Rights impose duties on third parties, privileges do not.
Abortion, especially elective abortion of healthy babies in healthy mothers, is not a right. It is an illicit privilege granted by an act of law. No one has a duty to enable or act to cause an elective abortion at the request of a woman.
It is an “illicit” privilege, since the right not to be killed is an inalienable right. Each of us in society has a duty imposed by that right to prevent its infringement.
Edited 1/27/16 to clean up grammar and add links. BBN
Death, lies and video
Supported only by his imagination, what he saw in videos produced by Texas Right to Life lawyers, and a news article,Dr. Phillip Hawley, Jr., M.D., wrote “A Tragic Case of Modern Bioethics; Denying Life-Sustaining Treatment to a Patient Who Wanted to Live” about the truly tragic, but inevitable death of Chris Dunn. Hawley erred by pretending to read the minds of doctors and hospital representatives and calling complete strangers “utilitarian” “murderers.” Before discussing the ethics of his accusations, it’s necessary to explain the meaning of the documented facts, available in news sources, blog posts and court records:
It is very unlikely that Chris understood his condition, the questions the lawyers were asking or the consequences of his “prayer.” That he was unable to make medical decisions is supported by the fact that his parents had been making his medical decisions. The Harris County judge agreed with the hospital’s request that a single legal guardian be named by a separate court.
“Life-sustaining treatment,” “medically inappropriate” and “Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration” are legal terms defined in the Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA), which outlines the exact procedure and language for communications between doctors, the hospital committee, and patients or their surrogates. The use, monitoring and adjustment of a mechanical ventilator is in the definition of “life-sustaining treatments.” TADA specifically excludes “Artificially Administered Nutrition and Hydration” (AANH) in the definition of “life sustaining treatments,” which would argue against the accusation that his doctors planned to withdraw “food and water.”
The only legal reason under TADA to remove any “life-sustaining treatment” is that it is deemed “medically inappropriate” by the attending physician and then only if the hospital medical or ethics committee “affirms” that decision. If and when they are withheld, the Act specifically prohibits “mercy killing” or otherwise intentionally intervening with the intent to cause death by artificial means.
Additional demands by Chris’ mother, Mrs. Kelly, and the lawyers in blogs and news articles would have also fallen under the legal definition of “life-sustaining treatment.” These demands included a biopsy in order to determine a definitive tissue diagnosis for the clinically apparent pancreatic cancer and liver lesions, a surgical tracheostomy and the removal of the ventilator (to be fair, I believe they meant the tube through the vocal chords), less sedation, searches for and trials of treatment of the cancer, and the non-standard use of an indwelling drain for the ascites (large exudates in the abdomen due to high pressures in the liver and the failure of the liver to make necessary proteins). These are invasive, potentially painful and, based on the reported size and effects of the mass, the extent of liver damage visibly evident in the videos as temporal wasting and copper-colored skin, ascites and the GI bleeding – they were very unlikely to lengthen his life, much less cure his cancer. In fact they could be very likely to hasten – or be the immediate cause of – his death.
Chris died in the ICU on full life-sustaining treatments, including the ventilator and intravenous AANH.
The doctors are on record as basing their decision on the suffering caused by the treatments to their patient, Chris. This is consistent with the known side-effects of the ventilator and even reports from Chris’ mother, who told reporters that Chris suffered from the treatments and fluid building up in his lungs despite the ventilator. And yet, Dr. Hawley made sensational statements such as:
“For patients with terminal illnesses, this standard often leads to the utilitarian question: Is the patient’s life still worth living?
“In Chris Dunn’s case, the committee’s answer was “no.” Relative strangers with little or no knowledge of his values and beliefs weighed his “quality of life” and decided that he no longer deserved to live.”
“. . . How did these committee members who had only recently met the patient—if they ever met him at all—know that it was in his best interest for them to end his life?”
“. . . But, somehow, we are to believe that these committee members were able to deduce existential truths about what was in Chris Dunn’s best interest?”
The physicians who cared for Mr. Dunn for over a month had certainly met him and members of the Methodist Hospital Biomedical Ethics Committee met with the family several times. Court documents are clear that the doctors believed the life-sustaining treatments were causing suffering and that the committee agreed that the treatments were medically inappropriate. There certainly is no evidence that the doctors or the committee members sought to intentionally “end” Chris’ life. “Medically inappropriate treatment” is not an “existential truth” and never in the patient’s best interest.
(Some may remind us that suffering can have benefits. However, Mr. Dunn couldn’t consent to suffering, much less benefit from the suffering, whether as a medical treatment or a willing religious self-sacrifice.)
Robert P. George is one of my heroes a conservative tenured professor of law and ethics at Princeton and one of the founders of the Witherspoon Institute, an organization known for its defense of Judeo-Christian ethics based on natural law, and the parent organization of Public Discourse. He has helpfully outlined a “key” to evaluate the withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining care:
“[T]he key is the distinction between what traditionally has been called “direct killing,” where death (one’s own or someone else’s) is sought either as an end in itself or as a means to some other end, and accepting death or the shortening of life as a foreseen side effect of an action or omission whose object is something other than death—either some good that cannot be achieved or some evil that cannot be avoided without resulting in death or the shortening of life.”
George and Hawley each point to a value in medicine that is higher than autonomy or even preserving life at all costs: the duty of physicians to care for the patient. “Cure when possible, but first, do no harm.”
The lawyers didn’t just sue to maintain “life-sustaining treatments,” or even Mrs. Kelly’s right to force the doctors to treat Chris the way she wanted them to. The lawsuit, blog posts and public statements document the ultimate goal to have TADA declared unconstitutional and to force all doctors to give patients and surrogates the right to demand any and all desired treatment indefinitely. The power of State courts, law enforcement and licensing would be used to force Texas doctors to carry out acts against our medical judgment, education, experience and conscience.
What justification can the lawyers and Dr. Hawley give for not believing the physicians who care for patients daily and hourly when those caretakers document that the patient is suffering?
What kind of physicians will we end up with if the State can force us to act without judgement or conscience?
What kind of State would we have?
Based on a video and his imagined conversations between “malevolent” and “utilitarian” doctors and hospitals, Hawley declares Texas a “morally impoverished society.” Ignoring sworn statements from the physicians and misrepresenting TADA, he distorts the purpose of the Texas Advance Directive Act, which is to address the problems encountered when patients and surrogates disagree., Only by assuming evil intent is he able to force doctors to prove a negative and distract from any possibility of a conflict between the equal and inalienable rights of the patient and the doctor.
While the video of Chris apparently praying to be allowed to live wrenched at our emotions, it was used to tell a false story upon which Dr. Hawley built his harmful assumptions. We would all do well to remember my Mama’s advice: Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.”
Edited for grammar and decrease wordiness and formatting (1-15-16). BBN
I’ll admit that I’m not a lawyer and have to do my homework to even attempt to understand lawyer-speak. (For example, see this definition of “Abatement”) How I wish more lawyers would admit they aren’t doctors, especially when they accuse doctors and entire hospital committees of killing patients.
Earlier this week, I reviewed the latest sensationalized case involving lawyers and lawyer-lobbyists playing doctor in the media and courts to overturn Section 166.046 of the Texas Advance Directive Act (“TADA”).
TADA outlines the process to settle disputes between an attending physician and the patient (or the family of a patient) when the medical judgment of the doctor about what is medically appropriate for the patient conflicts with the demands for treatment that the patient or family wants *that* particular doctor to perform.
Texas law prohibits the removal of “artificially administered nutrition and hydration” and pain medications unless the doctors determine they will cause further harm. However, a ventilator, intubation tubes in the throat, cardio-version (CPR), surgery and invasive procedures or tests are not ordinary or comfort care and are considered “life-sustaining” treatment that may be removed or withheld from a patient with a terminal disease if the patient’s doctor determines that are not medically appropriate. There is certainly no provision in Texas law to intentionally stop a patient’s breathing or to otherwise cause certain death.
The lawyers lobbying and suing against TADA admit in both public statements and legal complaints that they will settle for nothing less than “Due Process,” lawyer-speak reference to the Fourteenth Amendment clause, “due process of law.” They demand that every dispute about medically appropriate care between doctors and patients be argued – by lawyers – in court, preferably with a risk of “liability” for the doctor, any committee member who reviews the case under TADA, and the hospital where the patient is under care. Judges, and possibly juries, would determine the local medical standard of care, which medical procedures are appropriate for which patients, and liability. Lawyers and judges would essentially practice medicine instead of doctors.
To summarize this latest case, court records document** the affidavit from the attending physician of a 46 year old Pasadena, Texas man, Chris Dunn. Mr. Dunn was admitted to the ICU at Houston’s Methodist hospital unresponsive after a major gastrointestinal bleed due to metastatic pancreatic cancer led to his emergency transfer from a hospital in his hometown. Mr. Dunn was on a ventilator and suffering from liver, kidney, and respiratory failure. He had fluid in his lungs, necessitating higher and higher pressures on the ventilator. He had fluid leaking into the abdominal cavity due to the liver failure, ascites, that required intermittent draining. He also suffered from hepatic encephalopathy, a form of variable dementia and delirium. His doctors and his father agreed that the repetitive, invasive treatments necessary to maintain the ventilator and treat the multi-organ failure should be stopped because they were causing Mr. Dunn harm, while comfort care would continue.
In their lawsuit against the hospital, a group of lawyers brought in by Mr. Dunn’s mother and Texas Right to Life sued the hospital in Mr. Dunn’s name, although there was a question about both Mr. Dunn’s ability to legally consent and the legal status of either parent alone to make medical decisions on Mr. Dunn’s behalf. In fact, the court ruled an “Abatement” or suspension of the lawsuit on December 4, 2015, until the legal guardianship for Mr. Dunn could be settled in another court. And, sadly, in spite of continued treatment in the Intensive Care Unit, on a ventilator, with IV and tube feedings, and all the repetitive blood tests, suctioning, and invasive procedures these treatments required, Mr. Dunn succumbed to his disease before that other court could meet to name a guardian.
In their lawsuit against the hospital, the lawyers even accuse “the facility” (not the attending doctor) of planning to actively euthanize Mr. Dunn by the deliberate use of injections intended to cause his death, rather than to relieve his pain:
“Defendant scheduling . . . and Defendant administering, via injection, a combination of drugs which will end his life almost immediately, thus warranting immediate intervention by this court.” (**p.2)
The lawyers further declared that the doctors and the Methodist Biomedical Ethics Committee – and every doctor or hospital committee – would be corrupted by their affiliation with the hospital:
“The statute does not provide adequate safeguards to protect against the conflict of interest inherently present when the treating physician’s decision is reviewed by the hospital “ethics committee” to whom the physician has direct financial ties.
“Texas Health and Saftey [sic] Code violates Plaintiff’s right to procedural due process by failing to provide an adequate venue for Plaintiff and those similarly situated to be heard in this critical life-ending decision. The law also fails to impose adequate evidentiary safeguards against hospitals and doctors by allowing them to make the decision to terminate life-sustaining treatment in their own unfettered discretion.” (**pp. 5,6)
“Under Tex. Health and Safety Code 166.046, a fair and impartial tribunal did not and could not hear Dunn’s case. “Ethics committee” members from the treating hospital cannot be fair and impartial, when the propriety of giving Dunn’s expensive life-sustaining treatment must be weighed against a potential economic loss to the very entity which provides those members of the “ethics committee” with privileges and a source of income.” (**p. 7)
Lawyer-speak notwithstanding, I can’t figure out – and the lawyers don’t tell us – how to ensure that “unfettered” pancreatic cancer presenting with multi-organ failure followed “due process” in Mr. Dunn’s case. Other than lawyers from each side hiring and paying even more doctors to re-examine the patient and re-view the existing medical records, repeated clinical exams and nurses’ notes, lab work and non-invasive scans of the liver and abdomen, what would a judge or jury consider “evidentiary safeguards against doctors and hospitals?”
But in news article after blog post, lawyers (but no doctors) claimed that “the hospital wanted to kill” Mr. Dunn. Lawyers (but no doctors) claimed there were un-named additional tests and treatments which could have changed the diagnosis, treatment or prognosis. Lawyers (but no doctors) disputed the medical judgment of the very doctors from whom the lawsuit demanded continued intensive care.
In their lawsuit, the lawyers also declared that, “Members of a fair and impartial tribunal should not only avoid a conflict of interest, they should avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, especially when a patient’s life is at stake.” (*p. 7) But that didn’t stop them from including an ironic and self-serving demand that Methodist hospital pay their “Attorney fees and costs.” (p. 12)
**(Protected “.pdf” “Images” of the original legal documents quoted below can be found online, here. The document images aren’t link-able and can’t be copied or printed, so I will have to type up and share quotes. See Family case number 2015-69681. The quotes above are from document number 6796448.pdf, “Plaintiff’s Original Verified Petition and Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Injunctive Relief.”)
Here’s Section 166.046 of the Texas Advance Directive Act, the part of Texas Law that is in the news, these days. This part only applies when there is a disagreement between the doctor (whom the patient wants to continue treatment) and the patient or his surrogate about treatment decisions.
Sec. 166.046. PROCEDURE IF NOT EFFECTUATING A DIRECTIVE OR TREATMENT DECISION. (a) If an attending physician refuses to honor a patient’s advance directive or a health care or treatment decision made by or on behalf of a patient, the physician’s refusal shall be reviewed by an ethics or medical committee. The attending physician may not be a member of that committee. The patient shall be given life-sustaining treatment during the review.
(b) The patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the individual who has made the decision regarding the directive or treatment decision:
(1) may be given a written description of the ethics or medical committee review process and any other policies and procedures related to this section adopted by the health care facility;
(2) shall be informed of the committee review process not less than 48 hours before the meeting called to discuss the patient’s directive, unless the time period is waived by mutual agreement;
(3) at the time of being so informed, shall be provided:
(A) a copy of the appropriate statement set forth in Section 166.052; and
(B) a copy of the registry list of health care providers and referral groups that have volunteered their readiness to consider accepting transfer or to assist in locating a provider willing to accept transfer that is posted on the website maintained by the department under Section 166.053; and
(4) is entitled to:
(A) attend the meeting;
(B) receive a written explanation of the decision reached during the review process;
(C) receive a copy of the portion of the patient’s medical record related to the treatment received by the patient in the facility for the lesser of:
(i) the period of the patient’s current admission to the facility; or
(ii) the preceding 30 calendar days; and
(D) receive a copy of all of the patient’s reasonably available diagnostic results and reports related to the medical record provided under Paragraph (C).
