NEW .30 “Speaker Showdown” TV Ad to Air During Holiday Season!

Take a look a the newest version of the TREMENDOUS .30 second Texas House “Speaker’s Showdown” ad which will be aired over the holiday season leading up to the January 11, 2011 vote for Speaker. 

Be sure and share this link with your contacts and ask them to view the link, comment on the ad and most importantly — FORWARD it to their friends!!

This fight is NOT over and we are certain we will have a “true” conservative as House leader in 2011.   Now is the time to STAND!

Death Tax is government-sanctioned estate looting

Current discourse over the Death (or estate) Tax depicts troubling attitudes toward American wealth and property rights.  While the generation of prosperity through hard work, creative thinking and discipline was once aspired to and celebrated, today’s world too often seems to begrudge success and foster a skeptical view that if someone is “rich,” perhaps they acquired it less than honestly or were undeservedly “lucky.”  As the trickle-down value of wealth – did a poor man ever give you a job? – seems sadly lost, also being challenged is the concept that one’s earnings are their own to keep spend, save or reinvest/redistribute per their own accord.

EstateofDenial.com addresses the increasing use of probate venues and probate instruments (wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney) to perpetrate Involuntary Redistribution of Assets actions against the dead, disabled and incapacitated along with their families or other heirs/beneficiaries.  We see property rights trampled as the legal system is used to loot estates by diverting lifelong accumulations of assets from a property owner’s intended recipients to never-intended or outside parties.  The Death Tax is government-sponsored estate looting and is equally harmful as actions perpetrated by non-governmental grave robbers, asset looters and property poachers.

An estate tax discourages productivity and prosperity.  It can thwart motivation and economic innovation – foundational principles on which this country was built.

Some wealthy Americans are joining a campaign started by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in which participants pledge to give away at least 50 percent of their wealth to charity.  Hooray for that.  Every American should be free to determine the final distribution of their property.

It’s great if these folks want to give much of their money to charity, but it’s equally great if people want their children or other designated heirs to inherit their assets.  In the vein of freedom, we support the right of Leona Helmsley and Gail Posner (though that case has some suspicious elements) to leave their estates to the care of dogs – the operative term being their money, assets or estates.

And if with death people want to turn their assets over to the government, that’s another option.  Folks who claim they should pay more taxes are, in all reality, free at any point (in their life or upon death) to do exactly that.  They just don’t have the freedom to force it on the rest of us.

So what’s the problem?  Simply put, the Death Tax is government’s desire to confiscate assets for the further control and redistribution of wealth in this country.  It’s a threat to basic American property rights as it sets a basis that government can arbitrarily establish conditions through which property must be relinquished upon demand.

If Death Tax proponents describe Americans wanting to keep what they’ve earned as “greedy,” what then do you call the U.S. government that does nothing to create or otherwise earn wealth, sometimes even hampers its generation yet boldly claims an entitlement to property upon its citizens’ deaths?  Greedier seems a good start.

Lou Ann Anderson is an advocate working to create awareness regarding the Texas probate system and its surrounding culture.  She is the Online Producer at www.EstateofDenial.com and a Policy Advisor with Americans for Prosperity – Texas Foundation.  Lou Ann may be contacted at [email protected].

The Texas Race for LIFE

There are so many reasons why conservative activists in Texas refuse to accept Joe Straus as Texas House Speaker during the 2011 Texas legislative session.    The man simply does not have the fighting spirit and goes to extremes to avoid conflict.  Not a very good combination given the HUGE battles facing the Texas legislature on issues most true conservatives consider worthy of all out war.     

If you doubt me, consider Straus’ quotes from several Evan Smith interviews (Texas Monthly & Texas Tribune) concerning the the 2009 “do nothing” legislative session. 

In the January 16, 2009 Texas Monthly interview, Smith pressed Straus on important issues to the “right” saying, “On abortion you are often described as a pro-choice Republican — True or False?”  Straus responded with what I consider a truly astonishing statement: 

“Oh, I kinda get tired of the pro-choice / pro-life thing.  I take issues one at a time. … What I do reject though is this intense negative campaigning over wedge issues and I really — I’m a pass the budget and go home conservative (not to label myself again).  I really don’t enjoy the endless debate over things that are meant for campaign fodder.” 

