Voices Empower
 

The Straus and Ratliff Clan are at it again~

Date posted: June 21, 2013

Redistricting out Conservatives they see as a threat in the Primary!

The Texas Education Ratliff Clan - Thomas, Bill and Bennett Ratliff

The Texas Education Ratliff Clan

The word down in Austin is that there’s a move by Straus and the Ratliff clan  to redraw House District lines to carve one or more potential conservative challengers into Democrat districts.

 
The House conservatives are fighting this, as reported by the Austin American Statesman. 

American-Statesman Staff

“A House Republican screamed at a fellow member of his own party as they emerged Thursday afternoon from a longer-than-expected GOP caucus meeting.

The argument appeared to be about proposed changes to House districts. The chamber is debating redistricting bills Thursday.

“You’re a liar,” state Rep. Pat Fallon of Frisco yelled at his colleague, state Rep. Bennett Ratliff of Coppell.

Other House Republicans tried to hush Fallon, but his fury wouldn’t ebb.

“Touch your buddy Gene because you’re in the same party as him,” a red-faced Fallon loudly continued, as Ratliff walked away and placed a hand on state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, as he passed by.

Asked a few moments later what the dust-up was all about, Fallon said simply, “Forgot.”

The hollering could have stemmed from a quiet dispute brewing during the redistricting debate. On Thursday afternoon, some tea party-affiliated members of the House had been upset about an amendment that removed one of Ratliff’s primary opponents from his district. The amendment, which passed earlier in the day without much trouble, put tea party favorite Matt Rinaldi into the safely Democratic district of state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas.” 

The question is why are Straus and the Ratliff Clan desperate to protect Bennett Ratliff? Well they know that Texans are onto their tactics to enrich many of the educrats at  TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators), TASB (Texas Association of School Boards) and the ESCs (Education Service Centers) all using Texan’s tax dollars. They know Texans are preparing  to take them out of office so they use the tactics of folks like Obama, they use the system to remove their competition. 

So who is the Ratliff Clan you may ask….. Do these terms mean anything to you. Robin-hood, No Child Left Behind, CSCOPE~ Below was the latest before we found out about Straus’ stunt at the Capitol to protect Bennett  Ratliff by redistricting out his primary opponent Matt Rinaldi….. 

 

Looks like SBOE (State Board of Education) Vice Chairman Thomas Ratliff is a little testy. Interesting isn’t it? Please see the press release below that came out by Thomas Ratliff. Although, before I get to that please let me connect a few dots for you with the Education Bureaucracy in Texas. The Ratliffs are the Education Clan of Texas.

Listen to this audio and then keep reading….

 

Let me introduce you to Daddy Ratliff – Ex-Texas Senator Bill Ratliff

Raise Your Hand AdBill along with Ex-Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Moses founded the “Raise Your Hand” non-profit back in 2007 which raised eyebrows because they had a history in Education that many will not forget. Below are excerpts from Donna Garner’s 2007 article Raise Your Hand for a Hand Out”

NEW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP FORMED

Ratliff and Moses are continuing to swill from the education trough by forming a new organization called Raise Your Hand to pressure the people for more tax dollars for Texas’ public schools.  Have these two gentlemen any credibility on the subject?   

William Murchison said it best in the 2.16.07 Lone Star Report, “…keep a country mile away from Raise Your Hand, and from Bill Ratliff, and from Mike Moses, whose solution for dealing with a sinking boat is to pour some more water in the gunwales.”

Before we citizens put our trust in Raise Your Hand, let’s do a quick study of its leaders, Ratliff and Moses. 

RATLIFF: ROBIN HOOD, LOSS OF LOCAL CONTROL BY TEACHERS

Not only did Ratliff author the failed and oft-maligned Robin Hood Plan, but he also drafted SB 1 in 1995 which stripped local teachers of control over what they taught.  

RATLIFF: LOSS OF CONTROL BY LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS

As the author of SB 1, Ratliff is also responsible for taking the authority away from elected local school boards and placing that power into the hands of unelected superintendents. 

