Thursday, January 30, 2014

United Republicans of Harris County Endorsements Announced

After many long hours of research and meetings with candidates, the process of issuing endorsements is now complete for United Republicans of Harris County.  The Board of Directors have issued the following endorsements in contested races in the Republican primary:

U.S. Senator                                                              John Cornyn
U.S. Representative, District 8                                   Kevin Brady
U.S. Representative, District 36                                 Brian Babin  and Chuck Meyer
Governor                                                                  Greg Abbott
Lieutenant Governor                                                 David Dewhurst and Jerry Patterson
Attorney General                                                       Ken Paxton
Comptroller                                                              Harvey Hilderbran
Land Commissioner                                                  George P. Bush
Agriculture Commissioner                                         Eric Opiela
Railroad Commissioner                                             Becky Berger
Chief Justice Supreme Court                                     Nathan Hecht
Justice Supreme Court, Place 6                                 Jeff Brown
Justice Supreme Court, Place 8                                 Phil Johnson
Court of Criminal Appeals Place 3                             Barbara Walther
Court of Criminal Appeals Place 4                             Jani Jo Wood
Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9                            W.C. "Bud" Kirkendall
State Senator, District 17                                            Joan Huffman
State Representative, Dist 129                                    Chuck Maricle
State Representative, Dist 132                                    Ann Hodge
State Representative, Dist 134                                    Sarah Davis
State Representative, Dist 149                                    Nghi T. Ho
Justice, 1st Court of Appeals, Place 3                        Russell Lloyd
District Judge, 246th District                                     Angelina D.A. Gooden
District Judge, 247th District                                     Melanie Flowers and M. L. Walker
District Judge, 263rd District                                     Robert Summerlin
District Judge, 269th District                                     Dan Hinde
Family District Judge, 311th District                         Donna Detamore and Anthony Magdaleno
County Criminal Court at Law No. 10                       Tonya Rolland McLaughlin
District Clerk                                                             Chris Daniel
County Treasurer                                                       Orlando Sanchez
County School Trustee at Large, Place 5                   Mike Wolfe
Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, Place 2                      Laryssa Korduba
Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, Place 2                      Jeff Williams
Harris County Republican Party Chairman               Paul Simpson

United Republicans of Harris County Proceed with Endorsements Process

A funny thing happened as United Republicans of Harris County moved through its candidate endorsement process this primary season - the corrupt pay for play system in our county has finally begun to garner the attention from the general voting public needed to make change.  Is it the beginning of the end of pay for play slates - political endorsements in Republican primary races provided in exchange for money? Maybe.  We know it will take time to rid Harris County of the now entrenched business as usual in Republican politics.  The good news - it has to start somewhere and it has now started to capture the attention of the voter.

Are you looking for an alternative as you begin to think about the upcoming Republican primary? Are you looking for a group that provides recommendations to voters using research and actual face to face interviews?  Are you looking for a group that leads by example?  There is one such group in Harris County - United Republicans of Harris County.

Who are United Republicans of Harris County?  

United Republicans of Harris County represents the economic conservative Republicans of this community and advocates the traditional Republican philosophies of:
  • Fiscal Conservatism
  • Strong National Defense
  • Lower Taxes
  • Safer Communities
  • Better Education
  • Less Government Intervention
  • Individual Freedoms With Responsibility
  • Accountability by Our Elected Officials
Our organization is unique among the endorsing vehicles in Harris County because we are the ONLY group to have board members and a general membership.  We are comprised of grassroots activists and business and community leaders with extensive campaign involvement.

No money is exchanged for an endorsement.  We are the anti-pay for play group.  United Republicans of Harris County was formed in 1992 to counter a then-developing pay for play endorsement slate system.  This group of forward looking activists are committed to continuing today to work to turn around the descent into the demise of the county Republican party. 

The pay for play system produces lazy candidates and a lazy voting public.  It's easy for a candidate to write a check to one of the three main groups who will endorse in exchange for that check.  These groups will send out a newsletter or a mailer proclaiming their endorsements, as though a true vetting process has occurred.  It hasn't.  It is simply meeting the demand for the price set by the endorser.  The voters receiving these mailers take one to the poll.  Easy, peasy, right?

United Republicans does it differently. 

