Friday, January 29, 2010

Travis Monitor Contributor Named GOP Volunteer of the Year

Congratulations to Tim Bradberry!

The Republican Party of Texas named him its "Volunteer of the Year" for his service as president of the Central Texas chapter of the Texas Republic Assembly. Check out the full story in the Pflugerville Pflag. Nice work!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Please Pivot from "Pivot"

If I see or hear the word "Pivot" again, I'm going to throw up. That seems to be the word of choice by the political class after Scott Brown's election. Such high schoolers among the political class: cool word of the day.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Light Illuminates Good Journalism

I have been hard on some journalists in this blog, but here's a good example of great journalism. Too bad more reporters aren't this industrious.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two Wrongs Don't Make It Right

Former Bush adviser Karl Rove responds to Democrat attacks about spending in today's Wall Street Journal, but in the partisan rancor he seems to miss a bigger point: Americans are tired of both parties' reckless spending:

Consider that from Jan. 20, 2001, to Jan. 20, 2009, the debt held by the public grew $3 trillion under Mr. Bush—to $6.3 trillion from $3.3 trillion at a time when the national economy grew as well.

By comparison, from the day Mr. Obama took office last year to the end of the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, the debt held by the public will grow by $3.3 trillion. In 20 months [till October, the end of the 2010 fiscal year for the federal government], Mr. Obama will add as much debt as Mr. Bush ran up in eight years.

What seems to be lost on Rove is that all this deficit spending -- by both parties -- is driving voters nuts and forcing them to go back and forth between the parties, a la Republican losses in 2006 and 2008, Democrat losses in Virginia and New Jersey in 2009 and now Massachussetts in 2010.

While both sides engage in a "We're not as bad as the other" fingerpointing, voters expect better performance out of both parties. We're not getting it. The Republican candidates who have signed up to represent Travis County voters should understand this dynamic is at the core of voter discontent with both parties and is motivating independents and centrist Democrats right now.

The next thing that the political class will do is blame voters, saying we expect so much from and don't want to pay for it. How about this? You guys become better leaders and tell the public when it can't have its cake and eat it too!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Democrat Worldview Clouds Chronicle Reporting

On January 7, the night after their candidates drew for positions on the primary ballots, the Travis County Republican Party endeavored to introduce the local media to the full slate of candidates that the local party has lined up as alternatives to Democrat hegemony in Travis County. A few thoughts on the coverage of the press conference and the state of the media in Travis County:

First, I have to give Austin Chronicle reporter Richard Whittaker credit -- despite his complaints to me about the 9:30 a.m. start time, he was there, right at the starting buzzer, when other reporters from the Statesman, and all the network TV stations were not.
Nowadays, don't confuse reporters with the hard working people who need to to conduct a press conference early in the day so they can get back to work on their real jobs. Republicans have real jobs they're trying desperately to hold onto, despite this poor economy.

Secondly, in his coverage of the event, Whittaker notes that the TCRP's "strategy is clear: to run against the Obama administration." Then he goes on to note how the local party is going to need to run as agents of change in a state that's run by the GOP. But that's where Whittaker (a Brit, I'd guess, by his accent) apparently needs some help in understanding some basics about American politics, so that his supposition isn't so far off : Travis County is a completely blue county, meaning that it is completely controlled and represented by Democrats.

In contrast to Whittaker's mistaken assumption, Travis County Republicans aren't running to change the state government. Instead, the local Republican candidates are running to strengthen what is working already, in one of the few states in the country that isn't a complete economic mess (e.g., California, a completely blue state, its RINO governor included). Removing more Democrats from office could reinforce that trend. Only a Democrat sympathizer would wishfully hope that the Republicans here are running as agents of change against their own Republican establishment in a highly successful state. I think Whittaker's cliched retelling of conventional wisdom is telling -- he's incapable of understanding a differing viewpoint, one that doesn't paint Republican control of government as a bad thing.

Third, and I have to give him credit, Whittaker asked Democrat State Rep Mark Strama about the effect of having to face a Republican candidate in November, despite Strama's handy dispatch of Republican Jerry Mikus in November 2008. Good reporting there, getting an opposing view of a story. Strama told Whittaker he's going to stay a little closer to home this year, instead of running around helping other Democrats in their race.

