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.