(c) The written explanation required by Subsection (b)(4)(B) must be included in the patient’s medical record.
(d) If the attending physician, the patient, or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the individual does not agree with the decision reached during the review process under Subsection (b), the physician shall make a reasonable effort to transfer the patient to a physician who is willing to comply with the directive. If the patient is a patient in a health care facility, the facility’s personnel shall assist the physician in arranging the patient’s transfer to:
(1) another physician;
(2) an alternative care setting within that facility; or
(3) another facility.
(e) If the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient is requesting life-sustaining treatment that the attending physician has decided and the ethics or medical committee has affirmed is medically inappropriate treatment, the patient shall be given available life-sustaining treatment pending transfer under Subsection (d). This subsection does not authorize withholding or withdrawing pain management medication, medical procedures necessary to provide comfort, or any other health care provided to alleviate a patient’s pain. The patient is responsible for any costs incurred in transferring the patient to another facility. The attending physician, any other physician responsible for the care of the patient, and the health care facility are not obligated to provide life-sustaining treatment after the 10th day after both the written decision and the patient’s medical record required under Subsection (b) are provided to the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient unless ordered to do so under Subsection (g), except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providing artificially administered nutrition and hydration would:
(1) hasten the patient’s death;
(2) be medically contraindicated such that the provision of the treatment seriously exacerbates life-threatening medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
(3) result in substantial irremediable physical pain not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
(4) be medically ineffective in prolonging life; or
(5) be contrary to the patient’s or surrogate’s clearly documented desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.
(e-1) If during a previous admission to a facility a patient’s attending physician and the review process under Subsection (b) have determined that life-sustaining treatment is inappropriate, and the patient is readmitted to the same facility within six months from the date of the decision reached during the review process conducted upon the previous admission, Subsections (b) through (e) need not be followed if the patient’s attending physician and a consulting physician who is a member of the ethics or medical committee of the facility document on the patient’s readmission that the patient’s condition either has not improved or has deteriorated since the review process was conducted.
(f) Life-sustaining treatment under this section may not be entered in the patient’s medical record as medically unnecessary treatment until the time period provided under Subsection (e) has expired.
(g) At the request of the patient or the person responsible for the health care decisions of the patient, the appropriate district or county court shall extend the time period provided under Subsection (e) only if the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that there is a reasonable expectation that a physician or health care facility that will honor the patient’s directive will be found if the time extension is granted.
(h) This section may not be construed to impose an obligation on a facility or a home and community support services agency licensed under Chapter 142 or similar organization that is beyond the scope of the services or resources of the facility or agency. This section does not apply to hospice services provided by a home and community support services agency licensed under Chapter 142.
Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 450, Sec. 1.03, eff. Sept. 1, 1999. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1228, Sec. 3, 4, eff. June 20, 2003.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1 (S.B. 219), Sec. 3.0503, eff. April 2, 2015.
Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 435 (H.B. 3074), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2015.
I am glad that the rules are explicit about the duty to report sexual or physical abuse.
Here’s a statement from Texas Alliance for Life, with links to the ruling:
Austin, TX — Today the Texas Supreme Court released rules for how courts handle judicial bypass proceedings regarding secret abortions on minors girls without parental notification or consent. The rules were created in response to HB 3994, authored by Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) and sponsored by Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) and strongly supported by Texas Alliance for Life.
The following statement is attributed to Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life:
We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s strong rules regarding the judicial bypass process for abortions on minor girls. These bring to fruition a 10-year effort by Texas Alliance for Life and a coalition of pro-life organizations to protect minor girls in Texas from abortion. In 2005, the Texas Legislature passed a bill requiring doctors to obtain the consent of a parent before performing abortions on minor girls. In 2015, the Legislature passed, and Gov. Abbott signed into law, HB 3994 to reform the judicial bypass process by which a judge can allow abortions on minors without parental consent. The reforms closed loopholes and increased protections for the minors from abuse. The Texas Supreme Court has faithfully implemented House Bill 3994 in a way that will best protect the well being of minor girls.
Here is a link to the Texas Supreme Court’s order issuing the rules: http://www.txcourts.gov/media/1225647/159246.pdf.
HB 3994 was one of five major pro-life bills and numerous other pro-life provisions passed in 2015. Here is a summary.
Texas Right to Life turned Mr. Dunn’s imminent death from metastatic pancreatic cancer into a crusade against the Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA or the Act). The Act is invoked by the attending doctor – not the hospital or ethics committee – when family members demand that he or she perform acts that go against the conscience because they are medically inappropriate, causing the patient to suffer without changing his course.
In this case, the mother and father disagreed with one another about the care plan and the patient was unable to make legally binding decisions. The father agreed with Mr. Dunn’s doctors that the treatment was causing suffering, objected to surgery to place a tracheostomy, and wanted hospice and comfort care. The mother wanted dangerous, painful procedures performed that would not change the medical outlook except to possibly hasten death.
And, unless you read the court records, you wouldn’t know that the judge ruled that Chris was not mentally competent to make his own medical decisions, that the hospital never wanted guardianship and had voluntarily promised to continue care until the guardianship could be settled. In fact all the lawyers, including the Texas Right to Life representatives, signed off on an agreement acknowledging this promise on December 4th. ( The official court records are available to view free of charge online at the Harris County District Clerk’s website as protected pdf images. See Family case number 2015- 69681.)
Inflammatory headlines falsely claimed that “the hospital” had imposed a “death sentence,” and was actively trying to kill Mr. Dunn by refusing to diagnose, treat or even give a prognosis. That same blog post mentioned non-standard treatments that some in the family were demanding.
First of all, of course there was a diagnosis. Several, in fact. From the signed affidavit of Mr. Dunn’s attending physician, filed December 2, 2015 in response to the law suit:
“Based on my education, training, experience, as well as my care of Mr. Dunn, I, and members of my team, have advised his family members that Mr. Dunn suffers from end stage liver disease, the presence of a pancreatic mass suspected to be malignant with metastasis to the liver and complications of gastric outlet obstruction secondary to his pancreatic mass. Further, he suffers from hepatic encephalopathy, acute renal failure, sepsis, acute respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, and gastrointestestinal bleed. I have advised members of Mr. Dunn’s family that it is my clinical opinion that Mr. Dunn’s present condition is irreversible and progressively terminal.”
The primary diagnosis was metastatic pancreatic cancer. The cancer was a mass that blocked the ducts and blood vessels coming from the liver as well as the normal function of the intestines. As liver excretions backed up into the liver and the blood pressure in the liver increased, Mr. Dunn suffered a life-threatening gastrointestinal bleed, fluid buildup in the abdomen and lungs, and sepsis (an overwhelming infection). All of these would aggravate respiratory failure, the necessity of a ventilator and lead to the kidney damage. Liver failure often results in hepatic encephalopathy and variable delirium.
There was definitely treatment given, including tube and IV feedings, antibiotics, the ventilator, and periodic removal of the abdominal fluid. Again, this was all publicly documented in Court documents, in the media and even on the Texas Right to Life blog that claimed that “Houston Methodist has invested no time or effort in Chris’s health, instead exerting their energies into trying to kill him instead.” [sic]
The Intensive Care doctors as well as the Biomedical Ethics Committee, met with the parents to explain Mr. Dunn’s condition and his prognosis. The family was given notice before the Committee hearing and met with the (not at all “nameless” or “faceless”) Committee to discuss their (differing) wants. Thirty days’ worth of medical records, a hospital case worker and assistance in finding alternative care were made available to the family.
Then, there’s the complaint about the limits on visitors and videotaping. It is not unusual to limit Intensive Care Unit visits to specific times and to allow only close family, especially when the patient can’t consent and there is contention among family members. It is certainly standard to prohibit filming in the Unit, since patients are visible from one area to the next, in various states of undress and undergoing constant or frequent *intensive* treatments.
(BTW, one of the lawyers in the TRTL ICU video proves the basis for the rules: he is not compliant with the usual isolation procedures. Former Senator Joe Nixon didn’t wear the protective gown at all correctly, risking the introduction of infectious contamination into the room and/or taking germs home with him.)
It’s very unusual for patients on a ventilator to be conscious because of the severe discomfort associated with the foreign body – the breathing tube – that is necessary in the airways. It’s difficult to believe that anyone would complain about sedating Mr. Dunn in order to bypass his gag reflex.
Finally, the standard of care in advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer is pain relief and palliative support. The surgery to remove a pancreas is extremely dangerous for even healthier patients. As Mr. Dunn had already had an episode of bleeding and both liver and kidney failure, it’s likely that even a biopsy of the pancreatic mass or liver, much less surgery, would have caused more life-threatening bleeding. With liver and kidney damage, he wouldn’t have been able to tolerate trials of radiation or chemotherapy, either.
In fact, the doctors and nurses gave excellent treatment all along, as shown by his survival beyond the average for patients who presented in such a precarious state and acknowledged by Mrs. Kelly in her statement after Chris’ death.
The truth is that Methodist never made plans to “kill” Mr. Dunn. Mr. Dunn was never in danger of the hospital “pulling the plug.” The real problem was a disagreement between Mr. Dunn’s divorced parents over who would legally make medical decisions. That rift is bound to have been made worse by TRTL and the lawyers turning Chris’ illness into a public political battle. The accusations about euthanasia, killing and murder may cause other future patients harm, if they are reluctant to seek care because of these stories.
Today, the Conservative grassroots are shouting raw emotions, masses feeding off headlines, “Shares,” and “Likes,” rather than the meat of the story.
Paul Waldman, in “Why have so many GOP governor’s fizzled out in the 2016 race?”online at “The Week,” astutely describes the insanity that has gripped the Party formerly consisting of Conservatives, but which is now infested with destructive anti’s.
From the article,
Over the past few years, the party’s grass roots have been gripped by an anti-politics fervor that values quixotic crusades over substantive victories, and equates actually accomplishing anything through ordinary political processes with betrayal.”
“That’s why someone like Ted Cruz, a senator who has never written a law and who, if you ask him what he has accomplished, will tell you about the times he “stood up” and failed to stop Barack Obama and his own party’s leaders from keeping the government open or not defaulting on America’s debts, can still be considered unsullied and thus potentially worthy of the nomination. And those like Donald Trump and Ben Carson, their minds uncluttered by even the remotest understanding of how government works, are the most popular of all.”
Brutal. Truth. Insanity, where failure equals stature and inexperience and ignorance are lauded as qualifications.
Can we re-use the Know Nothing name for our party?
Once upon a time, the grassroots of the Republican Party, especially Conservatives, were researchers, well informed, and capable of reason. It was a joke among us that the real news was hidden in the penultimate paragraph of any news story.
Yet, 14 years of Governor Rick Perry’s Conservative leadership in Texas is mocked amid comments about glasses and his performance over a few months in 2011. Governor Scott Walker won and re-won elections in a Blue State and braved for-hire Union mobs willing to break windows in the Wisconsin State Capitol, but he was simply ignored. Each were treated more seriously by crooked Dem Prosecutors than by Conservatives.
There’s no way this latest crop could have exposed the Clinton’s of the 1990’s – or will be able to do so in the last half of the 2010s. Sticking out the month long re-count in Florida, or defending the Governor’s Mansion in Austin?
Not while dragging that couch they supposedly got off of in 2009 and Tweeting about the “Establishment.”
I’m not being flippant when I say, God help us!
And stop “sharing” them!
Remember who the real opponents are: the Dems!
No matter how juicy the gossip, consider waiting a few hours for the rest of the story to come out.
(BTW, this is a test of my mobile app.)
Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!
Shame on Breitbart Texas and Bob Price for this luke-warm, back-handed slap at the Governor. Reality isn’t based on media wish lists or election cycles.
The report is a report on reporter’s association of events with election cycles, which completely disregards the actual legislative cycle. There is no mention of our State’s biennial budget cycles. And not one word about the necessity of the Governor or any leader to win the support of Legislators or the austerity imposed by our State’s Constitution when we had to balance the budget in spite of the 2003 and 2011 budget crises.
We learned that reporters were concerned that two of Texas’ law enforcement surges focused “only” on the Del Rio sector, but Mr. Price couldn’t spare the words to mention that the sector is the southern-most region of the Texas-Mexico border and includes the cities of McAllen-Pharr, Harlingen, Mission, Brownsville, and Corpus Christi – and close to half of Texas’ international bridges.
Security of the international border is a Federal responsibility. The Feds refuse to allow States to turn back illegal immigrants at the border or round up people who over-stay their visas. They sue us for any effort they deem to encroach on ICE or Border Patrol, while burdening us with the consequences of their failure to secure the border or track visas.
It’s true that we in Texas, led for 14 years by Governor Perry, did not “secure the border.” However, we – and he – did everything we could, including using Texans’ taxes to back up what the Feds were doing, even when we faced cuts elsewhere.
Edited to add second figure – BBN
There’s still 2 more days for early voting in the Comal Independent School District Bond and School Board Election. Regular Election Day is May 9.
Here’s the times and places for early voting on Monday and Tuesday!
(Thanks to the New Braunfels Republican Women for the information!)
May 4 & 5 – Early voting
During early voting, you have the opportunity to cast both votes at one place!
You can cast both your votes for New Braunfels City Council (Districts 3 & 4) and Comal ISD School Board (Districts 1, 2, 5, & 6) and school bond locations at:
The Comal County Elections Office May 5 – 8am to 5pm
178 E. Mill Street, Suite 10 May 4 – 7am to 7pm
New Braunfels 78130
Bulverde City Hall May 4 – 8am to 5pm
30360 Cougar Bend May 5 – 7am to 7pm
Garden Ridge City Hall May 5 – 8am to 5pm
9400 Municipal Pkwy May 4 – 7am to 7pm
Garden Ridge 78266
Early voting for CISD School Board (Districts 1, 2, 5, & 6) and school bond only:
May 4 & 5 – 7am to 7pm
Bill Brown Elementary Hoffmann Lane Elementary Rebecca Creek Elementary
20410 Hwy 46 W. 4600 FM 306 125 Quest Ave.
Spring Branch 78070 New Braunfels 78132 Spring Branch 78070
Comal ISD Support Serv. Indian Spring Elementary Smithson Valley Middle
Admin. Bldg. 25751 Wilderness Oak 6101 FM 311
1404 I-35 N. San Antonio 78261 Spring Branch 78070
New Braunfels 78130
Church Hill Middle Kinder Ranch Elementary Timberwood Park Elementary
1275 N. Business 35 2035 Kinder Pkwy. 26715 S. Glenrose
New Braunfels 78130 San Antonio 78260 San Antonio 78260
Clear Spring Elem. M.H. Specht Elementary
550 Avery Parkway 25815 Overlook Parkway
New Braunfels 78130 San Antonio 78260
Saturday, May 9 – Election Day – Polls open from 7am – 7pm
New Braunfels City Council (Districts 3 & 4)
Election Day polling locations at:
**NB City Council District 3 – Seele Elementary School, 540 Howard Street, New Braunfels
**NB City Council District 4 – Faith United Church, 970 N. Loop 337, New Braunfels
For City Council District Map – http://www.nbtexas.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1480
(also listed on your Voter Registration Card)
Comal ISD School Board (Districts 1, 2, 5, & 6) and school bond only
Election Day polling locations at:
Single Member District 1 Single Member District 2 Single Member District 3
Clear Spring Elementary Faith United Church Rebecca Creed Elementary
550 Avery Parkway 970 N. Loop 337 125 Quest Ave.
New Braunfels 78130 New Braunfels 78130 Spring Branch 78070
Single Member District 4 Single Member District 5 Single Member District 6
Smithson Valley Middle School Bulverde City Hall M.H. Specht Elementary
6101 FM 311 30360 Cougar Bend 25815 Overlook Parkway
Spring Branch 78070 Bulverde 78163 San Antonio 78260
Single Member District 7
Garden Ridge City Hall
9400 Municipal Parkway
Garden Ridge 78266
Only if you go by numbers, not content. Or Quantity, not Quality. You know, the same false argument the Dems use to justify President Obama’s Executive Orders and Writs of Memoranda.
