TX Election Integrity is at stake! #TXlege #GovAbbott

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More Smoke & Mirrors… a Look at #TXLege Election Reforms

Aaron Harris | May 26, 2017

They are at it again!

Who is they? Those who provide cover to lazy, squish politicians, such as the Republican Party of Texas’ legal counsel – Eric Opiela.

What are they up to again? Opiela would have you believe state lawmakers accomplished their mission of “meaningful” election reform. Those alleged reforms are the following four bills: SB 1666, HB 1735, HB 2691, HB 4034.

What are the facts?

SB1666 is a 28-page bill. All but two items simply perfecting and or codify how we already do things…in other words it’s house cleaning. There is an increased penalty tag on the bill, which would makes someone who votes in both the Dem and Rep Primary in the same cycle a 2nd  degree felon. It’s a solution in search of a problem. This bill also has wording to make organized election fraud a crime, something we desperately need. But the bill is nothing but smoke. It is not paired with wording creating the crime. What is the offense? They conveniently left that out.

HB2691 targets nursing homes. Interestingly, I’m not aware of a single documented case of verifiable nursing home voter fraud. When these bills were heard in committee, no one showed up with testimony about this being a problem. Mostly this bill creates a lot of work for the county and accomplishes nothing. Then again, lawmakers often hang their hats on bills with nice titles that accomplish nothing; it’s the TXLege way.

HB1735 is not a reform bill. This bill codifies how to run primary elections, who pays for what…oh, and what oath the election judge should recite. While these things are needed in the code, they hardly classify as “meaningful” reform addressing election our current integrity issues.

HB4034 – this is a good bill. But doesn’t materially solve any of our challenges right now. It simply allows the Secretary of State to take very limited steps to eliminate certain duplicate registered voters. Again, I’ve seen no instance or data suggesting this has ever been a problem.

What proposals should have passed? How did the #TXLege fail Texans? Let us count the ways.

SB136 by Van Taylor and HB3474 by Fallon both would have required the Secretary of State (SoS) to use various tools, like the existing DPS database, to verify citizenship for those registering to vote. For those seeking voter-roll integrity, it doesn’t get much more simple than making sure all voters are citizens. Both bills died.

HB4131 and HB4133, both by Fallon, would have increased penalties for voter fraud crimes from simple misdemeanors to State Jail Felonies or above. You want to end vote harvesting like we’ve seen in The Valley, Tarrant County, and Dallas? We need to give law enforcement tools to prosecute. These bills would have done that. Both of these bills died in Calendars in the House.

HB4134 by Fallon is an organized crime election fraud bill, which would have given prosecutors the tools they need, but ONLY if coupled with the increased penalties in HB4131. Not surprisingly, this also died in House Calendars and is not the language Huffman picked up in the Senate.

Other bills the Republicans killed:

Republican Controlled Senate State Affairs, chaired by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston)

  • SB’s 40511251142114417172090– comprehensive election reform – Republican State Affairs never heard bills
  • SB 829–  Paper ballot backup for electronic voting– Republican controlled State Affairs Com never heard bill
  • HB2691– On Senate floor, Republicans voted against paper ballot options for counties using vote centers. Republican Senators ignored Texas Republican Party Platform, #59 related to paper ballot options.

Republican Controlled House Election & Calendars Committees, Chaired by Rep. Jody Laubenberg (R-Collin County) and Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi)

  • HB 521– Cancel Voter Registration upon admission of non-citizen – Died in Calendars
  • HB 1462– Repeal Rolling Polling for Early Voting – Died in Calendars
  • HB 1711– Paper ballot backup for electronic voting – No hearing in Elections Committee

As Aaron Harris, Direct Action says, “The record of ‘meaningful’ election reforms from this session is non-existent. Shame on those who work to blow smoke and expect reform-minded Texans to believe their spin. Don’t.”

Dr. Laura Pressley, founder of Save Our Texas Vote Coalition, says, “Both the Texas House and Senate left bills on the table that would 1) Secure paper ballot backups for electronic voting, 2) Increase penalties for election fraud and vote harvesting, 3) Provide crosschecks for voter registrations, and 4) Enhance ballot security.”

