Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lois Lerner, You're So Smug!

Remember Lois Lerner?  Yeah, the lady who was at the head of the IRS and the one who allegedly started targeting Tea Party and Conservative groups from having tax-exempt status in hopes to halt their progress in raising up conservative candidates and taking issues to the streets.  

I was part of one of the Tea Party groups that was targeted, Katy Tea Party Patriots and was lucky enough to be there in person at the first day of the hearings to hear opening statements from Darrell Issa and others on the Government Oversight Committee.  I even wrote about it for Texas GOP Vote, only my second article I had written for the state wide blog and you can read it here.  

The hearings continue and she may be held in contempt.  I'm sure you have seen the infamous picture of her circulating on the internet, the one taken on day one of the hearings.  She just looks so...well...so...'smug'.  


So, in honor of this smug look on her face, I took it upon myself to change the lyrics from Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", to "You're So Smug".    Yeah, I did.


You walked into the hearing, like you were walking onto a yacht. 
You're brief strategically tucked under your arm, your breath was smelling of contempt. 
You had one eye on Darrell Issa as he watched you take your seat. 
And all the while you were screwing the tea party, screwing the tea party and...

You're so smug, you probably think this vote is about you
You're so smug, I'll bet you think this vote is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

The room was waiting with baited breath
to hear what you had to say
When you started to testify, then pleaded the fifth
I thought Trey Gowdy would heave

But you gave away your right to plead the fifth once you said you were exempt
I had some dreams that you would be held in contempt, held in contempt

And.. 
You're so smug, you probably think this vote is about you
You're so smug, I'll bet you think this vote is about you
Don't you? Don't you?  Don't you?

I had some dreams that you would be held in contempt, held in contempt
You're so smug, you probably think this vote is about you
You're so smug, I'll bet you think this vote is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

Now, who of you knew that the Political Chicken was a singer/song-writer?  I know, shocker, right?  That concludes this version of Political Chicken karaoke, tune in next time to hear us sing one to the The Georgia Satellites, "Keep You're Hands To Yourself".


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Golf and Baseball and Outreach, Oh, My!

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."  Would you tend to agree with that statement?  Then let me ask you this: do people really care anymore?  Do people really care for others and go the second mile for them when there is really nothing in it for them, other than being blessed by blessing others?  I would say yes and I can do even one better than that, I can give you an example.

My good friend and fellow Republican Joe Ablaza cares for children getting a chance to play baseball and he proves it because yesterday, he teamed up for a second time with The National Latino Peace Officers Association, Southeast Harris County Chapter.  The N.L.P.O.A Southeast Harris County Chapter is a 501 (c) 3 organization committed to youth and community programs. The association is 100% volunteer driven and donations from our many wonderful supporters help finance our programs. If you are a resident of the area, please support the Association’s events. The funds raised are applied to our many law enforcement and youth programs.

The Magnolia Little League is one such youth program that the NLPOA supports. One of the Core Values of the NLPOA is to “Bridge the Gap” into the Hispanic community. 
 

Our first tournament was a resounding success with over 60 golfers and $4,000 raised! With your support Magnolia National Little League will have another great year. 


We often hear about outreach, and how Republicans are supposedly so 'bad' at it.  Joe Ablaza said it best when he said this about Republican outreach, "I recently took a big picture look at why Republicans like me are not well received in these parts.  My best guess is that we are not known for the good deeds we do in these communities.  We need to do a better job at community building in areas like the East End of Houston before we can ask for votes.  Is there a better way to show we care than helping kids play ball?  My proposal is this: come out and play golf.  Let’s have a good time on the links and give back to the community at the same time.  After we make this a success, let’s find another way to help out these communities.  When we are done with that let’s move on to the next thing, and then the next because it is the right thing to do.  First and foremost, we will all reap the benefits of stronger kids and communities, no doubt there.  Little by little we will also be regaining the credibility that we need to turn things around."

Quick!  Let's review to see if you've been paying attention: Going golfing to support children so they can play America's greatest pastime?  What could be better?  Well, I'll tell you; going golfing with Lt. Governor David Dewhurst at the oldest 18-hole golf course in Texas, that's what!  The Lt. Governor used to play this course when he was a kid and he just happens to be running for re-election and is in the midst of a runoff to secure the spot that he's held since 2003, and he's no stranger to serving his fellow man. 

