Monthly Archives: July 2010

Unity – the theme to make a November to Remember

Last night in Waco, Texas I was able to be in the audience for the Heart of Texas Conservative Coalition Unity Rally. It was well-organized, promoted, and attended. The organizers were able to not only bring in candidates for first time election, they were able to garner existing conservative elected officials. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, one of the key legal soldiers leading the charge against Obamacare in the courts, was the headliner for the evening and he did not disappoint the audience.

In a year where conservatives, primarily running under the Republican banner, should clean up at the polls begged the question – why the need for a Unity Rally? In reality – there are many reasons for conservatives to be reminded why to unite.

Waco, Texas is at the center of a Texas Senatorial District (SD22) and a Congressional District (CD17) that has had liberal leadership for over 20 years in these positions. On the Texas Senate side – Kip Averitt had been in office for 8 years and was without doubt the most liberal Republican in Texas. He was handed the seat through the resignation of former Texas Senator David Sibley who in turn had won the seat in a Special Election from then Texas Senator going off to Washington Chet Edwards. The seat had not seen conservatism in quite some time. I challenged for the seat against Kip which eventually led to a Special Election that Brian Birdwell won. Chet Edwards has been unbeatable in the seat since going to DC. The district was re-drawn in 2003 to defeat Chet. The architect of that was former Speaker of the House Tom Delay. When the district was re-drawn, Brazos County (better known as Aggie Land) was supposed to have been the noose that would hang Chet. Delay overlooked the fact Chet graduated from Texas A&M and that strategy actually made Chet stronger. This past primary 5 contenders vied for the right to joust with Chet until businessman Bill Flores won in an April run-off.

As such, we have had a pretty competitive environment in these districts in both primaries and Special Elections. When you have competitive races, factions break off for their candidates and dig in for the fight. In the end, only one person gets to get on the November ballot. The goal is to get everyone together and rally behind the winners to reach to goal set in the first place – elect conservative people who will promote and defend the conservative agenda.  Brian Birdwell and I represented the conservative alternative to a liberal Republican in the Texas Senate race. While I kicked open the door by challenging Kip and exposing him, Brian won the end contest and is the sitting Senator. So we are already better off than before. While I was glad I played an important part in the change, it is equally important for my supporters to rally behind Brian for his upcoming November bid to ensure we have conservative representation for our district in Austin. Brian has my full support and I will do all I can to make my Senator effective in Austin.

The prize Bill Flores seeks has even more importance in taking out Chet Edwards. With the Obamanites seeking to usurp more and more power from the states, it is vital that we vote lap dogs like Chet Edwards out. Of the other 4 candidates that ran in the CD17 primary against Flores, only one has held out on endorsing Flores. This despite having signed an agreement with the other candidates that the winner would get the full support of all challengers. While I will not name that candidate in this blog, many who read this in the CD17 area know who it is. Whispers of perhaps another run from this person in 2012 are aimed at undermining Flores effort to defeat Chet. Thus one of the key reasons the Unity Rally was held last night was to get a message to this former candidate and supporters – we must all come together to achieve victory for a common cause.

The reality is that no candidate will ever make all voters happy. Politics is about majority management and working to find common ground on a majority of issues. When I hear people say “my guy didn’t win, so I’m not voting” or ” I would rather vote for the devil I know even if they are liberals” OR I hear defeated candidates work to make the liberal incumbant win so that they can get another shot- then I have but one thing to say to you – YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. QUIT BEING PART OF THE PROBLEM AND BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. Picking up your toys and refusing to play politics is what got us here in the first place. For those with short memories, please reference the 1992, 1996, and 2008 Presidential elections. That playbook has been traded in for a new one. Pick up your copy of how the new conservative movement works at any conservative blog site in the world-wide web.

