Voices Empower

A Lesson in Austin Corruption 2

Date posted: February 21, 2013

By Jan Shedd


If you want to know how the Austin machine works, pay attention.  Watch the video, and then read what I wrote back in November.

While Lance comes across as calm, cool, and fair, what he is actually doing is reading from the pro-gambling website Let Texans Decide script.




Be Careful What You Ask For


They’re baaack! The same crowd that gave us Scratch Offs is two-stepping again. Advocates for expanding gambling have been working behind the scenes with assorted RINOs and Democrats for years, formulating a grand strategy to expand, expand, expand.  Unfortunately, money alone isn’t enough to make their dreams come true.  Expanded gambling will require a change to the state’s constitution. They need a two-thirds majority vote in the both houses of the legislature to put a referendum before the voters. The wolves are willing, but many of them have constituents who would end their public careers if they supported it.  What to do, what to do?


For years now, we’ve been hearing from people like (Speaker of the Texas House) Joe Straus that we can’t cut our way to prosperity.  They don’t want to raise taxes, they tell us, but we must have more revenue.  This was the laying of the foundation, if you will. Conservative activists understood the meaning behind the rhetoric, and have been bracing for an extremely well funded assault. It’s here: Let Texans Decideis a milk-and-honey propaganda campaign designed to sell expanded gambling to Texas voters.


First of all, let’s call it what it is: gambling.  They call it gaming because it sounds better.  Monopoly is a game.  Checkers is a game.  To call gambling a game is like calling a tiger a kitty-cat. 


Gambling supporters will soon be spending millions of dollars to sell Texans on the idea of expanded gambling.  How will they do it?  For starters, look at what they’re calling it: “Let Texans Decide.” How could anyone oppose that?  Pro-gambling websites are full of reminders that Texans don’t like nanny-state government, and should be able to make up their own minds, as though that were being denied to us somehow.  When candidates for state offices run on an anti-expanded-gambling platform, you can vote for them or against them.  We are quite able to make our wishes known about the bane of gambling, and don’t let anyone convince you that we aren’t. 


Joe Straus Speaker Showdown

Slot Machine Joe


Let’s take a look at what Let Texans Decide says.


1.    Casinos at racetracks would add $8.5 billion in economic growth statewide.


I don’t know where these numbers come from, but a very educated guess would be “economic studies” paid for by gambling interests.  It is very likely that an unbiased study would show much lower numbers. Only 2% of gambled money is taxable.  The rest goes to the casino/slot machine owners and the prize pool. What is certain is that legalized/expanded gambling never lives up to its promises.  Remember how the lottery was going to pay for education? Whatever happened with that?  Other states have added slots to save their failing horse tracks, called racinos, but decline in interest continued unabated and the horse tracks closed anyway.


2.    Texans already gamble outside our borders – according to a 2010 study, 90% of the customers at casinos on the Texas-Oklahoma border are Texans.


This information is disseminated to make you think that people who leave Texas to gamble want it in their backyard so they don’t have to drive so far. Some Texans oppose gambling outright in any form, anywhere, based on religious or other reasons.  Most have nothing against it whether they partake or not, but they understand that it comes with baggage that they don’t want to deal with, and they see having to drive out of state as a small price to pay. I have heard people say this.


legalized-gambling-in-texas3.    Casinos at racetracks in Texas could generate an estimated $1 billion annually in tax revenue.

 All states trying to convince their voters that gambling is good use this same “$1 billion” number.  It too is a highly questionable figure. Promises, promises . . . if gambling is so lucrative for states, why is Nevada in such dire economic straits?  One reason why is that they keep electing Dirty Harry Reid, but it’s not realistic to put all the blame on him alone. Something else is afoot.


Let Texans Decide also tells us that expanded gambling will add thousands of jobs to our state.  This is true.  Expanded gambling will mean more government.  The State will have to hire more workers to oversee it, and those workers will have to be paid salaries, medical benefits, and pensions.  Also, there will be a large increase in law enforcement & prison guard positions because where gambling goes, crime follows.


