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Volume XI Number 21 - September 11, 2012     RSS Feed   

A Periodic Newsletter for Committed Texas Conservatives

In This Issue

After Both Conventions, It's Clearly Time For A New Direction

Democratic Convention Reflects Radical Fringe In American Politics

As TCR Predicted, Democrats Fail To Remove Oliver From Harris County DA's Race

GOP To Have Strong Control In Austin In 2013, What Should We Do With It?

RIP: Bill Borden and Bob Cunningham

Likely Voters Say Goodbye To Obama

The New Breed of Republican: Artur Davis By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor

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Gary Polland
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Thoughts This Fortnight

After Both Conventions,
It's Clearly Time For A New Direction

President Obama last week had his chance to make a case for four more years. Instead of telling us what he planned to do and how to accomplish it, he just talks -- sounds familiar. So from the biggest deficit spender in the history of our nation he said he'd cut the deficit but not how, that he'd cut oil imports and increase energy production but not how, and he'd help create millions of jobs but not how. The fact is Obama has no credible, practical plan to turn around our economy.

And if his convention was not enough, Friday's job figures show the "recovery" is stalling out. Unemployment went down, but only because more workers dropped out of the labor market (368,000) than got jobs (96,000)! And that's not all. The July number was just revised downward by 41,000 jobs. In other words, the initial report was overstated.

The GOP convention showed a forward-looking conservative vision to get the country moving again, and that's where we need to go.

Democratic Convention Reflects
Radical Fringe In American Politics

It is stunning that the Democratic Party is so out of step with mainstream America. First, they voted God and Jerusalem out of their platform (and probably didn't vote it back in if you listened). Second, they are out of touch on abortion, calling for it on demand and opposing all restrictions, which is out of step with most Americans since Gallup's latest poll shows 50% are pro-life and super majorities oppose partial birth abortions (68%), sex selection abortions, and support parental notice (71%) and other abortion restrictions.

The fact is President Obama's race to his base has exposed the true extremists in US politics -- the Democrats!

As TCR Predicted, Democrats Fail To Remove
Oliver From Harris County DA's Race

The Democratic Party in Texas failed to keep Lloyd Oliver off the November ballot. So now former Judge Mike Anderson, the GOP nominee, will have to win it. Recall the Democrats' chosen candidate Zack Fertitta lost in the primary because their primary voters were ill informed about the race.

TCR believes the vast majority of Democrats will vote straight ticket so the GOP better roll up its sleeves to help Anderson win in what could be a close race.

GOP To Have Strong Control In Austin In 2013,
What Should We Do With It?

Due to artful redistricting, a strong bench and weak overall opposition, the GOP will control the power levels in Austin.

What a great opportunity to show how the state can be governed conservatively while at the same time anticipating and solving looming state problems with water, transportation and educational funding.

With the great conservative resources at hand like the Texas Public Policy Foundation and national think tanks like Heritage, CATO and others, we have a chance for Texas to demonstrate successful conservative government.

RIP: Bill Borden and Bob Cunningham

We recently lost two conservative Republican giants. Bill Borden was a tireless stickler for the rules, and in fact helped formulate many of them we all deal with in the county and state party. Bill was also parliamentarian while your editor served as chair. He will be missed.

Bob Cunningham was a long-time Senatorial District Chair and party leader who along with his beloved and charming wife, Betty, was a gentle GOP giant always there to help and was a leader with a firm, but friendly hand. His leadership and strong character will not be forgotten.

Likely Voters Say Goodbye To Obama

The Hill newspaper in a recent poll of likely voters reported fascinating results:

(1) Does Obama deserve reelection?
      No 54% / Yes 40%

(2) Are you satisfied with Obama's job performance on the economy?
      No 58% / Yes 40%

(3) Is the country better off after four years of Obama?
      No 52% / Yes 31% / About the Same 15%

So when the media tells you the race is over and Obama will win, don't believe it. At this time in 1980, Jimmy Carter was beating Ronald Reagan.

