Why TX Grassroots Conservatives Are Rebelling #SaveTexas2020
Editorial, JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America – We the People
Commentary published in Texas Scorecard
In a Sunday, June 16 interview with Jason Whitely of WFAA-Dallas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he does not know why there’s criticism coming from some conservative groups in Texas over the results of the 86th regular legislative session.
“I don’t know why they’re disappointed,” Patrick said on WFAA’s Inside Texas Politics. “That’s for them to answer.We consider it a very successful session.”
Well, this is tiresome. From the Governor, Lt. Governor and most Republican legislators, it’s as if a collective amnesia has set in or a case of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Speaker Bonnen is the exception. He doesn’t even pretend not to understand. Bonnen declared he doesn’t give a tinker’s about conservatives, warned Republicans not to challenge each other or Democrats for House seats, and openly supports Democrat Joe Moody for Speaker next session should Democrats take the nine seats they need to take control. Meanwhile, Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey has nothing to say about the Republican Speaker’s open support of Democrats.
Governor Abbott and Lt. Dan know exactly why conservative leaders and activists are not happy with the results of the session. They simply do not care. They worked very hard with Speaker Bonnen to make sure Republican legislators stopped caring about the conservatives back home. Getting along with Democrats and divesting themselves of conservative principles were far more important.
There is no Republican Plan for Legislative Success or for Fiscal Sanity. None. As a result, Texas Republicans are following the path of their counterparts in Washington, DC. The only difference is geography. Just like DC Republicans, Texas Republican legislators repeatedly squander legislative sessions, not using their majority to get long-promised reforms passed. Many of these issues have been talked about for at least the last FIVE legislative sessions (and have appeared longer than that as TX GOP Platform planks), which leads us to conclude that Republican leadership no longer values the grassroots or the values they claimed when running for office. They will continue to lose seats because they fail to do what they promise.
We had a purple legislative session because too many Republican elected officials have turned purple. Now, they are putting Texas at risk in 2020.
For those who cannot seem to grasp the reason behind our discontent, conservative grassroots leaders and activists across Texas are not happy because…
State Government – run by Republicans – is on an unsustainable spending spree. AGAIN – failed to pass spending limits on state government. Republicans grew state spending 12%, spending a $10 billion surplus above and beyond Hurricane Harvey disaster funds. Democrats cheered.
State Government – run by Republicans – supports election fraud. AGAIN – failed to pass paper ballot backup audit trails so that electronic voting can be verified in an election contest. Republicans have controlled all branches of state government since 2003; yet, voter rolls have NEVER been verified! According to numerous news reports and AG cases, illegal aliens, felons and dead people can and do vote. 2020 is around the corner. Republican leaders are doing nothing to protect legal voters.
State Government – run by Republicans – supports public labor unions. AGAIN – failed to stop state assistance in the collection of union dues by automatically deducting them from government employee paychecks. This colossally stupid failure means union dues will once again show up in 2020 campaigns against Republicans.
State Government – run by Republicans – supports taxpayer-funded lobbying. AGAIN – failed to stop the use of tax dollars to fund lobbyists hired by local governments to fight pro-taxpayer reforms. This failure helps drown out the voice of the people – the unheard little guys.
State Government – run by Republicans – refuses to recognize the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns without a government permission slip. AGAIN – failed to return gun rights that are recognized in 16 other states (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming). This once again proves Texas does not lead on liberty.
State Government – run by Republicans – failed to advance legislation to save the life of preborn babies. Meanwhile, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, and Ohio passed heartbeat bills. Kentucky and Mississippi heartbeat laws, temporarily blocked by a federal court injunction, are headed to a US Appeals Court. Protecting lemonade stands is a noble gesture, but how about fighting for human life? It is shameful that Texas does not lead on life.
State Government – run by Republicans – supports the Left’s attacks on historic monuments. They failed to do anything to protect the Alamo, the Alamo Cenotaph, and other historical monuments from being “reimagined” or removed. We now understand that Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Patrick and Speaker Bonnen – along with 95% of the GOP legislators – do not care one thing about these monuments. They like to invoke the names of our Heroes for Texas Independence as they draw rhetorical lines in the sand, but when it came down to honoring the bravery and sacrifice of our heroes, Republican leaders wouldn’t lift a finger to protect monuments from the rabid Left.
State Government – run by Republicans – passed a Democratic Party Platform initiative – taxpayer funded, all-day pre-K (daycare) for low-income children, including those here illegally. Never mind that multiple studies show no lasting academic results for such programs. Texas Republicans were always opposed to growing government at the expense of parental responsibility – until they weren’t. Democrats cheered.
