Calling all Liberty Republicans to activism on Constitutional Carry! It is time, right now, to get active. Please do not wait any longer. Call, or email, your Texas State Representative and Texas State Senator.
Liberty people have been trying to get out Texas Legislature to pass Constitutional Carry for years, and through those years, Texas has fallen behind 16 other states in recognizing the people’s right to be their own first defenders.
Constitutional Carry is based on the premise that if a person can legally own a gun, the person should be able to carry it to protect themselves, without filling out extra paperwork and paying fees. The fees are unnecessary and onerous to working men and women who want to protect themselves, their homes, their belongings, and their families.
When talking to your elected representatives, tell them you want House Bill 1238 passed. When talking to your senators, tell them you want them to vote for SJR 24, which is an amendment to the Texas Constitution filed by Senator Bob Hall, which would make a needed change to the Texas Constitution.
For years, the opposition has said allowing people to defend themselves would result in shootouts on the street. Yet since Alaska, the first state to pass a Constitutional Carry law in 2003, that has not happened.
Even the CDC study commissioned by the Obama administration clearly showed that in America guns are used hundreds of times more often in defense of family, home, and property than for violence.
Don’t let Texas keep falling behind! Call or email your representatives today.
Let’s talk about government spending, taxes, and government debt.
Maybe not sexy topics, but if we never actually talk about it - nothing changes because over-spending as gone on as long as I can remember.
First -- a truth, we cannot spend our way out of debt. For the record, Biden’s 1.9 trillion dollar Covid “rescue” plan is going to make ALL these current debt numbers increase. Please don’t stop here and think this is just an anti-Biden post. The debt and excessive spending happened under Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and so on. Democrats and Republicans.
For those of you who know me well- you know I find most taxes akin to armed robbery. Government forces people to pay them by threat. If you do not pay your taxes, the government sends armed people to arrest you and take away your freedom.
Then people we vote in to be the voice of the people generally end up increasing our debt. But for the sake of this blog post, let’s pretend we all agreed to take on the massive waste the government has spent our money on. And let’s pretend we have not all fallen prey to the mindset that it’s some other person’s responsibility, not mine!
I am not an accounting expert, a tax lawyer, or a lying politician who pretends we don’t all owe the money of our public debt. Nor am I a Socialist or Communist who does not believe in personal property or individual responsibility.
I bring a balance sheet mindset to this. I like budgets, like my home budget, that show I take in more than I spend. I work to pay down, not increase, debt, and I put some in savings for emergencies.
Looking at how much the government spends in our name annually gives you an idea of how much in taxes the government needs to collect (per person) to break even. To find these numbers, I checked government budgets and census data. They are open records. You can all look for yourself.
What were the expenses when looked at per person? (Note - not spent on that person. Some people cost more than others, like prison inmates, college students on government financial programs, and those whose main support is government assistance programs.) Plus we give away and loan a lot of money to foreign countries. I was going to say with no reasonable explanation, but there are reasons. After reading Confessions of an Economic Hitman, by John Perkins, in 2004, I no longer believe there’s “no reason.”
So what amount is spent on behalf of each US citizen annually? I am using my county, city & state as examples: Bexar County, City of San Antonio, State of Texas. Your actual amount will be determined by where you live:
US apx $14,500
Texas apx $4,000
Bexar County apx $1,200
CoSA apx $1800
Taxes paid —Taxes governments collect include the big three: income, property, and sales taxes. Through our incomes we also pay Social Security and Medicaid. Some other taxes collected include user fees to National and State parks, hunting and fishing licenses, car registrations, professional licenses, etc.
Income is self explanatory as we fill out annual reports to the IRS. Sales taxes include all those paid when buying anything taxable, but especially big ticket items, like cars and houses. Maybe some people keep a running total of what they’ve paid in sales taxes annually but I don’t. The number is a rounding of sales taxes collected divided by number of people. That figure rounds to $5,000 annually.
The average American income tax rate is 24 percent of income, but that’s not an honest look because the majority of income taxes are collected from the top one percent of income earners.
Median income tax collected is about 12 percent. Plus that is percentage not amounts. This is a rabbit hole to figure. But each person can look at their income tax documents themselves. They can answer for themselves and their families if the amount of total tax withheld is equal to $16,800 ($21,800-$5,000) each person in your family?
Average Federal Income tax paid 2019 was $15,000, so it’s a pretty sure bet your answer is no - you have not paid the average nor the amount needed to cover your share of the spending. (Median total paid is about $10,000 collected per household. But even the median household does not actually pay this. This is because the top 50 percent of earned income pay 97 percent of income taxes collected.)
If you are not paying at least $21,800 in taxes, per year, per individual in your family (income, property & sales), you are being carried by someone else.
(Full disclosure, that includes me. My income is nowhere near the top.)
It’s a pretty good bet that you, dear reader, like me, are helping increase the debt, and you should be looking for ways that the government could decrease spending. If you want an actual view of the National debt & your share of it, go to https://www.usdebtclock.org/ The numbers are scary. I owe more on my share of National debt ($84,000) as shown on the debt clock than I do on my house.
Although some people want other people to pay more without cutting wasteful spending. I do not like this approach because I do not believe it is fair. I have also been watching New Yorkers and Californians fleeing this type of increase-taxes-only-for-the-rich system, especially recently.
They don’t want to carry that many people who are not paying their share of costs. I don’t blame them. I know not everyone can pay the full amount, but every adult should pay some. No one should ever, for any reason, get more income tax back than they paid in.
To work toward balancing the budget, Ilike the cut-spending approach. When I do my budget at home and the cost of necessary things rises, I cut back on other things. It is a common sense approach.
Hey, government, stop giving money away stupidly on my behalf! Start with money to foreign countries while the US Debt grows and our borrowing from other countries leaves us vulnerable, then stop funding stupid research projects. End the wars. Cut back on who the government employs and on redundant agencies.
As far as wasted money for research - let me be clear. Not all research is wasteful. NASA does some great work with research money, developing usable items like tire treads that benefit us all. Some universities and science agencies have produced research that helps the US tremendously. I understand that the government gives monies to “trusted” universities, but when the universities allow that to be used for incredibly stupid research projects, perhaps they should completely lose their “trusted” status.
Senator Rand Paul does an annual Festivus Report on wasteful spending. It’s good information and available to view on the internet (a product of government research funding). This year, the report shows $54 billion in wasteful spending, including research projects.
Wasteful research? You ask. Well, I personally do not care what San Franciscans think of their edible cannabis products - or why stress makes people’s hair turn gray - or how long a lizard can walk on a treadmill. Maybe you do?
