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Texas Leaders Sell their Souls and Texans are left paying for it…..

Date posted: April 29, 2013


Corruption in Texas Politics at it’s worst. 

Remember this post from when we were warning about Joe Straus~

Well we were right and now Perry and Dewhurst are making deals.

Below is an e-mail I just received. 


“A friend sent the following along with her research on what the Rainy Day Fund really is.  It  follows under the title “Economic Stabilization Fund”.

“Yesterday in Austin, the Freshmen (you know, the fabulous conservatives we’ve all been excited about!) were split into groups for separate meetings and pressured to vote to raid the Rainy Day Fund (RDF) for $2 billion to fund the new water plan. The vote requires 100 supporters, so the freshmen votes are necessary to make it work. They are being told if they do not vote for it, the rest of the Republicans will instead make a deal with the Dems and will agree to spend $4-5 billion of the RDF instead of $2 billion. In return for their vote to raid the RDF, they are being promised cuts to the Business Margins tax, that the fetal pain bill and the campus carry bill will be sent to the floor for a vote (instead of being held up in committee), tax credits for R&D, and money from lobbyists. (These deals are all under the table). There is also an expectation that in a meeting w/ Perry on Monday he will pressure them to support this plan and in return will promise to veto any effort to raise the spending cap. Of course, these folks have made promises before and not kept them.

Corruption in Texas Politics

The pressure is immense. In a room with 10 freshmen, 8 signed pledges to support this plan. Hey, spending $2 billion is less than spending $5 billion, right? HOW ABOUT NOT SPENDING ANY??? What happened to that plan? And shame on any legislator that uses life and safety issues to manipulate others in giving them what they want.

Many of the conservative freshmen campaigned on a promise to protect the RDF and even put it in writing. If they now vote for raiding the RDF, their challengers will have a heyday with it. And not only that, it’s just not the right answer anyway!  

The vote happens at 2pm on Monday.” 

Now that you know the back room story….

Busting The Cap, Without Relief

Excerts From Michael Quinn Sullivan with Empower Texans~ Read the full article here.

“When members of the Texas House meet on Monday, they will take the next-to-last step in busting the state’s spending cap. This coming in a session that has produced no lasting budget reforms and no real tax relief, despite a biennium with the largest jump in state revenues in modern history. Worse, legislators are poised to do so with a massive draw from the rainy day fund.

Legislative leaders – from Speaker Joe Straus on down – are reportedly promising some conservatives that if they will just vote for this $2 billion draw and set the stage for busting the cap, then they will now move some of the conservatives’ legislation. Just trust them. Trust them? Isn’t this a GOP majority? Shouldn’t that conservative legislation be moving anyway? But it’s not.

Others may scheme, but we have to stand on principle, and fight with valor and integrity.

(Remember: this is the same House leadership which keeps scheming for ways to implement ObamaCare in Texas by expanding Medicaid. Another Medicaid expansion push is rumored to be on its way to the floor this week.)

 Conservative legislators voting for bad policies in the hopes of getting good legislation to move might do well to remember that selling out will rarely provide the pay-day they expect.

Others may scheme, but we have to stand on principle, and fight with valor and integrity.

Lawmakers started with a lot of promises, and even more money. They’ve blown through the cash, and are trying to grab even more. And thanks to a leadership undermining conservatives, those pledges are evaporating faster than water in August.

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 Find out

Who Represents You and give them a call first thing Monday morning.

For full list of legislator profiles, click here.  

Give those Freshman a call as well and say……

Seek the Truth and Stand for the Truth. 

Stop the Back-room deals….

 

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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.

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Betrayed by the Governor of Texas

Date posted: April 18, 2013

Betrayed! 

JoAnn FlemingBy JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America – We the People PAC; and for identification purposes – Chair, TX Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee
Today, Governor Rick Perry made a sharp left turn. According to sources inside the GOP Caucus meeting, Perry has decided to abandon his own promises to the people of Texas. One year ago – on Tax Day 2012, no less – Gov. Perry unveiled a “State Budget Compact” and promised us he would champion and push for these five principles:
1. Practice Truth in Budgeting
2. Support a Constitutional limit of spending to the growth of population & inflation
3. Oppose any new taxes or tax increases; make the small business tax exemption
   permanent
4. Preserve a strong Rainy Day Fund
5. Cut unnecessary and duplicative government programs and agencies
 
One year later, due to a lack of leadership, these promises won’t likely survive the legislative session. Once again, we get a lot of talk, but little real action. Today, Perry signaled to Texas House Republicans that these promises really no longer matter.
 
