Upshur: Election Day and Early Voting locations

Provided by Lory Harle, Upshur County Elections Administrator


Gov. Abbott calls property tax reform his top priority in special session



Senator Bettencourt: Governor Abbott stated that his "top priority" for the special session, which got underway today, is property taxes. Property taxes throughout Texas are growing 2 1/3 times faster than Texan's income. This is unsustainable. That is why I plan to introduce legislation (Senate Bill 1) in the special session for property tax reform and relief. As appraised values go up, tax rates should come down. This is why Lt. Governor named it one of his top priorities in the regular session and why it is such a critical issue for the special session.

Texans expect us to take a vote on the property tax reform and relief provisions in Senate Bill 1. Share and call your Representative, if you agree. 

House District 7: Jay Dean (512) 463-0750
House District 6: Matt Schaefer (512) 463-3217
House District 5: Cole Hefner (512) 463-0271
House District 9: Chris Paddie (512) 463-0556 
House District 11: Travis Clardy (512) 463-0592 
House District 1: Gary VanDeaver (512) 463-0692

Gov. Abbott: I'm keeping a list of lawmakers who oppose me during special session

Gov. Greg Abbott says he's going to keep a list of lawmakers who oppose his agenda during the special legislative session, and that property tax reform is his top priority. 

Gov. Greg Abbott said that he would publicly call out lawmakers who didn’t support his 20-item legislative agenda while Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick came out swinging against House leadership during Monday appearances on the eve of Texas' special legislative session.

Abbott said he would aggressively hold lawmakers accountable for their positions on his legislative agenda and encouraged others to do the same. 

“I’m going to be establishing a list,” he said in remarks before the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank. “We all need to establish lists that we publish on a daily basis to call people out — who is for this, who is against this, who has not taken a position yet. No one gets to hide.”

Read more here. 



Resolution for New Texas House Speaker




Contact:  S. McMahan
Telephone:  (903) 500-2292



GILMER, TX, July 13, 2017:  East Texans for Liberty’s Executive Board votes unanimously to pass the following Resolution:


Resolution for a new Texas House Speaker

WHEREAS, House District 121 Representative and Speaker of the House Joe Straus has been one of the more controversial figures in Texas politics due to his well-documented anathema to the conservative reforms that have been repeatedly placed in the RPT platform. 

WHEREAS, Just this past session, Straus conspired with Democrats and liberal Republicans to kill property tax reform, higher ethical standards for elected officials, and the majority of the Republican Party’s legislative priorities.

WHEREAS, We the Executive Board members of East Texans for Liberty of Upshur County, join the Bexar County GOP & DeWitt County GOP in their resolve that there should be a change in leadership in the Texas House speakership due to fact that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus does not support the RPT platform.

RESOLVED, Be it resolved we call on all conservative and county GOP’s, statewide, to join us.




"Joe Straus has attempted to destroy the conservative solutions that Texans are demanding. It is time House Leadership be replaced with an authentic conservative that will stand with a constitutionally conservative Republican Party Platform," said East Texans for Liberty Executive Board member, David Watts.

PROJECT: Active Shooter Vests for Upshur County Law Enforcement



Earlier this year, BL.Uprepared and East Texans for Liberty joined efforts to raise funds to outfit the men and women in Upshur County law enforcement with Active Shooter Vests.  

Through gracious donations by area businesses the Upshur County Sheriff's Department, Ore City Police Department, and Upshur County Constables have all received their vests.  An Active Shooter Vest was obtained for the East Mountain Police Department, however, upon shipment of the vests, the East Mountain Police officer resigned. 

Last Friday, before Upshur County Commissioners Court convened, East Texans for Liberty learned Big Sandy Police Department had not outfitted their officers with Active Shooter Vests, as the Gilmer Police Department. 

"We are very appreciative to Brandy Lee, the Upshur County Auditor, and Big Sandy Police Sgt. Ryan Kuhn for their assistance in clarifying the misunderstanding concerning Big Sandy's Police Department," said ET4L President Stacy McMahan. 