How I wish I were fabricating these research projects your tax money funded at these “trusted” universities.
So, what are some other fair means to even out this tax mess and get a handle on government spending and debt? (And think, reader, I’ve only addressed the national debt and wasteful spending.) I haven’t even mentioned school, city, county, or state “Bond” projects. They too are public debt.
You - as a member of the public - own - your share of that debt too! I live in San Antonio, not one of the top ten most in-debt cities in the US. If I lived in New York City, my share of the city debt would be more than $60,000! (after New York, Chicago, Honolulu, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Oakland, Portland, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Cincinnati round out the top ten in-debt cities.)
But, nationally, where could we cut spending? As stated earlier, we could spend less on our military by ending our involvement in wars. Bring our guys and gals home!
We could do away with Federal Agencies that are redundant to state ones, especially where the state one is the correct level for government control under the Constitution. (Examples include the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Human Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency.)
If we instituted a flat tax, we could eliminate more than half the IRS.
We could stop paying former and “retired” legislators big salaries plus travel expenses. (I don’t think any politician should be able to retire from their elected service, especially not when they continue to draw large amounts of money. We can ensure that stops by imposing term limits.)
We could insist that every employer who is hiring an undocumented person who does not pay income tax (but let’s be clear...about 70 percent of undocumented immigrants who work pay federal, state, and local taxes out of their paycheck)! For the 30 percent paid “under the table”, the average Federal, state, county, and municipal tax share for them... apx $21,800 annually ... is being skipped. That should be the minimum fine per employee (per number of years employed) if a company or person is found to be employing someone under the table.
That includes individuals who hire domestic help under the table.
If the employers had to pay actual fair wages and taxes, maybe they could see why enticing legal residents to do the work with livable wages is a bargain. And those people with now better paying jobs help lower the deficit for all of us by paying their taxes!
By the way, we need to put a stop to unpaid labor altogether, including internships, unpaid apprenticeships when the apprentice acts as helper, and volunteers in key positions for government entities. It is a dangerous precedent to expect people to work without pay.
Don’t get me started on prisons. We could save so much by not imprisoning non-violent offenders and declassifying marijuana as a Schedule One drug! Then there’s public and private prisons who gather government money to care for prisoners, then use the inmates for labor projects. That is a whole blog post on its own. I was appalled when I learned prisoners were released to work details against the fires raging in California, but paid between $2-5 dollars A DAY!
Yes, I want less government spending. No I do not include slave labor as a reasonable cost cutting measure.
Are there other fair means of doing something about wasteful spending? Of course! And each one should be considered on its merits. But we cannot keep going on the way we have been without doing something about the excess spending and increasing debt.
I think we can all agree that some things, like parks, museums, and schools have value in and of themselves, or for how they help society as a whole as investments in our future. But someone needs to consider how much money people running a museum make, especially if that museum relies on tax money to support it. The salaries of top administrators in school districts and public universities also need review. We have caps on government employee salaries, and if a museum or school or university is accepting tax money, the person running it should not be allowed to exceed those caps.
With our collective form of government comes individual responsibility for the collective debt. I am not comfortable in keeping my eyes closed and passing that debt onto my children and grandchildren. No one should feel that is a reasonable solution.
How the Republican Party Convention System is structured and how to advance
In the political arena, the RLC offers training to interested people in how to be effective activists, and how to navigate the Republican Party convention system. Conventions are held every other year - in election years. National presidential election years get bigger participation than non-presidential years.
The Republican Party is structured to be a ground up organization, something many people forget once they achieve standing in the - let’s call it management - level. Because of its structure, the Republican Party is a grassroots organization in both its Convention process and its management structure.
In the Convention process - Resolutions which can turn into Platform items which are a guide to candidates and can lead to Bills being written, begin at the Precinct Convention level.
After the primary voting places close, the Precinct Chairman (or whoever lives in the precinct that shows up) retrieves the Precinct Packet from the election judge at that precinct. Inside it are the script and items anyone needs to run a precinct convention.
First a sign-in sheet is made so it can be confirmed that anyone included in the precinct convention has voted in the Republican primary - or signed an oath of affiliation to the Republican Party. It is from this list, and from names previously collected from a precinct chair, that delegates and alternates are chosen to attend the next level of the convention process. The number of delegates and alternates each precinct is allowed is based on the number of Republicans who vote in that precinct.
Also at the Precinct level - Republicans bring forth Resolutions for vote. These resolutions reflect what the Republicans are concerned about. For example, at the last precinct convention where we had six people show up, I put forth a resolution calling for Texas Republican lawmakers to enact a state Constitutional Carry Bill.
Many resolutions are actually written by political organizations, so frequently at the next level the first step is tallying how many times the Resolution Committee has seen the same Resolution. That gives them a strong indication that it is actually something of concern to the Grassroots Republicans.
In most of Texas, the next level of Convention is the County Convention. In the bigger cities, or cities split between different State Senate Districts, the next convention is the Senatorial District (SD) Convention.
One of the first committees (which begin meeting in advance of the actual convention) is a Credentials Committee. Credentials verify that the delegates are actually Republicans who voted and were elected at the Precinct level to represent their precinct.
Committee chairmen are generally chosen by the management part of the Republican County and State representatives. Other committees include Organization, when & where meeting, setting up, etc, Rules Committee, what rules will the Convention use, & Resolutions. (Do not count any of the committees as unimportant - for example, who is allowed to speak to the conventioneers is determined by the organizational committee. How many delegates can speak on topics and for how long is determined by the rules committee, etc.)
At the (SD or County) convention, the delegates chosen at the precinct conventions will choose delegates to the Texas Republican Convention (largest political convention held in the United States). Delegates and Alternates attend the SD or County Convention….if a delegate does not show up, the Alternate is made into a Delegate and has voting privileges.
All committees and people chosen to run them are considered temporary.
When the body of delegates meet “permanent” people are selected. Additionally, anything the temporary committees agree upon can be changed when the actual convention begins. What will go forward to the Texas State Convention is what is adopted by the majority vote of the delegates. Who goes forward is people who ask to be delegates to the state convention and are voted on by the body. Again, the number of people sent to state from each of the smaller conventions depends upon the voting strength.
The Texas State Convention has all the same types of committees, and each committee has occasions for delegates, to be able to provide testimony, The resolutions that make it this far and are voted on by the body become the Texas Republican Party Platform.
