IN THIS ISSUE
From the desk of the Chairman
2017 summaries of federal, state and local activities
SJC Republican Party
PO Box 370
Coldspring TX 77331
Party Vice Chairman:
Republican Club Meetings:
1st Monday each month.
Place: Coldspring Community Center
Time: 6:30 PM Dinner/Fellowship
7:00 PM Meeting
$5 suggested donation for dinner
Club Vice Chairman
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled."
Welcome to the Beacon!
Today, we launch the inaugural edition of the Beacon, the newsletter for the Republican Club. We hope you like the new format as well as the information we will provide to club members going forward.
So why did we choose the name, the
Beacon? First and foremost it signifies lighting the way, whether as a signal fire, a lighthouse guiding ships in a fog, or an airplane navigating towards a runway. The
Beacon provides illumination on a variety of things that affect our beloved San Jacinto county, along with keeping readers aware of political developments, whether in the federal, state or local realm. Our aim is to produce this at least quarterly, but special editions will be published as needs warrant.
From the Chairman's desk...2017 in review
What a year 2017 was! Despite overwhelming odds, with media stacked against him along with the Clinton machine in full play, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. My wife Dawn and I were very fortunate to be invited to Washington D.C. for this historic event. Candidate Trump was projected to lose, by tremendous margins, with Hillary Clinton being crowned as the next president. As we all know, this did not happen! President Trump then set about doing what he promised. Trump won a total of 2600 counties as compared to Hillary Clinton who won 500, mostly concentrated in high density areas. Our founding fathers were brilliant in establishing the Electoral College.
He had better coverage than than Verizon...can you hear me now?
After being sworn in, Donald Trump set about shaking up Washington, D.C. In his first 11 months so many things happened that it seems as if it's been years, rather than months. He promised to Make America Great Again starting on his first day in office.
Following are a few highlights.
- Moving the Supreme Court towards more conservative views by nominating Neil Gorsuch.
- Creating record low unemployment numbers, including the lowest levels of Black unemployment of all time.
- Record stock markets, which has improved 401(k) retirement savings, based on performance of the stock market. In 2017, The stock market has set record after record.
- Trump eliminated excess, burdensome and useless government regulations. He promised to overturn two regulations for every new one instituted. He went a bit further than that though and currently there have been 22 regulations cut for every newly implemented one.
- Consumer confidence is at an all-time high.
- In 2017, over two million jobs have been added to the economy.
- He helped spearhead a massive tax reform/overhaul including lowering tax brackets for both individuals and corporations. This created more opportunities for business expansion. Trillions of dollars will be repatriated back to the United States.
- He exposed the Washington "swamp" and the deep state in our lives.
- He worked effectively with world leaders to make America prominent again. No more leading from behind!
Despite these significant achievements, the president has been hammered by the opposition and the media. The mainstream press reported multiple stories as fact. In several instances media had to retract stories based on their their biased reporting. In 2017, over 90% of the reported news has been negative, with very little attention paid to the positive aspects of Trump's presidency.
Throughout his 2016 candidacy he warned about fake news. Subsequently it has been exposed for what it is. FAKE!
The 85th Texas Legislature convened in 2017 for its biennium session. The primary responsibility of both houses when in session is to pass and balance a state budget for the next two years. This was done with the passage of a two year, $216.8 billion spending bill. In addition to this, both houses passed a $2.6 billion supplemental bill to plug holes from the previous biennium session. There were efforts to phase out the archaic business franchise tax, but efforts failed. In terms of other major legislative highlights, following are a few.
- The legislature tweaked grading in the Texas school accountability, but in doing so reduced areas in which schools are graded.
- Increased punishment for teachers who participate in inappropriate relationships with students.
- There was no movement on school voucher programs with both bodies reaching an impasse.
- The legislature passed a bill banning sanctuary cities in the state. This is a controversial piece of legislation, due to several cities not cooperating with federal ICE agents in honoring their detainers.
- This is a contentious issue with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick attempting to limit skyrocketing property taxes in Texas.
Convention of States
- This was an effort, which Texas joined to call for a Convention of States to rein in a runaway federal government. If this convention is successful, it would create a constitutional amendment to limit federal power and enact term limits of Congress.
- Governor Abbott signed a bill that cut the cost of a concealed handgun license by $100. Texas now has the lowest registration fee in the United States. There was an effort to allow for constitutional carry of a handgun, without a license, but this bill died.
