Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Fourth Birthday, Political Chicken!

I love writing.  I DO!  I love using words to tell stories and influence people and shape an argument around an issue or a candidate.  My all time favorite thing is not only writing, but looking back over what I've written the past FOUR years!  I love to see the ground I've covered and the issues I've discussed. My blog gives me more than just a place to inform the voting populous and share my opinion; it's almost like a personal catalog of my life, told to you through the blog medium.

That's right, The Political Chicken is four years old!  To be honest, I used to be embarrassed to tell people that I had a blog, because it seemed that everyone and their brother had a blog, right?   I could just hear the mental eye roll, "Oh, you've got a blog, huh?"  Well, here I am, still excited and PROUD now that I do have my own blog, a creative outlet for me and a way to vent to, share with and encourage you, the reader, the sharer and the fan.  So, thank you for your encouragement and your comments and even your criticisms.  Well, some of them.

Over the years as I've written my birthday celebration blogs, I've tried to liken the progress of my blog to the developmental stages of a child.  Like, what might a two year old be doing at this stage, etc.  Two year olds are kind of wobbly on their feet, toddling around and getting into everything.  The same could be said of this blog at the age of two.  Now looking at turning four, I ask myself, what would a four year old be doing that could be similar?  Four year olds like silliness, like funny, exaggerated stories, ask 'why' questions, and believes the only viewpoint is her own.  Hmmm...is there a correlation?   You decide.

There's been lots to do in and around the political world over the last year, and since I wrote my Happy Third Birthday, Political Chicken blog post, I've had some exciting things come my way.  One of the first opportunities that came my way earlier last year was a chance to have a position on the Texas Conservative View.  We are a group of women based out of Houston who meet and interview candidates.  We then publish our endorsements and findings on our website, eblasts and through mailers.  You should check it out at texasconservativeview.com.

Also, late last year, I made a few appearances on our local Fox 26 television station with a couple local activist friends to discuss not only the Republican debates, but the Democrat debate as well.  Tom Ziska was our moderator and we had a great time.  Fast forward to early this year, in February, to be exact, I was asked to appear on CNN New Day with Chris Cuomo not once, but TWICE!  I appeared there as a Cruz supporter (shock, I know) to give a prediction about the debate and returned to discuss the debate the next day.  THAT was fun!

Alright, enough about my glamorous, whirlwind life, let's get to the stats, shall we?  Coming in at number one, although it was published last year and sort of re-published again recently, is the blog titled, "State Republican Executive Committee to Select New State GOP Chair March 7th" has a whopping 772 views.  Coming in at a close second is the blog titled, Katy ISD: Got Debt?
That blog had 752 views.  Rounding out the top three with the most page views was the one titled Jared Woodfill: Tenet vs. Track Record which came in at 404 views.

One more time, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite articles.  This one appeared on Texas GOP Vote and once it was published, nearly crashed their server!  The title is While Texas Senate Debates Texas Abortion Bill, Let's Talk About Sex.  Off. The. Charts.  The pro-choice and lefties nearly lost their collective minds after I wrote that.  Now THAT was some fun.  Another article that I loved writing was the one that I wrote after a trip to FreedomWorks headquarters entitled, The FreedomWorks Obamacare Summit: Yes We Can...Defund It!  The last one of my favs comes from an inspirational YouTube Video; Keynes vs Hayek; Round Two.  The video mixes rap and acting and humor to educate folks!  Imagine!  And then go and watch it to see how great it is.

So there you have it!  Another trip around the sun for The Political Chicken!  I've said it before, and I'll say it again,  stay with me, this is just the beginning!  MUAH!



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Saving Texas One Municipality At a Time

With all of the political involvement I'm involved in, and all of the knowledge I have and am still collecting about the political process, I forget sometimes that not everyone else 'nerds out' about this stuff.  Like, how the convention process works at the district, state and national level.  Or how many elections there are during the year and how many taxing authorities we actually give our money to.