At the Texas State Convention, delegates are elected to represent Texas at the National Repunlican Convention. These slots, and alternate slots, are highly coveted by activists - and a lot of campaigning takes place at Conventions. (Activists are always working on their political resumes. Are you a precinct Chair? What clubs/groups do you belong to? What leadership roles have you taken? Which campaigns did you assist with? What government positions have you held?)
State Convention is also where the Texas Republican Party chair and Vice chair are chosen by the delegates, as well as representatives to the state executive committee (one man and one woman from each of the state senatorial districts), and the National Committeeman and Committeewoman.
Why does the Liberty Caucus teach this process?
If you do not know what you are doing in the convention process, you cannot make changes to the party platform. Being involved in the process gives the RLC the chance to get Liberty-minded SREC members elected and resolutions into the platform.
What is a political caucus?
There are two definitions; the one that explains RLC is -
A meeting of supporters of a specific political party or movement. So, we are a group working within the Republican Party to advance Liberty issues.
The Republican Liberty Caucus is a Republican Party Coalition, composed of dues paying registered Republicans, and is often considered an intermediary step for bringing people into the party and teaching them how to assume leadership positions within the party. The Republican Party has many Auxiliaries and Coalitions besides us, including: Texas Young Republicans, Pachyderms, Republican Asian Assembly, etc. The RLC was founded in 1991 and at the Federal level functions as a Political Action Committee.
To the best of my knowledge, we have no Democrat counterpart.
We do work with some Libertarians and Independents. We worked on policy issues with many non-partisan organizations. We formed coalitions based on the policies we are trying to advance.
RLC has worked with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Current Liberty Caucus members in Congress include Thomas Massie from Kentucky and Tom McClintock from California. We have also worked with Representative Justin Amash, who left the Republican Party to become a LIbertarian.
To be Liberty Caucus
To be a Liberty candidate, a candidate must meet the standards of the Caucus, have a strong commitment to individual liberty, small government, and free enterprise. They must also be willing to agree to the Liberty Compact, which was inspired by the late Senator Barry Goldwater. It is a pledge to restore liberty, not restrict it; shrink government, not expand it; reduce taxes, not raise them; abolish programs, not create them; promote the freedom and independence of citizens, not the interference of government in their lives; and observe the limited enumerated powers of the Constitution, not ignore them.
But that moves into governance, and most people do not understand the difference between governance and politics.
Political Parties are private organizations.
Political Parties do not get funds from the government (which, of course, gets all its money from taxes) Political parties raise their own money and rely on voluntary membership. Unfortunately, we don’t actually teach the differences between political parties and government in high school, nor in most universities unless a student is majoring in political science.
Just the other day, a young man I know was lamenting how much money was wasted in political advertising. He said - look how many people they could be feeding with that money.
I explained to him that candidates raise their own money. That political parties do too, and it is not any more reasonable to expect political parties to spend money feeding people than it is to expect it of a football team
The RLC tries to get candidates who think like us in office, but our commitment is more toward advancing the policies we want to see made into Bills and Laws.
Sometimes you just have to say no.
This election season in San Antonio is one of those times.
Regardless of whether you are excited for a candidate, or if you have “noped” out of the opponent, there are Propositions on the ballot that a voter needs to consider.
Once you have voted for Federal, Texas, and Bexar County candidates (and you need to vote all the way down the ballot), depending upon which municipality within Bexar County that you live in, you have to keep going.
There are more than 20 incorporated entities in Bexar County, and this blog will not cover each one. Leon Valley residents, for example, have a ballot about twice as long as the rest of the areas.
For residents of San Antonio, voters will see three Propositions. They are beautifully worded to sound like you will be beneficent in voting for them. However, they are three taxes… and with the way the economy has been, you should just say no.
The first - Prop A - asks you to keep funding PreK4SA. This Pre-K program was started before the state required school districts to offer Pre-K.
As a taxpayer, you are now funding Pre-K programs through your school district taxes. The schools are the experts on education - not the city. The city’s program has become redundant.
And the city is currently shelling out about $40,000 per child per year in its PreK program.
We could be sending the kids to Ivy League universities for this.
If you vote yes, you are voting for taxpayers to pay twice for PreK. And the city program is the bloated one.
Prop B is another wonderfully sounding piece that asks you to fund a big, workforce program when Texas already has your tax dollars at work with the Texas Workforce Commission. The City of San Antonio added a component that again puts them in the position to fund education.
We have school districts and college districts - that you already fund with your tax dollars - offering similar services, including high school completion programs, GEDs, and job training.
Vote No to this redundancy.
A post-pandemic economy will require every one to buckle down and make do with less. It is patently unfair to burden struggling people with an additional tax to help a few live better.
Prop C has makes strong points asking you to redirect sales tax money the city already collects to public transportation projects. And in less economically strapped times, it may have more support. But right now - every single person and business in San Antonio has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. A No vote would be the first time in a long time that taxpayers in San Antonio actually got a tax break.
I do not want to allow Constitution Day to slip by without remark when there have been so many challenges during the Covid19 pandemic. But what can I add to the topic that has been covered by Time Magazine, numerous other magazines and newspapers, law reviews, and both the Constitution Center and the Heritage Foundation? What can I add that would top what Attorney General Barr said in his memo to the 94 US Attorneys? I’m no scholar. I’m just an American who loves her country as a nation built on a remarkable document. A document that is supposed to be the foundation of our system of law and order. When churches were told to shut down, I sputtered about Freedom of Religion as much as the next person. It took courts and attorneys to explain it away… Not really a violation. Wasn’t targeted at churches - but for all large gatherings. And, oh yeah, you can do that on-line. How do you do Baptisms on-line? How can we be free to associate, but not even allowed to visit our grandparents in nursing homes, or have a family barbeque on Labor Day? When the City of Houston waited until the last possible moment to cancel the Republican Party of Texas State Convention, I, like many, wondered how it could shut down political speech while allowing “protests” under the auspice of political speech? Still wondering. What criteria is set to determine which businesses are critical, and which can be forced to close? Many of those business owners lost their businesses because of government regulations without due process. And, frankly, much of what could stay open and what had to close seemed pretty arbitrary to me. Not gun stores and ranges, though, it made perfect sense to me given the civil unrest and government backing rioters over police. Guns are more important right now than ever before in my lifetime. And if you are going to buy guns, or take them out of the safe to protect yourself in uncertain times, you need to be able to go to the range and train. Some of the biggest battles are still brewing, including the power struggle between the President and Governors. The Tenth Amendment seems to back governors and local county and city officials in who determines what restrictions (like face masks, closures, and restriction of movement within an area) are appropriate. But what about personal liberty being shooed away under the CARES Act? You have no expectation of privacy if a federal agency, the CDC, can track everything you do and everywhere you go electronically. Will we all be forced to take a vaccine? There have already been some court challenges. I expect there will be more. I just hope we all can recognize the Constitution when this is all over.
