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Grassroots America – We the People

General Election 2012 Endorsements

Political disclaimer required by the Texas Ethics Commission:
This is a political advertisement paid for by the GAWTP PAC,
P.O. Box 130012, Tyler, TX 75713, Jimmie Taylor, PAC Treasurer.

U. S. President & Vice President Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan
United States Senate Ted Cruz                                     WON!
United States Representative District 1 Louie Gohmert                            WON!
Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick                          WON!
Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired Term Barry Smitherman                       WON!
Justice, Supreme Court Place 2 Don Willett                                   WON!
Justice, Supreme Court Place 4 John Devine                                 WON!
Justice, Supreme Court Place 6 Nathan Hecht                               WON!
Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals Sharon Keller                               WON!
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 7 Barbara Parker Hervey                WON!
Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8 Elsa Alcala                                    WON!
Member, State Board of Education, District 9 NO ENDORSEMENT (see below)
State Senator, District 1 Kevin P. Eltife                               WON!
State Representative, District 5 Bryan Hughes                              WON!
State Representative, District 6 Matt Schaefer                               WON!
Justice, 12th Court of Appeals District, Place 3 Sam Griffith (unopposed)            WON!
District Judge, 7th Judicial District Kerry L. Russell (unopposed)      WON!
District Judge, 114th Judicial District Christi Kennedy (unopposed)      WON!
County Sheriff Larry R. Smith (unopposed)         WON!
County Tax Assessor-Collector Gary B. Barber (unopposed)        WON!
County Commissioner Precinct 1 Jeff R. Warr (unopposed)             WON!
County Commissioner Precinct 3 Terry Phillips (unopposed)            WON!
Constable, Precinct No. 2 Andy Dunklin (unopposed)            WON!
Constable, Precinct No. 3 Jim Blackmon (unopposed)          WON!
Constable, Precinct No. 4 John G. Smith (unopposed)          WON!
Constable, Precinct No. 5 Kenneth Bibby (unopposed)         WON!


State Board of Education Candidates for District 9:  Why we cannot endorse in this race 

The Libertarian – Sherry Little – exhibits insufficient knowledge regarding the scope of the job or state education issues. Among many reasons, the following are the top three explaining why we cannot endorse Republican Thomas Ratliff for re-election to the State Board of Education: 

  1. Ratliff is a registered lobbyist. Although an Attorney General’s opinion reiterated the statute prohibiting a lobbyist from serving on the SBOE, the opinion also stated that the AG’s office could not appropriately determine the question of whether Ratliff lobbies on business related to the board, which would make him ineligible to serve on it. The fact remains that Ratliff’s status as an elected official naturally tends to open more doors for his corporate clients, or at least swing those doors open faster and/or more widely than if Ratliff were not on the State Board of Education. It’s an insider perk and a conflict we cannot overlook.
  2. Ratliff helped open up the Permanent School Fund for a raid by the legislature. He pushed for legislation in support of placing a state constitutional amendment (Nov. 2011 Prop. 6) on the ballot, which now allows state government to take more money from the Permanent School fund in the short term, thereby endangering the principal of the fund. The PSF is commonly known as the “children’s textbook fund.” The state’s early-day founders created the endowment (from revenues generated from public land, such as oil & gas revenue) to help fund public education; and since 1919, the PSF has been used to ensure that Texas schoolchildren receive textbooks funded by that endowment. There is historical evidence our legislature can and will raid the fund. During the economic downturn after the Civil War, the original fund was raided and depleted by the 1865 Texas Legislature. In 1876, Texans changed the State Constitution to protect forever the children’s textbook fund from future raids. (The legal name is the “Permanent” School Fund for a reason.) Thomas Ratliff played a key role in making the PSF once again subject to spending whims of the Texas Legislature. We believe that’s recklessly bad public policy and evidence of poor judgment.
  3. Ratliff advocated changes in ethics rules that would limit the free speech of teachers, school board members, and other public education employees by prohibiting them from contributing to the State Board of Education candidates of their choice. We cannot support any candidate who would seek to limit free speech exercised through campaign contributions made by individuals. 


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