Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Democrats for Santorum in Michigan Primary Flopped

Mitt Romney won the Michigan and Arizona primaries Tuesday night. Arizona was a blowout - he won by twenty points over Santorum, but in Michigan, many thought Santorum had a real chance to score big and win that state. It would have been a real blow to the Romney campaign. That didn't happen.

Why? The Michigan victory for Santorum didn't happen because Rick Santorum is not a good candidate. He is not a disciplined candidate. He cannot stay on point and he tends to go where he need not - especially on the social hot button issues and on issues as innocent as college education aspirations. No one likes sanctimonious Rick and no one likes Santorum off message.

While Santorum is fond of chastising Romney as one who has changed opinions in politics, it is now evident that Santorum has a bit of a problem with that, too. Just weeks after proclaiming that he is a firm believer in political primary purity he participated in a robocall to voters in Michigan encouraging Democrats to go vote in the Republican primary for him - to deny Romney a win.

Really bad form.

This is the robo-call paid for and supported by the Santorum for President campaign:

Fortunately for Team Romney, the ploy backfired. Romney won the primary by more than 3%. As Romney said, not a big win, but enough.

Santorum is at his best when he is delivering his personal story and why he is seeking elected office. His is the story of a coal miner's grandson. It is an only in America story and he misses opportunity after opportunity to deliver that message. Instead he is bogged down trying to be the moral conscience of America and also delivering silly lines about such common ground issues like college education. Parents everywhere aspire for their children to have the opportunity to go to college, to be exposed to higher education. To declare that goal as something "snobby" is simply silly. And, it turns people off to his message.

All of the candidates need more than niche voters. Santorum needs more than social conservatives to win primaries. He has to focus on a winning stump speech and repeat it over and over. He has to find discipline and a winning message.

The Republican Party of Texas Releases Statement on Redistricting Maps

The Republican Party of Texas has released the latest update on the re-districting saga. The predicted final Texas re-districting maps are now completed. Approval is now pending for formal enactment.

Thanks to Texas Attorney General Abbott's efforts, it looks as though only one Repubican district will be lost, and not the predicted loss of three. And, expectations are that Republicans will gain two of the four new congressional districts.

Here is the press release:

On Tuesday afternoon, the San Antonio three-judge federal panel overseeing Texas redistricting posted new maps for the State House, State Senate and U.S. Congress. We are awaiting a formal order enacting these maps, however, we expect that these will be the final maps issued by the panel. The Republican Party of Texas has carefully analyzed these maps since their release and is providing our staff's findings via this email.

RPT Staff Analysis of H309 (Court Interim Map)

RPT Staff Analysis of C235 (Court Interim Map)

You can click on the above link to see the full analysis of the new State House districts in PDF format. This analysis shows side-by-side comparisons of the number of Republican districts under the maps used in the 2010 elections, the districts that were originally drawn by the Texas Legislature, the districts that were drawn by the three-judge panel in 2011 (and which were subsequently challenged), and the districts that the three-judge panel has issued today. The percentages are based on the average of the top 9 statewide Republican candidates in the 2010 General Election.

Our staff's analysis leads to the conclusion that while the new State House map creates one less Republican district (defined as a district being over 50% Republican) than the map drawn by the Legislature - it is an improvement over the previous map issued by the San Antonio three-judge panel, which drew three less Republican districts. Thus, Attorney General Abbott's appeal of the interim maps to the Supreme Court has yielded two more Republican districts than if he had not appealed. In addition, the new map creates the same number of districts as the original legislative map which are over 48% Republican, that being 102. This represents an improvement of one over the previous map drawn by the San Antonio three-judge panel. The new map also creates three more Republican districts over 55% than the previous map drawn by the San Antonio three-judge panel, although this is four districts less than the original legislative maps. However, the new map actually has three more districts over 55% than existed in 2010.

Commenting on the afternoon's developments, RPT State Chairman Steve Munisteri stated: "While we are disappointed that the San Antonio three-judge panel did not follow completely the legislative maps in today's new maps, we are appreciative of General Abbott's efforts to mitigate the damage done by the federal courts by appealing this to the Supreme Court. His successful efforts to have the U.S. Supreme Court intervene has resulted in a new map which should enable the Republican Party of Texas to maintain a substantial majority of the Texas House of Representatives, and gives us a chance to obtain the second highest number of Republicans ever elected to the Texas House. The State Party's job will now be to ensure that we elect as many Republicans as possible in November."

Our staff has also run an analysis on the Congressional plan released today by the panel (see the above link for that document in PDF format). The analysis indicates that there will be 25 Republican seats that have a Republican average vote of over 55%. This translates into the Republican Party expecting to gain 2 of the 4 new Congressional seats. Under the original Congressional map issued by the Legislature, the Republican Party hoped to gain 3 seats. However, we may not have gained any seats under the previous map drawn by the San Antonio three-judge panel, so General Abbott's efforts have resulted in the possibility of reclaiming two of the three lost seats.

Also, a State Senate map was issued today under which Republicans would be expected to win at least 19 of 31 State Senate seats with a chance to increase that margin to 20 if we can defeat Democrat Senator Wendy Davis.

It is important to note that these are only interim maps for the 2012 elections and still could change prior to 2014 as a result of either future court action or additional legislative redistricting in the upcoming session.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate and The Stakes of the Race

The latest video coming out of the Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate campaign focuses on what is at stake in the race for Texas and our country.

Nicely done.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Gulf Coast Project Going Ahead of Keystone Pipeline XL Project

A bit of good news for the future of our country's energy needs has presented itself Monday. Canada has decided to go ahead with the part of the Keystone Pipeline XL project that runs from Oklahoma to Texas. This will enable Canada to go around waiting for the State Department to finish its bogus studies. The studies that have already been conducted and the conclusions were that the pipeline was safe for the environment. The White House has agreed to go ahead with this part of the project - from Cushing, OK to Port Arthur, Texas - but it will not be finished until the end of 2013, if all the permits are obtained in a timely manner. And, we know that the history of this Obama administration is to delay permits in hopes of stopping production of oil and natural gas.

The project is now called The Gulf Coast Project.

The move comes as the company prepares to re-apply for a presidential permit for the northern section of Keystone XL, running from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

In a statement, the company said it had informed the U.S. Department of State that it will go ahead with construction of a section of Keystone XL running from an oil hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. Dubbed the "Gulf Coast Project," it will carry oil from the existing Keystone pipeline that terminates in Cushing.

TransCanada said "what had been the Cushing to U.S. Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL Project has its own independent value to the marketplace and will be constructed as a stand-alone Gulf Coast Project, not part of the Presidential Permit process."

Any pro-active step is a good step, especially one as long in the works as this one. While the president refuses to allow oil and gas drilling to proceed in our waters and on our land, Canada has stepped up and now will provide a positive direction.

Our hyper partisan president has a history of being hyper partisan through out his political career. He now whines that Republicans are pointing out that energy prices are continuing to rise and the pain at the gas pump escalates.
As gas nears $5-a-gallon out west, the president, who has cancelled a key pipeline and frozen federal leases from Alaska to the East Coast, teaches us about American algae potential, in the way he used to emphasize the importance of tire pressure and "tune-ups." He castigates the opposition for making political hay out of bad news, in the way he routinely did as a senator in compiling the most partisan voting record in the Senate. Energy Secretary Chu cannot and will not say a word about soaring gas prices, since he is on record not so long ago hoping that they might double—that is, get to $8- to 10-a-gallon as they are in Europe. The Energy Department can do almost everything Americans don't want, but not the single thing they do want

The media has virtually turned a blind eye to doing stories of rising gas prices at the pump. Remember when George W. Bush was in the Oval Office and the price of gas rose? He and Dick Cheney were blamed because they were both former oil men and there had to be a conspiracy to reward their colleagues, right? It was ridiculous but the leftists and the media lapped it up. Now, one of their own is in office - himself a loud critic of the rising oil prices back then - and now suddenly the president has nothing to do with gas prices.

Current DNC Chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was a loud critic back then and went to the floor of the House and spoke of the rising prices. And, here are three different videos of Pelosi, Obama and Clinton criticizing the Bush administration for rising gas prices.

So, that's something to remember as President Obama and his surrogates whine that the Republicans are speaking out about energy prices and production denial. What goes around, comes around.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

There Is No Energy Policy, Only An Ideological Agenda

In his weekly address, President Obama proclaimed to support an "all of the above" approach to energy independence. However, his actions have proven to show an agenda of anything but an all of the above approach. Unless, maybe, all of the above completely shuts out oil and gas drilling.