If that’s not bad enough, Gov. Perry is asking House Republicans to walk the plank for him in support of busting the spending capputting Texas further into debt, and raiding the Rainy Day Fund. In exchange, Perry promised to campaign for those legislators who would follow him in this reckless quest to betray the conservative base and to violate foundational conservative principles.
 
Our answer? Anyone thinking about following this unprincipled approach should remember the “Cruz Missile” that blew up all conventional political wisdom last year and sent an earthquake through the middle of Austin.
 
The conservative grassroots of Texas that united to send Ted Cruz to the United States Senate is more committed than ever to protect this state from the establishment ruling class in both parties. We will consider any votes to bust the spending limit, to drive Texas further into debt, and to drain the Rainy Day Fund to be a declaration of war on our children and grandchildren. Texas is NOT Washington, DC, and we don’t take kindly to betrayal.

Women On the Wall  takes on the issues that matter. 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 take on the issues that are effecting the safety and security of our children and grandchildren.

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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

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Texas at Risk: Illegal Immigration, Sanctuary Cities

Date posted: October 12, 2011

High Cost of Ignoring the Rule of Law

by JoAnn Fleming –Chair, Citizen Advisory Committee to the Texas Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus

Executive Director (volunteer), Grassroots America – We the People

While you were watching the out-of-control spending, new federal regulations, and national debt dramas play out in Washington, DC, your state legislature failed in the regular session (January – May) and in the special session (June) to end sanctuary cities in Texas.  As the Republican leadership of the Texas House and Senate played political games to run out the clock, Alabama, South Carolina, and Louisiana joined a growing list of states whose legislatures and governors took decisive action to protect their citizens and legal immigrants.  Texas now sits in the shadow of those “rule of law” states.   

Photo Courtesy of KETX

“Sanctuary” is a term used to identify a city or county that follows certain practices to protect illegal immigrants.  The practices employed to ignore the rule of law come by way of local ordinances or simply by habit.  The elected officials presiding over these safe harbors do not allow local law enforcement to inquire about legal status while enforcing other laws, nor do they allow government employees to inquire about legal status while doling out taxpayer-funded services.

While border security is indeed a federal issue, the interior enforcement of the rule of law is very much a state matter. It is the constitutional responsibility of a state to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens and legal residents.

Why should the sanctuary cities issue matter to you?  

1) Sanctuary cities can harbor illegals that represent a national security threat.  Those who are a threat to this country naturally gravitate to places where they feel safest from the rule of law.

2) Sanctuary cities harbor people who are a threat to the lives of citizens and legal immigrants.  Too many law enforcement officers, citizens, and legal immigrants have lost their lives at the hands of illegals.  See the Remembrance Project website:  http://theremembranceproject.org/Sanctuary

3) Sanctuary cities are strong magnets for those who come here to exploit the social safety net for free health care and all manner of taxpayer-funded government hand-outs.  These sanctuaries are magnets for those who want to work under the radar, and they enable businesses that want to employ cheap labor.

4) Sanctuary cities allow Mexico and other foreign countries to exploit the United States and our lack of enforcement of the rule of law.

Finally, any policy that gives safe harbor to illegal immigration escalates state spending.    According to a January 2011 report published by the highly regarded Texas Public Policy Foundation, the price tag for Medicaid in Texas will soon overtake the cost of everything else in our budget – including education.  Read the Foundation’s research:  Texas Public Policy Foundation

In a June 28 meeting with Governor Perry, we asked him to call the legislature back into a special session to address the sanctuary cities issue, or since it is a law enforcement issue, settle the matter with an executive order.  Will Governor Perry ride in to save the day? Or is he satisfied to sit in the shadow of “law and order” states?  His white horse is saddled up and waiting.

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The Texas Budget Boondoggle Part 2

Date posted:

 Our Ongoing Fight to Cut the Size, Scope, and Cost of Texas State Government   

JoAnn Fleming

By JoAnn Fleming, Chair, Citizen Advisory Committee to the TEA Party Caucus of the Texas Legislature; volunteer Executive Director of Grassroots America – We the People

“Don’t Spend All the Money!”  Heard that from several stumping the campaign trails?  Before you get stars in your eyes, you might want to check into the facts a bit before buying into all of the campaign sloganeering.