Something else you won’t find on Let Texans Decide is the fact that gambling hurts cities.  Wherever there are casinos, the areas immediately surrounding them deteriorates.  Companies don’t like to be located in slums, so they either move away, or avoid going there altogether. Of the five U.S. cities hit hardest by the recession, four were in gambling states, and two [were] in Nevada.[1]


Did you know that much of the lottery revenue in Texas comes from the same areas with the highest rates of people on public assistance?   It’s less than comforting to think that the lottery creates extra need in districts that use need as political clout to increase taxpayer assistance.[2]  The Dallas chapter of the NAACP recently voted unanimously to eliminate the lottery. 

Members of the nation’s oldest civil rights group [the NAACP] say they are frustrated by poor an minority Texans spending their money on [lottery] tickets, rather than necessities such and or health insurance–Ft Worth Star Telegram


I believe that if a referendum were held today, gambling would lose.  But after months of disinformation on television, billboards, newspapers, the Internet, and slick politicians, etc., gambling interests might be able to convince a majority of Texans to support it.  To quote Vladimir Lenin, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”  Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric of people who will say almost anything to open the lucrative floodgates of gambling.  The same people who sold us the lottery with solemn promises of plentiful revenue in the early 90s are making the same promises again.  They were wrong then and they’re wrong now.


Key Steps to take to protect our children and grandchildren!  

Conservatives must stand strong in the race for Speaker of the Texas House ACTION STEP: #1 ~ Join the Movement to#StopCSCOPE ~ Sign the Petition NOW – http://womenonthewall.org/cscope-petition

ACTION STEP: #2 Start helping REP. STEVE TOTH with his very important bill HB 760 — The CSCOPE Transparency Act To Ensure Consistent Oversight of Public School Curriculum  

*Note:  Janice VanCleave regularly updates her CSCOPE website:www.TxCscopeReview.com

Women On The Wall Radio ~ WBTM Guest Lisa Benson

Women On the Wall will be taking on this issue and sharing information and updates on our weekly radio show on Monday mornings at 10 am CST. You will not want to miss this show. We will have up to date information on CSCOPE  and guests who are the experts on education and other issues that are effecting our children and grandchildren.

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org


Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles  .

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

It’s All About More Money ~ Joe Straus and the Gambling Lobbies

Date posted: December 29, 2012

Please take the time to go read….

It’s All About More Money

Michael Quinn Sullivan has another great article out that explains the challenges many Texans have with Speaker of the House – Joe Straus.

Expect to hear lots of happy-talk about free money to fund bloated bureaucracies when the legislature meets. A big push for expanded gambling is coming, but it has nothing to do with free markets or keeping taxes low. It just means more money flowing from your wallet to state government.

Austin lobbyist Bill Miller told the Associated Press in an article today that lawmakers should use the push by school districts for more money as the excuse to hand out crony-based gambling licenses. “It’s an opportunity… A golden one, actually.”

Perhaps an opportunity for politically-connected moguls wanting state-enforced monopolies, and certainly for lobbyists helping them navigate the halls of the Capitol… But it will be a disaster for taxpayers.

Look at, literally, every state that has expanded gambling for the purposes of bringing in new revenues. The efforts have failed. From Oklahoma and Louisiana to Michigan and Illinois, New Jersey to Nevada, states with expanded gambling have worse budget woes than Texas. Much, much worse. 

The proposals coming down the pike have absolutely nothing to do with the free market, and everything to do with making sure friends of gambling investor Speaker Joe Straus and his family get rich off state-authorized and state-enforced monopolies. It’s cronyism at its worst.

Please take the time to read the full article here. 


As was featured in WomenOnTheWall.org’s latest video out ~ It’s unusual -even in Texas- to encounter a single piece of legislation that has the potential to put MILLIONS of dollars in the pocket of a top state leader. 


If you are ready to take a stand call your State Representative today  Here is a list of them. Tell them to vote for the most Conservative Candidate in the Race for Speaker; David Simpson and then join us in Austin Jan. 7th and 8th.

Click Photo for more details.

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

Women On The Wall
Click Photo above:
Seek the Truth~
Share The Truth~
Stand for the Truth~
Protect Our Nation for Future Generations

Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles  .