Team Obama has received the talking point to promote on his energy policy - that oil and gas production is up the levels highest in the last eight years. This is bunk, to put it politely. On private lands, production is up. That part is true. But, on government controlled lands and the Gulf of Mexico, productions levels are down as much as 30%. Not only has President Obama closed off more and more land and water to land and offshore drilling, he continues to allow the slow walking of permits to continue to drill. And, he completely shut down lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico along the way.

Back in 2008, Barack Obama campaigned on having the answers to energy independence. As often happens with those completely unprepared, he was making promises that were unrealistic and impossible to attain. His believers lapped it all up. Now we are all paying the price as his promises prove to be nothing but cynical bluster.

You can read the Obama 2008 energy plan HERE

What we got, in truth, is a president unwilling and unable to leave his ideology out of his decision making process. He is determined to destroy the oil and gas drilling industry and instead invest in his green energy dreams. Green energy is worthy of investment but so is traditional energy. The president is determined to pick winners and losers in all business fields and energy is not left out of the mix.

In this week's GOP weekly response, the energy issue is addressed. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison gives the GOP Weekly Address:

TX Redistricting Update XI: It Is All Up To The Courts

This is the latest update in the Texas redistricting battle from the Republican Party of Texas:

The fate of the redistricting maps now rests solely with the three-judge panel in San Antonio. As of the time of this update, a global agreement between all parties has not been reached relative to the Texas House and Texas Congressional districts. Therefore, the final decisions as to where the lines will be are in the hands of the three-judge panel. The panel set deadlines for parties to submit final briefs on various issues and that deadline has now passed. This now means that all the arguments are over and all we are waiting for now is for the Court to rule.

If the Court issues maps on or before March 3rd, then the May 29th primary date can be accomplished - assuming a re-opened filing period can be accomplished within a few days. If the Court issues new maps after March 3rd, then the next and final available primary date would be June 26th. To accomplish a June 26th primary, maps would still need to be issued by March 30th to meet the June 26th date.

There is a possibility that the San Antonio three-judge panel (which handles Section 2 challenges of the Voting Rights Act) will wait to see what the Washington D.C. three-judge panel (who handles Section 5 challenges of the Voting Rights Act) rules, and that subsequently, the San Antonio panel incorporates the D.C. panel’s findings into new maps. The D.C. panel indicated that it would not rule prior to March. Consequently, if the San Antonio panel is waiting on the D.C. panel, a May 29th primary could only be accomplished if the D.C. panel rules at the very start of March and the rulings can be incorporated into alterations of the maps within a few days. Otherwise, only the June 26th primary date is an option.

If the San Antonio three-judge panel does not view it as a necessity to wait on the Washington D.C. panel, then we would expect to get new maps any day now.

As instructed by the San Antonio three-judge panel last week, the RPT’s attorneys have been in contact with the Texas Democratic Party's attorneys to negotiate over proposed deadlines relative to a May 29th Primary Election and we are proceeding to plan as if we will have a May 29th Primary.

Friday, February 24, 2012

TX Attorney General Abbott Files Challenge on Obamacare Mandate

As the debates continue over the mandate in Obamacare which requires a breech in religious freedom and the issue of contraception availability through insurance benefits provided by religious institutions to its employees, seven states came together Wednesday to challenge it. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is representing the State of Texas in this challenge.

AG Abbott released the following statement:

"Obamacare's latest mandate tramples the First Amendment's Freedom of Religion and compels people of faith to act contrary to their convictions. The President's so-called 'accommodation' was nothing but a shell game: the mandate still requires religious organizations to subsidize and authorize conduct that conflicts with their religious principles. The very first amendment to our Constitution was intended to protect against this sort of government intrusion into our religious convictions."

The seven states filing the challenge were Texas, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

These are the legal principles which are argued on the unconstitutionality of the mandate:

•A conflict with the First Amendment's basic elements of the freedoms of religion, speech and association.

•A violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act by requiring the federal government to troll through an organization's religious beliefs to determine whether the organization is religious enough to be exempt from the rule's mandates.

•That the practical effect will force religious employers and organizations to drop health insurance coverage, which will effect increased enrollment in state Medicaid programs and state-subsidized hospitals and medical centers.

As much as liberals and the Obama administration would like to make this about conservatives trying to deny health care to women, this is not the issue. The issue is freedom of religion, one of our basic rights.

About the Increased Price of Gas at the Pump

How's all that hope and change working out for you when you pull into the gas station and fill up your tank? You may have noticed that the prices are going up again. And, this time, they are going up at an accelerated pace. According to AAA, we are running 13.4% ahead of where gas demands were at in 2008. This means that prices of well over $4.00 per gallon will greet you soon at the gas pump, if the price is not already there.

President Obama is campaigning around the country and has taken to mocking Republicans for insisting that drilling for oil and gas domestically is a good idea to implement on the path to energy independence. He thinks common sense and facts are silly. He is also the man who put in a physicist as the Secretary of Energy.

Here's the thing: no president can be held solely responsible for the price of gas at the pump. However, a president can put in place energy policy that supports our country's energy needs. This president came in to office determined to destroy the domestic oil and gas drilling industry in our country and choose winners and losers. The losers are the oil and gas drilling industry. The winners are the alternative energy producers. He claims to be all about the "all of the above" strategy but his record proves otherwise.

Press Secretary Carney answered the question of presidential responsibility Wednesday at a press briefing:

"The president accepts the responsibility that he identified the next president should accept, which is the need for comprehensive energy policy," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today when asked if Obama "accept[s] responsibility" for the high price of oil and gas. "If you're suggesting that there is responsibility for a rise in the price of oil, it's certainly not because of anything he hasn't done to expand oil production," Carney added.

Asked if he believes it is fair for Americans to blame the president, Carney noted that gas price hikes are "a recurrent problem." He added that domestic oil production is at a record high right now and that Obama has opened "millions of acres in the Gulf of Mexico" to drilling.

The claims of record high domestic oil production? This is quite a stretch for Obama to claim credit. It makes a fun sound bite for the re-election campaign but the fact is, the production increases are due to decisions made in the Bush administration. The timeline for oil and gas drilling is not one of instant action. The fact that 2009 is cited as a year with increased drilling speaks to that.

According to EIA’s short-term 2011 outlook, released last week, oil production was significantly higher in 2009 than in the years prior. Obama may have been in office for most of that year, but the oil production numbers are due to action taken before he became president. In 2010, most if not all of the production increase recorded is likely due to action that predates Obama, since Obama didn’t take any major action expanding offshore drilling his first year in office.

And, an upcoming decline in production is expected:

EIA’s short-term outlook projects a decrease in domestic oil production in 2011 and 2012. Newell sees a few reasons for that.

A decline corresponding to an upsurge in offshore production over the past few years would be natural, he said: “That’s a natural decline that we would have been forecasting probably regardless of what happened in offshore in terms of the moratorium and regulation, etc.”

The predicted decrease in gulf production is due at least partly to the administration’s actions taken after the BP oil spill -- an unfortunate projection for the White House, as it’s trying to stay on offense in the debate over gas prices going into the 2012 election cycle.

“A portion of that, though, is associated with the [BP] well blowout, moratorium and subsequent regulatory delays,” Newell added.

The Obama moratorium on oil and gas drilling dealt a blow to the industry and all of the small businesses in the Gulf of Mexico region connected to the industry that has still not seen full recovery.

This is what a liberal ideologue sounds like as she spouts off about oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. You'll notice as she brings up the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, she doesn't bother to mention the eleven lives lost, only the environmental event, which as proved to be far less than originally thought. She doesn't mention that, either:

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is not just a Florida representative in Congress, she is also the Democratic National Committee chairwoman. You'll notice she touts Team Obama's failed green initiatives as the solution to our energy needs. She was Obama's choice for the chairmanship.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GOP Debate in Arizona

Wednesday the GOP presidential contenders debated in Mesa, Arizona. CNN's John King was the moderator. As with the other debates led by the liberal side of the media, the majority of the debate centered around utter nonsense. The social issues of no importance whatsoever were droned on about and the important issues - foreign policy, energy independence, border security,job creation and deficit spending were dipped into briefly and then left unfinished.

When liberals run a debate for GOP candidates, the audience is subjected to questions like: Do you support using birth control? Describe yourself in one word. What is the government's role in birth control? Do you agree with Governor Perry's position on border security? Should everyone get free birth control?

Newt Gingrich had a good night. He was low key during the first half of the debate but rallied during the second half. He had some good opportunities to take a question and instead of bashing the other candidates, he took the fight to President Obama. This is something the other candidates have failed to accomplish. The scrabbling between the front runners is disgraceful and accomplishes nothing. The issues are not argued, the personal attacks prevail. The candidates allow the Obama campaign to use this nonsense against them and will continue to do so through the election in November. Why make Barack Obama's job any easier?

