By: Jared Woodfill – Email Chairman, Harris County Republican Party
Dear Harris County Republicans,
This month we report on the upcoming local city and school board elections on May 11th, our 2013 Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner is a sellout thanks to your support, President George W. Bush's Library is dedicated with all living Presidents attending the event, the President joined Governor Perry at the West, TX memorial service to honor those fallen in the disaster, the HCRP Advisory Board met setting the agenda for the upcoming Executive Committee meeting on May 6th, a report on our latest town hall, a panel discussion about the factions of the Republican Party hosted by the Clear Lake Area Republicans, an award for Judge Judy Warne of the 257th District Court, the Funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher with full military honors and attendees from around the world and some important issues ongoing in the Texas Legislature.
Local City and School Elections – Every Vote Matters!
Early Voting Begins: Monday April 29, 2013
Election Day: Saturday, May 11, 2013
These races are all non-partisan and the Harris County GOP has made no endorsements. We have listed the candidates for these races on our website and posted their Primary Voting History as either Republican or Democrat. If there is no designation, we could not locate a Primary voting record for that person. We have also included candidates from Ft. Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, and Montgomery Counties because Harris County voters are included in some of the districts. Very few people ever vote in these local races which means every vote has a major impact. Please Go Vote!
We are so excited about tonight. We know you all will really enjoy the event and get to hear directly from our Senators about the fight for our liberty in Washington. There is no drive-by Media reporting for this event, just good conservative values. Please remember the receptions will begin at 6:00 pm and the dinner and program will be at 7:00 pm. Some have asked about the attire: business dress. The HCRP office will close at 3:00 pm today to allow our staff time for final preparations. See you all there.
President George W. Bush Library Dedication
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum held its dedication ceremony yesterday with all five living Presidents in attendance. The library is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University which is where First Lady Laura Bush attended. The event attracted a crowd of 10,000 people including many former Bush administration officials and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Despite President Obama's controversial remarks to push his immigration plan at the ceremony, the event was a wonderful tribute to President Bush. In his own remarks he described his delight that his father was able to see this day. Video clip of President Bush's full remarks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brsZpRNOgLU
The President at the Memorial for West, TX
Thousands gathered yesterday including President Obama, Governor Perry and 4,000 first responders at the Ferrell Center on the campus of Baylor University to remember those killed from the plant explosion that devastated the town of West. The 12 flag-draped coffins of the firefighters killed were laid at the base of the stage. A total of 14 lives were lost that day. President Obama also flew around West several times in Marine 1 to inspect the massive damage the town suffered. During the memorial Gov. Perry said, "First-responders know better than anyone that there's no such thing as a routine emergency, but it didn't slow them down as they raced toward that burning factory."
HCRP Advisory Board Met
The Harris County Republican Party's Advisory Board met last week to set the agenda for the next Executive Committee of the precinct chairs in the county. That meeting is Monday, May 6th on the HBU campus starting at 6:00 pm. The approved meeting call of the Advisory Board has been sent to all precinct chairs via the postal service.
The Texas Legislature has reached the point where they are voting on bills that have survived the long journey through the committees and we are getting a better picture of what bills could become law. We had a solid turnout from our last town hall representing the Alief, Sharpstown, and Westchase communities. There was much discussion especially with the near passage of ObamaCare by the Texas House. Our next Town Hall will be in Spring in the north part of Harris County. The location and time will be announced later.
Also this last Monday, I was a guest of the Clear Lake Area Republicans for their panel discussion about the different factions found within the Republican Party. I was joined by members of the Tea Parties, the Liberty Caucus and Galveston County GOP Chair Barbara Meeks. The discussion showed that there are more points of unity than disagreement. This should then allow us to focus on the real battle which is with the Democrats. A big thank you to the Clear Lake Area Republicans for all their work in putting on the event and for including me in the discussion.
Congratulations to Judge Judy Warne, 257th District Court
The State Bar of Texas honored Judge Warne with a "Standing Ovation Award" for her volunteer work in legal education. According to TexasBarCLE Director Patrick Nester, those that receive this award do so because "they not only give enormously to our efforts, but also were gracious, easy to work with, and – oftentimes – helped us out in a real pinch." Judge Warne is yet another example of Republican Judges bringing integrity to the benches of Harris County.
Funeral for PM Margaret Thatcher
Former British Prime Minister Lady Thatcher was given a funeral with full military honors last week. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of London to pay their respects to the Iron Lady as the carriage carried her casket to St. Paul's Cathedral. Representing the United States were former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and Houstonian James Baker, along with three members of the House of Representatives. First Lady Nancy Reagan was not physically able to make the trip. This was the first time the Queen had attended a funeral of a prime minister since Winston Churchill in 1965. It was a beautiful ceremony for Lady Thatcher.
Issues in the Texas Legislature
Texas Lottery The Lotto is died then brought back to life in a crazy day in the Texas House. This week the House took up a bill to reauthorize the Texas Lottery Commission for an additional 12 years, but was voted down to the shock of everyone by a vote 65 to 81. Then they all went to lunch. They came back and voted to keep the Lottery 92 to 53. Speaker Strauss did some work during lunch to change minds saying a No vote would also outlaw church charity bingo games and cut $2 billion from education. The bill still required one final vote of the House which took place the next day and passed with amendments 88 to 54. One of the amendments creates a commission to plan for the phase out of the lottery. The official position of Texas Republicans is to disband the lottery and to not expand gambling in Texas.
Payday Loans The Texas Senate passed a bill to provide tough new regulations on short-term loans as they often charge sky-high fees of nearly 1000% according to the bill's author Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas). This puts tremendous pressure on the poor and in many times they are allowed to repay the loans only in full rather than with payments. This bill would cap fees at 36%, allow loans to be paid in installments, and provide relief against unlawful payday lenders in civil court. The bill now moves to the House.
Jumbo-Trons Paid by Taxpayers The Texas Senate passed a bill to end the use of the Major Events Trust Fund, supplied with taxpayer dollars, to purchase and install massive upgrades in sporting venues such as jumbo-trons. This use of tax money has caused a lot of controversy after Houston news ABC13 first broke the story. The Legislature has been swift to act on this. We are currently waiting for a vote in the House.