Monday, September 30, 2013

Texas Right to Life Endorses Barry Smitherman for Attorney General

Barry Smitherman, Texas Attorney General Candidate, and current chairman of the railroad Commission, is one of the STRONGEST opponents of Abortion I have ever met. He is strongly pro-life and would vigorously defend the rights of the unborn to live and the pro-life laws in Texas. Smitherman is so pro life that he just just enthusiastically endorsed by Texas Right to Life.

Press Release below from the Smitherman Campaign:

Contact:  Jared Craighead
Monday, September 30, 2013

Texas Right to Life PAC Endorses Smitherman for Attorney General

AUSTIN – Today the Texas Right to Life Political Action Committee informed Barry Smitherman that it was endorsing his candidacy for Attorney General.  Texas Right to Life is the oldest, largest, and only statewide Pro-Life organization in Texas.  They are the Texas affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee with representation on their board of directors.

“The Texas Right to Life endorsement is such an honor for me and I’m so grateful for the work they do to protect life in our state,” said Barry Smitherman, Republican candidate for Attorney General.  “I always have and always will stand shoulder to shoulder with Texas Right to Life promoting Pro-Life policies and as Attorney General I will defend good Pro-Life pieces of legislation like HB-2 that are constantly under assault from radical pro-choice organizations.”

Barry Smitherman is an unwavering supporter of life and takes every opportunity to passionately speak in support of life.  On March 2, 2013, Barry spoke to the Texas State Republican Executive Committee about why it’s so important for our federal and state governments to protect life.

Texas Right to Life endorsement may be viewed at

More information about the Smitherman Campaign is available at


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Texas Ranked #1 State for Doing Business in 2013

Once again, Texas has been ranked the top state for doing Business in. The 2013 rankings show Texas leading the top ten group of nearly all southern states.

According to

1. Texas
Simply put, it’s hard to beat Texas — which maintains is number-one ranking among the surveyed consultants.

“We've worked hard to make Texas the best state in the nation to raise a family and own a business,” says Governor Rick Perry. “We’ll continue to strengthen the economic pillars that have helped us become a national example of job creation and economic strength.”

Those pillars include a pro-business environment, strong work force, and an infrastructure that allows efficient access to global markets. Texas has no personal income tax and no corporate income tax — a huge incentive for companies to locate or expand in Texas. Therefore, it is not surprising that Texas has accounted for 33 percent of the nation’s net job gains over the past decade. It also sweetens the pot with the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), which provides funding and incentives to close deals on high-value business locations or expansions. To date TEF has invested about $500 million that has resulted in $20 billion in capital investment and more than 67,000 new jobs. Texas also offers a highly skilled, productive work force of over 12 million people with a wide range of skill sets. The unemployment rate is currently about 6.5 percent — the lowest of the 10 most-populated states. The state’s Skills Development Fund has provided more than $22 million to help companies offset the costs of employee training. From March 2012 to March 2013, Texas employment grew the fastest of the 10 largest states.

Key growth industries include energy, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, biotechnology and life sciences, electronics, and IT. Manufacturing and distribution are well-supported by a modern, highly integrated transportation infrastructure of rail, highway, air, deepwater ports, and several large, well-planned intermodal complexes. Texas’ central location within North America facilitates domestic and international transportation, as well as easy access to markets. This infrastructure support has helped Texas be the number-one exporting state in the U.S. for 11 years in a row, with more than $264.7 billion in exports in 2012.

read about the rest of the states in the rankings here:

Rush Limbaugh: Ted Cruz Wanted Friday Obamacare Vote because Saturday America is Watching Texas A&M’s Johnny “Football” Manziel

Senate Democrats had planned to use Johnny “Football” Manziel to distract people from the big Obamacare vote?

The cloture vote (vote to end debate) happened today (Friday 9/27/2013). The senate was originally pushing for a Saturday vote. This is the vote that Ted Cruz does not want to pass because when debate it closed, it only takes 51 votes to amend the continuing resolution and add back in funding for Obamacare. Republicans cannot stop Harry Reid from getting 51 votes to amend the bill, so Cruz is standing against closing debate so that way Harry Reid will be forced to allow Republicans a chance to sit at the table and have their voice heard in the Senate.

The U.S. Senate Democrats do not want you to watch and see them vote to fund Obamacare. They do not want you to see them amend the U.S. House’s Continuing Resolution. So what is their grand plan to have the Nation distracted during the vote? Johnny “Football” Manziel is their plan. According to Rush Limbaugh on his 9/25/2013 show, the Senate wants to vote on Saturday instead of Friday because the country will be watching Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. That is one of the reasons, according to Limbaugh, that Ted Cruz wants the vote to be Friday instead of Saturday. Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz wants the nation to be watching when the Senate votes to fund Obamacare, and if the Senate votes on Saturday then the nation will be watching Johnny Manziel.

The Senate, after being called out by Cruz and Limbaugh, went ahead and had the vote Friday instead of Saturday. As expected, the Senate Democrats immediately voted (and passed) an amendment to fund Obamacare. It is still kind of amusing though to think about the Senate wanting to vote while the country is watching Johnny Manziel, haha.