From his website: "Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst has been a longtime community leader in his hometown of Houston, where he has served on numerous civic and charitable boards. A college basketball player at the University of Arizona and champion cutting horse rider, Dewhurst was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2009."  He showed up as a special guest to show his support for Magnolia National Little League to ensure their success going forward.

 For more information or to make a donation, go to magnoliayouthbaseball@outlook.com.  Tell them The Political Chicken sent ya!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Politics and Motherhood: Making It All Work

I know that most of you know me as a political blogger, and I am.  Not only do I love to write, I also like to read other blogs, mostly about exercising, cooking and some other political blogs.  One food blog in particular that I love is a blog called Iowa Girl Eats.  I found it completely by accident a few years ago and I fell in love with it immediately.  The woman who writes it lives in Iowa, obviously, and she writes recipe blogs complete with snapshots of the cooking process and the finished product.  She has a way of styling her photos that I love and she writes in a way that I can completely relate to!  I started following her blog just a short time before she became pregnant with her first child.  Since giving birth to her precious son, Lincoln, she has taken up writing another blog on her food blog called My Mommy Mind.  Though my children are older than her seven month old son, all of them feeling and acting much older than they are at the tender ages of ten, eight and almost six, her blog spurred me to think about my own children and their development, all at the ages and stages I find them at now.

What I would I attempt to call the kid related blogs if they were going to be done at regular intervals?  I have no idea, but I do have some things that have developed over the past few days that I would love to share with you, so here goes.

I am a home school mom first and foremost and have over the past few years become heavily involved in the local political scene.  I was part of several Tea Party groups and definitely still consider myself a tea partier, but I'm not anchored to one group in particular at this time.  Like most of you with jobs outside the home and families, I play a balancing act with life as a stay at home, home schooling momma and sometimes, I hate to admit, the schedule weighs heavily with political meetings and campaign activities.  Much, much heavier than it should.

I think that all moms and dads can relate to such a dilemma, but I think it's what we do when we find ourselves out of balance that remains most important.  This is where I found myself last Friday night, weighing the options of running for a position, not one that appears on the ballot in November, but one that is a party elected position and that which is voted on by the state convention attendees.  I was almost certain that I was going to do it, so much so that I began lining up supporters and spreading the word quietly until I heard a voice contradicting all the plans I had made.

You know that scripture that says, "Be still and know that I am God...?"  Well, I haven't been very 'still' lately as many of you can attest to and I started wondering why; why couldn't I be still?  Was I afraid of what I was going to hear if I was standing still?  I think I nailed it on the head right there.  I was afraid of what I was going to hear from God.  I listened all evening and into the early morning and it was then that I decided that it was in fact, the Lord speaking to my spirit that now was not the time for me to run for this position.  At the front of this decision was my husband, my children and my commitment to them as not only their mom, but their teacher and caregiver.  Those are big responsibilities not to be taken lightly.  Politics will always be there, the youth of my children and my family will not.

I also began thinking not only of the time away from them that this position might enforce, but also of the quality of time when we are together.  I don't want to live my life with my kids in what I would consider 'distracted mode', constantly thinking of the next political thing or project to do.  It's nice sometimes just to not only be 'still' by yourself with God, but to be 'still' with your kids and family as well.  I feel that my children deserve better than that.


Whenever we hear of women and work and toil in the same sentence or blog, for that matter, we often think of the Proverbs 31 woman.  To tell you the truth, I get tired just thinking about her.  She is fearless and tireless in all of her efforts to provide a home for her family.  One verse, the next to last one, has stuck with me for many years and it goes: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."  Moms and Dads, may we all be blessed and known for our love for our families and for the Lord.

 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Is The Harris County GOP Low Hanging Fruit for the Democrats?

