East Texans Shine Beacon for Liberty



GILMER, TX – Upshur County’s East Texans for Liberty’s (ET4L) 3rd Annual Stars of Texas Fall Celebration was held last Saturday, October 7, 2017, at the First Assembly of God Church on Hwy 271 North and included keynote speakers, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler) and Lt. Col. Allen West. Other speakers were the Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey, Empower Texans Michael Quinn Sullivan, and Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler. These east Texans shine the beacon for liberty, as challenged.

Judge Fowler started off the evening speaking about his decision to not run for re-election, after this term, for Upshur County Judge. At the end of his term, Fowler will have served Upshur as County Judge for sixteen years. Fowler continued by thanking the many elected officials and guests for visiting Upshur County and announced that Stacy McMahan, President of East Texans for Liberty, was selected as the RPT’s Volunteer of the Year for Senate District 1.

RPT Chairman James Dickey, during his first visit to Upshur County, was presented with a plaque by ET4L and acknowledged as the first grassroots conservative chairman. Dickey spoke of his plans for the Republican Party of Texas and emphasized the importance of people over party.

Photo by Char Doonan - U.S. District 1 Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler),
Michael Quinn Sullivan with Empower Texans, and Lt. Col. Allen West

Empower Texans Michael Quinn Sullivan spoke on the importance of being an engaged voter, protecting liberty, the conservative movement across Texas, the impact of property taxes, and how in reality, you do not own your home.

U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert spoke on the rules of engagement differences under Bush, Obama, and Trump. Gohmert went further to state there were 629 precious military lives lost under Bush; over 1,700 under Obama; and to date, 7 under Trump. Gohmert also spoke on healthcare reform, the Veteran’s Administration, and read part of a proclamation by Abraham Lincoln, written on March 30, 1863.

Lt. Col. Allen West spoke on the importance of preserving liberty and the stark differences in the definitions of liberty and tyranny. “For one man, liberty means, for him to do what he pleases with himself, with the product of his labor. For another man liberty means to do what he pleases with himself, with the product of someone else’s labor,” said West.

West also spoke of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses post on October 31, 1517, and how Luther had realized that liberty is not an institutional thing. Individual’s rights are free, over the institution.

“Sitting in section 8 housing waiting on the government to give you a check is not liberty,” said West.

West went further and asked the RPT Chairman Dickey to not talk about party. “Chairman, ask the individual if they stand on the side of liberty or do they stand on the side of tyranny.”

West added that in 1825 tyranny showed up in Gonzalez, Texas. But Texans knew the difference between liberty and tyranny.  “They stood up in Gonzalez and said: “Come and Take It,” West continued.

He then asked, “Why do we need East Texans for Liberty? Because they understand the difference between liberty and tyranny. Tyranny is winning in Dallas, Harris, El Paso, San Antonio, Bexar, and Austin.” West went on further to challenge ET4L to be that beacon and march. “Make sure you are heard in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, El Paso, San Antonio, and Austin,” said West. “Because if Texas falls, so does the Nation.”

West closed by challenging the parents with children in attendance and others, in the sold-out crowd of over 220, to “teach your children about what Martin Luther said about liberty 500 years ago. Teach them about John Locke and Thomas Jefferson. Teach them their God-given rights and the difference between liberty and tyranny.”

Also, a surprise speaker, Omar Navarro from California. Navarro energized the crowd with his announcement that he is running against Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA 43rd District).

ET4L’s Liberty Award recipient for 2017 was the Honorable U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert (Tyler, TX-01) and same was presented by Texas House District 5 Representative Cole Hefner (Mt. Pleasant, TX). ET4L’s Liberty Award is reserved for the individual or group that makes an unwavering and self-sacrificing impact on the God-given rights of Liberty and Freedom for the people of Texas, the United States, and thereby the world. Previous Liberty Award recipients were Lt. Col. Allen West in 2015, at ET4L’s kickoff, and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (Houston, TX) in 2016.

Photo by Char Doonan - The ET4L team with Lt. Col. Allen West:  (back row – from the left) 
John Rappazzo, Stacy McMahan, Jim Strader, Mary Anne Farrow, David Watts. 
(front row – from the left)Brenda Evans, Jennifer Audit, Darlene Rappazzo, and Desiree Watts

East Texans for Liberty’s Stacy McMahan and Mary Anne Farrow were recognized for their countless hours contributed to protecting the law enforcement in Upshur County with a plaque presented by Robert Perry of BL.Uprepared, Upshur County Sheriff Larry Webb, Upshur County Constables, Ore City Police Department and Big Sandy Police Department. ET4L raised funds to supply the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, Upshur County Constables, and both Ore City and Big Sandy Police Departments with Active Shooter Vests.

There were over thirty elected officials in attendance and guests from Upshur, Wood, Harrison, Panola, Cass, Morris, Titus, Red River, Camp, Smith, Gregg, Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Cherokee, Henderson, and Travis counties.

Other contributors to the program were Texas House District 5, Representative Cole Hefner, Texas Senator Bryan Hughes of Senate District 1, Gregg County Justice of the Peace Tim Bryan, the Gregg County Composite Squadron – Civil Air Patrol, and the Master of Ceremonies was Jeff Rash.

The program was under STFC Program Director, Stacy McMahan; catering Director was Brenda Evans; Silent Auction Director was Mary Ann Farrow; Setup Director was Jim Strader, and the Decorating Director was Darlene Rappazzo.

For a full list of sponsors, elected officials, candidates for office, and silent auction contributors, please see the organizations website at East Texans for Liberty.

Stacy McMahan is an Executive Director and President of East Texans for Liberty.

ET4L's 3rd Annual Stars of Texas Fall Celebration - 2017 was highlighted in the following publications: