Thursday, August 29, 2013

Obama Delivers Speech Commemorating the March on Washington

Imagine a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the powerful speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr on the National Mall.  Imagine a crowd of about 20,000 present to hear remarks delivered by President Obama and former leaders in the Civil Rights movement at the Jefferson Monument, including the grown children of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sounds appropriate, right?  The first bi-racial American President should note the passing of time and the marker best remembered of that era.  Here's the problem - it appears there was a no Republicans allowed policy in place.  Though some now lamely proclaim that top Republican leaders turned down invitations to participate, after the slight is noticed and remarked upon, the fact is that invitations were not issued in a timely fashion for everyone to participate.  For instance, we learn that invitations were sent out to Republicans only 2 to 4 weeks ago.  Speaker of the House Boehner had already committed to an event honoring MLK out of town.  No serious person expects invitations to be accepted by political leaders on such short notice, especially when most are out of town and meeting with voters in their own districts during a political recess.

No doubt many will read pieces like this in the Washington Post and think to themselves that those mean Republicans just don't care about black people or their historical struggles.  The press is nothing without righteous indignation for perceived slights to their guy and his political party.

There is no answer, however, as to why Senator Tim Scott, the only black serving in the U.S. Senate, was not invited.  Does a Republican from South Carolina not count?  No answer on the exclusion of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas or Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, either.  How about the newly declared Republican from the State of Louisiana, State Senator

Elbert Guillory?  

The stories of black Republicans are just as important and worthy of celebration as those of Democrats.  The Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. was not one to divide using political affiliation.  The fact is, at that time, most blacks voted Republican.  King and his father before him did.  Dr. Condoleezza Rice grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and lived through the deaths of some little friends who were killed in a bombing of their church.  

How about Mitt Romney?  Was he invited?  His father marched in that famous march.  Would he be as worthy of mention as the liberal white marchers, back in the day?

You get the picture.  An event that liberals are trying to prove was not political was, in fact, just that.  This is what happens when the top of the leadership governs on purely party lines.  This president doesn't work with those who oppose his agenda and is quite vocal about any opposition he receives.  

I didn't watch the speech delivered by President Obama or any of the festivities, frankly.  I knew what it would turn into.  Here is the speech transcript, which I read.  As I knew would happen, he takes the opportunity to bash Republicans in Congress.  He speaks against using politics to divide, though that is his own practice.  He also speaks of the current plight of black Americans - high unemployment, for instance, and a growing distance between lower, middle and upper classes in our economy.  He doesn't, however, take any responsibility for that truth.  Higher numbers of black Americans are measured as he has been President. Unemployment of black teens is at its highest level.   

Black celebrities were given the spotlight, as this is how liberals win public opinion - through the culture and celebrity obsession.  So, Oprah and Jamie Foxx were allowed speeches.  It is a bit much for Foxx to compare the past struggles of blacks and the present generation by comparisons with today's Kanye and Jay Z.  Really?  This is the best he had to use?

The March on Washington was used by Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote equality through jobs and employment opportunities.  This could have been an opportunity to promote the coming together of all Americans for others yet that doesn't fit the pattern of this administration.  

Former Presidents Carter and Clinton were there.  Former Presidents GHW Bush and GW Bush were unable to attend due to health concerns.  GW Bush did release a respectful statement through his Presidential Library.

Friday, August 23, 2013

DOJ Files Lawsuit Against Texas Voter ID Law

Thursday U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and former Texas Attorney General, released the following statement responding to the announcement that the Obama Administration will challenge Texas’ constitutional voter ID law in court:
“Facts mean little to a politicized Justice Department bent on inserting itself into the sovereign affairs of Texas and a lame-duck Administration trying to turn our state blue.
“As Texans we reject the notion that the federal government knows what’s best for us. We deserve the freedom to make our own laws and we deserve not to be insulted by a Justice Department committed to scoring cheap political points.”

