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.'"
IN THE MEDIA:
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.
Today, the SREC (State Republican Executive Committee) voted, by secret ballot, 32-31 for James Dickey to be the new Texas Republican Party Chair!
Tom Mechler, the previous Republican Party of Texas Chairman, stepped down on May 20th.
ET4L is aware that both of our SREC's, Sue Evenwel & Dennis Cable, voted for James! #SD1!
We chatted with James directly, prior to the vote, and confirmed James' dedication to the grassroots, conservative issues, as well as his support for the Texas Republican Party's platform.
James appointed Trey Trainor as Assistant General Counsel to the Party. Eric Opelia is OUT!
Facebook: James Dickey James Dickey for Republican Party Chair
Twitter: James Dickey
This is FANTASTIC news for the Grassroots movement across Texas. The FIRST grassroots Texas Republican Party Chair!
Do you want real property tax reform? Then SIGN and SHARE this petition. Empower Texans will print and physically hand deliver each petition to the Governor's office. It's time to take action!
Governor Abbott is to announce on this issue soon. So, please don't wait. Click below.
Please join me in congratulating one of my dearest friends, a great patriot and President of our group, East Texans for Liberty (ET4L), Stacy McMahan, in being named the Republican Party of Texas Senate District 1 Volunteer of the Year!!
Stacy puts in countless hours promoting conservative principles and helping candidates and elected officials on local, state and national levels who share those same ideals. She's good at holding them accountable too!
We are so proud of her, and so fortunate to have her energy and knowledge as the driving force of our group! No one deserves this great recognition more!
Stacy will be recognized, along with other Senate District Volunteers throughout Texas, at the Governor's Mansion on Friday, September 22, 2017.
Stacy McMahan BIO:
Stacy McMahan is a lifelong Republican. Because of professional and family obligations, Stacy watched from the sidelines for many years. In 2009, that changed and she jumped into the public policy world with a full court press.
Early on, Stacy used her writing and research skills to vet and report on local and statewide issues. Many followers came to know “StaceinTexas” as a no-nonsense, conservative Republican on her ‘blog’, and a trusted source of information for the grassroots.
As opportunities to work for Republican candidates arose, Stacy embraced them. Working as part of Ted Cruz’s “Kitchen Cabinet”, and the East Texas liaison for Governor Perry in 2012, along with volunteering on campaigns for Ken Paxton, Matt Rinaldi, Matt Schaefer, and Bob Hall from 2010 to present.
In 2012, Stacy was named Director of the GOTV for the Gregg County Republican Party. She was honored to be nominated, by the Republican Women of Gregg County, for the Texas Federation of Republican Women Tribute to Women Award in 2014. She is a member of Republican Women of Gregg County, and an associate member of Republican Women of Northeast Texas and Upshur County Republican Women. She is a member of the Republican Party of Gregg County and associated with the Republican Party of Upshur County. She is also President of East Texans for Liberty, a conservative grassroots coalition in Upshur County.
Stacy is a retired paralegal who enjoys raising Nubian goats, with her husband, in Upshur. They have 3 children.
AUSTIN -- Gov. Greg Abbott told Hispanic Texans not to fear the state's new "sanctuary city" ban on Tuesday and warned lawmakers at the Capitol that they have more work to finish in the final days of the legislative session.
With less than two weeks remaining in the 140-day legislative session, Abbott said he wants to see legislators approve a law that would ban transgender Texans from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. He also wants them to pass a law providing tax relief to Texas homeowners.
"We are on a pathway where those priorities can be addressed during the regular session," he said, adding that he has been meeting with legislative leaders to "hammer out" the details. "It's just a matter of getting everybody on the same page."
Abbott spoke to reporters after addressing the Texas Department of Public Safety's annual memorial service for fallen officers. At the service, he paid tribute to Trooper Bill Davidson, who was killed by a motorist in a 1992 traffic stop. (A lawmaker this year accidentally filed two bills that would have named a section of highway after the man who killed Davidson.)
In response to a Univision Austin reporter's questions regarding the so-called sanctuary cities ban that Abbott signed earlier this month, the governor urged Hispanic Texans not to "fall for all the fear mongering."
The measure will punish local governments that prohibit law enforcement from asking people about their immigration status. It will also allow officers to ask anyone they detain about their status and has been called the "papers please" law, in reference to a similar controversial Arizona approved in 2010.
Critics of the bill, including most big-city police chiefs, worry it will promote racial profiling and cause widespread fear among immigrant communities. Abbott and other supporters say those fears are overblown and that the measure is simply designed to ensure that criminals who are in the country illegally get deported.
"It does not pose any concern for anybody who is not a criminal," Abbott said. "Everything that's being said about it being a quote show-me-your-papers bill is flat-out false."
During a Facebook Live interview with Univision reporter Edgar Camargo, Abbott said as the husband of the first Hispanic first lady of Texas he wanted to reassure others that no one who is Hispanic will be "detained inappropriately."
"There are laws against racial profiling," he said. "Those laws will be strictly enforced."