So, clearly I have a dog in the fight for the Harris County GOP Chairman's race.  Every Republican voter in Harris County should have a dog in the fight for this race; it is ground zero for the future of the nation, I kid you not.  Jared Woodfill, the current county chairmen and his loyal followers, (based on the fear that Jared will lose his bid for re-election) have laid claim to the moral future of Harris County.  They claim that Jared is more pro-life than his opponent, Paul Simpson.  They claim Jared is also going to continue to be a stalwart for pro-life views and traditional family values.  Go ahead and stand for pro-life legislation and traditional family values, I agree completely; but we need more action than just a law suit against the openly gay mayor of Houston, Annise Parker over same sex marriage benefits to ensure our success as a county party going forward.  Perhaps actually engaging in City elections and recruiting viable candidates and actually supporting good Republican candidates, but that would make too much sense.

Parts of the south are often referred to as the "Bible belt", those values we consider traditional and some consider old fashioned are still "in fashion" in Texas. I guess you could say that the vast majority of those supporting Jared consider themselves the Bible belt of the party.  Those who support Jared are also trying to paint Simpson supporters as, well, less than Christian; we are 'moderates' to them.  I say, we because I am proud to say that I am a Simpson supporter.  I am also a Christian just like many other Simpson supporters are, and I take it personally that I am being accused of being less than Christian.  I can only share my personal experiences in the realm of pro-life ministry; I am a former peer counselor of a pregnancy help center in the Katy area and I helped that center raise funds and obtain door prizes for events.  I have also given money to various pro-life and pro-liberty organizations.  Not pro-life enough, eh?  I'd like to remind those accusers that not all ministry takes place in a church and not all pro-life activism has to be political.

Matthew 7:15-20 tells believers that we shall know them by their fruit.  We can agree that Christians are supposed to be eager to serve one another.  Love our neighbors as ourselves and such.  So why is it that this incumbent, Jared Woodfill seemingly lacks in his service to others?  Let's not forget that Houston is home to the largest abortion mill in the world, Planned Parenthood, which is such a shame.  Where was pro-life Jared and his followers then?   I remember personally going to a LIFE rally where we walked the streets of the neighborhoods and prayed silently over the homes and the residents before PP opened its doors.  I don't remember seeing Jared there.  I think he may have been to busy speechifying and missed the rally. 

In contrast, I have seen his opponent Paul Simpson living out the life of a servant leader and I can respect that.  Servant leaders are those who are willing to do whatever they ask anyone else to do, without exception.  They are also people who are willing to lead by example.  Anyone can get on a microphone and say that they want to keep Harris County 'red', not everyone can actually put together walk lists, get their hands dirty and get out the vote to make sure that the Democrats don't take our county away from us.  I see a bright future for the Harris County Republican Party and it's got nothing to do with robo calls, pay for play slates and meetings held for hours on end that the current leadership claim are so effective.

If we want to be successful, it's going to take more than just talk.  I know some might be tired of hearing people use Ted Cruz's successful campaign as an example.  He had it right, there's no arguing that.  He had boots on the ground, otherwise known as a ground game.  He also had radio and television ads, known as air game.  He combined the two and that, along with the power of the grass roots activists made him unbeatable.   Whether Simpson's opponents want to believe it or not, Paul's campaign has been no different, though on a much smaller scale.  I also find it amusing that last election cycle, Paul's campaign funds were less than stellar and that was a sticking point with the opposition, they claimed he couldn't raise money.  This time around, he has had no problem raising funds and the ample support he has gained has come from within the grass roots, the business community and other political leaders that see the handwriting on the wall to the dank, dismal leadership Woodfill has exhibited thus far and the future of the county.  Now the naysayers want you to believe that Paul is supported by 'moneyed interests'.  Spin zone, much?

The success of the party not only lies in the election of Paul Simpson as your new county chair, it's going to take training of precinct chairs, it's going to take phone banking and block walking and doing the not-so-sexy-and-glamorous task of finding voters and getting them excited about voting again.  That's the job of the precinct chairmen, is to organize their precinct and get out the vote, but it's going to take a party chairman who is willing to lead by example to motivate those precinct chairman so that we can ensure our county and our state and our country remain Republican.