Attorney General Greg Abbott, now a candidate for Governor of Texas, responded:
 “Just days after the U.S. Department of Justice arrested a Texas woman for illegally voting five times in the same election, the Obama administration is suing to stop Texas’commonsense voter ID law,” said Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott upon learning of yet another federal lawsuit challenging Texas Voter ID and Redistricting Laws.The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that voter ID laws do not suppress legal votes, but do help prevent illegal votes.
“The Obama administration continues to ignore the 10th Amendment and repeated Supreme Court decisions upholding states’ authority to enforce voter identification and redistricting laws.
“Also, by challenging the 2011 redistricting plans, Eric Holder is trying to resurrect a law that was never implemented and no longer exists — and then sue it. The 2011 redistricting plans have been replaced with plans that largely mimic plans drawn by three federal judges,” Abbott said. 
 Texas Senator Ted Cruz stated:
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, accused Attorney General Eric Holder of “working to undermine the integrity of our elections” in response to a Justice Department lawsuit that would block Texas voter ID and redistricting laws and require the Lone Star State to seek federal approval for other election changes.“Today’s decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to sue Texas is, sadly, only the latest manifestation of the DOJ’s increasing politicization under this Administration,” Cruz said in a statement.“Americans overwhelmingly support voter ID laws because they understand that voter fraud weakens our democracy, and unfortunately it is often minority voters who are the victims of that fraud. The Department of Justice should not be working to undermine the integrity of our elections.”
The hyper-partisan Obama administration and the divisive, racist Holder Department of Justice refuse to accept the ruling by the Supreme Court, though even the most liberal member at the time supported a state's right to ask for identification at the polls.  The continued go-to position of this administration is to call Texas out at every opportunity.

Governor Rick Perry released a brief, to the point response:
 “The filing of endless litigation in an effort to obstruct the will of the people of Texas is what we have come to expect from Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama. We will continue to defend the integrity of our elections against this administration’s blatant disregard for the 10th Amendment.”
Holder and Obama also vow to fight the re-districting plan produced by the Texas legislature, as they did before the 2012 election.  No doubt they are hoping some more stalling tactics will play to their favor in the 2014 election cycle.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wendy Davis Continues on Path to Race for Governor

I haven't written an update on the activities of Battleground Texas in a while, so I would like you to know that an email landed in my inbox today that to tell me that free Wendy Davis for governor bumper stickers are available now.  I'll pass, thanks, but no doubt automobiles will soon be sporting these all across the state.

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is quite the darling of the left these days.  After her big splash into the national spotlight as the heroine in the Democrats' fight for late term infanticide in the state capitol, she's been the guest speaker at the National Press Club on August 5, 2013:

She has a song about herself.

She has been fundraising around the country.

Davis raised more than $933,000 in the final two weeks of June, a recent Texas Ethics Commission report shows.About one-third of that money came from outside the state, according to the Texas Tribune. 
She will need every dollar, as her most watched opponent is current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot.

She's even landed in the pages of Vogue Magazine.

Davis is the subject of an extensive profile in Vogue’s September issue. In the piece, Davis recalls her memories of her absent father, her first jobs and her stark first wedding. While the woman that appears in the folds of the year’s most highly anticipated fashion issue is poised, polished and politically viable, Davis alludes to her pre-political self, a woman with untamable frizzy hair, with humor.
The woman who is launching a run at the governor's office in Texas with an eleven hour filibuster over abortion law and clinic regulations is now being touted as a "cool mom".  Ok, then.

As has been pointed out by a liberal blog, Senator Davis looks a bit different than she did in her Harvard Law School days - here's her photo as she entered the halls of the Ivy League at age 27:

She is to be the closing speaker at the Women Donors Network conference in San Antonio in November.  From now until then she will continue gathering steam with the help of OFA-based Battleground Texas and the national Democrats.  Money will be raised.  She is expected to make her decision formal around Labor Day but most signs point to a certain jump into the race for governor.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Camara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston Scholarship Luncheon

The First Annual Scholarship Luncheon of Camara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston (CELH) was held Thursday at the Baker Ripley Center.  Memorial West Republican Women PAC (MWRW) sponsored a table for this event.

The hosts could not have been more hospitable, the crowd was jovial and welcoming, the food was good - word is that Post Oak Grill catered it - and the speakers were inspirational.  Best of all?  Four young Hispanic students received scholarships to continue on with their education.

The guests were treated to musical ambiance from Oscar and Anita, which provided a relaxed mood throughout the room.  They are good, by the way, playing guitars and singing.  We plan to keep them in mind for upcoming events.  

MWRW had the pleasure of hearing from CELH President Abel R. Garcia as speaker at an earlier monthly meeting this year.  He encouraged our club to reach out and we would be welcomed.  He was right.  Though Mr. Garcia was unable to attend this event, CELH Chairman Hipolito Acosta stepped up and led the program.  He introduced the keynote speaker, Dr Arthur Tyler, recently retired Deputy Chancellor/COO of Houston Community College (HCC).

Dr Tyler delivered an uplifting speech, titled "The Value of Education for Today's Youth".  The line that stuck with me is, "Life is not fair.  There is no equality.  There is equity, though, through education."

At the conclusion of Dr Tyler's speech, Chairman Acosta introduced the four scholarship recipients and each made a few remarks to the audience.  I might note that three out of the four scholarships went to young women.