The sanctuary cities ban is the most controversial law that legislators have approved since the legislative session began in January, but there are other divisive measures that have yet to pass.
Amid swirling talk at the Capitol about the possibility lawmakers will need an overtime session - a special session - to complete their work, Abbott said he wanted to see lawmakers approve the so-called "bathroom bill" before they adjourn on May 29. Abbott is the only one who can call lawmakers back for 30-day special legislative session. If he did so, the governor would also get to choose which issues lawmakers could address during their overtime at the Capitol.
The measure has been approved in the Senate but not in the House, where Speaker Joe Straus has said the issue is not a priority. A Straus spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made the bathroom bill his top priority. He says it is intended to protect women and girls in public restrooms from predators.
House Democrats have fought hard to keep the bathroom bill from coming up for debate in the chamber. They say the measure not only discriminates against LGBT Texans but it would cost the state's economy billions of dollars.
"It's sad that Governor Abbott is allowing Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to dictate his agenda by pushing a discriminatory measure that will harm the Texas economy," said Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, chairman of the House Democrats.
Abbott also said he wants lawmakers to pass a property tax relief bill that has been stuck in the Texas House. The Senate approved a bill that would trigger automatic tax rate rollback elections if taxes get to a certain level. City and county officials, however, say the measure will strangle their governments' ability to provide critical services like public safety. They have fought in the House to weaken the bill, and that chamber is debating a watered down version of the the proposal that would require more transparency about how cities and counties tax their residents.
The House last week made a tactical error on a critical deadline night. It failed to pass a bill that would keep open some agencies that are set to close before the next legislative session in 2019. A version of that measure, which must pass, is stuck in the Senate, giving Patrick and his far-right supporters a major bargaining chip with the House's moderate Republicans like Straus. Patrick could simply threaten not to pass the agency sunseting bill and force lawmakers to return for a special session, giving him another opportunity to pass the bathroom bill.
Abbott only weighed in on the bathroom debate last month, staying mum on the issue for months before finally saying he wanted to sign the bill. He said he wanted to give lawmakers time to work through the issues before he weighed in.
"They are the elected officials who are closest to the people," Abbott said.
Austin, TX - Friday, May 5, 2017. Texas taxpayers can breathe a sigh of relief tonight as a bipartisan effort to defeat expansion of private toll roads in Texas went down in flames by a vote of 79-51 in the Texas House. Taxpayer champions Rep. Jeff Leach (R - Plano), Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R - Bedford), and Rep. Joe Pickett (D - El Paso) led the floor fight, noting 90% of Democrats and 95% of Republicans oppose new toll roads in Texas, and both party platforms oppose privatized toll roads in particular. Governor Greg Abbott promised to fix Texas roads without new tolls or debt, and the Texas House delivered on that promise today by killing Rep. Larry PhillipsHB 2861.
Representatives Pickett and Stickland made impassioned speeches opposing the bill. Leach emphasized both party platforms oppose this type of toll project and that the voters just gave the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) $5 billion a year in new funding by passing Proposition 1 and Proposition 7.
He asked the bill's author, "Why do we need this bill now?"
Then Leach directly asked Pickett whether or not the House needed to pass HB 2861 to get the projects done, and he answered with a firm, 'No.'
Stickland bluntly argued the reason why he's now serving in the House is because his predecessor Todd Smith voted to turn 183 and 121 into toll roads that devastated his community. He intimated that voters took out their vengeance by electing a new representative.
"My constituents hate it," asserted Stickland, referring to the privatized toll roads that run through Ft. Worth that are locked into 50 year contracts operated by Spain-based Cintra.
Pickett sounded the alarm about the need to draw a line in the sand, "If we don't stop it now, it's never going to stop."
He warned that passage of HB 2861 would dig the debt-toll road sinkhole even deeper and told his colleagues that Prop 1 and Prop 7 expire, and they're going to have to address the debt problem very soon. He also shared frustration that neither he nor the public has any idea where all this toll revenue is going. It lacks transparency and gets eaten up by the toll road bureaucracies, or in this case, the private entities the public cannot hold accountable.
"This is so people can make money," contended Pickett.
Terri Hall, Founder and Director of Texans Uniting for Reform and Reform (TURF) and Texans for Toll-free Highways hailed the defeat of HB 2861, "A bipartisan coalition swept the Rick Perry-era of toll roads aside, and today we officially started the Abbott era that firmly opposes new toll roads, especially privatized toll roads that give an exclusive right to a single company to extract the highest possible toll from the traveling public for a half century at a time."
JoAnn Fleming, Executive Director of Grassroots America agrees, "A broad coalition of groups across Texas made it clear that they would not tolerate the expansion of private toll roads and the corporate welfare they represent to continue to spread like a cancer across the Lone Star State. We applaud the work of our champions in the House and thank the Governor for his leadership in firmly setting a new course away from debt and toll roads and moving forward with a new fiscally responsible, sustainable future."