I do not want to allow Constitution Day to slip by without remark when there have been so many challenges during the Covid19 pandemic. But what can I add to the topic that has been covered by Time Magazine, numerous other magazines and newspapers, law reviews, and both the Constitution Center and the Heritage Foundation?
What can I add that would top what Attorney General Barr said in his memo to the 94 US Attorneys?
I’m no scholar. I’m just an American who loves her country as a nation built on a remarkable document. A document that is supposed to be the foundation of our system of law and order.
When churches were told to shut down, I sputtered about Freedom of Religion as much as the next person. It took courts and attorneys to explain it away… Not really a violation. Wasn’t targeted at churches - but for all large gatherings. And, oh yeah, you can do that on-line.
How do you do Baptisms on-line? How can we be free to associate, but not even allowed to visit our grandparents in nursing homes, or have a family barbeque on Labor Day?
When the City of Houston waited until the last possible moment to cancel the Republican Party of Texas State Convention, I, like many, wondered how it could shut down political speech while allowing “protests” under the auspice of political speech? Still wondering.
What criteria is set to determine which businesses are critical, and which can be forced to close? Many of those business owners lost their businesses because of government regulations without due process. And, frankly, much of what could stay open and what had to close seemed pretty arbitrary to me.
Not gun stores and ranges, though, it made perfect sense to me given the civil unrest and government backing rioters over police. Guns are more important right now than ever before in my lifetime. And if you are going to buy guns, or take them out of the safe to protect yourself in uncertain times, you need to be able to go to the range and train.
Some of the biggest battles are still brewing, including the power struggle between the President and Governors. The Tenth Amendment seems to back governors and local county and city officials in who determines what restrictions (like face masks, closures, and restriction of movement within an area) are appropriate. But what about personal liberty being shooed away under the CARES Act? You have no expectation of privacy if a federal agency, the CDC, can track everything you do and everywhere you go electronically.
Will we all be forced to take a vaccine?
There have already been some court challenges. I expect there will be more. I just hope we all can recognize the Constitution when this is all over.
I am issuing a challenge to all Bexar Republican Liberty Caucus members, interested parties, and activists:
Influence five people to vote for candidates that will work toward Liberty Caucus goals. Bexar County has many good candidates downballot that need your help and support. Of those, 13 are running for judicial positions. Since they are not supposed to take sides on issues that may come before them, we have to base our assessment on past experiences.
Remember which ones you get to vote for depends on which precinct you live in, so to check your specific ballot go to Bexar County Elections web page.
Fortunately, all the Republican judicial candidates have experience. One of the primary things to remember is when these candidates served on the courts, justice moved more efficiently and cost taxpayers less.
The Republican candidates for courts:
Chief Justice Supreme Court Nathan Hecht
Justice Supreme Court Place 6 Jane Bland
Justice Supreme Court Place 7 Jeff Boyd
Justice Supreme Court Place 8 Brett Busby
Judge Court of Criminal Appeals Place 3 Bert Richardson
Judge Court of Criminal Appeals Place 4 Kevin Patrick Yeary
Judge Court of Criminal Appeals Place 9 David Newell
Chief Justice 4th Court of Appeals Renee Yanta
District Judge 37th Judicial District Joseph P. Appelt
District Judge 144th Judicial District Melissa Skinner
District Judge 386th Judicial District Daphne Previti Austin
District JUdge 399th Judicial District Walden Shelton
District Judge 407th Judicial District Stephani Walsh
What other Republicans are on your ballot besides president and senator?
There are five different U.S. Congressional Districts in the area that have Republican candidates. Keeping our current seats and flipping a few will help change who is Speaker of the House. That’s Nancy Pelosi right now, so you should see the urgency. Whichever of the Congressional Districts you live in - this candidate needs your help - phone calls, blockwalking, putting up signs, working at the campaign office, donating, fundraising.
CD20 Mauro Garza
CD21 Chip Roy
CD23 Tony Gonzales
CD28 Sandra Whitten
CD35 Jenny Garcia Sharon
Texas positions on the ballot also offer choices for people who can help advance freedoms on the state level. These campaigns also need your help. These candidates include:
Railroad Commissioner James “Jim” Wright
Member State Board of Education District 5 Lani Popp
State Senator District 19 Peter P. “Pete” Flores
State Senator District 21 Frank Pomeroy
State Representative District 116 Robert Litoff
State Representative District 117 Carlos Antonio Raymond
State Representative District 118 Adam Salyer
State Representative District 119 George B Garza
State Representative District 120 Ronald Payne
State Representative District 121 Steve Allison
State Representative District 122 Lyle Larson
Finally, positions that affect how Bexar County acts, how free we are, are held for County Positions. Two county-wide positions candidates:
Sheriff Gerard C “Gerry” Rickoff
County Tax Assessor-Collector Stephen David Pennington
Then Bexar County positions that depend upon the district you live in:
County Commissioner Precinct 1 Gabriel Lara
County Commissioner Precinct 3 Trish DeBerry
County Constable Precinct 2 Charlie Pena Jr
County Constable Precinct 3 Mark Vojvodich
County Constable Precinct 4 Larry Ricketts
When early voting opens Oct. 13 (and runs through Oct. 30) You need to be prepared, not only to vote, but to influence others to vote. If you cannot help at all before elections start, maybe you can volunteer to be outside a polling place encouraging voters to vote for specific downballot races. Many times these races could be won if it were not for undervotes.
It’s early September, and some activists - who maybe haven’t been very active lately due to the government’s pandemic response - are stirring and thinking maybe they should get active before the November election. At the end of this, I will list some important dates.
Yes. yes you should. And the time is now!
Here are some reasons to get busy now, and some ways you can help. I am focusing this article on Bexar County, but any of you from surrounding counties are encouraged to check your county elections page.
To officially sign people up to be registered voters, residents are asked to sign up to take a class. The classes are very small right now due to restrictions from government response to Covid19. Once you take the class and pass the test at the end of it, you swear in to be a Volunteer Deputy Registrars. They are entrusted with the responsibility of officially registering voters in the State of Texas. Current schedule has them Sept. 8, 15, 19.