Johnny “Football” Manziel has mesmerized the nation. This year he seems to be even better than last year, and he won the Heisman Award as a Freshman last year. Every game he plays as quarterback of Texas A&M University, he puts up amazing statistics and is known to wow viewers with spectacular plays against even the best teams. His recent game against Alabama was easily the most watched football games in many years. Most of the audience tuned in to see Johnny Manziel right as he was making a comeback and dancing around Alabama players in order to rally the game to a near tie finish against the number one team in the nation.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Barry Smitherman saved Texas Taxpayers OVER $130 MILLION – Slashed Spending, Cut Budgets – Attorney General Race Update

If you want to know what a fiscally conservative leader looks like, look no further than Texas Attorney General Candidate Barry Smitherman. As Chairman of Texas Public Utility Commission and the Railroad Commission, Barry Smitherman spent DOUBLE DIGET percentages UNDER BUDGET and gave over 130 million dollars back to the State of Texas. (see facts and numbers below)

I don’t care who you are or which candidate you support for the 2014 Texas Attorney General election, Smitherman’s conservative spending record is IMPRESSIVE!

It is rare for a politician or government agency to spend LESS than what they are given because they know they might not be given as much the next year if they do not spend the amount they have this year. It is even rarer for a politician or government agency to ask for a budget that is LESS than what the government agency had been operating on in the past. Smitherman has done both of those and more. Smitherman accomplished this by being a smart conservative and figuring out how to do more for the money.

Barry Smitherman’s campaign sent me the following statement, along with several eye popping facts and numbers to back up Smitherman’s fiscal conservative credentials:

“Barry Smitherman has always looked out for the taxpayers and managed their money as if it was his own.  Smitherman emphasizes and demands efficient management at state agencies, excellent service, and doing more with few taxpayer dollars.”

Overall Spending at Public Utility Commission and Railroad Commission
During Smitherman’s tenure as Chairman of the PUC, the agency spent 20% less than the amount authorized by the Texas Legislature.  Through shrewd fiscal management, under Smitherman’s leadership the PUC returned unspent over $110 million it was allocated in the budget to the State Treasury.  The final appropriation request made by Smitherman as Chairman of the PUC included an operational budget that was nearly 11% less than the agency’s operational budget when he assumed the Chairmanship. 

Under Smitherman’s leadership at the Railroad Commission, the agency’s actual spending was well below its operating budget by more than $10 million in FY 2012.  As a result of effective management, this trend is projected to continue in FY 2013.  The Commission is in the process of closing out the books for FY 2013, but a conservative estimate shows that the Commission’s spending can be as much as $6 million under its budget for FY 2013.

Overall Spending for Personal Government Office
In FY 2012 and 2013, spending for Chairman Smitherman’s personal government office also came in significantly below its operating budget, saving thousands of dollars of taxpayer money.  Additionally, this year, Smitherman rejected thousands of dollars for a budget increase for his personal government office, while the other two candidates for Attorney General approved budget increases for their personal government offices in the House and Senate. 

Contribution to General Revenue

In FY 2013, the Commission spent approximately $20 million of General Revenue (GR), while generating $33 million of GR for the State of Texas. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Barry Smitherman Stands with Ted Cruz to Defund Obamacare! Sign the Petition

Texas Attorney General Candidate Barry Smitherman released the following statement tonight in support of Ted Cruz:
What an honor for Texans to be represented by Ted Cruz in the United States Senate. Hold him in your prayers and thoughts as he fights to defund Obamacare!

If you're a Texan against Obamacare, sign your name to our petition:

Ted Cruz is making the argument for why the Senate should vote on the House Continuing Resolution that funds the government and defunds Obamacare. He intends to speak, as he said, until he is no longer able to stand.
Here is a link to watch LIVE…
Here is what is happening. The U.S. House passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the government but defund Obamacare. The House sent the CR to the U.S. Senate. Democrat Senator Harry Reid has already declared that he will never allow the bill to be passed if it defunds Obamacare. This means that the Democrats will amend the Continuing Resolution before it gets passed out of the Senate. 
Texas Senator Ted Cruz is determined to defund Obamacare. Cruz knows that the Republicans in the U.S. Senate do not have the power to stop the CR from being amended to include the funding of Obamacare because it only takes a majority of the Senate to make an amendment.
In order to protest the funding of Obamacare, and to try to convince the Senators to pass the House CR without changing it, Senator Ted Cruz has started talking this afternoon and will not stop until he can no longer stand.
This is technically not a filibuster because Ted Cruz, by rule, bust stop talking tomorrow afternoon to allow the U.S. Senate to have a test vote.

Watch Ted Cruz LIVE NOW - Speaking Against Obamacare "until he can't stand"

Making the argument for why the Senate should vote on the House Continuing Resolution that funds the
government and defunds Obamacare. He intends to speak, as he said, until he is no longer able to stand.