No longer do locally elected school board members have any real control over the all-important issues of personnel hiring and district curriculum decisions.

Local school board members’ duties have basically been reduced to (1) hiring and firing the superintendent, (2) buying and selling property, and (3) setting board policy (e.g., those items which involve board members themselves – elections, vacancies on the board, travel and reimbursement policies, etc.).  

RATLIFF:  LOSS OF CONTROL BY ELECTED SBOE

At the state level, Ratliff tried for years to replace the elected State Board of Education (SBOE) with an appointed one.  Appointed boards really do not care what voters want. They will do the will of whoever appoints them and of the lobbyists who orchestrate from a distance.    

 Ratliff’s SB 1 reduced the authority of the elected SBOE and enhanced the power of the unelected Texas Commissioner of Education who at the time was Ratliff’s joined-at-the-hip ally, Mike Moses. 

 Ratliff always pretended that the SBOE had lost control over textbook content; and until Attorney General Greg Abbott’s 2006 opinion, the SBOE was shut out of fulfilling its lawful responsibilities.  For eleven years the Board labored under Ratliff’s false interpretation; and during that time, numerous inferior textbooks were placed in front of our Texas students.   

Because of Ratliff’s influence on SB 1, elected SBOE members cannot even elect their own chairperson; the Governor appoints one.  

RATLIFF: TAXPAYER-ENRICHED OPPORTUNIST

Ratliff is a registered lobbyist (http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/dfs/loblists.htm) and has made large sums of money from a number of clients including the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).  Having retired from the Texas Senate in 2003, he began representing TASB on May 10, 2004.  That year he received up to $99,999.99 from TASB, and again in 2005, and 2006.  

We taxpayers paid Ratliff’s rich lobbying fees because the membership dues that education entities pay to join TASB come from our taxpayers’ dollars. 

Because the TASB dues come from public funds, we taxpayers are actually paying TASB to lobby Legislators for more school funding so that our taxes will increase.  We are paying to lobby ourselves!

 

It just so happens that Bennett Ratliff the youngest brother in the Ratliff clan is a Freshman State Representative that the infamous Speaker of the House Joe Straus appointed to the Education Committee. Wow isn’t that a coincidence. Oh by the way the chair of the House Ed. Comm., Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, has a daughter who is a lobbyist for Raise Your Hand as well.  No wonder Senator Dan Patrick believed there was no way that Rep. Steve Toth’s bill which gave the SBOE over-site of CSCOPE would ever pass in the house.  Thank goodness for Texas Mom Kara Sands who worked the bill  through and got it passed with tenacity and conviction.

THE RATLIFF CLAN AND THEIR COHORTS 

“Unfortunately, the Ratliff family (Bill, Thomas, Bennett, Shannon) are heavily vested in Raise Your Hand and in other political entities that have managed to influence our Texas Legislators, particularly during this 83rd Session.”

So let’s get to Thomas Ratliff and why he may be a little testy. You see Thomas Ratliff;Bill’s son -you know the one who was ruled by the Attorney General to be on the State Board of Education illegally because he is a paid lobbyist for Microsoft,  yea that one. He had a press release that came out today… see below.

He is not very happy that CSCOPE has been brought under the microscope and lessons have been pulled. Connect this dot – The RATLIFF’S  ARE TIED TO BILL GATES AND MICROSOFT

You know the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is the lead funder for the transformation of Education in America called Common Core.  It has been reported that “a Gates Foundation-funded project  is storing an unprecedented amount of personal information about millions of students in a $100 million database that cannot guarantee complete security.”

Even in Texas a state that rejected Common Core just passed HB2103. This bill which was not vetoed by Gov. Perry’s. HB2103 sets up three P20 education research centers that in the name of education research have access to private data on both students and teachers.  Please listen to this short audio explaining it. https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/donna-garner-hb-2103

CSCOPE in Texas was the testing ground for the platform that is to be used in other states.