Ron Paul was Ron Paul. Strong on domestic issues, out of sync on foreign policy, except with the young voters who like his anti-war stance.

Rick Santorum did poorly. He was nasty and aggressively hostile to the other candidates. This happens when he knows he will most likely lose the next primary. He is capable of giving strong and knowledgeable answers on foreign policy and on most domestic issues but that quality is overshadowed by his sanctimonious and snarling attitude.

Mitt Romney was confident and looked prepared to go up against Santorum. The audience was clearly supporting him. Santorum, in contrast, was loudly booed several times by the audience. Romney forced Santorum to admit that he voted for the earmark requested by Romney for the Olympics in Salt Lake City. Santorum sounded really weak when he claimed that he didn't really want to but did it. And, then later Santorum claimed that though he wasn't particularly supportive of the price of the No Child Left Behind bill, he voted for it. He said he took one for the team. And that "politics is a team sport." Voters are looking for a principled leader, not a yes man in the Oval Office.

That was not the first time I heard Rick Santorum whine about supporting President Bush as a team player even though he knew the government spending was not the right route. I heard him say something similar last July in New Orleans during a conference and since that time I have not thought favorably of him. Man up and take responsibility for the votes without blaming the former president now that he is running for that office himself is what I say.

The debate was a mess. John King frequently lost control and allowed the ugly back and forth between the candidates to continue. But, why wouldn't he? That sort of performance is good for Barack Obama.

It is time to re-think these debates as Republicans. If so many are to be put on by the liberal outlets, it is time to make some demands. The most important demand is that of using conservative leaning people from that network to moderate the debates and ask the questions. CNN, for example, has conservative leaning talent. There was no need to use John King and certainly after the last debate he hosted which is famous for his dressing down by Newt Gingrich. Democrats boycott Fox News Channel all the time. Turnabout is fair play.

The final winner of Wednesday night's debate in Arizona? Barack Obama.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rep Morris Refuses to Sign Girl Scout 100th Anniversary Resolution

What has happened to the elected officials and representatives in my party? Do Republicans really think this is any way to behave in an important election year?

Happy 100 Year Anniversary, Girl Scouts of America! Rep Bob Morris (R-IN) will not be signing the resolution marking your achievement.

Verbatim text of letter from Indiana state Rep. Bob Morris, R-Fort Wayne, to fellow lawmakers.

February 18, 2012

Members of the Republic Caucus

Dear Fellow Representatives:

This past week I was asked to sign a House Resolution recognizing the 100th Anniversary of Girl Scouts of America. After talking to some well-informed constituents, I did a small amount of web-based research, and what I found is disturbing. The Girl Scouts of America and their worldwide partner, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), have entered into a close strategic affiliation with Planned Parenthood. You will not find evidence of this on the GSA/WAGGGS website—in fact, the websites of these two organizations explicitly deny funding Planned Parenthood.

Nonetheless, abundant evidence proves that the agenda of Planned Parenthood includes sexualizing young girls through the Girl Scouts, which is quickly becoming a tactical arm of Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood instructional series and pamphlets are part of the core curriculum at GSA training seminars. Denver Auxiliary Bishop James D. Conley of Denver last year warned parents that "membership in the Girl Scouts could carry the danger of making their daughters more receptive to the pro-abortion agenda."

A Girl Scouts of America training program last year used the Planned Parenthood sex education pamphlet "Happy, Healthy, and Hot." The pamphlet instructs young girls not to think of sex as "just about vaginal or anal intercourse." "There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!" it states. Although individual Girl Scout troops are not forced to follow this curriculum, many do. Liberal progressive troop-leaders will indoctrinate the girls in their troop according to the principles of Planned Parenthood, making Bishop Conley's warning true.

Many parents are abandoning the Girl Scouts because they promote homosexual lifestyles. In fact, the Girl Scouts education seminar girls are directed to study the example of role models. Of the fifty role models listed, only three have a briefly-mentioned religious background – all the rest are feminists, lesbians, or Communists. World Net Daily, in a May 2009 article, states that Girl Scout Troops are no longer allowed to pray or sing traditional Christmas Carols.

Boys who decide to claim a "transgender" or cross-dressing life-style are permitted to become a member of a Girl Scout troop, performing crafts with the girls and participate in overnight and camping activities – just like any real girl. The fact that the Honorary President of Girl Scouts of America is Michelle Obama, and the Obama's are radically pro-abortion and vigorously support the agenda of Planned Parenthood, should give each of us reason to pause before our individual or collective endorsement of the organization.

As members of the Indiana House of Representatives, we must be wise before we use the credibility and respect of the "Peoples' House" to extend legitimacy to a radicalized organization. The Girl Scouts of America stand in a strong tradition that reflects with fidelity the traditional values of our homes and our families. The tradition extends from coast-to-coast and back through the past one hundred years. That said, I challenge each of you to examine these matters more closely before you extend your name and your reputation to endorse a group that has been subverted in the name of liberal progressive politics and the destruction of traditional American family values.

I have two daughters who have been active in the Girl Scouts of Limberlost Council in Northeastern Indiana. Now that I am aware of the influence of Planned Parenthood within GSA and other surprisingly radical policies of GSA, my two daughters will instead become active in American Heritage Girls Little Flowers organization. In this traditional group they will learn about values and principles that will not confuse their conservative Hoosier upbringing.

I have been told that, as of today, I am the only member not supporting the Girl Scout Resolution.

I challenge each of you to examine these matters and to decide carefully whether or not to sign the resolution.


Bob Morris

A Hollywood screenwriter could not have done much better.

Unlike Rep Morris, I was a Girl Scout, back in the day. My mother was a troop leader. My mother was a Hoosier, just like Rep. Morris. She, however, had a mind fully intact as she enjoyed the Girl Scout experience with her daughters. She had three daughters.

I'm no fan of Michelle Obama or her husband but to slam the organization because the First Lady is Honorary President of the Girl Scouts - a traditional title bestowed to all First Ladies for the past eighty years - is a stretch too far.

The benefits of participating in Girl Scouts known: lessons in patriotism, community service, team building skills, leadership opportunities, sales experience, goal setting, outdoor living, etc. No doubt the representative's own two daughters have reaped the rewards of membership in their own troop.

It is hard to believe such warped conspiracy theories dwell in the minds of elected politicians. Morris was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 2010.

HCRP Concerned About Same Sex Marriage

Apparently, the Harris County Republican Party leadership is worried about something that has not occurred, despite the email sent out to Republicans recently. A favorite wedge issue for social conservatives has emerged. Houston mayor Annise Parker attended the national convention for mayors and spoke up for gay marriage rights. This is not a surprising development. She, however, has been clear that she will not pursue the issue as mayor of Houston. Nor will she pursue a change in the Texas constitution as mayor.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker seized the vanguard of a drive by 78 mayors Friday to win the equal rights of marriage for gay couples, donning a national leadership role that contrasts sharply with her low-key demeanor back home.

“This is an issue whose time has come,” Parker told the Houston Chronicle on Friday in Washington, where mayors from New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston and Tacoma, Wash., launched Mayors for the Freedom to Marry.

“I think that the issue is ripe, and mayors are stepping up.”

But the second-term Democrat underscored that she would not abandon her approach in Houston where she’s mayor first, a gay activist second.

“I didn’t ask my fellow mayors to step up and do this — this came from them,” Parker said.

Despite personal support for awarding same-sex couples the legal rights of married heterosexual couples, Parker said it was not her role to fight for an amendment to the Texas Constitution to override the state’s defense of marriage act or to win a ballot referendum to overturn it.

Nor was it her role to push to overturn the city’s voter-approved charter amendment banning same-sex couple benefits for city workers.

Those changes “are going to have to be something that is important to the citizens of Texas and the citizens of Houston who want to step up,” said Parker. “It needs to come from the community.”

Maybe the call for Republicans to call Mayor Parker's office or email her and tell her to keep things as they are was brought on when a small group of gay Houstonians asking for marriage licenses on Valentines Day and were refused. They then marched to City Hall and Mayor Parker spoke to them:

Once at city hall, Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major city, delivered a city proclamation honoring “Freedom to Marry Day,” which was cheered by the group. Parker is one of the chairs of the Mayors Freedom to Marry, a group to win the equal rights of marriage for gay couples.

She said about 90 mayors from around the country are on board with initiative that was started by straight mayors from some of the largest cities, who thought it was “the right thing to do.”

“It’s an issue that is close to my heart and important to me,” Parker said.

Parker has said previously that it was not her role to fight for an amendment to the Texas Constitution to override the state’s defense of marriage act or to win a ballot referendum to overturn it. However, she personally supports awarding same-sex couples the same legal rights as married couples.