You are required to sign up before the class, and because they are filling up fast, I suggest you call Bexar County Elections at 210-335-0371 now.
The final day to register and be eligible to vote in the November election is October 5.
Other ways you can help with the election - help keep it fair - help keep it safe - is to be an Elections Judge or Election Clerk. There is an application online (https://www.bexar.org/DocumentCenter/View/7390/Application-for-Election-Judge-or-Clerk?bidId) that you must complete and mail in or take to the office address listed at the bottom. Clerks and judges are paid position, and when you sign up you are making a commitment. Once they receive your application, they will schedule you for a training class. If become an election official, you will never again take these election workers for granted!
Both major political parties also get volunteer poll watchers to oversee election sites and keep the process fair. The Texas Secretary of State Elections Department has a downloadable guide for poll watchers (https://bexargop.org/resources/poll-watchers-guide/) Bexar County Republican Party Headquarters has volunteer forms so they can try to make sure there are poll watchers at every polling location. I recommend going to the office at 12000 Starcrest Drive, San Antonio, 78247. The HQ is open 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays) and Saturdays 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
In general, blockwalking a precinct, giving out information on candidates and reminding voters of dates and times for voting is each precinct chair’s primary duty. These precincts are large, though, and precinct chairs appreciate volunteers who come help them reach voters. However, every candidate also needs block walkers. These volunteers will cover areas where there is no precinct chair and knock on doors of swing voters to sway them to vote for the candidate.
Bexar County Republican Party Headquarters,call 210 824-9445 and ask to be put in touch with your precinct chair or the campaign for whichever candidate you want to help most.
Frequently, campaigns need someone to call voters. You’ve all gotten the calls… but if you experience it from the other side, realizing these are volunteers trying to help, you might learn an appreciation for them.
Volunteers will meet at headquarters to make these calls. Or, the campaign may give you a list of phone numbers to call from your own home.
October 5 - Final day that voter registration cards must reach Bexar County Elections to be eligible to vote in this election.
October 23 - Last day to have a vote by mail application reach Bexar Elections. Voting by mail is open for people who will be out of town during early voting, who are disabled, who are age 65 or older, or who are in jail.
October 19-30 - Polls are open during this timeframe (most days) to vote in the election
November 2 - Election Day
Stuck at home but still wanting to help secure your rights? Willing to fight for liberty from your living room while wearing pajamas? We all work with what we can, right?
You’ve taken your first step. You joined the Texas Republican Liberty Caucus, maybe through a chapter. Maybe you’re pretty far away from a chapter and feeling a little alone. But you’re not really. There’s a hoard of Liberty peeps sitting behind our laptops, scrolling our social media, and trying to find ways to help.
In non-pandemic years, fighting for liberty may include making in-person visits to your local and state representatives, testifying to committees in Austin, attending town-hall meetings, city council meetings, or County Commissioners Court. These days many have moved onto on-line forums… which you can attend on-line.
So the first thing you need to do is go to https://wrm.capitol.texas.gov/home - that stands for “Who Represents Me” on the Capitol website. That will give you the list from US Congressman, Texas Representative, Texas Senator, State Board of Education, and, of course, your two Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.
If you live in a city whose council members are elected by district, you can go to your city’s website and find that person too - and the mayor. In your county, you’ll have someone on your Commissioner’s Court, the County Judge, and the Sheriff. These are all elected officials who are tasked with upholding the Constitutions of Texas and the US.
One more thing, go to your Republican Party headquarters (most have websites) or call, and find out who is your County Chair is, then find your precinct chair. If you don’t have a precinct chair - volunteer to be it. Attend your County meetings. Meet the candidates for various positions. If you find some you like, volunteer to their campaign.
In all, you are becoming more informed. If something seems hinky, speak up on line in the Texas RLC members forum and ask for help understanding what’s going on.
This forum is also a good place to find out about action items. That’s when you write an email or call the offices of the state or local people trying to tramp on your rights and remind them that they are not our leaders, they are our representatives.
If you live close to one of the chapters, get in touch with them. Find out what kinds of tasks they need help with. Volunteer.
If you don’t live near a chapter, but have at least four friends who think like you and want to form a chapter, there are links on www.RLCTexas.net that will help you do that. So will the state board members.
Good luck to you as you become an informed, involved citizen. We’re here when you need us.
“That’s not the proper function of government!” I find myself saying too often.
Our Constitutional Republic, our form of government, supposedly limits the amount of power any one person has over “We the People.” You remember from high school or college classes: Three branches of government, checks and balances, individual liberty. So why are we being locked down, locked out of peaceful gatherings, masked, unemployed, businesses shuttered, church congregations unable to meet due to a Governor’s Executive Order? Can one man write law? Are doctors and scientists suddenly empowered to rule the people due to a disease? Are our Texas and U.S. Constitution suspendable in a pandemic? How much freedom are we willing to abandon because people are protesting, some violently? Why are the non-protesters being asked to stay home or avoid areas instead of limiting the spread and destruction of the protests? Are you willing to give up the small gains we have made on gun rights in Texas? Do you want the government to hire tech companies to trace your every move through contact tracing? How secure will that be? How much privacy are you willing to waive? Should the government – or you and your doctor – determine how and with what medicine you can be treated if you get sick?
Henry David Thoreau wrote, “There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly.”
I lie awake at night wondering if I have ever seen our freedom so imperiled in my life. But I am only one voice. One email. One phone call. As a member of a group, the Republican Liberty Caucus, my one voice can become more, stronger, united for our rights. Are you willing to join your voice to ours? Join us – the Republican Liberty Caucus – to be part of the organized defense of Liberty. There is so much to do and not enough hands willing to work. Together we can mount verbal offenses against the forces that want to ignore that each of us has independent power and authority over our own lives.
Bexar County Regional Representative – Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas
We have all heard the term “draining the swamp” as applied to politics and politicians in Washington D.C. - and I get it. Afterall, our country’s Capitol was actually built on a drained swamp. But allow me, please, to bring a more at-home analogy that moms and grandmoms all over this country can relate to.
It is about bathroom etiquette.
Items every new apartment dweller or homeowner should buy are a bathroom plunger and a toilet brush. These are necessary tools and play a large part of bathroom etiquette in the United States. If you are wondering why, then you obviously were not raised right. This is much more important than whether you replace the toilet paper roll correctly (But if you don’t replace it at all, that’s comparable in the lack of manners you are displaying.)
You see, when things are put into the toilet by whatever means - by you - it is your moral duty to make sure that they get flushed away leaving that toilet bowl reasonably clean for the next person. Like bad legislation should be cleaned up by whoever writes it.
