Thanks Rep. Berman for again taking a stand for “We The People” of Texas!

Over the past several months we  have witnessed a  grassroots “uprising” in Texas thanks to the Texas House “Speaker’s Showdown.”  The Co-Founders of Women on the Wall were proud to take a stand with fellow grassroots activists across this great State.   We have many to thank for what WOW contributed to this battle.  First, Rob Hurlburt for his brilliant creation Texas House “Speaker Showdown” (in various versions) and those who donated to help pay for  it to air on TV in key Texas districts leading up to the January 11th vote.  

Among those walking the halls and grounds of the Capitol with us the past two days were  Texas Tea Party leaders/members,  immigration activists,  and many members of the Texas GOP leadership.   We were all unified in our steadfast opposition to the re-election of Joe Straus as House Speaker. 

Yesterday was truly a sad day for Texas as many in the current  body of  House Representatives completely shunned the desires of a vast number of their constituents.   Once again, Texans have Representative Leo Berman to thank for standing his ground  on principle and demanding a floor vote.  He will take a lot of heat from his fellow Representatives as his action helped to “out” the Republicans who were so desperately trying to avoid a floor vote!    This is not the first time Representative Berman has done the right thing for Texas in spite of the unpleasant consequences that follow. 

The “Speaker’s Race” was a horse of a different color to most  Texans.  The biggest obstacle activist groups faced was trying to explain the importance of  this previously understated event to those outside the loop.   While that aspect of the “Oust Straus” effort was challenging, explaining the importance of defeating huge numbers of those who voted for Joe Straus WILL NOT be a difficult task moving forward.  

During the run up to the Republican primaries, we have ample time to get our message out to the voters and we have a large number of very upset Texans organized and well connected to follow through.  We have Resolute Media and the many sponsors who helped coordinate and fund the hospitality/staging area for the Capitol events to thank for making sure months of coordinated efforts ended on a productive note  — no matter what the outcome of the vote.   Rest assured,  time and money will not be an obstacle once our networks have identified qualified challengers to those who chose the wrong path! 

If anything, the arrogance and corruption we witnessed at the “People’s House” January 10th and 11th was much worse than most of us imagined.  While many political operatives, bloggers, and media organizations try to portray the grassroots anti-Straus movement as a failure, our promise is:  SEE YOU IN 2012 — We Will Remember!!

Tea Party Caucus Membership Will Not Shield Legislators Who Vote for Straus in 2011

 
In defiance of calls by key conservative leaders in Texas for a Conservative Texas House Speaker in 2011, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst [R-HD13] and Rep. Beverly Woolley [R-HD136] have decided nevertheless to elect Joe Straus for a second term as House Speaker.  
 
In response to their decision, Women on the Wall has today released the new Houston version of their current ad campaign — Fall of the RINOS — Texas House “Speaker Showdown”TV ad which is featured on You Tube at the STOPJOEINFO Channel. The Houston version of the “Speaker Showdown” adwill air in key Houston and DFW districts in the lead up to the January 11th vote.  (View at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Iqd8wnOlpE).
 
“It is truly amazing that these two legislators have decided to thumb their noses at the grassroots who overwhelmingly support a change in House leadership,” said Rebecca Forest, Co-Founder and President of Women on the Wall.  “No matter what their conservative ratings have been in the past, if they vote for Straus they will face a well funded challenger in the 2012 Republican primary.”    
 
Heritage Alliance recently conducted a poll of 28,980 Republican primary voters in 77 GOP held Texas House districts and found that nearly 90% of the respondents wanted a more conservative speaker than Straus.  
 
“For starters, neither Kolkhorst nor Woolley are dyed in the wool conservatives in the same vein as Ken Paxton,” said Forest “and anyone who suggests either of these women are the “Tea Party Queens” of Texas misrepresent the truth – pure and simple.”  
 
“RINO hunting in Texas is really being taken to another level with Straus supporters running for cover under Sen. Dan Patrick’s newly formed “Tea Party Caucus” said Alice Linahan, a leader with the Nationwide Tea Party Coalition and Texas Project coordinator. Adding, “The caucus is rapidly being exposed as the most recent attempt to trick less informed constituents into believing Joe Straus is “conservative enough” to pass the litmus test.”  
 
Battle lines are being drawn in the Republican Party across the nation but most certainly in Texas where establishment GOP moderates are spending millions to hold on to their power in the House.  Conservative groups, emboldened by the recent victory in the courts (Free Market Foundation, et al. v. David A. Reisman, et al) pledge to run opposition candidates in the GOP 2012 primaries.

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!

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

Former TX HD 66 Candidate Wayne Richard on the Texas Speaker’s Race

by Wayne Richard
StandWithWayne.com

Five months ago I began a quest to educate and motivate the voters in North Texas about the upcoming House Speaker election when the new Texas House of Representatives session begins January 11th.

Our current Speaker, Joe Straus, is a RINO (Republican In Name Only) elected through a parliamentary procedure which included a majority of Democrats and a “gang of 11 Republicans”; legal but very inappropriate as well as a great injustice to the citizens of Texas.

When my efforts first began to OUST STRAUS, many said he was too powerful and I was wasting my time trying to facilitate the election of a more conservative Speaker.

“Too powerful” was a common phrase we often heard while battling the 19 year incumbent representing District 66 who was also the leader of the “Gang of 11”. Even as a first time candidate for the Texas House challenging the Chairman of the Calendars Committee, we all saw what happens when the people garner their strength and are willing to step forward; VICTORY can be attained.

History is repeating itself as we are now witnessing a tidal wave of citizen activists all working to accomplish the impossible; to unseat another RINO and move our state towards a conservative future.

These efforts are taking on many forms of activity. Some as straightforward as people calling their District Representatives and insisting they vote for a true conservative to those groups working on more sophisticated means to share the message.

I am engaged with a group who supported my campaign last year and we are currently working to spread the facts through new media (You Tube) as well as old media outlets (TV).

A powerful and effective video has been produced which exposes exactly who Joe Straus really is. Currently he is attempting to undergo a metamorphosis, portraying himself as a pro-life, fiscal conservative. We cannot allow Madison Avenue techniques to redefine who this man actually is and what special interests and lobbyists he clandestinely represents.

Watch the video and learn the facts. http://stopjoe.info/
The video has already been recognized in D Magazine and Texas Monthly. But we need your help getting this message out to as many people as possible. If you are so inclined please consider donating to the cause as we are hoping to begin running this commercial on cable in strategic House Districts as we enter the Christmas season. Even a $25.00 donation will be helpful. We also need you to forward this message to your friends as Internet based grassroots communication efforts are what brought victory to conservatives in the November elections. But this battle is not over!

With your help, we can defeat another RINO and usher in a new era of Texas style conservatism.

God bless Texas, Wayne

StandWithWayne & StandForLiberty