Roads in HB 2861:
- I-35 in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio
- I-45 in Houston
- Hwy 290 (Hempstead Tollway) Houston
- I-30 in Ft. Worth
- I-635 E in Dallas
- Loop 1604 in San Antonio
- 290 W in Austin (from MoPac to Oak Hill)
- South MoPac in Austin
- South Padre Island Second Access Causeway
- International Bridge Corridor Project
- Hidalgo County Loop project
- FM 1925 in Cameron & Hidalgo Counties
- Hwy 83 Hidalgo County
- Hwy 68 in Hidalgo County
- Outer Pkwy in Cameron County
- Loop 49 in Tyler (two projects)
Hall concludes, "Special interests continue to push these 'innovative' financing schemes despite the public opposition because private toll contracts and design-build procurements drive up the cost to build, putting more money into the pockets of road builders at great expense to Texas taxpayers. Our elected representatives just said, 'No more.' You're not going to gouge our citizens just to get to work."
Special Thanks to the Active Shooter Vest Donors
for Upshur Law Enforcement
Jarom Teftteller, Attorney at Law
Phillips 66 West
Spencer Veterinary Services
John Dean CPA
Lloyds Body Shop
Strike Free Bail Bonds
Turner Brothers Mortuary
First National Bank
All Star Insurance
Matthew Patton, Attorney at Law
Gilmer Computer Tech
Gilmer National Bank
Dr. Cherie Nazzal Animal Med & Surg Hosp
Peggy Garmon, Attorney at Law
HillTx Insurance Group
Computer Tech of East Tx
State Farm Insurance
Dwight Brannon, Attorney at Law
Gilmer Lumber Co
Commissioner Frank Berka
Commissioner Mike Spencer
2 Anonymous donors
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Stacy McMahan 903-500-2292
GILMER, TEXAS: Grassroots Tea Party, EAST TEXANS FOR LIBERTY (ET4L) is celebrating their second year anniversary in Upshur County.
ET4L is an organized non-profit that services Upshur and Senate District 1, and promotes educational programs regarding legislation for the betterment of Texas families on faith, life, education, taxes and the like.
Officially formed in September of 2014, ET4L kicked off in April 2015 with former Florida U.S. Congressman, FOX News Contributor, & CEO of National Center of Policy Analysis, Lt. Col. Allen West.
Throughout the group’s two years, ET4L has brought in programs ranging from the U.S. Constitution, a monthly ‘Founding Father’ Series, border security, Texas Carry, as well as many opportunities for Upshur and Senate District 1 voters to meet primary candidates from Congressional races, Texas Supreme and Appellate Court, Texas Legislature, to local races.
Some of ET4L’s speakers, in addition to Lt. Col. Allen West, have been Constitutional Attorney & Speaker, KrisAnne Hall, Major General John Furlow, Terry Holcomb with Texas Carry, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Ann Hettinger with Concerned Women for America, Nicole Hudgens with Texas Values Action, U.S. Congressman John Ratcliffe, U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert, Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler, Upshur County Sheriff Larry Webb, and Rafael Cruz, father to Senator Ted Cruz.
PROJECT: ET4L has enjoyed their involvement with Robert Perry of BLU.Prepared in obtaining donations, from area businesses in Upshur, for Active Shooter Vests for Upshur County Sheriff’s Office, as well as all of the law enforcement in Upshur that have not yet purchased ASV’s. UC Sheriff’s Office has received their 20, and the remaining 9 vests for UCs’ 4 Constables, 4 in Ore City and 1 in East Mountain have been ordered per Robert Perry with BLU.Prepared.
“Working with area businesses was such a joyful experience. It was definitely a worthy cause,” said ET4L President Stacy McMahan. “We have a couple of other projects we are working on. I’m especially excited about an annual Education Scholarship,” McMahan continues.
For the remainder of 2017, ET4L has some excellent speakers lined up. From Kevin Jackson, FOX News Contributor & The Blacksphere on May 8th, Election Integrity. (NOTE: ET4L is NOT promoting election fraud is occurring in Upshur or Gregg Counties, however, the Texas Election Code is not being adhered to throughout the state.), Texas 85th Legislative update to Congressman Louie Gohmert & Lt. Col. Allen West, in Gilmer.
ET4L does not collect any fees or dues for membership. All funding for educational programs, projects and speakers come from donations or the group’s yearly fundraiser: Stars of Texas.
ET4L’s Executive Board is Stacy McMahan, Mary Anne Farrow, Brenda Evans, and David Watts. ET4L has up to 13 different Committees chaired by a whole host of excellent Grassroots volunteers from Upshur.
ET4L thanks YOU, the voter, for your continued support.
ET4L MISSION STATEMENT:
The mission and purpose of East Texans for Liberty is to affect public policy at local, state and national levels consistent with the core values of constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility and free markets, to attract, educate, organize, and activate people of all ages to become involved in civic affairs, preserve these values through political action, and to work cooperatively with other like-minded groups.
CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE FOR AREA EVENTS AT easttexansforliberty.com
ET4L wishes to express our gratitude to Gilmer's
Lisa Gaines, owner of LadyFingers Cakes & Catering,
for donating scrumptious treats to
our monthly speakers.