Sometimes, unfortunately, the bathroom byproducts leave skid marks - and it’s your duty to use that scrub brush and flush again. Do not leave your mess for someone else to clean up.
Sometimes the load exceeds the out capacity of the toilet and the drain gets clogged. That’s when it becomes your duty to employ the plunger and fix the problem.
If you don’t - and no one else does it for you - the byproducts continue to build up, spill over, stink up the place, and leave things pretty much uninhabitable for everyone.
This is similar to the problem we have been seeing in our Legislative Branch of government.
Our Representatives and Senators seem to think someone else - someone not them - is supposed to unclog the legislative toilet that they have been trying to flush more and more Bills down. Most of them never even look to see if there wasn’t already too much for the outflow to handle.
One really important reminder to our legislators is - stop piling more in there if there’s already enough. It just gets uglier if you do.
There are currently so many laws on the books that no one can even give a straight answer about how many Federal Laws there are. Going back to the toilet analogy...think of them as toilet paper. Too much toilet paper will definitely clog up the system. And if you don’t get rid of some of it, you surely should not add more. Before you know it the whole septic tank, or wastewater management system becomes overwhelmed.
For the safety of keeping the waste system of our country healthy, perhaps no new law should be proposed unless the author and co-signers can name two laws that can be done away with.
It’s good toilet etiquette after all.
And wash your hands.
Bernie Sanders proposes we increase the federal minimum hourly wage from $7.25 to $15.00. A professed socialist, Sanders feels doubling our current “starvation wage” would aid “struggling workers.”
Is he right? Let’s examine both arguments.
Argument #1: Entry-level workers earn a “starvation wage”
Thankfully, in 2015, most entry-level workers received some form of non-hourly bonus pay, tips, or overtime. Each month pet shampooers take home $1,594, amusement park attendants $1,663, and farm workers $1,670. All earn more than $19,000 per annum. (Houston Chronicle).
People of good conscience agree it’s tough to live on such a limited budget. We feel compassion when fellow Americans must dedicate 40% of each paycheck to rent and utilities. Nevertheless, a look at recent history keeps the situation in context. In 1989, the minimum wage was $3.35 per hour. Entry-level workers earned less than $7,000 per year – or $13,500 in today’s dollars. If $19,000 is really a “starvation wage,” how did anyone survive the 80s?
Today’s minimum wage and entry-level workers do struggle, but they struggle to afford Netflix, video games, jewelry, Nike shoes, and cable TV. These workers’ standard of living differs radically from the portraits of deprivation that progressive activists peddle. In 2005, the typical minimum-wage-earning household owned a car and enjoyed air conditioning. Today, the average entry-level worker has at least one color television, subscribes to cable or satellite TV, and owns a smartphone. The majority of poor households have an Xbox or PlayStation; their kitchens contain refrigerators, ovens, stoves, and microwaves. Most own washing machines (83%), clothes dryers (79%), and ceiling fans (70%). Low-income Americans are not starving; to the contrary, most are overweight. Wages are inversely related to obesity– meaning low-wage workers exhibit higher body-mass index (BMI) and greater incidence of corpulence and Type 2 Diabetes. (Kim & Leigh, 2010). To find widespread starvation, look to socialist Venezuela.
Argument #2: Doubling the minimum wage helps poor workers
Doubling the minimum wage will destroy millions of entry-level jobs, tempt Americans to drop out of school, and exacerbate the culture of dependency. Mr. Sanders’ idea will harm many more poor workers than it will help.
The Law of Supply and Demand says increasing the minimum wage nearly always eliminates jobs. Studying Economics at Harvard, I learned: when a wage floor is above market equilibrium, the quantity of labor supplied exceeds the quantity demanded. This creates unemployment. To quote Professor Mankiw, “When a minimum wage law forces labor prices above the level where supply and demand balance, it creates a surplus that disproportionately impacts the least skilled and least experienced members of the labor force.” Every first year Econ student knows “too many workers chasing too few jobs” yields an unemployment crisis. While increasing the minimum wage raises the income of those workers who keep their jobs, it slashes the income of men and women who lose or cannot find jobs, with the greatest burden falling on low-skilled workers.
When the government increases labor costs, some firms become unprofitable, shrink, or close. Unscrupulous outfits move jobs offshore or hire undocumented immigrants paid less than the legal minimum. The number of jobs destroyed depends on the magnitude of the wage increase: a small rise eliminates just a few jobs, a larger increase kills millions. The CBO asserts a $10 minimum wage would shrink our workforce by 500,000 jobs. A $12 minimum would eliminate 1.3 million. The number destroyed by a 105% wage increase would be colossal – probably more than 3.4 million! Even the liberal Washington Post admits, “a $15 minimum —more than double the current federal level — would likely throw many, many people out of work.”
In addition to depressing the quantity of labor demanded, wage hikes increase the quantity supplied. If we double the minimum wage, many high school and college students will quit school to pursue $15/ hour employment. These dropouts tend to displace low-skilled workers, who often become “permanently unemployed.”
For argument’s sake, let’s assume doubling the minimum wage won’t destroy millions of jobs. Even in that fantasy world, Sanders’ plan can’t produce the effect he imagines. Less than 35% of minimum-wage earners support families living below the poverty line; more are middle- and upper-class teens working part time. While these kids would love to see their wages double, it will not help them escape poverty or avoid starvation.
Americans without marketable skills benefit when companies can hire them cheaply and train them. Their experience and skill level grows, opening the door to more lucrative jobs. If companies must pay $15 per hour, few will hire untrained workers.
Simply put, we cannot afford to surrender 3.4 million jobs. The number of Americans “not in the labor force” has already surpassed record levels. Adding millions more to the welfare rolls weakens our nation, and the consequences for low-skilled workers are catastrophic. The evidence is clear: when we lose jobs, we lose hope. A man who’s employed, even at minimum wage, has responsibilities. He has dignity. As a Wal-Mart corporate executive, I met several store managers who started as minimum-wage workers and rose up through the ranks. A woman with an entry-level job can work hard, show initiative, and be promoted. A man earning minimum wage today can get a raise tomorrow. But people on welfare will never be promoted. Tragically, millions of Americans have become “unemployable” – having sat out of the workforce for so long, their skills are obsolete. Many laid off workers wreck their futures by making bad lifestyle choices. All too often, a man with no job responsibilities wastes his life in drugs and drink. Unable to secure legitimate income, some resort to illegal channels. Double the minimum wage and millions will fall idle, despair, and succumb to the temptations of substance abuse and crime (CNN Money, 2013). As Princeton economics professor Alan Krueger, a progressive democrat, has warned: “the push for a nationwide $15 minimum wage strikes me as a risk not worth taking.”