In spite of all the glowing rhetoric about how state leadership has done such a masterful job of not raising taxes and cutting spending, the truth lies somewhere just beyond that rainbow.  We just can’t let them get away with the spin. Texas is not the Land of Oz; and the fairy-tale budget logic has to go.  We just can’t afford it any more.  

And just so we keep the timeline straight, no public official is getting clothes-lined here. Nobody’s getting ambushed.  This follow-up message to our first Texas Budget Boondoggle Report should come as no surprise to anyone out campaigning.  Our message throughout the legislative session, during the special session, and after the budget was passed and signed by the Governor has remained the same.   We cannot support this budget because Texans do not need, do not want, and do not deserve the same kind of spending and budget trickery that goes on in Washington, D.C. 

True, there were substantial cuts in some areas. Indeed, $12.1 billion in cuts came from the one-time federal stimulus funds.  The overriding issue is this — we cannot support the budget because it has once again been balanced with poison pills – accounting gimmicks, deferrals, one-time fixes, tax payment speed-ups for some businesses, and a “Medicaid credit card.”  We cannot support the crony capitalism that doles out tax dollars and steers some pretty lucrative perks to chosen “winners.”  We cannot support a budget that continues to ignore the high cost of illegal aliens to this state because there’s no political stomach for interior enforcement of the rule of law.

The planned state budget deficit for 2013 comes to $7.1 billion.  How did we arrive at this number?  There’s no complicated chart or formula (simple math at work here).   A $2.3 billion payment deferral to the Foundation School Program + an underfunded Medicaid caseload growth estimated at $4.8 billion = a $7.1 billion budget deficit.   The pure, unvarnished truth is – the Rainy Day Fund is spent!

The numbers we use for the minimum expected shortfall for 2013 have been verified by statewide conservative organizations and confirmed by our own research.  The only way the Rainy Day Fund is not tapped in 2013 for this planned deficit will be the convergence of several miracles.  The Medicaid/Health & Human Services caseload growth will have to drop precipitously and state revenues will have to exceed projections.  We don’t see either of those two things coming to pass.  So while we appreciate no increase in state taxes, state government remains anti-taxpayer because it still plans to spend way more than it takes in, and the way the state funds public education helps drive up local property taxes.  This is unsustainable. 

Adding insult to injury, the state budget contains $500 million in overt pork spending for Fortune 500 companies (advertising grants and other goodies) and $25 million for Formula One Racetrack funding in Austin.  We asked the Governor to line item veto this nonsense.  He did not.  Every time we got Formula One stripped out in the House and Senate, the Budget Conference Committee – urged on by state leadership – raised it from the dead and put it back into the budget.  It is not within the basic, core constitutional function of state government to act as an investment banker or venture capitalist for the entertainment industry or to act as a central economic planner by earmarking tax dollars for certain business interests. 

The fully volunteer and “funded from our own pockets” TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee worked very hard this session on spending issues.  We watched as certain Republicans struck down amendment after amendment that would have made sensible cuts to state spending.  We did not get our favored 2-year hiring freeze, even though the freeze would have exempted law enforcement, the state courts system, and corrections.

Photo Courtesy of the Texas Tribune who named Senator Robert Duncan one of the Best in the Legislature. Interesting.....

Senator Robert Duncan (R-Lubbock) led the charge to strike down budget amendments calling for a 5% state employee pay cut for those making more than $60,000 per year, a 5% cut for those making over $100,000 per year, and a 10% cut for those making more than $200,000 per year.  [Note: teachers are not state employees, thus were not under consideration in these proposed cuts, but statewide elected officials were!]

There were no taxpayer protections this session.  Leadership shut out bills for appraisal district relief, spending caps, and curtailing services to illegal aliens.  Likewise, there was no real interest from House or Senate leadership for zero-based budgeting or restructuring state government to streamline numerous overlapping, duplicative departments, agencies, commissions, and programs.  There was zero leadership from the top to identify and eliminate spending that falls outside the core constitutional functions of state government.  To put this lack of bold, decisive leadership into perspective, remember the elements present during this year’s legislative session: a huge budget shortfall, an out-of-control federal government, a constituency calling for less government, a super-majority of Republicans in the House, self-proclaimed “conservative” leaders Speaker Straus and Lt. Governor Dewhurst, and “Don’t Spend all the Money” Governor Perry.  We expected more – much, much more.  After all, none of these folks ran as big-spending, big government advocates, but as conservative problem-solvers!