In other areas specific to the Republican Party of Texas (RPT), the Sate Republican Executive Committee (SREC) focused on the priorities of the RPT.
There were 10 items identified that related to the planks of the RPT and the SREC worked diligently to advance the established planks. This required building a grassroots team to engage specific priorities established by the RPT. This group was entitled the Strategic Texas Activist Team of SWAT for short.
The RPT worked in a focused manner to advance priorities of the party platform, deeply rooted in conservative principles. Our own Terry Holcomb, who is a member of the SREC for Senate District 3 and currently serving as chair of the Legislative Affairs Committee, worked tirelessly to advance a grassroots agenda on constitutional carry and abolishment of the current property tax process in Texas.
The SREC is working hard to abolish the Maintenance and Operations portion of the school property tax with an eye on creating a consumption tax. This will address two issues. First, the burdensome property taxes on fellow Texans (which currently rests at 54% of the tax burden. This will eliminate the Robin Hood scheme in terms of current school funding. Even Governor Abbott understands the current process is unsustainable.
Property taxes continue to be a sore point for many Texans. In later issues, ideas will be explored on how to overcome this.
2018 is a politically charged year with the opposition hoping to flip both chambers of Congress. However, on a local level, December, 2017 saw a total of 26 Republican candidates filing for both open and contested seats for the upcoming March 6 primary.
Open seats include:
- County Judge
- Tax Assessor-Collector
- Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace
- 258th District Court Judge
- District Clerk
- County Treasurer
In contested races, filings were made for:
- County Clerk
- Precinct 4 County Commissioner
- Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace
In non-contested races, incumbents filed for:
- District Attorney
- Precinct 2 County Commissioner
- Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace
- Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace
In total three incumbents, in both Precincts and County, face challenges. It is an active campaign season.
In other recaps, the San Jacinto County Reagan dinner was held April 8, 2017 in Cleveland, TX. Guest speakers included Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Congressman Kevin Brady. This is the primary fundraiser for the San Jacinto County Republican Party, whereby proceeds fund local efforts. The even was a huge success with a packed house present.
It was a contentious year on the Commissioners Court with lawsuits filed over office jurisdiction. Also, a large school bond was passed in the Coldspring-Oakhurst ISD to renovate schools. According to the school district, this bond was necessary to improve physical structures in addition to creating curricula needed to better prepare students for the 21st century world of work.
UPCOMING / ONGOING EVENTS
- The SJCGOP (your Republican club) slated several forums for candidates running for both Precinct and County offices. All GOP candidates were invited and those present were asked questions from the voters regarding their positions on issues. All forums were live streamed on Facebook and recorded. Recorded forums may be viewed at sjcgop.org.
- The 2018 Reagan dinner will be held Saturday, February 17 at the new San Jacinto County Emergency Shelter. The keynote speaker is Jason Chaffetz, former head of the Congressional Oversight Committee and current FOX News contributor. Other speakers include the Honorable Kevin Brady of the 8th Congressional District. Mr. Brady is the champion of the 2017 tax overhaul and reform. Other speakers include State Representative Phil King, 61st Sate District (TX) and Rafael Cruz, father of Senator Ted Cruz. He shares a story of the meaning of freedom, having escaped the brutal Cuban regime of Fidel Castro. General Admission tickets are on sale. Please contact Sheena Bass at either (281) 537-9736 (H) or (281) 389-1618 (C) for more information and sales.
- Coffee with the candidates continues to be held each Thursday morning from 7:00 AM until 10:00 AM at the Republican HQ. These sessions will continue up to the Primaries.
- Early voting for the Texas Primaries begins Tuesday, February 20 and continues through March 2. The Primary voting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6.
- Precinct Conventions are scheduled for March 10 at Jones Hall in Coldspring. At this time precincts may present resolutions for consideration, whereupon they will be presented for review at the County/Senate Convention scheduled for March 24, once again held at Jones Hall. The precincts will elect delegates to attend the County/Senate convention. Afterwards a vote will be taken for candidates to attend the State Convention to be held in San Antonio.
See you next issue!
IMPORTANT MEETING REMINDER!
Republican Club Forum
The next Republican Club Forum, featuring county-wide races will be held at the Coldspring Community Center on Monday, February 5. Dinner will be served at 6:00 PM with the Forum beginning at 7:00 PM. Cost of dinner is $5.00.