Hegar pens letter to Texas leadership concerning longterm challenges

PLEASE CALL NOW!! Senator Eltife

Senator Kevin Elitife is reportedly undecided on SB 19. Please call his office to let him know how important it is that he stand behind this bill.

Summary: No registered lobbyist (Thomas Ratliff) in state office

The Honorable Kevin Eltife
(512) 463-0101 

Click here to read:    SB 19 

Much attention is needed to Gilmer ISD's new bond proposal




Early Voting Begins Monday, April 27th. Please take a moment to vote. More information on our Local Elections can be found at: http://www.gilmermirror.com/

West: Americans are 'allowing tyranny to take its hold'

Former U.S. Rep. Allen West warned a gathering of more than 200 people at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Union Grove on Friday night that Americans are “allowing tyranny to take its hold” and that “liberty produces victors. Tyranny produces victims.”

West’s appearance, billed as “An Evening With (Lt.) Col. Allen West,” was a fundraiser sponsored by the conservative group East Texans for Liberty. Besides paying at least $15 admission to see the former decorated U.S. Army officer and onetime congressman, those attending could participate in a silent auction.

ET4L, headed by President Kathryn Wilson, said proceeds from Friday’s event would be used “for bringing conservative speakers and civic educational programs to East Texas.”

West served one term as a Congressman from Florida before moving to Texas to become president and chief executive officer of a Dallas conservative free-market think tank, the National Center For Policy Analysis. He told the gathering that tyranny is being allowed by government’s furnishing people with free cell phones and food stamps while telling them “you don’t have to work.”

He said those awaiting a government check have “lost out” and quoted the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as saying that “the inherent problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

“Tyranny doesn’t believe in opportunity. Tyranny believes in dependency,” which is why so many Americans are on food stamps, West asserted. He told the audience this was “your Alamo moment” and that it should dare government to “come take it” (their earnings), or “you’ll be the first generation that does not pass on” liberty.

Saying the United States has an $18 trillion national debt and 93 million unemployed, West asked, “Is that what we want to pass on?”

In addition, government “is persecuting people for their religious beliefs,” the speaker said.

A baker in Oregon and a photographer both were fined and lost their businesses for not wanting to be part of something that violated their beliefs, he said. (West did not mention that those cases involved the businesses’ refusal to perform certain services involving same-sex weddings).

He cited the “First Amendment right of freedom of religion, not freedom from religion,” and said the founding fathers “prayed over this nation.

“There’s a reason why we sing God Bless America, not government bless America,” West said. “If we move away from being this Judeo-Christian nation to a secular state, then these blessings will be lost.”

The former lieutenant colonel also noted that the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution, but was in a letter which Thomas Jefferson wrote to a religious convention. The idea was that a head of a religious group should not be a head of state as well, West said.

He additionally pointed out that the only “face” in the U.S. House of Representatives staring at the speaker of the House--and at the president when he addresses Congress--is a likeness of Moses.

West quoted Jefferson as saying there is a “a natural right theory” involving man’s creator. The former congressman said that if Americans cease believing that, and instead believe “that man is the granter of those rights, then man can also be the taker of those rights, which is the difference between liberty and tyranny.”
West received ET4L's 1st Liberty Award
Discussing liberty in general, West declared “it inspires us to make a stand so you can pass on something to subsequent generations.”

He asserted that Abraham Lincoln had given the best definition of the word in 1864; Lincoln noted that some say liberty allows “each man to do as he pleases,” but others say it allows “for some men to do as they please” with the product of other men’s labor.

West said that “what built America (economically) is the indomitable” spirit of the individual, and that the nation achieves things through small business owners.

West also alluded to the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tes Party groups, saying government should not “unleash its power” against people for petitioning for a redress of grievances.

“The government realized that we could not allow liberty to stand,” so the IRS oppresses people, he charged.

Noting that the Tea in Tea Party stands for “taxed enough already,” West said, “We have onerous taxation with very little appropriate representation.”

He also decried the estate tax, which he called a “death tax.” He said people are taxed when alive and “Dadgum, they get (you) when you’re dead, too.”

Before West’s address, Wilson explained East Texans for Liberty’s history and mission. She said she was invited about a year ago to a meeting of “like-minded conservatives,” who decided to form the organization, which is aimed at establishing conservative solutions in the community, state and nation.

