite of the fact that the political pendulum swings widely and is now swinging right). The pushcard listed five phrases taken from Patrick McGuinness’ Travis Monitor blog post (under the pseudonym Freedom’s Truth) between January 5, 2007 and December 13, 2009 that Strama hoped would paint Patrick as an extreme partisan. Click here to read Patrick's explanation of his "extreme" words.

It was a calculated and perhaps desperate shot. But what happened next showed even more calculation by Strama’s team. By this time both Mark Strama and Patrick were present, though Patrick was not in the close proximity to the Stramas that I was. I walked over to Patrick and handed him the push card and asked him to read it. I’m pretty sure it was the first time he had read it. Later he approached Mark and began to ask him about the quotes and not remembering every thing he ever wrote he naturally wondered if they were really his words. Mark then asked him if he was Freedom’s Truth. Patrick hesitated in response and then said that he was Freedom’s Truth but not everything posted under Freedom’s Truth is something he wrote. Mark got visibly angry and accused Patrick of not owning up to his written words. It seemed to me that this was exactly what Strama was trying to do, to catch Patrick in a seemingly evading stance. But, it was a set-up. The next day Tom, who was not there when Mark and Patrick butted heads, mentioned that he heard that Patrick was not willing to admit that the words on the card were his. When I asked Tom if Mark had told him about the incident, he said no, the campaign manager had. They perhaps created and certainly planned to use the incident against Patrick. Within 24 hrs Strama had aired a negative ad against Patrick.

Strama told me that there was one particularly extreme quote that his team had found which he was hoping to attribute to Patrick. But, the quote “There’s a special place in Hell for AARP” was from a blogger with the alias Freedom Ain’t Free. Yes, that would be me. The actual quote was even more “extreme”, as I called out actual persons and not just an organization. Here it is: “There is a special place in Hell for people like those who run the AARP” which I wrote in an email to the AARP last year during the healthcare debate in Congress. Strama told me that he understood why I had written those words in the context of the healthcare/Obamacare debate on Capitol Hill. He no doubt similarly understood the quotes from Patrick’s posts, in their contexts, but he still used them to paint his opponent in a negative light, as an extremist. It was a desperate ploy, perhaps a distraction from Strama’s extreme legislative record and association with the most left of center President that has ever occupied the White House.

I have been working to replace Mark Strama with someone who represents my values, and I believe the values of HD 50, ever since he defeated Jack Stick in 1994. This is my third attempt. This time we have a favorable political environment and a candidate, in Patrick McGuinness, who can do it. I think that Mark Strama knows this and so like almost always happens with entrenched incumbents who feel threatened, he's gone negative, the road most traveled. I for one am delighted.

What "Freedom's Truth" Really Said

In 2007, I helped set up a community blog, Travis Monitor, with the purpose to share the Republican and conservative perspective on events in Austin, Travis county, Texas and the nation. This blog has had several authors, and, as with many blogs and with the authors of the Federalist papers, a 'nom de plume' is used by most of us. I've gone under "Freedom's Truth".

I am Patrick McGuinness, an engineer at Freescale, a father of four, and Republican candidate for State Representative. On this blog, I've written on education, learning, energy, the economy, outsourcing, net neutrality, patriotism, political parties, Keynes and other topics. Even some quotes by George Washington, in particular one that is apropos:
Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.” – George Washington

By digging around in the blog for a few snippets and twisting them out of context, my opponent has used some blog comments in a campaign ad that misleads voters about where I really stand. It's 'gotcha' negative politics.

For example, in reaction to Rep Alan Grayson, a Democratic Congressman who claimed the Republican health care plan was for people to 'die quickly', I had a response to that outrage that lamented, "4 million jobs lost and all the Democrats can do is piddle around with smears and lies about Republicans. Have they at long last no shame..." I said Rep Grayson deserved to be fired (voters will agree with me and do so next Tuesday), after calling him and his fellow Democrats "liars" and "unfit to govern". That latter phrase made it into a 30-second spot.

My sharp words for the Democrats in Congress under Nancy Pelosi have been taken out of context to imply a harsh view of all Democrats, but in fact it is the partisan left-leaning ideological approach of this Congress that I've lamented. In this campaign, I've heard many with even harsher judgement for this failed (and soon to be fired) Democratic Congress. I have been friendly and agreeable with some Democrats (not in Congress), even voted 1 or 2 in recent years, but it's the failures of Democratic politicians at the national level that has motivated me to run for office. We cannot afford the direction the liberal Democrats are taking the country, and I count my opponent, Democrat Mark Strama, endorser of Obama, among them for supporting many of the same flawed policies.