Here is a link to watch LIVE…

9.24.13 2:41 P. M.
Cruz vows filibuster ‘until I am no longer able to stand’
By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
Sen. Ted Cruz began a talk-a-thon on the Senate Tuesday afternoon and vowed to keep speaking “until I am no longer able to stand” as he tries to halt President Obama’s health care law.
“I rise today to speak for 26 million Texans and 300 million Americans,” Mr. Cruz began.
He took to the floor armed with a big black binder, thick with papers, presumably to read as he talks
He began at 2:41, and can talk up until noon tomorrow, when under the Senate rules he would have to stop and the Senate would proceed to vote on ending debate and bringing the spending bill to the floor.
The bill right now includes provisions to defund Obamacare, which Mr. Cruz supports, but under the rules Democrats can strip those provisions out with a majority vote. So Mr. Cruz is trying to block the entire bill — including the parts he supports — in protest.
9.24.13 – Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee speaking on the floor of the Senate today about defunding Obamacare:

9.23.13 – Palin: Light Up Capitol Hill Switchboards – Defunding Obamacare
“Remember, we elected these senators precisely for moments like this. If they can’t do anything with the power we’ve given them through their elected office, then perhaps it’s time for them to retire and let someone else have a go,"  Palin said. "Opposition to Obamacare carried us to victory in 2010. And 2014 is just around the corner."

…Palin said it was even more important for Americans living in red states—like Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, and North Carolina—represented by Democrats to "politely" let their senators know there will be consequences at the ballot box if they vote procedurally to shut down debate in the Senate: 
Please call your senators and politely ask them to stand with Senator Cruz. This is especially important if your senator is a Democrat up for re-election in a red state in 2014. That would be Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Kay Hagan (D-NC). Remind them politely that we are watching their votes very carefully and even a procedural vote that shuts down this debate will be regarded as a vote for Obamacare, and there will be consequences for them at the ballot box next year. The same goes for Republicans up for re-election. We definitely expect them to stand shoulder to shoulder with Senator Cruz through thick and thin.
…Palin reiterated, "We shouldn’t preemptively surrender the fight to those who rammed through this outrageously burdensome and unaffordable ploy for government control of health care even though some are trying to convince us that the fight is futile."
"Just because a fight isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it’s not worth fighting," she said.
…The number for the Capitol Hill Switchboard is 202-224-3121. Ask for your senator’s office. You can also find their contact information and contact them online at:

Donna Garner

Monday, September 23, 2013

SHOCK: Child Sex Offender Block Walking w/ Obama Machine's Battleground Texas and is Young Democrat President

Update: Campus Reform has picked up the story and has discovered tweets from the Director of BattleGround Texas, Jenn Brown, praising this sex offender Young Democrat President for his work for Battleground Texas
Alert! After receiving a tip, I have confirmed that Convicted Child Sex Offender Billy Johnson is the President of the University of Texas-Pan American Young Democrats and is helping to register voters for Battleground Texas. Battleground Texas is an organization created by Barack Obama's political machine to try to turn Texas into a blue, Democrat state. You heard me right, a convicted child sex offender (indecency with 8 year old girl) is wandering around to random young people, even in areas with children. When Battleground Texas or a Democrat organization approaches you, as the bed intruder guy says, "Hide your kids."

There is no denying that, based on the photo evidence below, Billy Johnson and his UTPA Young Democrat Organization is helping and working with Battleground Texas to register voters.

It was first discovered that Billy Johnson was working with Battleground Texas when the UTPA Young Democrat club posted the above picture on their UTPAYD Facebook page with the caption “The Young Democrats at UTPA teamed up with Battleground Texas to register people to vote. As we can see it was successful with the number of voter registration cards held up. It was a team effort. Way to go!! — with Jessica Rios, Blanca Paras, Billy Johnson, Gustavo Alejandro Grajales and Daniel Ryne Lucio.”

The picture seems to have been removed from the YD’s Facebook group already. Thankfully we still have the picture because it was re-posted on the Facebook page of UTPA Confessions, along with a link to the TDCJ website showing information about Johnson’s conviction.

What is even worse is that Battleground Texas and the Young Democrats KNOW that this man is a convicted child sex offender. This is not something that is a secret. Anyone who knows the man knows he was convicted and they seem to be ok with it. They know about his conviction because this is not the first time he was publicly called out for doing something that a convicted child sex offender probably should not be doing. Back in 2010 he caused a stir in the local media when parents found out that Billy Johnson, a convicted child sex offender, was volunteering and working around their kids at a local school. Johnson seemed to justify working at the school by telling the news that he had an escort with him in the school and he also said that his conviction did not come with restrictions preventing him from being near a school. That excuse certainly did not make parents feel any better.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Rep. Joaquin Castro are helping to get Battleground Texas started up. They headlined a kickoff fundraiser back in march. Julian Castro himself is under fire. San Antonio Conservative Weston Martinez is helping to circulate a recall petition to remove Julian Castro. Castro is facing the potential recall after he tried to push through an ordinance that would allow man to use a woman's bathroom, setting up the potential for more opportunity for sexual assaults. The ordinance would also have punished and discriminated against Christians just because they do not believe in homosexual marriage. Knowing that Castro tried to push through that ordinance, maybe is it not all that far-fetched that he would be ok with a child sex offender helping out Battleground Texas and going around meeting random young people and registering voters.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Smitherman REJECTS Budget Increase - Paxton, Branch APPROVE Increases - Texas Attorney General Race

Barry Smitherman
In 2013, Texas Attorney General candidate Barry Smitherman REJECTED a budget increase for his personal government office while candidates Ken Paxton and Dan Branch APPROVED budget increases for their personal government offices.