The goal is to recruit, fund, and elect conservatives. PERIOD. If your candidate did not make it through the primary or a Special Election this time, make an honest assessment of why and see if the situation can be corrected next time. What we are undergoing right now is like making a political omelette and a few political candidates (the eggs – no pun intended) are going to have to be experimented with until you find the right combination. When we unite behind this goal, not only can we impact immediate change, but we also send the message that we can elect someone else in their place with they do not do the job. Limiting the power of incumbency is also a good thing to remember.

Conservatives must come together under a common banner and unite to flush out the swamp rats in our state houses and in the US Capital. Does that mean the Republican banner is the best over say the Libertarians or others – hard to say. However, due to sheer size and political entrenchment, it is the easiest party for conservatives to take over and get our country back on track. I can remember a time when the Democrat Party was conservative. The liberals unified and staked their claim to that party and have never looked back. We need the same clarity of purpose and focus for conservatives to make the Republican Party synonymous with conservative again. This means staying in the game when your candidate did not win and supporting a candidate that may not have thrilled you, but thrilled enough voters to have a shot at forcing a liberal into retirement.

Get with the cause and unite on your own local, state, and national turf. We need this to be a November to Remember.

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The Godless Ghouls in Hollywood

While I recognize that not everyone in Hollywood has given in to getting rid of God in their lives and professions, I certainly can make a strong argument that a majority of Hollywood has sold their souls. Libs love this as it fits right into to their “no responsibility/slaughter the unborn” lifestyle. We get bombarded from more sex and violence on tv and cable as well as the less than Christian examples set by the starlet brats who have kids out-of-wedlock and have the manners of goats. Behind the production of what we see are studios, producers, and directors who have decided they must worship the dollar, and not God,  at all costs to be successful. You can take any pick of movies being cranked out by Tinseltown to validate this theory I have decided to pick on 2012 – the story of the earth’s destruction on 12-21-2012.

The ancient Mayan’s were first-rate astronomers and had a solid understanding of our seasons and the impact from the sun. I have personally been to the ruins in Chichinitza and seen the Mayan “observatory”. It is stunning and makes you wonder about just how advanced they were. To assume that the world would come to an end in 2012 during winter solstice, as so many claim due to the end of the Mayan calendar on this date, is a farce for the tabloids. The assumption on the doomsday theory revolves around planetary alignment in the solar system, proximity to the sun. etc. Only one problem – this “alignment” occurred in 1998. It was one hell of a hot year, but we all survived.

Enter the movie 2012, now on rental because smart people quit paying for it at the theaters. The movie is based on all this nonsense and had a huge build up and then flopped at the box office. I waited for it to hit Blockbuster and rented it a few months back. The first showing was what I expected – lots of special effects, which I wanted to see,  and one lousy storyline. When you are watching for special effects, details evade grey matter stimulation. This was not like watching The Sixth Sense.

The movie came up on cable today and the kids and I wanted escape from the 105 outside heat here in Texas, so we kicked back and enjoyed.  On the day all hell breaks loose, ie 12-21-2012, I noticed that there was absolutely nothing referring to Christmas in any way in any manner around the world. I know at the Yancy household that 4 days out from the birthday of Jesus, we are in high gear of celebration. Instead, the hero is taking his kids camping at Yellowstone! Now there is a Christmas treat. As the world falls into chaos, amazing shots of religious icons are shown crumbling into bits. The statue of Christ in Rio, the destruction of the Sistine Chapel that shows the crack beginning between where God reaches from Heaven to touch the hand of Adam, as well as the fall of the Vatican itself rolling down on the precious souls praying to God for salvation are all mocking gestures to the lack of faith this movie was produced with. I thought there might be some redemptive quality when the President of the US, working to deliver truth to the masses, starting reciting sections of the Bible. Before the President could get to the meat of the prayer, a volcanic cloud hits the Whitehouse and cuts the television feed.

There was one reference to God in that the flotillas everyone were save to carried the name of “ark”.  However, that homage was quickly shot to the waste basket at near the end when the date and marking of time was done in a new format, thus replacing any reference to Christ in our lives. The new “age” had begun.