There’s a set of “statistics” going around on Facebook (and elsewhere, if you want to see the 10/2013 original), intended to criticize the current leadership in the Texas Legislature :
“Well, nearly HALF of all the bills enacted into law in the great Republican, red state of Texas were authored or co-authored by Democrats.
Actually, the most likely answer is that only the more conservative bills “authored or co-authored” by Dems are passed. The question is what are the actual Bills we’re talking about?
For a look at what actually happens in the Texas Legislature, let’s go to the resource for following or researching current and past legislation, hearings, even witness lists: Texas Legislature Online.
To look at what sort of Bills coauthored by Dems were passed, look at the record of one of the most liberal Dems, Jessica Farrar. Go down to the list of Bills authored or list of Bills “co-authored” by her in the 83(R) session. Look at the ones marked “E” for “Enrolled.”
One of those Bills, HB 3677, was sponsored in the Senate by Lt. Governor-elect Dan Patrick and one, HB 970, was authored jointly with Representative Jonathan Stickland. Another, authored by Representative Harvey Hilderbran, HB 3572, actually lowered tax rates. (Okay, HB 3572 created a new tax on alcoholic mixed beverages, but at a lower rate than similar taxes.)
Not all Bills are created equal, and certainly not all “statistics.” or “proof” that the Texas Legislature is not conservative. But we can add one more example to the statistics proving Mark Twain’s adage that there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
In the past, I’ve written open letters to our elected Republican legislators. I made up that little graphic, above and wrote post after post about the way we “Eat our own” and “Shoot our own.” I’ve written about “Susurrus I,” “Susurrus II” and the “Deja vu.” (“Susurrus III” is still an unpublished draft in my files. When it came right down to it, I couldn’t bring myself to be that critical and air the dirty laundry of the Party.)
There was even one post headline where I cussed: “Lies, Damned Lies and Scorecards.”
However, those posts made me uncomfortable. I believe I will continue to try to follow the advice of these little Gems I’ve posted on my front page:
Emotional noise is destructive to education according to David Horowitz. It’s just as destructive to government, politics and policy and getting along with our friends and neighbors.
We Conservatives can split hairs finer than Baptists – or the Galatians and Ephesians to whom the Apostle Paul wrote 2000 years ago. Apostle Paul had good advice when he admonished us to edify one another and to gently correct our opponents.
Here’s a link to the ruling https://www.texasallianceforlife.org/wp-content/uploads/HB2-Stay-Ruling-CLEAN.pdf
Unfortunately, the Court allowed the El Paso abortion business to stay open, even though currently half of women seeking abortion travel to near-by New Mexico abortion businesses. Those women who go to the El Paso business will not have the protections guaranteed other women in Texas:
“Because of the long distance between El Paso and the nearest in-state abortion clinic, as well as the doubt that Jackson casts on whether we may
look to out-of-state clinics, the State has not shown a strong likelihood of success on the merits of the challenge to the physical plant requirements of
the ambulatory surgical center provision as applied to El Paso. Thus, the district court’s injunction of the physical plant requirements of the ambulatory surgical provision will remain in force for El Paso.”(Page 29)
Hopefully, women (and men) will protect themselves from unintended pregnancies now that more travel is involved to reach the abortion business sites.
If there is a market for the abortion businesses in other areas of the State, they will adapt. And Texas will prove whether or not there’s that market.
Occasionally speaking of herself in the third person, Joann Fleming, the self-proclaimed head of an East Texas “Tea Party” group, led a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on Wednesday. The Fleming gang demanded that Governor Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott order a Special Session of the Texas Legislature (cost: well over $1 Million) in order to spend the Rainy Day Fund (cost: up to $4 Billion) and that the Governor declare martial law (cost: immeasurable).
Fleming (“. . . if you’re like me, your brain will be screaming to you . . .”) shrilly stated that the Federal government has no right to tax Texans “except when they have declared war or a state of emergency” and that “Maybe we can’t count on our State officials to protect us, either.” Calling Texas a “sanctuary State,” Fleming ignored the fact that Governor Perry “alienated some potential supporters after his push to ban so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas.”
Failed 2014 Republican Congressional candidate, Katrina Pierson, who once called a US Marine Captain “deformed” because of his war injuries, took the stage to complain that 50% of Texas’ budget comes from Federal dollars! Where does she think “federal dollars” come from? In fact, through 2010, Texas was a “donor State. Since then, Texas received a bit more than Texas taxpayers sent to Washington – if you count Medicare, Social Security and the money that supports the military in our State. Sounds like pay back to me.
Another member of the gang, a lawyer, said that the Governor (and Attorney General?) had been getting bad legal advice. When asked what difference this plan would make, since Texas can’t legally deport illegal aliens, the lawyer suggested that the Governor should ignore the law, order the Guard and DPS to deport illegal aliens, and bypass Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said that the worst that could happen is that President Barack Obama and Holder could sue.
Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution:
“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Under the usual circumstances, the National Guard is under the command of the President of the United States, rather than control of the Governor. As explained by the (far-right wing) Red State last year, the National Guard is not the “militia” of the several States. Instead, the men and women serving in the Guard are considered ‘troops.”
It is true that in times of “imminent danger” the Governor may declare a state of emergency and call up the Guard for duty within the State. You may even remember that in 2010, then-US Attorney General Napolitano told Governor Perry that if he wasn’t happy with the 250 troops sent to the Texas border, he was welcome to call them up himself and pay for it. Unfortunately, the current US Attorney General is Eric Holder.
The emotional demand by one woman, Alice Linahan of Women on the Wall, that Governor Perry and General Abbott “Show us that you’re actually different from Obama,” sums up the cognizant dissonance of the entire press conference. The gang seems to have no understanding of how quickly President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder ignore the law, at the same moment that they condemn it.
DETERMINING WHETHER LOBBY REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED
Lobby registration is required if a person meets either one of two thresholds: the “compensation and reimbursement threshold” or the “expenditure threshold.” A “person” required to register may be a corporation, partnership, association, or other type of business entity as well as an individual. See Entity Registration.
COMPENSATION AND REIMBURSEMENT THRESHOLD
Under current Ethics Commission rules, a person who receives, or is entitled to receive under an agreement under which the person is retained or employed, more than $1,000 in a calendar quarter as compensation or reimbursement to lobby must register as a lobbyist. 1 T.A.C. § 34.43. (Compensation and reimbursement must be added together to determine whether registration is required. Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 103 (1992).) Compensation for certain communications, however, does not count toward the compensation threshold even though the communications may be intended to influence legislation or administrative action. SeeEXCEPTIONS FROM REQUIRED REGISTRATION, in this guide. Also, a person who crosses the compensation threshold is not required to register if lobby activity constitutes no more than five percent of the person’s compensated time during a calendar quarter. See EXCEPTIONS FROM REQUIRED REGISTRATION, Incidental Lobbying.
Compensation to Prepare for Lobbying. Compensation received for preparing lobby communications (for example, compensation attributable to strategy sessions, review and analysis of legislation or administrative matters, research, or communication with a client concerning lobbying strategy) is counted toward the compensation threshold. 1 T.A. C. § 34.3. If a person engages in preparatory activities, but does not actually communicate to influence legislation or administrative action, registration is not required. Id. A person employed by a lobbyist (or a person employed by the lobbyist’s employer who works under the lobbyist’s direction) to assist the lobbyist in nonclerical lobby activities must be listed as an assistant on the lobbyist’s registration. See Reporting Assistants.
Today is the one year anniversary of mob and chaos that Leticia Van de Putte and Wendy Davis initiated and encouraged when the Texas Senate began to vote on a law to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks and require doctors who perform abortion to have privileges at a nearby hospital and to use the FDA guidelines that they agree to use before becoming eligible to This was the response of one woman to prayer and a crucifix last year at the Texas Legislature.
The women were following the leader of a man who shouted, “Whose choice?” by chanting “My choice.”It strikes me as odd that every time I witnessed one of these chanting/response sessions, a man was leading the women. That’s not the version of feminism I expected.
This picture came from a video that I took on July 2, during House testimony on HB5, which later became law prohibiting abortion after 5 months and protecting women who chose to undergo abortion.
During the 60-minute session, officials revealed that Greyhound buses leaving downtown McAllen station have sold out daily, forcing immigrants trying to travel beyond the Valley to remain here overnight.
Federal immigration officials drop off at the bus station children immigrants travelling with family members. Those family units are given a notice to appear later before an immigration court.
“Greyhound is overwhelmed. They do not have a single empty seat,” said Kevin Pagan, McAllen emergency management coordinator and the city’s attorney. Pagan said there have been 3,000 immigrants helped by Catholic Charities’ makeshift respite shelter at Sacred Heart Church, and at least 500 of them have had to stay overnight in McAllen recently due to the lack of transportation out of the area.
A January hearing featured the muffled coos of a toddler in the back row. A 2-year-old Honduran girl named Jennifer Tatiana came in the arms of her mother. The child was the respondent in the case, as those headed for a possible deportation are called. At the government’s request, a venue change was granted to Atlanta where the mother now lives.
Jennifer Tatiana sucked her thumb through the proceedings.
Southwest border apprehensions: (Oct. 1- May 31) 323,675, a 15 percent increase from fiscal year 2013.
Rio Grande Valley (South Texas) border apprehensions: (Oct. 1-May 31) 163,542, a 74 percent increase from fiscal year 2013.
Southwest border apprehensions of Other-than-Mexican citizens: (Oct. 1 – May 31) 162,757, 50 percent of the total Southwest border apprehensions.
Rio Grande Valley (South Texas) border apprehensions of Other-than-Mexican citizens: (Oct. 1-May 31) 122,070, 75 percent of total Rio Grande Valley apprehensions.
Mexico’s Human Rights Commission estimates that at least 20,000 migrants get kidnapped every year in Mexico, often with the assistance of local police or other officials. The gangs hold the migrants and demand hundreds or even thousands of dollars for their release.
Asked about the possibility that Perry could be mulling the opposite move, spokesman Travis Considine noted his comment to the magazine came after Perry was asked where he would live if he could live in any state other than Texas.
“I would live in California if I could afford it,” Perry said according to a partial transcript of the interview with Leibovich, which Considine provided Tuesday. “Why wouldn’t you want to live out here? Seriously?”
Considine added that Perry “posed a rhetorical question, which he has answered many times by noting how California’s high cost-of-living is a contributing factor to why people move away from such a beautiful state.”
Available in .pdf, here http://www.texasgop.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2014-Platform-Final.pdf (the page numbers don’t work, so I took the Table of Contents out.)
Republican Party of Texas
Report of Permanent Committee on Platform and Resolutions As Amended and Adopted by the 2014 State Convention of the Republican Party of Texas
2014 STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
Permanent Committee on Platform and Resolutions Chairman Tom Mechler
SD 1 William “Butch” Marsalis SD 11 Gabriel Allen SD 21 Troy Swift
SD 2 Dwayne Collins SD 12 Nancy Dillard SD 22 Jack Guthrie
SD 3 Sharron Graves SD 13 Bonnie Lugo SD 23 Leslie Thomas
SD 4 Daniel Ure SD 14 T.J. Scott SD 24 Dee Lott
SD 5 Larry Gonzales SD 15 Rolando Garcia SD 25 Sheryl Holland
SD 6 Artemio Muniz SD 16 Ron Hinds SD 26 David Westbrook
SD 7 Mark Ramsey SD 17 Mike Gibson SD 27 Dorothy Morgan Graham
SD 8 Susan Fletcher SD 18 Edee Sinclair SD 28 Russ Duerstine
SD 9 Sara Legvold SD 19 Art Martinez de Vara SD 29 Mary Holmsley
SD 10 Georgia Stapleton SD 20 Angie Flores SD 30 Danny Pelton
SD 31 Victor Leal
We STILL hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Throughout the world, people dare to dream of freedom and opportunity. The Republican Party of Texas unequivocally defends that dream. We strive to preserve the freedom given to us by God, implemented by our Founding Fathers, and embodied in the Constitution. We recognize that the traditional family is the strength of our nation. It is our solemn duty to protect life and develop responsible citizens. We understand that our economic success depends upon free market principles. If we fail to maintain our sovereignty, we risk losing the freedom to live these ideals.
We, the 2014 Republican Party of Texas, believe in this platform and expect our elected leaders to uphold these truths through acknowledgement and action. We believe in:
1. Strict adherence to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence and United States and Texas Constitutions.
2. The sanctity of human life, created in the image of God, which should be protected from fertilization to natural death.
3. Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom.
4. Limiting government power to those items enumerated in the United States and Texas Constitutions.
5. Personal accountability and responsibility.
6. Self-sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.
7. Having an educated population, with parents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children.
8. Americans having the right to be safe in their homes, on their streets, and in their communities; and the unalienable right to defend themselves.
9. A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.
10. Honoring all of those that serve and protect our freedom.
11. And we believe in “The laws of nature and nature’s God” as our Founding Fathers believed.
PRESERVING AMERICAN FREEDOM LIMITING THE EXPANSE OF GOVERNMENT POWER
Reaffirm Texas Sovereignty as Reserved Under the 10th Amendment, United States Constitution- We strongly urge the Texas Legislature ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify any federal mandated legislation which infringes upon the states’ 10th Amendment Right. All federal enforcement activities in Texas must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.
