Runoff Elections Matter

In the upcoming Republican Primary runoff elections, there is one election statewide for the Texas Supreme Court. As I have mentioned here before, I and THSC PAC have endorsed Rick Green in that race. That race will be very important, but for many people it’s not the only race.

One of the runoff races is in House District 127 in Houston in which THSC PAC and I have endorsed Dr. Susan Curling because of her conservative positions and strong support for home schooling and parental rights. Her opponent is a former school board president and is considered conservative by many, so we have had several calls asking why we did not endorse him. Our answer is very simple. He responded to our question that he supports the regulation of home schooling by the state.

In a phone call yesterday, a home school mom in that district told me that Dr. Curling’s opponent had come to her home and when asked about home schooling responded to her husband that he believed that home school parents should be “certified by the state” before they are allowed to teach their children at home. These are positions that are generally taken by Democratic legislators and candidates and supported by the teacher’s unions, not Republicans. When this family invited Curling’s opponent to their home to discuss the issue, he did not rescind his position, and when asked about THSC PAC he acknowledged he responded to the questionnaire and then said he made a follow-up call to our office to be told, “You are a school board member and our enemy.” He did not call our office and we would never have responded in such a manner. This incident not only exposes his opposition to home schooling but calls into question his integrity.

It is safe to say that if Dr. Curling does not win this race, teacher unions and public school advocates may have a friend in HD 127 but home schoolers will not. If you live in the Houston area contact Dr. Susan Curling’s campaign and do what you can to help her get elected. Go to THSC PAC and look for other races in your area, get involved, and vote. Elections matter!

The Weapon of Intimidation

Last night I had dinner with several friends and supporters of THSC, and the discussion turned to politics and the current climate and what the future might hold. Some asked me, “What do we do to change this and protect our freedom?” My response was that we did not get into this mess overnight and we will not get out quickly. I told the story of how, in 1980, I thought we had “won” when Ronald Reagan was elected and that things would change for the better, for good. They did change for the better for a while, but obviously not forever. [Read more...]

Parental Rights an Ongoing Battle

Texas home schoolers have understood the issue of parental rights for many years. The right of a parent to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right that should not be overridden by the state except in the most dire circumstances. In the 1980s many states, including Texas, argued that parents should not be allowed to teach their children at home. [Read more...]

SBOE District 10 Runoff: Experts or Citizens

The State Board of Education (SBOE) continues to be the focus of (liberal) media attention and denigration. The allegations seem to be that a majority of the the SBOE refuses to listen to the “educational experts” on some issues. Yesterday a Democratic State Senator said he would introduce legislation next year to abolish the SBOE because he disagreed with recent decisions of the board. He cites the “social conservatives” on the board for decisions regarding social studies curriculum. These decisions were made at a time when the votes on those issues were ten to five while there are only seven conservatives on the board. I doubt that the Senator would call for the abolition of the Texas Senate when his side loses votes on a party line margin.

This only highlights the current runoff in SBOE district 10. Marsha Farney, a Ph.D in Education from the University of Texas and refers to herself as a “common sense conservative,” and has no endorsements at all on her website. While she has no record of political activity or contributions, her husband Bryan Farney gave $2300 to Barak Obama during the 2008 Democratic Primary.

Her opponent is Brian Russell, a home school dad, who has been endorsed by THSC PAC and a host of conservative Republican leaders and conservative groups. Brian has said, “I believe in a rigorous knowledge-based education that teaches: an unashamedly patriotic view of American history, emphasizing the God-given individual rights and limited government enshrined the Constitution, computational mathematics, not “fuzzy” math, phonics, grammar and writing, and rigorous science in which students learn to analyze, evaluate, and critique all scientific theories.”

Brian also has a long record of supporting conservative causes, including our battle to repeal SB 1440 last year that would have dramatically undermined parental rights and given CPS sweeping new powers. Just another reason that Brian Russell deserves our support to represent parents on the SBOE. Early voting is April 5-9 and election day is April 13th. Turnout will be extremely low, and we can make a difference. Check THSC PAC for a complete list of endorsements.


