Friday, July 30, 2010

Maldonado Confused About Voter Frustration

Yesterday Democrat State Representative Diana Maldonado sent out a fundraising letter that included this statement:

Texans are frustrated, and voters in House District 52 share this frustration. They are tired of skyrocketing insurance and utility rates, short-sighted approaches to transportation challenges, and a lack of leadership in public education. These are serious issues for our region and our state, and we need serious, capable representatives in Austin to face these challenges.


Maldonado is correct in that voters are frustrated, but she doesn't seem to be listening to what the people are saying. A July Rasmussen poll found that 67% of Americans now believe the country is on the wrong track, and their top issues of concern are, in order of importance,  the economy, government ethics and corruption, healthcare, and taxes.

With an actual unemployment rate of 16.5%, (according to the Federal government; independent analysts place it as high as 28%,) the economy is the number one issue for voters. A close second is healthcare, for which, according to Rasmussen, the concern level has actually risen since the passage of Obamacare. Furthermore, voter concern over taxes has reached an all time high, and 75% prefer free enterprise over a government-controlled economy.

Somehow Representative Maldonado has missed these signals from the voters and continues to campaign on issues that have taken a backseat to the crises we currently face. Furthermore, both her legislative scorecards and campaign rhetoric past and present, indicate she favors big government solutions; an approach American voters overwhelmingly oppose in 2010.

Voter frustration? Certainly. We are especially frustrated with elected officials who just aren't listening.

Larry Gonzales, the Republican nominee for the Texas House District 52 seat, has made job creation and property tax reform dominant issues for his campaign. Gonzales, like most Americans and especially those in Republican-leaning District 52, understands that lower taxes, limited government, and limited government spending will be key to a sustained economic recovery. His knowledge and understanding of applied economics and the nature of government, will be a tremendous asset in the Texas House, and we look forward to having representation in tune with our needs.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Royger's Fork

One of the most reviled characters in English history was John Morton, Lord Chancellor and chief tax collector to the Tudor king Henry VII. Morton's philosophy consisted of an infamous logical fallacy: if a subject lived extravagantly, he must have plenty of money to pay hefty taxes; likewise, if he lived frugally, he must have ample savings and thus could also give generously for the king's coffers. While the expression “Morton's Fork” now refers to a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives, the original allusion derived from squeezing ever more resources from the king's subjects.

Royger Harris, founder of the new Williamson County Employee's Association, seems to have channeled Morton in his demands on county taxpayers. Harris, unhappy that county employees will not receive salary increases and may have to contribute more to their health insurance next year, actually wants the Commissioners Court to raise taxes on Wilco residents. Never mind that under President Obama, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to somewhere between 9.5% and 22%,* and many private sector employees are weathering significant pay cuts (my own household took a 25% pay reduction in 2010). Additionally, private sector employees have been adjusting to rising health care costs for several years now, and many have had to switch to high-deductible plans. The average American household (excepting perhaps those of school superintendents) is scrambling to adjust to a difficult economy and family budgets are quite lean.

In Harris' narrow view, taxpayers should cut back even further so that he and his fellow county employees will not have to trouble themselves with the budget restrictions the rest of us face. Not only do Williamson County residents already pay one of the highest property tax rates in the nation (granted, largely due to school district rates,) but are also bracing for the 'Tax Tsunami' of massive federal tax increases slated for 2011.

Happily, this is not Tudor England and we are not subjects of an autocratic king and his henchman. As an elected body, the Williamson County Commissioners Court is answerable to the voters. The Court has been taking a measured approach that balances employee needs with taxpayer needs. Wilco residents, like voters across the nation, are in no mood to tolerate increased government spending and taxes, and we appreciate elected officials who scrutinize such proposals and stay the course for fiscal responsibility.

*The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics places the July 2010 unemployment rate at 9.5%, however , the 'official' statistics ignore those no longer seeking employment and those underemployed. Even the BLS acknowledges the actual rate is 16.5%, and non-government analysts place the actual unemployment rate anywhere from 22 to 28%.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Marsha Farney Event in Williamson County

Dr. Marsha Farney, Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education, District 10, will be holding a fundraiser today at 4:30pm. The 'Skeet Shoot and Fish Fry,' (don't you just love a woman who holds a skeet shoot?) will feature special guest Jerry Patterson, Texas Land Commissioner. Even if you can't shoot well enough to hit the side of a barn, you should go just to hear Commissioner Patterson; he tells some hilarious stories about Texas history and politics, and some of my friends call him the "Ben Stein of Texas."