WHAT —  did he really just equate important LIFE issues (abortion in particular) to “campaign fodder”? 

While most of us are not surprised that candidates are often deceptive while campaigning, it amazes me that he continues to try to convince true pro-life conservatives that he’s on our side AFTER receiving a 100% NARAL rating.   

Then there is the clever way Straus tries to cover this tail by praising Planned Parenthood for all the great work they do on “women’s health issues” while TOTALLY discounting the fact that a big part of their “family planning” services result in aborting babies.   Excuse me … are there really not other organizations that Straus and his wife could support that provide health services to women WITHOUT providing abortions? 

Straus really puts the “Mac” in Machiavelli!

Texas finally has a super majority of Republicans serving in the House and many of those Republicans campaigned as pro-life conservatives.  This session may well be our last chance to get an ultrasound bill passed in Texas and true conservatives simply are not willing to take a chance on Joe Straus based on his own words and his disturbing nature to avoid conflict. 

MILLIONS of lives can be saved with the passage of a good Texas ultrasound bill.  While we truly are NOW THE MAJORITY in the Texas House, we need someone who will be a strong leader and fight for us. 

If history repeats itself (and it will) Republicans will manage to mess up the overwhelming victory they’ve been given and in all likihood the margins will shift again in 2012.    Time is not on our side and we don’t have the luxury of HOPING for CHANGE in the Straus style of leadership. 

Texans are DEMANDING a true conservative who understands the stakes and is willing to take risks to deliver victories on the most imporant issues of our time. 

Time to say goodbye to the “good ‘old boy”  backroom deals in Austin and the Speaker bribes of sessions past!   If House members are smart, they will take the path of Rep. Randy Weber and survive the next Republican primary season.   Based on this past election, I think all members would be wise to reconsider the nonsense about “honoring their pledge to the Speaker” and remember the people who brought them to the dance in the first place!

Texas House Speaker’s race to impact many issues including probate reform

By Lou Ann Anderson/EstateofDenial.com

EstateofDenial.com was pleased to join many of our grassroots activist friends and colleagues in signing a letter calling on the Texas House of Representatives to ensure the upcoming session provides conservative leadership responsive to voter sentiments expressed with the recent election.

As a Texas-based web site, EoD follows the estate abuse/probate corruption issue and works to educate the public regarding the threats such actions pose to both their personal freedom and property rights.  We believe government leaders possessing truly conservative values will be essential for a meaningful review of this issue to occur.

At EstateofDenial.com, we write about Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) actions in which probate venues and probate instruments (wills, trusts, guardianships and powers of attorney) are used to loot assets of the dead, disabled or incapacitated.  With guardianships, these instruments can be used to hijack an individual’s personal freedom as well as their property.

While disgruntled family members, wannabe heirs and/or unscrupulous attorneys may lead the charge for such efforts, the legal industry as an entity comprising lawyers, judges and other court-associated personnel is also often seen as a key player.

The probate issue is about property rights – both a person’s right to designate the final distribution of their assets and a civilized society’s obligation to see that those wishes are honored.  The transfer of property from one generation to another is a time-honored American tradition that is currently threatened and will only be preserved if “the people” demand government representation that respects and will take action to defend our property rights.

The rule of law is central to fighting probate corruption as the legal system is openly used to perpetrate IRA actions while apparent complicity on the part of court officials usually goes unchallenged.  Again, conservative government leadership that believes and will take strong action to uphold the rule of law – even when it sometimes means coming after their own – is critical for probate reform.