The New Breed of Republican: Artur Davis
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor

One would instinctively conclude that it is a tremendous act of courage to have been a leading black supporter of President Obama - in fact, the first Congressman outside of Illinois to endorse Obama for president - and then change parties to become a Republican. But if you ask Artur Davis, hed tell you that it was completely natural and the right thing to do.

Artur Davis had every appearance of being a standard-issue black politician. He was good enough to get into Harvard as an undergraduate, and then matriculate to Harvard Law School. He then interned at the Southern Poverty Law Center and started working for the government as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. He first ran for Congress in 2000 as a Democrat because, as he says, "everyone he knew was a Democrat and that was how he was brought up." He was elected to Congress in 2002, served four terms, and then lost in the primary for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Alabama.

But despite this electoral history, there were telltale signs that Mr. Davis was different. He voted against ObamaCare. He told me he thought the plan was "too unpredictable, too expensive, and not actually going to help people in the manner it was intended." He came out in favor of voter ID, which is loathed by most black officials, adding that 60% of black voters support common-sense voter ID laws, and that they have been in place for years in Alabama with no negative effects. Davis has little patience for those who accuse opponents of Obama's policies of racism. He believes that in a democracy, it is the obligation of the opposition to clearly and cogently voice their concerns with the policies of the party in power. To call that racism because the office holder is black degrades the political process.

In fact, Davis was a different kind of politician from the beginning. He had no political mentor and therefore was not obligated to any single individual, special interest, or philosophy. He threw himself into his Congressional job, which is where he began to experience reality, and what he saw first-hand was the misguided system that our federal government has become. In his words, "We were throwing money at problems whether the program was working or not." He saw clearly the bloat, the waste, and, above all, the endless pandering to interest groups.

How does someone who went as far as he did make the change he made? When one speaks to Mr. Davis, it becomes quite clear that he is a very thoughtful and principled man. He decided that he was elected as a Democrat and should remain in the party while in office. But once outside of the political arena, he had a chance to step back, engage in some serious reflection, and analyze where he stood. What he discovered was that the party he had joined was not what he had thought. Davis found the Democrats to be a party that has become "narrower and narrower," and he characterized it as a "monolithic party."

After a period of reflection, Davis became a Republican. Because prominent black officials such as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice have been called Uncle Toms just for being Republicans, one might think Davis to be unusually courageous. He dismisses such compliments, maintaining that what he did was just common sense.

Davis told me that he hasn't suffered retribution from Democrats and has been warmly welcomed and strongly supported by Republicans. More importantly, his perspective of how he is viewed reflects his experience. He feels that as a Democrat, he was treated as part of a group - Black Americans - but as a Republican, he is perceived as an individual and treated as a person.

Would Davis's change of party matter as much if he were not black? No. But it has more meaning than the fact that he was an early endorser of Obama and has turned his back on the President's party. He offers two things to the Republicans: first, an individual that minority groups perceive as one of their own who can eloquently argue the principles of the party. Second, Davis very effectively makes a case that Republicans can win the black vote by promoting initiatives to change their lives through reform-oriented, free-market Republican policies. As an example, he cites Governor Bobby Jindal's efforts to reform schools in Louisiana: 75% of those affected are blacks. Republicans have a lot of room to appeal to blacks and Davis can help guide them there.

Usually when a politician changes parties it is a craven political move. It often happens after their party has lost the majority, while in a reelection mode or when they're promised plum committee assignments. Artur Davis changed parties for all the right reasons, and Republicans should embrace him warmly and give serious thought to his ideas about appealing to black voters.

It appears that Americans will be hearing much more from this very capable man.


Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee.


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 Sundays at 12:30 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:
09/14/12: "Should Abortion Rights Determine the Next President?" with Debra Medina and a pro-abortion advocate.
09/21/12: "Harris County Attorney" with Robert Talton (R) and Vince Ryan (D).
09/28/12: "Harris County District Attorney" with Mike Anderson (R) and Lloyd Oliver (D).

For a fun feature go to www.houstonpbs.org and under Red White and Blue, you can see commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week. The current show as well as past shows are also 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 fourteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last eleven years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 8 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 tenth year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.

© 2012 Texas Conservative Review
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