Empower Texans Newsletter – December 29, 2013

QUOTING…  And now that the legislators and do gooders have futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty.” — Frederic Bastiat

With every statewide office “up for grabs,” the future of Texas – and the nation – will be shaped by what we do in 2014. We have to hit the ground running, and be ready for the fierce fights ahead!

It starts with holding our elected official accountable.

Confronting Your Employees
Of course, some legislators have really thin skin… and don’t at all like constituents finding out what they have been doing in Austin. Latest example? Ironically enough, the co-chair of the Orwellian-named “Transparency” committee in the Texas House.

This committee is the pet project of moderate House Speaker Joe Straus. It’s most meaningful activities to date have been to hold a series of hearings into impeaching a UT regent for uncovering financial malfeasances and admissions abuse.

The committee seems intent on whitewashing over the allegations of corruption and abuse — including unethical behavior (or worse) by members of the legislature.

Some legislators clearly hope you won’t pay attention to any of this. They like using admissions to state universities as a “benefit” for themselves and their friends.

So we’ve done the unthinkable: we mailed into the districts of the committee members, letting voters know about the scandals, and suggesting that legislators should focus on the corruption.

It’s time for Texans to confront their legislators about a legislative culture that protects corruption and punishes reformers.

River Pigs
It’s a culture of abuse that includes lawmakers making sure their friends feed handsomely from the taxpayers’ pockets with government pork.

No one does it like State Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, a moderate Republican who flaunts his disdain for the GOP platform and conservative values. But maybe the mostegregious example of his disregard for good government has flown completely under the radar, until exposed by our own Ross Kesceg.

In 2005, Geren introduced legislation that vastly expanded the legal authority of the Tarrant Regional Water District to include “environmental restoration, recreation, access to green space, urban revitalization…and economic development.” To obfuscate matters, the TRWD created the Trinity River Vision as a legal entity to actually carry out the porky spending. (Along the way, the son of moderate US congresswoman Kay Granger got the cushy six-figure job administrating the TRV and its bloated $120 million budget.)

Despite over-the-top claims that Texans face death by dehydration unless we took on new levels of debt, Geren’s TRV recently used scarce water dollars to construct an ice-skating rink.

It’s also worth mentioning that Mr. Geren opposed efforts to force state lawmakers to disclose the sweetheart contracts they and their family members have with local governments. That squealing you hear is Charlie Geren’s fear that that legislation will be coming up again in 2015.

Start Strong
In these closing days of 2013, we have the opportunity make sure 2014 is the year that the Lone Star State starts shining brighter. The next 12 months will define the future of Texas. With every statewide office “up for grabs,” you and I have the opportunity to sharpen the image of the state for a decade to come.

I need you to make a generous end-of-year donation to our work, allowing us to communicate with more Texans than ever before during this critical accountability season. Together, we can ensure Texans have the tools they need to be effective citizen-leaders.

Let’s get going!

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