United Republicans has been a much recognized part of the Republican Primary with our extensive endorsement process.  In the hope of providing ethical and well qualified nominees for our Party, our endorsements are much sought after by candidates running for office.  Our hands on process of interviewing candidates in person and providing them with questionnaires regarding their qualifications makes us unique to the political process.  We are the ONLY such organization in Harris County that has continually and consistently provided a venue for candidates to be considered fairly based on merit, qualifications, and participation in the Republican Party.  We are the ONLY organization in Harris County to interview candidates in person as part of our selection process.  Our Board Members literally spend hours researching candidates before endorsements are issued in order to provide you the voter with the best possible recommendations.  We are proud of our accomplishment of being the only endorsing entity in Harris County to have chosen the Winning Congressional Candidate in all of the open Congressional seats in our greater Houston region.

There is no substitute for researching and questioning candidates.  The voter deserves a process that holds candidates to the highest standards of personal and professional ethics.  It is a tedious and time consuming process but there is no substitute.

There is nothing more precious than your vote in our political process.  Demand better of your county's politics.  Hold the handful of men made wealthy off the backs of candidates accountable and tell them it will stop.  

United Republicans has now finished the interviewing process for those who asked for an interview.  We provide questionnaires and ask for a biography of the candidate.  Then the candidate comes in for a brief interview.  You might be surprised who comes in and honors the process and who doesn't bother to participate.  Think your favorite candidate is all about "liberty" and "grass roots activism" to promote change?  Maybe not so much.

Endorsements will be announced soon.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wendy Davis Life Story Unravels on Campaign Trail

You know Wendy Davis, candidate for Texas Governor, has messed up when even the Texas Monthly comes out with a big pop to burst her bubble.  While the Davis campaign was presenting some fuzzy math as they boasted about her campaign fundraising success, a funny thing happened.  Reality struck.

Wendy Davis is a female Democrat, which means she counts on a good victim's story to get her elected.  She has painted herself as a survivor of her earlier life of a young, divorced, single mom raising her daughters as she just barely scrapped by.  Come to find out, her second husband (father of daughter number 2) spoke with a reporter from the Dallas News and blew it all out of the water. To make it a little more interesting, the article was written by Wayne Slater, not exactly known as a friend to conservatives in Texas.

Davis was 21, not 19, when she was divorced. She lived only a few months in the family mobile home while separated from her husband before moving into an apartment with her daughter.A single mother working two jobs, she met Jeff Davis, a lawyer 13 years older than her, married him and had a second daughter. He paid for her last two years at Texas Christian University and her time at Harvard Law School, and kept their two daughters while she was in Boston. When they divorced in 2005, he was granted parental custody, and the girls stayed with him. Wendy Davis was directed to pay child support.


So, she embellished, you are thinking.  Don't all politicians try to run as just regular people with real world life experiences?  Sure.  But in this case, as a woman, it smacks of manipulation and emotional exploitation.  She was hoping she'd be receiving the votes of women who are, in fact, single women struggling to raise children as they work two jobs.  Wendy Davis is an attractive, well educated politician who dresses well.  She is someone women can relate to as she tells her story.  It's just not an accurate story.

Husband number two cashed in his 401(k) and also took out a loan to pay for that Harvard law school education. He already paid for her last 2 years of her undergrad college. Wendy Davis left her husband and children behind and led the life of a law school student.  Then, as the last student loan was paid off, she left her husband.  And he kept the girls.

So, she was single from age 21, not 19, and began dating her second husband some time before marrying him at age 24.  He paid for her college after she put herself through community college with scholarships and pell grants.  Later, her husband even opened doors for her after she expressed a desire to run for office, as he had served on the Fort Worth city council.  She voted Republican and supported Tx Congressional candidate Kay Granger in the U.S. House.

After she graduated from Harvard in 1993, Wendy Davis started her own law practice and worked with her husband at the title company he founded. They enrolled their younger daughter, Dru, at Fort Worth Country Day School, a prestigious private school.Jeff Davis had once served on the Fort Worth City Council, and Wendy Davis expressed interest in running for a seat in 1996.“I opened some doors for her with people, knew how bright she was and knew she’d do a good job,” he said.She lost in 1996 but ran again two years later and won. The council seats were nonpartisan but in terms of voting, she was a Republican. Davis said she voted in GOP primaries because she supported mayor and congressional candidate Kay Granger, a Republican, and as a lawyer, she wanted to have a say in selecting judicial nominees in a county where the judges were often Republicans.
I must have missed that whole "I used to vote Republican" in her campaign stump speeches.

The response of Wendy Davis was this:

“My language should be tighter,” she said. “I’m learning about using broader, looser language. I need to be more focused on the detail.”
You know what would make her language "tighter"?  The truth.  Skip the bogus embellishment.