An opportunity was presented to contribute to the organization's scholarship efforts.

MWRW is honored to have received the opportunity to participate in this endeavor.  Sometimes outreach is made really easy.  Raising money for scholarships is a natural fit for our club.  Education is our mission.  Education brings about an informed electorate.  As stated, the objectives of our organization are:
1. To promote an informed electorate through political education.
2. To increase the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government through active political participation.
3.  To facilitate cooperation among Republican women's organizations.
4.  To foster loyalty to the Republican Party and to promote its ideals.

It is said that just showing up is 80% of the battle.  I encourage my fellow conservative voters to seize the opportunities to bring our message forward when they present themselves.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Is GOP Courting the Votes of Women?

In order to bring women back to voting for Republicans again, it is going to be essential to have Republican leadership and candidates capable of speaking to them in terms of economic philosophy and their lives.  Our economic philosophy works best for families, as well as individuals, and we need Republicans capable of articulating that message.

A recent poll revealed an extraordinary statistic - 4 out of 5 Americans face poverty and/or joblessness in their lifetime. 

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.
At one time, the term compassionate conservative was used in a favorable light. The reason being that it acknowledged that conservatives show compassion through our political philosophy.  There is no compassion to be found from liberal political philosophy that entraps whole generations in continual dependence on the federal government.  A person beholden to the federal government for survival is not a free person.  Now, with the portion of the Republican party voters that demand such harsh and simplistic rhetoric as to simply cut all social programs and entitlements as a means to economic progress, the party message sounds cruel and unforgiving to those truly in need.

We can reach out to women and bring them back into voting Republican again if we make the effort. We have to walk and chew gum at the same time again.

Think about it.  Women are the caretakers in the family.  Women make the economic decisions in the purchasing power of the family. These are general statements but for a majority of households it is true. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Why would the Republican party allow that fact to be overshadowed by extremist voices that turn off women voters?  Remember when the Soccer Moms of the Clinton days became the Security Moms of the George W. Bush days? Why have we allowed our common sense economic philosophy to be tossed aside as the social issues and purity demands of a small segment of the Republican party become the headline makers?  

Why not focus on what we as Republicans do believe about entitlement programs and social agendas?  No one asks that anyone abandon value beliefs.  What is necessary, however, in a real conversation is that we must become capable of expressing our political philosophy in a way that regular voters understand.  Republicans are good at rambling off numbers and statistics and all the boring stuff in politics.  What we have to do is get personal. Appealing to voters on an emotional level is not something Republicans are very comfortable with but it is where we have to go.  Think of it as putting a personal face on a policy position.  Think of it as America's story.

Women relate in a very personal way to government assistance.  It is hard to imagine anyone in today's America that doesn't have a family member or dear friend who has not accepted help from the federal government at one time or another.  Whether it is social security and food stamps for the elderly, unemployment insurance, WIC assistance for mothers and children, disability payments, and on and on.  The Republican party is the party of life - that includes taking responsibility for the lives of those in need of a hand. A hand up, not a hand out. While we continue to promote local and religious organizations to help out those in need, we must carry a message that the government is there for help, too, but we bring a message that the help is temporary - a safety net, if you will - and not a way of life. That message has to be told and told again and again. Personal stories are the way forward.

As referenced HERE by my friend, Lisa, it is understandable when either side of the aisle mocks the other side but it is necessary to turn it all around and show the alternative in a way that resonates.  How about instead of ridiculing the Democrat's story of Julia and her dependency on government programs, Republicans do their own story of a woman and how our vision works?

In the meantime, Hillary Clinton rolls on.  Her fans are ramping up for her 2016 campaign as I type this. Where is the female face of leadership in the GOP? We have lots of strong and successful women working in the party, all the way up to governorships.  We need women as the face of the party.  It's good to focus on Latinos and blacks and Asians, yes, but women in general have to come first. All women. For now. We have to start there in growing the party.

The Republican party is the party of small, efficient government. We are not the party of no government. It's easy to get carried away with harsh rhetoric. It is more important to treat others as we wish to be treated.  Ronald Reagan implored us to be happy warriors.  We need all voters to help us get our country back on track.  

Read this article, written by a Republican woman, and think about what she is saying.  It is the same message I've been talking about since last November. Republicans have to tailor our message to different audiences.  Minority outreach is good.  Outreach to women is crucial.  

It is ok to have many opinions within a party as long as we agree on the majority of positions.  Remember Ronald Reagan's 80% determination?  If someone agrees with the party on 80% of its policies, that person is one of our voters.  Do not be so close minded or simplistic to expect every adult voter to agree with 100% of a party's platform and its planks.  That is unrealistic and, frankly, a little creepy.  We are the party that encourages individualism, after all.  

