Voices Empower


Date posted: July 31, 2011

Ken Mercer 

Member: Texas State Board of Education

Former Member: Texas State House




Ken Mercer Responds to  

Editorial Board  

(Op-Ed Submission to San Antonio Express-News)

Thank you for allowing me to respond to your editorial in which you referred to me as a conservative ‘zealot” on the State Board of Education (SBOE). 

 True, I will not always agree 100% with academic “experts” who come before the SBOE.  True, there is a “culture war” of political ideology and philosophy, especially in the area of new standards for American History, Government, and Economics. 

It might interest members of the Chamber of Commerce to know that “experts” had deleted every reference to the free enterprise and free market system in the K through Grade 12 draft version of the Social Studies standards. 

Because I certainly could not agree with these “experts,” I successfully brought forward and passed the amendment, complying with Texas law, to restore the teaching of the positive benefits of the free market for creating jobs and opportunities. 

Another example: A panel of university “experts,” led by a professor from the University of Texas at El Paso, voted 8-1 against American Exceptionalism.  When I questioned that action at a public SBOE hearing, the “expert” immediately launched into a lecture about how wonderful Socialism is in a “good democracy.” 

When I asked the UTEP professor for his example of a good democracy, he replied “Venezuela.”  I reminded him that the President of Venezuela has made sure that the state has control of every newspaper, radio, and television station in that country. 

One Ph.D.  “expert” testified that “high school students are unqualified to ask questions.”  I countered that if our children are no longer allowed to raise their hands in class and ask honest questions, then we are no longer living in a place called the United States of America. 

A professor from the University of Texas at Austin shared a survey that included 51 professors from the History Department.  Fifty answered “Democrat” when asked their political affiliation.  

While we SBOE members were searching for examples of good role models for our minority students, one “expert” pushed for a current board member of the Democrat Socialist Party of America.  My amendment deleted the Socialist and added Navy Seaman Philip Bazaar, the first Hispanic recipient of the Medal of Honor, and Army Sgt. William Carney, the first African-American recipient of the Medal of Honor.

Finally, “experts” deleted Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, and the Liberty Bell from the Grades 3-4 Social Studies standards.  “Experts” also raised a concern about the use of the word “patriot” in the new standards. 

 My fellow Conservatives and I carried the amendments to restore the coverage of Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, and the Liberty Bell along with many other essential historical elements of America’s history, such as including the word “patriot.”   

I also voted to ensure that from K-12, as age appropriate, our students will actually read and study the authorship and purpose of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.  Our Texas school students will also study the impact those documents had on such historical milestones as the Emancipation Proclamation and women’s suffrage. 

I am sad to report that too many university “experts” range from being America bashers to America haters.  Unfortunately this editorial board blindly sides only with those types of “experts.” 

I often state, “The Far Left is scared to death of a place called Texas.”  Why?  Texas has an elected SBOE, not a politically appointed board.


I am a representative of 1.8 million constituents in a very conservative district, and I am not a rubber stamp for the agenda being directed at our public school students by the “Far Left zealots.”




Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

DMN assists EPA assault on Texas jobs

Date posted: July 29, 2011

Weston Hicks with Agenda Wise.com has another article out. 


The Dallas Morning News gave Obama an assist in his assault on the Texas energy industry.

Last year, Obama’s EPA provided a draft version of the “Cross-State Air Pollution Rules”, as part of his overall assault on our economy. This month, the EPA came out with the actual rule, and it’s much worse than the draft version.

Luminant, an energy company to be affected by the rule, has produced an article, using simple facts and common sense, to expose the simple-minded and mostly-wrong analysis in the DMN editorial.

The major difference between the EPA’s draft version of the law and the recently released actual version, is the inclusion of a huge reduction in allowable sulfur dioxide output. They’ve given six months for compliance, which is more of a slap in the face than a serious timetable.

Energy companies have to give a three-month notice to the Electric Reliability Council before shutting down generators. This leaves them with just three months to assess options and adjust generators for compliance, which is nowhere near enough time.

Since it’s not enough time to change processes, the only way to comply is by shutting down energy plants, which will cost Texas jobs and make Texas energy more expensive and less reliable.

In truth, Texas has reduced sulfur dioxide emissions 33% over the last decade, but the EPA has now said we must reduce it another 47% in 6 months.

It’s also likely this law will force Texas energy producers to switch from running their plants on lignite, mined in Texas, to Wyoming coal. This will destroy our lignite-mining industry.

The DMN piece suggested plenty of energy alternatives are available, which isn’t true, and less true given the unreasonable timetable.

The DMN piece also suggested ozone standards are a problem for the Texas energy industry in the EPA’s new law. This is false. Ozone compliance isn’t a problem for Texas, just the new sulfur dioxide regulations. In fact, Texas had the biggest ozone decrease of any state in America between 2000 and 2009.