I think that as a movement, the tea party did a great job of grabbing the attention of the conservative electorate to look at the national stage of politics.  I mean, let's face it, there are plenty of things to try to watch there in Washington, D.C.  Then, we became more focused on the local levels of government, starting with the state house and senate.  It got even more focused on school boards and mud boards.  I'd like to narrow your focus even more.  Oh, yeah, it can be done.


There is a taxing authority, one that I just learned about a few years ago called an Emergency Service District.  There are fifteen Emergency Service Districts, or ESDs for short, in and around unincorporated Harris County.  The ESD's have a board of commissioners that are elected by the public.  Oh, that's news to you?  Well, yeah, me, too.  YOU have the opportunity to have a say in who represents you on this board.  You pay for these services on your property tax bill.  The elections are not well publicized, so you need to find out which ESD you reside in and do some research on the candidates.  If you go to this website, you should be able to find out which ESD you're zoned to and where to vote.

Yet another taxing authority that you may or may not have heard about is one that's specific to Harris County and has been in existence for 127 years!  That's right, readers, it's called Harris County Department of Education.  You also pay for this sneaky little tax when you pay your property taxes.  It's a negligible amount, but the fact that they collect taxes from every resident in Harris County adds up fast!  The sad part is, you've probably never even heard of them, and they'd like to keep it that way.  They also have a board of trustees, but they're chosen during the November general election, and if you vote straight ticket, no matter which 'ticket', you've probably never even paid attention.  Well, that's over now, you've got to look!  Click here for their website and information about the board.

In an effort to educate folks further, I came up with a tool to get voters informed about what exactly their elected officials did or are supposed to do.  Can you stand the excitement?  Stay with me.  The thinking was that if I educated enough people with that handout, that they could in turn, use that as a way to better vet the candidates running for that particular position.  I have published and re-published the information before, but I think it might be time to revisit that project from the past...

I mentioned convention earlier in this post, and that's a whole process unto itself.  Since it is so involved, I won't go into it in any depth here, but my friend Felicia Cravens wrote a blog with some really great information.  You can find the article here.

If you live in the Katy ISD School District, you'll also be heading to the polls on May 7th to vote in a board of trustee election. Find more information here about hours of operation and polling locations.

So, consider yourself locked and loaded with new-ish information to head to the polls on May 7th AND to state convention.  And don't forget the run-off election coming up on May 24th!  And if you, like every other person, are hoping to go to national convention, well, good luck!



  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Texas GOP Does Not Need A Gatekeeper


Notice the title?  Gatekeeper as defined by Wikipedia is this:  "A gatekeeper is a person who controls access to something."   There are gatekeepers for all kinds of activities and clubs and even churches, for that matter, but since I'm involved in the political world, I'm thinking of the GOP.  I can think of a gatekeeper of the Republican party; actually I can think of a few of them.  Someone who thinks that the Republican party is an arm of the Baptist Church; where religiosity and exclusion meet.

You know the kind of person I'm talking about.  The kind of person who uses their Christianity and 'holier than thou' attitude as a weapon.  Who invokes the name of Jesus to instill fear in those who would oppose them.  Who ALWAYS paint their opponents as less than Christian or as not conservative enough.   Let me tell you something, I have a personal relationship with Jesus, and that's not the Jesus I know.

There's a saying that goes something like this, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words."  Funny, it doesn't say anything about shouting others down and shoving the Bible down people's throats.  As I've said, I'm a Christian, and that's not the Jesus I know.  The Jesus I know is about love and compassion and grace and mercy.  "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"-Romans 2:4



This is MY blog and this is MY opinion.  So, take it or leave it.  However, it is my feeling that Jared Woodfill along with Steven Hotze are religious gatekeepers for the Republican party.  Or at least, they try to be.  They want to keep the 'riff-raff' from joining in the ranks of the Republican party, and I'm not even talking about elected officials.  I'm talking about activists, precinct chairs, you name it.  Anybody who doesn't agree with their opinion lock stock and barrel are sinners, and not to be included in the Republican
 process.