Grassroots America’s JoAnn Fleming says, Make no mistake – this is not a scheme that can be attributed to Democrats alone. We’ve seen enough evidence from Laura and Aaron to believe there are GOP officials up to their eyeballs in election tampering. This is how they defeat primary challengers. When anti-voter fraud bills can’t even get a hearing in a committee chaired by a Republican, something is rotten in Denmark. If Texans cannot trust election results, then we are no better than a banana republic. Every Texan should question why the legislature’s committee chairs failed to move bills that would have strengthened election integrity and ballot security. They had 140 days to get the job done. Could it be that the voting machine lobby’s voices ring louder in Austin than those of the People?”

ACTION ALERT: 

  1. Sign Up Now…
    Send Gov. Abbott a Message to Call a Special Session
    for Election Integrity & Ballot Security.

    Click here to read our coalition letter to Gov. Abbott & sign the petition yourself.

    Aaron Harris, Direct Action Texas, will deliver the petition to Gov. Abbott. 

    2) Share this “Take Action” section
    with your family, friends & colleagues.
    Send them the link to our letter & anti-voter fraud petition.

    Sign them up!

(Thank you to JoAnn Fleming & Aaron Harris for keeping us ‘in the know’ along with providing action items!)

Stop the Madness: #TXlege Budget Action Item!

TexasMoneyTree

Calling the Texas Grassroots Army: All hands on deck, today!  This cannot wait!

The State Budget Conference Committee is still meeting to resolve the budget differences before the budget goes back to both the House and the Senate to be voted on. Agreement has not yet been reached.

Gov. Abbott has insisted the Conferees add back to the budget these items, which are opposed by a majority of the conservative grassroots groups:

$236 million for Abbott’s “high quality” prekindergarten initiative, taken out of schools’ basic funding
$16 million for Abbott’s university scholar recruitment program
$86 million for Abbott’s Texas Enterprise Fund & $22 million for Film & Music Industry incentives (Corporate Welfare)
Total: $360 million!

Our pro-life wins in the House are also in jeopardy of being removed!

 Please weigh in right now by telling the Budget Conferees you want the following:
1) Eliminate state funding for abortion providers & affiliates (i.e. Planned Parenthood)
2) Fund alternatives to abortion at the full $38.3 million for two years
3) No raid on the Rainy Day Fund or Transportation funds!
4) Fully defund the Enterprise Fund (Corporate Welfare)
5) Fully defund Film & Music subsidies (Corporate Welfare)
6) Ensure 24 full payments to the Permanent School Fund – no budget gimmick here!
7) Don’t rob basic school funding for new Pre-K programs.
Even if you don’t agree with all of these points, pick those you do and contact the Budget Conference Committee members ASAP! If you wait, it may be too late & then we’ll be faced with trying to defeat the budget – which is MORE difficult!

Take Action – Step 1: Contact the Conference Committee members below


Take Action – Step 2: Contact your own State Rep & State Senator with this same message! Let them know exactly what you think about these budget items!
If they get enough calls, they will weigh in with the Conference Committee too!

Contact the Conference Committee members below:
Rep. John Zerwas (Co-Chair House): (512) 463-0657, john.zerwas@house.texas.gov
Twitter @RepJohnZerwas
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/johnzerwas/

Rep. Trent Ashby: (512) 463-0508,  trent.ashby@house.texas.gov
Twitter @TrentAshbyTX
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/trent.ashby.568

Rep. Sarah Davis: (512) 463-0389, sarah.davis@house.texas.gov
Twitter @SarahforHD134
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/sarahdavisrep134/

Rep. Larry Gonzales: (512) 463-0670, larry.gonzales@house.texas.gov
Twitter @larrygonzales52
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/larrygonzalesHD52

Rep. Oscar Longoria: (512) 463-0645, oscar.longoria@house.texas.gov
Twitter @RepLongoria
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/oscarlongoriajr

Sen. Jane Nelson (Co-Chair Senate): (512) 463-0112, jane.nelson@senate.texas.gov
Twitter @SenJaneNelson
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/SenatorJaneNelson/

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa: (512) 463-0120, juan.hinojosa@senate.texas.gov
Twitter @TxChuy
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/SenatorChuyHinojosa/

Sen. Joan Huffman: (512) 463-0117, joan.huffman@senate.texas.gov
Twitter @joanhuffman
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/senatorjoanhuffman/

Sen. Lois Kolkhorst: (512) 463-0118, lois.kolkhorst@senate.texas.gov
Twitter @loiskolkhorst
Facebook  https://www.Facebook.com/LoisKolkhorst/

Sen. Charles Schwertner: (512) 463-0105, Charles.schwertner@senate.texas.gov
Twitter @DrSchwertner
Facebook https://www.Facebook.com/drschwertner/

Thank you, Mighty Texas Grassroots Army!