State Government – run by Republicans – passed another Democratic Party Platform item – Big Nanny State Mental Health legislation. A $100 million psychiatric consortium with connections to the pharmaceutical industry deployed to our community schools puts Texas children at risk of dangerous psychotropic drugging, data mining, and profiling based on family values, religious beliefs, and economic circumstances. Perfectly normal children will be at risk for subjective mental health labels or viewed as potential threats, which can destroy their rights and the rights of their parents. Too much liberty is being risked in the name of preventing school shootings. In the hands of Democrats who hate gun rights, we fear this is the camel’s nose under the tent.
While we wish these legislative results were not true, ignoring the failures changes nothing and endangers Texas. Republicans have energized the Democrats and given them wins to run on!
While Republicans passed some “good intention” bills, far too many bills important to preserving and advancing Texas-style liberty were either killed by Republicans or not filed at all this session. That is how we ended up with a purple session. That is why conservatives are not happy, Lt. Dan and Company.
“What you permit, you promote. What you allow, you encourage. What you condone, you own. What you tolerate, you deserve.” Michelle Malkin
Grassroots America has never supported purple, progressive Republicans who love Big Government if they can be in charge of it. We don’t intend to start now. Texas is at stake.
JoAnn Fleming Executive Director Grassroots America – We the People PAC
On September 12th, we sent you a Call to Action email outlining efforts by Rep. Biedermann and other elected officials to stop Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s plan to re-imagine the Alamo and move the Cenotaph to a so called “Free Speech Zone,” leaving this sacred memorial unprotected from vandalism and destruction.
Today, those same elected officials stood on the hallowed grounds of the Alamo, in front of the Cenotaph, to hold a press conference. They called on Commissioner Bush to stop his unilateral actions and bring the future of the Alamo to the Texas Legislature during the upcoming 86th Session. We agree with Rep. Biedermann that the legislature is the proper place for the future of the most sacred shrine in Texas history to be debated. The Cradle of Texas Independence must be forever protected for generations of freedom-loving Texans and for those who seek to know our history. We do not want the Alamo’s history to be destroyed by multi-cultural quests for political correctness.
We appreciate the feedback you have given us concerning your calls and emails to the General Land Office. It is breathtaking the lengths they will go to try to fool the people.
State Rep. Biedermann Says ‘No’ To Long Term Lease With City of San Antonio for Alamo Property San Antonio, TX (09/14/18) — Representative Kyle Biedermann (R- Fredericksburg) stood in the shadow of The Alamo on Friday morning to urge officials to include Texas Legislature in the negotiations going forward on The Alamo Master Plan.
The current Alamo Plan will move the Cenotaph into the ‘Free Speech Area’ where it cannot be protected and will be open to protest and disrespect. Even more startling, the Plan would include a long term lease agreement with the City of San Antonio giving the city the ‘ability to monitor compliance’ and the requirement in that lease that the GLO must prioritize ‘the World Heritage Site nomination and designation’ of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
State Representative Kyle Biedermann said, “I believe it is imperative for Commissioner Bush to include the Texas Legislature in the process going forward with respect to the Alamo Master Plan in order to ensure Texas sovereignty over the future of the Alamo. Much concern has been voiced by legislators about moving the Cenotaph and the long term lease agreement with the City of San Antonio giving them the ‘ability to monitor compliance’ and the requirement in that lease that the GLO must prioritize ‘the World Heritage Site nomination and designation’ of UNESCO. As Texans, we should not allow an international body to impose on our most sacred of sites. Texas has a proud independent history and we must never allow international actors to revise or sanitize our history.
Texas State Senator Donna Campbell said. “Thousands of Texans have contacted my office expressing their feedback over the new Alamo Master Plan. Chief among these concerns is the overwhelming desire to see the Spirit of Sacrifice, also known as the Alamo Cenotaph, restored and preserved in its current location. The Alamo is one of our state’s greatest treasures and to this day it still represents the origins of what it means to be a Texan. It belongs to all of us, and it unites all of us. In putting together the Alamo Master Plan, public input was sought and the majority of that input has asked for special consideration to be given to the Cenotaph and that it not be relocated.”
Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said, “Ignoring key elements of public input erodes public confidence. Entering into an agreement that could diminish State of Texas control over the Alamo destroys public confidence.”
‘El Conservador’ conservative blogger and writer George Rodriguez said. “I stand here supporting Rep. Biedermann because I feel he is the last ‘wall’ to save the Alamo property from a lease that may allow changes to the site and even history of the Alamo. We must understand that this is a shrine of Texas history and it should be treated with care and reverence. We cannot and must not rush into any agreements with anyone unless they are carefully studied and reviewed.”