But yes, Virginia, they did spend all the money.  It’s just that all the bills aren’t in yet, but in 2013, the 83rd Texas Legislative session will be awash in a sea of red ink.   Short of some pretty big miracles, the budget struggles of the 82nd Legislative session will pale in comparison.  It will be tough.  It will be messy, and some folks running for higher office are hoping they won’t be around when the calls for “Clean up on aisle nine!” go out.

If this sounds harsh, so be it.   We live in harsh times.  Liberty is at stake.  The more government spends and grows, the less we are free.   In Texas, we plan on living free.  That’s why we won’t back down.

Coming soon:  “2013 Go Forward Solutions:  The TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee’s Plan to Put State Government into a State Constitution-sized Box”

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Watch the video below and ask yourself are we being fed more propaganda by the career politicians so we will help get them elected to higher office? Should it be about them or should it be about what is best for Texas?

Gov. Perry: Fiscal Responsibility Will Guide Texas through Budget Process

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Texas Budget Boondoggle

Date posted: October 9, 2011

Fairy Tales, the Medicaid Credit Card, Formula One Racing & Pork
By JoAnn Fleming

During the 82nd Legislative Session and the subsequent special session, Texas lawmakers dealt with the budget shortfall and balanced the budget with no new taxes and no tax increases, but $12 billion in cuts were the one-time federal stimulus funds used to balance the 2010-2011 biennium budget.  The 2012-2013 budget is balanced with some cuts, tax payment speed ups, accounting gimmicks, and deferrals.

“Budget writers had to rely heavily on gimmicks and one-time fixes, like a $2.3 billion payment deferral to the Foundation School Program and underfunding Medicaid caseload growth to the tune of $4.8 billion. Perhaps even worse than these budget shenanigans is the fact that, despite having a golden opportunity, lawmakers failed to make any substantive changes to how and why state government spends money.”  Source:  Texas Public Policy Foundation

In other words, the leaders of our state government and key legislators once more engaged in “fairy tale budgeting” by declaring a balanced budget.  The budget may be balanced, but the Rainy Day Fund (or the People’s Savings Account) is spent!   Delaying the $2.3 billion payment for public school funding and charging $4.8 billion to a “Medicaid credit card” means the budget is short by $7.1 billion.  That’s right!  Texas has a planned budget deficit for 2013!   If kicking the can down the road and delaying tough decisions is wrong in Washington, DC, what makes it right for Texas?

The legislature left many commonsense spending cuts on the table.  Texas Republican leadership refused to champion and push for sensible cost-cutting measures offered by conservative legislators in both the House and the Senate, for example – pay cuts for statewide officials and state employees (not teachers) who make $60,000 and above and a hiring freeze for all state agencies (excluding law enforcement, corrections, and the court system).  Texas still has many overlapping, duplicated departments, agencies, and programs.  Twenty-three plus agencies alone manage natural resources. If waste is wrong in Washington, DC, why isn’t it equally wrong for Texas?

The budget approved by Governor Perry also includes $25 million for Formula One Race track funding for a billionaire promoter and special interests in Austin.  No matter how many times we got this pork stripped out of the budget by the few conservatives in the House and Senate, it always rose from the dead in conference committee and made it back into the budget.  Several state officials deeply desired this project and arm-twisted to bring it back to life. Also included in the state budget is $500 million in pork for special interests, including film and music makers, video game companies, and commercials for Fortune 500 companies. If crony capitalism and pork are wrong in Washington, DC, what makes it right for Texas?

The State of Texas has no business serving as an investment banker or venture capitalist for entertainment venues. Leveraging tax dollars for private special interests is not a core constitutional responsibility of state government.  It’s just plain wrong.

JoAnn Fleming is Chair, Citizen Advisory Committee to the Texas Legislature’s TEA Party Caucus and Executive Director (volunteer), Grassroots America – We the People.

 

Watch the video below and ask yourself are we being fed more propaganda by the career politicians so we will help get them elected to higher office? Should it be about them or should it be about what is best for Texas?

Gov. Perry: Fiscal Responsibility Will Guide Texas through Budget Process

 

 

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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!

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