I know that a vote for Paul Simpson is a step in the right direction.  Won't you take that step with me and vote for Paul?  Election Day is March 4th and polls are open from 7:00 AM-7:00 PM. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

March 2014 Texas Primary: Why Local Elections Matter

What do you think of when you hear the term  'nanny state'?  Are you like me and you automatically think of some portly, elderly British woman with knee highs and thick dark glasses looking down her nose while standing over a small child?  Does that term conjure up images of a tight, restrictive control over ones subjects, just aching for them to make the tiniest mistake so their privileges, or what's left of them, can be snatched away in one fail swoop? Wikipedia defines it as Nanny state is a term of British origin (and primary use) that conveys a view that a government or its policies are overprotective or interfering unduly with personal choice.[1] The term "nanny state" likens government to the role that a nanny has in child rearing.  It is defined by Dictionary.com as "a government perceived as authoritarian, interfering, or overprotective" and has also come to be associated with intrusive practices of having the government basically "baby" the populace by being in charge, in control of, and even financing all of its needs. Some governance claimed to represent a nanny state are those that emerge from application of public health, risk management of health and safety policies.

All. The. Things.  This definition could neatly sum up what the American people are facing, at least those of us who have stared the ugly truth in the face for the past five years or so.  I am a 'mum' of three young boys.  I love my kids to pieces, and anyone who knows me can confirm my affection for them.  I would, like most 'mums' and dads, walk the ends of the earth for them and back if it would help them to succeed.  I have tried to see that they have a quality life, quality education and a solid moral foundation founded in a faith in Jesus Christ.

So tell me why in the world would I want to trust the United Nations with what's in the best interest for my children?   Why would we want government entities and unelected bureaucrats to tell us how to run our lives or what insurance to have? Any sane parent or individual wouldn't, I assure you, but that doesn't really seem to matter to the UN, the White House, Congress or the Texas State House or any of these crazy judges making decisions based on past precedent.  The time has come, however, to stand up and fight back against the tyranny that is the United Nations, that IS Child Protective Services knocking on your door because you let your children play outside 'unsupervised', that IS the United Nations Conventions of the Rights of a Child (UNCRC) and the tyranny that is every other state agency trying to tear up and stomp on the constitution.  Folks, they are coming hard and fast and they won't be satisfied with anything less than you losing control over your child, your family and your freedom.

While the rest of the world is worried about Obamacare and it's faulty website, skyrocketing premiums, et al, I'm concerned about EVERYTHING, and while I appreciate the fact that most bloggers and some Senators and Congressmen/women want to keep the conversation of Obamacare out in front, I'm happy to turn your attention elsewhere; to local and statewide elections, that is.

On the eve of early voting in a mid-term Republican primary, I'm writing this to remind you of how important elections really are and how doing your homework on the candidates that are listed on the ballot can make a huge difference in the outcomes of court cases and policy decisions that are made.  Putting liberty minded, conservative candidates into elected positions is a HUGE start! All the candidates on the ballot have websites and they would love to hear from you!  Ask the tough questions and decide for yourself.  Don't rely on the slate mailers, dubbed pay to play by myself and many other local bloggers. Read my write up about them here and another local blogger called Rhymes With Right, whom I just become acquainted with, writes about them and other local issues here.  Another local blogger, Pondering Penguin has even written about pay to play on a state level and you can check it out here.

There are a myriad of candidates on the ballot, from US Senate all the way down to Harris County Republican Party Chair.  Lots of statewide offices are up for grabs as well; Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General to name a few.  We also find ourselves voting for lots of judges as well; family court judges, supreme court justices for the state of Texas, etc. 

Seeing all of these positions to be chosen, important ones at that,  I hope you will answer the call to get out and vote.  Your voice counts, make it heard. Early voting starts tomorrow and goes until February 28th and election day is March 4th.  If you want freedom, in its simplest form, then why not take an active role during an election?




Thursday, February 6, 2014

The People Choose, Not the Party: Taking Back Harris County from the Slates

The people choose, not the party!  The people choose, not the party!  Remember that chant?  Oh, well, I guess you wouldn't unless you were at the Freedomworks Fly-In Bootcamp held in Washington, D.C.  back in 2011.  Myself along with fifty or so other activists from across the US gathered together for three days of intensive activist training.  We then spent the last day putting our training into practice.  See, we took a little field trip to protest the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), headed then by Senator John Cornyn to protest their practice of supporting the incumbent before and during the primary.  Although we were protesting the use of those funds to promote incumbent Senator Orrin Hatch during the primary, the sentiment was that the NRSC should stay out of primary races and out the way of the voting populous.  Sound familiar?

