Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tea Parties are Pro-Government, Constitutional Government, That Is...

In an editorial regarding the Williamson County Commissioner Court's allocation of $300,000 for social services, the editor of the Round Rock Leader newspaper took a swipe at the Tea Party movement. The editor's point, that some government programs can do good, is well-taken. Government can indeed help provide for the indigent. However, the editorial characterizes the Tea Parties and The Right as 'anti-government,' and concludes with this statement,

"You tea partiers - you're like the 1960s radicals - you don't know how good you've got it here."

Seriously? Have you so completely misunderstood the Tea Parties?

First of all, the Tea Party groups are pretty diverse; they include Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, black, white, brown, gay, straight, etc., ad nauseam. Secondly, I have yet to meet any anarchists among the Tea Party activists, and I challenge the implication that the Tea Parties are anti-government per se. As for radicalism, despite what the mainstream media would have you believe, the rallies have been peaceful demonstrations attended by all ages and all walks of life.

The Tea Party movement was launched by CNBC commentator Rick Santelli's 2009 comments regarding government (taxpayer) bailout of a system crippled by misguided federal attempts to artificially engineer society. Santelli recognized that more government interference would only exacerbate the issues we face and reward those who abused the system.

We do not oppose assistance for the truly poor; in fact according the studies done by professor Arthur C. Brooks, the politically Conservative give 30% more to charity than the politically liberal, and donate more time, effort, and even more blood than their liberal counterparts. We believe we can assist the needy, even through some government programs, but recognize the fact that economically free societies have fewer poor, and our poor have a higher standard of living than the Middle Class in socialist countries. Furthermore, there are solutions that do not require destroying the entire system.

The Tea Party motivation is not to foment change a la 60's radicalism, but to prevent the radicals from destroying the American constitutional form of government. Just because these groups oppose Obama-style socialism, does not mean they are anti-government; they favor a limited government that walks the line between providing order and security without controlling every aspect of our lives. The irony of the Leader statement, is that it is precisely those 60's radicals are now in charge and now attacking "how good" we've "got it."

Tea Partiers DO know how good they've had it, and they are fighting those who, like President Obama, think the U.S. Constitution is an obstacle to "major redistributive change." No Mr. Editor, we are not anti-government, we are pro-Constitution.

More tea, less government please.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Campaign Edition

A priority for Williamson County Conservatives this year is taking back the Texas House of Representatives District 52 seat from liberal incumbent Diana Maldonado. In 2008, Maldonado ran as a moderate Democrat who would put the interests of Round Rock before party politics, and squeaked out a narrow, 850-vote victory. Once elected, however, she proved that party politics were far more important than district needs by becoming one of the most active participants in the 'chubbing death' of hundreds of bills in order to stop Voter Photo ID legislation. Furthermore, in 2010, Maldonado will be defending a dismal 36% legislative rating from the Texas Association of Business, as well as her open association with both socially and fiscally liberal groups.

Maldonado's legislative record, a nation-wide disillusionment with liberal/progressive policies, and a strong GOP challenge from Larry Gonzales indicate Maldonado is facing a very tough re-election campaign in 2010, and her campaign seems to be scrambling to adjust. Observers have noted marked changes in the Maldonado camp; for one, she has abandoned the very "Obama" style 2008 logo and campaign signs for a new "Texas" themed sign. (Although some of my co-horts think it is more St. Louis Show Boat.)



Trouble seems to be brewing for the campaign in that a number of 2008 supporters have switched allegiance to Gonzales. Also, those usually supportive of a 'friendly incumbent' are nowhere in sight, and interestingly enough, Maldonado is now looking for a new Legislative Aide/Scheduler for her Captiol and District offices. One might speculate that some staff are already jumping ship.

Diana Maldonado continues to try to hold on to the moderate label, and in interviews calls herself fiscally conservative, but she can no longer hide her legislative record, and this is going to be a tough campaign season for her.

Applicants for the Legislative Aide job should be advised that this is likely a temporary gig.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Nonsense From the Failed State of California

Last week, California voters approved Proposition 14, thus ending party primaries for the Golden State. Under the new law, California will hold 'open' primaries, for which any number of candidates of any party may file to run, and only the top 2 vote-getters will proceed to the General Election ballot.