Opposition to Socialism- Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism in all of its forms.
Full Repeal of the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution- Return the appointment of United States Senators by the state legislatures.
Unelected, Appointed Bureaucrats and Agencies- We decry the appointment of unelected bureaucrats, and we urge Congress to use their constitutional authority to defund and abolish these positions and return authority to duly elected officials, accountable to the electorate. In the interim, we hold Congress responsible for agency decisions. Executive decisions by agencies must be reviewed and approved by Congress before taking effect.
Constitutional Citations on Legislation- We urge that all bills presented in the United States Congress and Texas Legislature include citations to the authorizing constitutional provision, cost to implement, and impact on the family.
Line-Item Veto- Amend the Texas Constitution to enhance and strengthen the Governor’s line- item reduction veto authority over the state budget.
Agency Sunset Review Process- Reform the Sunset Commission to be a majority citizen-led commission on government reform (appointed by Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House).
Unfunded Mandates- Amend the Texas Constitution and statutes to restrict the power of the Legislature to impose unfunded mandates on local governments.
If It’s Good Enough For Us It ’s Good Enough For Them- The Government shall not, by rule or law, exempt any of its members from the provisions of such rule or law.
Law Enforcement- We support limitation of criminal jurisdiction of federal law-enforcement agencies into state and local jurisdictions, and encourage them to enforce the laws under federal jurisdiction. The states have the right to protect their citizens if the federal government fails to enforce its applicable laws.
Border Security- The United States border must be secured immediately! It is the fundamental responsibility of our federal government to do so. Narcotics, arms and human trafficking have a
devastating effect on our nation. By using every available resource to achieve 100% border security and control, it will enhance the protection of all Americans, especially border residents. The State of Texas has the right to protect its citizens, businesses and ranches if the federal government fails to enforce its applicable laws.
Preserving National Security- We believe terrorism is a major threat to international peace and to our own safety. We urge our national leadership to:
• Protect and defend our natural and constitutional rights and swiftly wage successful war on terrorists
• Eliminate aid and cease commerce with any nation threatening us or aiding terrorists or hostile nations
• Support other nations fighting terrorists
• Reasonably use profiling to protect us
• Prosecute national security breaches
• Revise laws or executive orders that erode our essential liberties.
Repeal Patriot Act- We urge the repeal of the USA Patriot Act and spying on law abiding Americans must stop immediately. We support court ordered warrants on an individual basis in cases directly involving national security.
Abolish NDAA- The Republican Party of Texas abhors any policies of indefinite detention of United States citizens without due process. We urge our government to terminate any practice of detention without due process, including, but not limited to, any enforcement of federal law by the military within the State of Texas, under Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Repeal the Lacey Act- Due to abuse such as suffered by the Gibson Guitar Company, we condemn the over-criminalization nature of the Lacey Act.
Repeal Portions of the 2014 Farm Bill- The Republican Party of Texas supports a repeal of all portions of the Farm Bill legislation that can result in depriving landowners of the use of their property and constitutional rights such as due process, including “swampbuster” provisions.
Emergency War Powers and Martial Law Declarations- We strongly urge Congress to repeal the War Powers Act and end our declared state of emergency. Any declaration of martial law should be approved by Congress.
Elimination of Executive Orders- We reject the unconstitutional use of executive orders and other mandates lacking Congressional approval.
Inter-jurisdictional Agreements- We oppose inter-jurisdictional agreements with any state that prevent the governor from controlling the Texas Military Forces, police, other emergency management personnel, and/or State of Texas resources. We call for repeal of any existing agreements.
Census- We oppose the Census Bureau obtaining data beyond the number of people residing in a dwelling, and we oppose statistical sampling adjustments. We support the actual counting of people and oppose any type of estimation or manipulation of census data. Only United States citizens should be counted for the purpose of adjusting legislative districts.
Preservation of Republican Form of Government- We support our republican form of government in Texas, as set forth in the Texas Bill of Rights, and oppose initiative and referendum. We also urge the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress to enact legislation prohibiting any judicial jurisdiction from allowing any substitute or parallel system of law, specifically foreign law (including Sharia Law), which is not in accordance with the United States or Texas Constitutions.
Germane Contents Requirement- All content of any bill must be germane to the title of the act.
Legislative Accountability Requirement- All bills passed in the United States Congress or Texas Legislature, or their respective Senates, should require a recorded and preserved vote; and no bill voted on may be changed after the vote. We support rules requiring that all votes on bills cast in the Texas House of Representatives and Senate be made freely available to the electorate.
Recall Elections- Texans should have the right to recall their elected officials.
Constitutional Convention- We strongly oppose any constitutional convention to rewrite the United States Constitution. We encourage the Texas Legislature to rescind its 1977 call for such a convention. We call upon other states to rescind their votes for such a convention.
Article V Convention- Under no circumstances shall the Bill of Rights, the first 10 constitutional amendments, be changed in any manner. We urge the Texas State Legislators to take the lead in calling for an Article V Amending Convention of States, for the specific purpose of reigning in the power of the federal government. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by ¾ of the states to take effect.
Affirmative Action- The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender. Affirmative action casts doubt on minority achievement, making such achievement as seemingly unearned. We believe that true minority advancement will come from a demand for personal responsibility, accountability, and competitive excellence.
Reparations- We oppose any form of reparations.
Government Takings and Restrictions- We reaffirm our belief in the constitutional concept of the right to own property without governmental interference, and that property ownership and free market enterprise form the foundation of our collective wealth. NO government entity should abridge or deny these rights. To that end, we urge legislative changes to address the protection of these bedrock rights. Areas of concern from our grassroots constituency are:
• Annexation; all affected parties of a proposed annexation should be allowed a vote on said proposal, and must pass with a 2/3s vote.
• Eminent domain and property forfeiture; the taking of property under eminent domain or property forfeiture should specifically exclude seizing private property for public or private economic development or for increased tax revenues. Additionally, we support fair market value compensation to the property owners for all damages from all sources as a direct result of any taking. Government should return to the basic form of property rights and readopt “Fee Simple Absolute,” which gives all property owners the maximum extent possible in the land under the law.
• Natural resources and conservation easements; groundwater and/or mineral rights are a vested ownership. Conservation easements, involving watersheds, green areas and nationalization of lands should be resisted in the strongest manner applicable.
• We support the rights of each and every property owner to fight in their local judicial venue against any taking of their private property.
• We oppose the International Property Maintenance Code as a violation of the 4th Amendment right to privacy and an invasion of personal property.
All private property owners involved in these matters should be notified of their rights, under law, with regard to condemnation, annexation, or easement; and the condemner should be required to show the public need and necessity by petitioning a court of jurisdiction. Taking of property should result in immediate compensation of fair market value to the owner. These issues should always be administered by organizations and elected officials accountable to voters.
Confiscation without Compensation- Taking a property—real, oil or gas, or other minerals – without just compensation by oil and gas operators, and sanctioned by the Railroad Commission, is unconstitutional and against the principles of the Republican Party of Texas. In particular, “Rule 37” exception takings by the Railroad Commission for industry should not be permitted without the granting of a no-cost, full-working interest in mineral rights to owners of the property confiscated.
Water Districts- We strongly applaud the decision made by the Texas Supreme Court rejecting regulation, regulatory taking, metering, and restricting production of individuals’ underground water. We advocate fair market value compensation for the taking of an individual’s private water supply. We urge the restriction of water districts to their original purpose of supplying clean drinking water and/or the purpose of reporting regarding underground water. We ask the legislature to allow citizens who are impacted by said water, irrigation, fresh water supply districts the ability to vote on the selection of the board or committee members of these districts, and allow the voters the ability of recall of these elected officials of an irrigation district, fresh water supply district, municipal utility district, or any other special purpose district. If citizens are restricted in using water, all city, state, and local government facilities and public-private partnerships be subject to similar restrictions. Except for the purpose of emergency services.
Protect Groundwater Property Rights from Water Marketers- We demand the State of Texas protect the groundwater rights of the property owners from water marketers and within developments/subdivisions in the State of Texas.
Protection from Extreme Environmentalists- We strongly oppose all efforts of the extreme environmental groups that stymie legitimate business interests and private property use. We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished.
Climate Change- While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, “climate change” is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or “climate justice” initiatives.
Homestead Protection- We support continuance of Texas’ homestead protection.
Livestock and Pet Location- We support the repeal of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
Banning the Use of Red Light Cameras- We call for the ban on red light cameras in the State of Texas.
Drivers Licenses- We propose that every Texas driver’s license shall indicate whether the driver is a United States citizen. No such license shall be issued to anyone not legally in the country.
Free Speech for the Clergy- We urge amendment of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status. We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send the government any personal information about their contributors.
Government Regulation on Religious Institutions-The state should have no power over licensing or training of clergy. The State should withdraw all imposed regulations.
Restore Constitutional Integrity in the Legislative Process- We call upon the United States. Congress to pass legislation to restore constitutional integrity in the legislative process. We strongly recommend single issue legislation that prohibits the current practice of inserting, into otherwise unrelated legitimate legislation, funding for or federal regulations on special interest issues into virtually every piece of legislation. We oppose the use of signing statements by the President to circumvent the law.
The Rights of a Sovereign People- The Republican Party of Texas supports the historic concept, established by our nation’s founders, of limited civil government jurisdiction under the natural laws of God, and repudiates the humanistic doctrine that the state is sovereign over the affairs of men, the family, and the church.
Defending American Citizens- We call for Congress to act, as President Obama has dismissed the IRS targeting of specific political groups and individuals, which calls into question the President’s and the Department of Justice’s commitment to citizens constitutional rights; and we call for Congress to act on the Benghazi cover up and the failure to protect American citizens
including United States military personnel by the Obama Administration; and we call for Congressional investigations into other federal agencies.
Preserving Private Enterprise- We believe that the products of gardens, farms, ranches, cottage industries and manufacturing which are not transported across state lines should not be federally, or by any other government, regulated more than the minimum necessary to prevent disease, fraud, injury to others, or other infringement of citizens’ unalienable rights.
Fairness Doctrine- We oppose any attempt by Congress or any federal agency to implement any policy comparable to the “Fairness Doctrine” as terminated in 1987.
Empowering Local Entities Concerning Religious Meetings- We support the right of local entities to determine their own policies regarding religious clubs and meetings on all properties owned by the same, without interference.
Real ID Act-As the Real ID Act effectively creates an unconstitutional and privacy-inhibiting national ID card, we hereby call for its immediate repeal
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and Laws- We oppose government regulations which would coerce business owners and employees to violate their own consciences, beliefs, and principles.
Government Intrusion into the Internet or Communications- We support the United States maintaining continued control of the internet. We also demand that no American government, at any level, should have any kind of “kill-switch” capability, either by executive order or by statute. We oppose the government’s ability to shut down websites either directly or through intimidation without a warrant or judicial hearing.
REFORMING THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM
Direct Election of State Judges- We support our right to select our judges by direct vote.
Visiting Judges- We support legislation prohibiting judges defeated by the electorate from serving as visiting judges, or acting as judges in any capacity, until such time they are reinstated by the electorate through a subsequent election.
Jury Reform- We support the right to privacy and security of prospective jurors during jury selection. Courts must show relevance of questions asked of jurors and perform a balancing test between the prospective juror’s right to privacy and lawyers’ need to know. Either party in a criminal trial should have a right to inform jurors of their right to determine facts and render a verdict.
Administrative Justice- Citizens have a right to full participation in administrative law processes.
Fully-Informed Jury- We support the right to inform the jurors of their common law power to judge law, as well as the evidence, and to vote on the verdict according to their conscience.
Judicial Restraint- We urge Congress to adopt the Constitutional Restoration Act and support the principle of judicial restraint, which requires judges to interpret and apply, rather than make the law. We support judges who strictly interpret the law based on its original intent. We oppose judges who assume for themselves legislative powers.
Remedies to Activist Judiciary- We call Congress and the President to use their constitutional powers to restrain activist judges. We urge Congress to adopt the Judicial Conduct Act of 2005, and remove judges who abuse their authority. Further, we urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.
American Law for American Courts (ALAC)- No foreign law or international edict shall preempt the United States Constitution or the Texas Constitution, or be used as the basis for any decision, except required by contract between the individual parties.
Judicial Nominees- We urge Republican Senate leadership to ensure that a record vote is taken on every judicial nominee.
Information Disclosure on Judicial Candidates- The Republican Party of Texas should foster a judicial archive site on the internet with personal history, qualifications, and past rulings made by all judicial candidates.
Statutory Authority for Regulation- Defendants charged with violating a governmental regulation should have the right to see the enabling law.
Strengthen Tort Reform- We strongly support continuation of common sense tort reform that puts justice back into our civil justice system.
RESTORING INTEGRITY TO OUR ELECTIONS
Unions- We support legislation requiring labor unions to obtain consent of the union member before that member’s dues can be used for political purposes. We strongly oppose card check.
Campaign Contributions- We support full disclosure of the amounts and sources of any campaign contributions to political candidates, whether contributed by individuals, political action committees, or other entities.
Candidate Eligibility- A candidate running for office should be required to reside within the geographical boundaries of the office sought. The Secretary of State shall be required to certify that state and federal candidates placed on ballots proffered in Texas meets the statutory requirements for the office sought. For federal offices, all candidates must submit written authorization for the Secretary of State to obtain a certified copy of the candidates’ birth
certificate from the original issuing authority, so as to prove they are constitutionally eligible, in order to have their name placed on the GENERAL election ballot.
Voter Registration- We support restoring integrity to the voter registration rolls and reducing voter fraud. We support repeal of all motor voter laws; re-registering voters every four years; requiring photo ID of all registrants; proof of residency and citizenship, along with voter registration application; retention of the 30-day registration deadline; and requiring that a list of certified deaths be provided to the Secretary of State in order that the names of deceased voters be removed from the list of registered voters.
Selection of Primary Candidates- The SREC should study the Utah model for selecting primary candidates.
Electoral College- We strongly support the Electoral College.
Voting Rights- We support equal suffrage for all United States citizens of voting age who are not felons. We oppose any identification of citizens by race, origin, or creed and oppose use of any such identification for purposes of creating voting districts.
Voter Rights Act- We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965, codified and updated in 1973, be repealed and not reauthorized.
Felon Voting- We affirm the constitutional authority of state legislatures to regulate voting, including disenfranchisement of convicted felons.