“I believe in the principle that all human beings are created equal…I believe in having the ability to fully protect the relationship that I’ve nurtured for 21 years,” she told the group.

This group was participating in an annual event - ten year running - sponsored by Family Marriage Equality Foundation.

It seems to me that Harris County Republicans - myself included - have much larger issues to deal with in this important election year. Sometimes social issues have to take a lesser role when the economic issues are so overwhelming. This is that time. Picking fights over non-existant issues is just silly. And, maybe just cynical. Either way, the Republicans in Harris County should expect better leadership decisions.

This is the email sent by HCRP:

Houston Mayor, Annise Parker,
calls to legalize same-sex marriage

In Washington DC, Mayor Parker announced her support of same-sex marriages to a group of other Mayors. Parker's stance is unacceptable to Texas voters as we already approved a Constitutional Amendment which supports traditional marriage; defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Please call Mayor Parker today at 713-837-0311 and email her at and tell her to support the Constitution and stand up for traditional marriage.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Jared Woodfill
Chairman, Harris County Republican Party

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is Ted Cruz Headed to a Run-Off with Lt Gov Dewhurst?

The results of the latest poll conducted by the Texas Tribune and UT are in. If the results continue to hold, it appears that U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz is headed for a run-off against Lt. Gov Dewhurst in the GOP primary race.

Here’s a summary of the new independent, statewide poll:

•Dewhurst is at 38%, Cruz 27% and the next two candidates are 20 points behind at 7%.
•This means the race is headed for a runoff between Cruz and Dewhurst.
•Despite being in statewide office for 14 years and having universal name ID among GOP primary voters, the Lt. Governor is far from closing in on the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. And Cruz is in a solid second place, and surging strongly.
•A runoff would overwhelmingly favor Cruz, given that the most engaged and conservative voters would dominate a runoff – informed conservative voters are a nightmare for Dewhurst.
•Here’s how UT pollster Jim Henson summarizes the situation: “Cruz is in the advantageous position right now of, for the most part, defending his ideas against Dewhurst’s record. In the last few cycles, that’s been a good place to be, and not to be the person who’s having to defend your actions in government.”
•Henson added these numbers are a “yellow flag” for Dewhurst. And the Texas Tribune noted that Cruz is looming in the rearview mirror of Dewhurst.

This is indeed good news for the Cruz campaign.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where Are the Jobs, President Obama?

Just a few days ago we reached the three year anniversary of President Obama's signing of the huge stimulus spending legislation rammed through by a Democratically controlled Congress in his first month of his administration. We were promised many things for the huge commitment of taxpayer dollars - on of which was all the jobs that would be created. We were even told that unemployment would not surpass 8%, though it did, in fact, hit 10% after that promise.

Look at this chart:

Democrats said their costly plan ($1.2 trillion, including interest) would “save or create” up to 4 million jobs and bring the unemployment rate down to about 6% today. The unemployment rate has not fallen below 8% at any point in the last 36 months. Furthermore, the official unemployment rate does not actually count unemployed people who have given up looking for work.

The above chart shows the “labor force participation rate.” This statistic represents the share of working-age Americans who are either employed or unemployed but looking for work. It is not a pretty picture. Only 63.7% of working-age Americans are currently in the workforce – the lowest in almost 29 years!

To put it another way, 36.3% of working-age Americans do not have a job and are not even looking.

So much for hope and change. What we got instead from this president and his then Democratically controlled Congress was the last gasp of ramped up far left spending and the agenda of government control at any cost. It is a reincarnation of the 1960's liberal spend and tax agenda bankrupt of any real vision for economic recovery other than taking more money from struggling Americans while crying that "the rich" are not paying enough taxes. The fact is, even if President Obama and the Democrats taxed "the rich" at 100% it would still not be enough to eliminate the deficit that they tripled during the three years of the Obama administration.

Many tax increases have been set to rush in after the actual election date in November. Team Obama and the Democrats deliberately did this so as to help the re-election efforts of President Obama. Small business owners, the backbone of our economy, have lived with the dread of approaching rising costs of doing business and have been reluctant to expand their businesses and hire more workers. Who can blame them? Whether it is increased benefits mandates or the rising price of new government regulations put forward, small business owners fear diminished profits for the foreseeable future.

Americans of all walks of life continue to struggle to meet the cost of rising gas prices at the pump, of rising prices at the grocery store, and rising health care costs.  All of this continues due to the folly of Democratic policy decisions. The hope of shovel  ready jobs, where everyone could acquire a job building infrastructure or rebuilding the inner cities was a cruel farce. We've all seen the video of President Obama and his business roundtable advisers laughing about the absence of any such jobs ready for the taking. Easy for them to laugh while the less fortunate weep, I suppose.

While the Democrats laugh and sit on their hands until after the November election, House Republicans have moved forward, continuing to pass job creating legislation that the Democratically controlled Senate refuses to even bring up for debate, let alone vote on. The gridlock that the president likes to rail against - again, for his own re-election prospects -cannot be simply laid at the feet of his loyal opposition. His own party is a willing partner in obstructionism.

Everyone loses in class warfare.

A Presidents Day Message from the RNC

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus and Co-Chairman Sharon Day released the following message commemorating Presidents Day:

“This Presidents Day, we pay tribute to the men who have served as America’s Commander-in-Chief for their leadership and their sacrifice,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “We honor especially the two pillars of the American presidency: George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, whose birthdays we celebrate this month. Under George Washington’s command, our nation was born. Through Lincoln’s perseverance, our republic was saved.

“February is also the birth month of President Ronald Reagan, the conservative visionary who saved America from economic stagnation. Today, America is once again mired in a difficult economy. With families hurting and businesses struggling, it is time we embrace the principles of Ronald Reagan once again.”

“Reagan understood that a thriving free market offers opportunity to all Americans,” said RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day. “He also understood the dangers of a heavy-handed federal government, famously observing that ‘government is not a solution to our problem; government is the problem.’

“When Americans go to the polls in November, they will be looking for a president who ensures government exists to preserve and protect freedom and opportunity. They will seek an individual who, like Lincoln and Washington, will serve selflessly and in the interests of all Americans. I’m confident that, like Reagan, our Republican candidate will do exactly that.”

Sunday, February 19, 2012

True the Vote Needs Your Help in Wisconsin Governor Walker's Recall

My fellow Republicans, do you have 100 minutes to spare this weekend?  That is all the time commitment that it would take to help Wisconsin's Governor Walker survive the recall brought about by bitter liberals in his state. This massive recall drive also includes Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch.

I have enjoyed the pleasure of hearing both of these people deliver speeches in person in the last few months. I heard Lt. Governor Kleefisch speak during the GOPink event in November 2011 in Washington, D.C. I heard Governor Walker speak during an event in Austin in January 2012 hosted by Texas Public Policy Foundation. Both are inspiring public servants and deserve to continue on with their successful leadership of the state of Wisconsin.

I received notice from the True the Vote movement via email that provides an easy and positive way to support the Republicans in Wisconsin under attack by unions and Democrats more interested in keeping the cash register open for their own benefit than the fiscal health of Wisconsin for all its residents.

There is a quickly approaching deadline for the signatures on the recall petitions to be verified as legitimate voters' signatures. You can help from the comfort of your own home. A list will be provided for you to verify and the process will be explained in a simple way.

Here is the appeal from True the Vote:

In an effort to oust Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (along with the Lieutenant Governor and 4 Senators) the union backed group United Wisconsin led a massive drive to fill petition pages by any means necessary, flooding Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board with more signatures than anyone ever expected. When the GAB stated they couldn't process such an influx and planned only to do visual spot checks, True the Vote decided to take action. True the Vote, together with Wisconsin GrandSons of Liberty and We the People of the Republic, launched an effort to engage citizens in an independent, comprehensive audit of recall petition signatures. Why? Because if government can't or won't stand up to such Cloward and Piven-esque strategies, then citizens must.
Fellow Patriots, It’s Go Time!
We need your help! All we ask for is 100 minutes. In 100 minutes you can enter data for approximately 100 petition signatures. Nearly 13,000 volunteers from 49 states have signed up to participate in this recall effort - if we all work together this weekend, we can get the job done. This is the real deal - citizens are taking control - let's stand together!
We Can See the Finish Line

Ours is the only effort with manpower and technology to crowd-source the 152,000+ documents that were meant to drown the GAB and we are 75% of the way done. But WE NEED MORE HELP to get all the signatures entered and THE CLOCK IS TICKING! All challenges in the Walker recall are due on February 27th. We want to post our findings online by February 25th. This timetable requires all signatures to be entered by February 23rd at the latest. Citizens have already found tens of thousands of ineligible names. Here's an example - Donald Duck signed the petition - and his address is a Starbucks. Signup to help identify this kind of fraud!

