Sunday, March 15, 2015

Third Times A Charm: The 84th Texas Legislature Revives House Voter Registration Bill

Ever get stuck on ONE topic and write about it until you can't possibly write about it anymore?  Nah, me neither.  So, you'll excuse me for writing once again about election law and election integrity.  Both are extremely important to maintain free and fair elections.  I don't know about you, but I don't want to be one of those countries that has to dip our thumbs in purple ink to prove that we haven't voted more than once.  Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

So, to prevent us going to that extreme, despite some differences in opinion that we all may have with our representatives, there is some good legislation that has been written and introduced to help keep voter fraud at bay, none of which, I might add, have ANYTHING to do with approving online voter registration.  That's another topic for another day.

House Bill 1096 has been written and introduced by Representative Jim Murphy and it's a bill "relating to the residence address of a person for purposes of registration under the Election Code."    Now, as election law sits, there are lots of loopholes in the laws regarding voter registration.  For example, you could put your place of residence as a big open field that you, 'plan' to build on later, all the while living somewhere else.  Or, you could live in a mansion and have your address for your voter registration be some tiny apartment with 100 other voters registered to the same address in Sheila Jackson Lee's district.  I kid you not. 

This bill, should it become law, basically tightens down on the loop holes and makes it so that the following matches your voter registration:
a) your drivers license
b) your primary residence
c) concealed handgun license adress
d) address of property where person has a homestead exemption

So, here's where we're at in the process of HB 1096.  It has been reviewed by the Elections Committee and testimony on the bill is scheduled for March 16, 2015.  A panel of the committee members will listen to testimony, both pro and con for the bill and then they will make a decision based on their findings there.  Once they decide to let it leave the Elections committee, it will head to Calendars committee and they will determine whether the bill makes it to the house floor.  This particular bill has been brought up twice before.  Testimony has been heard on it both times, and unfortunately, it has never made it out of committee.

So, if you agree that this bill needs to be passed out of committee and a chance to be handed off to calendars and the process continued, I would encourage you to contact the members of the Elections Committee.   Click on the link provided here to see all of the members. 

I said it before, and I'll say it again, the game to steal elections is always afoot, so please help protect your ballot.  Through GOTV efforts at election time, staying vigilant at the polls when working as an election judge or clerk and paying attention during the legislative session, we can all work together to ensure free and fair elections continue here in the state of Texas.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Rodney Ellis' Omnibus Elections Bill Shuttles Texas Voters Back In Time

We all talk about protecting the constitution and holding our elected officials accountable.  However, unless we work to protect our elections, then the rest is for naught,  Unfortunately, the liberal left is always working to perfect the theft of our elections, not just on election day, but through other avenues like voter registration fraud.  They also try to steal elections by pushing through legislation that rolls back the safeguards that photo ID and other requirements provide.  With the 84th Texas Legislature in full swing, this session proves to be no different than others in the pursuit of the vote.

The state of Texas has come so far with the progress it has made to ensure elections are not stolen.  Photo Voter ID was a huge step in the right direction as well as upgrades that were made to the electronic equipment that is used for elections.  However, Democrat Rodney Ellis wants to bring all of the progress on election integrity to a screeching halt with Senate Bill 990, as he calls it, "a far-reaching and omnibus bill to improve and protect voting rights in Texas."

Senator Ellis claims that these are "common sense election reforms", but what I think he meant was, that these are 'nonsense election reforms' because the things that he is suggesting that we do as a state in this bill are absolute nonsense.

Let's touch on the first bit of nonsense:
  • Same-day Voter Registration-Allows qualified citizens to register to vote at a polling place on election day.  This will allow otherwise eligible voters to register and vote on election day.
I'll tell you what this same-day voter registration will allow, it will allow voters to register in all 900 precincts in Harris County and vote in every one of them.   There's also no time to check residency or signatures on a same day registration, both of which are key.  In the Wisconsin recall election for Governor Scott Walker, there were forty-five counts and convictions of voter fraud and they all came from same day voter registration.

  • Section 34 of SB 990 states that "a qualified voter is eligible to vote a late ballot as provided by this chapter if the voter has a sickness or physical condition that prevents the voter from appearing at the polls on election day..."
Give me a break!  As if two weeks of early voting isn't enough to get yourself to the polls!  Oh, and let's just forget about the likelihood of the Democrats getting the vote totals and then figuring out how many 'sick' people they need to show up to vote in order to keep their freebies rolling in!  This, again, shows what nonsense this bill really is.