If you can't make it, consider supporting Dr. Farney in some way. As I described in The Hundred Years Curriculum War, there is much at stake, and we must ensure a victory for Dr. Farney over the leftist idealogues who want 100% control over public education. Learn more about Marsha Farney at

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maldonado Plays Chicken with the Texas Ethics Commission

Apparently adhering to the "it's better to ask forgiveness than permission" mantra, Representative Diana Maldonado seems to be playing a game of chicken with the Texas Ethics Commission. Campaign finance reports were due on July 15, a date political reporters typically comb through the filings for news material. Maldonado did follow the letter of the law by filing a report on that date. However, she then filed a rather startling amended report on July 16.

Amended reports are not completely out of the ordinary; candidates occasionally forget an item or make a mistake, but the Maldonado amended report is spectacular in that her 'oopsies' consist of 90% of all expenditures and nearly $60,000 in contributions, including $25,000 from Annie's List, the pro-abortion PAC for ultra-liberal women. These omissions are so significant that they must be either the result of gross incompetence or a calculated effort to hide a controversial reporting items until media interest had died down. Unfortunately for Rep. Maldonado, Williamson County Republican Party Chairman Bill Fairbrother happened to notice that a 'corrected' report was quietly filed on July 16, and has notified local media.

An analysis of the items Maldonado slipped in after the report deadline, shows that only 4.8% of her funds are from within House District 52. In addition to some 52 contributions from trial attorneys and/or trial attorney PACs ($22,810) Maldonado has also received 35 contributions from various liberal PACs, including union groups and, of course, the infamous Annie's List PAC. Clearly, Rep Maldonado's support comes not from within the Republican-leaning district in Williamson County, but from a group of Leftist politicos determined steer the county to the left(or, off a cliff).

Representative Maldonado's attempt to play games with the Texas Ethics Commission does not say much for her commitment to openness and transparency. If, on the other hand, this was indeed all just a huge mistake, we should be very, very concerned about the competency of our current representation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What's it All About, Annie?

Over the weekend, News 8 Austin did a nice little puff piece on Annie's List and State Representative Diana Maldonado (D-52). Throughout the story Reporter Karina King refers to Annie's List as a "nonprofit" that "helps women" in politics, and she includes statements from both Maldonado and Annie's List Deputy Political Director Genevieve Van Cleve.

Of course Annie's List is a political action committee, and serves as the state version of Emily's List, a national PAC devoted to electing pro-abortion Democrat women. According to the News 8 report, the women Annie's List supports will better protect "families, education policies, and the evironment," no mention is made of the more extremist views of Annie's List staff and candidates, and while Van Cleve and company lament the number of women in the Texas House, of course they completely ignore the 21 Republican candidates for 2010 who happen to be women:

Debbie Riddle, District 150
Lois Kolkhorst, District 13, Incumbent
Linda Harper-Brown, District 105
Angie Chen-Button, District 112
Myra Crownover, District 64 Incumbent
Geanie Morrison, District 30, Incumbent
Connie Scott, District 34
Rebecca Cerverra, District 41
Marilyn Jackson, District 51
Marva Beck, District 57
Susan King, District 71, Incumbent
Jodie Laubenberg, District 89, Incumbent
Barbara Nash, District 93
Diane Patrick, District 94, Incumbent
Vicki Truitt, District 98
Cindy Burkett, District 101
Stefani Carter, District 102
Patricia Harless, District 126, Incumbent
Sarah Davis, District 134
Beverly Woolley, District 136
Sylvia Spivey, District 137

Furthermore, while the Genevieve Van Cleve appearing in this story seems very serious and really, genuinely concerned about families, here's the weekend Genevieve, an angry, rabid Liberal. Not exactly the kind of person I trust to protect my family.


