Despite the unprecedented major media and Democrats' attacks on President Trump, and the massive outspending by the Democrats in the specials ($33 million in loss in Georgia's Sixth District last week), our side still won. Karen Handel over Jon Ossoff in "another upset" per the left-wing polling organizations that continue to undercount conservatives.
But this is no time for our side to be cocky. We won because of a strong GOTV effort, which does not happen by accident. Do not forget, in 2016 the GOP turnout in Harris County was weak and lost every countywide race! Turnout does not occur by luck or accident.
On the other hand, it sure would help if we start moving legislation that the American people want to see. It will help immensely!
Good News For Conservatives In New
UT Texas Tribune Poll
In a new poll via the internet, of 1200 registered voters, between 6/2/17 - 6/11/17, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.83%, revealed some fascinating results!
- 72% say the US economy is better than or about the same as a year ago. Similarly, 73% in regards to the state economy.
- More importantly, 77% say their family was doing the same or better than last year.
- Property tax reform - Senator Bettencourt's bill will automatically set rollback elections when taxes are raised beyond a certain level - 77% supports limits on local government tax and 45% feel strongly about it! If you are paying attention, City of Houston officials, it doesn't look like the voters are interested in eliminating the spending cap.
There are reasons for optimism but we have hard work ahead in the 2018 elections.
If It Ain't Broke...
By Rory R. Olsen
Over the more than three decades that I have been associated with the Harris County Republican Party, I have attended my fair share of judicial petition signing parties - as an activist and as a judicial candidate. The last few events that I have attended have been models of efficiency. Each event has been held in the ballroom of a centrally located hotel. There was adequate parking. Food, beverages and a place to sit and socialize were all provided. Candidates were able to get most - if not all - of the signatures needed for their nominating petition. The signatories had a good time.
Obviously this is a system that has worked well over the years. There was great coordination between the party and the judicial candidates. If not perfect, the system was close to it.
Unfortunately the current chair of the Harris County Republican Party, Paul Simpson, without discussing the matter with the judges beforehand, announced on June 20th that he was going to abandon the tried and true system of the past in favor of holding a signing party at the current party headquarters.
So instead of holding our next signing party at a well-known, easy to find venue like the J.W. Marriott, the event will be held at the county party headquarters, which is located in a hard to find, dimly lit, industrial area to the north and west of downtown Houston.
If a prospective signer were to succeed in finding the place, he or she might have to struggle to find a parking place. Once inside the building, the prospective signer would notice the cramped space and the décor that looks like it was borrowed from the set of the modern version of "Battlestar Galactica."
What will happen if the bad location lowers the turnout? No worry there! There will be more signing parties at the even more obscure satellite offices of the county party.
Bottom line: Instead of holding one, nice successful event, the judicial candidates will be forced to attend multiple events scattered around the county.
Seems to me that we should stick with what has worked for us in the past, rather than trying to adopt an obviously flawed plan.
Rory R. Olsen is the Judge of Probate Court No. 3 in Harris County.
Congress Needs to Forget Trump
And His Tweets and Pass the Big Bills
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
Democrats want to derail any positive activity by the Republican Congress by investigating a phantom Russian crime. But why do people like Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) step in front of a microphone and say, "I'm not a fan of the daily tweets." The man who most people say is the smartest guy in the Nation's Capital should know they are nothing but a distraction. Pass at least some of the big stuff that Republicans want done and put them on Trump's desk for signature.
From the time Mr. Trump became the Republican Party's nominee, I almost totally discounted him in the legislative process. It is not that I disagree with him on major policy issues. Mr. Trump has it correctly on such issues as ditching Obamacare, major tax reform and simplification, shutting down illegal immigration in all forms and then revamping the current immigration system, and updating major elements of our infrastructure -- like our sadly outdated air traffic system. President Trump has all those right plus many more, but that does not matter. What he has is a pen.
At a news conference on June 13th, Speaker Paul Ryan stated "Look at what we are doing this week; we found out three years ago veterans were dying on these waiting lists that were occurring in Arizona then all around America. So we uncovered a scandal. No one realized we could not even bring accountability to the VA. They could not even fire people who were grossly negligent in their jobs. So, what are we doing today? We are fixing this problem. What did we do last week? We passed the Choice Act, we repealed and replaced Dodd-Frank. Ended too Big to Fail, ended bailouts, and brought needed regulatory relief for community banks to help small businesses get credit and grow. What are we working on next week? The skills gap. So people can get the skills they need to get good jobs."
Now that is what I am talking about. You don't need Trump for that. Senator McConnell needs to get some of this through the U.S. Senate and onto the President's desk for signature. You don't need Trump for these things. You just need his pen.
It is a good thing that concurrently President Trump was heading to Wisconsin to tell people that college is not for everyone and we need people trained to work with their hands. The only way we can get that is to bring back vocational training and apprenticeships. Also, it is nice that we have leaders in this country like Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan saying that these jobs are honorable and financially beneficial. That message is also coming from our Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. A completely different tone than the inaction from the prior Administration.
The linchpin of this process is the healthcare bill. It is as if the adversaries of the Republicans are daring them to pass something. They have cast whatever will eventually be produced as a disaster that will cause bodies to be piled on to carts to be hauled off like during the plague of the 14th century.
We all know the plan (foisted on Americans by a unified Democratic Party that intervened in a health care market positively accepted by 85% of Americans) has turned into a disaster of epic proportions. Some have proposed that Republicans need to let Obamacare completely collapse. That is a fool's errand. Republicans would most certainly get the blame.
They need to get a plan in place at the soonest possible time and ignore the swirl around it. The plan needs to get to conference and back to the respective chambers for passage. Will it be a perfect solution? Obviously not, but it will save us from heading down the path to single-payer. It must restore a free market and free consumer choice. It must get the IRS out of being the supervising entity for compliance with the health care laws. Any plan defects can be tweaked as we see the results.
Passing the healthcare bill is of such paramount importance I am going to go against one of my core principles of politics. I never expect anyone to agree with my political beliefs 100% or to vote the way I think in a pure manner. I object to people who demand such blind allegiance. But I will say this: Republicans in both chambers of Congress must unify behind whatever bill comes out of the conference between the House and the Senate.
None of them or any of us will agree with all of it. But if they do not pass this they will never get to the immensely necessary tax reform or any other bill of significant consequence.
Thus, anyone who cannot bring themselves to vote for the health care bill that is presented to them should be primaried. Their selfishness and ignorance of the damage they will visit on their party deems them mandatorily replaceable.
Certainly, if the healthcare bill does not get passed nothing will get passed. There will be a good chance the Congress will be lost and a better chance Trump will be impeached. It will be a downfall for the Republican Party for now and possibly for an extended period.
Mr. Trump will hopefully think what is put on his desk meets his standards, but does anyone believe he will not sign the legislation? He has already signed over 30 bills put on his desk.
Congress seems to be working toward what is outlined above, but must stop fiddling while Washington burns and get the bills to Trump's pen. You will have no one to blame other than yourselves.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee. You can follow Bruce on Twitter @brucebialosky.
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Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8, replaying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Monday at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
Red, White & Blue returns in September with all new shows for your weekly political information fix.
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 nineteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last sixteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 13 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 15th 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.