And there's the real story that Whittaker might focus on -- how will a full Republican slate in Travis County change how Democrats run their campaigns in Austin in 2010? Consider, please, the significant Democrat defeats in New Jersey and Virginia late last year. And Massachusetts' results loom tomorrow. Democrats are running scared. Real scared. It would be very refreshing to see some intellectual honesty and curiosity in a reporter willing to explore the possibility that running against the Obama administration is precisely the ticket to victory.

Of course many small town political reporters don't look beyond the conventional wisdom of Democrat talking points in their own little corner of the world, so it will be interesting to see whether Whittaker's political reporting grows up with these changing times, or whether he's just a flack for the Democrat party's "conventional wisdom."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Conscientious Objection to Paying for Abortion

As a follow-up to my previous post on this issue (see Travis County Healthcare Board of Managers, Please Reconsider) I decided to indicate in a simple way my conscientious objection by writing two separate checks for my property taxes, so that I could document on the check for the Travis County Health Care District tax that I was being forced against my will and in violation of my conscience to provide funds to Travis County that will be used to kill unborn children.

Travis County Republican Candidates for Primaries, 2010 General Election Introduced at Press Conference

The following press release was issued by the Travis County Republican Party after a press conference they held at county headquarters this morning. Several media organizations were present and as their news coverage comes in we will post links to those posts.

It's important that voters know they have an option this year when they go to the polls. For the first time in recent member voters will have Republican options up and down the ballot, which is remarkable for three reasons: 1) Travis County is monolithically Democrat, with the exception of one elected Republican who is retiring this year 2) despite their hegemony, Travis County Democrats will need to pay attention to national trends that indicate Democrats at all levels of government face tremendous backlash from voters 3) Democrats will need to campaign and let voters know their views, possibly for the first time in recent memory – we'll actually get a chance to see if they can put sentences together about their political and governance philosophies.

Look here for more links to coverage of the press conference. It was a remarkable event – many don't recall anything like this happening in the last decade at least.

Travis County Republican Party Fields Largest Slate of Primary and General Election Candidates in Recent History

New Candidates will Challenge Democrat Hegemony in All Blue County; Neophytes Take Heart in Successful Republican Campaigns in Local Races around Country

AUSTIN – The Travis County Republican Party on Thursday introduced a record breaking slate of candidates for state and local races in recent history.

"We've been successfully recruiting citizen leaders to run for office for a year now," said Rosemary Edwards, chair of the Travis County Republican Party. "The filing process has been a joy to experience, because the growing discontent with our current leadership on the local and national levels has propelled many to step forward to run for office, to serve their community.

"The candidates on the Republican slate are representative of the best that Travis County has to offer: A clear choice of common sense leadership, integrity and focus on our fellow citizens of Austin who want to keep jobs if you have them, find jobs if you've lost yours and provide for your family for them to be prosperous," Edwards concluded.

There are 16 Republican candidates who will be competing for offices in Travis county-wide races. There are 8 more candidates for positions that include parts of Travis County and extend outside its boundaries. Along with the 22 state-wide races and 7 federal races where Republicans vie for positions, voters in this county will have to make choices among some 53 Republicans on the ballot in Travis County.

At the grassroots level there are 17 contested races for Republican precinct chairmen positions in Travis County. There are also 153 seats where the chairmen will be uncontested. There are 210 precincts in Travis County. The following pages provide a list of offices, candidates and quotes from the candidates, if available:

Texas State Senator, District 14 – Mary Lou Serafine

Quote from Mary Lou Serafine:

"I'm running because Kirk Watson and the Democrats have done little more than promote "feel-good" legislation. They over-tax, then hand out silly rebates and "incentives" that sound nice but do nothing. Anybody who knows me knows I attack problems aggressively and head-on. That would be health insurance, job-creation, tort reform, the environment. The Democrats have fought for policies of high taxes, high energy costs, more government intrusion, and less freedom. We are going to stop that."

Texas State Senator, District 25 – Jeff Wentworth

Texas State Representative, District 47 – David Sewell, Holly Turner, Paul Workman

Quote from David Sewell:

"I am running for the Texas state house because I believe we need a clear plan for change.  Our freedoms are eroding and personal liberties decreasing while the size of government increases. I want all Texans to be able to see the torch of liberty, and that means revitalizing our economy and creating jobs through meaningful tax reform.  It means defending pro-family, Texas Hill Country values."


