Takin'it to the Streets and Keepin it in the Family

Monday, October 19, 2009

As County Chair, I cheer the enthusiasm from various groups of the county for FREEDOM, Less intrusive Government and for our personal liberties to survive this onslaugth of government 'take over' veiled in 'I'll take care of you' rheteric.

We've rallied, protested, called, written and discussed directly with our representatives to remind each of our fraigle liberties that still stand and how important it is for them to represent US with all their might.

Yes, these are turbulent times...BUT I am also finding myself discussing a word of caution with the Perry and Hutchison campaigns to 1) Fight your fight on issues 2) remember this is a Family Fued and 3) Come together after the Primary to go battle the real enemies of Freedom and Liberty!

County Chairmen are only 'Referees' in this contest. We have to pick up the pieces and move forward after the Primary to fight the REAL Battle...Keep your powder dry, don't say anything about your advesary that will come back to haunt you, and don't waste more than 2 days before congratulating the victor!

It's a curious political scene unfolding and I am glad to be a part of it, but it feels very reminiscent of when Carter was in office.


Op ed link @ Statesman Online

Wednesday, October 7, 2009



The Cost of Living for the Environment

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I submitted this piece to Arnold Garcia, Editor of the Editorial Page of the Austin American Statesman:

After the months of sweltering heat this summer, the recent cooler temperatures and rain in central Texas have been a welcome respite. I am sure many of you, like me, are glad to turn off the air conditioners and water sprinklers for awhile. The costs of energy, of the use of our natural resources, can be costly to the earth and to the pocketbook. Unfortunately, I think our leaders in Washington, D.C., and here in Austin, Texas, have lost sight of the costs involved.

Take the current “Cap and Trade” legislation. This imposing piece of legislation promises to limit emissions, and in the words of one senator, to “save the world.” But it won’t save jobs. Texas alone stands to lose over $26 billion (that's right, with a "B") in gross state product, on average, per year, from 2012 to 2035. Personal income earned in Texas, on average, per year, would fall by $9 billion, with 94,000 jobs lost. Meanwhile, energy bills, on average, would increase $890 per household. For lower- and middle-class families in particular, that will be devastating to the family budget.

Our leaders here in Austin are now pushing through their own attempt to “save the world” with an aggressive energy plan to get 30 percent of our electricity from renewable energy by 2020. Mayor Lee Leffingwell has already issued an apology for the coming rate hikes needed to fund this plan. That apology will ring hollow when many of our families are unable to buy groceries or pay the electric bill due to increased taxes.

Our local Catholic Diocese has also cried foul over this plan, which they estimate will cost Austin residents about 50 percent more in utility payments per month. Msgr. Michael Mulvey made plain in his opinion last week what common sense thinkers already know: it will be the poor who will bear the highest burden. Diocesan spokeswoman Barbara Budde told a panel of statewide elected officials that many lower-income families spend as much as 75 percent of their income just to keep the lights on. But our city council stands ready to make it even tougher for such families to make ends meet – all to possibly reduce the projected rise in temperatures by a fraction of a percent of one degree by 2050?

Austin is renowned for its environmentally friendly policies and “green” culture. I have no problem with advancing responsible policies to preserve our natural resources. I do, however, have a problem with aggressive policies which hurt families and target the poor and those serving the poor in our city.

The free market has a long history of finding ways to do the impossible, when "the impossible" is in demand. Austin is a diverse city with a business-friendly climate, which has brought small and large businesses to our city from other states across the country. These entrepreneurs have used their ingenuity and ability to produce and provide products which people want and are willing to purchase.

A growing market of green products is popular and holds great promise for our future. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind power likewise hold great promise. But many of the costs involved are greater than the cost of standard products and electricity. Those who are able to pay the additional costs involved will pay it if the cost is worth it. Forcing it on everyone will only increase taxes and drive people and businesses away from Austin. Tax incentives and business-friendly policies can secure our environmental goals without further burdening our economy and personal budgets.

Elected leaders should always remember that it is people they represent. Protecting the environment is a laudable goal, but when they put the environment above people’s lives and livelihoods, it has gone too far.

The federal Cap and Trade legislation sets a target of about 2.5 tons of carbon emissions per person per year by 2050 to combat global warming. Even if this law works, surface temperatures would be lowered about one-tenth of one degree Celsius – in about 100 years. That one-tenth of one degree comes with a heavy price tag. The free market and the free will of people have the ideas and choices to do better. I just hope some on Capitol Hill and city hall are listening.


AFP Defending the Dream Summit

Monday, October 5, 2009

Americans for Prosperity

Dear Friend:

Even if you are not able to join us at AFP Foundation's national Defending the American Dream Summit, I want to give you a sense of the energy here.

Tomorrow morning we'll hear from Newt Gingrich, John Fund and Steve Moore from The Wall Street Journal and Fox News, Senator Jim DeMint, Larry Kudlow, Herman Cain, Hugh Hewitt and yours truly!

My favorite part of the General Session is the "roll call" of states when our state chapter leaders give their reports from the front lines of freedom - you can see it as well when C-SPAN airs the program - check C-SPAN's website http://www.c-span.org/ on Saturday afternoon to see when the tape of our General Session will air!

Also, Saturday from 2pm until 3pm EDT, I'll be holding a live chat with all who can join us, so please join me as I'd love to update you on the Summit, AFP happenings and the health care issue.

Today has been incredible. At 2:00 p.m. at the Capitol, nearly 2,000 AFP activists attended our "Hands Off My Health Care" town hall meeting. We heard health care stories from amazing patients, and two members of Congress encouraged us to keep up the fight! Then we broke up into state delegations and walked into the Senate offices to visit individual Senators. CLICK HERE TO SEE PICTURES OF TOWN HALL CROWD.

Imagine the surprise of the Senators and their staffers as hundreds upon hundreds of grassroots activists (from their own states) marched into their offices to deliver a crystal clear message - "Hands Off My Health Care"!

At our National Town Hall Meeting, we heard from Shona Holmes - the courageous Canadian citizen who appeared across the nation in AFP Foundation's television ad telling her story about facing a brain tumor but being denied the timely care she needed. She and her husband mortgaged their home and came to the U.S. to get the care that saved her life. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE AD.

Tracy Walsh, a breast cancer survivor from South Carolina, told her story as well. Tracy has been featured in an Independent Women's Forum ad and has joined us on the Patients First "Hands Off My Health Care" bus tour.

Tonight, at AFP Foundation's 3rd Annual "Tribute to Reagan" Dinner we will hear from Laura Ingraham (one of my favorite radio talk show hosts and a great Fox News guest host) and Congressman Mike Pence, who is becoming one of the shining lights in the House of Representatives for our free-market values.

You'll be able to see pictures of the dinner by Saturday afternoon.

This has been an exciting first day! At Americans for Prosperity, we thought it was important to make sure we keep the heat on Congress, and what better way to do that than for 2,000 grassroots activists to come to Washington and make our voices heard NOW in the heat of the health care debate.

Let's keep fighting!



PS: If we're not Facebook friends, please add me as a friend by clicking HERE and then join our live chat from 2pm until 3pm EDT on Saturday. I would love to chat with you.

And, check C-SPAN's website Saturday afternoon to see when our General Session with all those great speakers will air! We'll send that info when we get it.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is the nation's premier grassroots organization committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP has more than 700,000 members, including members in all 50 states, and 25 state chapters.

For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org