It will take all of us in 2014 and in 2016, too.  Do not feed on those perpetually outraged.  Look to those doing the real work - going out into communities, promoting education, helping families in need, mentoring teenagers, and so on.  There is much to be done.  Talk to people.  

Do not kid yourself - women voters of all political philosophy - will vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 if she is the Democratic nominee.  Women are past ready for a woman president.  Just as Barack Obama brought out black voters from both parties, Hillary Clinton will do the same from women voters.  That is a hard reality.  Do not allow yourself to be in a happy talk bubble.  

Read the article.  Get ready.  Be prepared to fight onward.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Dr Martha Wong Speaks to Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club

The Hon Martha Wong delivered an informative speech to the weekly meeting of Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club Thursday.  The topic was an update on Asian American outreach efforts through the Republican Party of Texas, which is the newly created Asian American Republican Assembly. Dr. Wong has been doggedly pursuing her vision for Asian American outreach within the Republican Party of Texas for some time now.  Finally the chairman of the state party saw the wisdom of this outreach as some startling numbers came forward.

Here are the numbers, as presented by Dr. Wong:

2000 - 2010  Nationwide Population increases
White:            1.2%  2,264,778
Hispanic:        30%  15,171,776 
Black:             11%    3,738,011
Asian:            42.9%  4,431,955  

2000 - 2010   In Texas
White:             2%         464,032
Hispanic:       41.8%    2,791,255
Black:            22.1%       522,570
Asian:            71.1%       393,981

Asian Americans are the fastest growing demographic in Texas.  

Here are the population projections for 2040 in Texas:
White:            53% to 25%          Decrease
Hispanic:        31% to 57 - 58%   Increase
Black:             11% to  8%          Decrease
Asian:            3.3% to  8.3%       Increase

By 2040, if every white person voted Republican, a Republican still wouldn't be elected president.

The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas saw the writing on the wall.  Not only is the Asian American population growing at such a rapid rate, but this demographic is voting less and less for Republicans.  The "sad news", said Dr. Wong, is that from 1992, when Asian Americans voted 55% GOP to 31% Democratic through 2012, when the numbers were 26% GOP to 73% Democratic, Asian Americans are on voting for Democrats in greater numbers than Republicans.

So, in May 2013, RNC Chairman Reince Prebius came to Austin and RPT Chairman Munisteri brought together minority groups to meet and develop strategy.  Dr. Wong was elected the Chairwoman of the Texas Asian Republican Assembly when the group was formed.

What will the Texas Asian Republican Assembly do?  Bringing together the very best of representation, the group will develop clubs in all major cities so that they reach out to the communities; use major newspapers to keep readers informed and updated; use religious institutions by instructing them on what can be said from the pulpit; partner with existing clubs and get Republican speakers to meetings; and provide a list of every Republican voter in the last election.  All of this will be done here in Harris county as well as across the state.  

One action taken during the last election cycle was placing ads in Asian newspapers with a very simple text: "Vote Republican". 

Dr. Wong reminded the audience that everyone can reach out to neighbors and co-workers.  Get their email addresses and forward them to Dr. Wong so that she can arrange for them to be contacted.  She noted that often Asians are more comfortable talking about subjects like politics with other Asians.  This is perfectly normal and applies to all people in general, not just Asians.

Asians are conservative in nature.  They are known as entrepreneurs.  The message of the Republican party is a natural fit.  

Encourage elected officials in the Republican party to go to Asian events.  May is Asian Heritage month and typically Democrat politicians, like Rep Al Green, take over events while Republicans do not demand notice for themselves at the annual galas. 

It is important to remember that outreach is not a waste of time, nor is it meant to be a political stunt.  Those, such as some of the loud talkers on conservative talk radio, who ridicule coalition building are doing a real disservice to the Republican party.  Potential voters are insulted by the ridicule.  The tone of conversation from the loud talkers is not respectful and it does not speak for the majority of conservatives.  It is mostly entertainment at the expense of others, which is always wrong headed.  

There is much work to be done.  Republicans in Texas are lucky to have such a strong Republican woman as Dr. Martha Wong leading the way for Asian American outreach in our party.  We owe her a debt of gratitude for her persistence and vision. 

I do not often get to attend lunch meetings with the Downtown Houston Pachyderm Club and that is unfortunate.  The speakers are always informative, the food is good and the prices are low.  The attendees are a diverse group of party activists and elected officials.  Current President Sophia Mafrige and Vice President Jack Lee are doing a fine job keeping people informed and energized. I encourage you to attend a meeting - they meet weekly at the Spaghetti Warehouse.