From Texas Mom Colleen Vera’s article here are Three examples from their business models:

  • CSCOPE uses public funds to run a private non-profit corporation to hide its operations from the public
  • CSCOPE started as a simple service to local school districts and spread to over 800 districts statewide with plans of expanding out of state.
  • The legality of CSCOPE’s actions are highly suspect, access local tax dollars to give to a private non-profit corporation instead of distributing the funds directly to the ISDs  as dictated by Texas Education Code 18.14.

So now the light is being shined and the Ratliff Clan is not happy. After listening to the recommendation of SBOE Thomas Ratliff for districts to download CSCOPE lessons and then listening to Sen. Dan Patrick’s response linked here. I would suggest we all call Attorney General Greg Abbott and let him know it is time for the Ratcliff clan to be held responsible. Let’s start with removing Thomas Ratliff from the SBOE. 

Contact the Attorney General Greg Abbott to the following addresses: greg.abbott@oag.state.tx.us or public.information@oag.state.tx.us 

Greg Abbott Campaign Office: 512.477.2002

You can tweet the AG at @GregAbbott_TX or post in the comments section on his FBAttorney General Greg Abbott

 

See Thomas Ratliff’s press release and article written in the Long View News Journal- “WHAT A BULLY” I encourage you to click on the article and then voice your opinion of Thomas Ratliff’s opinion piece which basically defends the authors of the CSCOPE lessons which have been proven to be Anti-American, Anti-Christian and caused a great many of students to fail the STAAR test. It was not the teachers it was the philosophy of education of people like Linda Darling Hammond  which gives the illusion of helping Texas School Children and Sarah Brown Wessling who parents have an issue with.

Thomas Ratliff

P.O. Box 232        State Board of Education

Mt. Pleasant, TX 75456        Vice-Chairman        www.thomasratliff.com

NO BULLYING POLICIES AND BURNING BOOKS   

Listen to what Bill Ayers says in the video below carefully….. 

“If we want change to come we could do well not to look to the seats of power we have no access to. The white house even the congress the pentagon these are not the sites that we have access to.  But lo and behold we have complete access to the community the school the neighborhood the street the classroom the workplace, the shop, the farm. That’s what we have direct access to…..”

________________________________________________ 

Join the Movement to Stop CSCOPE

Click the photo to sign the Petition and Join the movement to#StopCSCOPE

Women On The Wall Radio ~ WBTM

Join WomenOnTheWall.org WBTM radio show Monday morning from 10 am to 11 am. 

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!

“SUPER TEXAS ALERT: The Education Bureaucracy at Its Worst”

Date posted: May 17, 2013

By Donna Garner

I have just been alerted that HB 2836, which was already a terrible bill, has been amended to create a devious mechanism to go back into the already-adopted Texas curriculum standards (TEKS) and change them. No doubt this committee substitute is a creation of the Ratliff clan and Raise Your Hand. 

Seek TruthSTACKED STUDY COMMITTEE

If adopted, the committee substitute to HB 2836 would create an interim study of the TEKS; but out of the 14 members on the study committee, only 2 would be SBOE members who really have a grasp of curriculum standards, testing, and instructional materials.  

The rest of the 12 members of the TEKS study committee would be 4 appointed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst from the Senate Public Ed. Comm. (politicians) and 2 from the general public.  House Speaker Joe Straus would appoint 4 from the House Public Ed. Comm. (politicians) and 2 from the general public.  

This means that at least 8 would be politicians from the Texas Legislature, and we have already seen how vulnerable they are to being manipulated by the education bureaucracy. 

The four added people from the public could easily come from the education bureaucracy. 

The end result is that the 2 SBOE members could find themselves in a lonely corner while the other 12 who are tied to vendors and/or lobbyists could control the curriculum standards (TEKS) put into our public school classrooms!  

The only thing that has kept Common Core Standards from flooding into every Texas public school in our state is the Type #1 TEKS adopted by our Texas State Board of Education beginning in May 2008.  