Oh, and by the way, Genevieve was Diana Maldonado's campaign manager in 2008.
Just sayin'...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Larry Gonzales Outraises Dem Maldonado for Texas HD52 Race

According to the latest campaign finance reports, GOP candidate Larry Gonzales has raised about $30,000 more than Dem opponent Diana Maldonado. Still looking over the reports, but it seems that Maldonado has fewer than 10 contributors from within the District, with much funding coming from Liberal Texas Senator Kirk Watson, Union groups such as the AFL-CIO, and pro-abortion PACs. One noticeable exception is Patty Eason, a lefty Georgetown City Council member. Stay tuned, more to follow...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sharron Angle Coming to Wilco

Sharon Angle, Republican Nominee to replace Dirty Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate, has chosen Williamson County to host her visit to central Texas on Friday, August 20th! Two events are planned: first a fundraising reception where guests can meet Sharon and have a photo with her at 5pm. The second is a more casual grassroots rally at the Georgetown Community Center in San Gabriel Park at 7pm.
Find out why Harry Reid and the Left think Sharron Angle is a "DANGEROUS RADICAL!" More details to follow...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Hundred Years Curriculum War

When researching the history of a particular war, a good historian takes great pains to examine the causes, for hostile action is often the result of decades, or even centuries of tension. Yet, in a concerted effort to discredit the Texas State Board of Education, leftist ideologues assert the SBOE launched a surprise attack by suddenly deciding to rewrite history in a way that favors an ultra-right, fringe point of view. The “history of the teaching of history” in America, however, demonstrates that recent SBOE actions were only one battle in a war that has been raging since the late nineteenth century.

While the U.S. Constitution makes no provision for education, (a state responsibility,) Americans established publicly supported schools almost from the time they set foot on the continent. Historically, local entities developed schools that reflected American values, taught the 3 “R's,” and instilled a sense of history and civic duty. Early educators realized the potential of public education to influence and change society, and in the late 19th century adherents of the new Marxist philosophy took note.

One such Socialist ideologue, John Dewey, undertook to commandeer public education as a means to implementing fundamental societal changes. A Columbia University professor who opposed individualism* and concepts of objective truth, Dewey sought to reform education and cultivate a curriculum that would advance Socialism, unity of thought, and an atheistic humanism. Known for his advocacy of propaganda in both journalism and educational curriculum, his teachings launched an American “hundred years” war over public school education. Since that time, education reformists have been gradually redirecting children from studying 'history' to 'social studies,' a subtle, but meaningful shift.

Fast forward to 21st Century Texas. In 2009 the Texas Education Agency assembled panels to review and revise social studies curriculum standards, and appointed mostly leftist ideologues who proceeded to carry out a not-so-subtle assault on the foundational principles of our country. Among their recommendations were the removal of Judeo-Christian holidays while retaining teaching of other religious festivals, replacing the term “American” with “Global Citizen,” teaching that our nation is “imperialistic, oppressive, and exploitative,” and removing references to individuals such as Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein. Rather than rubber-stamp the work of the review panels, the elected SBOE members fulfilled their duty to the electorate by carefully examining and rejecting the more outlandish recommendations, while adding back to the standards a more balanced view of American history.

Hence the firestorm. When the academic Left realized the SBOE would not allow these socialistic world-view changes, Liberals enlisted the media in a campaign of distortion about Texas' curriculum standards, falsely claiming that minorities, liberal groups, and even Thomas Jefferson had been removed. Fortunately, the entire text of recommendations is public record, and these allegations are easily disproved.

Now, however, Democrats are attempting to exploit the issue. Yesterday, the leftist group Texas Freedom Network released results of a push-poll claiming that most Texans oppose the SBOE revisions. Interestingly enough, initially only 32% of respondents opposed the revisions, and only after TFN “explained” the process did the number rise to 57%, a clear indication that TFN's motive was to manipulate public opinion.

Locally, ardent Liberal Judy Jennings, who is running as a Democrat for SBOE District 10, is desperately trying to keep the controversy alive, and whining that students should not be learning the difference between legal and illegal immigration. (seriously). Furthermore, in the curriculum standards on Joe McCarthy, Jennings decries inclusion of the Venona Papers, primary source documents that demonstrate the scope and power of the American Communist Party during the McCarthy years. Should she be elected, Jennings vows to remove such 'outrages' from the standards.

Other than promising to cling to liberal/progressive curriculum standards, the Jennings campaign doesn't seem to offer much in the way concrete proposals, and like many candidates for education-sector offices, her website is covered with vague, 'for-the-children' platitudes.

Voters in SBOE District 10, which includes all of Williamson County, should repudiate the liberal/progressive ideology espoused by Jennings, and plan to support Dr. Marsha Farney. While Jenning's degree is in educational psychology, Farney holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas. She touts a superb resume, and clearly states her goals for the SBOE, which in addition to emphasizing core skills in curriculum, include insuring more education dollars go to the classroom rather than central administration.