JoAnn Fleming

Executive Director

Grassroots America – We the People PAC

Texas Free Market Coalition: An Open Letter to Mr. Warren Buffett

When ALL of our legislative priorities are stalled in committees, and some not even assigned to committees yet this session, this bill is fast tracked?!?! Really?
Below is an action item from our friend, JoAnn Fleming:
This was delivered to all senators and to the Gov & Lt. Gov. yesterday by our friend Bill Hussey!
Hat tip to Adam Cahn who helped with the letter composition.
This was a great team effort for the Texas Grassroots!
Call your state senator!  Tell them to either amend the Buffett bill (SB 2279) with the Hall direct sales bill, or if Sen. Hancock will not accept that, vote against the Buffett bill!
Go get ’em!
JoAnn Fleming
Executive Director

 

 

Tax increase on the way…. you can stop it. Early VOTING has begun!

As some of you may know, our local elections are underway today! Early voting is from Monday April 24th through May 2nd, with polling locations closed on Sunday, and Election Day is Saturday, May 6th.

What’s on my ballot and where do I vote?

*Clear Creek ISD $487 Million dollar Bond & Trustee Election 

*Harris County Municipal Elections 

*Galveston County Municipal Elections 

Do you have a tax increase on YOUR ballot? If you live within the boundaries shown below & own property, rent from a property owner, own a business, or buy from local businesses…. This property tax increase WILL affect you and future generations. Click HERE for a LOT more information about this CCISD Bond, aka tax increase.

 

CCISD district 2
Clear Creek ISD School District Map 2017 

Grab your neighbors and GO VOTE! It’s up to us to protect our children’s future! 

vote

 

 

 

April 21st Lunch & Learn

We are pleased to announce Seth Collins is our scheduled speaker.

Seth is currently the Policy & Constituent Adviser for County Commissioner of Precinct 1, Darrell A. Apffel. Seth has spent most of his career in politics, which he first became active in Young Conservatives of America at Valdosta State University, located in Valdosta, Georgia, where he graduated with honors. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science, Seth then went on to work for David Perdue’s senate campaign, and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. In addition to this Seth also worked for the Leadership Institute, which is a nonprofit organization that mobilizes, trains, and equips young conservatives on college campuses, and for a short time worked for Clear Creek Independent School District. Currently, he in his Masters program at Texas A&M University. Seth is a principled conservative and is dedicated to public service. He hopes to shape policy in Galveston County to reflect conservative values, and preserve what America’s founding fathers had in mind.

When: Friday, April 21st

Time: 11:30 to 1:00 with the program starting at 12:00

Where: Spring Creek BBQ 2710 Gulf Freeway, League City, TX 77573

We’ll see you there! #AllPoliticsIsLocal

 

Lunch & Learn: Red Ink Rising, Local Debt

Have you REALLY looked at your tax responsibility lately? Does your payment go straight to escrow from your mortgage bill? We challenge you to pull up that part of your bill and examine it closely…. there’s a good chance that you won’t like want you see.

Friday, March 24th

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Join us for some great BBQ (dutch treat) and an adult conversation concerning the growth of local municipal debt as well as school district debt – With an emphasis on the upcoming Clear Creek ISD Bond Election.

When: Friday, March 24th

Where: Spring Creek BBQ 

2710 Gulf Freeway 

League City, TX 77573 (map

Doors open at 11:00

Program starts at 12:00, sharp. 

You will thoroughly enjoy, but may not be happy with, presentations given by Geri Bentley and Connie Ratisseau, both are CLTP Board members.