Doubling the minimum wage is a terrible, dangerous idea. Let’s create good jobs instead.
Submitted by Catherine O’Gorman Barranco
A.B. (Economics, Harvard), M.Phil (Economics, Oxford)
The best place to start a discussion about the party platform is to define it. I went to Merriam Webster's. “A political party platform is a list of the values and actions which are supported by the members of the political party, in order to appeal to the general public, for the ultimate purpose of garnering the general public's support and votes about complicated topics or issues.”
In other words, the platform informs the public about stances on issues in order to convert new people to them as rallying points. A party platform is not, nor should it be, Martin Luther’s 95 theses. A platform is also not a litmus test to keep others out. If it is used to chase people away, we will lose because we know political parties that aim for inclusion perform well while parties that promote narrow ideologies attract only the support of the insiders.
Others think a party platform tells elected officials what to do – what the governed have agreed to – they think it’s a contract. It isn’t. Most elected officials never intended to adhere to it – and how could they when planks within it are contradictory?
Even though it is not yet time to send up written resolutions, the Republican Party of Texas has begun the process of determining how the platform should be constructed, perhaps because Chairman Tom Mechler saw the long document from 2012 double in size to a 40-page monstrosity of conflicting stances in 2014.
Need an example of contradiction? The platform states the Republican Party’s number one goal should be to limit the expanse of government power before going on to include about fifty planks, many of which call for laws to be written that will increase government control over individual citizens.
We in Bexar Republican Liberty Caucus applaud the Chairman for taking a closer look at the platform’s structure, and we ask other Republicans to consider helping to build a platform on the items that bring us together into the big tent.
The "war on terror" will soon be 14 years old and, despite trillions of dollars spent and more than a million lives extinguished, it looks like a war without an end.
According to Kentucky Republican Congressman Thomas Massie, Congress and the American people are executing that war without vital information found in 28 classified pages of a 2002 Congressional intelligence inquiry—pages that outline foreign government ties to the 9/11 hijackers and are said to implicate U.S. "ally" Saudi Arabia.
Congressmen Thomas Massie has read the 28 pages and described them as "shocking." He said, "I had to stop every couple pages and...try to rearrange my understanding of history."
Speaking at a recent press conference introducing a Senate bill to compel President Obama to declassify the 28 pages, Massie said, "Some of the best intelligence we have is in these 28 pages and most of our colleagues in the House have not read them, yet they're pretending to be informed."
Neither John Cornyn nor Ted Cruz has cosponsored that Senate bill (S.1471), which was introduced by Rand Paul. Of the several Bexar County House representatives, only Democrat Lloyd Doggett has stepped up to cosponsor H.Res.14, a similar piece of legislation in the House.
After repeated questioning from a Bexar County RLC member that spanned months, Congressman Lamar Smith's staff finally admitted their boss hadn't read the 28 pages—which is particularly disappointing considering Smith sits on the Homeland Security Committee.
The growing movement to declassify the 28 pages is bipartisan in its sponsorship on Capitol Hill and in its support among the American people. In the interest of transparency and helping the American people reach informed conclusions about the war on terror, the Bexar County Republican Liberty Caucus calls on all Texas legislators to read the 28 pages and to help release them.
For more on this critical issue, including guidance on contacting legislators to build support for the declassification effort, visit 28Pages.org.
Senate Bill 11 is still making its way through the houses of the Texas Legislation this session with so much misinformation that it warrants some discussion. Just recently, one college professor I spoke to about the proposed law became almost hysterical. He said he didn't want all those teenagers on his campus running around with guns. He didn't want to hear that his reasoning didn't even vaguely resemble the law under consideration.
SB11 addresses allowing licensed CHL holders to carry on campus. In Texas that means 21-year-old or older, or active military, who establish the residency requirement, pass a background check for criminal activity (more than a Class C misdemeanor) or psychiatric treatment, who have taken the class, passed the written test, demonstrated handgun proficiency, and paid for their license to carry a handgun concealed on campus. That did not include a bunch of teenagers wielding AK47's by my understanding.
Why might a non-criminal adult want to carry on a campus?
Most Texans have the UT of Austin massacre somewhere in their mind, but that incident was in 1966. A look at the last 15 years in the United States shows 21 campus gun incidents that resulted in more than one death or injury and did not include campus police. Those 21 incidents resulted in 81 deaths and 92 injuries that could have been mitigated if the people on campus could have been armed.
Now some campus police commanders have said that might result in more single-incident occurrences of gun shots on campus as potential sexual assault victims protect themselves by shooting. I, personally, do not see the downside of that and will be quite happy to have a decrease in the number of successful sexual assaults on Texas college campuses. But that's a different blog.
If you have a few minutes, call your representatives and senators to let them know you support making college students who have a CHL not be sitting ducks on our campuses.
Car loans, student loans, mortgage payments, credit card debt, these are all things almost every American household juggles each month to pay. Very few of us live without some form of indebtedness, and we most likely all know at least a few people who have had to declare bankruptcy at some time.
If you’re one of the people struggling to meet your own debts, this blog post is going to stress you even more. You see, you don’t just owe your personal debts. Each one of us shares some of the responsibility for public debt as well. As of May 19, 2015, the federal debt per person is more than $56,000. (So if you are a family of four, multiply that by four.)
However, public debt isn’t just Federal. Residents of San Antonio each owe more than $7,100 because the city is more than $9 billion in debt. Without exact resident numbers and debt for Bexar County, all that I can say is the County budget included debt service in 2014-2015 of $125.8 Million. That’s what it takes to keep Bexar County current on what it owes, not to pay it off.
The more debt a country, county or city holds, the less money it's able to put away in savings or to reinvest in itself. We have been asked time after time to “invest” in our city, county or school district by passing bonds, but each bond puts us more in debt. The repayment of those debts and interest rates on them make it even more difficult to put money aside for emergencies which results in more need to borrow. It’s a vicious circle.
Worse than the circular reasoning is the idea that we can get what we want now and pass on the debt to the next generation. Sometimes families have to say, no; we cannot afford that right now. Additionally, many of these emergency and building bonds aren’t really emergencies. They come about because officials have made poor judgements in the past and because they have not made plans to save for obvious future needs. There’s an old saying that applies - poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.