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

You’re darn right I want Conservative Trial Lawyer Bryan Hughes for Speaker of the House in Texas

Date posted: November 26, 2012

Yes Bryan Hughes is a trial lawyer, yes he is a Conservative Trial lawyer who has voted in favor of every major piece of tort reform.

Joe Straus, on the other hand, has as his speaker vote base the party of lawsuit abuse and open season on business. He even shared gambling interests with Steve Mostyn at the start of the 82nd legislature, when Mostyn had been let into the ultra-exclusive racetrack license-holding club.” 

Let’s take a look at Speaker Joe Straus, a business owner of bankrupt racetracks who has partnered with Vegas gambling interests. Retama strikes deal with Vegas company.

Retama Park opened in 1995 and has never made money. The track’s owner, Retama Development Corp., a municipal subdivision of Selma, filed for bankruptcy in 1996. It emerged from bankruptcy a year later, shedding some of its debt. 

Todd Eilers, a securities analyst who follows the gaming industry, views the deal as a “defensive move” for Pinnacle. It has three Louisiana casinos that draw Texas gamblers, so those properties could be hurt if Texas ever adds gaming.

“This should help soften the blow” if Texas gets gaming, said Eilers, a senior research analyst with Roth Capital Partners LLC in Newport Beach, Calif. He added, “I doubt (Pinnacle) would be lobbying all that hard for casinos in the state.”

State lawmakers would have to be persuaded to let voters decide whether to allow gaming at Texas racetracks or elsewhere.

Track officials previously have said they wanted to bring in a financial partner to fund the track’s losses while they pushed for legalized gaming at state racetracks.  


So, I ask Texas State Representatives are you going to stand with an “Establishment Republican” known for making deals; whose family stands to gain millions if gambling is passed in Texas or are you going to stand with the most Conservative candidate in the race for speaker who is known for standing up for what is right for Texas not what is right for his own personal gain.



Here is a little reminder of the corruption in Texas politics that  Grassroots/Tea Party activists have been standing up against.

If you are ready to take a stand call your State Representative today  Here is a list of them. Tell them to vote for the most Conservative Candidate in the Race for Speaker; Bryan Hughes and then join us in Austin Jan. 7th and 8th.

Click Photo for more details.

Knowledge is Power and together we can make the difference!!

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Voices Empower has partnered the Freedom Trailer Teams to Educate, Inspire and Motivate.

Women On The Wall.org

Women On The Wall
Click Photo above:
Seek the Truth~
Share The Truth~
Stand for the Truth~
Protect Our Nation for Future Generations

Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles  .

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

Updated: Another Mass Mailer by Lance Gooden is on the way!

Date posted: May 26, 2012

**Heads Up Kaufman and Henderson County Citizens

Ray Myers
Kaufman County Tea Party
In a one last, futile attempt to purchase a victory in Tuesday’s primary, Lance Gooden is sending ANOTHER mailer filled with lies and distortions about Stuart Spitzer.
This time instead of sending a large postcard, it will arrive either on Saturday or Tuesday in a sealed brown envelope.
Will this one have a big picture of the Bible, or will it have images of marijuana leaves?
We don’t know. All we know it that there is no lie outrageous enough for Lance. Unless you find RINO desperation amusing, don’t even bother to open it.
 Just trash it, and enjoy the Memorial Day Holiday. 
Voices Empower was alerted about the Mass Mailer because of a class that Rep. Lance Gooden had with
former Republican Country Chair, Mary Rene Cline. We now it looks like the word is out!!

State Rep. Lance Gooden Clashes with  Former Republican County Chair,

Mary Rene Cline


Post Office in Kaufman

A verbal clash occurred Friday, May 25 in the Post Office in Kaufman between State Representative Lance Gooden and former Kaufman GOP

County Chair Mary Rene Cline. Gooden approached Ms Cline in the Kaufman Post Office and ask Ms Cline if she was going to vote for him.

Ms Cline politely responded:

No, I am not going to vote for you.

Gooden responded:  Why won’t you vote for me?

Ms Cline again responded:

“No!” ! will not vote for you. –Mr Gooden — you don’t live inKaufman County — you don’t work in Kaufman County and that is not even your car that you are driving in Kaufman County.