  • Youth Preregistration for Voting-Allows a person to preregister to vote on or after the person's 16th birthday.  Mr. Ellis also would like year old children to be allowed to register to vote.  
Mr. Ellis would have you believe that by doing this, we would be "engaging young people to vote".  I have no doubt that there is truth to that, however, we have enough trouble keeping up with the voters we have now, much less adding a bunch more names of people who aren't even allowed to vote yet.  More potential for voter fraud!!  More confusion at the polls!  This could overwhelm the system and cause chaos, actually allowing 16 year olds to vote at the busiest precincts when election workers are rushed and can't properly take the time to check their status.  Something that we definitely do not need.     

Friends,the game to steal elections is ALWAYS afoot.  We must remain vigilant.  As  Noah Webster once said, "If the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted.... If a republic form of government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the Divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws." 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Points System And The Projects

MOAR low income housing for the Cy-Fair/Bear Creek area, you say?  Yes, it's true.  Hard to believe?  Well believe it!

I recently wrote an article titled, "Plutocracy and the Projects" in which I briefly outlined the process by which low income housing makes its way stealthily into the burbs.  It's a pretty involved process, but I thought I would try to break it down for you, maybe get a little more in-depth on the subject this time.

I'm reporting primarily about the Cypress, Texas area, but I'm sure that much of the targeted areas get close to the same amount of money.  Right now, the federal government had dangled $9,704,613 for the Cypress area.  Each developer seeks $1.5 million.  Only the top six developers with the highest points are awarded funds.    The developers need 118 points to qualify to receive the funds.  What I'd like to do is show where the points come from to show you how important it is for the state representatives to maintain their negative point capabilities.

Last year, the highest points achieved were 133.  By contrast, the lowest points awarded were 125.  The developers were funded or lost on a single point.

There are several entities that can award or subtract points to the developers.  They are:
-School District
-MUD 61 JF-Hofman
-Fire Department
-Law Enforcement
-Local Businesses
-Elected Officials
The only other quantifiable community participation is with a coalition, which, thanks to James and Barbara Hardin, Cy-Fair has now; The Cypress Coalition.  It first came to the Cypress Coalition's attention last year and I wrote an article about the first town hall meeting titled, "The Texas House-Representing Voters or Subsidized Developers?"

State Representatives still have eight points, which can have a HUGE impact, as you see that developers were funded or lost on a single point.  As of the current legislative session, State Representatives are proposing to give up their points that serve their constituents.  County commissioners also have the ability to add or take away points; they've been allotted three points.

To further prove the need for the reps to keep their points, especially those that represent Cy-Fair as we have several vulnerabilities as an area.  We live in an unincorporated area, which means we don't have a city council or a mayor to represent us.   That leaves us with, you guessed it, relying on the State Reps and the County Commissioners to be our voice.

Stay tuned as there's a town hall being planned to oppose the two new proposed developments.  If you're concerned, please contact State Representative Dwayne Bohac at:
(512) 463-0727   Austin Office
(713) 460-2800   District Office

I'm sure there's more to come since the 84th legislation is far from over. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy 100th Blog Post, Political Chicken!

Here at The Political Chicken, I'm ALL about celebrating milestones like birthdays and such.  So, I feel that I would be remiss if I didn't commemorate my 100th blog post!  It just happened on Monday and I thought much like a TV series celebrates their 100th episode with a giant cake, I thought I'd share my milestone with you, my supporters and readers with these cute little cupcakes.

Not only have I just posted my 100th post, the blog has achieved another milestone of 15,000 page views!  Not too shabby for a local blogger.  Some have asked me recently, why the name, 'The Political Chicken'?  I say, it was because I thought it was a catchy name AND because I was a bit of a chicken when it came to sharing my views on politics.  As you can see, ahem, I've long since lost that shyness.  I'll admit that from time to time when I post something that I know is going to be controversial, I get a tiny bit nauseous.  Heh.

All that said, I am proud of the work I've done here and will continue to do. I am totally in love with writing and story telling and the unfolding of an idea and an explanation or an argument I'm trying to make.  The process is as much fun as the end result, in my opinion.  Remember, I'm no longer really shy about that.

I usually do a birthday blog for the Chicken, and here they are, when the Chicken turned one and when it turned two.  I also wanted to link the very first article I ever wrote for my blog titled, "Why I'm Supporting Bill Tofte for Congress" here.   The link for my 100th blog post, titled "Jared Woodfill: Tenet vs. Track Record" can be found here.

You'll have to wait for my third birthday blog for the top performers, but I almost can't wait to do that, so here is one that I've written recently that is my personal favorite, "Could We Be Living In The Twilight Zone?"  It wasn't very popular, but I put a lot of work into it and I'd love for you to read it, too.

So there you have it, from A to Z, or from beginning to, well, I won't say end because I'm far from done here. You've been fabulous, but this is FAR from over!  MUAH!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jared Woodfill: Tenet vs Track Record

In Proverbs 22:1, it says, "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold."

What are some of the qualities that are important to you when considering a candidate for public office?  Do you consider their past voting history?  How about their stance on gay marriage?  Maybe their willingness to regulate and spend the taxpayers money without regard for the future generations?  What about their stance on abortion?