If there was ever any doubt that elections matter, that issue has been settled over the last few month as we have watched the battle over health care reform at the national level. As the public begins to focus on the November general elections as a way to reverse some of the “change” that we are getting, we must not forget that there are runoff elections in April that will have an impact on our choices in November.

In the Republican Primary, there is one statewide runoff in a race for the Republican nomination for Texas Supreme Court Place 3. As I have stated before, we are finding that in the battle to restore parental rights, judicial elections are very important and this race is a perfect example. THSC PAC and I have endorsed Rick Green, a home school dad and former State Representative, in that race. I support Rick because he understands and is a strong supporter of parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

Liberty Institute’s non-partisan voter guide for the primary showed that Rick was one of the most conservative candidates in that six-person field. I think it is fair to say that his opponent in the runoff is the least conservative candidate in that field. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the usual liberal newspapers are endorsing his opponent and doing harsh articles about Rick.

Rick does have his defenders and is endorsed by Scott Brister a former Texas Supreme Court Judge, Empower Texans PAC, a conservative group, and many other conservative activists. There are those who say that Rick is not qualified because he has not been a judge, but then neither was Wallace Jefferson, the current Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, before he was appointed to the court.

Rick was never expected to make the runoff as an underfunded candidate, but his grassroots support and strong campaign effort placed him first going into the runoff. These kinds of runoff elections have a very low turnout, and this is the place that we can make a difference. Go to Rick’s website and sign up to help him, make a contribution to his campaign, and be sure that you vote and get all of your friends and family to do so as well. If you are registered to vote but did not vote in the primary, you can vote in this race.

While we’re talking about the runoff, there is a number of runoff elections in which it is vital that we elect conservatives that will support home schooling and parental rights. Several of those are Texas House races and some are local judicial races. Let me give you the links to those races here: HD 14 – Fred Brown, HD 47 – Holly Turner, HD 52 – John Gordon, HD 66 – Van Taylor, HD 83 – Charles Perry, HD 84 – John Frullo, and HD 127 – Susan Curling. In the local judicial races the candidates the THSC PAC has endorsed are: 219 District Court Judge in Collin County – Scott Becker, County Court at Law Judge in VanZandt County – Randy McDonald, County Court at Law place 2 Judge in Wichita County – Tony Fidelie.

Health Care Battle Not Over

Last night the U. S. House adopted Obamacare on a vote of 219-212. The irony is not lost on me that the margin of the passage of this bill was provided by “pro-life” Democrats in a deal that was opposed by all pro-life groups.

President Obama promised to issue an executive order to “reaffirm” no federal funding of abortion, but the National Right to Life Committee said, “The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill. The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an executive order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says.”

In spite of this passage, the battle to overturn this legislation has already begun. Thousands of Tea Party protesters gathered outside the Capitol yesterday during the debate and vote, and they show no signs of going away. Many commentators discuss the political consequences for the Democratic Party and individual lawmakers who pushed this measure through in spite of overwhelming opposition by the public.

This action is historic on many levels – including the fact that never before has something of this magnitude passed with no support of the opposition party. Pro-lifers may never again trust a Democratic candidate who calls himself pro-life, because it is readily apparent that the eight “pro-life Democrats” were more committed to their party’s agenda than the life issue. The list of “fixes” passed by the House now goes to the Senate for action; the effort to sell this bill to the public begins, and that is going to be a difficult job. In the meantime, the battle continues, as states gear up to challenge this measure in the courts.

The Next “Final” Vote on Health Care Reform

The battle over health care reform continues, and as I write, the latest prediction is that the U.S. House will vote this Sunday … if the Democrats have the vote. The political push for votes continues as the House Democratic leadership says they “will have the votes,” meaning that they do not currently have them. Since the only Republican member to vote for the bill last fall has stated that he will vote no this time because of the federal funding of abortion in the Senate version; all the pressure is on Democratic members, and pro-life Democrats who oppose the bill are getting hammered by their own party. Democratic leadership is getting frustrated with their own, and the arm-twisting will likely get worse. All of this with the latest poll showing the public opposes the bill by 55% to 35%.