Gooden responded by saying:  Yes, I do live in Kaufman County:

Ms Cline responded:

No! I have information that you do not live in the county and I will not vote for a person who does not live here!

Then Gooden responds:

Well even if I don’t live in the County — “that shouldn’t matter” — I have been doing a good job.

Ms. Cline again responds,

Yes it does matter– the people in our County expect to have someone that we can depend on.  I have talked to many people about you and I have decided not to vote for you.

Ms Cline commented that: she was very surprised about theaggressive nature of Gooden.  He would not let it go– he continued to chastise me for supporting Dr Spitzer.

Yes, it should matter to the voters in House District 4– Ms Cline reported that Mr. Gooden became very aggressive and agitated –It seems very unbecoming for an elected official to confront a Senior Citizen in an aggressive tone. This behavior is reflective of the Character of Gooden.

He is the elected official who represents the Texans who live and work in H.D. 4. Regardless of the choice of Ms Cline– Gooden should have remained professional– He must respect the right to choose. This is still America and we still have a RIGHT to choose our candidates.

This altercation did not go un-noticed.  Several people in the post office gathered round to listen in. There were plenty of witnesses–

Gooden made additional remarks about supporting House Speaker, Joe Straus and commented that  people were talking about his ( Gooden’s ) personal life.

Mary Rene Cline has been a respected citizen of Kaufman for 39 years. She was born in Kemp, went to school in Kemp, and has a business in Kaufman. She is the former Chair of the Republican Party of Kaufman County. She is well known for her years of civic and professional service.

In closing Ms. Cline stated:

  I am very concerned about the tone in which the altercationensued. It was unnecessary. I am hopeful the we can move on and can all conduct ourselves in a positive professionalmanner.

Gooden was in the Kaufman post office to do an additional mass mailer to House District 4– The citizens in Kaufman and Henderson Counties

have be bombarded with NEGATIVE political mailers on Dr.Stuart Spitzer and other candidates.

Spitzer is Gooden’s opponent in the election to be held on Tuesday, May 29.


So what is the real story on Lance Gooden?

By Jan Shedd 

“Keep in mind while reading this that our representative in the Texas House, Lance Gooden, won’t tell us where he lives, where he works, or what he does for a living, but he will proudly proclaim his unwavering support for Joe Straus.  

Some of you might say, “But Lance says he lives in Terrell.”  Wrong.  He owns a vacant house in Terrell.  “But Lance says he works in District 4.”  No, he hasn’t told us where he works.  “But he says he’s an insurance consultant for energy and energy related companies.”  Then why does he not have a state issued insurance license?  And if he does , where is it?  District 4 voters have a right and responsibility to ask these questions, and Gooden has a duty to answer.  If he wants to live a private life, he shouldn’t run for public office. 

BTW, someone is spreading rumors that Empower Texans supports the state monkeying with police and firefighter pensions, specifically to convert them to 401Ks, and that’s why ET has endorsed Stuart Spitzer.  I will leave it to my readers to determine where these rumors are coming from, but I will tell you that this charge is absolutely, 100% FALSE.” 

The problem isn’t the conservative values of the Tea Party. It’s big-spending lackeys like Lance.

Trial Lawyer Steve Mostyn: liberal sugar-daddy


Lance Gooden’s Connection to Barack Obama Steve Mostyn & Expanded Gambling in Texas


As we enter this important election year, our voices must unite in defense of preborn American citizens who cannot defend themselves.

Please join the movement, sign the petition, and Rise Up for Life.



Heidi Thiess for State Rep.

 Voices Empower Proudly endorses Heidi Thiess for Texas State Rep.

Blockwalking -- Voter Outreach
Bill Zedler State Rep. District 96

Voices Empower proudly endorses State Rep. House District 96

Bill Zedler 

Grab your Tea and Follow me! It’s a Peaceful Revolution!

Join The Fight! Be A Part Of The Solution! 



Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles  .

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan  with Voices Empower  

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

The Anatomy of an Establishment Hustle- www.AgendaWise.com

Date posted: October 31, 2011

 Below is another great article by Weston Hicks with AgendaWise.com 

Getting played by the establishment is like getting sold a car you didn’t need. Most of the time you either didn’t notice the play or you actually enjoyed it. That doesn’t change the fact that the salesman played you out of your money.