“Government must be limited. We believe government must be fiscally responsible,” said Wilson, who said the group wants to “affect public policy” and get citizens involved in civic affairs.

Among those attending the event were Justices Greg Neeley and Brian Hoyle of the 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler, State Republican Executive Committeewoman Sue Evenwel, the Republican Party chairmen for Harrison and Titus counties, the Gregg County Republican Party vice-chairman, a representative of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s office and Upshur County Libertarian Party Chairman Vance Lowry.

Also attending were Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler and Longview Mayor Jay Dean, both of whom had to leave before West spoke, and Upshur County Pct. 3 Commissioner Frank Berka, an ET4L member.

Before West’s address, the Gilmer High School Air Force Junior ROTC’s U.S. Flag and Color Guard presented the flag. The speaker praised the students, noting he was in the Junior Army ROTC in high school in 1976 before retiring from the United States Army in 2004 after being stationed at Fort Hood in Texas.

The Gilmer High School flag and color guard members included its commander, Dakota Hillin, and First Lieutenants Allysia Mitchell, Brandon Hollis and Fernando Carrion. They were supervised by instructor Rob Gannon.

ET4L Program Director Stacy McMahan introduced the master of ceremonies, former Upshur County Pct. 2 Commissioner Cole Hefner, who drew applause when he announced that the Texas House of Representatives had voted 96-35 that day to approve the licensed open carry of firearms.

Former Gregg County Republican Party Chairman Keith Rothra introduced West, terming the speaker “so conservative the Democrats hate him, and for that reason, I love him.”

Rothra also noted that Atlanta, Ga. native West (who was defeated for re-election in 2012 after one term in the House) served 22 years in the army and is now a Fox News contributor. West participated in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning a Bronze Star and numerous medals, Rothra noted.

Read more:The Gilmer Mirror - West Americans are allowing tyranny to take its hold

Special note:  Col. West said he had a fantastic time in Gladewater, Texas, enjoyed his chicken fried steak at Tumbleweeds Steakhouse, and looks forward to joining East Texans for Liberty again. 

Special thanks to Ret. Major Keith Rothra, Rob Gannon and his Gilmer ISD ROTC crew, Cory Fatherree, Big Sandy PD Ryan Ludvigson, Chris Blystone and his crew, St. Theresa's Catholic Church, Father Mark Dunne, Donna Hallonquist, our sponsors, the entire ET4L board and committee chairs, Phillip Williams, Timna Rutledge, Bob Brewer, Tyler Watts, Fox 51, and the 240+ attendees!

Upshur County Republican Party Chair, Cynthia Ridgeway advised ET4L's Program and Events Director, Stacy McMahan prior to the event of her inability to attend due to an illness in the family.  ET4L's prayers are with Mrs. Ridgeway and her family. 

To watch Col. Allen West's speech in its entirety click here.


Thanks to our Sponsors

David & Laurie Fisher
Electrical & Lift Services of East Texas
Ray and Maeva Thompson
Richard & Carol Manley, Longview Councilman/Candidate for Mayor
David & Desiree Watts, ET4L
Don & Denise McElvogue
Judge Dean & Nan Fowler
Gerry & Sue Evenwel
Mike & Cindy Schwartz
Joey & Anita Lowe
Leslie Lawrence
Melady Thompson, ET4L
Representative Bryan Hughes
Shane Pennington
UC District Attorney Billy & Kelli Byrd
Chris Blystone, Citizen Soldiers
Lou & Karen Gigliotti
Rachel Easley, Studio 271
Tim Vaughn, Greg County Republican Chair
Wes Brumit, Harrison County Republican Chair
Rand Knotts
Dr. DeWayne Collins, Chairman of Edom Tea Party
Bill and Donna Hallonquist
Gary & Lisa Sneed
Tom & Brenda Evans, ET4L
Harry & Stacy McMahan, ET4L
Governor Greg Abbott
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar
Representative David Simpson
Representative Matt Schaefer
Commissioner Frank Berka – Auto Care
Just for you Antiques
Belinda Berka, ET4L
Cole & Kerri Hefner, ET4L
Tom & Pattie Special Tee’s
Deborah Norman, ET4L
Carol Meyer



Brewer: East Texans for Liberty's Kickoff

Bob Brewer

East Texans for Liberty had a fantastic kick off last night with their featured speaker Colonel Allen West.