The DMN tried to paint a picture of power plants ignoring regulation. This is also totally false. Our sulfur dioxide emissions are over 20% lower than the national average, and in compliance with current laws!

Another misrepresentation the DMN editorial pushed is that a 13% reduction in energy production, the likely result of this law, is no big deal. In fact, it will wipe out our state’s reserve energy margin in 2012.

The political context for this is that no state has challenged Obama more directly than Texas. Texas also has the best economy in the country. Our opposition to Obama’s agenda and our economic success are two sides of the same coin.

This is an embarrassment for the Administration, so they are trying to fix it through the EPA. We’ve known they’re trying to stop oil production in west Texas due to a lizard. Now, they’re trying to shut down power plants and the Texas lignite mining industry.

The DMN editorial board is lending its assistance to the Obama Administration.

Luminant article

DMN editorial



Weston Hicks

Weston Hicks researches and writes about associations in the Texas political realm, media choices, and political strategy. Over the past year he has advised on grassroots and voter initiatives. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Texas at El Paso and a J.D. from University of Texas School of Law. He enjoys spending time with wife and three children, reading theology and political theory, and watching FC Barcelona. You can reach him at whicks@agendawise.com



Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!


Date posted: July 28, 2011

I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to meet Kerby Anderson on several occasions and I can tell you that he is a man of wisdom and character. Times are changing and the new media platforms give those of us who are supportive of shows like “Point of View” the ability to share this great organization with our friends and those who follow news and information Voice Empower puts out.

It is with great joy that I pass on this Point of View Press Release and encourage all to take the time to listen to Point of View and if you have the ability donate to this great organization.

America’s Oldest Live Christian Radio Talk Show Program

Relocates to New North Dallas Address 

Dallas, Texas – July 27, 2011 – After nearly 30 years in the same location, Executives for Point of View Ministries announced today that they have officially transitioned to a  North Dallas office location. The announcement stems from a long term commitment and plan to improve finances, reduce waste, and consolidate operations. While rental rates and overall expenses continue to rise,Point of View executives sought a modest location to move to that would provide basic comfort, safety, and security for its staff while strategically placing itself within reach of its constituency. 

Point of View has been in the same facility for decades,” stated Kerby Anderson, host of Point of View. “So we are excited to be in a new location with the ability to build a state-of-the-art studio so we can continue to broadcast into the 21st century.”

Point of View provides a reasonable conservative voice and insight on the current issues of the day, covering a broader range of topics in greater depth than any other media outlet. It has reputedly been the “go-to” source for numerous Christian worldview topics and issues since 1972. Point of View host, Kerby Anderson, and co-host, Penna Dexter, are part of the longest running Christian conservative talk radio program in the United States.

“From the time I was a brand new bride 32 years ago I have listened to Point of View,” stated Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. “It’s a trusted news source, but what it gives more than anything is the real news that all of us need and that’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You are faithful to treasure the Gospel and faithfully hand it to the next generation that’s something that Point of View does.”

Point of View’s issues-oriented talk radio program covers a variety of issues and current events affecting faith, family, government, education, and basic freedoms from a Christian perspective. Point of View’s informative guests include authors, politicians, opinion leaders, conservative activists, and subject matter experts. The live two-hour broadcast is syndicated to nearly 300 radio stations around the country. In 2012, Point of View will celebrate 40 years of broadcast history.

“We are facing an uncertain economy that has decreased overall spending and donations,” stated Warren Kelley, President of Point of View Ministries. “But our move represents a commitment to quality programming while saving an estimated 50% of our overall facilities costs compared to where we were for nearly 30 years. It just makes sense that we try to be good stewards with the funds God has provided.”



Christianity Today Magazine called Point of View America’s “most popular live Christian call-in show.”  Founded in 1972 by Marlin Maddoux, a pioneer in the talk radio industry, the program has been on the cutting edge of talk radio for nearly 40 years. In 1986, Maddoux was given the National Religious Broadcasters Award of Merit. Point of View’s mission is to use the powerful tool of live, daily, national talk radio to defend a Biblical Christian worldview and to proclaim Christian solutions for the problems of America. Point of View aims to restore the greatness of Christian thought and values to every area of American Life. Point of View is a non-profit charitable organization and ministry exempt from federal income tax as an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For additional information see www.pointofview.net.

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

University of Houston joins UT aiding Soros effort

Date posted: July 27, 2011

Another great article from Daniel Greer with Agenda Wise Reports

The University of Houston announced it will be partnering with the University of Texas and NPR on the upstart StateImpact project. As we have previously written, StateImpact is a George Soros funded project designed to shift public opinion to the left. The group is gearing up for launch in Texas.

Until last week it was believed that UT would be the only institution taking part in the project. The University of Houston announced its involvement in an article published on the 20th. The third reporter in Houston represents the first expansion from the original scope of StateImpact implementation.