Protecting Active Military Personn el’s Right to Vote – We urge the Texas Secretary of State and the United States Attorney General to ensure that voting rights of our armed forces will neither be denied nor obstructed, and all valid absentee votes shall be counted.
Fair Election Procedures- We support modifications and strengthening of election laws to ensure ballot integrity and fair elections. We strongly urge the Texas Attorney General to litigate the previously passed Voter ID legislation. We support increased scrutiny and security in balloting by mail, prohibition of internet voting and any electronic voting lacking a verifiable paper trail, prohibition of mobile voting, prosecution for election fraud with jail sentences, repeal of the unconstitutional “Help America Vote Act”, and assurance that each polling place has a distinctly marked, and if possible, separate location for Republican and Democrat primary voting.
Election of the Speaker of the House- We support an amendment to the Texas Constitution to make the Texas Speaker of the House a state wide elected position.
Texas House Leadership Caucus- As long as Texas House members choose the Speaker of the House, we call for the Republican members of the Texas House of Representatives to convene in caucus after each November general election to determine, by secret ballot, their candidate for Speaker of the House, and that rules be instituted to ensure the integrity and security of the secret
ballot, so that members may vote without risk of retribution by the prevailing party. We also call for the Republican members of the Texas House to vote as a unified body for their selected speaker candidate when the legislature convenes in regular session and a vote for speaker is called on the House floor.
Residency Requirements- We support legislation that determines residence in accordance with common-law rules, as recognized by the courts, except as otherwise provided by the Texas Election Code and to be enforced by the Secretary of State.
Campaign Finance Reform- We urge immediate repeal of the McCain-Feingold Act.
Enforcing the Platform- Every Republican is responsible for implementing this platform. Party candidates should indicate their positions on platform planks before their acceptance on the ticket, and such information should be available on the Party website.
Censuring a Republican Office Holder for Cause- The delegates to the state convention of the Republican Party of Texas should adopt a rule allowing the delegates of state convention, or the State republican Executive Committee, to vote to adopt a resolution censuring a Republican officeholder for cause, including but not limited to consistent actions taken in opposition to principles of the Republican Party of Texas, defined in the preamble of the party platform as described in rule 43 A.
Conflicts of Interest- We support legislation prohibiting influencing or voting of any elected official or appointee where a conflict of interest exists. No such official should represent paying clients before a state agency.
Lobbying Limitation- We support legislation to prohibit former officials and government employees from lobbying for a foreign government and/or any business for five years after leaving public service. We support legislation to prevent lobbying by any organization receiving federal grants except that relating to its tax status.
AWOL Legislators- We urge the Texas House and Senate to compel attendance of absent members and penalize those who attempt to break the quorum by not being in attendance.
Governor’s Veto- We urge a constitutional amendment permitting the Legislature to return for a three-day session in response to the governor’s veto.
House Speaker Pledge Cards- We call on the Texas Legislature to cease the use of pledge cards in all future House Speaker races.
Filibuster- We support return to the traditional filibuster in the United States Senate.
Rosebush-Blocker Rule- We strongly oppose the Rosebush-Blocker rule in the Texas Senate.
Consolidated Elections- All public elections, with the exception of specially called elections, should be consolidated to Primary and General Election days and locations.
Rights versus Products- We oppose calling welfare and other income and product redistribution schemes “rights” or “entitlements”. We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals, and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. They are not products of others’ labor. Unalienable rights such as life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech, religious freedom, self-defense, etc. do not impose on others’ rights, whereas income and product redistribution invariably do.
HONORING THE SYMBOLS OF OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE
Religious Symbols- We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Ten Commandments or other religious symbols.
Pledge of Allegiance- We support adoption of the Pledge Protection Act. We also urge that the national motto “In God We Trust” and national anthem be protected from legislative and judicial attack.
American English- We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States.
Flag Desecration- Any form of desecration of the American Flag is an act of disregard for our nation and its people, and penalties should be established for such.
Symbols of American Heritage- We call upon governmental entities to protect all symbols of our American heritage from being altered in any way.
Confederat e W idow’s Plaque- We call for restoration of plaques honoring the Confederate Widow’s Pension Fund contribution that were illegally removed from the Texas Supreme Court building.
STRENGTHENING FAMILIES, PROTECTING LIFE, AND PROMOTING HEALTH CELEBRATING TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE
Family and Defense of Marriage- We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.
• We support withholding jurisdiction from the federal courts in cases involving family law, especially any changes in the definition of marriage.
• We shall not recognize or grant to any unmarried person the legal rights or status of a spouse.
• We oppose the recognition of and granting of benefits to people who represent themselves as domestic partners without being legally married.
• We urge the legislature to rescind no-fault divorce laws and support covenant marriage. Judicial Activism in Marriage- We oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.
Enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act- We support the enforcement of the State Defense of Marriage Act and oppose benefits for partnerships outside of marriage provided by political subdivisions.
Protection for Religious Institutions- We believe religious institutions have the freedom to recognize and perform only those marriages that are consistent with their doctrine.
Family Values- We support the affirmation of traditional Judeo-Christian family values and oppose the continued assault on those values. We strongly support a woman’s right to choose to devote her life to her family and children. We recognize her sacrifice in the face of the assault on the family. Additionally, we recognize the challenges of single parents and applaud their efforts in creating a stable and moral home.
Human Trafficking- The Republican Party of Texas adamantly opposes any form of human trafficking.
Homosexuality- Homosexuality is a chosen behavior that is contrary to the fundamental unchanging truths that have been ordained by God in the Bible, recognized by our nation’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
Reparative Therapy- We recognize the legitimacy and efficacy of counseling, which offers reparative therapy and treatment for those patients seeking healing and wholeness from their homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.
Pornography- We encourage the enforcement of laws regarding all forms of pornography, because pornography is detrimental to society.
PROTECTING INNOCENT HUMAN LIFE
Thank You- We applaud the Texas Legislature for passing strong women’s health and pro-life legislation.
Right to Life- All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn, the aged, and the physically or mentally challenged have a fundamental individual right to life, which cannot be infringed.
Roe v. Wade- We are resolute in our support of the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Natural Life- We revere the sanctity of human life and therefore oppose genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.
Funding Abortion- We support the elimination of public funding or the use of public facilities to advocate, perform, or support elective abortions.
Fetal Pain- We strongly encourage consideration of fetal pain in any future legislation
Abortion Legislation- Until our final goal of total constitutional rights for the unborn child is achieved, we support laws that restrict and regulate abortion including, but not limited to:
1. Parental and informed consent;
2. Prohibition of abortion for gender selection;
3. Prohibition of abortion due to the results of genetic diagnosis
4. licensing, liability, and malpractice insurance for abortionists and abortion facilities;
5. Prohibition of financial kickbacks for abortion referrals;
6. Prohibition of partial-birth, late-term abortions
7. The prohibition of the manufacturing and sale of abortifacients (e.g. morning after pill);
8. New causes of action for so called “wrongful birth” or “wrongful life”;
9. Enactment of any other laws which will advance the right to life for unborn children;
10. Health insurance coverage for abortion services and abortifacients, which under Texas law should be considered supplemental coverage and billed to the beneficiary; and
11. Repeal of judicial bypass.
Candidate Support- The Republican Party of Texas should provide financial support only to those candidates who support the right to life planks.
Alternatives to Abortion- We urge the Republican Party of Texas and the Texas legislature to assist in educating the public regarding alternatives to abortion, especially adoption.
Human Embryos- We support the adoption of human embryos and the banning of human embryo trafficking.
Conscience Clause- All persons and all legal entities have the right of conscience, and should be protected under Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.
Fetal Tissue Harvesting and Stem Cell Research- We support legislation prohibiting experimentation or commercial use of human fetal tissue, which requires or is dependent upon the destruction of human life. We encourage adult stem cell research using cells from umbilical cords, from adults, and from any other means that does not kill human embryos.
Human Cloning- We seek a ban on human cloning.
Patient Protection- We support patients’ rights, especially near the end of life, and call for reform of existing legislation so that:
1. Texas law should provide that medical personnel may not deny care, change advanced directives, or originate directives for any patient without the permission of the patient or the patient’s designate.
2. No “Do Not Resuscitate” order may be ordered for a patient without his/her own or family’s knowledge and consent;
3. Hydration and nutrition may not be withheld as life ends. We also support the passage of legislation to amend the Advance Directive Act by requiring hospitals intending or threatening to withdraw life-sustaining treatment against the patient’s wishes or their advance directive to continue all treatment and care for such patients pending transfer to another facility;
4. Families are provided more notice of any review committee meetings to determine the future treatment of hospitalized individuals;
5. Medical personnel may assist in transferring patients to other personnel or another facility in order that their conscience not be violated.
Pregnancy Centers- We urge the legislature to protect pregnancy centers from harassing ordinances and regulations.
PROTECTING OUR CHILDREN
Parental Rights and Responsibilities- We believe that parental rights, authority, and responsibilities are inherent and protected by the United States Constitution. Local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or policies shall not be enacted that limit parental rights in the rearing of both biological and adopted children. Parents have the right and responsibility to direct and guide their children’s moral education.
United Nations Treaty on the Rights of the Child- We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Jurisdictional Disputes- Parents and/or grandparents should not be denied court-ordered visitation because of jurisdictional disputes between states.
Child Abuse Prevention- We believe that no individual convicted of child abuse or molestation should have the right to custody or adoption of a minor child. An abused child should be given the option of declining visitation with his/her abuser. If court ordered, visitation with minor children by such persons should be supervised.
Adoption- We support reducing the time, bureaucracy, and cost of adoption. We oppose mandates that deny mothers a choice in selecting a traditional home for their children. We oppose mandatory open adoption. We oppose any government agency from forcing faith-based adoption or foster care organizations to place children with same-sex couples.
Foster Care- We support eliminating bureaucratic prohibitions on corporal discipline and home schooling in foster homes.
ASSISTING FAMILIES TO SELF SUFFICIENCY
Welfare Reform- Welfare should offer a hand up to transition families and individuals through hard times. Welfare reform should encourage partnerships with faith based institutions, community, and business organizations to assist individuals in need. The current system encourages dependency on government and robs individuals and generations of healthy motivation and self-respect. It should be limited in scope. We encourage welfare reform in the following areas:
1. Denying benefits to individuals who cannot prove citizenship;
2. Welfare reforms should require recipients to work, learn, and train;
3. Reforms should require recipients to remain substance-abuse free in exchange for temporary benefits not exceeding two years;
4. Recipients should be required to submit to random drug testing in order to receive benefits;
5. Welfare cards should be confined to food and vital essentials, and be issued with a photo of the approved user; and
6. Prisoners should be removed from welfare rolls.
Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Accountability- We support the appointment of local elected officials to review charges of abuse of discretion by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) with respect to intervention into the family unit.
Removal of a child from a home shall be pursuant to a court order or in response to an immediate threat.
Social Security- We support an immediate and orderly transition to a system of private pensions based on the concept of individual retirement accounts, and gradually phasing out the Social Security tax. We insist that Social Security benefits be non–taxable. To protect the Social Security System, its funds should not be co-mingled or spent with general revenues or invested in private or public corporate stock.
Medicaid Reform- We support Medicaid block grants to the states and returning Medicaid to its original purpose – to be a temporary assistance to our able-bodied citizens who, due to unfortunate circumstances, find themselves in need.
Gambling- We oppose the expansion of legalized gambling and encourage the repeal of the Texas State Lottery. We oppose dedicating any government revenue from gambling to create or expand any government program.
Caring for our mentally disabled citizens- We urge the Legislature to continue funding and operating all state-supported living centers for the mentally disabled, increase training standards of state-supported living center employees, and ensure efficient funding and quality of service.
EMPOWERING FAMILIES TO DIRECT THEIR HEALTH CARE
Health Care- Health care decisions should be between a patient and health care professional and should be protected from government intrusion. Abortion is not healthcare.
Parental Consent- Parental consent is required for all medical care, counseling, etc., for all minors.
The Patient P rotection an d Afford able Care Act ( “ Obamacare”) – We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional.
Health Care Choice- We urge the passage of health care reform which results in more affordable healthcare through a market-based, competitive, and transparent health care system, including tort reform, interstate competition, genuine accountability and oversight.
Medical Records and Informed Consent- We oppose any state or federal medical record computer database or registry (with exception to diseases that are a public health threat, i.e., HIV and/or Tuberculosis), which stores personal identifiable records on citizens without their written consent.
Conscience Clause- We support conscientious objection in the medical community. We believe that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, any employees of hospitals and insurance companies, health care organizations, medical and scientific research students, and any employee should be protected by Texas law if they conscientiously object to participate in practices that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs. This includes, but is not limited to, abortion, the prescription for and dispensing of drugs with abortifacient potential, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research, eugenic screenings, euthanasia, assisted suicide, harmful futile procedures, and the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration. We call on the Texas Legislature to pass legislation to strengthen and clarify the current conscience clause in the Occupational Code to include the above-mentioned persons and practices. We further encourage legislation that requires hospitals and clinics to inform all health care personnel of their right to refuse to become involved in abortion or euthanasia and their protection from prosecution and retaliation under Texas law.
Health Care and Nutritional Supplements- We oppose any efforts to mandate that vitamins and other natural supplements be on a prescription–only basis, and we oppose any efforts to remove vitamins and other nutritional supplements from public sale. We support the rights of all adults to their choice of nutritional products and alternative health care choices.
Food Choice- We support the right of individuals to make their own dietary decisions. We oppose any laws regarding the production, distribution, or consumption of food. Government should not restrict non-genetically engineered seeds.
Immunizations- All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.
EDUCATING OUR CHILDREN
American Identity, Patriotism and Loyalty- We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty, which includes the contribution and assimilation of different racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the United States and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism. Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property. Students should have the right to read the Bible on public school property.
Basic Standards- We favor improving the quality of education for all students, including those with special needs. We support a return to the traditional basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and citizenship with sufficient discipline to ensure learning and quality educational assessment.
Bilingual Education- We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within three years.
Career and Technology Education- We support career and technology education in public schools.
College Tuition- We recommend three levels of college tuition: (1) In-state requiring proof of Texas legal residency; (2) out-of-state requiring proof of United States citizenship; and (3) nonresident legal alien. Non-United States citizens should not be eligible for state or federal grants.
Controversial Theories- We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.
TEKS Compliance- We encourage the Texas Legislature to develop a review and compliance process to ensure that Texas’ local school districts’ curriculum complies with the TEKS standards. We also believe local school district funding be granted only upon successful compliance.