If we don't complete this audit, United Wisconsin wins by default and the clenched fist tactic of recall petition overwhelm will rage across our nation. Wisconsin is just the beginning. 
Sign up right here right now
Soon after you signup you'll receive an email with your password and instructions - then you'll be ready to go! This audit effort is not about politics - it is about principle. Either we the people are strong enough to stand against union strong-arm tactics or we're not. Government has already given up. The citizens of this country must hold the line. Invest 100 minutes this weekend, help the citizens of Wisconsin finish strong, and take a stand for election integrity!

The process of voting must be preserved with integrity. Can you help?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Felicia Harris Meets Benchmarks for Young Gun Program by NRCC

Good news from the National Republican Congressional Committee. Friday, Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) announced that Felicia Harris, a Republican woman running for Tx Dist 14, is on her way now to becoming a Young Gun. She has advanced as an 'On the Radar' candidate and is a step closer to achieving 'Young Gun' status.

Determination, leadership, and a strong dedication to the conservative fight to take back our country are some of the reasons why Felicia Harris earned the accomplishment. Her convictions and her will to rejuvenate prosperity during these tough economic times makes her the most viable conservative candidate and the one to watch in this upcoming election cycle.

Here is the statement released by Rep Sessions:

Washington --- The National Republican Congressional Committee today announced Felicia Harris as an 'On the Radar' candidate, the important second step in the 'Young Guns' program. Founded during the 2007-2008 election cycle by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), the 'Young Guns' program is a Member-driven effort that is the primary method for recruiting strong candidates for both open-seat and challenger races. Harris is running for Texas' 14th Congressional District.

We are looking forward to working with Felicia Harris, who has already proven herself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the 'Young Guns' program that will position her campaign for victory," said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX). "Felicia Harris' dedication and experience enables her to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that Texas families and small businesses know has failed."

The 'Young Guns' program encourages candidates who have proven their ability to meet crucial campaign benchmarks to develop their campaigns further in order to achieve victory on Election Day. In achieving 'On the Radar' status, Felicia Harris has met organizational and fundraising benchmarks and has already begun to establish herself as a strong contender. Harris will now work toward even higher goals that will help her advance in the 'Young Guns' program and build an effective, winning campaign.

Throughout her life, Felicia Harris has always kept the lessons she learned from her parents at the top of her mind – hard work, perseverance, and adaptability. After settling in Pearland more than a decade ago, she became active in her community and, to help guide the booming growth of the city, was appointed to the Pearland Economic Development Corporation in 2003 and 2005. In 2006, Harris was elected to her first term on the Pearland city council and was resoundingly re-elected in 2009 to serve a second 3-year term. Felicia Harris is a limited government conservative who believes it is time for a new generation of conservative leadership that will have the courage to empower and trust in American families to find the best way forward for our nation.

With the second set of rigorous benchmarks met in order and achieve 'On the Radar' status, Felicia Harris will now work toward even higher goals that will help her advance in the 'Young Guns' program and build an effective, winning campaign.

This is the congressional district in Texas now represented by Rep Ron Paul, who has announced his retirement.

Obama Has Failed to Fix Washington

It has been Obama's habit to blame Republicans for his failure to bring those in Washington together. He began blaming Congressional Republicans - those in the House in particular - after the GOP took the majority in the 2010 elections. You may remember that Obama admitted he took a shellacking then. It was due to the fact that Americans were fed up with his mismanagement of taxpayer money and out of control spending in Washington.

Even the liberal host of NBC's Today Show asks Vice President Biden that if Barack Obama couldn't bring everyone together and "fix" Washington as he promised to do as candidate Obama in 2008, "then why should we give him another chance?" Why, indeed?

Here is a video produced by the Republican National Party on what the candidate then promised:

Failed promises. When is President Obama held responsible for his failures?

Friday, February 17, 2012

HCRP Chairman Woodfill Responds to RPT Conclusion on Loss of Districts

And, the Friday afternoon update on the Texas redistricting drama has been received. Harris County Republican Party chairman Jared Woodfill wants his mailing list receipients to know that he is not ok with a deal that would cause the loss of one Republican held district in Harris County, contrary to what was in the last updated email from the Republican Party of Texas.

Here we go:

Harris County Republicans STILL Set To Lose 2 State House Seats
Countless Harris County Republicans have been sending a clear message, "Don't compromise with the Democrats and give away our Republican State House seats." The RPT recently sent out the following quote (contained within their release):
"...Chairman Munisteri informed the Attorney General's legal team that if HD 144 numbers could not be improved, that at the very least it was both the Harris County GOP's and RPT's preference that their team fight to maintain the numbers that they proposed. Many other Harris County Republicans have expressed the same opinion, including Party Chairman Jared Woodfill,"
This is not my opinion. In fact, I have never, nor will I EVER, agree to any plan which costs Harris County Republican State House seats. Fortunately, along with many of you, other Harris County Republican leaders are joining this chorus.
"As a long-time State Representative from District 144 (one of the State Rep districts which will be lost under the compromised plan), I'm dismayed that we are giving in to the Democrats. We have fought too hard, and for too long in this County to now submit to pressure from the left. Republicans in house district 144, as well as all of Harris County, deserve better."
Robert Talton, HCRP Redistricting Chairman, HCRP Legal Counsel and former State Rep., HD 144
No amount of legal double speak or political rhetoric will change this fact: The compromised plan will cost Harris County two Republican State House seats and this is UNACCEPTABLE.
I am also sensitive to the fact that similar struggles are going on around the state.
I look forward to continue working with Attorney General Abbott and Chairman Munisteri (as I have for many years), to defeat the Democrats in November, but please remember, victory will only come if the lines are properly drawn in the first place.
I implore Attorney General Abbott and Chairman Munisteri to NOT compromise on any map that costs Harris County Republicans seats. Please e-mail them at (, and respectfully request that they oppose any map which will cost Republicans seats in Harris County.
Fighting the Democrats is enough of a clarion battle. Do we, as Republicans have to publicly fight each other?

Bettancourt: Three GOP Seats in Harris Co May Be Lost in Redistricting Battle

Paul Bettancourt sent out a good recap from the Republican Party of Texas concerning the latest in the redistricting drama and the actions of the three judge panel in San Antonio. Bettancourt is the Texas GOP redistricting representative. He confirms that Harris County will undoubtedly, at this point anyway, lose one GOP held seat and the Texas Democrats are trying mightily to take two others in the process.

On Tuesday, February 14th, the San Antonio three-judge panel hearing the redistricting court case held what is presumably a final hearing, at which all parties outlined their positions relative to proposed redistricting maps. The Republican Party of Texas has provided a general advisory (see link) which will give you a summation of overall events. However, this special joint advisory will focus on Harris County districts.

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri attended Tuesday’s hearing in person, as did Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart. Also, as many of you know former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Texas GOP Redistricting Committee representative Paul Bettencourt has been in regular contact with many of the parties involved.

To understand the court proceedings, it is important to acknowledge the 25 year Extension of the voting rights act during the Bush Administration in 2006 is at the heart of the conflict over Texas Legislative redistricting playing out in the San Antonio courtroom. The Legislatively drawn State Representative lines have five Texas State House districts being the sole reason that a U.S. Department of Justice representative testified Tuesday that the DOJ's position is the manner in which these five Texas State House districts were drawn, was in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

One of these five districts was Texas House District 149, in the southwest part of Harris County and currently represented by Democrat Hubert Vo. This assertion, combined with the DOJ's position that HD 149 is a majority-minority district, required that district to remain Democratic under the U.S. Supreme Court's guidelines that the legislative-drawn districts can be redrawn if the Court found there was a "not insubstantial" violation of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. In practical terms, this means that HD 149 was not a Democratic district which could have been eliminated from the Harris County Delegation under the auspices of the Federal Voting Rights Act.

Therefore this means that instead of combining Hubert Vo and Scott Hochberg’s districts, the only alternative being considered by all three court members is combining Beverly Woolley's district with Jim Murphy's. This means that under every anticipated scenario - Harris County will lose at least one Republican State House district.

Again, all of the plaintiffs' groups argued that Representative Ken Legler's district (HD 144) needed to be comprised of a majority of SSVR (Spanish Surname Voter Registration). Since HD 144 is majority-minority, it also is prohibited from retrogressing. This means that under federal law, you cannot reduce the minority population of the district, and it also means that the majority Latino population must have an opportunity to pick its candidate of choice (as that is defined under federal law). The legislative map drew lines which we believe gave Representative Legler a substantial chance of winning HD 144 this November. However, the San Antonio three-judge panel threw out the lines for HD 144 and re-drew it in such a way that the Democrats would be expected to win the seat. In addition, Judge Smith in a dissent from the other two federal judge’s ruling basically maintained the traditional area district lines in an alternative plan published online.