I've got news for you folks, we are ALL sinners, saved by grace, and while we're talking about sinners, let's remind ourselves who Jesus was often found in fellowship with.  Jesus didn't eat with the religious elite, remember? He didn't rub elbows with the Pharisees or with Pontius Pilate.   He ate with the sinners and tax collectors and the broken and the sick.   He was ALL inclusive.


Funny thing is that Jesus wasn't and still isn't about passing a purity test.  If you came with a desire to be changed, to accept his forgiveness and mercy and grace, you could and you still can.  If we elect Jared Woodfill as State Party Chair, there will be rules and purity tests for the activist who want to become involved.  Information will not be disseminated to all activists, but only to  a select 'worthy' few.  He will turn this party into a top down tool for his power the same way he treated the Harris County Republican Party.

No, the Texas GOP does not need a gatekeeper.  What it needs is a leader.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why We Must Never Elect Woodfill

Again, I know we're all busy trying to follow the national election, but there's another election, one that's mostly inside baseball for us local and statewide activists that's coming up at state convention; the position for State Party Chair.  What's that?  I'm glad you asked.
   
A quick job description of the position is as follows: 
The Republican Party Chair oversees day to day operations of the state party.  Also, he/she solicits financial contributions for party operations and in kind donations for candidates.  He or she presides over the State Republican Executive Committee Meetings as well as the State Conventions.  Implementing strategy for elections and working with candidates and growing the party.  Working with local and regional parties and elected officials.  He/she is also the face of the state party.

Sounds similar to what the county chair does for a county party, a position that was once held by Jared Woodfill, one in which he nearly ran our county party into the ground.  Thankfully, he was ousted by Paul Simpson; a longtime Republican activist, precinct chair, and champion of the grass roots activist.  Pretty much the opposite of Jared.  Now, Jared is vying for the position of State Party Chair...again.

Now, I could rehash everything that I've ever written about Jared and why he is the wrong choice for the role of State Party Chair, but I thought I would just link the articles that I'd written already, because, quite honestly, my opinion of him hasn't changed much. Consider this your Woodfill reader's digest:
State Republican Executive Committee to Elect New State GOP Chair March 7th

Jared Woodfill: Tenet vs. Track Record

And another gem of a blog that I wrote before Jared Woodfill was dutifully un-elected by Harris County was this one: 
Is Harris County Low Hanging Fruit For the Democrats?

Here's one last one for you, one that doesn't smack directly to Jared's lack of leadership as a county chairman, oh, wait, yes it does.  Check out The People Choose, Not the Party: Taking Back Harris County from the Slates .

Well, what are you waiting for?  You've got your homework, now get busy!





Wednesday, March 23, 2016

On to the Runoff-Simpson vs. Ramos

It's bound to happen.  Your favorite candidate is forced into a runoff election.  So now what?  You do this:
That's right, Paul Simpson, candidate for Harris County GOP Chairman was forced into a runoff by Hotze slate backed candidate Rick Ramos.  As you know, I've supported Simpson for the last six years and was a part of the campaign that led him to victory.  This time, in a contest with three candidates, two of whom were put up by Hotze, there was almost no way to a path to victory without a runoff.

I had a chance to read some of Rick Ramos' platform for his candidacy, and, I've got to tell ya, I had a good chuckle when I read some of the claims he made.  I'll list and debunk them here so you don't have to actually go to his website.  Ahem.
Rick will:
Stand up for the values that make our party great.  Hmmm...and Paul Simpson hasn't?  Paul has stood up numerous times for conservative values.  Paul is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, and pro-second amendment, and he's not afraid to share these values with the voting populous at large.  He appeared on FOX 26 to discuss Planned Parenthood.  He also responded to the Goforth shooting AND the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage.