CSCOPE is Type #2 and has managed to slither under the radar into 70 % to 80% of our Texas public schools, but we citizens working alongside some of the Texas Legislators are making progress in divesting Texas of CSCOPE.  One of the biggest points of leverage that we have to get rid of CSCOPE and also TASA’s iCloud is that they do not align with the Type #1 TEKS.  What would we citizens do if we lost the Type #1 TEKS?    

SBOE MEMBERS EXCEPT FOR THOMAS RATLIFF

In most cases (except for Thomas Ratliff who is serving on the SBOE illegally because of his being a registered lobbyist who sells to clients with whom the SBOE and the TEA do business), these SBOE members represent us, “we the people.”  Because SBOE members serve without any remuneration (different from the other elected politicians), most SBOE members care deeply about our public schools; most are very dedicated individuals who seek to serve and not to make money for themselves.

THE RATLIFF CLAN AND THEIR COHORTS

Unfortunately, the Ratliff family (Bill, Thomas, Bennett, Shannon) are heavily vested in Raise Your Hand and in other political entities that have managed to influence our Texas Legislators, particularly during this 83rd Session.

Bennett Ratliff is a freshman Texas Rep. 

The chair of the House Ed. Comm., Rep. Jimmy Don Aycock, has a daughter who is a lobbyist for Raise Your Hand. 

Mike Moses, who has been involved with Raise Your Hand since its inception, has made millions from the education Golden Goose and is also tied to TASA and TASB – the education bureaucracy that wants NO accountability for those millions of tax dollars that we taxpayers put into the public schools.

 RATLIFFS TIED TO BILL GATES AND MICROSOFT

Nothing would please the Ratliff’s more than to be able to go back into the Type #1 TEKS and change them right back to the Type #2 TEKS that were in place in Texas from 1997 – 2008

Thomas Ratliff - Registered Lobbyist - SBOE Rep.

Thomas Ratliff – Registered Lobbyist – SBOE 

Thomas Ratliff, SBOE member, is a registered lobbyist for Bill Gates’ Microsoft and has been for over 12 years.  Gates is tied to the Common Core Standards (CCS) and has used his vast wealth to pressure, push, and “drive” the education bureaucracy in our country to adopt the CCS.   

Remember that it is Gates, Ratliff, and many other vendors/lobbyists who stand to make a fortune from CCS since the entire initiative will be conducted using technology and digitized systems/software/hardware/databases.   

Our own Texas Legislature just voted last week 140 – 2 NOT to adopt the CCS; but if the Legislature votes for this committee substitute to HB 2836, the type #2 philosophy of education that permeates Common Core Standards could become the required curriculum standards for Texas!

TEKS BATTLE ALREADY FOUGHT AND WON

 Texas has already fought the battle at the SBOE level to adopt new Type #1 TEKS in English/Language Arts/Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Math. These were huge battles and huge victories that went on from 2006 – 2012.  It is upon those new Type #1 curriculum standards that the STAAR/End-of-Course tests have been based.

 [To understand what Type #1 and Type #2 means, please go to: http://educationviews.org/duped-through-ignorance-or-intent-texas-legislators/ ] 

Various SBOE members from both sides of the aisle and other trusted reviewers have taken the actual STAAR/EOC tests.  Even though they had to sign legal agreements forbidding them from sharing test questions, etc., these people have been allowed to testify that the tests do align with the Type #1 TEKS.  

NO MORE LEGISLATION NEEDED – “LEGISLATORS, HANDS OFF”

In other words, the STAAR/EOC’s do follow the Texas Education Code already; we do not need any more legislation nor any more meddling, tinkering, or interference by the Texas Legislators.  The laws are in place and are being followed.  Texas was on its way to authentic education reform until this 83rd Legislative Session decided to intervene and micro-manage what was already an excellent New Plan.

