A great meeting with Empower Texans

michael-quinn-sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans

Meeting summary: we need to better monitor the Texas Legislature and keep those we elect there accountable.

An important conclusion: engaged citizens (us) can give elected officials an excuse to not fall into the anti-conservative games played in Austin. But we have to stay on them at every turn or they will turn on us.

One example given was House freshman Van Taylor from Plano who, when confronted by Speaker Straus to vote against his district’s wishes, could point to a large stack of correspondence from his constituents and assure his Speaker that they’d vote him right out if he did. This is how we need to be with our representatives.

Good turnout. Thanks to all!

First, we had a very good turnout and greatly thank all the officials, candidates, and voters who attended! And of course, hearty thanks and appreciation to Michael Quinn Sullivan (his blog) and Andrew Kerr of Empower Texans for presenting.

Primaries are the most important elections

  • Only 15% participate in primaries. As an organized group of conservative voters, we must make the most of this opportunity.
  • Now is the best time to get our legislators to make commitments since they need something from us.
    • Use your phone to record their responses.
    • EVERY action a legislator does should be open to public review – and stay in contact with them to hold them to it. 
  • We need to convince our friends and neighbors to vote—even if it means giving them a ride to the polls ourselves

reblicanus-moderate-itis. contracted in austin, cured at home

This disease won't cure itself. It is OUR job as citizens to monitor and hold our elected officials to account.

The 2011 Texas Legislature :-/

A few other random notes from the meeting (please add your own comments below and/or on the Facebook group):

  • in the 2010 election, Texas said they wanted—and voted for—conservative state legislators. But the supermajority we achieved was not so super: reforms were stifled by Speaker Joe Straus
  • Our biggest problem is not state legislators, it’s local officials who go and lobby them with your money
  • Sen. Ogden’s lame-duck proposal—lame
  • the 2011 legislature can claim it didn’t raise taxes, but they did use gimmicks (fees etc.)
  • the education lobby will always cry for more. They’ll never talk about a targeted spending plan or how best to use the money, just about “more”
    • last session, 60% of the increases were for education
    • $12,000 is spent per student
  • the Texas Senate is referred to as where good ideas die and bad ideas get new life

A good example of beginning to get it right

One of the things Michael mentioned during his talk was our own Senator Steve Ogden’s frustration at “outside groups” (Empower Texans and other pesky Tea Party types) getting inside the Senate’s chummy club and making it harder to pass bills without accountability. Remember this? That’s the issue the Senator was referring to. Looks like we may be having some good effect, but there’s a long way to go!

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