My point in sharing that story with you is this: that scenario sounds awfully familiar to the situation the voters in Harris County and the greater Houston area face at election time.  You've seen them before; those fabulous little 'slate' mailers where a PAC or an individual recommends who to vote for.  We here call those "pay to play" or "pay for play" slates.  The candidates have money extorted from them by the PAC in the neighborhood of $5000 or more in order to 'win' their election bid.  The three most offensive are Texas Conservative Review author Gary Polland, Dr. Steven Hotze and his group Conservative Republicans of Texas and last but definitely not least is Terry Lowry and the Linkletter. 


Notice I said, 'extorted'.  Yes, it is a free country and the candidates don't have to pay, but these slate mailers have made the political climate in Harris County such that if you want to win, then you shell out the money.  I have a problem with that.  The other problem that I have is that the local GOP affiliate does nothing to stop it.  Not only do they do nothing to stop it, the current county chair, Jared Woodfill is in bed with these three mailers. 

Thankfully, I'm not the only one shedding light on these practices.  The Chronicle came out with an article titled, "In your mail: Examples of 'pay for play' politics".  I should also give kudos to Ed Hubbard who was one of the original 'whistle blowers' on this practice.  He writes for a local blog called  Big Jolly Politics and has been personally driving the narrative  to bring this seedy, underbelly of local politics to the surface so that we can put a stop to it and let the people choose who they want to put in office to represent them, not the ones who are lining the pockets of these slate mailers.


James Wilson, a candidate for Texas State Senate District 7 knows the plight of the unendorsed candidate.  His opponent is slate-endorsed Paul Bettencourt and although Bettencourt will probably win his bid for State Senator, it should ultimately be because of the decision of the voters, not at the hands of a few top paid endorsers.  Here is what Mr. Wilson had to say in response to these mailers, "You won't see my name in these mailers because I refuse to PAY FOR AN ENDORSEMENT. Your next state senator should represent our families, not the special interests of these powerbrokers. Whenever you see people with these mailers, explain to them how this corrupt system is simply un-American."

The slates have influence for almost every position on the ballot, especially the race for county chair.  Candidate Paul Simpson who is endorsed by a majority of private business and grass roots coalitions and, the challenger to the incumbent Harris County GOP chair had this to say about the slate mailers, not only in direct relation to his race, but how the influence of the slates indicate the state of the local party.  "The slate mailers thrive when the party is weak, and Harris County is the only county in Texas where such slates have so much influence."  

How do we end this practice?  In my opinion, it starts with you, the voter.  We have to continue to share the truth about these mailers and then we have to make them irrelevant.  How do we do that?  Simple; when you see those mailers in your mailbox, throw them out and do your own research on who is best suited to be elected.  Those mailers are counting on you not to do your own home work to decide who best represents you.  Prove them wrong!  I'll even help you get started.  If you need a sample ballot to see who and what you'll be voting on, head on over to Harris Votes.org.  On the home page you will see "Sample Ballot".  Click on that link and type in your information and you can take it from there and remember, the people choose, not the party!





