EmpowerTexans Newsletter – November, 17 2013

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Texans for Fiscal Responsibility

Nov. 17, 2013


QUOTING…  “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.” — Ronald Reagan

During the spring legislative session, Democrats successfully legitimized the illegitimate profession of ObamaCare ‘navigator’ into state law with the help of Republicans. Thanks to filmmaker James O’Keefe, we now know for sure some of those same navigators are shilling for leftist causes while encouraging fraud.

Meanwhile, a candidate for lieutenant governor is woefully misrepresenting the “FiscalResponsibility Index” record of one of his opponents.

I’ll get to those in a second.

Quick Texas Tidbits
Arlington’s mayor recently decided to become a good steward of the taxpayers’ money — after he got caught

The House Witchhunt Committee looking to silence a regent for doing his job uncovering malfeasance met again last week…

San Antonio activists are being bullied for opposing a boondoggle streetcar plan

Silencing Critics In Secret
A disturbing trend is re-emerging around the country: establishment politicians using secret investigations and closed-door hearings to silence conservative critics.

Our experiences with lackey-legislators and the Keystone Kops at the Texas Ethics Commission pales in comparison to what’s happening in Wisconsin. There, prosecutors are sending in SWAT teams to raid the homes and businesses of conservatives whose “crime” is speaking on politics.

The Wall Street Journal picked up on the story this weekend with their lead editorial board piece.

Investigations into political activism? Secret subpoenas? Jail time? All for doing what our founding fathers literally fought the war of independence to secure: the right of the people to active engage in their government. This is a chilling about-face for our nation, and one which all citizens must stand up against. Fast.

As the editorial board notes, “the effect is to limit political speech by intimidating these groups from participating in the 2014 campaign.”

It just goes to show that liberty truly is never more than a generation away from extinction.

Staples’ Bad Attack
Lieutenant Governor candidate Todd Staples issued a press release last last weekmisrepresenting the record of his opponent, Sen. Dan Patrick, on the Fiscal ResponsibilityIndex. (We’ve endorsed Sen. Patrick in the race.)

The fact of the matter is that in 2007 Sen. Patrick voted against the bloated budget and had the 4th -highest rating of all 31 senators on that inaugural Fiscal Responsibility Index. Since then, Sen. Patrick has consistently ranked near or at the top of the Fiscal ResponsibilityIndex and Texans for Fiscal Responsibility rankings

By way of comparison, Mr. Staples’ legislative services pre-dates the Fiscal ResponsibilityIndex, it should not be ignored that he voted for a 16% budget increase in 2001 and later – in 2006 – Staples voted to impose the gross receipts tax on Texas’ small businesses.

In Sen. Patrick, we look forward to having a lieutenant governor who has stood steadfast for commonsense budget and property tax reforms, while arguing consistently for making the state senate more transparent and responsive to the people of Texas.

Lost With The Navigators
Democrats in the Texas Legislature successfully codified ObamaCare into state law with the aid of the GOP, expanding the power of the Texas Department of Insurance and legitimatizing the illegitimate healthcare “navigator” profession Texans now know is being used by liberals as a political tool.

Opposing the legislation was the Texas Conservative Coalition, a caucus of conservative House and Senate members. We negatively rated the legislation on the Fiscal ResponsibilityIndex; it was an attempt to give Texas cover to a very bad DC idea. (There were more than 70 votes on the House Index.)

Last week State Rep. Kenneth Sheets (R-Dallas) contacted me asking that TFR reconsider our opposition to the Democrat-led SB 1795, the “navigator” legislation that codified ObamaCare’s liberal army into state law. The legislation was promoted by liberal Sens. Kirk Watson (D), Sylvia Garcia (D) and John Carona (R), and House Democrat Ryan Guillen.

Why is Mr. Sheets wanting us to change our position? Well, he says he “worked diligently” to “ensure passage” of the legislation. He claims to have supported the bill so the navigators could be regulated. All the bill really did was legitimize the “navigator” profession and worm ObamaCare into state law. (The bill was rightly opposed by 26 House Republicans.)

Ironically, Mr. Sheets contacted us hoping we’d embrace the ObamaCare navigators at the same time documentary maker James O’Keefe was unveiling his latest undercover film project showing Texas “navigators” shilling for Battleground Texas and explaining how people can defraud the taxpayers.

It wasn’t the law Mr. Sheets “worked diligently” to pass that stopped the off-course navigators, but an out-of-state filmmaker.

So while Mr. Sheets’ legislative diligence had the predictable effect of doing little-to-nothing to stop bad action (while legitimatizing a bad profession), it was a young crusading filmmaker who is shining light where SB 1795 created confusion.

So, no, we won’t re-consider our opposition to poorly-considered pro-ObamaCare legislation.

Accountability Season
The filing period for the 2014 election season is well underway. I hope you are already looking carefully at those seeking to represent you. Elections are your chance to hold your legislators and other elected servants accountable for what they have, and haven’t, accomplished.

We’ve already begun issuing endorsements, and will issue even more tomorrow. You can keep track of them on our websiteFacebook page, and Twitter feed!

For Texas,
Michael Quinn Sullivan
& the EmpowerTexans.com Team