Compared to most Tea Party functions, this one was flawless! The parking crew handled the overflow of vehicles with aplumb. The check-in table was well manned and greeted every attendee as they approached the building. At least two dozen of the ETx4Liberty team were wearing snappy monogramed ETx4L oxford shirts.

The lobby was perfect. Silent auction items were on display as the public entered the main auditorium and were escorted by more exquisitly uniformed members to their seats. Seating was extremely well organized with media, VIPs, family and special guests given extra attention. The sound system was flawless (it seemed Merle Hope was attending to that).

The drinks and pastries at the back were superb! You could taste the love of those who baked them! What an effort by such a great group! If their future is as impressive as their birth, the outlook for Liberty in Texas is as bright as that sun that Franklin described 270+ years ago.


is a seven segment playlist of the evening. The first three are introductions of the ETx4L members who made the evening happen, elected officials, Cole Hefner and Keith Rothra MCs. The remaining four are 10 minute segments of Colonel Allen West.

Enjoy the videos. If you're like me, you'll be collaborating with this group frequently in the near future.


Bob Brewer

Hearing on HB 2165 - Decriminalizing Marijuana


This bill is scheduled for public hearing in the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on Wednesday April 8, 2015 @ 10:30 a.m. Details here.

Anyone interested in voicing opinions on this bill may attend the public hearing scheduled in Austin.

The legalization of Marijuana for medical purposes only is a whole other debate. This bill is for complete legalization with no state regulations and if passed would be a huge impact on Texas and our local communities.


Statement from Governor Greg Abbott:
"I don’t think decriminalizing marijuana is going to happen this session,” Abbott said during a news conference. “I will see Texas continuing to lead the way of diverting away from activity that involves drug use and helping people lead more productive lives.”





Senator Cruz to announce presidential bid Monday

Sen. Ted Cruz to announce presidential bid Monday

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is expected to announce on Monday he will run for president in 2016 -- making him the first candidate to formally enter the race, Fox News confirms.  

Cruz is expected to make the announcement during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

He is expected to start his campaign immediately rather than launch an exploratory committee, which many do as a precursor to a campaign. The move, some say, is expected to send a strong signal that his is ready to run.

Other candidates who have been rumored to run for the GOP nomination include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Following the announcement, Cruz is slated to speak with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an exclusive interview.

Cruz, 44, who has made headlines for his conservative stance on immigration, has gone after other Republicans for their more moderate views.  

In recent weeks, Cruz has already come under fire over his own citizenship. Two former Justice Department lawyers said last week there is no doubt the Canadian-born senator is eligible to run for the White House.

"There is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a 'natural born Citizen' within the meaning of the Constitution," Neal Katyal, acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, and Paul Clemente, solicitor general in the President George W. Bush administration, wrote in a joint article.

Anti-Cruz "birthers" challenged his citizenship status because he was born in Canada. However, two years ago, Cruz released his birth certificate showing his mother was a U.S. citizen born in Delaware, presumably satisfying the requirements for presidential eligibility as a "natural born citizen."

Last month, Cruz addressed the citizenship issue during a question-and-answer session with moderator Hannity at the Conservative Political Action Conference.  “I was born in Calgary. My mother was an American citizen by birth,” Cruz said.  “Under federal law, that made me an American citizen by birth. The Constitution requires that you be a natural-born citizen.”

With a little more than a year and half to go before the 2016 election, speculation is heating up that several presidential contenders will soon officially throw their hats into the ring. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who enjoys a wide lead among potential Democratic candidates despite the recent uproar over her use of a personal email account while leading the State Department, is expected to announce her candidacy next month.

Read more


Simpson Town Hall - Saturday, March 21st



Simpson's Saturday stops are:

Pittsburg: 9 a.m. to 10:30 at Pizza Inn (1000 N. Greer Blvd.) with the Camp County Republican Party;

Gladewater: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tejas Café (1414 Broadway Ave.) with the Gregg County Libertarian Party;

Mt. Pleasant (1): 2 p.m. to 3:30 at Herschel’s Restaurant (1612 S. Jefferson Ave.) with Titus County Republican Women;

Mt. Pleasant (2): 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Northeast Texas Community College Whatley Center (2886 FM 1735).