My opponent is painting a false picture of where I stand on the basis of a few snippets, but the internet has the best memory and you can be the judge of where I really stand and what I really said. I have put links below of the items he went to. Yet there are other posts more relevant to what I am about. Should I become State Representative, I earnestly will work with others for the betterment of Texas, and heated words - whether in 30-second ads or on blogs - will not be what counts. Our actions always speak louder than our words.

1) http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2009/05/statesman-celebrates-stupidity-in-texas.html
I substituted "stupidity" for "moderation" to satirize the Austin-American Statesman for overusing the word 'moderate' and for lauding the 'moderate' trend in the statehouse in a news article. My opponent has taken a satirical rewrite of a Statesman article and treated a snippet as a serious viewpoint.
Politicians in Congress who claimed to be 'blue dog Democrats' but supported Speaker Pelosi and the liberal agenda of the Democratic leadership were described as 'unprincipled hypocritical liars'. This statement was directed at politicians in Congress who claimed to be one thing but do another, and was falsely attributed by my opponent to represent my view of all Democrats.

3) http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2009/06/gores-pseudo-science-now-unsafe-in.html
The phrase "Globaloney Warming Nonsense" was directed at Al Gore and his documentary, which was "riddled with falsehoods" as pointed out by many critics of Gore's film. My opponent incorrectly associates it with a view of overall global warming, but in fact, the key point is that Gore's work does not accurately reflect where the science is on global warming, as the links attest to.

4) http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2007/01/friday-night-forums.html
I discussed why Pitts' candidacy against Speaker Craddick was a problem. For the state House to operate properly when there is a Republican majority, the Speaker should be supported by the majority of the Republican caucus. This was twisted by Strama into an endorsement of 'Craddick's divisive leadership' but is actually an endorsement of a House leadership that reflects the will of the majority in the House. Such leadership will be more stable than a leadership that is distrusted by most members of the majority party in the House.

5) Claim - "Renewable energy does nothing" http://travismonitor.blogspot.com/2009/12/renewable-energy-does-nothing.html
The phrase "Renewable energy does nothing" is the headline of a post that cites a critical
report from Germany on renewable energy incentives, which stated that:
"Renewable energies are thus among the most expensive GHG reduction measures. ...
There are much cheaper ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than subsidizing renewable energies. ...
In fact, since the establishment of the ETS in 2005, the EEG’s net climate effect has been equal to zero."

The headline summarized the conclusions of a German report, and Strama should study this German report to understand how his own energy proposals might not work.

6) In the May 20, 2009 post, I stated that there were some bad ideas in the session including "higher spending in many areas like SCHIP".
My opponently distorted this to claim that I said the CHIP program as a whole was a 'bad idea'. That does not reflect my view, and I never said it.
Given our looming budget shortfall that has been made larger by increased spending in the prior legislative cycle, my skepticism of increased spending "in many areas" was warranted. This is the quote in context:

"In the bad idea category: Draconian McCain-Feingold style dictation of political activist groups; a higher gas tax; a nanny-state smoking ban; higher spending in many areas like SCHIP; nothing on illegal immigration, including failing to even report on costs of it; diverting textbook funding and removing SBOE authority and accountability via elections; shutting down sovereignty claims."

UPDATE - 10/26: I have updated the above commentary with corrections and additional links. We should not forget that, while my opponent has hit me for a few partisan blog comments, the most partisan act of the past Texas House session was the Democrats' filibuster of the voter identification bill. I should add that I predicted KBH would stay in the U.S. Senate, and I predicted a Republican rebound 18 months ago, but added at the end "Republicans will have to earn it" which is what I hope to do.

- Patrick McGuinness aka Freedom's Truth

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Last night in Bastrop Lloyd Doggett showed up for a debate with Dr. Donna Campbell. We should have known it was a set-up from the beginning since Lloyd Doggett actually showed up. All the questions had to be pre-submitted and someone chose which questions to ask the candidates. I verified with Bastrop County Republicans that they HAD submitted questions for Lloyd Doggett to answer, but none of them were selected. All the questions were addressed to Donna Campbell who spoke first and then Lloyd Doggett got to speak and was allowed to go over allotted time. Jim Stutsman, the Libertarian in the race, was pushed away from the podium when he was 5 second over. Donna Campbell was not able to respond to any of the misrepresentations that Lloyd Doggett brought up. Donna did a great job and we really need to get a person in Congress representing us who is not afraid to show up for a fair and open debate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

TLR's Endorsement of Mark Strama and Black Genocide

Last Thursday afternoon I received four copies of the email message imaged herein from my "favorite" (tongue firmly planted in cheek) lobbying group.