Monday, January 20, 2014

On Addressing the Health Care Needs Of Women

When will Republican men learn to let Republican women speak to the needs of women, especially when it comes to health care issues?  This poor man is clueless.  Clearly, gentlemen, there is a real difference between the general gynecological services and those of an Obstetrician, to which this man must have been referring.  No, a 50 year old woman doesn't need an OB, but she surely does still need a GYN.

Photo: This is precisely why we must take back the House and grow our lead in the Senate in 2014.

Women vote.  Women voters are now the voting majority.  Encourage your male elected officials to remember that before another remark like this is plastered on every liberal website and Facebook page on the Internet.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Texas Representative Harless Leads With Courage

Today all Harris County Republican voters should thank Texas State Representative Patricia Harless, (TX Dist 126), for exhibiting true political courage and real leadership as she shines the light on the corruption that is killing off our party in Harris County.  Yesterday Harless published a chain of emails on Facebook that expose another behind-the-scenes deal for an endorsement in our current primary season.  Not just any race - it is the race for Harris County Republican Party chairman.

The emails have been published in more than one place by now, as more and more readers are tuning in, but you can read them HERE, at Big Jolly Politics, along with thoughts from the publisher.

You will note that not only do the email authors smack around Harris County Republican Party chairman candidate Paul Simpson, they also take swings at a woman working to establish a local chapter of a socially conservative national organization and the state party chairman. They take aim, too, at a local Republican group - United Republicans of Harris County - that began back in the 1990's with the mission to fight this very corruption in the county party.

Disclaimer:  I am a Republican Woman with a federated Republican Women's club and on its executive board, an elected officeholder with TFRW, and a member of the Board of Directors of United Republicans of Harris County.  I speak only for myself here and not for any organization.

Ethics and integrity matter to me.  Politics is a tough business but abandoning all measures of integrity is like losing your soul.  Easy to lose, very difficult to recover.  Is it any wonder that the average voter, the regular Joe and Jill in Harris County, has grown weary of participating in the political process?  What is the motivation for anyone to research candidates, attend forums and debates, listen to interviews, etc, in order to get to know something about them?

As the regular voter begins to realize that so many races in the GOP primary are a done deal - that a handful of men are living quite comfortably off a corrupt endorsement system known as a pay for play system - he or she rightfully feels shut out of the process.  We know that for many offices in Harris County the winner of a Republican primary race will be the winner in November against a Democrat opponent.  Is it any wonder that this corruption continues to provide diminishing numbers in turn out on election day?

The corrupt pay for play system of candidates paying a small group of men for endorsements in the Republican primary discourages talented, capable quality potential candidates from coming forward to run for office.  This iron grip on the power base of county politics is destroying the Republican party in Harris County.  This is not the norm in other parts of the country - or even in other parts of Texas - and it is wrong.

The county Republican party exists to support and help elect Republicans into offices, not for the candidates to support the local party with campaign monies.  It is past time for candidates to rise up and show some spine.  While it is easy to write a check and not have to campaign so hard if the paid endorsement slates get out the word for a candidate, it is lazy and dumbs down the electorate. Voters have grown lazy, too, by relying on the opinions of paid endorsers instead of doing the research on candidates.  Until we recruit and run candidates who will not participate in the current system, the Republican party will continue to die in Harris County.

The political climate is tough enough now without the constant divisions this corruption produces.  Do the right thing.  Say no to going to the polls and voting for slate of candidates on the recommendation of a paid endorser.  Say no to candidates who pay the endorsers.  Demand candidates earn your vote the old fashioned way - one on one and through public exposure.

Thank you, Rep Harless, for rising up and standing as a strong Republican Woman.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stardig Speaks to Memorial West Republican Women PAC

Memorial West Republican Women PAC held the first of its 2014 meetings on Monday, January 13, 2014 at Carmelo's on Memorial. New officers were installed and the guest speaker was Houston City Council member Brenda Stardig.

Full Disclosure:  I am a member of Memorial West Republican Women PAC.  I am a former president of the club as well as a current member of the Executive Board.

A little history:

Memorial West Republican Women PAC, a member of Texas Federation of Republican Women and National Federation of Republican Women, was organized on November 6, 1961, as Republican Women's Club of Precinct 265.   In 2001, Memorial West decided to take a more active role promoting issues and legislation.  Because of this, the club's logo was changed to reflect the new goals. A forward moving elephant and the logo "On the Move" were adopted.  The club's name has gone through several changes over the years and in 2003, when the club became a PAC, the name changed to Memorial West Republican Women PAC.