For more information, contact Kathi Seay at 512-463-0750 or kathi.seay@house.state.tx.us.

Texas Lawmaker Files Bill to Protect the Alamo

Written by Kelly Holt


Remember the Alamo?

In 1836, when efforts to gain religious independence and solve other disputes with the Mexican government failed, the residents of Texas went to war. The most famous of the ensuing battles? The Alamo — severely outnumbered by Mexican forces, fewer than 200 Texans bravely fought, and lost. But a month later, General Sam Houston engaged Mexican General Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto, one of the bloodiest battles in our history. The outraged Texans, surprising the overconfident Mexican leader, led the charge with the battle cry “Remember the Alamo!” securing independence for the territory, and avenging losses suffered at the Alamo.

The Spanish mission, one of five established along the San Antonio River, now faces a different, yet no less sinister, threat, along with its sister missions. Saved from destruction by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, which operated the mission for over 100 years, the site was turned over to Texas’ General Land Office in 2011, and the mission has now been nominated for consideration as a United Nations World Heritage site.In Texas’ biennial legislative session, convening in January, State Senator Donna Campbell introduced her Protect the Alamo Act against, incredibly, opposition to retaining Texas control of the site.

The historic mission has become an icon for individual liberty, heroism, and the independent spirit of America for all Americans, but especially Texans who’ve enshrined the site as a sacred place in Lone Star history. Some Texans are wondering where that spirit went as they watch state leadership court the dollars and jobs promised with the UN designation.

Remembering a small skirmish preceding the Battle of the Alamo when a small band of Texans challenged Mexico’s demand to relinquish all its guns with the equivalent of “Oh, yeah? Well, come get ‘em!”, one would think all Texans would be wondering, even considering the promises of money.

According to the Texas Tribune, “A World Heritage designation would add up to $105 million in additional economic activity to Bexar County [home of the Alamo] by 2025, as well as up to 1,100 jobs and as much as $2.2 million in additional hotel tax revenue, according to a 2013 report by the Harbinger Consulting Group.” But the site is already a renowned landmark, and it’s not as if Texans are hurting for jobs, with a 4.6 percent official unemployment rate. A decision is expected in July.

And many are rightly concerned about the unintended consequences of making it a World Heritage Site, such as the loss of property rights, authority over the site, and, well, the absence of any provision in the Texas Constitution to turn over State property to any other agency — not to mention Campbell’s feeling that “anything with U N in it gives me cause for concern.

One major worry uttered by critics is that the site would be “sold” to the UN. In a February hearing, the Tribune explained, the office of newly elected Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush (son of Jeb Bush) told lawmakers that “the General Land Office would only be able to sell the Alamo if lawmakers passed legislation directing them to do so.” Though Deputy Land Commissioner Larry Laine said that “Commissioner Bush would say no to allowing the Alamo to be sold,” he made no guarantees for the future, saying, “I cannot speak for that next commissioner.”

Some Texas bureaucrats are openly dismissive of any land transfer worries. Former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson stated in a 2013 General Land Office press release that a World Heritage Nomination will not change authority, jurisdiction, or ownership of the Alamo or any of the other Spanish missions. Responding to a media report that the UN flag will fly over the Alamo, Patterson responded bluntly: “Horse hockey.”

But the sale of the property may be of least concern. Possession is said to be nine-tenths of the law, and the UN will undoubtedly be exercising authority over the area if the designation goes through.

Infowars.com rightly observed in October 2013, “Sovereign jurisdiction means little when governments and the UN are completely interconnected. Yet as we constantly see with Agenda 21, local city governments adopt policies ‘recommended’ by the UN as if they were law. The UN’s pressure has already been felt in San Antonio after the city nixed a proposed downtown hotel tower because it would have jeopardized the Alamo’s World Heritage status.”

“Other downtown businesses may suffer worse fates because, under the terms of the World Heritage Convention, governments are expected to protect heritage sites beyond their borders, infringing upon private property in the process. In 1995, for example, then President Bill Clinton asked the UN to declare Yellowstone Park in Wyoming a ‘World Heritage Site in Danger,’ giving him the ‘international obligation’ to shut down a private mine three miles away from the park, even though the mine predated the park by 150 years.”