Quote from Holly Turner:

"It has been wonderful to meet so many of our neighbors door-to-door, during this campaign. People in southwest Travis Country are itching for something new, they're aching for their concerns to be heard, and they want a strong conservative voice to represent us in the Legislature. Me too - that's why I'm running!"


Quote from Paul Workman:

"I am running to control property taxes and state spending, to create jobs and opportunity for our children, and to push back against Washington mandates that mortgage our future. I bring 25 years of entrepreneurial experience and civic leadership in Travis County to this campaign, and I know our part of Travis County wants common sense, conservative representation rather than the politics of liberal ideologues that have given us jammed freeways, taxpayer-funded abortion, and reckless spending."


Texas State Representative, District
48 – Dan Neil

Quote from Dan Neil:

"I decided to run for the Texas House of Representatives because it was time to take action. We need to look at reforming out tax laws to encourage businesses to create jobs and to help families keep more of what they earn. This campaign will be about standing up to the Democrat policies of my opponent and the Obama Administration, so that we can continue to keep Texas strong."

Texas State Representative, District 50 – Ryan Lambert, Patrick McGuinness

Quote from Patrick McGuinness:

"I care about our freedom and our future. Democrats in Washington are squandering our financial security, hurting our opportunity to reach the American dream, and attacking our liberties. I will stand up and secure a better future for all our children. I will bring smart, principled leadership to the challenges that face this district and the state of Texas. I am a small-Government conservative who will stand up against the current tide of bad, failed big-Government liberalism," stated McGuinness.

Texas State Representative, District 51 – Marilyn Jackson

Travis County Judge, Commissioners Court – Mike McNamara

Quote from McNamara:

"Travis County is out of step with the rest of the state in terms of job growth and fiscal management. Central Texas used to be called "Silicon Hills" because of the rich technology job base here. What are we doing to get back that job growth environment? I believe that we must turn this county around and begin growing the technology enterprise that we once enjoyed. My experience and vision can lead that change. We must provide an environment in Travis County that is conducive to job growth including lower taxes, improving and developing our infrastructure, and emphasizing technology job training."

Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 2 – David Buttross

Travis County Treasurer – Erich Landrum

Quote from Landrum:

"I have chosen to run for Travis County Treasurer in order to apply my knowledge and experience in finance to a role that has been occupied by a Democrat for 25 years, with zero experience in finance. My goal is to make the position relevant again. The Austin American Statesman has not endorsed her for some time due to the responsibilities that she has been relieved of due to her inexperience. I aim to take a leading role in rebuilding those responsibilities."

353rd District Court – Jeff Rose

Justice of the Peace, Travis County Precinct 2 – Glenn Bass

Quote from Glenn Bass:

"As a non-lawyer with a lifetime of business and community involvement, I will be a fair, just and impartial Justice of the Peace for the people's court."

Justice of the Peace, Travis County Precinct 3 – Mike Barré, Madeleine Connor:

Quote from Mike Barré:

"As the Justice of the Peace for Precinct 3, I pledge to be a fair and impartial judge, construe the law strictly according to its original intent, and follow the constitution," said Mike Barré, Candidate for Justice of the Peace, Travis County Precinct 3. "The Justice of the Peace plays a vital role in our system of checks and balances which are designed to protect the rights and property of the people, with precinct 3 handling about 25,000 criminal and civil case per year.  After four years in the computer field, three years studying law at Washington & Lee University, and ten years as a patent attorney, it would be a great honor to serve my community in this capacity, and to actively advance the basic American values of justice, freedom, and personal responsibility."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Brown for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts

There is Evidence Scott Brown is within single digits, and it shows that an upset might be brewing in the special election for the US Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy. That sounds both impossible and potentially earth-shattering, which is why the right-o-sphere is talking up the attractive candidate Scott Brown, e.g., Brown is getting some good fundraising. The last chance to defeat ObamaCare - now opposed by the majority of Americans - will be in this special election.

Obama Stimulus Destroying State Budgets

A simple plan to destroy state budgets: Hook states on Big Government programs, then leave them holding the bag. You end up with bankrupt states.