Many guests and candidates seeking votes in the March Republican primary were in attendance.  Houston City Council member Brenda Stardig, a member of the club, spoke about her ideas for the upcoming year.  Stardig spoke about the importance of running the city as a business - using common sense and ethical practices.  She spoke of the importance of being able to work with others on the Council though she does not agree with some in political philosophy - her first responsibility is to her district and working on solutions of its problems.

I was honored to then perform the installation of the new officers.  The following women now serve: 
Mary Sergesketter, President; Jane Bock, President-Elect/Chaplain; Blanche Aguilar, V.P Campaign Activities; Martha Wong, V.P. Legislative Affairs; Ann Tanner, Recording Secretary; Amy Teufel, Corresponding Secretary and Barbara Thomas, PAC Treasurer.  I am serving as V.P. Programs.

I was given the opportunity to thank the club for its support in my recent election as District Director for SD7 in TFRW.  I spoke of the importance of Republican Women rising above the usual cliques in politics formed to keep control of agendas, as I saw as a candidate, and focus on empowering women, not encouraging conflict.

Mary Sergesketter, the new President, spoke of upcoming events and educated members briefly on the pitfalls of the pay for play system of candidate endorsements currently in force at the local party level as well as encouraging voter education.  It was noted that several candidates present stated decisions to not take part in the system which has so corrupted our county politics.  Harris County is only one of three counties nationwide that has fallen prey to pay for play. It is the exception in Republican politics, not the norm.

The next meeting will be February 3, 2014 at Carmelo's.  The public is always welcome to attend meetings.  Some come and listen to the featured speaker but are unable to stay for lunch after the meeting adjourns.  That is perfectly acceptable.  If you want to have lunch with us, we ask that you RSVP so that Carmelo's has a head count.  Email Barbara Thomas at or call 713-465-6945.  Speakers invited for our February meeting are the candidates for SD7 - James Wilson and Paul Bettencourt.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rep Scott Turner Files for Texas Speaker Race

Tx State Rep Scott Turner was a last minute substitute for a football legend, Mike Ditka, at Texas Public Policy Foundation's (TPPF) Policy Orientation 2014 in Austin Thursday.  His speech given at the luncheon was all that anyone could hope for in a motivational speech.  What a treat it must have been after the initial disappointment those attending certainly experienced as they heard of Ditka's cancellation due to the winter storms in Chicago.

Turner is a former NFL player.  He is a businessman and a conservative. He is all about changing hearts and minds.

Here it is:

After watching the video, I looked the guy up.  I wanted to know what he worked on and get a feel for his concerns.
Here is where you can scan the legislation Rep Turner authored or co-authored in the last Texas legislative session.

Rep Turner's record looks good for us fiscal conservatives, as far as legislation goes.
He understands the importance of growing conservative voters to keep Texas strong and America on a better path.  He said, "As we go, so goes Texas.  As Texas goes, so goes America. We've got to be all in."

Rep Turner has now filed to run for the position of Speaker of the House in the Texas House of Representatives.

He said, "The chains of complacency and the shackles of status quo have got to be destroyed".  I don't know that this quote applies to the Speaker's race but I do know that it applies to Harris County Republican politics.  How much longer will our party survive in the nation's largest Republican county, in the largest Republican state, if we continue to allow a corrupt pay for play system to decide who will and will not be elected to office?  How long will the party survive with this corrupt system taking away choices for voters and thwarting good people from running for office?

What is the incentive for a solid Republican concerned about his or her community and state to run for office if the handful of those running the pay for play slate endorsement schemes have already made the backroom deals to put in place the favored candidates?  How much longer will the descent into a Democratic takeover statewide take if Harris County continues on its current path?

Not long.

While the Tea Party and the Libertarians and the professional purists continue to pick away at candidates over single votes or single social issues, the Democrats are plodding along.  They are registering voters and bringing in money into Texas as we haven't seen in a couple of decades.  They are emboldened and the division within my own party is a welcome help for them.  The petty "establishment" vs "liberty minded" arguments is inane.  Who built the Republican party?  Regular people, grassroots activist, concerned women, business leaders, and so on.  Back in the beginning of today's Republican party, Barry Goldwater and William F Buckley and George HW Bush and later Ronald Reagan and then those like Newt Gingrich stepped forward and asked us all to come together to work for a common goal - victory at the ballot box for Republicans.  All would be labeled "establishment" today yet today's purists do not understand history.  Bringing new voters into politics is a much desired objective and those of us who have been working all these years to advance the Republican party must educate and mentor the newcomers.

All Republicans, by our very natures, are liberty minded. It has always been so.  Remember Abe Lincoln?