Early Childhood Development- We believe that parents are best suited to train their children in their early development, and oppose mandatory pre-school and kindergarten.
Equal Access to State Grants- We believe that all Texas students, whether graduating from public, private or home schools, should have equal access to all state supported grants, scholarships and loans, based upon measurable academic criteria such as an SAT score.
Foreign Culture Charter Schools in Texas- We oppose public funding of charter schools which receive money from foreign entities. We demand that these charter schools have accountability and transparency to local parents, taxpayers, and the State of Texas, as do current public schools, including U.S. citizenship of public school trustees.
Funding of Education- Education spending should prioritize classroom instruction and minimize administrative overhead.
Higher Education- We oppose the use of quotas, diversity, and the ten percent rule. We support Texas college admissions based solely on merit.
Higher Education Budgets- We call on the University Boards of Regents to reduce administrative expenses.
Juvenile Daytime Curfew- We strongly oppose juvenile daytime curfews. Additionally, we oppose any official entity from detaining, questioning and/or disciplining our children without the consent of a child’s parent.
Knowledge Based Education- We oppose the teaching of values clarification and similar programs that focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. Rather, we encourage the teaching of critical thinking skills, including logic, rhetoric and analytical sciences
Local Control for Education- We support school choice and believe that quality education is best achieved by encouraging parental involvement, protecting parental rights, and maximizing local independent school district control. District superintendents and their employees should be made solely accountable to their locally elected boards. We support sensible consolidation of local school districts. We encourage local ISDs to consider carefully the advantages and disadvantages of accepting federal education money.
National Core Curriculum- We oppose use of national or international standards in the State of Texas (i.e. Common Core, CSCOPE, United Nations Inclusion, etc.) We also oppose the modification of college entrance exams to reflect any national core philosophies. Furthermore, any independent school district that violates state law banning the use of a national core curriculum or standards shall lose all state funding until said curriculum or standards are removed and no longer being utilized in the classroom.
No Taxpayer Paid Lobbyists- We support the prohibition of any paid public school employee or contractor to lobby the legislature or the SBOE, unless on an unpaid basis and in an unofficial capacity. No registered lobbyist should be allowed to run for SBOE.
Parental Rights in Education- We believe the right of parents to raise and educate their children is fundamental. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from any specialized program. We urge the legislature to enact penalties for violation of parental rights.
Permanent School Fund- We believe that because the Permanent School Fund is not paid by taxpayers, the principle balance should be safeguarded and not viewed as a source of additional funding for our state budget, but for its constitutionally intended purposes of instructional materials.
Political Community Organizing in Texas Schools- We believe neither Texas public schools should be used nor their students should be instructed by groups such as SEIU or other community organizers as instruments to promote political agenda during the instructional school day.
Private Education- We believe that parents and legal guardians may choose to educate their children in private schools to include, but not limited to, home schools and parochial schools without government interference, through definition, regulation, accreditation, licensing, or testing.
Religious Freedom in Public Schools- We urge school administrators and officials to inform Texas school students and district personnel specifically of their 1st Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference. We urge the legislature to end censorship of discussion of religion in our founding documents and encourage discussing those documents, including the Bible as their basis. Students and district personnel have the right to display Christian items on school property.
School Choice- We encourage the governor and the Texas Legislature to enact child-centered school funding options which fund the student, not schools or districts, to allow maximum freedom of choice in public, private, or parochial education for all children. Furthermore, we support a state constitutional amendment prohibiting state or federal regulations imposed on private schools, including home schools (as established by Leeper vs. Arlington ISD).
School Health Care- We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools. We support the parents’ right to choose, without penalty, which medications are administered to their minor children. We oppose medical clinics on school property except higher education and health care for students without parental consent.
School Surveys and Testing- Public schools should be required to obtain written parental consent for student participation in any test or questionnaire that surveys beliefs, feelings, or opinions.
Parental rights, including viewing course materials prior to giving consent, should not be infringed.
Sex Education- We recognize parental responsibility and authority regarding sex education. We believe that parents must be given an opportunity to review the material prior to giving their consent. We oppose any sex education other than the biology of reproduction and abstinence until marriage. We should prohibit entities and their affiliates that have a conflict of interest with our beliefs from conducting sexuality education in public schools and from conducting teacher training. The social aspects of sexuality should be left to the family.
State Board of Education (SBOE)- We believe that the SBOE should continue to be an elected body consisting of fifteen members. Their responsibilities must include:
• Appointing the Commissioner of Education
• Maintaining constitutional authority over the Permanent School Fund
• Maintaining sole authority over all curricula content and the state adoption of all educational materials. This process must include public hearings.
The SBOE should be minimally staffed out of general revenue.
Supporting Military Families in Education- Existing truancy laws conflict with troop deployments. We believe that truancy laws should be amended to allow 5 day absence prior to deployments and R&R. We support the waiver of out-of-state tuition for any dependent of military personnel stationed in Texas.
Tenure- We support frequent post- tenure review in order to maintain the quality of the teaching staff.
Textbook Approval- The Texas Education Code (TEC) must be amended to empower the SBOE to require each ISD that adopts non-state approved instructional materials to conform to the state approval process to protect citizens’ right to petition, correct factual errors, prevent corruption and fulfill legislative intent in the TEC. Local ISD boards must hold public hearings on such materials. Parents should have access to review classroom materials upon request.
Traditional Principles in Education- We support school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo- Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political, and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and Founders’ writings.
Transparency- We support legislation requiring all school districts to post their expenditures online or be made readily available to the public.
U.S. Department of Education- Since education is not an enumerated power of the federal government, we believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished, and prohibit the transfer of any of its functions to any other federal agency.
Zero Tolerance- We encourage local ISD’s to use their best judgment in determining the enforcement of zero-tolerance based policies, consider intent, specify violations, and post on ISD websites.
Responsibility of the State in Education- The State of Texas must acknowledge that the education of children is primarily the responsibility of the parent or the guardian. The role of the state is to help facilitate that responsibility.
PROMOTING INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM AND PERSONAL SAFETY
Judeo-Christian Nation- As America is a nation under God, founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we affirm the constitutional right of all individuals to worship as they choose.
Right to Keep and Bear Arms- America’s founding fathers wrote the 2nd Amendment with clear intent – no level of government shall regulate either the ownership or possession of firearms.
Therefore, we strongly oppose all laws that infringe on the right to bear arms. We oppose the monitoring of gun ownership, the taxation and regulation of guns, ammunition, and gun magazines. We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation, whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well. Until such time, we urge the state to re-introduce and pass legislation easing current restrictions on firearms such as open carry and campus carry. Stiff penalties shall be imposed for frivolous litigation against legitimate firearm manufacturers. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas. We urge the Texas Legislature to enact legislation to protect law-abiding firearms owners from having their right to bear arms infringed by federal agencies due to such minor mental health diagnoses as non-severe PTS (post-traumatic stress), seeking counseling for minor depression or other minor mental health diagnoses.
Federal Firearms License Act- We believe that Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders should be free from harassment and license revocations and denials against firearm dealers based on violations consisting of largely inconsequential record-keeping errors, and encourage the BATFE to consider lesser gradation of sanctions for such errors. Firearms and ammunition manufactured and sold in the state of Texas are not covered under the Commerce Clause (Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution) and therefore are not subject to federal regulation.
CHL Laws Applied to Texas Truckers- We call for truckers working within the state of Texas to enjoy the full benefits of the Texas Concealed Handgun License law irrespective of unreasonable and intrusive federal regulations.
FSL Transportation Security Administration (TSA)- We call for the disbanding of the TSA and place airport security into the more accountable and capable hands of the state and local law enforcement.
State Militia- We support the establishment and maintenance of a volunteer Constitutional State Militia with assistance from County Sheriffs.
Militia vs. Paid Army- We recognize that the original meaning of the word “militia” in the Constitution refers to an armed citizenry, not the formal paid professional military.
Freedom of Access Act- We urge repeal of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Law. Those who assault peaceful protesters acting under the Constitution should be vigorously prosecuted. Picketing and literature distribution do not fall under the RICO Act.
Religious Expression- The Republican Party of Texas will protect the rights of commercial establishments to refuse to provide any service or product that would infringe upon their freedom of conscience of religious expression as stated in the 1st Amendment.
Safeguarding Religious Liberties- We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity, and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the 1st Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state. We urge the legislature to increase the ability of faith- based institutions and other organizations to assist the needy and to reduce regulation of such organizations.
Religious Liberties Abroad- We urge Congress to sanction any foreign government that persecutes its citizens for their religion.
Health and Human Services Mandate- We strongly oppose any federal or state requirement or other mandate to provide abortions or contraception and sterilization, since this would clearly violate many individuals, businesses, churches, and non-profit personnel’s faith and beliefs.
Government must obey the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution!
Electronic Privacy- We believe all law-abiding citizens should be free from government surveillance of their electronic communications except in cases directly involving national security, by court order. Except for non-citizens, we further oppose any national ID program, including the Real ID Act and the use of Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RFID) on humans.
Personal Confidentiality- Necessary dissemination of personal information among government entities must be safeguarded with the threat of criminal penalties.
Equality of All Citizens- We deplore all discrimination. We also deplore forced sensitivity training and urge repeal of any mandate requiring it. We urge immediate repeal of the Hate
Crimes Law. Until the Hate Crimes Law is totally repealed, we urge the Legislature to immediately remove the education curriculum mandate and the sexual orientation category in said Law.
GMO Labeling- We support labeling of all products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as cloned organisms, in a uniform and recognizable fashion.
Smart Meters- We oppose the mandated use of Smart Meters, as well as the use of collected data to reduce freedoms of U.S. citizens. Our opposition is based upon security, property damage, energy inefficiencies, privacy, health issues, and the use of Smart Meters to ration electricity.
Texans should be allowed to opt-out of or opt-in to the use of Smart Meters.
Internet Access- We support a free and open internet – free from intrusion, censorship, or control by government or private entities. Due to the inherent benefit of anonymity, the anonymity of users is not to be compromised for any reason, unless consented by the user, or by court order.
We also oppose any mandates by the government to collect and retain records of our internet activity. We support continued stewardship of DNS (Domain Name System) by U.S. Department of Commerce over ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in order to guarantee continued worldwide freedom of speech on the internet.
Prison Reform- We believe our prison systems should emphasize protection of society and punishment of offenders, ever mindful of their human rights. Prisoners should be required to perform meaningful work. Prisoners should not have access to private information of any citizen. No extraordinary medical care, including organ transplants or body part replacement, should be performed on prisoners at taxpayer expense.
Sentencing Reform- We call for disclosure to juries of prior convictions of the defendant and the actual time likely to be served before parole. We believe punishment should be assessed in proportion to the crime and should be a deterrent. We support imprisonment for life without parole for habitual felons. Convicted criminals should be required to make restitution to their victims. Prisoners without a high school diploma must be required to attend GED or vocational training. No inmate with a history of drug abuse should be eligible for parole before completing treatment.
Crime Shouldn’t Pa y- No convicted criminal should be allowed to profit from sale of rights to their story for books, movies, etc., while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation.
Capital Punishment- Properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be swift and unencumbered.
Juvenile Justice- Juvenile justice reforms should continue, including private programs, “boot camps,” and trying juveniles as adults when appropriate. We condemn incarcerating juveniles and adults in the same facility.
Child Abuse- We recognize the family as a sovereign authority over which the state has no right to intervene, unless a parent or legal guardian has committed criminal abuse. Child abusers should be severely prosecuted. We oppose actions of social agencies to classify traditional methods of discipline, including corporal punishment, as child abuse. As a condition of funding, publicly funded agencies are to report all instances of abuse.
Unborn Victims of Violence- We believe a person who injures or kills an unborn child should be subject to criminal and civil litigation.
Sexual Assault- Adults convicted of sexual molestation of a minor should receive mandatory prison sentences without probation or parole up to and including capital punishment. We support increasing the penalty for failure to report child sexual assault cases, and we urge vigorous prosecution of such failure.
Addictive Behaviors- We encourage state and federal governments to severely prosecute illegal dealers and manufacturers of addictive substances, including pornography, and/or pedophilia. We urge Congress to discourage import of such substances into our country. Faith based rehabilitation programs should be emphasized. We oppose legalization of illicit and synthetic drugs. We support an effective abstinence-based educational program for children. We oppose any “needle exchange” program. We urge vigorous enforcement of our DUI laws.
Property Search and Seizure without Due Process- We need to reinstate the rights embodied in the 4th Amendment that have been rendered null and void by activist courts and government overreach. We oppose search and seizure of private property without due process. Neither law enforcement agencies nor their parent organizations should be allowed to benefit from such seizures.
STRENGTHENING THE ECONOMY
Budget and Appropriations- Whereas, Government Spending is out of control at the federal level, and to a lesser degree in Texas at the state level, action is needed. We urge Congress and the Texas State Legislature to become fiscally responsible by immediately enacting the following items:
• Adopt a balanced budget by cutting spending without increasing tax rates or adding new taxes and capping spending with a percent of GDP as calculated prior to 2009.
• We support the implementation of a federal balanced budget amendment only if the above principals are adhered to.
• Adopt zero-based budgeting at all levels of government.
• Adopt Sunset Laws at all levels of government.
• Adopt a policy of requiring public audits of each governmental department at least every 3 years.
Downsizing the Federal Government-
• We encourage the abolishment of any and all federal agencies not based on an enumerated power granted by the United States Federal Constitution.
• All non-military spending should be returned to at least pre-2008 levels.
Unfunded Mandates- We oppose all unfunded mandates by the federal, state, and local governments.
• Amend the Texas Constitution and statute to restrict the power of the legislature to impose unfunded mandates on local governments.
Truth in Taxing- We urge that taxes established for a particular purpose shall not be used for any other purpose.
• Pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of statutorily-dedicated accounts for budget certification, beginning in the 2023-24 biennium.
Congressional Pay and Benefits-
• Congressional pay raises should not exceed the rate of inflation times 0.5.
• Congress shall pass no law affecting average Americans that does not equally apply to themselves and all other federal employees.
• We recommend that the Congressional retirement system be abolished.
Bailouts and Subsidies-
• We encourage government to divest its ownership of all business that should be run in the private sector and allow the free market to prevail.
• We oppose all bailouts of domestic and foreign government entities, states and all businesses, public and private.
Government Lobbying- We oppose paying lobbyists with tax dollars.
Improper Government Funding- We support enforcement of current law prohibiting public assets being used for private groups without proper vetting and authorization, and urge the Texas Legislature to enact civil and criminal penalties for violation of the law which currently has no enforcement mechanism.
