Third Biennial Upshur County Inaugural Reception
An estimated seventy-five elected and re-elected Upshur officials with family and friends attended the reception.
Special thanks to Judge Dean Fowler, Judge Todd Tefteller, Joyce Dolle, Drew & Matt of Gilmer Brewing Company, Lori Metcalf of Lori's Eats & Sweets, Lisa Sneed with Ladyfingers Cakes, the generous sponsors, and the ET4L team.
For more photos, see our Facebook page post on the reception.
Best wishes to all of the elected and re-elected Upshur County Officials!
TRADITION CONTINUED: UPSHUR COUNTY INAUGURAL RECEPTION SLATED FOR JANUARY 1, 2019
Friday, December 14, 2018
Contact: S. McMahan at (903) 500-2292
GILMER, TX: The third bi-annual Upshur County Inaugural Reception is slated for Tuesday, January 1, 2019, directly following the Swearing In, beginning at 1:30 PM, and will be held at the Gilmer Brewery, located at 101 W. Tyler Street, in Gilmer. The Gilmer Brewery, formerly Hadden’s, is across from the Upshur County Courthouse.
The Inaugural Reception will include hors-d'oeuvres, catered by Gilmer’s own Lori Metcalf of Lori’s Eats and Sweets and a congratulatory cake donated by Lisa Sneed of LadyFingers Cakes.
Per County Judge and District Judge Elect Dean Fowler and County Judge-Elect Todd Tefteller, Upshur County’s Swearing In, of elected and re-elected officials, is scheduled for Tuesday, January 1, 2019, at 1:30 PM, and will be held on the third floor of the Upshur County Courthouse located at 100 W. Tyler Street in Gilmer.
“ET4L is excited to continue the tradition of the Upshur County Inaugural Reception. It is our way of thanking those elected and re-elected officials, as well as their family members, for their committed service to our great county,”
said ET4L’s President Stacy McMahan. “Once the officials take their oath, they, as well as their family and friends, are invited to the Inaugural Reception, across the street, at the Gilmer Brewery for complimentary hors-d'oeuvres and scrumptious cake,” McMahan said further.
The Upshur County Inaugural Reception is paid for by East Texans for Liberty. If you wish to contribute to this event, please send your check, made out to ET4L PAC, to ET4L PAC PO Box 195, Gilmer, Texas 75644 or see our secured website at https://www.easttexansforliberty.com/donate_et4l. Donations are not tax deductible.
For more information, call (903) 500-2292 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Texans for Liberty PAC, PO Box 195, Gilmer, Texas 75644. Jennifer Audet, PAC Treasurer. Copyright © 2014–2018 East Texans for Liberty. All rights reserved. Not authorized by any candidate or candidates committee.
Upshur County's Commissioner Frank Berka and Secretary to the Commissioners Ruth Whiteside are both recognized for their efforts for Veterans.
Upshur County Commissioner Frank Berka has been instrumental in finding and pursuing a grant to provide for transportation for Veterans residing in the county to medical appointments.
The vets or dependents living at home are transported to their medical appointments by volunteer drivers, who are then reimbursed by monies from the grant. The grant is administered by the Texas Veterans Commission and the funds come from the Lottery proceeds.
Frank obtained the grant for the FY 2015 and got a six month extension going into 2016. The program has been quite successful with over 140 individuals benefiting.
At the regular County Commissioners meeting on January 15, 2016, American Legion Peppy Blount Post 320 presented Frank with a Certificate of appreciation for his efforts in obtaining the grant.
Ruth Whiteside, Secretary to the Commissioners handles the appointments, arranges for the volunteer drivers and does the paper work for the program. Her efforts are greatly appreciated and she was also presented a certificate to show our gratitude.
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/
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.”
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.
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
Melady Thompson, ET4L
Representative Bryan Hughes
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
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