Do not allow your friends and family to fall into the trap of conservative talk radio and television - these folks are paid to divide.  Avoid the pleas from those sending letters for donations to fight the RINOs and "the establishment".  They are living quite comfortably while they destroy the party.

First we must win elections.  Then we can govern.

Do not give up.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A Very Republican New Year

Happy New Year.

I am putting forth a challenge to you, my fellow Republicans.  I'm including everyone who considers himself/herself a conservative voter in this challenge.  I challenge us all to pull together this year and win some elections.  

"2014 is a time for victory not defeat." This is a bit of a piece written by Roger L. Simon, a former liberal in the true 1960's form and a committed common sense conservative today:

As Roger Kimball pointed out, the New York Times (the very model of that propagandistic veneer) already knows their bread is buttered with Hillary, not Obama. They demonstrated that Saturday with their revisionist article on Benghazi, bent on taking that scandal (Hillary’s Achilles’ heel) off the table for the coming elections or at least seriously defusing it. Republicans would do well to redouble their efforts to make sure this particular obfuscation does not succeed by doing the proper research and communicating the results to the public — succinctly and repeatedly.But to do this our group must concentrate on the principal enemy and not upon each other. My inbox is filled with emails on both sides of the inter-right wars (the Tea Partiers and the so-called RINOs) excoriating each other. What unmitigated idiocy — as if Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz was the principal enemy and not Hillary Clinton. It’s a war between those who favor cutting government by seventy percent versus those who favor cutting it by fifty or sixty, ignoring those who want to expand it by a hundred. Although not nearly as violent, it’s in some weird way reminiscent of the party rectification campaigns practiced by Stalinists back in the 1940s.Sensible? Obviously not. And monumentally self-defeating. It has the word “loser” written all over it — and at a time when the opposition is reeling. 2014 is a time for victory not defeat. We shouldn’t be wasting our ammunition on each other. Nobody has unlimited quantities. Concentrate on principal enemy Hillary. Even though she is a well-documented liar, she is still “most admired.” Tell the truth (well) and end this. And end the hostility toward each other before you destroy all of us and our children’s future.

I suggest that you read the whole piece.

Are you sick and tired of those among us who are taking far more pleasure in attacking our own instead of the other side?  Are you aware of the money made and power taken by groups who thrive on dividing us instead of uniting us for victory?  Whether it is talk radio, opinion television, or well known groups like Freedomworks and Heritage Action PAC, they all are doing a huge disservice to the Republican party.  The people who are not political junkies, which would be the vast majority of American voters, are subjected to an endless stream of those proclaiming to be the voice of conservative voters.  Here's a news flash - no one died and left any of them in charge.  

Only in this twisted world would a candidate with an A+ rating from the NRA, or a perfect score with National Right to Life or over 95% career rating from American Conservative Union (ACA) be challenged in a primary election as a candidate not conservative enough.  .But, that is where we are now as a party. Is it any wonder that recruiting good, intelligent, worthy candidates is so difficult?  Who wants to be held to such ridiculously rigid purity tests, where a single vote that some find objectionable will find a politician defending a strategic vote?  Politics is all about strategy and the art of persuasion.  If a politician can't persuade the other side to come on board for a vote, then strategy is used with votes.  Bombastic rhetoric and temper tantrums are not winning strategies.

We need some statesmen and stateswomen.  We need some adults in the room.  We need to educate voters and do some old-fashioned hard work during primary election season.  Do the research and put a candidate's history out there for voters to read or hear.  Demand viable candidates.  Shun the unserious who proclaim that standing for principle is not the same as winning elections.  We have all heard the "I'll stay home before I go out and vote for ____." argument. Actually, that is not an argument. That's surrender to the Democrats. When you pull the lever for a candidate running as a Republican, you are supporting that party's principles.  

Without winning elections, a party cannot govern.  I firmly believe that any Republican candidate that makes it to a general election is always going to be a better choice than a Democrat candidate.  

This year, 2014, is ripe for Republican victories.  We must maintain control of the House of Representatives and wrestle control back from the Democrats in the U.S. Senate.  In Texas, we must stunt the growth of Battleground Texas and keep Texas as the nation's largest red state.  Without Texas, a Republican running for President cannot win.

None of us get the candidate of our choice all the time.  None of us has all the answers.  And, most importantly, none of us are the sole voice of all the rest of us. Do not fall for the rhetoric of the professional dividers - just think for yourself. Lots of people are making a whole lot of money at the expense of the Republican party and it has to stop.  Let's stop it in 2014 and celebrate some victories.