Texas’s New Plan that was begun in May 2008 contains Type #1 TEKS, Type #1 STAAR tests at each grade level (3 -8), Type #1 STAAR/EOC’s in each of the high school core courses, and 4 x 4 graduation requirements which make sure that all students who graduate under this New Plan have a sound foundation in basic and logical/analytical thinking skills. 

So far this New Plan only applies to the 10th graders on down; but in time, all Texas graduates who walk across that stage will be equipped to be high-information voters and citizens.    

ACTION STEP

None of us should have any doubts about what is at stake here: the future of our country and the future of our school children.  Please call every Texas Legislator and tell them all that if they dare to vote for HB 2836, HB 866, SB 3, SB 1724, and HB 5, we will hold them accountable and responsible for the destruction of tearing down Texas’ chances to lead the nation in authentic education reform.  

Below is the most egregious part of the committee substitute to HB 2836 that was introduced at yesterday morning’s Senate Education Committee meeting. 

Excerpts from the Committee Substitute to HB 2836

 Sec. 39.0236.  STUDY OF ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS AND

 

ASSESSMENT  INSTRUMENTS. (a) An advisory committee shall be established to conduct a study regarding the essential knowledge and skills of the required curriculum and assessment instruments administered        under Section 39.023 to students in grades three through eight.  The committee must be composed of:

( 1) four members of the senate education committee appointed by the lieutenant governor and four members of the house public education committee appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;

(2)  two    members  of  the public  appointed  by  the lieutenant governor;

(3)  two members of the public appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives; and

(4) two members of the State Board of Education appointed by the chair of the board.

(b)    The study must evaluate:

 

(1)  the number and scope of the essential knowledge and skills of each subject area of the required curriculum under Section 28.002 and whether the number or scope should be limited;

(2) the number and subjects of assessment instruments

(3) under Section 39.023 that should be administered to students in grades three through eight; and the number and subjects of assessment                                                                                           instruments under Section 39.023 that should be administered to students in grades three through eight; and

(4) whether assessment  instruments described by

Subdivision (2) should assess only essential knowledge and skills or should also assess supporting standards.

(c)  Not later than October 1, 2014, the committee shall prepare and submit to the governor, each member of the legislature, the commissioner, and the State Board of Education a report that includes the results of the study and recommendations regarding each issue evaluated under Subsection (b).

(d)   This section expires June 1, 2015.

=============

 ADDENDUM FROM DONNA GARNER:

HB 2836 and HB 866 would destroy the writing abilities of our Texas students because parents would not know how well their children are learning writing techniques including good spelling, grammar, usage, punctuation, capitalization, expository/persuasive content, etc. until students take their first high-stakes writing test in 9th grade:  http://educationviews.org/texas-legislators-determining-students-fate/ 

 

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

 

WOMEN ON THE WALL HAS JOINED WBTM’S RADIO PROGRAMMING

Women On The Wall Radio ~ WBTM

Join WomenOnTheWall.org WBTM radio show Monday morning from 10 am to 11 am.

 

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

CSCOPE: Breaking News Pat Hardy Supports Thomas Ratliff – Big Problem for Texas Children

Date posted: January 23, 2013

~Arm yourself with knowledge ~  

 

See Breaking News below on Pat Hardy~ Call to Action after you find out who Thomas Ratliff is call Pat Hardy and ask her why she would support him? 

 

WOMEN ON THE WALL RADIO TAKES ON CSCOPE WITH EDUCATION EXPERT DONNA GARNER.

The issue of CSCOPE is very important and Donna Garner does an exceptional job of explaining the history of CSCOPE and why it is so important that we push back against CSCOPE. 

WBTM Women On The Wall Radio with Donna Garner

You can find out HERE if your district is using CSCOPE! 

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED:

 

  • Importance of the confirmation by the Texas Senate of Barbara Cargill as chair of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE)

  • CSCOPE  — a highly questionable curriculum used in almost 80% of Texas public schools – operating under the radar

Excerpt from letter sent from an SBOE member to Donna Garner, 7.23.11:

Donna,

 Thomas Ratliff voted for electronic instructional materials that all require Microsoft software. We even encountered prompts to download Microsoft downloads/updates to access materials.  With SB6, the Computer technology lobby bill, the SBOE determines the amount of $$ (50%) distributed to the ASF for district’s instructional material allotment.  Ratliff is even on the PSF committee that will develop the recommendation. Senate committee video/ (and registration) will show him testifying that he LOVED this bill.