Families in Texas are having to tighten their belts. Gas is not going down, health care expenses are skyrocketing, appraisals and local taxes are rising. Texans have to be more conservative and cannot just vote to give ourselves more money for our household. We expect the government to tighten its belt too.

Texas Railroad Chairman Barry Smitherman made a bold move this year. Smitherman rejected tens of thousands of dollars in budget increases for his personal office, even though the other railroad commissioners voted for the increases.

Over in the Texas House of Representative, Dan Branch voted to INCREASE the budget for his personal office. On the Texas State Senate side of the Capitol, Ken Paxton also voted to INCREASE the budget for his personal office.

Barry Smitherman is the clear winner this round.

The Texas Attorney General Race is a tale of 3 candidates. For conservatives though, it is only a tale of two candidates. Conservatives in Texas do not like or want Dan Branch. Dan Branch is a Joe Straus Lieutenant and a moderate on many important issues.

So Conservatives have Barry Smitherman and Ken Paxton to choose from for Texas Attorney General. Barry Smitherman is a good Christian conservative. I am not going to lie and say that Paxton is not a good either, because he is. So you have two good conservatives in Smitherman and Paxton. Well guess what, only one of them can win and I believe the best conservative for the job is Barry Smitherman. So, without attacking Paxton, I have to show that Smitherman is the better conservative for the job.

Besides Smitherman already being a statewide leader who has experience suing Obama, this personal budget vote is a great example of why Smitherman is the better conservative leader to be our next Attorney General. The vote to increase personal budgets is a vote that usually goes unnoticed. No one will likely know or be watching to see if the legislators or other elected officials votes to increase their office budgets. Well, I think it is best to do the right thing even when no one is looking. While no one was looking, Smitherman voted to reject an increase for his personal office while Paxton and Branch voted to increase theirs.

The House Vote to increase Personal Office Budgets can be found here in the Texas House Journal

The Senate Vote to increase Personal Office Budgets can be found here in the Texas Senate Journal

Smitherman's Texas Railroad Commission vote on to reject a Personal Office Budget Increase can be found here at the end of the RRC Conference open meeting minutes.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Texas Judge Layne Walker Admonished by Federal Judge for Using Abusive Language and Wrong Font

Texas State District Judge Layne Walker, a Democrat, is at the center of many of the stories of corruption in Jefferson County and Beaumont, TX. Judge Walker has had several lawsuits filed against him. Judge Walker had his lawyers file a motion to dismiss one of these lawsuits, but Federal Judge Ron Clark has slapped down Judge Walker’s motion to dismiss and rebuked Judge Walker and his attorneys. The rebuke from Judge Clark made Judge Walker and his legal team look silly. Judge Clark said that Judge Walker’s motion to dismiss, instead of relevant facts pertaining to the lawsuit against him, contained abusive language and name calling. Judge Clark went even further and said that the motion to dismiss did not even use the right font. I can’t speak for Judge Clark, but when I read Judge Clark’s rebuke of Judge Walker’s motion, I imagined a parent looking down at a rowdy kid and telling the kid if he wants to eat at the grown up table then he needs to act like a grown up.

Judge Layne Walker might break the rules in his own courtroom, but Judge Clark made it clear that Judge Walker is going to follow the rules in Judge Clark’s courtroom. Furthermore, Judge Walkers Motion made it clear that he did not have any evidence to disprove the allegations against him so he resorted to calling names. This is not the first time that Judge Walker has been slapped down by a higher court.

The lawsuit that Judge Walker was responding to is from Stella Morrison. Attorney John Morgan is representing Stella Morrison. Judge Walker does not like attorney Stella Morrison or attorney John Morgan for political reasons. Morrison opposed Judge Walker in recent elections and John Morgan represents some of the people who oppose Judge Walker. Judge Walker has retaliated against Morgan and Morrison by banning Morrison from his courtroom and taking away Morgan’s children. Stella Morrison filed the lawsuit against Judge Walker because of the many retaliations and false accusations that Judge Walker has made against Morrison.

If Judge Layne Walker and Jefferson County sound familiar it is because I recently wrote an article detailing how a secret video showed Judge Walker illegally had a man arrested and committed perjury. The man, Stephen Hartman, is a federal process server who was legally serving the Judge with a lawsuit. The Judge has been illegally refusing to take the lawsuit papers and even pulled a gun on the process server in a previous encounter! The secret video recording proved the man was innocent but the charges have still not been dropped.

The Judge’s bailiff, Jefferson County Deputy Steven Broussard, was even recommended for termination because he took home the video recording out of evidence and tried to destroy it. This kind of public corruption is unthinkable. Seeing a video where law enforcement officers arrest you and make stuff up against you should send chills down anyone’s back. These are supposed to be people the community trusts. The community should not fear if an officer who does not like you is going to arrest you and make false charges against you, and then it is your word against the officers. Thank goodness for the secret video because otherwise the Judge would have gotten away with abusing his power and using his bailiffs to officially oppress political opponents. Also thank goodness that Judge Ron Clark is not putting up with Judge Walker's baloney!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Men Legally Carrying Firearms Arrested at Texas Capitol 9/13/2013 – Troopers Not Aware of Gun Law Exemption

Update: Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Governor Candidate Tom Pauken have demanded that the charges be dropped against these men because it is not illegal to open carry the guns the men had in the manner they carried them. Also, it has been confirmed that it was three men who were arrested, not just two. Also, it has been confirmed that the group of men were part of an organization called Open Carry Texas.