Infowars continued, “In 2002, the UNESCO World Heritage Center published a manual entitled ‘Managing Tourism at World Heritage Sites,’ which outlines UN obligations that the historic site managers are expected to follow, stating that ‘the duty of the international community as a whole to cooperate’ in managing World Heritage Sites.

The UNESCO constitution also states that UNESCO shall operate as an adjunct of the UN, which claims authority over everything it touches, regardless of statements to the contrary.

Conservative and independent Texans are aghast that their supposedly conservative leadership is supporting this measure. Critics say that Patterson, along with others, should be protecting Texas independence along with its property, instead of piecing it off to a supranational agency not known for sticking to its principles.

Alarmingly, the decision is being made without the consent of Texans. In an end-run around Texans, the National Park Service, according to The Missions of San Antonio website is “leading the World Heritage application process,” obligating Texans’ time, property rights and money to something over which they have no say.

Some of the state’s lawmakers are worried about Cambell’s initiative, claiming that “it could cause the UNESCO voting committee to look unfavorably on the San Antonio nomination.”

“I don’t think there is anyone that disagrees with you about the Alamo and its history,” said Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). “I don’t think there is any member on this committee that will allow the Alamo to be sold. The concern I have simply is that we are sending the wrong message.”

Independent Texans posit that the “wrong message” is that we care what UNESCO thinks. Keep Texas independent, and remember the Alamo.


Defense of the Texas Marriage Amendment Rally

Join Pro-Life and Pro-Family activists at the Defense of the Texas Marriage Amendment Rally

Monday, March 23rd at 1 PM on the south steps of the State Capitol in Austin.



It’s time for Christians and conservatives to rise up and take a stand for God’s truth about marriageWe must draw a line in the sand.

This is a call to action. I am asking you to make whatever sacrifices necessary to attend the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally scheduled for Monday, March 23rd at 1:00 pm on the south steps of the Texas Capitol.  Please encourage your family, friends and fellow church members to attend. You might consider taking busloads of people to the rally.

We have over 100 elected State Officials who are sponsoring this event. They are coming under attack by militant homosexuals. That is why Christians and conservatives must have a show of force to let these legislators know that we support them.

Marriage is a God ordained institution between a man and a woman and it is the fundamental foundation of families and of ordered societies: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24, Matt. 19:5).

In the November 8, 2005 General Election, the citizens of Texas passed, by an overwhelming margin of 76% to 24%, a Marriage Amendment to the Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 32, which provides that “Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.”

A fierce battle for the soul of Texas has begun.  The liberals and their pro-homosexual allies want to force Texans to redefine marriage and accept 'homosexual mirage’ as morally right.

The idea that homosexuals could be married is a ‘mirage.’ It is contrary to God’s moral order. It’s a counterfeit. It’s fake. It’s a lie. The homosexuals and their supporters are using the liberal federal judges to redefine marriage against the will of the people in Texas and across America, which will force Texans to grant public approval and acceptance of homosexual activity. This will lead to homosexual behavior being taught to school children.

I am calling upon you and entreating you to join our army to protect Biblical marriage and to rally your fellow Christians and conservatives to do likewise.

Alabama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, Roy Moore, who has been the leading advocate for the states’ sovereign right to protect Biblical marriage, will be the keynote speaker at the Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally scheduled for Monday, March 23rd.  He has demonstrated the courage of his convictions by opposing the federal courts’ usurpation of states’ rights in the area of family law and marriage.  The Texas Legislature can follow the lead of the Alabama Supreme Court by taking a bold stand to protect Biblical marriage in Texas. This will send a forceful message to the federal courts about the Texas Legislature’s commitment to maintain the moral integrity of our culture in Texas.

Attend the Defense of the Texas Marriage Amendment Rally Monday, March 23rd at 1 PM on the south steps of the State Capitol in Austin and bring your family and friends.

After the rally, you will have an opportunity to visit your state legislator’s office and encourage him or her to defend the Texas Marriage Amendment.

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” - Edmund Burke

Thank you for your commitment to Biblical marriage and for making arrangements to attend the Defense of the Texas Marriage Amendment Rally on March 23rd at 1 PM on the south steps of the State Capitol in Austin.

With much appreciation for your leadership, I remain, as always,

Sincerely yours for Constitutional liberties and the Biblical principles upon which they are based,

Steven F. Hotze, M.D. 
Conservative Republicans of Texas