The bill was finally posted about 2PM yesterday, and the 72-hour rule requires that the earliest the vote can take place is Sunday afternoon after 2PM. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released it’s “preliminary” report yesterday and it has been used to bolster the argument that the bill will lower the deficit and save medicare in spite of using $500 million from Medicare to pay for the new entitlement and medicate at the same time.

In spite of all the pressure on the Democratic House members, the vote could go either way, and the leadership is desperately trying to create a sense of momentum – and is having trouble doing so. Even if the Democrats are able to pass the bill this weekend this is far from over. Republican Senator Tom Coburn has issued a warning that those who make deals for their votes will pay a price and not just at the polls. He’s promising to hold up any appointment in the federal government, look for special deals that have been made, and expose them. Then there is the whole issue of the bill going back to the Senate for the “reconciliation” changes, not to mention that Idaho has passed a bill to prohibit the plan from being implemented, setting up a legal battle and Virginia is planning to challenge the law as well.

SBOE Irks Bill White and the Media

Democratic nominee for Texas Governor, Bill White, has joined the liberal media in attacking the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) for its recent actions in bringing social studies standards back in balance. In fact, he is blaming Governor Perry and calling on his supporters to write Perry and complain about Thomas Jefferson being removed from the World History standards.

However, even the Houston Chronicle, no bastion of conservatism, points out that this allegation “misses the mark.” The SBOE did remove Jefferson from the world history standards, but he remains in Grade 5 and Grade 8 standards and also in high school U.S. history standards. The Chronicle quotes a board member who explains, “It’s just an issue of being germane. It was world history, and it was a list of political philosophers (from which Jefferson was removed). He’s mentioned in U.S. history and in government where you talk about the Founding Fathers and political philosophers.”

While conservative commentators are calling the actions by the SBOE a victory for balance and common sense and a much needed response to the liberal control of public education standards by leftist academics, the liberals in the media – and the Democrats – continue to try to paint the actions of the SBOE as those of a right wing extremists, even though the votes were by a margin of 10 or 11 votes.

This is just one more example that elections matter and voting is a responsibility that we should not take lightly or eschew. Whether you agree or disagree with what the SBOE has done on these issues, they were elected by the voters and they have the authority to make those decisions. Lastly, it probably tells us a little about Bill White too.

Good Citizenship?

I responded to an e-mail yesterday asking the question of why we interpret “Good Citizenship” as related to politics instead of some type of community service like volunteering in a food bank or picking up trash. That’s a good question. My response was that the Texas Education Code (25.086) allows a student who is attending a private school, which teaches a study of good citizenship, to be exempt from the compulsory attendance law. The question then arises, “What is good citizenship?” The courts have said that term means a study of civics or government. [Read more...]

Health Care Reform – the Final Move?

Democrats in Congress have begun what they are calling the final efforts to pass the historic bid to bring all of health care under the control of government. The President and the Democratic leadership are facing difficult challenges to pass the bill. The bill has something for everyone to support … or oppose. Fiscal conservatives point to the huge deficits that will result, and supporters of Medicare point to the taking of $500 billion from that already financially-troubled program.

Pro-lifers point to an expansion of abortion by the bill’s taxpayer funding of that procedure. In fact, Democratic House leaders last week said they had given up on efforts to find a way to compromise on that issue, and now the question is how many pro-life Democratic House members will vote for the bill anyway.

Home schoolers and parental rights activists also oppose the health care reform measure because of funding of new programs for voluntary visitation to homes of families, which I wrote about last year, that sound strangely like CPS workers concerned about children. Section 2951 on page 568 of the 2074 page bill titled “Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting,is the area of concern.

Then there is the whole issue of process and procedure. Some Democratic House members are willing to vote for the measure only with assurances that the Senate will make certain changes through a process called “reconciliation,” designed for use only on budget issues. This week a ruling by the Senate parliamentarian that the bill had to become law before that was possible gave them more concern about whether or not they could trust the Senate Democrats to carry through with their promise. There has even been discussions among the Democrats of passing the bill without voting on it, while the Republicans in the Senate are preparing to use every means at their disposal to oppose the final Senate efforts to pass it.