While Hollywood has the right to produce garbage and we have the right to reject what is produced, it would be nice to see some attempt at balance. As parents we have to work harder and harder at screening what is available to our children. While there are family channels and family movies out there, they are vastly outnumbered. Even the icon names such as Disney have been moving towards more “non-traditional” programming and movies for years.

As far as 2012 goes, we can get some religious relief from this date. That represents the year we get  to exercise the current demon from the Whitehouse. It will be Biblical.

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The 14th Amendment – Misinterpreted and Misapplied.

The 14th Amendment was passed in response to the Civil War victory of the North and to force the South to accept the loss and control their actions. The Amendment is rivaled only by the Bill of Rights. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was a direct response to the issues of slavery. “Black Codes” were rampant in states throughout the country prior to and after the Civil War. At the root of the Black Codes was a  basic enigma of allowing blacks to be free and accepted. While the issue existed nationally,  the Republican Congress of the post Civil War only saw the issue as one with a Southern flavor and the need for legislation. The 14th Amendment forced the South to recognize the rights of “All persons born or naturalized in the United States….”.  At the time the Amendment was passed, this was targeted at recently freed blacks who were in many respects anything but free. No one could anticipate the long-term impact this Section of the Amendment would have on US Immigration policy.

However, there are words in the 14th Amendment that, in my opinion, are not being properly interpreted.  The first sentence of Section 1 reads as follows: ” All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. ” I am targeting the words in bold for a reason – they were penned with a purpose. Recall the times in which this Amendment was written – our nation was less than a hundred years from the reign of a monarch and the terms of English would go back to the origins of our country. Subject to can be used as an adjective or a noun and the definitions are similar. As an adjective, it means being in a position or in circumstances that place one under the power or authority of another or others: subject to the law.  As a noun, one who is under the rule of another or others, especially one who owes allegiance to a government or ruler. In either case, a degree of compliance is required to be subject to something.

Stop and put some thought into the context of how this term is used. How can someone, anyone, be born and be subject to the law at the exact same moment unless one or both of their parents were already citizens? For the liberals who hit this blog by accident, this is about where the blood thinners are needed to prevent stroke. From the logical perspective, it only makes sense to have one’s parents citizens, ie subjects to the law, to make this clause work. Representative John Bingham of Ohio, who helped pass the Amendment and was principal author to Section 1, made reference to parents not having allegiance to other nations and their children being born were “natural-born citizens”. Bingham’s intent was clear on this – you cannot have allegiance to another nation (ie be a citizen somewhere else) and have your children born into citizenship here. To the best of my knowledge, if you are a citizen to another country, then you have allegiance to that country.

This Amendment was passed as a way to punish and control the South in a post Civil War era. The impact on immigration was never thought of or a goal during the drafting of the 14th Amendment. This is by no means to degrade the positives of due process and equal protection that came from Section 1, but to point out a fundamental flaw in interpretation of this section towards immigration and its impact on our country. Sooooo, what could this mean if some bright Constitutional lawyer challenged the interpretation currently being used? Hard to say with the political clap trap that would ensue, but it would be worth it to have a debate on a logical level instead of the guilt trip libs use to prevent this discussion. With Obama sending US Attorney General and lead Obamanite Eric Holder to challenge the Arizona Immigration Law (Senate Bill 1070), this should end up in front of the Supremes. Wouldn’t it be just dandy if this topic came up during the case review? 

Would changing the interpretation stop illegal immigration? Doubtful, as there are other issues that drive the masses to our borders and we have yet to find a Congress or President with the moxy to secure the borders. However, I believe it would dramatically impact the numbers of pregnant women risking their babies lives to cross into the US to have the child born here. Instant citizenship includes a whole bunch of benefits that would evaporate if this section was changed in interpretation.

 Then again, with Obamacare coming down the pike, we may be the one crossing over to get our kids born in another country.

