Tag Archives: Dan Patrick

Patrick to GOP: My Will Be Done in 2011

In today’s 4 o’clock hour of Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)’s KSEV drive-time radio show, the Texas Senate sophomore-to-be put Republicans on notice that it is time to act like a majority.

Renewing a 2006 talking point, Patrick said it was some Republicans, not Democrats, who were responsible for the Voter ID bill failing to gain traction after listener John called to discuss his support for the legislation.

“If these Republicans get elected and do not do what they said they would, I will

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)

name names,” Patrick said, adding that he was sick of Republicans acting as if they were not the majority in the Texas Legislature.

There it is–fair warning from the Voice of Texas, who looks to renew his threat of using his now expanded radio network and influence of the Tea Party Caucus to bully the GOP into submission.

Prediction: Look for Dan Patrick to run for governor in 2014.

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Sen. Patrick: New Tea Party Caucus, ICRoT “Different”

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7) defended the formation of a new Tea Party Caucus today from critics who said its shared goals of Patrick’s Independent Conservative Republicans of Texas invalidate the need for the latter group.

But, according to the state senator, both groups represent the same goals with very different capacities.

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)

Patrick announced the formation of a Tea Party Caucus in the Texas Legislature today, created to represent the interests of followers of the conservative political movement.

According to a press release from Patrick’s office, The Tea Party caucus will be active throughout the session, meeting with conservative leaders from the Tea Party movement, discussing issues, and building support for important conservative legislation.

Meanwhile, the ICROT, Patrick’s post-Republican primary pet cause, serves another purpose, he said.

“The ICROT was never intended to be an active caucus.  It was intended to be a statement of what our party stood for as each member signed the pledge,” Patrick said, via email to TL.  “The voters will decide moving forward if those elected officials keep their word.”

Members of the Tea Party Caucus will meet more rigorous requirements for eligibility.

Membership, which will be determined by Sen. Patrick prior to the start of the 82nd Legislature, will be determined based on three requirements, including:

“The Tea Party is the most important political  movement of my lifetime and I want to be sure their voice is heard loud and clear in Austin after the election is over,” Patrick said.  “This caucus will work with Tea Party leaders across the state to be sure promises made during campaigns are followed up in the legislature.”

Despite Patrick’s enthusiasm, critics said it appears he is abandoning the ICRoT.

David Jennings, of Big Jolly Politics, charged Patrick was already moving on from the organization formed in April, previously predicting the senator would probably “have moved on to something else” before the 83rd Legislature.

As a conservative blogger, Jennings is often critical of the senator for moderate politics, choosing to refer to him on his blog as “D_nny.”

“This might be a record-time dropping of a “cause” for [Dan] – the website hasn’t been updated since April 21st,” Jennings writes. “Remember when, at the start and even during the middle of the Tea Party movement, that [Dan] said the Tea Parties wouldn’t survive if they didn’t tie themselves up in knots with Republicans?”

“Remember, Julie [Turner of the Texas Tea Party Patriots]? Remember what TEA stands for? Now you’ve gotten yourself locked up with a bunch of guys that care way more about what you do in your bedroom than what they take out of your pocketbook.”

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Best and Worst Campaign Websites: Harris County Republican Edition

Each election, I am both amazed and appalled by some of the choices of branding political candidates choose to forgo on their campaign signs and websites. While few are excellent, many are notoriously bad. The Harris County Republican slate is no exception.

 

Today, I look at some of the best (and worst) the Harris County GOP has to offer, and a few comments from me to you.  By and large, the Republicans could use a book on CSS for Christmas.

 

The Best

 

Typically, the best Republican websites come from the Congressional incumbents.  They have more money, staff and relevant content on the issues to fill a site.  U.S. Rep. John Culberson (R-7) has the most organized site, featuring top-of-the-page navigation, plenty of social media links and buttons calling voters to interact with the campaign, and an overall clean feel.