The education hustle is on in the Texas ruling class. Really, it’s the same play they used during the session to try to break Texans will to hold the line on taxes and spending, and to create will to expand gambling.

Here are the basics of the ruling class education hustle:

The Crew:

Texas House leadership, establishment consultants, , lackey candidates, capitol media

The Mark:

Conservative Texas voters, the biggest voting block and the key to getting anything done in Texas.

The Scam:

Convince the Mark that Texas education has massive funding issues, keep the Mark from asking if there are systemic reforms that would alleviate the “funding problems” (try to accomplish this without having to explicitly mention it), and convince the Mark that conservatives don’t care about teachers.

If the scam is successful enough it can be used to push for expanded gambling, which Texans have already been scammed into thinking increases revenues when it actually decreases them.

Here are the lies involved in the education hustle:

  1. Texas education is underfunded

Adjusted for inflation and population growth, Texas K-12 education funding has more than doubled since 1990.

  1. Texas education funding was cut in the 82nd legislature

More money than ever before was spent on K-12 education at the 82nd legislature. The “cuts” that the scammers incessantly refer to aren’t really cuts. “Big K-12″ has a sense of entitlement that rivals the size of our large state, and has come to expect lavish funding growth every session. What was actually reduced was the growth. The budget is bigger than it has ever been. There were no cuts.

  1. (Implied) There are no systemic fixes

Schools exist to teach kids. “Big K-12″ thinks schools exist to employ adults. In the early 1970s the non-teacher to teacher ratio in public schools was 6:1. Now it is 1:1. Taxpayers pay for an army of non-teachers that were unnecessary in 1970 and are unnecessary today. However, teacher association dues go up every time any employee is hired by public schools. Lavish funding growth works out great for them.

In addition, there is no such thing as efficiency without competition. Until there is public school choice, principals will keep are performing for Austin politicians, who perform for their donors – like teacher associations. When parents finally get to choose their child’s public school in Texas, Texans will be treated to Principals catering to parents. It will feel strange and wonderful.

  1. Gambling can help ease the funding pressure

This part of the scam doesn’t make its debut until the next session is underway and the establishment has worked Texans into a lather with their ginned-up funding crisis. Our Speaker of the House is from an old Texas gambling family. The only way to expand gambling in Texas is by amending the Texas Constitution. As a result, expanding the family business and “public service” are one and the same for him.

In truth, gambling lowers revenues. While it does create new revenue streams (called ‘casinos’ and ‘racinos’, racino=racetrack+slot machines), it broadly lowers productivity so that existing revenue sources perform worse than before. Also, law enforcement and social service costs skyrocket. In the end, three dollars are lost or spent for every one dollar of revenue that gambling creates.

Dr. Earl Grinols, an economics professor at Baylor, is one of our country’s leading experts on the effects of gambling. He’s written a book detailing his extensive research and valuable, careful conclusions, and he’s spoken in front of more than 20 state legislatures around the nation.

Gambling doesn’t solve state funding crises. Gambling creates state funding crises.

  1. Our conservative legislators don’t care about teachers

In truth, it was Texas conservative legislators and activists who spent all session trying to bring to light the gross overpopulation of nonteachers in public schools. Conservatives want good teachers to realize that they are providing a living for Association and union people, nonteachers, and bad teachers, whom associations protect by pretending they are good teachers. Conservatives want good teachers to get big raises, funded by getting rid of the considerable bloat in public education.

Any Republican running a primary on “the kids need more funding!” is participating in the establishment education hustle. Check their consultants – dollars to donuts, they are Murphy Turner or Brian Epstein, establishment consultants extraordinaire.

This morning the Texas Tribune ran a story entitled, “Some Texas GOP Candidates To Make Education A Priority”. Read the story if you want to know what the car salesman sounds like.

– Texas Tribune story on GOP candidates and education funding

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.
 “If you love freedom, let our voices be heard. We will be silent,” No More!” – Ray Myers    


Voices Empower

Check Out Voices Empower Articles

  Please attribute to Alice Linahan with Voices Empower

I would appreciate  the opportunity to stand side by side with you in the battles ahead!

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

« Older Entries