At least 3 men (one a war vet in a wheelchair) were arrested today, 9/13/2013, at the Texas Capitol in Austin, TX after Texas DPS State Troopers, not aware of the law, arrested them and then had to think of other charges to put on the men after finding out that it was not illegal for them to open carry the guns because pre 1899 black powder pistols are expressly exempted from the firearms law. It was humorous to see (at about 8:50 into the arrest video below) the State trooper start reading the Texas firearms law and then go silent when he got to the part about pre 1899 black powder pistols being exempts from the law. Instead of admitting the mistake, they go ahead and charge the man with disorderly conduct/causing alarm with a gun. I completely support law enforcement and the Texas DPS Officers are a good group, but they are not perfect and this was wrong.

For a self-proclaimed super conservative, gun-rights haven, it is shocking that Texas is one of the minority of states who do not allow some form of open carry for handguns. Yep, you can have a concealed handgun in Texas and pass all the background checks and shooting qualifications just like a police officer, but you cannot open carry like an officer or like citizens in several other states can. Rifles are ok to open carry in Texas, and Texas law also specifically exempts pre 1899 black powder pistols from being defined as firearms.

To exercise their rights, and make a statement that you can carry guns in Texas and be safe, a group of guys went walking around the Texas Capitol LEGALLY open carrying. They knew of course that the police would likely arrest them even though they were not breaking the law, so they had their cameras with them. Sure enough, the Texas State troopers, carrying handguns openly on their hips themselves, came and started making arrests. Two men, Terry Holcomb and Gary Hays, were arrested. After finding out that the pre 1899 black powder pistols were exempts from being considered firearms, the troopers went ahead and charged the men, not for open carrying a handgun, but for disorderly conduct/causing alarm with a firearm. Neither of those laws were broken because in Texas, the simple sight of a gun on someone’s hip or being carried cannot cause alarm. The person has to be doing something with the gun to intentionally cause alarm with the gun like pointing it at people. This reminds me of the recent story of the Master Sergeant in Texas who was legally carrying his rifle on a road march. A police officer did not like it so, even though it is legal to carry a rifle, the soldier was arrested and charged with the same type of disorderly conduct/alarming others with a gun like what these men in Austin were charged with today.

At least the State Troopers at the Capitol today knew enough to know that they group of men COULD have the rifles they were open carrying at the Capitol. That just makes the troopers look even sillier because they claimed the sight of a handgun caused alarm, but the rifles on the men’s back did not cause alarm? It does not make sense. It is not illegal what these men did, but Texas is still stuck in gun control land when it comes to open carrying. That leads to men getting arrested on ridiculous, trumped up charges even though they were legally carrying. It is time for Texas to really act conservative, and join the many other states who allow open carry.

Below are more of the pictures (from Facebook) and video from the arrests today of Gary Hays, Terry Holcomb and Scott Smith at the Texas State Capitol:

If video does not show below then click here to watch video

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Texas Attorney General Candidate Forum in Tyler, TX Sept. 14th, 2013 w/ Smitherman, Paxton & Branch

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is running for Governor. That means Texas will need to elect a new Attorney General. The three candidates in the race are Barry Smitherman, Ken Paxton, and Dan Branch.

I have already written a couple of articles on Barry Smitherman, who is a strong Christian conservative. Now you can see Barry Smitherman yourself, along with the other two candidates Ken Paxton and Dan Branch, as they discuss the issues. More info about the forum below.

The following information about the candidate forum is from Grassroots America:

Regional Candidate Forum: Candidates for Texas Attorney General

The East Texas Constitutional Alliance – of which Grassroots America is a founding member – will sponsor the following candidate forums.  [Note:  Grassroots America will also hold candidate forums for other statewide and local races.  Scheduling is in progress.]

Candidates for Attorney General to Participate in Tyler Forum

State Rep. Dan Branch, State Sen. Ken Paxton & Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman will be in Tyler on Saturday, September 14 for our first candidate forum for the 2014 campaign season!

The three declared candidates vying for the Republican nomination for Texas Attorney General will be in Tyler on Saturday, September 14 for a candidate forum sponsored by the East Texas Constitutional Alliance. The Alliance is composed of grassroots conservative organizations from across the East Texas region.  Grassroots America is a charter member of the Alliance.

The candidates will take questions from panelists JoAnn Fleming and Mike Kinzie. The candidate forum is free and open to the public. It will be held at the UT-Tyler Ornelas Activity Center, 3402 Old Omen Road. The doors will open at 2 PM with the event starting promptly at 2:30 PM. The event will end at 5 PM with a straw poll. 