Today, BL.Uprepared and East Texans for Liberty received approval from Big Sandy's Chief of Police Tim Scott and Big Sandy Mayor Sonny Parsons. 

"ET4L will begin raising funds for six (6) needed Active Shooter Vests for the Big Sandy Police Department," McMahan said.





On the Heels of Legislative Success, with an Eye on the Special Session, Texas Conservative Grassroots Coalition Leadership Surges by 78% Over First Quarter

June 26, 2017

Media Release - For Immediate Release

On the Heels of Legislative Success, with an Eye on the Special Session, Texas Conservative Grassroots Coalition Leadership Surges by 78% Over First Quarter

Temple, Texas – On Saturday, June 24, the Texas Conservative Grassroots Coalition Leadership Summit convened its Second Summit for 2017 with 121 leaders, representing 59 distinct organizations. Conservative opinion leaders from Texas TEA parties, community groups, local GOP clubs, statewide conservative organizations, the Republican State Executive Committee and the Texas House Freedom Caucus traveled from across the state to attend the 85th Legislative Session Wrap-Up Summit to prepare for the special session and the 2018 Primary Elections.

The Summit included legislative session analyses by Dana Hodges, State Director for Concerned Women for America-Texas; Trayce Bradford, President, Texas Eagle Forum; Terri Hall, Director, Texans for Toll Free Highways; Dr. Laura Pressley, Director, Save Our Texas Vote; and Teresa Beckmeyer, Founder of Lone Star Voice. Coalition successes were revisited as well as special session legislative priorities. The day also included training by JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director, Grassroots America; Ken Emanuelson, Founder, Grassroots Texans; Dale Huls, Executive Committee Member, Clear Lake TEA Party, and Robert Shulter, Operations Director, Grassroots Public Relations, on the topics of coalition-building, leadership skills, social media, and office holder accountability based on the Republican Party of Texas censure rule.

Stacy McMahan, President of East Texans for Liberty said, “As President of an active conservative group, I am exceptionally grateful for the Coalition Summit. Not only was it great to catch up with over one hundred of my conservative friends across Texas, but each speaker presented new information concerning important issues to our members. Activists work very hard behind the scenes before, during, and after a Texas legislative term. There is no doubt we are increasingly effective as a conservative coalition of activist leaders.”

JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director of Grassroots America and an organizer of the Summit, emphasized, “The Texas Conservative Grassroots Coalition has seen a 78% increase just since January.Successful coalition projects during the legislative session that helped pass good reform bills and kill bad bills got the attention of other activists and elected officials. We’re just getting started. This is no longer solely a “TEA Party” effort. I’m thrilled to see so many conservative Republican County Chairs and State Executive Committee members participating. We don’t need to agree on every issue in order to work together. We are united around conservative principles and freedom, and that’s a winning combination.”

Lt Gov Dan Patrick on California's travel ban to Texas


On Friday
, California announced a ban on travel to Texas for all state employees. Here are my thoughts on the ban and the real story behind it, in case you missed my post earlier this weekend.

California vs Texas – The Real Story 

The real story behind California's recently announced ban on travel to Texas goes beyond the temporary prohibition of state employees being allowed to attend conferences and other events in our state.  I say temporary because no one really believes that California state employees will never be allowed to travel to Texas again.

And no one believes that we in Texas are going to change our laws to suit liberal California and Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown.  Instead, the travel ban is the latest chapter in a much bigger story.

Freedom to Serve Children Act 
California announced the travel ban in response to the passage of the Freedom to Serve Children Act which expands the number of organizations in Texas that are recruiting foster care parents to include those who believe placing children with gay or lesbian couples violates their religious beliefs.  It does not exclude any one or any group.  

Finding high quality foster homes is an urgent need in Texas and has been a personal priority for me and for many others in the Legislature.  The bottom line is that this law will expand the pool of potential foster parents.