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The Brazos River Authority – All Excuses for Inaction Washed Away

If there is one thing we seem to have perhaps a bit too much of in Texas, it would be water boards. We have the Lower Colorado River Authority, The Trinity River Authority, The Lower Neches Valley River Authority, etc. One water board that has been under fire, particularly from yours truly, has been the Brazos River Authority (BRA). Whether you wish to classify it as incompetence, corruption, or both – the BRA has been at the heart of a political firefall for over a year now and deserving of every bit of criticism cast upon its shadowy ops.

When I started campaigning for the Texas Senate last year, I made it a point to know issues in each county. Hood County was in particular dire straits over a lack of water flowing through Lake Granbury. The Brazos River Basin, to which Lake Granbury belongs, has its main reservoir starting at Possum Kingdom Lake. The Morris Shepherd Dam on Possum Kingdom Lake, constructed in 1938, used the hydroelectric plant constructed on it to regulate water from Possum Kingdom Lake down the Brazos River Valley. From 1940 to 2007, the hydro units regularly sent 190,000 plus acre feet of water annually down the valley. Lake Granbury is estimated to have 131000 acre feet of water in its boundaries. Thus, a “constant” level lake was given life. This concept was used to market Lake Granbury for over 40 years and the status of recreational use of the lake was a staple on the BRA website. Well, it was until I and others started raising a stink over happenings in 2007.

In August of 2007, the BRA closed the hydro units at Possum Kingdom Lake and the constant flow of water. No announcements were made, nothing on the website, and no reasons given to a curious community. In 2007, we had a very wet year in Texas and the impact of the decision was not felt. In 2008, enough water was in all lakes that no one noticed an impact. However, in 2009 during our typical hotter-n-hell summers without rain, things began to change. For residents in Granbury, Hood County, they saw big changes in water levels and began to ask questions.  Those questions hit the brick wall of the BRA where no answers were given and instead arrogance reigned supreme.

In the fall of 2009, I wanted to know why water was down at Lake Granbury and I followed the trail to Possum Kingdom Lake. Then I began to ask the BRA why the units were closed in a myriad of fashions. I wanted to know if they would re-open or be replaced, etc. I wanted to see the facility. Matt Phillips, the person the BRA assigned to me, was not fond of my inquires and gave answers my 8-year-old knew were garbage. One day Matt wrote that the information I sought was information that could not be shared due to a lawsuit between the BRA and the Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc (BEPC). Ok, now we’re talking. Where there is a suit, there are public documents. I tracked the lawsuit Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc vs The Brazos River Authority Cause 2009-2364-5. This was also the time my senate campaign went topsy-turvy and Kip Averitt pulled his “too sick to campaign” nonsense. Yes, Averitt and the BRA have ties and that is for another story for another day.

In the lawsuit Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc vs The Brazos River Authority Cause 2009-2364-5, BEPC alleged BRA shut the facility down for repairs while negotiations were underway between the two for BEPC to buy the electric operations on the dam. According to the suit, BRA told BEPC the repairs would be done and then powered turned back on. Three months later when the deal was concluded, BRA tossed BEPC the keys and effectively said “See Ya” – according to the suit.  Two years pass and BEPC files suit in McLennan County in July of 2009. This was a very hush-hush suit, with documents in the suit stating both parties wanted limited publicity on the issue. Problem is once it goes to suit, it is public record if you know where to look. The court documents allege all kinds of issues surrounding condition of the hydro units on the dam, maintenance, etc. When I read the cause, my first question was why a facility would be in the described dilapidated condition the court documents alleged? Lots of bond money, over 40 million from 1991 to 2005 had been issued to keep the dam operational. If this dam had money issued in 2005, why was it in need of repair again? So, I started asked questions and raised the eyebrows of the district and the homeowners on Lake Granbury. Once the lawsuit was introduced into the public eye from my campaign, allegations flew all over the place.