 

Of all the Republicans in all of Texas, Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)‘s website is built to inform and engage.  A Twitter link up top provides easy access, which a left-hand navigation is straight forward with sections for issues and videos. The gigantic Texas flag behind him and the red, white and blue nature of this website screams “I AM RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR IN 2016.”.  Scary thought, isn’t it?

 

Texas Rep. Patricia Harless (R-126) sets the bar for what every House member’s website should aspire to be. Not only is it clean and classy, in a Texas cowboy kind of way, but it offers her constituents and supporters ways to get in contact with her via email and social networks. Furthermore, bonus points for the very cool tagline: “I believe that limited government means limited spending.”
I hope she will run for higher office at some point, and take this website with her. 🙂

 

The Worst

 

I start the bad section with the Harris County GOP’s party website only because it could be better.  Republicans, by definition, are not very good with the Internet to begin with, so I will try to be brief. But, this site is crammed, very modular in its appearance while also looking very disheveled. My eye doesn’t quite know what to look at, and therefore, I am apt to struggle to focus on one thing; for example, the video embedded (congrats on learning how to embed videos, guys!) at left is so “heavy” in weight, even if I want to look at the buttons at right (which are the second “heaviest” item), I have a hard time focusing.

 

Another point I want to make, thus proving the assertion about the GOP and its slow progress online: While viewing the website’s page source, the webmaster (or creator) illustrated how behind they were by not only taking the time to write out metatag keywords (which, for all intensive purposes, lost importance years ago when it came to SEO and search engines), but alternating between capitalizing keywords, as if they were case sensitive.

 

Remember when I said the Congressional incumbents had the best sites? On the flip side of that, Congressional also-rans (in this case, Republicans challenging standing Democratic incumbents, who no matter how bad they suck, always win) have among the worst. Steve Mueller, God bless him for trying, has nice talking points framed by a website my 10-year-old brother could make if he was learning HTML.

 

Okay, I lied. Not all Republican incumbents have the nicest sites.  Rep. Pete Olson shows just how boring, white bread he can get by filling one of the Republican’s nicest websites with big blocks of text from top to bottom. Olsen is highly prolific, and unless you have the time to read Olson blah blah blah about blah blah blah, you will be turned off by this website.  Olson does get points for breaking out of the red, white and blue motifs, however.

Back when I was with the 1960 Sun Newspapers, I met and spoke with Rep. Gary Elkins on a number of occasions.  His policies, especially in terms of small business, are incredibly sound. But, his website looks like something I tinkered with when I was in my freshman year of high school!  It is a very simple HTML site. I wish he’d do something about this eyesore.

 

In the Harris County judicial races, one judge stands out for a weird navigation feature on their website.  Harris County Judge Vanessa Valasquez, of the 183rd Criminal District Court, relies on this crazy Flash menu which changes at a rate of every 4 seconds.  The image isn’t even shaped like the flap, with a corner virtually cut off. It looks pretty tacky, and for an older voter, probably isn’t clear it is a link.

 

Orlando Sanchez is to the Harris County Republicans as Chris Bell is to the Harris County Democrats: He is always running for something.  And when he throws his hat in the ring, Orlando counts on the above early ’90s HTML website to carry him through, time and time again.  In fact, if you look closely, the “for Harris County Treasurer” part appears to be pixelated, likely because they changed it in Microsoft Paint every time he filed for a new campaign.  The left-hand navigation is very simple, and let’s face it, the site is boring.

 

While Harris County Clerk candidate Stan Stanart is busy vying for Beverly Kaufman’s seat, he is also busy as the Harris County GOP’s IT guy.  And yet, despite being the Computer Whiz-in-Chief, this train wreck of a website is supposed to persuade us to “Stand with Stan.”  The alternating red and blue text is bothersome, the artwork is fuzzy, and the faded American flag looks like some Windows Outlook background. Navigation is simple enough, but the end result leaves much to be desired, Stan.