Some may agree and others may not, but the point is, in Texas, we decide what our laws will be.  We don't buckle under to the radical extremist left, even if they are flying the official flag of the state of California.

I predicted this earlier this year  
The same radical left that pushed the travel ban on the foster care legislation has also threatened to retaliate against Texas because of our passage of the Ban on Sanctuary Cities.  And, of course, retaliation and boycotts have been a theme of the opposition against the Texas Privacy Act — dismissively called the "bathroom bill" by the left-wing media.

When it comes to protecting our conservative principles and values, the strategy of the radical left appears to be saying — we know the people of Texas agree with you so we will get the left-wing liberals who live in other states to come out against you.  

I have said repeatedly that if we cave on the issue of privacy and back off, the threats of boycotts won't stop. California's action on the foster care bill proves I was right.  We can only guess what the left-wing liberals would target Texas for next — our pro-life policies, oil production, support for gun rights and the Second Amendment?  

There is no question that there is broad support for these conservative issues.  Just one quick example.  If you look closely at a poll released last week by the liberal Texas Tribune, you will find that, despite hundreds of negative news stories about the privacy bill, the percentage of people who believe it is important to pass legislation that requires men and women to have separate designated restrooms has increased dramatically — over 30 points among core Republicans.  Opposition is low and about the same as it was months ago when the debate began

Assault on Texas Values 
We must stand strong against this assault on our liberty and our Texas values. These threats have had near zero impact on any city or state that fought back. We've added 9 million people to Texas since 2000 and they are still coming including many conservatives and business owners from California.

Texas is ranked #1 as the best state to do business by CEO magazine.

One last point. Despite what they say in the liberal media, the Foster Care Bill and the Texas Privacy Act do not discriminate against anyone. Every Texan is free to live their life as they choose.  We are simply standing up for religious freedom and the common sense values held by the overwhelming majority of Texans. As your Lt Governor I can assure you I have no intention of kowtowing to the radical left and I will never quit fighting for our conservative values and principles. 

May God continue to bless the greatest place on earth – Texas,

Dan Patrick

Dan Patrick
Lieutenant Governor of Texas

Ore City Receives Active Shooter Vests



Robert Perry, owner of BL.Uprepared, 


Stacy McMahan, Executive Director & President of East Texans for Liberty,

delivered Active Shooter Vests to the

Ore City Police Department

on June 16, 2017.


The vests were purchased through

donations by the great citizens of Upshur County!




The final 4 Active Shooter Vests will be delivered to the Upshur County Constables, 

during Commissioners Court, on June 30, 2017. 



Local Primary Races for 2018


Local Primary Races for 2018

  • Filing dates will be Nov. 11 - Dec 11, 2017
  • The first day to file for a place on the Primary ballot for party chair and precinct chair candidates:  Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Texas House Representative #HD7   2 year term
District Judge       4 year term
District Attorney        4 year term
District Clerk        4 year term
County Judge       4 year term
County Clerk        4 year term
Commissioner Pct 2       4 year term
Commissioner Pct 4       4 year term
JP 1         4 year term
JP 2         4 year term
JP 3         4 year term
JP 4          4 year term
Treasurer         4 year term
Republican Party Chair     2 year term
Democrat Party Chair     2 year term
Precinct Chair       2 year term



November 7, 2017 - Uniform Election Date 
These dates are subject to changes from the 2017 legislative session.

Authority conducting elections

County Elections Officer/Local political subdivisions

First Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail

Sunday, January 1, 2017*  

*First day to file does not move because of New Year’s Day holiday.  An “Annual ABBM” or FPCA for a January or February 2017 election may be filed earlier, but not earlier than the 60th day before the date of the January or February election.

