Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Today is Election Day - Let Your Voice Be Heard

Today is Election Day, Texans!  The weather is beautiful in Houston and there is no more time left to make excuses about not being able to go vote.  On a selfish note, I am delivering a call to action for voters of my city.

It's important. Maybe you don't think it's important to vote in a primary election but nothing could be further from the truth, especially in Texas.  A primary election, as a general rule, has a lower voter turnout than the general election.  Your vote will carry much more weight today than in November.  It is important to exercise your right to vote at both times.

Politics begins at the local level.  Republicans, in particular, believe in government control at the closest level to the people as possible.  The further out the government control gets from the people, the more ineffective government becomes.  Today Houston elects a new mayor, city council members, and also decides the passage of some propositions and amendments.  There are important decisions to be made at both the local and state level.

Go HERE to find your polling place and a sample ballot. All of the information is there.

Friday, October 16, 2015

United Republicans' Fundraiser October 29, 2015

You won't want to miss this program!  

Reserve your seat now!  Deadline to RSVP: October 19, 2015

This is a rare event with United Republicans of Harris County - the very first fundraiser!  This is your opportunity to support a truly independent PAC striving to put solid Republicans into office. Your support is a vital part of getting the information out to Harris County voters.

Table sponsorship includes program recognition and announcement at the event.  Cash bar available during registration and social.  

For more information, go to

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"In This Together" by Ann Romney - A Book Review

I love a personal story.  Everyone has a story to tell and Ann Romney has a great one.  In her recently released book, In This Together, Ann Romney focuses on the life altering event of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease without a cure. Far from being a sad story, Romney's book left me feeling inspired and impressed with her personal strength and determination to carry on with her life. She described this book as "a love letter to those people who are suffering" not just from MS but with any difficulty.

Ann Romney writes about her upbringing, her family, her courtship with Mitt, her children and friends. The lion's share of the book, however, concentrates on her journey with MS. She shares her journey from the time she was diagnosed in 1998 through today.  Her future plans include the opening of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, scheduled for October, 2016, for which she is the Global Ambassador.

I had the privilege to be on a conference call with Mrs Romney during her book tour.  Let me share some of that conversation.

Along with a treatment of cortisone infustions, she learned about non-traditional treatment options from a friend of a friend also living with MS.  Once a skeptic, she soon became a believer. After almost three years of seeing a Reflexologist three times a week and riding horses five days a week, she began to feel like she was doing a little better with the most devastating of her symptoms, fatigue. She never needed a walker or wheelchair but she said she did lean on Mitt for balance when she was at times unstable as she walked.  The steroids reduced the numbness in her leg enough to be able to walk.  She is still unsteady on her right leg.

Her greatest disappointment in the loss of the national election for President in 2012 with Mitt, other than America being denied the talents of her husband's leadership, was the loss of using her megaphone as First Lady to make MS research her choice of initiative while serving in the White House.  She has channeled that energy into the Center for Neurologic Diseases.  Research and scientists conducting studies will all be under one roof, searching for cures for five different challenges - MS, Parkinson's Disease, Altzheimer's, ALS and brain tumors. Proceeds from this book go to Center.

Why did Ann Romney write this book?  Here are her own words, from the transcript of the conference call:

Mrs. Romney:
"When I decided to write this, I meant this to be a book that would really help others. And I thought the way to do
that was to be as honest as I possibly could, to hold nothing back. And to really share how depressed I was,
how difficult it was, how it affected my life in every single way.  And to do that, I had to be completely honest.  I
just felt that that was really important, and yes, it was hard to share some of those things, and yes it was hard
to write some of those things. But, I decided to do it so that people would really know that it’s a complete
window to my soul, and there is nothing left, and it’s completely honest."

This is a compelling human story of being knocked down with a devastating, life altering illness and finding the strength to carry on.  Mrs. Romney is not only moving on in her life, she is thriving.

I was approached by a representative of St Martin's Press and offered the book for review.  Thanks to Karlyn Hixson for making it such a pleasant experience.

Are you interested in a copy of this book to read for yourself?  I can help with that!  Thanks to St. Martin's Press and a very generous offer, I have three (3) books to give away!  Just put your name and email address in the comments section and I will contact you.  Easy, peasy.  You won't regret reading this story.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Houston City Council, District G Forum

Please join Memorial West Republican Women and Houston West Chamber of Commerce for a candidate forum featuring the candidates running to fill the Houston City Council, District G position.  The current officeholder, Oliver Pennington, is term limited out, so it is an important race.  This is one of the few opportunities to hear from these candidates in a forum style setting.

Come have a cup of coffee and connect with fellow Houstonians working to support Republicans running for office in a very Democrat run city!

Memorial West Republican Women PAC's
Candidates Forum - City Council, District G
Thursday, October 8, 2015
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
6:30 PM  - Refreshments & Conversation    |    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM  - Forum
Trini Mendenhall Community Center - 1414 Wirt Rd, Houston, TX 77055
Join the Memorial West Republican Women PAC
for a Candidates Forum, featuring:

Sandie Mullins MogerGregory Travis
Free  & Open to the Public

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Wish Comes True for Speaker Boehner as He Resigns

For twenty years, John Boehner (R-OH) has sought to extend an invitation to the Pope and give him the opportunity to address Congress.  Thursday that dream came true.  In a historic moment, Pope Francis spoke to the members of Congress and guests about a host of topics. 

The political side of this Pope - he considered a career in politics before entering the priesthood - shined as he lectured on everything from climate change and social justice to the sanctity of life and charity.  All parts of the political spectrum could cherry pick a bit here and there to claim the Pope is in agreement of the listener's political agenda.