  • Importance of the election of Ken Mercer as Vice Chair of the SBOE Executive Committee

 

 

SBOE Members – Pat Hardy and Thomas Ratliff

Just Breaking: In response to an e-mail asking Pat Hardy who she would be supporting for vice-chair for the SBOE. 

I will be supporting Thomas Ratliff to be selected as vice-chair for the SBOE.  Please read the attachment as it addresses false comments that are being sent on the internet.
 

Patricia Ann Hardy

Texas State Board of Education

District 11

1109 Roaring Springs Road

Fort Worth, Texas 76114

817-598-2968-work

To listen to the 25-minute interview, please click below the title where it says in light print, “Click to play.” 

 

Important article on Thomas Ratliff 

“Thomas Ratliff’s Brazen Gall”

 

Recent articles on CSCOPE: 

1.22.13 –CSCOPE~ “From a Veteran Teacher’s Point of View ~ Stan Hartzler” – By Alice Linahan

 

1.22.13 — “Christopher Columbus Goes Green” – by Ginger Russell —

 

1.19.13 – “Renowned Science Author Banned from CSCOPE” – by Janice Van Cleave —   

 

1.18.13 – “CSCOPE Science Lesson – Discredited, Error-Filled” – by Janice Van Cleave —   

 

 

1.13.13 – “Obama Interested in ‘Allah-Is-God’ Curriculum – CSCOPE” – by John Griffing, World Net Daily — 

 

1.3.13 — Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 of Colleen Vera’s investigative report, “What’s Behind the Curtain?” 

Part 1 — http://educationviews.org/cscope-whats-behind-the-curtain-part-i/

Part 2 — http://educationviews.org/pt-2-cscope-whats-behind-the-curtain/

 

1.10.13 — Comment posted anonymously by Texas teacher —   

 

10.12.12 — “CSCOPE: Texas Teachers Given Gag Order” – Written by concerned Texas educators –

 

10.26.12 – List of CSCOPE Schools in Texas —

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

  

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

Alice Linahan

Follow @AliceLinahan on twitter and Facebook 

Join the movement expose corruption in Texas Politics go to Tea Party 911 for a daily briefing.

Tea Party 911

Be sure and listen to all the great shows on WBTM Radio!

Chaos Radio with Mel Moss and Rick Rose

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!

Early Speaker race chatter

Date posted: August 12, 2011

By Daniel Greer from Agenda Wise Reports

 

Election pairings in Texas are already being described as proxy battles pitting embattled Texas Speaker Joe Straus against insurgent conservative challengers. Conservatives again expect a likeminded conservative leader in 2013.

House District 115, formerly held by Republican Mike Jackson is being touted by the media as one of these races.

According to Mike Hailey of Capitol Inside, a capitol-centric subscription publication, the Speaker and his team are lining up behind Bennett Ratliff in HD 115. Ratliff has a pedigree as he is the son of former Lt. Govenor Bill Ratliff. Hailey speculates that the endorsements of key Straus cardinals including Charlie Geren, Jim Pitts and Burt Solomons mark Ratliff as the establishment’s pick.

Squaring off against Ratliff is Matt Rinaldi a Dallas area lawyer how has been involved in Republican politics for 20 years. Along with conservative activists and elected officials from his area Rinaldi’s press release announcing his candidacy included a word of endorsement from Representative Ken Paxton. In 2011 the conservative Paxton mounted an unsuccessful campaign to replace Straus as speaker in the first speaker race open to the public in over 35 years.