However, recently the Attorney General drew proposed lines for HD 144 which maintained the district as majority-Latino, and with an SSVR number of 48%. Under these lines, the district leans Democratic and there is the significant chance for the seat to be lost. However, it is at least theoretically possible in a good Republican year with major effort to retain the seat. Both the Harris County Republican Party and the State Republican Party are committed to providing resources to Representative Legler or whoever the GOP nominee is to retain HD 144 under this district configuration. However, during the hearing - one set of Democratic groups proposed district lines which would increase HD 144's SSVR to 50%, and the overall Latino population to 68%. Another set of plaintiffs proposed district lines with a SSVR of 55% and a Latino population of 75%. Under these map configurations, it would be extremely unlikely that Representative Legler could be re-elected. After consultation with Paul Bettencourt, Chairman Munisteri informed the Attorney General's legal team that if HD 144 numbers could not be improved, that at the very least it was both the Harris County GOP's and RPT's preference that their team fight to maintain the numbers that they proposed. Many other Harris County Republicans have expressed the same opinion, including Party Chairman Jared Woodfill, and the message is clear. If there is no agreement between both sides in the lawsuit, then the three-judge panel will make the final decision and it remains unclear at this time what their decision will be.

The bottom line is that the Democrats Plaintiffs are trying to eliminate THREE Republican Harris County seats in the Texas House including an attack on even Representative Bill Callegari’s HD 130 that has received almost no media coverage to date. Currently, the Attorney General's office is trying to limit the damage to one seat - the certain loss resulting from the Hubert Vo situation in HD 149, as described above. That means a tie or 12/12 split in the Harris County Delegation only if HD 144 can be held by Representative Legler or any future Republican Nominee.

Deputy Attorney General for Defense Litigation, David Mattax, did an excellent job in refuting the challenge to Representative Callegari's district and also outlined to the Court his belief that House District 144 (as proposed) is legally compliant and does already qualify as a minority-opportunity district without any additional changes.

RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri, in commenting on the hearing's events, said: "I applaud General Abbott's legal team for the excellent presentation they made Tuesday in trying to get lines drawn more closely to the legislative maps than the original maps put out by the three-judge panel. County Clerk Stan Stanart went the extra mile for all county voters - appearing as a witness at Tuesday’s hearing as the only County Election Chief in Texas that said a primary could be run as early as April 24th. Former State Party Treasurer Paul Bettencourt has been extremely helpful over the past couple of days in providing his redistricting expertise. I do not know if the ultimate result will be what we want, but it will not be for a lack of trying."

The hearing concluded on Wednesday. The Democrats continued to attempt to make House District 144 more Democratic, but they offered no new arguments.

Our Pain at the Gas Pump Rises

While the continuing drip, drip, drip of the price to Americans for the rising price at the gas pump, the oil and gas industry presents a story of ideological political theory gone wrong.

The energy sector is crucial to our economic growth, and high energy costs have a major impact on job creation. We have an abundant supply of natural resources in America that we must use to meet our nation's energy needs. We need policies that allow us to harness our own resources, develop new sources of energy, and create jobs here at home.

Over the past 220 years, America has created the greatest economic success story in the history of the world. Our innovative society has dramatically improved the length and quality of life for billions of people around the globe. This same ingenuity must be unleashed to meet our energy and employment needs. House Republicans are taking immediate action through our American Energy Initiative by passing bipartisan legislation to expand energy exploration and production. This will help create American jobs, grow our economy, and enhance our security

House Republicans formally introduced the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7), which will support American job creation by removing government barriers to long-term economic growth, particularly in the production of American-made energy. The bill lowers government barriers to responsible production of American-made energy and uses the revenues to repair and improve America’s transportation infrastructure, which is critical to our economy’s ability to function. By lowering government barriers to American energy production and reforming the process by which Washington funds infrastructure projects, the bill will support the creation of more than one million private-sector jobs, lower gas prices, and repair our nation’s roads and bridges – with no earmarks.

You may have noticed the price of gas at the pump is rising again, as you fill up your own car or truck. The price of gas was $1.89 per gallon on the day President Obama was inaugurated. Now experts in the industry are predicting over $4.00 per gallon pricing in the coming months. Some spots are already experiencing $4.00 per gallon prices.

f you’ve filled up your gas tank recently, chances are you’ve noticed gas prices are already going up again. In fact, the Los Angeles Times says prices at the pump are rising quickly and could reach “some of the highest levels ever this year.” Republicans have a plan to address high gas prices – and create more than a million new private-sector jobs in the process: the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act.

“Gasoline prices could soon hit $4 a gallon,” reports ABC News. These high fuel costs are a drag on our still struggling economy, hurting families and making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers. To help ease prices, ABC highlights the need for an “increase in domestic gasoline production” to “lessen U.S. dependency on more expensive imported fuel.” The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act removes government barriers that keep that from happening.

For example, the Republican plan requires approval of the popular Keystone XL pipeline which will create tens of thousands of jobs and carry oil from both Alberta and the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

The bill also lifts President Obama’s moratorium on energy exploration and requires the administration to move forward on lease sales in the most resource-rich offshore areas. It opens a small portion of ANWR that was first set aside in 1980 for oil and natural gas development. And it opens up new western areas for oil shale production, and creates a clear set of rules to promote investment in oil shale.

Altogether these reforms will create more than a million new private-sector jobs. They will also help address rising gas prices which are reaching higher levels faster than ever before.

House Republicans have a four part plan to increase energy production and create more than a million jobs along the way:

* Lifting President Obama’s drilling ban, requiring the administration to lease offshore areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources. Louisiana State University professor Dr. Joseph R. Mason estimates that unlocking these resources will create more than one million new American jobs;
* Opening a small portion of ANWR’s 19 million acres in the North Slope, an area set aside by Congress and President Jimmy Carter for oil and natural gas development. Alaskan leaders and job creators told the House Natural Resources Committee “development of ANWR” would “create tens of thousands of jobs”;
* Approving the Keystone XL pipeline supported by a bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate, governors, labor unions, editorial boards, and a majority of the American people. President Obama rejected this project which would create tens of thousands of new jobs and – according to National Journal – help “minimize the odds” of future gasoline price spikes; and
* Setting clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promoting shale technology research and development. The Heritage Foundation says the amount of energy “available through oil shale is staggering” – “six times Saudi Arabia’s current proven oil reserves,” according to the Natural Resources Committee. More energy production will help address rising prices at the pump.

This administration continues to be aided by the Democratically controlled Senate in its fantasy of destroying the American oil and gas industry. Fossil fuel is the enemy to them and some sort of pie in the sky dreams are the norm in their breathless anticipation of a world run on so-called green energy. Seen as out of step with most Americans, the all of the above approach makes the most sense in moving ahead to meet our country's energy needs. All of the above - oil and gas drilling and production, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, electric, everything.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is now over $100 again. Here is a snapshot of the closing price of oil over the past month as it ended Thursday at $102.29:

Washington debates and hesitates. The rest of us continue to scramble to pay the bills. Subscribing to the all of the above approach would ease our pain at the pump.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Obama Passes the Hat in Hollywood

After touring a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin Wednesday morning, having been met at the airport by the state's Republican governor whom the President has weighed in on over union policy decisions (and Governor Walker is fighting a recall) Barack Obama left the crowd of the little people and jetted off to the fabulous world of Los Angeles.

Hurray for Hollywood! They like him. They really, really like him!

When President Obama arrived Wednesday evening in Hollywood for a pair of fundraisers, 1,000 supporters greeted him at the home of a soap opera producer. Foo Fighters jammed a live set. Actor George Clooney was among the 80 guests who joined the president for a $35,800-a-plate dinner.

If Obama is suffering any lingering Hollywood blowback after his administration failed to get behind a pair of high-profile Internet piracy bills championed by the entertainment industry, it wasn’t apparent.

“I’m going to need you,” Obama told the larger crowd. “You’re going to carry this thing like you did in 2008.”

The two Tinseltown events — which kicked off a series of seven fundraisers for the president over the next three days — were expected to reap more than $3 million. They also could serve as a statement that Obama’s fundraising machine won’t be slowed despite industry frustration after the demise of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act.

“Anything we can do to help,” said Andy Spahn, a political consultant to DreamWorks chief Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of Obama’s top campaign bundlers and staunchest Hollywood supporters.