The panelists:

  • Michael Kinzie has been active the Texas TEA Party Movement since attending his first rally on April 15, 2009 in Sulphur Springs, Texas. He is a gifted writer, the founder of the Lake Fork TEA Party Patriots and the creative talent behind website, an informative collection of TEA Party news, blogs and events.
  • JoAnn Fleming has been a leader in the constitutional conservative movement for twenty-one years. She is the two-term Chair of the Texas Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee – a citizen advisory board to the TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus. In this volunteer role, she works directly with legislators, statewide officials, grassroots leaders from across the state and with statewide organizations as a member of the Conservative Budget Coalition. She is the full-time volunteer Executive Director of Grassroots America – We the People; a self-retired county commissioner; a sought-after public speaker; a Heritage Action Sentinel; and a member of US Senator Ted Cruz’s “Kitchen Cabinet” grassroots team of advisors.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Barry Smitherman: Texas Preparing for Sovereignty if U.S. Falls Apart – Attorney General Race Update

In an interview with WND’s John Griffing, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman, and Texas Attorney General Candidate, Barry Smitherman, said that Texas is preparing to survive as an independent nation if the U.S. falls apart. Smitherman simply wants us to be ready for if the time comes when Texas is on her own without the Federal government. I have a generator to power my house if the power goes out. I do not want the power to go out, but if it does I am prepared to keep the lights on. Shouldn’t Texas also be prepared to keep the lights on if the federal government goes out?

I have always liked Barry Smitherman. He stands for what is right without thinking about political correctness. Heck, he has sued Obama 7 times already! He is not just a Christian conservative. He is a Christian conservative who can LEAD. I see in him the passion that I saw in Ted Cruz when I went out on a limb and supported Cruz against the establishment grain. Smitherman is being smart and thinking ahead. He is thinking about Texas, but certainly not turning his back on America. As a Texan myself, I completely support Smitherman’s survival plan just as I supported a bill that State Rep James White filed in 2013 called the “Texas Self Sufficiency Act”. White’s bill would prepare Texas for sovereignty by doing a study to determine, financially, how Texas will survive on our own if the Federal Government collapses. We are not talking about pushing for Texas Secession. We are just talking about being prepared for anything that might happen if the very volatile and unstable Federal Government falls apart. This means being prepared for even the possibility of Texas secession, independence, surviving on our own, etc.

I am not advocating for Texas to become enemies with America or turn our backs on America, and neither is Smitherman, but there is a very real possibility that the U.S. will fall apart and crumble over things like MASSIVE debt. What will we do if the U.S. falls apart? Do we have a plan for Texans to survive on our own? Are we capable of surviving on our own? The State of Texas should not wait until the U.S. fails to simply be prepared and be capable of surviving IF the U.S. fails.

Select Quotes form Barry Smitherman from the WND interview:

“Generally speaking, we have made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will, and I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system,” Smitherman said.

He added that the state is “uniquely situated because we have energy resources, fossil and otherwise, and our own independent electrical grid.”

“This was one of my goals at the Utility Commission and it is one my goals currently as chairman of the Railroad Commission,” Smitherman said. “That’s why I stress so vehemently oil and gas production, permitting turnaround times, and everything that enables the industry to produce as much as it can, as quickly as it can.”

Smitherman added in the interview that Texas has “been very strong leading in the charge against the Obama administration.”

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Representative White Opposes Proposed San Antonio City Ordinance Hostile to Traditional Values and Free Speech

The following is a statement from State Representative James White blasting the proposed San Antonio, Texas Ordinance that is Hostile to Traditional Values and Free Speech:

Sept. 4, 2013

Representative White Opposes Proposed San Antonio City Ordinance
Hostile to Traditional Values and Free Speech
The ongoing attack against religious liberty and free speech has once again come to Texas as the City of San Antonio is set to vote September 5 on a proposed "non-discrimination ordinance" expanding existing prohibitions against discrimination to business and government practices on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
"This proposed ordinance undermines religious free speech and targets Texans who hold a traditional understanding of human sexuality," said State Representative James White. He continued, "It's unfortunate that this is happening in San Antonio. This city has a history steeped in Faith, as its famous Mission Walk attests."
This policy violates not only the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution but also the Texas Constitution, which defines marriage as consisting of one man and one woman, and the prohibition in state law that "a government agency may not substantially burden a persons free exercise of religion." Specifically, were this proposal to be enacted, it might actually promote discrimination instead of restrict it, especially against religious organizations and individuals.
Churches could be sued for refusing to lease their facilities to those with whom they theologically disagree. Business owners could become ineligible for city contracts if an employee is offended by the influence of their religious beliefs in their company. Elected officials could be removed from office if any kind of prejudice is perceived in the expression of personal views. "Just think, if approved, this ordinance could disqualify for elected office a Sunday School teacher who presents a Bible lesson on Leviticus," stated Representative White.
Representative White is all too familiar with this fight, having come to the defense of the Kountze High School cheerleaders last year when a Wisconsin-based atheist group sought legal action to stop their display of  banners with Bible verses at football games. After several months in court, the cheerleaders prevailed, demonstrating that Texas still recognizes the constitutional rights of its citizens to exercise their religion and express their views freely.
"This is San Antonio, not San Francisco," said Representative White. "I am proud to stand with the vast majority of Texans who live in San Antonio and cherish the tried and true conservative values of Faith and Freedom."


Video Proves Innocence but Texas Man still Charged; Arresting Officer Terminated – Jefferson County Corruption
I recently wrote an article exposing massive corruption in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas. Specifically, a hidden Video was released that shows an Illegal Arrest & Perjury by Democrat Texas Judge Layne Walker and Jefferson County Sheriff Deputies. Jefferson County is no stranger to corruption from Beaumont Independent School District Scandals leading to State takeovers, to Beaumont Mayors going to jail. Things are bad in this Democrat controlled East Texas county.