On August 16th, Direct Action Texas and Grassroots America held a joint press conference in which we announced a Texas Conservative Grassroots Coalition letter to Gov. Abbott asking him to direct the Secretary of State to begin verifying the citizenship of registered voters in Texas.
We asked the Governor to do this because 1) the Texas Secretary of State is appointed by the Governor, 2) the Governor has the constitutional executive authority to mandate citizenship verification of registered voters, and 3) Governor Abbott has strongly supported Coalition efforts to pass election integrity and ballot security reforms. In fact, upon signing Senate Bill 5 (increased penalties for people who commit election crimes related to mail-in ballots), Governor Abbott issued a statement declaring, “It is a primary function of government to protect citizens’ right to vote, and I will not allow the integrity of the ballot box to be compromised in Texas.”
In the press conference, I released figures that have understandably garnered quite a bit of attention and caused heartburn for some government officials. Many questions are circling; I’m going to address several of those now. Some will be better answered at a future time and place, after we’ve completed necessary follow-up work.
We can agree that government suffers from a disease of inaction. Even with the best of intentions, important projects simply die in government, especially those that are political hot potatoes – like election integrity. This is simply a political reality.
For nearly a year, the Texas Attorney General has had information about the problems with Texas’ voter rolls, and this project has simply stalled. In January, in discussions with multiple senior level staffers in the AG’s office, I predicted they would get nowhere by mid-year in 2018 and promised that – if they did nothing – I would go public in July or August. As I had originally feared, the project has stalled. Last week I followed through on my promise to release the information.
It is important for us to remember that we aren’t talking about stalling on a minor issue. Since my discussions with high level Texas AG staffers about non-citizens being registered to vote in Texas, the March 2018 Primary Election happened. The May 22 Primary runoff election happened, and the May 2018 local municipal, school board, and bond elections took place, not to mention other local runoffs and special elections. Now, in just a few months, we’ll have the November 2018 General Election. How does this not rise to the level of a priority as election after election goes by?
In 2017, government analysts compared Texas’ voter rolls against the Department of Public Safety (DPS) database. Most Texans don’t realize the Secretary of State (SoS) checks the DPS database every time they register a voter. This is done in accordance with federal statute.
They verify the applicant’s name, address, and date of birth. DPS has citizenship information, but the SoS does NOT verify that status, even though it is illegal for non-citizens to vote!
In checking the voter rolls against the DPS citizenship status, the analysts found 280,000 registered voters who – at the time they were issued a DPS ID – were not citizens. Again, non-citizens are illegible to register and to vote.
Some of these were registered to vote when they got their ID (motor voter), and some were registered to vote at a later date. Some of these likely became naturalized citizens since they obtained their DPS ID, but surely not all of them. The fact is – we simply do not know.
Texans deserve to know.
There are over 21.5 million DPS-issued IDs in Texas. There are 14 million registered voters.Of the 14 million registered voters, more than 4 million of them do not match up to anyone in DPS’s database or other databases available to the analysts.
I’m excited to share some good news with all of our Grassroots America members and supporters and to say to my colleagues in the Texas Conservative Grassroots Coalition, “Well done!”
On July 17 as we were about to start the legislature’s special session, the Coalition sent a powerful letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton thanking him for efforts he had made to stand against voter fraud and asking him to look into issues regarding the constitutionality of voting machines in use in Texas. [See the Coalition letter here.]
The Texas Constitution is very clear. Article VI, Sec. 4 reads: “in all elections by the people, the vote shall be by ballot, and the Legislature shall provide for the numbering of tickets and make such other regulations as may be necessary to detect and punish fraud and preserve the purity of the ballot box.” This simply means that every ballot must be numbered.
The problem? Some voting machines currently in use in Texas, and new ones available for sale (using our tax dollars), specifically DRE machines, DO NOT number ballots. In fact, many simply are not capable of sequentially numbered paper trail back ups, but rather only “cast vote records”.
Election integrity and ballot security are not trite political matters. We simply must stand against operatives in both the Democratic and Republican parties and vendors who may try to stand in the way of cleaning up this big voter fraud mess in Texas.
After what happened during the regular session, it is clear that we have Republican obstructionists in the legislature who will do whatever it takes to thwart election integrity reforms. So, for the operatives and shills for the vendors who read this, let mebe clear. There will be no compromise and no acceptance of excuses for a situation in which the Secretary of State’s Office seemingly has rogue employees who can just ignore the state constitution and all controlling legal authorities.
