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Volume XIII Number 31 - December 13, 2014     RSS Feed   

A Periodic Newsletter for Committed Texas Conservatives

In This Issue

Breaking: House of Rep. Passes Trillion Dollar Budget

Congressman Ted Poe: We Can Stop Obama's Illegal Amnesty

More Analysis: What Happened In The 2014 Elections, Good Or Bad For GOP Long-term?

New Legislative Session Coming Soon To Austin, Expectations For Conservatives

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Thoughts This Fortnight

Breaking:
House of Rep. Passes Trillion Dollar Budget

The U.S. House of Representatives passes a trillion dollar budget that no member of Congress has read. Let's hope the Senate conservatives led by Senators Cruz and Lee scuttle it. And can anyone for the GOP leadership in the House explain what the rush was with this monstrosity when an interim funding plan for a few months would allow the new GOP majorities in both houses to craft a more conservative budget and defund the Obama amnesty? Congressman Sessions, out of Dallas, please let your conservative friends know why.

Congressman Ted Poe:
We Can Stop Obama's Illegal Amnesty

To those who say all Republicans can do nothing to stop President Obama's legislating on illegal immigration amnesty, Congressman Poe says, yes we can. He has introduced the Separation of Powers Act. Here is what it does:

  1. Prohibits any funds from being appropriated or otherwise made available to grant parole or deferred action to any alien other than for reasons permitted under current law; and
  2. Prohibits any funds from being appropriated or otherwise made available to provide work permits or green cards to aliens who are currently unlawfully in the U.S.

Congressman Poe comments, "this legislation would prohibit the use of funds for granting deferred action or other immigration relief to aliens not lawfully present in the United States. Time and again this lawless administration has defied congress in order to unilaterally implement its own agenda. The President's latest edict announcing that he will disregard immigration law, rewrite the rules and grant amnesty and work permits to millions of foreign nationals is just the latest illegal act. These actions are motivated by politics, not people. This legislation will allow Congress to exercise its 'check' on an out-of-control White House that treats the Constitution as a mere suggestion, not the law of the land."

TCR Comment: Amen, and here is a good question, why is this man not one of the key House leaders?

More Analysis: What Happened In The 2014 Elections, Good Or Bad For GOP Long-term?

Recently, the Freedom Center, founded by conservative author and intellectual David Horowitz, held its annual Restoration Weekend in Florida. One of the panel discussions was on the last few election cycles and their meaning.

Here are some of the highlights with TCR's comments:

"1988 was the last presidential election a Republican won when most of the media and the Democrats thought the Republicans had a lock on the Electoral College…. (I)f you look at the breakdown between the votes of white voters and nonwhite voters in (the 1988) election, (George H. W.) Bush won by 20 percent among white voters and lost by 66 percent among non-white voters. In 2012 you have the same breakdown in terms of white voters and non-white voters. Romney won by 20 percent among white voters and lost by 66 percent among non-white voters. The difference is in 1988 whites were 86 percent of those who voted in the presidential election and in 2012 they were 72 percent."

TCR Comment: The traditional base of the GOP is dying off, and needs to be replaced.

Why did Obama win in 2012? "The Obama team knew what they were doing. They knew who would vote for them, and they got them registered…. And they had the mechanics to monitor who was voting on election day and who hadn't, and getting to the votes with early voting and so on."

TCR Comment: This is something we made progress on, but more work is needed to identify November Republicans and independent voters who should vote Republican if motivated properly.

The good news in 2014: "(For) Republicans, (2014 was) favorable (in) the (U.S.) Senate. You had all these Senate seats in red states that Romney had won big. There were 36 governors' races, and 22 of them were in states that Obama had carried. Republicans did not (just) win red state governorships. They won in Maryland, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Maine."

TCR Comment: A great year, and it could have been better if we expended more resources in Virginia and New Mexico where the GOP won the governorship or the U.S. Senate race was very close.

Is there a blue wall for the GOP for the White House? Kind of, "…(T)he Democrats have won enough states in the last six presidential elections to get 242 electoral votes…. So Republicans (must) win pretty much every toss-up to be able to get elected President…. Republicans were 206 (in 2012). Add Florida, Virginia, and Ohio you get to 266. Those are three states Republicans have to win to win the presidency. If they can't win those three states, they're not going to win the presidency…. But then you have a bunch of other states…. Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, which was only a 5 percent state, New Hampshire, Colorado."

TCR Comment: The White House is doable, maybe, with a new face, maybe a governor.

Who said, "true believers on the Republican right prefer to go off the cliff with flags flying rather than take half of a loaf and later come back for more"?

Answer: Ronald Reagan, who believed incremental progress for conservatives is better than none.

TCR Comment: We need to pick our fights, and we will also need to figure out how to bring Reagan Democrats back into the fold. One method is talking and planning how to expand jobs and opportunities for Americans.

The future of campaigning - how to reach the younger generation: "The consultant industrial complex is so fixated on paid media because that's where they can make their margins. You can't make a lot of money going door to door, engaging in grassroots communities. This is why the left beats us on the ground. (So what the GOP should do): embrace decentralization, social media. Instead of running thousand point TV buys, why don't you target young people on Facebook?... It works."

TCR Comment: Social media campaigns are the future, and large general TV buys are the lazy way to campaign.

New Legislative Session Coming Soon To Austin, Expectations For Conservatives

With GOP numbers up and more conservatives in the Texas Senate, expectations are high. But with the House being less conservative than the Senate, some conservative reformers could have difficulty. Added to that is the fact that the rules are set up to make passing bills more difficult.

That being said, a key reform conservatives are looking for is a reduction in the numbers needed in the Senate to take up legislation (the blocker bill), reducing the 2/3 vote to 60%, a reasonable change that still preserves the minority in the Senate. This, of course, passes if the Republicans in the Senate stick together.

Other things being looked at are (1) property tax relief for hard pressed homeowners, maybe by lowering the appraisal cap and increasing the homestead exemption, (2) end diversions from the gas tax and make the funds 100% for transportation projects, (3) put real teeth into tax and spending limits by applying it across the budget, basing the spending limit on the least of the rate of growth of the population plus inflation, personal income, or gross state product, (4) pension reform by stopping enrollment in the current defined benefit plan and enroll new employees in a 401k type of system, (5) health reform for state employees by replacing the current state health plan with a health savings account system, (6) bond issue transparency, while nobody has watched Texas state and local government, debt has exploded. It is important for voters to know the true facts, so Texas should require any government entity seeking to issue bonds to provide voters with basic financial information about the proposition being determined, (7) local government pension reform, the state should remove all unfunded mandates over local retirement systems and let local government control them as they see fit, (8) School choice, parents should be allowed to choose schools that best meet their children's needs.

These are just a few areas where conservatives can make progress next year in Austin.


TCR on the Air

Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland, liberal commentator David Jones and moderator Linda Lorelle on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8.1, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8.1, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.

Upcoming shows:
12/19/14: Immigration - with guests Jeronimo Cortina and Charles Foster.
12/26/14: Political analyst and author Mark Halperin.
01/16/15: City Issues - with guests Orlando Sanchez, Ellen Cohen, Dr. Jack Christie and Oliver Pennington.

The current show as well as past shows are available on YouTube.

About Your Editor

Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his fifteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last thirteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 11 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 14th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.

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