Rick will hold Republican elected officials accountable when they fail to represent our Party Platform and conservative values.  Really?  What about fighting Democrats and holding off the advances of the left and Battleground Texas?  He hasn't even mentioned the fight that Harris County is involved in to maintain election integrity, etc.    He wants only to attack Republicans, which is something that Hotze endorses and encourages.  We don't need more circular firing squads.  More proof that Rick is just a puppet for Hotze.

A letter penned by Sara Tracey of The Link Letter, one of the paid slates that endorsed Rick for County Chair claims that, "...Rick has great plans to influence the African American community and Asian-American voters."  So, what about Texas Asian Republican Club (TARC), who has endorsed Paul for his bid for reelection?  Paul Simpson and many other activists and precinct chairs serve in BOTH the GOP AND TARC.  Paul has also recently made inroads with the conservative arm of the League of United Latin American Citizens, also known as LULAC.  Here he is just days ago at a LULAC council luncheon discussing our shared conservative values.
Paul at Conservative LULAC Council luncheon

"He believes the threat of ISIS is real and very close to our borders."  Okaaaaaay, and?  I didn't know that border security fell under the job description of GOP County Chair.

Another issue that Rick cares about is illegal drug use.  "...He is NOT in favor (of) legalizing marijuana, which he considers a 'gate-way' drug to other hard core, addictive drugs.  Rick promises to firmly appose any legislation that will promote or legalize the use of marijuana."   I'm not sure if the author is insinuating something here, but Paul Simpson is NOT for drug legalization either.

This to me is more proof that Rick has NO concept of what the job description of the Harris County GOP Chair even is.  The GOP Chairman position is there to facilitate the quarterly meetings, to represent the party and its values to the media, to recruit and train precinct chairs through the committee structure that exists, something that Rick also knows nothing about.  "The true measure of a leader is not how many followers he has but how many new leaders he develops."

Harris County GOP organizes in Pasadena
The county chairman also helps with get out the vote efforts around the county, one in which is larger than some states!  We just had a record turnout for the primary—higher than any of the last 10 GOP primaries.  Paul also worked with Ballot Security Chairman on tightening rules for voter assistance and by doing so, improved election integrity and cut down on voter fraud.  Can the same be said of his opponent?  His opponent didn't even go to the polls and vote himself, let alone work to improve election integrity.

Rick is part (a small part) of the "Take Our Party Back Movement", led by none other than Steven Hotze and Jared Woodfill, former Harris County GOP Chairman.  You remember Jared, the guy who left the party flat broke?  Hotze and company want to weaken the party, and they are doing that now, by putting up two candidates and forcing a runoff.  If Paul had won the election outright, he would have more time to fund raise for the party instead of campaigning for reelection.

So, if you want to "Take Our Party Back(wards), then please, vote for paid slate endorsed Rick Ramos.  If you want to keep the county party working, solvent and winning, (which I do) join me and reelect Paul Simpson for Harris County GOP Chairman.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My Pick: Ted Cruz For President

Nobody loves an underdog story as much as I do, and Ted Cruz's story was that of an underdog in his bid for US Senate.  I supported him when he had 2% name ID in the polls against David Dewhurst back in 2012.  Dewhurst was predicted to win.  By a lot.  The grass roots rallied around Ted because we needed Ted in the Senate badly. 

We needed someone who would represent the values and the concerns of Texans and Ted Cruz was that man.  Now, as he makes his bid for President of the United States, we need a president that will represent the best interests, values and concerns of United States citizens and I still think that Ted Cruz is that man.

I hear you starting to shake your head in disagreement, and that's fine.  You're entitled to your own opinion, but let me finish.  Ted Cruz kept the promises he made to the people when he went to Washington, D.C.  He was and still is, the grass roots candidate. He has defended the constitution time and time again and referred to said document at his 'touchstone'.  "My touchstone for every question is the constitution."  Probably hadn't heard that from many if ANY of our current or former legislators.