You read it right. At this critical moment in the 2010 campaign season Texans for Lawsuit Reform's political action committee is broadcasting their endorsement of Mark “Obama” Strama (and I guess I'm helping them do so via this blog post). Of course, this is no surprise since Mark Strama’s uncle is the President of the organization and the chairman of its PAC. Uncle ‘T’ would not fail to endorse his favorite nephew legislator, Mark Strama to whom he has funneled double digit thousands of PAC money.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) is a Republican-Democrat interloping single-issue lobbying group that, in Strama, is endorsing a candidate that has a history of voting the way they want him to, no doubt. But Strama also actively opposed the Voter ID bill and continues to be opposed to voter ID as I heard him state at the October 12th PfCONA Candidate Forum, voted against property tax relief twice (after he first voted for the unpopular business margins tax bill that had some property tax relief in it), wants to subsidize renewable energy and as a result drive up the cost of conventional energy sources (sounds like Obama’s war on coal fire plants), gave money to Obama in 2008 and even made Obama-Strama buttons as a fund raising gimmick in 2008. Basically, this "Rep" is a south paw when it comes to legislating and thus he is unfit for HD 50, which is not exactly a slam-dunk liberal district.

On top of all that, Strama is a pro-abort who supports Planned Parenthood and has sought to fund Planned Parenthood using our tax dollars. I have always known that Planned Parenthood was all about abortion rather than planning a family, in spite of its "family friendly" sounding name, but I did not realize how racist the organization really is until yesterday (10/16). That's when I joined Marilyn Jackson and Donna Campbell and others in East Austin for a screening of the documentary film, Maafa 21. I learned from the film that one out of every two black Americans are killed before they are ever born, a rate of mortality by abortion that dwarfs that of the much more more numerous white population. So I can say definitively, with a mountain of evidence (contained in the 138 minute documentary film) to back it up, that Mark Strama is participating in, and seeking to use tax dollars for, the genocide of black America through his support of Planned Parenthood.

Maafa 21 exposes Planned Parenthood’s genocidal past and present. See links to YouTube video’s about the film, below:

Maafa 21 Trailer

Congressman Trent Franks on Maafa 21

Maafa 21 Pt.4 (The Use of Force)

Maafa 21 Pt.13a of 14

I think I’ve gotten to know Mark Strama's challenger, Patrick McGuinness fairly well over the past several years. Does Patrick care about tort reform in terms of it keeping Texas “business friendly” and job creating? Sure he does, in spite of the purposely misleading introductory paragraph in the Strama endorsement email from Uncle ‘T’ (misleading the reader to assume that Patrick is opposed to law suit reform, which he is not). But, unlike Planned Parenthood supporter Mark Strama, Patrick is unabashedly pro-life and he opposes the racist black baby killing machine that is Planned Parenthood (a machine that also ends the lives of thousands of red, brown, yellow, and white babies every day). On top of that, Reagan Republican and limited government patriot that Patrick is, he is far better qualified to Represent HD 5o than is Uncle ‘T’s little lefty nephew and McGuinness will likely vote in favor of tort reform, anyway, as a matter of good public policy.

So when Patrick is sworn in early next year, TLR can still get what they want out of the HD 50 Representative, if indeed they really want lawsuit reform that is good for Texas.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eat Our Dust

A Trenchant Tale Of Two States - IBD - Investors.com

Not being an expert in economics I don't have a strong analytical basis for my belief that low taxes and resonable regulation make for a strong economy, but the Investors Business Daily chart below taken from the story linked above show that Texas' lawmakers, Governor Perry, and other statewide leaders have been governing the right way while California's government leaders have just not understood the relationship between good tax and regulation policy and a strong economy.

It is because of Texas' success that I believe we should reelect Gov. Rick Perry and the rest of the statewide Republican leadership as well as elect conservatives challengers Mary Lou Serafine, Patrick McGuinness, Paul Workman, Dan Neil, Jason Isaac, Marilyn Jackson to replace the liberal Democrat incumbents they are challenging.