Deadline to post notice of candidate filing deadline

Thursday, June 22, 2017 for local political subdivisions that have a first day to file for their candidates 1

First Day to File for Place on General Election Ballot (for cities and schools ONLY) 2

Saturday, July 22, 2017 (“first day” does not move)

Last Day to Order General Election

Monday, August 21, 2017

Last Day to File for Place on General Election Ballot (for local political subdivisions ONLY) 2

Monday, August 21, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

See note below relating to four-year terms 3

Last Day to Register to Vote

Tuesday, October 10, 2017*

*First business day after Columbus Day

First Day of Early Voting

Monday, October 23, 2017 (17th day before election day falls on a Saturday, first day moves to next business day)

Last Day to Apply for Ballot by Mail
(Received, not Postmarked)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Last Day of Early Voting

Friday, November 3, 2017

Last day to Receive Ballot by Mail

Tuesday, November 7, 2017 (election day) at 7:00 p.m. (unless overseas deadline applies)

Gov. Greg Abbott Announces Special Session


A couple of weeks ago, ET4L polled members and county officials to learn what YOU, the voter, want a Special Session to address.  Gov. Abbott listened! 

Yesterday, to the joy of grassroots conservatives and tea party groups across Texas, Governor Greg Abbott announced a Special Session. 

Governor Greg Abbott's robust list of nineteen special session items he says should pass in a legislative special session, which will convene on July 18; however, he also stated that the Medical Board Sunset Bill must pass the Senate before he issues the official call on the nineteen priorities.
The Governor's list of Special Session legislative priorities: 

  1. Teacher pay increase of $1,000 paid for by the State
  2. Administrative flexibility in teacher hiring and retention practices
  3. School Finance Reform Commission
  4. School Choice (Educational Freedom) for special needs students
  5. Property tax reform; passage of SB 2 or "better"
  6. Caps on state and local spending
  7. Preventing cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land
  8. Preventing local governments from changing rules midway through construction projects
  9. Speeding up local government permitting process
  10. Municipal annexation reform – private property rights
  11. Talking/Texting while driving local government preemption
  12. Privacy Act
  13. Prohibition of the use of taxpayer dollars to collect union dues
  14. Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providers
  15. Pro-life insurance reform
  16. Strengthening abortion reporting requirements when health complications arise
  17. Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate orders
  18. Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraud
  19. Extending maternal mortality task force

ET4L is looking forward to witnessing our Texas Legislators go on the record on important issues set forth in the Republican Party Platform and in the hearts and minds of Texas voters. 

Texas Republican Party Chair James Dickey sent the statement below after the Governor's announcement.  

My Fellow Texas Republicans,

On behalf of Republicans across Texas, I thank Governor Greg Abbott for calling a special session to provide another opportunity to advance some of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Platform items left unfinished in the regular session.

Governor Abbott included in his call several items which relate to planks from the 2016 RPT Platform as noted:

  • Municipal annexation reformPlank 37: Property Rights

  • Cracking down on mail-in ballot fraudPlank 59: Fair Election Procedures

  • PrivacyPlank 87: Gender Identity

  • Prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion providersPlank 91: Funding

  • School choice for special needs studentsPlank 147: School Choice

  • Strengthening patient protections relating to do-not-resuscitate ordersPlank 100: Patient Protection

  • Property tax reformPlank 175: Tax Burden

  • Prohibition of taxpayer dollars to collect union duesPlank 197: Right to Work

  • School finance reform commissionPlank 120: Funding

  • Caps on state and local spendingPlank 167: Spending Limitations

To view each platform plank in its entirety, click here.

We need your help to make sure these items are passed into law in a manner consistent with our Platform during this very brief special session. We encourage you to call your representatives right now and engage with them on these issues - find their contact info here. Also, plan to attend hearings and testify on bills during the 30-day session that begins on July 18. Check out the Lege Info section of the RPT website to learn how you can make a difference in the legislative process. Finally, stay tuned for updates, including our next webinar, “A Special Session Primer,” scheduled for June 13 at 7 PM.