Supremely qualified for the State Board of Education, Dr. Marsha Farney needs our support. Liberal/Progressives are pouring money into the Jennings campaign in the hopes of solidifying their dominance of public education. Visit Farney's campaign website for information on how to help, and be sure to vote for her this November. An extension of the culture wars, the curriculum wars will continue, and we need warriors like Marsha Farney on the front line.

*Dewey often referred to protecting 'individualism,' but, in a spectacular example of what would later be called Orwellian Good-speak, Dewey redefined the term as a kind of 'non-individual individualism,' wholly subservient to the needs of society. (Reconstruction in Philosophy, The School and Society)
Suggested Reading:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tribute to Our American Heroes

In an expression of gratitude to those who have risked their lives to protect our nation, the Williamson County Republican Women are holding a special Tribute to Our American Heroes event on Monday, July 12. Sponsored by Congressman John Carter (R-TX, 31) veterans and active duty military personnel are invited to enjoy a complimentary lunch at 11:30am, at the Wingate Conference Center in Round Rock.

The special guest speaker, Lewis Timberlake is considered to be one of the top 10 speakers in the state of Texas, and was elected to the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame. Currently President of the Texas Historical Association, Timberlake is also the author of several books, including Born to Win and It's Always Too Soon to Quit.

Reservations are required for this event; cost is $15 per person, military personnel are complimentary. To reserve a seat and/or sponsor a member of our military, email

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More on Public Sector Employee Wages

Last week I wrote about Royger Harris and his newly-formed, Williamson County Employees' Association, a 'union lite' organization Harris formed to complain about county employees not receiving raises this year. It seems Mr. Harris' has rather unfortunate timing since in the last week there has been a spate of news stories regarding the problem of public sector salaries.

In a guest post at Hot Air, Mary Katharine Ham discusses the issue and includes numerous examples of how some public sector (government employees) are not only enjoying 30% raises, but also exploiting the system to collect both salary and pension at the same time.

The bottom line? As part of the return to fiscally responsible budgeting at the federal, state, AND local levels, public sector salaries and pensions must be comparable to the private sector and market forces. Without these restraints, our various governments will continue down the path of financial insolvency.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Annie, Get Your Gun!

The Legacy Republican Women are celebrating 2nd Amendment rights with an "Annie Oakley Day," on Saturday, July 10, at 2:00pm. Participants will attend a small pistol training class at the Leander Police Department, and then head to the shooting range for practical application. The class is $60, the range fee is $10.
Register online by Tuesday, July 6.

For more information, contact Wendy at (512) 260-7157.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Public Sector 'Union-Lite" in Wilco

Who does Royger Harris of the Williamson County Attorney's office think he's kidding?

At Tuesday's Williamson County Commissioner's Court, Harris, who works for Jana Duty in the County Attorney's office, demanded that the county approve payroll deductions for his newly formed Williamson County Employees Association, and when we say newly-formed, we mean 6 days old, since Harris only filed his paperwork on June 24. The Court tabled Harris' request until he can produce some basic information, such as WCEA bylaws and board members; a request Harris seems to think improper.

The County has prudently allowed very few organizations payroll deduction privileges, and the United Way (founded in 1887) was the last group approved, some four years ago.

So what is Harris' agenda? Only after much prodding, Harris got to the heart of the issue: some county employees are upset that they won't be getting raises this year while health insurance premiums are increasing.

Apparently Harris has not noticed that the entire nation is having a little economic trouble. The unemployment rate is at nearly 10%, and many still employed in the private sector have received pay cuts. (My own household took a cut of 25%) And guess what? ALL of us will be paying higher insurance premiums and taxes next year thanks to Obamacare and out-of-control federal spending.

We have seen the formation of many new public sector employee 'associations' in recent years; These groups are not unions per se and do not have the same powers and capabilities as established unions, but their stated goals are nearly identical, rendering these associations a kind of 'union-lite.'

Clearly the goal of Mr. Harris and company is to force the County Commissioners off the path of fiscal responsibility they have taken. Like most liberal/progressives, Harris cares little about the budget and reduced revenues for the county, and only wants to make sure government employees don't have to feel the effects of our troubled economy. This approach will only lead to higher taxes for residents and business, and further burden a productive private sector.