The fact that Ratliff is involved in school district politics is interesting given the tactics employed by Jim Pitts during the 2011 budgeting process. Pitts, in a play to make life more difficult for conservatives, drafted a budget that was intentionally brutal on education spending. His original budget was eventually overhauled and schools ended up with more funding then ever but the damage was done.

The Pitts maneuver was repeated by liberals and moderates all session long when seeking higher taxes and access to the states’ savings. During the upcoming election education spending is expected to be a major theme.

Over the next 7 months several of these leadership races will emerge and this primary will mark the first in which speaker politics will be on display. Candidates should be open with Texans about their allegiances and intentions so that accurate representation is achieved.

Link to Matt Rinaldi HD 115 press release

 

 

Daniel Greer

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!

Just Breaking – Thomas Ratliff, SBOE Member, Ineligible

Date posted:

By Donna Garner

Photo Courtesy of Texas Attorney General’s website

Texas has had a great victory this morning.  The Rule of Law has been upheld by Texas Attorney Greg Abbott.  His opinion can be found at the link below; but what he has basically said is that Thomas Ratliff, a registered lobbyist who sells to clients who do business with the Texas State Board of Education and with the Texas Education Agency, is ineligible to serve on the SBOE.

The AG goes even further and states that because Ratliff is ineligible even to be on the SBOE, then Ratliff’s argument in which he says he can recuse himself from certain votes involving his clients is actually mute and void because Ratliff should not be on the SBOE in the first place.    

Now, what can be done?  Thomas Ratliff can and should be impeached if he chooses not to resign from the SBOE.  

According to Texas Government Code, Section 665.001, Impeachment Proceeding, and Section 665.004 (http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/GV/htm/GV.665.htm), if the Legislature is not in Session, a majority of the House (in this case 75 members because Rep. Fred Brown has resigned his seat) can sign a petition of impeachment.  Please read the remainder of the provisions in Section 665.001, etc. for details. 


With the Texas primaries coming on March 6, 2012, and early voting beginning on 2.21.12, the time is perfect for Texas legislative candidates to make their positions clear. Are they going to support the impeachment petition against  Thomas Ratliff and uphold the Rule of Law, or are they going to lack the courage to do the right thing. 

Below the excerpted AG’s opinion, I have posted links to various articles that give more information about Thomas Ratliff and his nefarious activities. 

========================

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Notification of Opinion

 

=====================

 8.12.11  

Subject: Notification of Opinion (Texas Attorney General’s Office) 

Good morning: 

We issued 1 Attorney General Opinion:  

Opinion No.  GA-0876

Go to :http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/opinions/50abbott/op/2011/htm/ga-0876.htm

Re: Construction of section 7.103(c), Education Code, regarding the eligibility of a registered lobbyist for membership on the State Board of Education (RQ-0948-GA)

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/opinions/50abbott/rq/2011/pdf/rq0948ga.pdf 

Summary: Subsection 7.103(c), Texas Education Code, precludes certain registered lobbyists from serving on the State Board of Education (“Board”). A person who has been retained to communicate directly with the legislative or executive branch to influence legislation or administrative action in or on behalf of a profession, business, or association on a matter that pertains to or is associated or connected with any of the statutorily enumerated powers or duties of the Board is not eligible to serve on the Board. Thus, a registered lobbyist who has been paid to lobby the legislative or executive branch on a matter relating to Board business is ineligible to serve on the Board. The question of whether any person engaged in lobbying activity is ineligible under subsection 7.103(c) is a fact question that is inappropriate to an attorney general opinion. 

Absent a mechanism to cure a violation in subsection 7.103(c), we cannot advise that a member of the Board  may cure his or her ineligibility under the subsection.

 

8.10.11  Latest Outrage Committed by Thomas Ratliff

 

4.3.11 — “Thomas Ratliff’s Brazen Gall” by Donna Garner –

 

3.25.11 – “Who’s Behind This Mounting Pressure?”

 

3.15.11 — “Thomas Ratliff’s False Sense of Security” by Donna Garner

 

 


 

Knowledge is Power~ Click and share with your friends!

« Older Entries