“The events are sold out,” Spahn said of Wednesday’s concert and dinner at the home of Bradley and Colleen Bell, producers of “The Bold and the Beautiful.” “I expect the president to continue to enjoy strong support.”

Obama’s three-state trip offers another sign that his campaign is entering a new phase as he cranks his fundraising apparatus into high gear. Obama will also solicit funds in Corona Del Mar, Calif., San Francisco and Seattle. The stops are Obama’s first fundraising appearances outside Washington since he announced last week that he would embrace a super PAC dedicated to raising additional money.

Obama’s campaign has worked hard in recent months to keep his big-money Hollywood backers in the fold.

He's counting on his pals in Hollywood to help him win again. You remember all the coolness from the 2008 campaign coming from the artists and performers, don't you? And, let's face it. In Hollywood, cool is the goal.

And, oh yeah. Drivers on the Westside? Just get the hell off of the streets, o.k.?

Previous visits by Obama have caused severe traffic jams across Los Angeles, prompting outrage from frustrated motorists. The Los Angeles Police Department urged drivers to avoid major Westside streets Wednesday night and Thursday morning, when Obama is scheduled to travel to a fundraiser at the Corona Del Mar home of real estate developer Jeff Stack and his wife, Nancy. He is then scheduled to travel to San Francisco and Seattle.

Some folks in Orange County, however, were not so besotted with President Obama's visit to collect some campaign cash.

There was a mixed welcome for President Barack Obama as he kicked off his second day of campaign fund-raising along the West Coast.

Mr. Obama, who is poised to raise millions for his re-election effort this week at a series of high-end events, was greeted by protesters as his motorcade wound its way to a private residence in Corona Del Mar in Orange County, south of L.A.

The demonstrators held anti-Obama signs, including a large banner that said “Protect Religious Freedom” in a reference to the recent White House controversy over contraception.

Others spotted by a pool reporter traveling with the president hoisted signs that pointed out high gas prices or said things like “Evict Obama” or “Remove the skunk from the White House.” One home along the motorcade route had a sign staked in its manicured lawn that said, “Bye bye Obama,” while several children played in the yard.

From Orange County, President Obama continues on to San Francisco Thursday night and then Washington state on Friday.

The 1% in the Democratic Party is alive and well in California and standing behind this president as he lobs dialogue that can only be described as class warfare among the giant marble pillars and vaulted ceilings of the cool people.

Texas Primary May Not Happen Until End of May

It looks like the three judge panel in San Antonio - consisting of two Democrats and one Republican (one Democrat the brother in law of a Texas State Senator) - will have the final word on the state's re-districting map. Despite the fact that Texas is a bright red state, the Democrats will have the final word, thanks in large part to the lawsuits filed and the assistance of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

The latest update concerning the primary date and re-districting for the State of Texas from the Republican Party of Texas:

Wednesday afternoon, the San Antonio three-judge panel indicated that the April unified primary election will be postponed and that it was probable (but not a certainty) that the new primary date will be May 29th. As previously reported, on Tuesday, county clerks and elections administrators testified that they need 88 days of lead time to prepare for a primary election from the date that new district maps are issued. Today at the hearing, the Texas Secretary of State's office indicated that this timeline could be shrunk to 77 days and reduced even further if military ballots were accepted for a short period of time after the primary. Consequently, new maps need to be in place sometime between early and mid-March in order to maintain the May 29th primary date.

Chairman Munisteri discussed with the Court the problems a May 29th primary creates for the party's delegate selection process for the RPT State Convention. He reiterated that it is impossible to comply with the current Texas Election Code as it pertains to delegate selection, with the primary on May 29th and the State Convention in the first week of June. He strongly urged the Court to issue an order that would allow the State Republican Executive Committee to adopt a new delegate selection process which varies from the Election Code. He told the court that if there is sufficient time for planning, that in consultation with party leadership, he had several different options in mind which: would allow district conventions to still occur on schedule, allow for a May 29th primary, and still allow for a convention the next week. In general terms, he suggested different options which would completely de-couple the selection of delegates to the State Convention from the primary election.

The Court indicated it was very likely that they would grant such a request from the State Party, provided it received U.S. Department of Justice pre-clearance. Chairman Munisteri made the case that DOJ pre-clearance is not required in a case where the changes are made as a result of court order. However, the Court indicated that they thought it was a safer route to obtain pre-clearance. A Department of Justice attorney testified that his office would expedite such a request and anticipated that the approval time could be reduced from a couple of months to a couple of weeks, thereby allowing the change to occur.

The Court instructed both political parties to consult on a new schedule for a May 29th primary. It also invited the state parties to put forth separate proposals as to how they would select delegates and conduct their conventions. Chairman Munisteri is hoping to hold a telephone conference with members of the Republican Party of Texas Officials Committee tomorrow to go over various options. He plans within the next few days, to have a separate telephone conference with the entire SREC to go over recommendations from the Officials Committee. It is his hope that a consensus plan can be agreed upon by the SREC. If this is accomplished, he will distribute this plan to all County Chairmen to obtain their input, and then once a final plan is agreed upon - to propose the plan to the three-judge panel in San Antonio.

It is the Chairman's goal to develop a process around existing Senatorial and County conventions so as to minimize inconvenience and logistical problems. It remains his objective to keep the State Republican Convention scheduled as planned during the first week of June. We will provide further information over the next few days as to developments in this regard.

Also on Wednesday - Chairman Munisteri, RPT lawyers and staff spent another day in the courtroom listening to final arguments in the redistricting case. It appears as though there is an agreement between the Attorney General and the Democrats on a new Texas State Senate map. As soon as we have full details, we will provide them to you - but it is expected that the final lines will make it possible for a Republican to win the district in controversy, SD 10, although not a certainty.

At the time the hearing concluded, General Abbott's team had not reached agreement with all the plaintiffs on all districts pertaining to the Texas House map. With one set of plaintiffs, there is still a battle over Republican districts HD 144 (currently held by Ken Legler), HD 117 (currently held by John Garza) and HD 81 (currently held by Tryon Lewis). Another set of plaintiffs wanted to change the lines of another 30 districts on the State House map in an even larger grab for seats.

With regards to the Congressional districts (discussion of which took up most of the day) the prime battleground appears to be over CD 33, 25, 23, 35 and 27. Of particular concern to the Republican Party of Texas is CD23, which is represented by Congressman Quico Canseco. General Abbott's map is roughly equivalent to how that district was configured before redistricting, while the Democrats are pushing for an increase of Democrat voters there.

There was also a big argument with the Democrats over CD 25, currently represented by Lloyd Doggett. Travis County and other Democratic plaintiffs are arguing that the district should not be converted to a Republican district, since in their opinion the district is protected under the Voting Rights Act - General Abbott's team disputes this. There are also several different proposals regarding Congressional District 33 in Arlington. Additionally, Congressman Joe Barton's legal team (led by former State Representative Joe Nixon) argues that the configuration of that district in the Attorney General's compromise proposal is not allowable under current legal standard. At the end of the hearing today, there was also no agreement on the Texas Congressional map.

Chairman Munisteri issued the following statement regarding today's proceedings. "I am disappointed that the San Antonio three-judge panel again delayed the Texas Primary Election. The Secretary of State's witness today indicated that if the panel would issue maps within the next few days - that an April 24th primary could still be accomplished. However, now that it is apparent that April is out, the RPT will continue to fight to oppose any further slippage in the primary schedule. We will work hard with our Party leadership to come up with a plan to preserve our State convention."

At this juncture, it appears that there will not be an agreement between all parties regarding all districts. Therefore, at this time, it appears that the three-judge panel will have to decide where the final lines are for the Texas House and Congressional districts.

The press release also continues to encourage the local precinct chairs to sit tight and not change plans for an earlier district convention date. Yet.

Special Advisory to all Republican county chairmen, precinct chairmen, and party activists from Chairman Munisteri - I am hopeful that the SREC will come up with a plan for the three-judge panel that will still allow district conventions on the date scheduled. Therefore it is our advice that you not cancel your plans to go forward with district conventions until otherwise instructed. I am hopeful that within the next week or so, that we will have a telephone conference with all county chairs to provide them more information on any proposed plans. The RPT is committed to working with each of you to come up with a workable solution to this unprecedented challenge. Thank you again for your patience and hard work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Felicia Harris for Congress - District 14

Texas Rep Ron Paul is not running for re-election. His District 14 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is now being pursued by 14 candidates seeking to replace him. Only one is a Democrat - former Congressman Nick Lampson.

I have a suggestion: How about considering Felicia Harris for the seat? She is a current Pearland City Council member and an attorney. My friend David Jennings wrote about her not too long ago.