It is time for voters to learn to say no too. It is time for voters who are asked to pass this city bond or that school district bond because “it’s for the children” to realize that they are putting chains of indebtedness on those same children. It is also time to pay better attention to who we choose to represent us at every level of government. Let’s try to get some who know how to plan for the future instead of continuing to increase the debt.
Some basic principles must be in play before a society can be defined as free. One of those is that every person is treated equally under the law. No one should be above the law, and no citizen or group of citizens should be singled out from being protected by that law.
Equality is not an easy principle and was one of the root causes of the Civil War when the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, emancipated the slaves. So when Liberty Republicans hear “How can you call yourself a Republican and support gay marriage?!” that is doubly puzzling. The correct response should be “How can you stand against equal application of law and call yourself a Republican?”
The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution makes it clear that if there is a law, it must apply equally to all American citizens. The Liberty view of marriage, then, is either stop having the government license marriage, allowing each religion to define it as they see fit (meeting all other laws that apply as to age of consent), or apply marriage laws equally to all adult citizens regardless of factors like gender.
Liberty Republicans generally believe each religion should be free---as assured by the First Amendment---to marry or not marry a couple, regardless of race or gender.
Now, since very few discussions of gay marriage or freedom of religion can take place without talking about it, Liberty Republicans oppose non-discrimination laws that prevent people from practicing their religion and following their conscience freely. In that, we frequently run afoul of people who ask us if that stance would have allowed continued discrimination of races during the Civil Rights era. (Note, Civil Rights laws were another Republican-led crusade.)
There I would point out that cities, school districts, and states had laws that segregated people by race. There's a difference between a public institution practicing discriminatory policies in our names, and an individual or private business doing so with their own property. If Joe Smith wants to have a private lunch room that does not serve blacks, or women, or gays – if Joe Smith did not receive any state or government funding – then he should be allowed to have his bigoted lunchroom.
I just hope he would post his policy in his store front window, so I could be sure not to spend my money there.
Sticker shock is what thousands of Bexar County homeowners felt as they opened their 2015 Notice of Appraised Value. While the county politicians pretend they did not raise taxes, the increase in appraised values of homes is in fact a tax increase. In some cases, that increased value is more than ten percent.
But I use the term “homeowner” loosely.
The right to own property is a cornerstone of any free society, but do we actually own our property? City ordinances determine how many pets you can have, where and what you can build on your property, how many and what kind of poultry you can raise. Try not mowing, you’ll see what power the city has.
Cities aren’t the only entities taking away private property rights. The county, school district, river authority, health system, and college district are slicing away too. Consider this, even if you owed nothing to any bank for your place, you still have to pay property taxes or you lose your home. Lose, as in, government authorities will seize it, throw you out, and auction it.
Homeowners also lose their homes when the city decides it needs it for “public projects.” People who live outside of some of these tax districts lose their right of refusal when the city annexes their areas.
Most of us purchase homes for a sense of security. We purchase them with money that we earn through jobs or investments. That money is taxed. In effect, property taxes are additional taxes on what you purchased with money that was already taxed.
Government officials know this and that’s why they freeze taxes when the owner hits retirement age. They know too many people on fixed incomes cannot afford the extra ten percent tax raising your home value adds. They think this makes them good guys, but what about younger families with children who are barely getting by? Are they not entitled to the American Dream?
Bexar County and the other taxing entities are all banking on doing this because they don’t think the majority will protest. Every single one of you reading this should. Turn over the form, fill it out and send it in. Or go on-line and E-file. Make them prove their assessment and show them that you know what they are doing.
Property Tax Remedies
Notice of Protest Form
Hearing Request Form
Voters in San Antonio have three Charter Amendments to consider when early voting in the May 9 election begins on April 27. Charter Amendment One will build a roadblock to the city’s ability to make a light rail system without bringing it to the people for a vote; Charter Amendment Two deals with paying the council members and mayor; and Charter Amendment Three deals with how empty council seats will be handled in the future.
Whatever your personal view of a light rail system, the voters have made it clear three times that they do not want city funds to go toward building it. This charter amendment figuratively shouts of being tired of the entire discussion by making it impossible for the city to alter the roads, grant right-of-ways, or pass bonds for a light rail system without bringing it back during an election. It would take a stone-deaf city council or employee to want to try again any time soon. We, in the Liberty Caucus, hear you! N-O means NO! There will be some who don’t like this, but they’d be foolhardy to fight for something when the people have their ears flat and their feet dug in.
The second charter amendment deals with changing the structure of the city government on a fundamental level. The Mayor of San Antonio and Council Members will no longer be volunteers if this passes. Instead the council will receive a salary based on the median income for residents, and the Mayor will get that plus thirty-five percent. A person’s kneejerk reaction might be to say no to this based on the idea that it saves the city money, but Liberty people believe in fairness. Because over time the council’s responsibilities have grown to where they spend more than forty hours a week doing the job, we say a worker should be paid. The city can find the money in the budget by cutting unessential items. Let’s hope that this opens the door for people who don’t have the financial backing of special interest groups to represent us on the council.
Charter Amendment three will ensure that council positions that become vacant – that have 120 days remaining before an election – will be filled by the people in that district during a special election. Elected representation…who opposes that? For the record, not us!
Early voting in May 9 city elections is starting April 27. With so many cities and so many candidates, we Liberty folks want to point out that there are other issues on the ballot too - issues that affect local liberty.
For example, the City of San Antonio wants us to vote on allowing them to create an Edwards Aquifer Protection Venue Project which includes additional sales taxes for five years. So first thing to note, this raises taxes. Yes, it supposedly has a time limit, but the number of times these additional taxes actually end of going away once instituted – abysmally low.
Here's how the proposition is described: Revenue from the (.0125) sales tax would be used to finance, fully develop and implement the Edwards Aquifer Protection Venue Project to preserve open space and protect the Edwards Aquifer water supply. It is designed to earmark 100 million dollars of sales tax revenue for water protection and land preservation and acquisition.
This initiative is closely tied to the second proposition. If approved, Prop 2 earmarks 80 million dollars of sales tax revenue to continue building the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail system. That includes areas where the city has already said it is willing to use eminent domain to take other people's property - for the good of the many.
Most Liberty people will agree that neighbors who want to tell you what to do with your property, whether it's for your own good or the good of the community, are uncomfortable neighbors! AND governments who want come in and take over land because they can use it better are uncomfortable governments.
We believe in property rights. We also believe in holding taxes as low as possible, not increasing them.