And about California. Though we do not want California with its high taxes and extreme regulation to drag the rest of the country down, we Texans are proud to have competed with our big sister on the left coast and we hope she will learn a lesson or two from her little experiment in liberalism and will return to her former glory one day. In the mean time Texans say to Californians, "Eat our dust."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Coalition On Sustainable Transportation (COST) recommends NO Vote on Austin "Mobility" Bond (Prop 1)

Austin media sometimes gives short shrift to opposing views to City Council bond initiatives, so here is a press release I received from the Coalition of Sustainable Transportation:

The Coalition on Sustainable Transportation (COST) joins a growing number of Austin organizations (like RECA - Real Estate Council of Austin, and TAG - Texans for Accountable Government) and civic leaders in opposing the Austin City Council’s proposed “Transportation” bond referendum (Proposition 1) to be placed on the November 2, 2010 election ballot.

“This proposed $90 million dollar bond package has been created with little transparency and lacks integrity. The package is a veiled hodgepodge of projects deceptively mislabeled ‘transportation and mobility’ improvements. The city has provided scant data regarding the costs and transportation benefits of any proposed project,” says COST Executive Director and well known transportation expert Jim Skaggs.

Austin citizens use roadways for 99% of their travel. Contrary to the City’s deceptive presentation, more than one-half of the bond money will be spent on projects which have no impact on roadway mobility and congestion, including the following defined projects:

1. The most expensive project in the package is a $14.4 million boardwalk on the south side of Lady Bird Lake.

2. The second most expensive is $10 million for American Disabilities Act sidewalk improvements.

3. The third most expensive is $8 million labeled as “Arterial Streets” but is primarily bike lanes and sidewalks for the 3rd street Lance Armstrong Bike Boulevard.

In addition, another $12.3 million is allocated to projects for sidewalks, trails and bike lanes making a total of $36.7 million.

More than one-third of the $90 million bond is a “blank check” for the city because specific projects are not identified.

The largest true roadway project involves $4 million in temporary improvements to the highly congested “Y” at Oak Hill. Undefined neighborhood streets are allocated $16.35 million of which $2.7m is for ‘traffic calming’ and ‘quiet zone’ funding – terms that are not well defined. Almost $20 million is allocated for street reconstruction which appears to be 'deferred/neglected maintenance' with little mobility improvement. An additional $2 million is to support Capital Metro's Bus Rapid Transit and Urban Rail which has not even been approved by voters. Clearly Cap Metro should fund this and zero should be spent anticipating Urban Rail.

The city’s selection criteria for bond package projects are decidedly ‘anti-automobile’ and ‘anti-mobility.’ They are biased against projects which should have the highest priority: Those which are cost effective in relieving the most road congestion and improving mobility for the greatest number of people.

Voters should vote NO on this poorly formulated bond proposition and require the city to present a cost-effective package with total transparency and mobility benefits data.

COST strongly recommends a different bond package be allocated based on effective projects to relieve road congestion for the most citizens, and deferred maintenance projects should be included in the city’s general fund.

For questions contact: Don Zimmerman, 512-577-8842 (don@donzimmerman.org)

The mission of the Coalition on Sustainable Transportation (COST) is to promote sustainable, cost-effective people mobility solutions for the Austin region. COST’s purpose is to seek and provide objective, analytically based and understandable information which allows citizens, elected officials, other community leaders, and transportation officials to assess people mobility alternatives and select those which equitably serve the Austin region’s greater good.


Voter Forum on Austin Mobility Bond is Oct. 5

Republican Club of Austin hosts voter forum on Austin Prop #1, (the Mobility Bond), Tuesday, Oct. 5th, at noon.

Austin, TX – The Republican Club of Austin is hosting a forum on Proposition #1, the “Mobility Bond”. The time and location is:
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Green Pastures Restaurant
811 W. Live Oak Street, Austin, TX

Speaker FOR - Ted Siff (Treasurer for the GetAustinMoving PAC).
Speaker AGAINST - Ed Wendler (Austin developer)

Reference: http://www.cityofaustin.org/news/mobility_bond.htm
“Proposition 1

The issuance of $90,000,000 in tax supported general obligation bonds and notes for constructing and reconstructing roads and streets; constructing, improving and reconstructing sidewalks, bikeways, and other bicycle and pedestrian mobility infrastructure…”

For questions or more information, contact Don Zimmerman, 512-577-8842 (don@donzimmerman.org)

About RCA:
The Republican Club of Austin has been meeting since 1992, and meets on the first Tuesday of every month, and hosts a variety of speakers and forums on current events, from local to state and national level.