Whichever one or two qualities that you may have picked that are important to you, whether I listed them above or not, do these qualities, or lack thereof, impact their ability to carry out the duties of the office they seek?  For example, would you hire a tax cheat to run the U.S. Treasury?  Would you vote for someone to be the Sheriff if they had a criminal record?  I would think that those kind of things would be important when considering a vote for someone to represent me.

What if I told you that someone who continually lost elections for a county party was hoping to be put in charge of a state party?  What if I told you that same someone had problems raising money and maintaining the trust of the donors once he actually received the donations?  What if I also added that he squelched the grassroots by ignoring them and putting his own cronies in place to benefit himself and his buddies?  How about if I told you he couldn't then and still can't even manage his own personal finances, what would you say to that?

Enough with the ambiguity, I'll tell you who I'm talking about, if you haven't already figured it out: Jared Woodfill.  Jared is a nice enough person, but no amount of pleasantries and good personality is going to change my mind about his qualities and abilities to hold any kind of elected position.  EVER.  Unfortunately, he still has a following of sorts and those that support him seem to be completely blind to his inability to manage people and finances and win elections simply because of one thing; he's Pro-life.

Great, he's pro-life, and yes, it's a good, Biblical quality to have.  The Bible tells us we should not murder and in my opinion, abortion IS murder.  I'm going to let you in on a little secret, though.  The Bible also talks about paying debts, too.  Now, I know that generally speaking, we all have some debts; mortgages, credit cards, student loans, car notes, etc. and I'm not saying that having debt is evil or wrong.  There are, however, consequences for not paying those debts.

Let us not forget about Jared Woodfill’s $30 Million lawsuit gamble and tax problems.   Woodfill was sued in New York for defaulting on a nearly $30 million “questionably ethical” loan.  Not only that, but The Houston Business Journal and the Chronicle recently reported the IRS has placed a $40,000 lien on the Woodfill Law Firm for unpaid taxes.  If you're not a subscriber, you may not be able to read the link, but the information included is this:  
Name: Woodfill Law Firm PC, Address: 3131 Eastside St. Suite 450, City: Houston,State: TX, Zip: 77098, Amount: $40,214, Tax Type: (941), File Date: 2014-11-24, Rec Date: 2014-12-10, Rel Date: 0000-00-00.  You can Read the Chronicle article here.

In Romans 13:7 it says "Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed." 

When you don't pay for your car, the bank repossesses it.  When you don't pay your house note, the bank kicks you out of your house.  So why shouldn't there be consequences for those seeking elected positions?  If you've proven yourself a failure in an area that your position needs you to excel in, why would anyone want to put you in that position, pro-life or no?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Plutocracy and the Projects

Plutocracy is defined as government by the wealthy, or an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.  I can't think of a better word to describe the government of the state of Texas.  Now, I hear you, you're saying, Texas, right?  Yes, I'm talking about our great state of Texas, and while the government of Texas hasn't done EVERYTHING wrong, there is definitely room for improvement.

I'll start off with one good thing; Texas' decision to refuse the use of Common Core Standards for our public school system.  Not just the standards, but the money that the feds dangled in front of the state.  Let's face it, the government doesn't give anything away for nothing.  They always want something in return-there are always strings attached.  Common Core was no different.  However, the reason that the state turned down the money wasn't just because they were trying to be honorable, and 'do the right thing'.  It was simply a case of not being able to profit from the implementation of Common Core statewide.

Next topic, low income housing.  Yep, I hear you groaning.  Once again, the feds are at the ready to offer up money to the state, in the form of tax credits, but guess what kids, there are strings attached.  The state has an agency set up called Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA), and they hand out the tax credits to the developers who score the most points in order to build the low income housing I mentioned.

Low income housing usually lowers property values, increases crime rates and overcrowds the system; fire departments, schools, EMS services, etc.  However, that's of no concern to the developers who only see dollar signs when they come into the neighborhood they are trying to 'bust'. That's a real term, 'neighborhood busting' and it's a term and an action that has trickled down from liberal Washington, D.C.  Surprise!

So, back to these points that the developers try to accumulate in order to build; you may be asking, who can award those points?  I'm so glad you asked. The state legislators of the designated development area have points to award, as do county commissioners, school districts, water districts and community coalitions, which brings me to my main point.  The state does NOT have to accept this money from the feds!!  If they had courage of conviction, the state would tell the feds to get the hell out of our state, similar to the courage, ahem, they exhibited when they shunned Common Core.  There is one glaring difference here, though.

If you guessed the potential for capital gain on the part of the legislators, then you guessed correctly.  Hmmm, let's see, the developers just might sidle up to the legislator whose district they want to build in, and oh, maybe make a campaign contribution.  Gee, I can't imagine why the legislators wouldn't want these developers to keep coming back.