Many in the audience, and surely many listening elsewhere, were moved to tears at the spirit of the moment.  As is his nature, Speaker Boehner used his handkerchief more than once.

Friday morning brought the news that Speaker Boehner will resign at the end of October.  After a rocky tenure and recent years of bomb throwers coming into elected office, herding cats has been quite a challenge.  He is known for his respect of the institution and it's place in the political process. 

An honorable man and longtime public servant will no doubt receive cheers from his detractors wishing him a speedy exit.  That's too bad.  He came into office at the time of Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution in the early 1990's.  That was an historic time as Republicans took control of the branches of the federal government for the first time in 40 years. 

Let's hope for a smooth transition as we enter a very important national election year.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Memorial West Republican Women Now Using Pinterest

Memorial West Republican Women PAC is now using Pinterest.  Taking full advantage of the capabilities of social media, Memorial West RW is reaching out to audiences across the spectrum. Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. 

Think of it as a virtual bulletin board.  

From Wikipedia:

Pinterest is a free website that requires registration to use.[5] Users can upload, save, sort, and manage images—known as pins—and other media content (e.g., videos and images) through collections known as pinboards.[6] Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform. Users can browse the content of others on the main page. Users can then save individual pins to one of their own boards using the "Pin It" button, with Pinboards typically organized by a central topic or theme. Users can personalize their experience with Pinterest by pinning items, creating boards, and interacting with other members. By doing so, the users "pin feed" displays unique, personalized results.

It is a fun way to keep organized, in this instance, the club photos from meetings, field trips, community engagement and projects.  

Check it out!

Friday, May 22, 2015

American Phoenix Foundation Stalks Texas Legislators in Austin

Sarah Davis, State Rep District 134 and Debbie Riddle, State Rep District 150 are being stalked at the State Capitol in Austin.  It is uncomfortable for them as the video Rep Davis' put on her Facebook page shows. Rep Riddle shared the video on her Facebook page and learned of those behind the project from a commenter.  This is some eye-opening creepy gotcha stuff.  As women, it is no wonder they are uncomfortable as a guy dressed in all black follows - too closely, I might add - a woman legislator around the Capitol.  Any woman would feel a violation of personal space and on edge with concern for her personal safety.

From Sarah Davis' Facebook page:

What you are witnessing in this video is what I have experienced four to six times a day for the last three weeks. If you want to know what it is like to be in politics today, watch this.
Posted by Sarah Davis for State Representative 134 on Thursday, May 21, 2015

From Debbie Riddle's Facebook page:

"What Representative Sarah Davis has been experiencing with this creepy guy is what many of us have been dealing with at the Capitol. As I leave the House Chamber or go into a committee meeting, or even head down the hall to the underground parking, even getting on an elevator these creepy guys are stalking with their hidden cameras. It will be interesting to see who is financing their creepiness."

Riddle notes that it is not just female politicians, but males, too, being closely followed by silent stalkers.

What you notice in the video is the guy dressed in black looks at the camera and smirks after Rep Davis confronts him. Clearly he is enjoying her irritation.

So, I wondered, who is financing this stalking?  It turns out to be a "conservative" group, working to sabotage Republicans on video. The group is called American Phoenix Foundation. The Texas Tribune has a piece on this:

The activist group employing people who have been secretly recording lawmakers has talked about having a bipartisan mission to root out misdeeds of lawmakers no matter the political stripe.But four large donors to the American Phoenix Foundation — the Strake Foundation, the State Policy Network, the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, and Jeff Sandefer's Ed Foundation — are well-known backers of conservative causes. The donations show what many had suspected  — that money was coming in from institutional organizations active in other conservative causes.

Then a spokesperson made the following statement:

The four groups "did not donate to this project or to this year's budget at all," a man who identified himself as John Beria, a spokesman for American Phoenix, said in an email Thursday. He added that American Phoenix remains committed to targeting misdeeds by lawmakers from any party. 
Going further:

American Phoenix is headed by Joseph Basel, who in 2010 was among four people who were arrested and charged with entering federal property under false pretenses in Louisiana. The group, pretending to be telephone repairmen, entered then-U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's office in New Orleans. Basel later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, serve two years' probation and perform 75 hours of community service. One of his co-defendants in that case, Stan Dai, is also an officer with American Phoenix.
 George Strake, who served as former Texas secretary of state under Gov. Bill Clements, told the Tribune that his foundation contributed to American Phoenix because he's a fan of the group's vice president, Hannah Giles. Strake added that his donations were made years ago and didn't have anything to do with the group's recent videotaping project. But he didn't rule out donating to them in the future.
Giles, who is now married to Basel, drew national headlines in 2009 when she and fellow conservative activist James O'Keefe entered the offices of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN — an activist group known for its voter registration drives — to ask for a housing loan to fund a brothel.  
The article includes a chart of the major donors to this group.  Included is Empower Texans and Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Full disclosure: As stated in the article, "Franklin Center funds, a journalism network operating in nearly 20 states, including Texas."  I have been a contributor to - Texas in the past.  Also, I have a history with Texas Public Policy Foundation, including attending and blogging during the Annual Policy Orientations and other special events to which I have been invited.

While transparency is important, common decency is expected from anyone approaching an elected official.  Video taping every move and word uttered from an elected official in order to play gotcha may be acceptable to some but hardly worthy of professionals.  Conservatives turning on other conservatives has become commonplace and that is unfortunate. All of this latest bad behavior on display seems to be a tactic utilized by those who oppose the leadership of Speaker Joe Straus.  

Use the link above - copy and paste if needed and watch the brief video of Rep Sarah Davis and one of the stalkers.  

What a sad chapter in politics.