Funding Special Interest Organizations- We oppose any direct financial support of special interest organizations, such as ACORN and the ACLU, by any level of government.
Education Spending- Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.
Governmental Transparency- We support statewide and local taxing entities compiling and publically posting their current debt and future obligations on their official websites.
Tax Burden- We in the Republican Party of Texas believe in the principals of constitutionally limited government based on Federalist principles. To this end we encourage our elected officials at all levels of government to work to reverse the current trend of expanding government and the growing tax and debt burdens this places on we the people. We believe the most equitable system of taxation is one based on consumption, and wish to see reforms towards that end at all levels of government, furthermore, we believe that the borrower truly is a slave to the lender, and so long as we continue to increase our tax and debt burdens we will never be a truly free people. Towards these ends, we support the following:
Reformation of the current systems of taxation at all levels of government; federal, state and local. Examples of these reforms include the following:
• The “Fair Tax” system
• A Flat Tax
• The 1-2-3 No Federal Tax
• We support the abolishment of property taxes, but in the interim, property taxes should be paid on the price of the property when it was initially purchased.
• Abolishment of estate taxes or the “Death Tax” as it’s more commonly known
• Abolishment of capital gains taxes
• Abolishment of franchise and business income taxes
• Abolishment of the gift tax.
• Discontinuation revenue generating licensing fee
• Exemption of inventories from property taxes
State Income Tax Ban- We support maintaining the current ban on state income taxes in Texas.
Internet Taxation- We oppose any internet taxation unless it is part of a complete reformation of our taxation systems, preferably in tandem with the abolishment of direct taxation of citizen’s incomes.
Government Authority- We believe any government authority that has the ability to level a tax on the people should be accountable to those who pay the taxes via the electoral process from the local level to the federal level.
Management Districts- We oppose the creation of management districts with the authority to impose taxes and bond debt.
Gambling Tax Revenues- We oppose gambling because we believe that gambling tax revenues are unreliable as a source of funding for any government activities. And gambling is damaging to those in the lowest income quintiles.
Taxation by a Foreign Entity- We believe that any attempt to allow the United Nations or any other foreign entity to levy taxes on United States citizens or governments should be rejected.
Restrictions by Government Agencies- We oppose any restrictions by any government agency on individual taxpayer contributions to churches, faith-based charities and other non-profit organizations.
Truth in Budgeting- Pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of statutorily-dedicated accounts for budget certification, beginning in the 2023-24 biennium.
STATE AND LOCAL DEBT
Transparency Requirements- Create clear and concise transparency requirements for the disclosure of debt information to voters in state and local bond elections prior to voting and on the ballot.
Bond Election Transparency- To ensure that voters are adequately informed about any new debt that they are being asked to approve, state and local bond election ballots should be required to include the amount of debt currently outstanding, current debt service payments, current per capita debt obligations, the amount of new debt being proposed, estimated debt service for the new debt, and estimated per capita burden being proposed.
Financial Statements- Require all local taxing entities to post their financial statements and local government contracts online.
Vendor Contracts- Requiring each local taxing entity to post all vendor contracts over certain values and financial statements online, or to submit them to the state for inclusion in a website maintained by the Comptroller or the Legislative Budget Board, would ensure that both the state and its political subdivisions are subject to the same transparency requirements.
CONSTITUTIONAL SPENDING LIMIT
Spending Limitations- Amend the Texas Constitution and state statute with a stricter spending limitation based on population growth times inflation, and apply the new limit to all General Revenue and General Revenue-dedicated state spending. (The SREC has been made aware of the fact that different results can be obtained from this formula depending on whether whole numbers or fractions are utilized. The SREC wants to make clear that this plank does not call for an increase in government beyond population growth and inflation but rather should be interpreted so that government growth is restrained.)
Two-Thirds Vote- Require a two-thirds vote to override the constitutional spending limit.
ECONOMIC STABILIZATION FUND
Permissible Uses of Fund- Amend the Texas Constitution to narrow the permissible uses of the Economic Stabilization Fund to cover revenue shortfalls in the current biennium, debt retirement, one-time infrastructure projects, and expenses related to a state of disaster as declared by the governor
State Hiring Decisions- Repeal the Sunset Act provision protecting state bureaucracy. If the Sunset process determines that an agency is no longer needed, the state should not continue to employ someone simply because they once worked for a state agency that is now defunct.
Public Private Partnerships- We oppose the construction of transportation projects which surrender control or ownership to foreign interests, such as public private partnerships (or P3s). We oppose the use of eminent domain for private gain for toll projects, as well as the construction of a “Trans-Texas Corridor” or similar project which would create a federal corridor through Texas.
Transportation and Fuel Taxes- We call for all transportation and fuel taxes collected to be used for road construction, improvement, and maintenance only. We resolve that tax revenue derived from gasoline taxes and all other taxes/fees on our vehicles (including vehicle sales tax) should only be used for highway construction, and not be diverted to any other use, including mass transit, rail, and bicycle paths.
Oil and Gas Producing Counties- Counties with oil and gas production should receive a portion of the production taxes the state collects so that the road system can be maintained for the dual purpose of accommodating the needs of the industry and providing adequate public safety.
Toll Roads- We believe that tolls should come off the road when the debt is retired, and if the debt is ever restructured or refinanced; the pay-off date needs to remain the same or receive voter approval in order to extend the toll tax longer. Maintenance should then revert to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
Toll Road funding- We oppose the use of taxpayer money to subsidize, guarantee, prop-up, or bail out any toll projects, whether public or private, and we call upon both state and federal lawmakers to adequately fund our highways without hidden taxes, tolls, or raiding emergency funds.
Diversion of Property Taxes- We oppose the diversion of property taxes to build, subsidize, and/or guarantee the loans of toll projects, which is primarily being done through transportation reinvestment zones. The State needs to properly fund the Texas State highway system to prevent the use of LOCAL property taxes being diverted to STATE roads.
Comprehensive Texas Energy Plan- We urge development of a comprehensive Texas energy plan that ensures development of domestic energy sources and reduce or eventually eliminate our need for foreign energy and ensure export of compressed natural gas and distillates with elimination of onerous environmental regulations. Further, we recommend that the plan include development of coal energy resources, completion of the Keystone Pipeline Project, and invites to other states to participate.
Removal of Government Barriers- We support immediate removal of government barriers to free market solutions to production and distribution of energy including restrictions on:
• Export of LNG and CNG worldwide
• Drilling and production operations on public and private lands and waters
• Modernization of existing and construction of new refineries
• Electric power generation and distribution
• Federal gas mileage standards (CAFÉ standards) and fuel blends
Land Drilling- We support land drilling and production operations including hydraulic fracturing.
Cap and Trade- We oppose the implementation of any cap and trade (aka “Cap and Tax”) system through legislation or regulation.
U.S. Department of Energy- We still support the elimination of the Department of Energy.
Keystone XL Pipeline- We support the immediate approval and construction of the Keystone XL and other pipelines that will reduce our reliance on imported oil and natural gas from unstable or unfriendly countries.
Ethanol- We support the repeal of legislation mandating ethanol as a fuel additive and/or primary fuel.
Natural Gas Exports- We insist on expedited design, construction, and implementation of facilities required to export LNG, CNG and natural gas worldwide, to include exports to Mexico/Canada, even if destined for re-export to non-Free Trade countries, and elimination of federal government onerous restriction and interference.
Alternative Fuel- We urge the use of natural gas as an alternative transportation fuel and as complimentary fuel to gasoline and diesel.
• We support the manufacture of vehicles that utilize natural gas as an alternative fuel and/or a complimentary fuel
• We support and encourage the conversion of existing private fleets to natural gas as a dual use fuel
• We support the use of natural gas in electric power generation and other industrial uses
Alternative Energy Sources- We encourage the development and use of wind energy, coal-fired plants, solar, and nuclear power, and bio-sources without government subsidies.
Incandescent Light Bulbs- We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs.
Electrical Grid- We encourage the Texas Legislature to take steps to ensure our electrical grid is kept independent, safe, and secure from attack.
Business and the Economy- We believe that a favorable business climate and strong economy emerges when government is limited by low taxation, sensible regulation, and tort reform. The
American private sector powers our economy and is the true creator of jobs. When government, through legislation, executive action, statute or agency, overreaches, we believe it is then our duty to protect the American free market, private sector actors and our economy. Because we believe that competition in the free market is vital to a strong economy and business climate, we stand for the equal representation of all sectors and economic actors in government action including small business owners, farmers, ranchers and the taxpayer. The establishment of a transparent and accountable monetary system is paramount in the pursuit of a strong economy.
Small Business- We urge the federal and state legislatures to mitigate the impact of regulations on small businesses and to ensure that such businesses are adequately represented in the regulatory process. We support the removal of any unreasonable legal or economic barriers to home-based work.
Right to Work- We oppose the Employee Free Choice Act (card check) and any action that eliminates the secret ballot. Every worker should have freedom to work in their preferred job without being forced to join or pay dues to any organization. Our right-to-work law has provided this freedom and a good climate for industrial expansion, higher employment, and a stable management-labor relationship and should be retained. We also encourage the adoption of a National Right-to-Work Act.
Minimum Wage Repeal- We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.
Prevailing Wage Law- We urge Congress to repeal the Prevailing Wage Law and the Davis Bacon Act.
Workers Compensation- We urge the Legislature to resist making workers’ compensation mandatory for all Texas employers.
Exotic Livestock- We encourage the freedom of farmers, ranchers, and producers to be able to raise and promote all livestock, wildlife and other protected species for conservation, consumption, and economic development.
Rural and Volunteer Fire Departments- We urge Congress to overturn the rules of the United States Department of Labor restricting volunteerism by paid firefighters and emergency medical technician personnel and protections similar to those provided to national guardsmen for service during declared emergencies.
Water Shortages-We recommend the Texas Legislature, in coordination with the Texas Water Development Board, immediately appropriate required revenue and authorize sale of revenue bonds to finance, design, and construction of a large desalination facility or facilities using sea water from the Gulf of Mexico and from underground salt water aquifers using leading-edge technologies such as, but not limited to, reverse-osmosis (RO), electro dialysis, and reed-root constructed wetlands, to bring long-term resolution Texas’s critical water shortage problem.
Also, to relieve reliance and depletion on fresh water aquifers from the Panhandle to the Permian Basin, Concho Valley, Hill Country, south, southwest, and west Texas, etc., and thereby ensure continued economic stability and growth. These current leading-edge technologies offer feasible capabilities to treat seawater, brackish inland water, sewage, oilfield waste water, etc. to provide new innovative potable water resources. We further recommend that affordability, effectiveness, and free market forces drive the selection of the best technologies to bring new water solutions.
Mineral Leasing and Development- We believe more Bureau of Land Management resources should be open to mineral leasing, and development be permitted.
Hemp Cultivation- We support legislation allowing for industrial hemp cultivation in Texas upon such delineation of industrial hemp by Congress.
Raw milk and dairy products- We support legislation confirming local dairy farmers’ rights to produce and sell natural milk and dairy products within the State of Texas.
Federal Reserve System- We believe Congress should repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 thereby abolishing the Federal Reserve Banking System. In the interim, we call for a complete audit of the Federal Reserve System and its Board of Governors followed by an immediate report to the American people.
Federal Rese rve S ystem’ s Dual Mandate- We call for the removal of the “full employment” part of the Federal Reserve System’s current dual mandate.
Sound Money- Our founding fathers warned us of the dangers of allowing central bankers to control our currency because inflation equals taxation without representation. We support the return to the time-tested precious metal standard for the United States dollar.
Sarbanes Oxley Legislation- We support the repeal of Sarbanes Oxley legislation.
Repeal Dodd Frank- We support the immediate repeal of Dodd Frank legislation.
Community Reinvestment Act- We support the repeal of the Community Reinvestment Act.
Free Market for Utilities and Insurance- We encourage free market solutions for providing utilities whenever possible. We support that all property insurance rates should be set through free-market forces alone. We support efforts to shrink the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association to reduce the liabilities it imposes on state taxpayers.
Law Basis for Regulations- We urge that all regulations written should be sent to the originating committee of the supporting legislation for approval before being implemented.
Climate Change- We believe we are to be good stewards of our planet and thus manage the resources it provides. We believe current evidence is not conclusive on the cause of climate change; we reject the use of this natural process to promote more government regulation of the
private economy. Furthermore, we reject the idea of “climate justice” and the accompanying redistribution of wealth that comes with accepting it.
Frivolous Lawsuits- We support further reform to discourage frivolous lawsuits. We oppose the abusive use of class action lawsuits.
Transparency in Government Litigation- We demand that all state agencies, municipalities, and public entities pay greater attention to thwart frivolous lawsuits by trial lawyers. We urge our elected officials to pay greater attention to out-of-control legal expenses to ensure being a good steward of the taxpayers’ money.
Tidelands/Water Resources and Rights to State Waters- We demand that the State of Texas and all costal states enjoy and maintain jurisdiction and control of their offshore waters up to the international water boundaries as well as state inland waterways in regards to all natural resources therein, and that the federal government shall not set limits on harvesting or taking natural resources therein, nor allow foreign entities to harvest or take such natural resources therein, including minerals, game, fisheries, and hydrocarbons. Also, we demand that no entity shall usurp Texas’ original tideland boundaries.
UNITED STATES SOVEREIGNTY, LEADERSHIP, AND FOREIGN POLICY SOVEREIGNTY
Limited Federal Powers- We strongly support state sovereignty reserved under the 10th Amendment and oppose mandates beyond the scope of federal authority, as defined in the United States Constitution. We further support abolition of federal agencies involved in activities not originally delegated to the federal government under a strict interpretation of the United States Constitution.
National Sovereignty- The United States is a sovereign nation independent of all foreign entities with power held solely by the people. Therefore, we insist that the President and Congress defend our national sovereignty in accordance with their oaths of office. The United States government must remain free of all external control and influence.
United Nations- We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of United Nations headquarters from United States soil.
United Nations Agenda 21- We oppose implementation of the United Nations Agenda 21 treaty policies and its supporting organizations, agreements, and contracts which were adopted at the Earth Summit Conference in 1992. We oppose the influence, promotion, and implementation of all international nongovernmental organizations’ programs and policies, in the metropolitan and/or regional planning organizations, Councils of Government, and International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), and the use of American taxes to promote these programs.
Homeland Security- We support the strengthening of our nation’s homeland security while protecting the constitutional rights of all United States citizens and lawful resident aliens.
Decommission Homeland Security- We support decommissioning the Department of Homeland Security and reorganizing into previously existing structures. The communication barriers between security agencies should be reconciled.