Now I know some of you have idealistic motivations, and sincerely believe this will somehow end partisan fighting so that we can all sing Kum-Ba-Ya and just elect nice people to office. The reality is that everyone has political beliefs, and those of us with similar (note: I did NOT say identical) beliefs like to join together to work for our common goals. Hence we belong to political parties.

In an open party system, the differentiation between the parties is intentionally blurred. Instead of the terms Democrat, Green, Independent, or Republican, etc., to indicate respective candidate viewpoints, voters will have to work harder to educate themselves, something most citizens are already reluctant to do. This plan, promoted by a California RINO, enables Moderates to avoid electoral discipline administered by party voters. (Empower Texans has some fun information on the problem of republicanus moderitis.)

Furthermore, left -leaning states like California can ensure that disatisfaction with an incumbent, like Senator Barbara Boxer, won't cause Democrats to actually lose any power if the incumbent is defeated, since the only other choice on the ballot will be...another Democrat.

The political party system is not perfect, but it is preferable to an open system in that it gives voters insight into a candidate's values and philosophy. The 'non-partisan' approach for Texas school boards and municipalities has already reduced many elections to mere popularity contests rather than policy debates, and should be rejected as a step away from candidate transparency.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in Williamson County

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will be the special guest at a fundraising reception for Larry Gonzales, Republican candidate for Representative to the Texas House, District 52. If you have not previously heard the AG speak, you are in for a treat, and while the Gonzales campaign is raising much needed funds to defeat the liberal incumbent, you don't need to shell out the big bucks; any donation amount is welcomed.

The event is Wednesday, June 23, from 5:30-7:00 p.m., at the Star Ranch Golf Club. (2500 FM685, Hutto-on the Southbound frontage road of SH 130 between FM 685 and Gattis School Road). Light refreshments, soft drinks and cash bar will be available

Please RSVP to larry@larrygonzales.com

If you cannot attend, but would like to support Larry with a financial donation,
please mail your check to P.O. Box 2501, Round Rock, TX 78680

Just in case anyone wants to complain about my promoting great candidates like Larry Gonzales, here's the sentence to appease the Texas Ethics Commission: Pol. Adv. Pad. For by the Larry Gonzales Campaign, P.O. Box 2501, Round Rock, TX 78680.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cedar Park Early Voting Begins Today

Early voting begins today for the runoff election between Don Tracy and Maria Talamo for Cedar Park City Council.

Early voting:
Tues. June 1 - Sat. June 5 -- 8am to 5pm
(No voting on Sunday)
Mon., June 7 and Tues. June 8 – 7am to 7pm

Sat., June 12 -- 9am to 7pm
Voting at Cedar Park Library only
Maria Talamo or Don Tracy -- For Cedar Park City Council Place 6
Vic Villarreal or David Reiter -- For ACC Board of Trustees Place 5

As I've written previously, Don Tracy has been running a strong campaign based on fiscally sound economic policies. In contrast, Maria Talamo has presented some troubling ideas and a possible conflict of interest in her ever-evolving attitudes toward the Cedar Park Regional Medical Center.

Prior to the original election, Talamo also sought to distract voters by filing an ethics complaint against Tracy. In the complaint, Talamo alleges that Tracy did not report costs for postcards sent by a consulting firm or for in-kind donations from the Williamson County Republican Party and GOP Precinct Chair Jon Jewett. However, the invoicing and payment for the postcards took place after the report filing deadline and are not scheduled for reporting until the next required filing. The letter from Jon Jewett was a personal letter referencing or endorsing 14 different candidates, at a cost to Mr. Jewett of $200. Don Tracy's pro-rata share is $14, far below the $50 reporting threshold. In other words, these charges are bogus, and Talamo only filed them as a desperate attempt to damage Tracy's reputation.

Interestingly enough, Maria Talamo has been trying to quietly convince some voters that she is not really a Democrat. However, she voted Democrat in 2 of the last 5 primaries, and bragged to a local activist that she was "a card-carrying member of the ACLU." She may try to distance herself from the Democrat Party, but her views are certainly much more aligned with the 'big-government' crowd.

Don Tracy has a strong commitment to core principles promoting economic growth and limited government interference. A rapidly growing city like Cedar Park needs strong, fiscally responsible leadership, and will be well served by Don Tracy on the City Council.

Now, go vote!