He was and still is (to me) the rallying cry for the American people to be listened to and heard by their representatives.  He recognized the frustration of the people when he and his staff fashioned the hashtag #makedclisten.  Some folks claim that it was a 'fake' filibuster, but when Senator Rand Paul was there for his filibuster to delay the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Ellen Kagan, Senators Cruz and Lee were right there with him, standing shoulder to shoulder to keep the confirmation of a legislate-from-the-bench, liberal justice from taking place.

I understand now, that folks want to call him 'establishment' and so on.  I'm curious what that word means to those who are calling him that.  To me, the establishment Republicans were the guys who didn't want to change anything about how politics were done in Washington, D.C.  They didn't want push back or questions from 'we the people', much less wanting us to be involved at all.

That has not been the case with Senator Cruz.  He has reached out to the grass roots to ask for help when the Senate wanted to usher in a bill to take away our second amendment rights.  He teamed up again with Senator Mike Lee to send a letter to his Senate colleagues regarding the second amendment rights and asked the grass roots to help support his efforts.  Here he is in a video, explaining how thankful he is for the help he received and what it was like to be yelled at by senior Senators for not being a 'squish'.  Hmmm...

I've heard complaints about Cruz saying that he can't build coalitions or bring teams together.  My friend Erin Anderson had this to say in response to the naysayers when the news broke that some of the Bush family was going to join the Cruz finance team, "Y'all, what did you think coalescing behind a candidate would look like? Of course people from other campaigns are now joining Team Cruz. You better believe he'll need and want support from all across the GOP spectrum in the general election. It doesn't means he's "selling out" - they are coming to him, and together they are broadening the coalition.
If you were for a more "moderate" candidate, doesn't this show "extremist" Cruz can work with others? If you're Team Trump, isn't this exactly the kind of deal-making your guy promises?"


Which brings me to my next point.  Now that he's made a run for President, he's been called all kinds of names; from liar to the establishment.  As a Ted Cruz supporter, now I'M establishment or a RINO, if you will.  What makes it wrong to support the candidate or the would-be incumbent when he or she actually does what he or she says they're going to do?  Are we still just a bunch of Outragers Anonymous, or are we actually looking for good and decent legislators?  Are we sending the wrong message to our legislators by never being satisfied with what they've done, saying that good isn't good enough?  I wonder.

I won't be deterred.  I haven't given up on the possibility that Ted Cruz will be the GOP nominee for President.  I'm still working at the grassroots levels of government and will continue to do so, because our future and our children's future is too important to quit.  As Ted Cruz signs in his photo pictured above, "The fight for Liberty never ends."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Outragers Anonymous

The title of this blog used to apply to me, in that I was an outrager.  I was 'mad as hell and I wasn't going to take it anymore' when I first got involved in politics.  I was taking out my anger on any and all incumbent office holders.  They were, after all, the ones who got us into this mess in the first place, right?  Not entirely, and before you dismiss me and call me a RINO, let me explain.

I think that I have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to office holders of any sort and I've done my share of anti-incumbent voting, BUT WITH REASON!  I think that if anyone is anti-anything whether it be anti-incumbent or anti-big government, they should have a reason for it, not just to be contrary or spiteful. 

Something that I'll give a nod to my good friend, Felicia Cravens on is her new project, Chaos Theory.  She came out with a short video, called Outragers Anonymous (hence the title of this blog) whereby it depicts those mad as hell folks, who might not even know they're doing it!  Those who constantly complain and make the office holders their enemy and where tea partiers and activists alike may have found common ground in the beginning of the movement.  That only gets you so far.

What'll get you farther, you ask?  Working on the problem, that's what!  I could go down the list of things to actually DO, but I've done that before.  I know that I'm personally doing what I can to influence voters and legislators alike, and it takes more than raging!  Remember, the first step to recovery is admitting there's a problem!

*Check out Free Radical Network's YouTube Channel for more Chaos Theory Fun!