To another point that has my pants in a bunch is that during the last legislative session, the Senate voted to do away with their points.  Now they have no say in what comes into their districts.  The House is planning on doing the same thing this session.  This can only lead the voter to one conclusion; that the representatives WANT the campaign contributions to continue to flow without having any accountability to those they represent.

This issue isn't over.  I'll be following it and sharing with all of you to keep you informed.  Big shout out to Kay Smith and Barbara and James Hardin for forming the Cypress Coalition and getting out in front of this important issue.  Please go to their website to find out more and to join the coalition.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

State Republican Executive Committee to Select New State GOP Chair March 7th

This just in: Texas remains a red state!  After the November 2014 election, Republicans see victories all over the state!  Okay, well, maybe it's not as recent as I made it sound, but it's still a fact worth celebrating.  Think about who we have to thank for that victory?  Well, lots of devoted volunteers from around the state, that's who.  GOP County Chairmen are the immediate leaders of each county in Texas and their boss is our State Republican Party Chairman, Steve Munisteri.  Without a clear plan in place, our state party and each county party might not have done nearly as well in this last election, and I almost hate to do this, (almost), but I need to bring your attention back to my ground zero; Harris County.

In March 2014, Harris County elected a new county party chairman, Paul Simpson.  He ousted 12 year incumbent, Jared Woodfill from the spot, and it was no easy victory.  Although you'd think that someone who had been in the position for that long and kept getting re-elected MUST have been doing a great job, right?  WRONG!

Sadly now Steve Munisteri is resigning as our State Party Chairman after five great years of service to us.  We will miss him, but know he's going on to bigger, better things.  That leaves the position open and since his resignation comes before the next state convention, the job of electing a new chairman falls to the State Republican Executive Committee or SREC for short.  There are four candidates in the field, Robin Armstrong, former State Vice Chairman, and current National Republican Committeeman for Texas, Wade Emmert, current chairman for Dallas County GOP, Tom Mechler, current State Party Treasurer and of course, Jared Woodfill, the recently unseated Harris County GOP Chairman.

Let's take a look back at some of the highlights from Jared's tenure as Harris County GOP Chairman:

Jared Woodfill Led the Decline of Harris County Republican Dominance

• The Harris County Republican Party delivered Harris County for the Republicans in every presidential election from 1968-2004 and Gubernatorial elections from 1994-2006.

With no county party organization and a lack of leadership from Woodfill, Obama and the Democrats won Harris County in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

For 12 Years Jared Woodfill Failed to Grow the Grassroots
• Over 600 of Harris County’s 1,064 precincts did not have a Republican Precinct Chair.

• 20 years ago Harris County had over 700 Republican precinct chairs. When Woodfill left office there are fewer than 460.

Jared Woodfill Lost the Trust of Grassroots Donors
• A review of Texas Ethics Commission documents show that in 2012, under Jared Woodfill’s leadership, the county Party spent $.78 of every dollar raised on consultants and paid campaign
advertisements with only $.01 going to grassroots activities.

Jared also mismanaged his own personal finances and The Houston Business Journal recently reported the IRS has placed a $40,000 lien on theWoodfill Law Firm for unpaid taxes.  Hmm...

Now, let me ask you if you think that this resume that I've shared qualifies Jared to be the state party chair?  Jared dutifully ignored the development of the grassroots, and pandered to a select few he surrounded himself with at the peril of the party.  He spent more money on high dollar consultants and he let the pay-to-play slates take over Harris County which allowed candidates for any and all offices to be chosen by a few top paid endorsers!   

We've come so far as a state, we cannot afford to let Jared take the helm and repeat what he did in Harris County to the State GOP.  The election will take place on March 7, 2015 at the next quarterly meeting of the SREC.  Let me tout some of Steve's record: From his resignation announcement:  
"It has been my honor to serve as RPT Chairman since June 2010 and oversee our party’s efforts during the last three election cycles. I am proud that by working together, we have had a net increase of 1,182 Republican officeholders during my time in office, representing an increase from 45% of all state officeholders to 67%. We have also set the all-time record for most number of elected Republican Texas State Representatives and Republican Texas Congressmen, as well as tying the record for most number of Republican State Senators.
At the same time, we paid off the party’s debt to $0 for the first time in 18 years and have remained debt free since November 2010 while bringing in over $22 million in revenue. This would not have been possible without the support of literally tens of thousands of grassroots activists and donors, for which I will be forever grateful."

Debt paid off to $0.  A net increase in Republican officeholders and an all-time record for most number of elected Republicans in the State House and State Senate.  Texas can't afford to go backwards.  The vote is scheduled for March 7th.  Contact your SREC representatives and let them know who you support.  Just say 'no' to failed leadership!