National Defense- We support a strong national defense that protects United States interests, freedoms and sovereignty at home and abroad.
Citizenship- We call on the Texas Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment that defines citizenship as those born to a citizen of the United States or through naturalization.
Texas State Guard- We recommend that the Texas State Guard Reserve Militia be activated on a quarterly basis, for purposes of organization and training. These musters should be of a voluntary nature, and be held for a minimum of two days each.
United States Ports- We urge the federal government to support and participate in the ongoing efforts to review the emergency military deployment requirements and peacetime security needs of United States ports, and that this review should be coordinated with all relevant federal, state and local law enforcement and security-related agencies, including public port authorities. We object to foreign governments, states or companies owning or managing United States ports.
Texas Fiscal Sovereignty- We urge the State Legislature to conduct a study and enact legislation to determine total federal receipts by departments and establish plans for operating with 5% or greater reduction per year in federal funds, and develop contingency plans to provide core services.
United Nations World Heritage Sites- We oppose the transfer of the Alamo and the other Franciscan missions to the United Nations. We urge the Texas General Land Office to respect the hallowed ground of the Alamo and what it means to the people of Texas. We support maintaining control of these historic sites in Texas hands, and we oppose granting jurisdiction and sovereignty over Texas’ cultural sites to any international body.
MILITARY AND SPACE EXPLORATION
Support of our Armed Forces- The men and women who wear our country’s uniform, whether on active duty or in the Reserves or National Guard, are the most important assets in our military arsenal. They and their families must have the pay, health care, housing, education and overall support they need. Injured military personnel deserve the best medical, mental health and rehabilitative care our country has to offer. We must always remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice; their families must be assured meaningful financial assistance. It is the solemn duty we owe and honor we give to those who bravely don the uniform of freedom. We
support our government in continuing to seek and act upon all information concerning our military personnel and other citizens listed as Missing in Action or Prisoners of War.
Defense Spending- We strongly oppose any cut in the defense budgets and troop levels at this time.
Arming the Military on Military Bases- In light of the recent terrorist attacks at Fort Hood, we call for base commanders to provide sufficient armament of military personnel on military bases to provide for their self-defense.
National Defense Authorization Act- We call on the state Attorney General to challenge in court all provisions of federal laws or executive orders which authorize unconstitutional detention of citizens by federal law enforcement without due process or any enforcement of federal law by the military within the State of Texas, including sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Strategic Defense Initiative- We urge the United States Congress to continue funding the Strategic Defense Initiative for missile defense. We further call for renewed efforts and funding for nuclear shield development and for the immediate implementation of such a shield for us, Poland, Czech Republic and other allies.
Military Rules of Engagement- Military Rules of Engagement, as defined by the President or Congress, should not preclude the safety nor deny the immediacy of tactical decision making of the military personnel in the field. Military personnel shall not be criminally or civilly liable for reasonable actions taken in the field.
Returning Veterans- We support the accommodation and reintegration of our troops once their military commitment has expired. Returning veterans must have access to educational benefits, job training, and a wide variety of employment options.
Veteran ’s Administration – We are outraged by the mistreatment given to our military veterans. The Veteran’s Administration must become more responsive and more efficient by eliminating its backlog and reducing wait times for treatment. We support the privatization of veteran’s healthcare.
NASA- We strongly encourage the federal government and NASA to work with American citizens and American businesses to research and develop a new vehicle to continue human space flight and maintain America’s leadership in space exploration.
Foreign Policy- We support the spread of representative forms of government, free market enterprise, private humanitarian aid to developing countries, continued favorable treatment of proven allies, censure of adversarial entities that seek destruction of other countries and strong
policies on confronting terrorists. We oppose United States aid to any foreign entity that consistently votes against our interests or is openly hostile to our nation.
Declaration of War- A lawful “Declaration of War” is necessary for the United States to enter into armed conflict, and we urge Congress to reclaim its Constitutional responsibility as implemented under the War Powers Act. Any breech of this power by the President is an impeachable offence.
Foreign Aid- We oppose foreign aid, except in cases of national defense or catastrophic disasters, with Congressional approval.
Free Trade- We support free trade as a necessary component of American capitalism and of the United States’ influence in the world.
International Organizations- We support United States withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the World Bank.
Israel- We believe that the United States and Israel share a special long-standing relationship based on shared values, a mutual commitment to a republican form of government, and a strategic alliance that benefits both nations. Our foreign policy with Israel should reflect the right of sovereign nations to govern themselves and have self-determination. In our diplomatic dealings with Israel, we encourage the continuation of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but oppose pressuring Israel to compromise their sovereignty or security. Our policy is inspired by God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.
Mexico- We support United States policies which help Mexico strengthen its Constitution. We support aggressive military and law enforcement cooperation to address corruption, the drug cartels, and human trafficking. We support Mexico’s efforts to privatize their nationalized industries in order to strengthen their economy.
Taiwan- We support full diplomatic recognition of Taiwan as an independent and sovereign nation. We urge Congress to work with the Taiwanese government to preserve and enhance the human rights of all people.
Investigate Benghazi- We call upon the United States House of Representatives to appoint a select committee and a special prosecutor in order to subpoena testimony to fully investigate all aspects of the Benghazi debacle, including, but not limited to, the reason Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi; the denied assistance before and during the attack, the accounts of personnel who participated in the defense of the embassy annex, and the apparent attempt by the White House to deceive the American public with a concocted story about a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video. We call for bringing those responsible to justice, including jail time.
Congressional Apology- The Republican Party of Texas endorses and supports the Proposed Congressional Apology to the Chinese Americans for governmental actions that denied equal rights to and adversely harmed the Chinese in America.
America is proudly a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, our nation has attracted productive, industrious and gifted people to America because she is exceptional, and those immigrants and their descendants helped make America the world’s unrivaled economic and military superpower. It remains imperative to create fair and consistent procedures that will again enable freedom-loving, hard-working and law-abiding immigrants to join us, by providing them an efficient, practical method of legal entry, so they can lawfully take positions where their labor is needed, without exploitation or harassment.
Our national interests are poorly served by our broken, embattled, and outdated immigration system, and patchwork attempts to mend its deficiencies will not prepare us to continue to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex global economy that demands the legal movement of people to fill jobs at all skill levels. An efficient, pro-family and market-based system will provide a more workable solution that is compassionate, equitable and respects the rule of law.
But by failing to create a rational and effective system that encourages and facilitates legal immigration to the benefit of the nation, Congress has forced states to deal with the consequences of a broken immigration system, including human, sex and drug trafficking, the direct criminal activities of cartels and gangs. This situation must end so America can, once again, enjoy the fruits of a vibrant and beneficial system of legal immigration.
In addition, with 92 million Americans not working, the labor force at 36-year low and a lethargic economy, the United States of America can ill-afford a guest worker program designed to depress wages.
The following outlines specific actions needed to address these critical issues:
• Secure the borders through:
o Increasing the number of border security officers
o Increasing joint operations and training with local law enforcement, DPS and the Texas State Guard
o Contiguous physical barrier coupled with electronic, infrared and visual monitoring
• Ending in-state tuition for illegal immigrants
• Enhancing state smuggling laws
• Prohibiting sanctuary cities
• Prohibiting the knowing employment of illegal immigrants
• Providing civil liability protections for landowners against illegal immigrants
• Protecting the ability of law enforcement officers to inquire of the status of someone in custody
• Modernizing current immigration laws to address the following:
o Any form of amnesty should not be granted, including the granting of legal status to persons in the country illegally
o We support replacement of the current employment visa system with an efficient cost effective system
o We support ending country of origin quotas
o We support ending the annual green card lottery
• Once the borders are verifiably secure, and E-Verify system use is fully enforced, creation of a visa classification for non-specialty industries which have demonstrated actual and persistent labor shortages
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF PRIORITIZING CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY LEGISLATION
We call upon the 84th Texas Legislature to propose to the people of Texas a constitutional amendment to strike “; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime” from Article I, Section 23 of the Texas Constitution.
Further, we request the State Party Chair and the State Republican Executive Committee consider adoption of such an amendment and other legislation necessary to remove restrictions on Texans’ right to own and bear arms a legislative priority for the Republican Party of Texas for the 2015 legislative session and to utilize reasonable Party resources necessary to promote and support their passage.
Other sites besides Infowars.com have also been miscategorized by Blue Coat.
In the past, the company also labeled New Braunfels Republican Women, the web site of conservative commentator Carolyn Gargaro and Reunion Ministries as “pornography.”
Wonder if this group may be the answer to our border problems?
The Texas State Guard is one of three components of the Texas Military Forces (TXMF), operating under the command of the Adjutant General of Texas and the Governor as Commander-in-Chief of all state military forces. The TXMF includes the Texas Army National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard.
The mission of the Texas State Guard (TXSG) is to provide mission-ready military forces to assist state and local authorities in times of state emergencies; to conduct homeland security and community service activities under the umbrella of Defense Support to Civil Authorities; and to augment the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard as required.
Headquartered at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, the TXSG functions as an organized state militia under the authority of Title 32 of the U.S. Code and Chapter 431 of the Texas Government Code.
I’ve sent a copy of this letter to all my State legislators (slightly edited for each):
What can we do to help moderate what appears to be the makings of an international crisis due to the numbers of families and vulnerable, unaccompanied children entering our country?
Please see this post about the issue at WingRight.org, “A minor border crisis.” I am concerned that the unaccompanied minor children in these stories are being used in a political ploy designed to beat away at the resistance to “immigration reform.” Whether that is true or not, they are suffering physical and sexual abuse and abandoned due to the inadequate system in place at this time.
As to the “practical action” that I mention in the blog post, perhaps we could utilize the systems for handling refugees that the State of Texas built after Katrina.
Our goal should be to return these children and families with minor children to their homes in their own country immediately after they are caught and funding for the effort should come from the Federal government. Since I’m not sure we can count on this Administration to agree, Texas must take the lead.
I’m offering to work as a volunteer anywhere I can be of assistance, whether as a doctor and/or doing the “scut work” in coordination of the effort.
Of the 168,000 caught illegally entering the United States in the Rio Grande Valley from October, 2013 to May, 2014, 33,000 were “unaccompanied” minors. Since 75% are from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, we are also supposed to believe that they traveled the entire length of Mexico not only without their parents, but without the Mexican authorities even noticing.
In the meantime, many have reported physical and sexual abuse in “shelters.”
The root cause of the influx is obvious. Our President is aware of the lawlessness and is using the children in a in a political ploy to beat at the resistance to immigration reform in the US. (“Obama delivered a commencement address at a technical school in Worcester, where he said 30 to 40 percent of the students were children of immigrants.”)
And now, we hear that ICE releases 90% of the children to “sponsors.” Not just with family members, but with “friends* already in the country. Who is to say what happens to the children when the authorities can’t even keep up with their whereabouts? Are they being further abused and trafficked?
No one knows. There doesn’t seem to be any way – or any effort? – to track them once they are released.
The simplest and most urgent need would be to close the border to more illegal crossings. At the same time, we must convince Mexico to stop ignoring the passage of hundreds of thousands illegally making their way through that country. We should also begin to track at least the minors we have already taken into custody after they are released. Finally, we must return these children and families to their homes in their own country.
This is not the time for hyperbole and political grandstanding, but for practical action. My concern is not only that our national security and sovereignty is severely compromised: If our current immigration and border control policies result in human trafficking and child abuse, we may see a lasting international debacle.
George Rodriguez explains the new #RPT Immigration plank. Hint: there’s a reason it was placed in the “Sovereignty” subsection.
Opposing them were citizen delegates — taxpayers, consumers and ordinary citizens who see their lives growing more difficult because the American dream is slipping away. They saw the “Texas Solution” as a cheap-labor plank masquerading as Hispanic outreach that would complicate an already out-of-control immigration crisis.
Grassroots conservatives over the past year also began to realize that the “Texas Solution” was light on enforcement. Given that over 160,000 illegal immigrants have been detained on the South Texas border since October 2013, these conservatives knew that any immigration solution must start with border security.
The new party platform truly addresses immigration in several ways.
Perhaps that #RPT Immigration plank wasn’t a fluke, after all. This is much bigger than the Tea Party, alone. Or the Tea Party is bigger than anyone thought!
Eric Cantor wasn’t supposed to lose. His own pollster had him up by, get this, 34 points the other week. He’d raised nearly $5 million, and in the past two weeks spent $1 million against his rival’s $79,000. Not enough.
So is this a case of the Republican Right eating one of its own to prove a point? Perhaps. Or it could just be he was hit by a perfect storm of anti-Washington sentiment and his own advocacy for an immigration bill that made him a whipping boy for ratings-hungry radio chatters. He lost touch with the voters in his own district and was done in.
The border patrol is coping with the swell by releasing many of the migrant mothers with children on their own recognizance, with a date for a deportation hearing in hand. Some of the unaccompanied minors are being released to the custody of parents or relatives in the US. One flaw in that approach: Only 40 percent of those accused of being in the United States illegally ever show up for court, according to former federal immigration Judge Mark Metcalf.
How is this influx different from past immigration waves?
Overall illegal immigration into the US is about half the rate of its apex in 2005. It plummeted with the rise of the Great Recession and high US unemployment, beefed-up border security, and a stronger economy in Mexico. At the peak of illegal entries, immigrants apprehended from Central America accounted for 400,000 border-crossers. The total is now at about 180,000, but it is rapidly pushing up.
What’s different this time is that the undocumented immigrants from Central America are disproportionately younger, apparently trying to escape from strife-torn and murder-wracked countries. Many of the children are reported to be seeking to join their undocumented parents or relatives already in the US.
Government officials from Guatemala and Honduras have also gone to speak to the children. None appeared to have been kidnapped, robbed or abused during their journey through Mexico, which is a departure from the common experience of transmigrants. The children also said that it had taken them between less than a week to cross through Mexico, a voyage that typically takes migrants about a month.
•Southwest border apprehensions: (Oct. 1- May 31) 323,675, a 15 percent increase from fiscal year 2013.
•Rio Grande Valley (South Texas) border apprehensions: (Oct. 1-May 31) 163,542, a 74 percent increase from fiscal year 2013.
•Southwest border apprehensions of Other-than-Mexican citizens: (Oct. 1 -May 31) 162,757, 50 percent of the total Southwest border apprehensions.
•Rio Grande Valley (South Texas) border apprehensions of Other-than-Mexican citizens: (Oct. 1-May 31) 122,070, 75 percent of total Rio Grande Valley apprehensions.