Prosecutor Joe Alford Refuses to Drop BLATANTLY False Charges and Refuses to Release Evidence to Defense Attorney John Morgan

Shockingly, the corruption only seems to get worse as this most recent corruption plays out. Now the Special Prosecutor Joe Alford is joining in on the scandal and refusing to drop charges against an innocent man, Stephen Hartman, even after video clears the man and the deputies who arrested him were disciplined and recommended for termination for falsifying their report against him and tampering with evidence. Alford is even illegally refusing to release the evidence he has to Hartman’s defense which has prompted Hartman’s defense to file a motion to dismiss (see letter from Joe Alford and motion to dismiss below)

John Morgan, a Beaumont attorney, is helping to lead the fight against these corrupt politicians. Morgan is sticking up for these victims of the corrupt Jefferson County system. Unfortunately, corrupt Democrat Judge Layne Walker retaliated against Morgan by taking away his kids for NO REASON except that Morgan was on the wrong side of the political line.

Now this Judge is trying to punish a process server who was trying to do his job and serve the Judge lawsuit papers. Stephen Hartman tried to serve this Judge at his house but the Judge pulled a gun. The Judge then refused the papers at his office. Hartman then went to the only place the judge could be found in public, the courtroom, and waited behind the bench for a good time to ask the bailiff to come over so he could tell the Bailiff about needing to serve the Judge. The Deputies, on orders of the Judge, had Hartman arrested and falsely claimed he crossed the bench and was shouting. A secret video recording now shows that Hartman did NOTHING wrong and was falsely arrested.

Jefferson County Deputies Disciplined for falsifying report and stealing/tampering with evidence

After Hartman was arrested, Jefferson County Sergeant Steven Broussard confiscated Hartman’s video recorder and TOOK IT HOME and tried to delete it. Broussard and another deputy, Tony Barker, also lied about Hartman in their reports. After Morgan forced the recorder to be produced by the officer, the truth was seen on video and Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods recommended Sergeant Broussard be fired and Deputy Barker be suspended for 5 days. Broussard went ahead and announced retirement before he was fired.

Prosecutor Alford refuses to release evidence and he absurdly says statements against Hartman are “unimpeachable” even though 2 of the officers lied and video proves Hartman is innocent!

Morgan demanded that Alford turn over all evidence they have in the case against Hartman, including all video and audio from the courtroom. Alford responded and refused to hand over the evidence. What is even more absurd is that Alford suggested the witnesses and evidence are “unimpeachable” even though the officers involved have been disciplined and video proves Hartman did nothing wrong!

Click here to read the letter from Alford or click on picture below

John Morgan Files Motion to Dismiss charges against Stephen Hartman because of the violations by Alford, the Arresting Officers, and due to lack of evidence

Click here to read Morgan’s Motion to Dismiss or click on picture below

Monday, September 2, 2013

STOP Texas 20% Tax on College Students! Repeal Tuition Set Aside Law!

We have to spread the word! The Texas Tuition Set Aside Law is an Obama style share the wealth TAX on Students simply because they are going to college. We have to call our State Senators and State Representatives. We have to call the Governor. Last week I wrote an article exposing this tax. This new article below explains, in detail, how and when the bills passed creating this tuition set aside required under Texas Education Code, Sections 56.011, 56.012, 56.095, and 56.465

What is the Texas 20% Tuition Tax?
This is simply outrageous! If you decide to work hard and get a higher education, a minimum 20% of the college tuition you pay does not even pay for your education, it gets taken out to pay for someone else’s education. This is thousands of dollars we are talking about! Your two jobs in college to pay tuition goes to someone else to get free tuition. Even worse, you might even not have the money to pay for tuition so you have to get a student loan to pay for college. You still get hit with the 20% tuition set aside tax. So basically you are being forced to take out a student LOAN in order to pay the tuition tax so that someone can go to college for free! Or if you take out a loan to pay for tuition and you also get a grant, in effect you are taking out a loan with interest to pay for your own grant. How does that make sense? I all about helping people go to college via student loans and even grants and scholarships, but we cannot target struggling college students to pay the tuition of other people.

How did we get the 20% Tuition Tax?
After my article last week, I have had many people almost not believe me because it does not seem possible that we have a law like this in Republican controlled Texas. Well, I did extensive research over the weekend and I looked up all the history and all the votes (I explain the history of this law in more detail below). Here is the quick overview: The 20% student Tax we have now is a result of a 2003 law that was passed. In 2003 NOT ONE Texas State Representative objected to 20% being inserted into the set aside “tuition tax” law, and NOT ONE State Rep. in 2003 offered an amendment to the bill that would end the tuition set aside tax. Yep, even conservatives we know and love today did not oppose the tax when it was passed in 2003. Since 2003 there have been a FEW Texas conservatives who have stood up and tried to present bills to end this tax, but those bills never saw the light of day. Even conservatives we know and love today have never stood up against this tax or tried to get it repealed, even though they ALL KNOW ABOUT IT. This is VERY disappointing! I believe if we can inform people and create enough outrage, we can wake up the Legislature and STOP THIS TAX! And when your legislature tries to tell you that he or she has been against this tax since 2003 and does not want it, then kindly ask them when they tried to amend the bill or repeal it. If they have never presented anything to be passed to end this tax then, no matter what they say, they are for it or at least are complacent in letting it continue!