I did open records requests on documentation and specific questions. I was quashed on certain requests and provided info on others. What changed the game was the discovery of the bond records found by The Legendary Jim Parks in late February of this year. The bond issuances showed a whole lot of money being allocated to the dam, so why maintenance issues? Over 22 million had been issued in bonds in 2005, yet court documents alleged serious deterioration of the dam facility. Had they been gambling with the dough, using it for other projects, or was someone living the Life of Riley on the State of Texas’s dime? Hood County and District 22 residents wanted to know.  I published this on my campaign site with documents on 2-26-10 and raised another big stink, one in which BRA President Chris DeCluitt responded with what could only be called the most poorly researched admission of guilt letter ever penned. In his response, DeCluitt wrote that 3.8 million of the 2005 issuance funds had not been used to date, blaming the issue with BEPC. Keep in mind that nearly 4 years have passed since the 2005 bond issue. TAX dollars are paying interest on this issue right now.Two points of note – 1. To not use bond funds for their intended use is a violation of SEC law; and 2. The BEPC issue was a non-factor in the BRA’s responsibility to spend the money and maintain the facility. Withholding funds for “legal issues” were not a condition in the bond issuance. It could well be alleged that DeCluitt and the entire BRA Board that made the decision to not spend the bond money are in hot water with the SEC. Maybe that is why they called me in March and asked for my records….

I went with friends to the BRA and reviewed records. Lots of records. There was a distinct money trail. Then I got my hands on the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission (FERC) report for a new license for the BEPC/BRA proposed transaction. Understand, if FERC inspects and passes a facility, its is good to go. The inspection approval we got our hands on showed a January 2008 inspection and that the facility was good to go. So – we have a lawsuit alleging maintenance issues, lots of bond money, a slew of receipts, and now a federal inspection showing good to go. This was not all adding up and the possibility of an economic life-giving hydroelectric dam being operational  shut down for other reasons was beginning to sound plausible. All this gave fuel to Lake Granbury residents who demanded answers from the BRA. In March, the Lake Granbury Waterfront Association hosted the BRA and put them on the hot seat. Two things cam out of that meeting – 1. The BRA was following its state charter as a water supplier. This meant selling water from any reservoir regardless of negative economic impact to another area; 2. Pictures of the Morris Shepherd Dam hydro facility was shown that night and the pictures looked pristine. I mean they looked brand new. So just what in the hell was going on with the hydro-electric units? No answers were given and the economic fate of a county is left hanging in the balance.

Now, the BRA had just told Hood County residents prior to July 2009 nothing regarding the closure of the hydro facility. After the suit was known, then the pattern answer was that they could not respond due to the lawsuit. This despite the BRA website having a section from its October 2009 Board meeting discussing de-commissioning the hydro facility. When BEPC filed the suit in July 2009, BRA responded that it could not be sued as it was a governmental agency. This is known as a Plea to the Jurisdiction and it is asking the court to dismiss on this theory. Government agencies can and have been sued and BEPC gave evidence to the fact in its response in September 2009. In this instance, the 414 District Court agreed with BEPC that the case should go forward. BRA filed an appeal to the 10th Court of Appeals in Waco.  The case was ruled on June 25, 2010 and the 10th Court of Appeals reversed the 414th District Court decision. BRA is off the hook in this lawsuit and the citizens dodged a legal bill. Was the right decision rendered? Hard to say – no one can get near the Morris Shepherd Dam to see what condition the hydro units are really in.

What this does is clear the excuses the BRA has laid at the feet of Hood County residents for quite some time now and force them to address the issue of the hydro units. There is no more lawsuit to hide behind and we want to know where that 3.8 million dollars are that BRA President Chris DeCluitt admitted to not having been spent.  It will be curious to see if the hydro units begin flowing water and producing power again or if the Brazos River Valley stays on the short end of the water flow for other reasons. Reasons like a particular power company by the name of Luminant and upcoming expansion at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant.

But that is a blog for another day…….

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