Monday, December 16, 2013

Paul Simpson Kicks Off Campaign to be the Next Harris County GOP Chair

This past Wednesday at Cafe Adobe to an overflow crowd, Paul Simpson, candidate for Harris County Republican Party Chair, officially kicked off his grass roots campaign.  Surrounded by supporters and family members, in the heart of the Spring Branch Community, Paul reminded us of why he is the right person for the job of county chair.  “We are in a fight for the future of Texas. Harris County is a key battleground. To win, the GOP needs to rebuild, ground up. But reform must start at the top. That's why I ask for your vote in March 2014 for Harris County Republican Chair.”
“We are in a fight for the future of Texas. Harris County is a key battleground. To win, the GOP needs to rebuild, ground up. But reform must start at the top. That's why I ask for your vote in March 2014 for Harris County Republican Chair.” - See more at: http://texasgopvote.com/regions/texas/texasgopvote-blogger-endorsements-paul-simpson-006111#sthash.bDQ4yCV2.dpuf
“We are in a fight for the future of Texas. Harris County is a key battleground. To win, the GOP needs to rebuild, ground up. But reform must start at the top. That's why I ask for your vote in March 2014 for Harris County Republican Chair.” - See more at: http://texasgopvote.com/regions/texas/texasgopvote-blogger-endorsements-paul-simpson-006111#sthash.bDQ4yCV2.dpuf
“We are in a fight for the future of Texas. Harris County is a key battleground. To win, the GOP needs to rebuild, ground up. But reform must start at the top. That's why I ask for your vote in March 2014 for Harris County Republican Chair.” - See more at: http://texasgopvote.com/regions/texas/texasgopvote-blogger-endorsements-paul-simpson-006111#sthash.bDQ4yCV2.dpuf
Oh, yes, it's high time for a change in leadership at the helm of the Harris County GOP.

I am a precinct chair for the county party and I have seen first hand the challenges we face as we try to work through a local party that has neglected the activists and the grass roots, trying to win elections without a strong leader to lead us in the fight against the vocal, vicious left wing Democrats who, by the way, have won the top of the ticket the last three elections.  Unfortunately, we have ignored the  long time basics of how to win elections, empower our grass roots activists, precinct chairs and volunteers on how to contact the voters and directly engage them, much to our peril.  When there's a problem, at least in my mind, the first step in rectifying that problem is to admit there is a problem.  At this moment, our county chair can't or won't do that.

To have an effective grass roots effort, exclusive power held by a few of those at the top cannot exist.  With Paul as the County Chair, that power would be spread throughout the camp of precinct chairman.  You maintain the top-down approach of this current party leadership system, something that we have proof of failing us election cycle after election cycle and we will continue to lose elections.  

Enter Paul Simpson with his Precinct Manager tool.  He, along with a handful of dedicated activists, put together this system, on their own dime and their own time, two things that should be valued above all else; time and treasure.  They also grant access to, wait for it...EVERYONE!  Amazing, right?  This is more proof that Paul's bottom up approach to empower the precinct chair and through them, develop a stronger base and rebuild the party is crucial in the high stakes effort we call Harris County politics.

How about the finances of the party?  We held an executive committee meeting on Monday night and one of my fellow precinct chairman stood up at the mic and offered up a resolution that stated that the party needed a budget.  Yep, a budget.  You know, that pesky little thing that most households run on by taking the money that's coming in and then subtract expenditures to see what is left?  I was interested to see what would happen after that and sure enough, the party leadership and others started jumping and scrambling with a call for a quorum.  While the quorum was being certified, which by the way, I don't ever remember hearing if we had one or not, the resolution was shot down because someone determined that this would be a by-laws change and we would need a two-thirds majority to vote on something of this nature.  So, what do we get instead of a budget?  We get vague numbers in a spreadsheet thrown up on the screen in a power point presentation. This is shameful and all too reminiscent of how Obama and the Democrats forced universal health care on this country.

Why do we have such lack luster leadership with a weak infrastructure?  I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.  If you guessed 'money', you would be correct.  The chairman's own financial woes have come to roost, and in my opinion, have affected his capability of running the office of party chairman honestly and effectively.

We all need money, yes?  When you don't have money what happens?  You become desperate.  The current county chair is no different because he, too has become desperate.  What happens when you become desperate?  You typically do things that you wouldn't normally do to get by.  You mean like accepting judicial appointments from Republican judges?  Yes, exactly.  Click here to read an article about those appointments.

Harris County deserves better leadership than what we have now.  The Harris County GOP precinct chairs, volunteers and activists deserve better leadership.  If you're anything like me, you have a family and responsibilities at home to care for. I, for one, am burning the candle at both ends trying to keep up with the circus that is politics, both locally and nationally.  We fought hard during the summer with Senator Ted Cruz and his attempt to defund Obamacare and we took the fight to Washington with his plea of #MakeDCListen.

Let me ask you this, do you want to make a difference?  If you want to #MakeDCListen, then you have to #MakeHarrisGOPListen first.  The ripple effect will be bigger than you think.