I get a lot of emails from candidates and the Republican party on all levels because not only am I an active participant in politics, I'm a now former Republican womens club (PAC) president. Republican women are the workers in the party and we are an independent thinking diverse group. One fact we all pull together on is the need for more conservative women in Congress.

So, today when I received an email from Felicia Harris' campaign, I took a closer look at her website. I like what I read there.

This is not my congressional district. I do not live in Pearland, I live in Houston. I do, however, encourage those in the district to consider supporting Felicia Harris for Congress. She has some savvy looking video on the website, and that is a good sign. This one is timely as a recent network poll declared Chicago as America's most corrupt city.

As Ms. Harris says in the video - "The Chicago way is the wrong way for Texas."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gimmicks Galore in the Campaigning Obama's Fiscal Budget

The annual charade of the President presenting a budget to Congress has now been carried out. The President is obligated to do this. We all know it is a sham exercise. This budget is particularly cynical on the part of Barack Obama. Clearly, he is running for re-election and feels that the latest numbers on the economy point to a slowly improving picture. The fact is, Barack Obama and his failed economic policies have made it all worse. Our recovery is slow to non-existent in many areas of the economy and he continues to push for renewed class warfare to get himself another four years in office.

This year we note that President Obama again fails to make good on an early promise in his administration's first term: On February 23, 2009, Barack Obama "pledged" to cut the deficit in half in his first term of office. We are now in 2012 and we all know that it hasn't happened and will not happen in the foreseeable future.

As a matter of fact, President Obama admits to a voter that he sees no light at the end of the tunnel for another year or two. The writer of this letter is unemployed and has been for some time. He was questioning President Obama about how long he thought it will take for the economy to pick up enough for jobs creation.

A letter provided to Washington Secrets from Obama to a long-unemployed Portland, Maine carpenter pulls back the curtain of economic hope to reveal the truth about the stagnant economy. “I won’t lie to you,” Obama penned in hand to Charles Oliver in October. “It will probably take another year or two to fully dig our way out of this hole.”

Oliver had written the president in June to ask: “Are we as Americans going to be alright?” Answered Obama, “Yes, we will be ok. Because America has gotten through tough times before, and because of good people like you.”

While happy for the response, Oliver told us that he hasn’t seen any of the recovery the president and media have been heralding. “He’s out campaigning saying everything is coming up roses. He’s a lying SOB,” Oliver said of Obama, who has tried to temper his hopefulness with cautions that the recovery could hit speed bumps.

As much as President Obama would like to make it all the fault of Republicans in Congress that his policies are not enacted with a fierce fight, the fact is that there are two contrasting political and economic philosophies playing out between the two parties in office. The far left liberals are a dying breed and Barack Obama may be ushering in the final death knell. We can only hope so.

This budget is standard raising taxes, demanding new fees, new regulations and increased spending. There is no entitlement reform, which consumes 2/3 of our national budget.

The only thing that you can be certain will become law in this budget if Mr. Obama is re-elected is the monumental tax increase. His plan would raise tax rates across the board on anyone or any business owners making more than $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples. These are the 3% of taxpayers that Mr. Obama says aren't paying their fair share, though that 3% pays more in income tax than the rest of the other 97%.

Despite its tax increases, the White House still predicts that the annual budget deficit will be $901 billion in 2013 and never fall below $575 billion in any of the next 10 years. Democrats denounced George W. Bush for allowing so much red ink, but his deficits averaged only 3.5% of GDP if you don't count 2001 but do include the 10.1% of 2009. Mr. Obama's deficits have averaged 9.1% of GDP if you count 2009, as you should because his $800 billion stimulus passed that February.

The political reality of budgeting is that voters should only believe what they can see, which is what politicians are proposing now. Promises of future spending cuts are a mirage. Mr. Obama needs to point to the mirage because his fiscal record is the worst in modern American history.

The budget is full of accounting gimmicks - the very kind that candidate Barack Obama was so quick and loud about criticizing George W. Bush's administration for producing. In particular, the Obama budget even claims savings for the costs that won't occur from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were never budgeted for in the first place.

Even the AP finds gimmicks. It led off with billions saved from the wars, as claimed by the Obama administration, that will now go to infrastructure spending. No such savings will exist.

This will be a tough re-election for Barack Obama, even with all the unnecessary chaos self-inflicted by the Republicans running against him. This is a man who feels entitled to his own wants and he wants to be re-elected. With his epic record of failures in office, waging nothing more than a vicious campaign based on good old-fashioned class warfare is his only shot.

Monday, February 13, 2012

An Update to the Dualing GOP Emails on TX Re-Districting

And, today brings a new email from Harris County Republican Party chairman Woodfill concerning his plea for Republicans to call or email Attorney General Abbott and Republican Party of Texas chairman Munisteri. He says he wants a truce in the war on words and ends with a renewed plea for Republicans to contact the before mentioned gentlemen.

Here it is:

Harris County Republicans Set To Lose
State House Seats Under Current Map

We have to live with these lines for the next ten years,
so we must get them right now

On Saturday, I sent out an urgent e-mail praising Attorney General, Greg Abbott, and RPT Chairman, Steve Munisteri, for their efforts and asked you to send them an e-mail about the proposed redistricting maps, and their negative impact on Harris County Republicans. Since my correspondence, there has been much false information distributed, so please allow me to respectfully present the facts:

1) The Texas Legislature's original maps had the Democrats losing 1 State House seat. Given the number of Republican votes which come from Harris County, this was a modest victory, but acceptable.

2) After the Democrats sued, a three judge panel in San Antonio submitted a map representing a net 2 seat loss for Harris County Republicans in the State House.

3) The United States Supreme Court reversed the three Judge panel and instructed them to go back and adhere much more closely to the original maps submitted by the Legislature.

4) On Monday, Feb 6th, Attorney General Abbot produced a map which some of the Democrat plaintiffs agreed to wherein Harris County remains at a net minus 2 seats, and more losses likely through the decade. The RPT sent out a release announcing that, Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri issued the following statement, relative to these developments. "I believe these lines are a substantial improvement overall when compared to the maps initially released by the San Antonio three-judge panel overseeing redistricting. These proposed maps do have some substantial differences from the originally drawn legislative maps." Chairman Munisteri went on to say, "I am hopeful that the San Antonio three-judge panel will rule in a timely fashion on these new proposed maps, so that our candidates can have certainty and so that we can move forward with a unified primary." It appears that Chairman Munisteri joins Attorney General Abbott in supporting the proposed maps. Like Chairman Munisteri, I also want a quick resolution, but not at the expense of a PROPER resolution, and any resolution must contain fair lines for Harris County Republicans.

5) On Feb 9th, the RPT sent out a release regarding a Feb 14th hearing in San Antonio. It states, "This hearing will be critically important in determining the future of the unified April Primary and RPT will be strongly represented at the hearing by Chairman Steve Munisteri and our legal team."

Given the fact that a) Attorney General Abbott and Chairman Munisteri appear to support the compromised lines; which costs Harris County at least 2 Republican seats, and b) the RPT says, "...RPT will be strongly represented at the hearing by Chairman Steve Munisteri and our legal team." I thought it wise to send a respectful e-mail requesting Republicans contact these two leaders; asking them to not allow Harris County Republicans to lose any State House seats.

Unfortunately, my reasonable request has been met with finger pointing, reassigning blame and simply passing the buck.

Well, let the war of words end here. I again applaud Attorney General Abbott and Chairman Munisteri for their tireless efforts on behalf of our Party. At the same time, they both agreed that the compromised maps are acceptable. As the Harris County Republican Party Chairman, Republican House seat losses in this County are not acceptable to me.

My position remains: any map which costs Harris County Republicans at least 2 seats is unacceptable. Let's continue to fight and let the San Antonio three judge panel do what they will. If they refuse to accept the Supreme Court mandate, then we will appeal again. However, if we accept a compromised deal with the wild-eyed left, then we lose our right to appeal. Remember, we will have to live with these lines for the next ten years so we must get them right now. Then we can be about the business of defeating the Democrats in November.

Please e-mail Attorney General Abbott at ( and Chairman Munisteri at ( and tell them to fight against any map which will cost Harris County Republican seats. As a long-time County Chairman, I have, on countless occasions, solicited opinions from Harris County Republicans. As a result, I have welcomed thousands of phone calls and e-mails. As state-wide leaders, I am sure they feel the same way about hearing from their constituents.

Thanks for your service to the HCRP.

Let me make this point perfectly clear: this political blogger is a past president of a federated Republican womens club (PAC) here in Houston and I am an activist. I have some skin in this game, especially as my own state district is up in the air as I type this. This is nothing personal against any chairman. This is pointing out the utter confusion by all parties presenting information to local voters. If those of us actively tracking political information are confused, how in the world does a casual political observer stay informed?