Below is the Detailed explanation of how we ended up with the currently enforced tuition set aside program (a MINIMUM 20 percent tax on student tuition) This explanation only shows a detailed view of the Texas HOUSE of Representatives. I did not have time to examine the Texas Senate.

1)      Sometime before 2003, the Texas legislature put in the Texas Education code a requirement for not less than 15% and not more than 20% of a student’s tuition to be set aside as financial aid for other students (a tuition tax).

2)      In 2003 (78th legislative session) Morrison and Brown, F. authored HB 3015 to amend the Texas Education Code to lower the set aside percentages (tuition tax). The bill text called for a minimum 7.5% and maximum 10%. This is a step in the right direction by lowering the tuition tax, but still bad because it keeps the tuition tax.

3)      HB 3015 was then sent to the house education committee where it was completely changed and renamed CSHB 3015. This new CSHB 3015 text changed the set aside rate to 15% of all tuition charged to a student in excess of $46 per semester credit hour. This moved the set aside rate at a minimum of 15% with no maximum, but it would apply only to tuition in excess of $46 per semester hour (so basically if you go to a cheap college where semester hours are less than $46 you don’t pay the tax but if you go to a college with more expensive credit hours then you pay the tax)

4)      CSHB 3015 then went to the full house for a vote. Several amendments were made.

a)      Shockingly, NO ONE made an amendment to do away with the tuition set aside (the tax on students who are paying tuition).
b)      An amendment was made by Villarreal and Menendez to create a graduate student tuition tax at a rate of not less than 15%. This amendment to tax graduate tuition (in addition to the already proposed tax on undergraduate tuition) was adopted WITHOUT OBJECTION (that means NOT ONE STATE REP spoke up to oppose this amendment or call to have a record vote to vote in opposition). Vote details from House Journal.
c)       An amendment was made by Rose, Bonnen, Villarreal and Menendez to change the undergraduate tuition tax from NO LESS than 15% to NO LESS than 20%. This amendment to INCREASE the Undergraduate Student Tax to 20% was adopted WITHOUT OBJECTION (that means NOT ONE STATE REP spoke up to oppose this amendment or call to have a record vote to vote in opposition) Vote details from House Journal.

5)      CSHB 3015’s tuition tax rate (no less than 15% for Undergraduate and no less than 20% for Graduate) stayed the same through the rest of the House amendments, and then made it through the Conference Committee with the Senate, and then was passed by both the House and the Senate and sent to the Governor who signed it. This tuition tax is still in effect TODAY.

6)      The FINAL House and Senate vote on CSHB 3015 (HB3015) was not unanimous. There were some who voted against the final bill. But voting against the final bill was NOT a vote against the tuition tax because if a State Rep. voted against the final bill then the Rep. was in effect voting to keep things the way they already were, including the pre 2003 tuition tax rate of no less than 10 and no more than 20 would have remained. Basically, even if a state Rep voted against the final bill, they still were voting FOR a tuition tax. The only way for a State Rep. to vote against and/or show opposition to the tuition tax would have been to propose an amendment, or vote in favor of an amendment to end the tax. No one proposed to end the tax, in fact, all votes in the house to increase the tax were passed without objection.

Since 2003, who has opposed the Texas Tuition Tax?
Unfortunately, since 2003 there have only been a few conservatives who have tried to oppose this tax ad offer bills to end it. Their efforts have all been shut down. Heck, I did not even know about this tax until recently because it was being well concealed. There was a website created some years back to try to expose this tuition tax but I guess it never was able to gain enough steam to end the tax. Well, it is time we break this issue wide open!

Recent Bills Proposed to End Tuition Tax:

This is likely not a complete list of the people who have proposed bills to end the tuition tax so if I am missing a bill please let me know. One thing is certain, there have been few bills proposed to end the tax and none of them were supported or got passed.

Dan Patrick in 2009 introduced and passed a bill (SB 1304) to force colleges to reveal to students that they were having a large portion of their tuition set aside to pay for other people’s tuition. Then in 2011, bills were introduced to END THE TUITION TAX. SB 444 was introduced by Patrick and Birdwell in the Senate and HB 587 by Kleinschmidt and Parker in the House. These bills NEVER MADE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE! My State Representative James White informed me that he also submitted a bill in 2013 to stop this tuition set aside but his bill was also never heard in committee.

Demand that the Texas Legislature STOPS the Tuition Tax on College Students. Repeal the Tuition Set Aside Program!

So here we are today. We have an Obama type share the wealth program that unfairly taxes only college students to pay for the tuition of other college students. Since deregulation and this set aside bill in 2003, tuition has increased nearly 100%. Students cannot even afford college, in part because at least 20% of their bill is an extra tax to pay for someone else’s bill.

There has not been sufficient information and outrage about this tax but that needs to change right now. We have a Republican dominated House but a bill to kill this tax cannot even make it out of and committee picked by Moderate Speaker Joe Straus, nor can a bill be passed out out of the less Republican dominated Senate.

We need to take a stand and Texas needs to Stop this Tuition Tax!