I am delivering the message of our Platform to our legislators, and I am committed to working with you so your voice is heard. But I need the resources to ensure our victory, and time is short. Can you show us that you’re “all in” by joining the Grassroots Club today?

I will continue to be a strong voice for our Republican Party of Texas Platform and Priorities throughout the special session and encourage you to stay engaged with us for its duration.


James Dickey
Republican Party of Texas

Wish to be included in future ET4L polling?  Send your name (first & last) and telephone number to  ET4L does not share members information. 


Congressman Louie Gohmert Update

May 29 - June 4

Dear Fellow East Texans,

This week started off a little differently than most weeks when we have a home district work period. When I learned that the Brookshire Grocery Company was bringing another Honor Flight of World War II veterans, and that at the same time, the Whitehouse High School Band with over 300 students was coming, we got it on the calendar, so I could fly back to Washington to have the exciting privilege of meeting up with them. Veterans from Texas came to honor their fallen brothers and sisters in arms on Memorial Day.  And as an extra treat, the Whitehouse High School Band came all the way from Whitehouse, Texas to play at the World War II Memorial for our veterans and joined a special night tour of the Capitol Building I was honored to host on Monday night. After joining these great Americans in our nation's capital, I came back to the district to meet with groups all over East Texas.

Defeating Obama’s Pen and Phone Agenda

The big news this week out of Washington was President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. President Trump is entirely correct in his decision to withdraw. In doing so, he has done what is best for the American people.

I had gotten an invitation to be at the White House Press Conference in the Rose Garden on Thursdayafternoon, when President Trump was announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord. However, when I got the invitation it was Thursday morning and I was scheduled to be in Timpson at the time of the Press Conference. Had a great time at Timpson High School and visiting with leaders of the School District, but sure was proud of what President Trump did.

Earlier this week, I made this statement regarding the President's decision and why I support the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord: 

"Nothing is stopping any nation or business from voluntary participation in the standards agreed to by the previous administration that would have crippled our economy. Scores of nations around the world are again demanding that the U.S. must be part of this agreement for one main reason: the U.S. will be paying the rest of the world because we’ve been successful.  If people in America want to continue to be the most generous and charitable country in history, the crippling standards should remain voluntary. This agreement would not affect the environment in any significant way as the biggest polluters in the world would continue to pollute. Whether we are part of this Accord or not, Americans will continue to make our environment better . 

So it is grossly unfair to American citizens and businesses to sign an agreement that intentionally makes Americans far less competitive. In other words, it is the typical leftist agenda of mandating punishment for the most innovative and productive to benefit those who are not. It would be cheaper just to send all of the signatories a participation trophy and stay out of the self-punishing agreement. If we put America first, we can continue to be the most charitable nation in history. If we continue to hurt ourselves economically, there will be no nation left to be so kind and charitable. That is why I say sincerely, 'Thank you, President Trump.'"


The Blaze TV - "Dana"

This week, I sat down with Dana Loesch from The Blaze TV to discuss Immigration issues in the United States and how we can fix them.  

Watch the VIDEO, here.

Fox News - "Fox & Friends"

This week, I joined Fox & Friends and discussed a bill presented by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) that takes aims at fixing an immigration system flaw. I noted on the show, "They [Obama Administration] took a good program started under George H.W. Bush for humanitarian purposes, and they turned it in to a program that could be a way to hurt our country - so it needs to stop."

Watch the VIDEO, here

WWDB - "Tone and Tenor"

It was great to talk with Randall Jefferson and Maurice Goodman from 'Tone and Tenor' this week and explain a little more why I support President Trump's decision this week to withdraw from the Paris Accord. 

Listen to the AUDIO, here.

Fox News - "America's News HQ"

Sunday afternoon, I talked to Fox News regarding President Trump’s tweets calling out political correctness in the aftermath of the terror attacks in the United Kingdom. I also discussed the upcoming hearing on Russia where former FBI Director Comey has been asked to testify.

Watch the VIDEO, here.