And while individual liberty has long been a focal point in American life, with administrative ease and a relatively casual process, guardianships are becoming a more common status for Texans of all ages – some under highly questionable circumstances.  Understand that a guardianship causes the “incapacitated” person to typically lose basic rights such as the ability to sign contracts, vote, marry or divorce, buy or sell real estate, or make decisions about medical procedures.  They can also lose complete control over any property.  While minors have long had guardians, this legal suspension of  rights is now more commonly being extended to the elderly as well as those deemed disabled or incapacitated.  Guardianships are sometimes warranted, but the public and our officials must stay vigilant that neither government nor other unscrupulous individuals use this mechanism to create a new class of right-free citizens subject to exploitation on a host of fronts.

Property rights, the rule of law, individual liberty.  These all are traditional and core conservative values important to Texans throughout our state.  Voters have spoken loudly and strongly by retaining existing conservative voices and electing new ones.

The November election won conservatives a seat at the head of the table.  Let’s make sure we take it.

Internet video targets House Speaker

by Gary Scharrer / December 3, 2010 

The woman behind an internet video campaign to oust House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, says she hopes to raise enough money to run TV ad spots before Texas lawmakers return in January to elect a leader for the upcoming legislative session.

Numerous conservative activist groups are injecting themselves in the House speaker’s election, motivated by a huge Republican majority gained in last month’s election and distrust of Straus’ willingness to push conservative causes.
But that effort is largely viewed as “a hail Mary” by Straus supporters.

Rebecca Forest, founder of a small group called “Women on the Wall,” says Straus must be replaced by a more conservative leader to make sure such issues as immigration reform and voter ID pass next year.

Forest is pushing a “stopJoe” campaign with an Internet video and request for contributions to take the video spot, or a similar version, to television.

Forest, however, would not say how much money the group has raised, how much it wants to spend on the anti-Straus campaign or identify major contributors.

She is among dozens of conservative leaders leaning on state Republican lawmakers to dump Straus.

“It’s important that we have a speaker that reflects our values,” Forest says, noting the Republican Party’s historic 22-Housse seat pickup in the election, which will give Republicans a huge, 99-51 seat, advantage.

“He failed miserably on every single issue,” she contends. “We want another option.”

Forest, of Austin, is a co-founding member of the Immigration Reform Coalition of Texas and is now executive director of the newly formed Texas Alliance for America Legal Defense & Education Fund. She formed Women on the Wall in 2008 as a way to highlight issues important to women and mothers, she says.

The group is “not a members organization,” she says. In other words, it might not be larger than the three directors named in the paperwork used to charter it as a non-profit organization with the Texas Secretary of State. There is no contact information on the group’s website. The group’s physical location provided in the incorporation document is a storage area near Lake Travis.

The proliferation of front organizations that can prosper without accountability and disclosure of funding sources will likely continue, says Denise Davis, chief of staff for Straus, after the United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United – a landmark case in which the court, by a 5-4 vote, removed restrictions on corporate funding of independent political advertising. The Internet also provides easy access for groups to spread a message, she noted.

“Some of that will have to be answered through disclosure,” Davis says.

Forest also signed a letter last month circulated by various conservative groups agitating for Straus’ ouster. More than 6,000 other Texans have signed the letter.

The role of “outside groups” trying to influence a House speakers’ race is unprecedented, Davis says. The Texas Constitution contemplates the House speaker to be selected by the 150 state representatives based on relationships among the members, she says: “I think there are some folks who are not as interested in the constitutional structure.”

Straus still has “solid” support from about 120 members, says Davis, who was parliamentarian and special council to former House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland. It takes 76 votes to win the two-year term as speaker.

She characterized the campaign to defeat Straus as a “hail Mary strategy” by some individuals backed by third party groups.

Forest says she and other leaders in the anti-Straus movement believe “there’s a very, very good chance” they can convince House members to elect someone else as speaker.

It’s important for lawmakers to understand, she says, “this is our government. We elected them to do things that are important for us, and they don’t own it. If enough people are raising cane, (legislators) need to be paying attention or they won’t be here next time around.”

Forest says she and others also want House rules changed to ban incumbent speakers from contributing campaign money to other lawmakers. She called that a form of bribery because it obligates members to vote for the speaker.

 “That needs to end. That is unacceptable,” she says.

 http://blogs.chron.com/texaspolitics/archives/2010/12/post_154.html