Expanding into Houston, an major American energy industry city, makes sense as Texas’ StateImpact branch will cover energy and environmentalism.

In an interview with Bill Moyers in 2008, George Soros said on the topic of energy that Americans must be, “adjusting your lifestyle where energy has got to cost more until we introduce those new things (building a green energy grid, rewiring houses). So, it will be painful…”

The entire discussion was painful for anyone even semi-literate in economics.

Ed Lasky, in an article on americanthinker.com, said:

I have written numerous columns regarding the actions George Soros has taken over the years to hurt American oil and gas companies. He has a vested interest (to the tune of at least a billion dollars) in trying to rig the system to make his “clean energy” investments pay off. Since these investments need oil and gas to be high-priced, anything he can do to harm the companies that bring this bounty to the surface help those green schemes.

One of his favorites among the Soros-funded 527 Astroturf groups is MoveOn.Org, which recently protested against the development of shale gas, America’s greatest hope to wean ourselves off of dependency on foreign sources of energy.

 He has funded the Sundance Film Festival documentary effortsm and, voila! the festival lifted from obscurity a flawed documentary castigating developers of shale gas. Soros even even admitted that he saw Sundance documentaries as a method to bring about policy changes in America.

The press release also said NPR’s StateImpact project is going to expand to all 50 states “quickly”. The growth of the Soros endeavor had previously been downplayed.

Ed Lasky American thinker article




Daniel Greer is Executive Director of AgendaWise. Previously, Daniel worked for Empower Texans, a non-profit direct advocacy group focused on fiscal policy in Texas. He holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. A native Texan, Daniel is a member of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, played baseball at St. Edwards University, and lives in Austin with his wife Karen and their two dogs. You can reach him at dgreer@agendawise.com.



Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

Republican Donors Block Legislation -The 82nd State Legislature Record & Lessons Learned

Date posted: July 26, 2011

Cross Posted from the North Texas Tea Party – Election Analysis

The most concise summary of the session: despite having the first super-majority of the GOP in the modern era and an agreed upon Top 20 list of legislation that conservative groups desired passed, only 5 of the Top 20 Conservative bills were signed into law in any form. While most expected trouble getting bills through the Senate, only one of the 15 failures made it to the Senate.

The hows and whys are a lesson in the power of the professional political class and legislative obstructionism to the will of the conservative mandate delivered in the election.  If such a mandate is ever to be translated into effective legislative solutions, those obstructions need to be dealt with.  The following key legislative battles and how they failed pinpoint many of the problems that need electoral solution.


This was the most complex Kabuki theater played in the State Legislature, a choreographed dance. The bills were crafted in both houses- and scheduled in such a way- to allow the GOP machine to vote for the bill in each house.  This allowed the GOP regulars to supposedly earn immigration bonafides for the next election, but because each bill was different enough, it went into conference committee where it was essentially ‘chubbed’ until it was too late to pass a concensus bill.

GOP Boosters Urge a “No” Vote on Sanctuary Cities – Photo by Texas Tribune

But the Governor messed it up for the Austin Machine by giving in to the pressure from the ‘Great Unwashed’ and putting it into the special session at the last minute, leaving no time for the subtle sleight of hand.  As discussed HERE and HERE, it came down to orders being issued by just a handful of big donors NOT to pass the restrictions on Sanctuary Cities. Bob Perry of Perry Homes (who donated over $3 MILLION to state candidates last year),  HEB’s Charles Butt (almost $500K last year) , Dr. Steve Hotze of the supposedly Conservative Republicans of Texas (over $700K last year), and Norman Adams of Texas GOP Vote.  Four men said that Sanctuary Cities will remain, even though only 17% of Texans support their existence . Money over the clear wishes of the citizens.

Who are the legislative ‘performers for this charade?  Naturally, Straus and Dewhurst were in on the game, as was the Chair of the State Affairs Committee (Rep. Byton Cook), and the Chair of the Calendar Committee.


Question if Governor Rick Perry had been a strong leader and not pron to being soft on illegal immigration possibly due to the large Republican donors who are supporting his Presidential run, would we have Sanctuary Cities legislation?  Unlike  Governor Nikki Haley who signed Illegal Immigration Reform Law 

Grassroots/Tea Party Citizens Groups Join together to expose the Texas Leadership

Jo Ann Fleming  TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee, Executive Director (volunteer) Grassroots America –

We the People  www.gawtp.com

Bob Hall – Canton TEA Party and Roberto Gonzalez – Cuban American, Clear Lake Tea Party

Read King Grassroots Activist from Denton, Texas, Barbara Mabray Grassroots activist from Georgetown, Texas  and Alice Linahan  Board Member of WomenOnTheWall.org and founder of Voices Empower, Ray Myers Kaufman County Tea Party.


Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

« Older Entries