Since I’m not used to asking permission to do the right thing, there will be NO retreat. Period. It matters not to me if folks post tacky little remarks on social media and get all spun up about the issues being raised by the two folks I consider to be subject matter experts on ballot security and election integrity. In fact, the more push back we get, the more determined we are!
Aaron Harris, Executive Director of Direct Action Texas, worked his heart out during the special session to get improvements in mail-in ballot security. He was successful. Aaron has four criminal cases on voter fraud, and this bulldog is just getting warmed up.
Dr. Laura Pressley, Save our Texas Vote, continues to tear up and down the highways of Texas, speaking to any group that will listen about the deficiencies in our election processes and the lack of transparency and accountability in how elections are carried out. She has bled for this and deserves respect.
As a result of the Coalition’s letter to General Paxton, we had a meeting with the AG’s Office in August. I am confident the Attorney General understands our concerns and has reviewed all of the evidence brought forward.
Now, Laura has some great news. Please share this with your friends and organizations.
The Austin Swamp-draining conservative grassroots army we are building is growing! We also have Coalition projects aimed at the DC Swamp. Since January, we have launched 29 Coalition projects that have drawn both state and national attention. Our support is in demand at the Capitol during the Special Session, which began yesterday.
We are working will fellow coalition-builders Teresa Beckmeyer (Lone Star Voice), Dale and Mary Huls (Clear Lake TEA Party), Toni and Tom Fabry (Frisco TEA Party) and Ray Myers (Kaufman County TEA Party) to hold quarterly Grassroots Leadership Summits that encourage unity around conservative principles and team-building among like-minded activist leaders. The following information about Grassroots America’s statewide coalition-building project will help you understand HOW and WHY this is working!
The Coalition is about conservative, limited government principles – not personalities. It is about supporting the Texas GOP Platform as long as it is a constitutionally conservative platform.
This Coalition has been wildly successful at the Capitol, and the Coalition has grown 78% since we began activities in January. We will continue to hold quarterly Coalition meetings that are meaningful.
Partners continue to operate asindependentgroups, but when necessary, act as a strong coalition,united around first principles. This is not a substitute for any local group’s work, nor is it intended to replace local efforts.
Partners include local TEA party/conservative groups, statewide conservative groups, SRECs, GOP county chairs, GOP precinct chairs, GOP club leaders, and professional associations (such as the Texas Association of Physicians & Surgeons) who agree on a particular issue.
It’s about helping even the smallest conservative local group be successful and make their voices heard.
It’s about adding value to groups that don’t have the resources to take on big projects.
It’s about building an enduring Texas conservative grassroots movement in every Senate District (which also covers the State House Districts).
It’s about raising a higher standard for both elected officials and for Texas grassroots activists.
It is about framing the debate and being on offense, rather than playing defense and being reactionary.
It is about passing good conservative reform bills and killing bad bills in spite of a rogue Speaker and the Austin Cartel, because there will always be a liberal, big government Republican in power somewhere. That is the nature of unprincipled men and women.
Grassroots training will be important. Long term, we will prevail by working smarter and upholding principles over political expediency.
The Coalition will not vet candidates. That is the responsibility of local groups.
The Coalition will not endorse candidates because we are not a PAC.
There are no Coalition membership dues or fundraising. Our database will not be shared or sold.
Participation does not require a groups allegiance to every issue.
The Coalition is fluid because it is based on issues.If your group agrees with a stated position, they sign on. If your group doesn’t agree, don’t sign. Individuals signing on for a Group/Organization do so with that Group’s/Organization’s agreement and approval – implied or explicit.
When a coalition partner signs on to a letter or statement, they do so knowing full well that the author of the letter or statement will NOT equivocate or back down should the heat get too hot for any coalition partner.
Letters and statements will be based on sourced facts and first principles. If the Coalition project inflames the media, local/Austin/DC Cartels, the establishment GOP, an elected official, the Left, or the Tooth Fairy, there will be NO retreat, so Coalition partners should not ask for one. Partners assumepersonal responsibility when they sign on.
This Coalition is not in competition with anybody. It is a unique effort with a heart to serve and to build a stronger, more principled Texas grassroots movement that will keep Texas free.
If the leaders of your TEA party, GOP Club, your SREC, your GOP County Chairman, your GOP Precinct Chair, or other constitutional conservative group leaders are not a part of the Coalition, have your leadership contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
JoAnn Fleming, Teresa Beckmeyer, Toni & Tom Fabry, Mary & Dale Huls, Bill Hussey, Ray Myers