Oh, and when the September 27th Fundraiser was over, you should have removed the flashing yellow banner. I got my hopes up thinking I was going to get to spend a night with you, Chris Daniel and Paul Bettencourt!
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Allen Fletcher Forgets Who Employed Him, Goes Native

Allen Fletcher

"Native Son" State Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-130)

Like so many who have gone to Austin before him, State Rep. Allen Fletcher (R-130) has forgotten who his boss is–the people of the 130th Texas House district!

On Fletcher’s Facebook profile, the Republican freshman shows how out of touch he is by incorrectly listing “Texas Capitol” as his employer.  After only a single term, Fletcher has gone native! We might as well call him an Austinite! By forgetting those to whom he is beholden, its probably be we lower our expectations.

BUT WAIT! A conservative waits in the wings! Please vote for Joe Spencer for District 130, and lets get ourselves a real, responsive representative again!

If elected, Joe Spencer won’t go native. In fact, he has professed to vote the will of the people, saying before casting his ballot on any legislation that “The People of District 130 votes…”

Meanwhile, 5 Signs Allen Fletcher has Gone Native

  1. Fletcher thinks eVerify is more important than border security
  2. He was investigated by the Justice Department
  3. Accepted more than $38,000 in special interest contributions
  4. Works closely with Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)
  5. Authored 6 bills to increase taxes, local bureaucracy (unelected boards)

Please early vote for Joe Spencer for Texas.

Dan Patrick Errs on Side of More Government, Taxes in Harris County

Dan Patrick

State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7)

As part of his KSEV drive time radio show tonight, Texas State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-7) and caller Guy discussed (well, Guy tried…) the wisdom of giving unelected boards the authority to implement and collect local taxes, in this case an improvement district in Magnolia.

On the ballot in Magnolia, voters will decide November 2 whether to approve a two-cent sales tax, as advocated by the Westwood Magnolia Parkway Improvement District.

In response, Patrick, who authored 12 pieces of legislation granting such unelected authority, said:

“It’s been part of government a long time… that’s how things get done.”

Business improvement districts are unelected bodies and boards which are authorized by the state legislature to form, designate members and collect a sales tax all without taxpayer or voter approval.

Improvement districts are generally located in large municipalities, and rarely found in Texas outside Harris County.

As a conservative Libertarian, I am opposed to giving any sort of authority to an unelected board, only because they are largely unchecked in their exercise of that power. What should be especially disconcerting is that Sen. Patrick is supposed to be one of the most conservative members of the Texas Legislature, and yet he offered his help on nearly a dozen pieces of legislation that would result absolutely in more taxes for Texans.

While Republicans are quick to point fingers (and rightly so) at Democrats for using such unchecked authority in the Obama health care bill, it is rare to find one who will also shine a light within their ranks.

To his credit, Patrick said he didn’t approve all of them, but decided based on the arguments for the districts. If that’s the case, Dan Patrick has never seen a unelected taxing authority he didn’t like.

In the 81st Legislature, Patrick’s bills providing taxing authority to unelected boards include:

  • SB 1038, for the Northampton Municipal Improvement District
  • SB 1039, for the Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 478
  • SB 2455, for the Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 495
  • SB 2467, for the Waller Town Center Management District
  • SB 2472, for the Harris County Improvement District, No. 14
  • SB 2473, for the Harris County Improvement District, No. 13
  • SB 2496, for the Westchase District (and sponsored by Democratic Reps. Hochberg and Thibaut)
  • SB 2510, for the Harris County Improvement District, No. 18
  • SH 2536, for the West Harris County Regional Water Authority
  • SH 2537, for the Harris County Municipal Utility District, No. 524
  • SH 2542, for the Harris County Improvement District, No. 17
  • SH 2552, for the Harris County Improvement District, No. 1

If you haven’t voted yet, I might recommend you cast a ballot for Libertarian Lee Coughran for Texas Senate this year.  This isn’t the same Dan Patrick CLOUT guy we voted for in 2006.