 

CLTP’s Texas 85th Legislative Session Priorities

Clear Lake Tea Party welcomes your request for our input and are looking forward to working closely with the newly formed Freedom Caucus of Texas. Please let us know how we can help you. We have listed our legislative priorities below and have noted with each one the Principles from the RPT Platform which we believe that priority points to and which we expect our elected officials to uphold. The Freedom Caucus, thankfully, is filled with our Texas Representatives who understand and approve of the RPT Platform. It never hurts to remind the ones who don’t. Please contact us if you have questions or comments for the Clear Lake Tea Party Board. We look forward to being called upon for whatever support you require.

cltp-praying-85th

  1. Abolition of Abortion in TexasRep Tinderholt’s HB 948

We believe in : The sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, should be protected from fertilization to natural death.

The most innocent of life deserves the protection of their fellow man and countrymen

  1. Protecting Religious Liberty – Including protection of the right not to violate one’s conscience – providing services to same sex “marriage” ceremonies and transgender accommodation. Pastors must be protected from forced testimony and their sermons shielded from government subpoena power.
  2. We believe in : “The laws of nature and nature’s God” and we support the strict adherence to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of Texas.
    We believe in: Personal accountability and responsibility.

We believe in: Self sufficient families, founded on the traditional marriage of a natural man and a natural woman.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 1st amendment rights must be protected for our citizens.

  1. Property Tax Reform – which must be preceded by legislative address of public school financing.

We believe in: “The laws of nature and nature’s God” and we support the strict adherence to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of Texas.dd

Private property rights are embedded in the Constitution and in the hearts of Americans. The debt created by entities grasping at controlling our property taxes is unsustainable.

  1. Bond Transparency and Elections for those bonds to be held at the General Election and Remove the “Rolling Polling” option for School Districts– Municipal and School District Bonds pushed by corporations and lobbyists using tactics which are confusing to taxpayers. Information should be provided not only about the items covered on that bond but also for the amount of the debt already incurred and the total debt after the bond is approved, including interest.  Bond transparency is an important piece of addressing public school financing.

We believe in: “The laws of nature and nature’s God” and we support the strict adherence to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of Texas.

We believe in: Having an educated population, with parents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children.ist

Trustees are trained by corporate lobbyists and the same corporations fund the PaCS which push the bonds. This must stop. The debt we are leaving to the following generations is unsustainable

  1. Border Security/Immigration Enforcement – Includes refugee resettlement, sanctuary city ban, the ending of social welfare magnets, mandate of e-verify for government and the private sector.

We believe in: Americans having the right to be safe in their homes, on their streets, and in their communities; and the unalienable right to defend themselves.

                We believe in: Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom.

                A nation or a state without control of its borders will have a difficult time protecting the sovereignty which protects its citizens. We should know who is in our neighborhoods and our cities and on our roads.

  1. Transportation Reform – Toll cessation (toll removed when road is paid for), stop system financing in order to prevent perpetual taxation, stop diversion so gas taxes and all public road funds are used for non-toll roads only.

We believe in: A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.

Texans pay for infrastructure and perpetual taxation is not a Texas value. Texans also should own outright the roads we pay for with our taxes.

  1. Election Integrity – Reforms set forth by both Dr. Laura Pressley and Sen. Bob Hall

We believe in: “The laws of nature and nature’s God” and we support the strict adherence to the original intent of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and of Texas.

We believe in: Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom.

                Only citizens of our state and our nation must be allowed to vote in our elections. And the integrity of those elections must be unquestionable

  1. Secure the Texas Grid

We believe in: Preserving American and Texas sovereignty and freedom.

We trust Texas and Texans to protect our citizens from the damage caused by EMPs whether natural or attacks by another country.

  1. Dallas and Harris County Dept of Education  – abolish the power to levy property taxes and bonds (the last 2 in the state to have that power to levy)

We believe in: A free enterprise society unencumbered by government interference or subsidies.

Taxation must be brought before the taxpayers for approval. The unsustainable debt levels will be a burden on future generations.

 

Clear Lake Tea Party (CLTP,Inc) Board

Suezette Griffin – President

Connie Ratisseau –Vice President

Geri Bentley – Treasurer

Mary Huls – Secretary

Dale Huls – Board Member

Tanya Robertson – Board Member

Jean Casanave – Board Member

KC Broyles – Board Member