Friday, December 9, 2016

For Dec. 13 runoff endorsements, we suggest a little reverse-psychology

The Travis GOP has not endorsed a candidate in the Dec. 13, 2016, runoff election, which may put local conservative voters at a disadvantage when determining for whom to cast a ballot (or whether to show up at all).

Fortunately, there's a method to determine who conservatives should support that almost never fails. Assuming there's no blue moon forecast tonight, our friends at the Austin Chronicle have released their opinions on who the most liberal and union-backed candidates are. We'll review the highlights for you.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Two Congressional races hang in the balance: Texans to the rescue!

Austin has become an extension of the last major battleground of the 2016 election year.

Three federal runoff races remain -- all to be decided by our neighbors over in Louisiana this Saturday, Dec. 10.

Here's what happened:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ballot integrity: no longer 'just right wing paranoia'

Clearly, the reasons differ. And greatly. But it's downright refreshing to finally see the integrity of our electoral process gain favor of political parties other than the GOP.

For years, and aside from a few courageous individuals and organizations on the left, the Republican Party has been the vanguard of election integrity. Alas, everything from Voter ID laws to calling for paper trails for electronic voting has been placed by the mainstream press into the same category as black helicopter theories and chupacabra sightings. Liberal detractors would point to the handful of actual, final voter fraud convictions in court as "proof" it wasn't a problem (it's hard to prosecute when you have little to no evidence on which to go on). Attempts to tighten down security at the polling place has been labeled racist, sexist, "class warfare," and even age-ist.

Coverage of allegations of mass fraud would go un-covered for weeks. In one instance, an account of tens of thousands of forged and faked voter applications in Harris County uncovered by the King Street Patriots did not warrant coverage for weeks aside from conservative blogs -- and when it finally caught the attention of the mainstream media ... well, read what happened and make your own judgments.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Zimmerman takes to the airwaves

Don Zimmerman, outgoing District 6 Austin City Councilman, filled in for KLBJ-AM's Dale Dudley the day before Thanksgiving.

Reports have it local conservatives burned down the phone lines as he and Mark Ceasar discussed pressing issues such as proposed federal cell phone manufacturer regulations to include a mandatory "airplane mode" for driving purposes.

If you missed it, you can hear it at the following link:

https://soundcloud.com/klbj-news-radio/rational-radio-mark-caesar-and-don-zimmerman-11-23-2016?in=klbj-news-radio/sets/rational-radio-with-dale

Don will return to KLBJ, filling in for Jeff Ward, this Monday and Tuesday (Dec. 5-6) from 3-7 p.m. You can tune in at AM 590, 99.7 FM, or listen online.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fake Satanist group representative to 'bless' Austin City Council

UPDATE: The "minister" has called out for reason of being out of the country for Thursday's meeting.

Evil as the Austin City Council may be at times, there's something sinister about this screenshot:


At 9:55 a.m. Dec. 1 the Austin City Council will host a representative of The Satanic Temple for an "invocation." (To invoke whom or what, exactly, would be the question to ask.)

Friday, November 18, 2016

Black heritage memorial ceremony to bring Travis GOP full-circle to its roots

Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott announced this afternoon he will join local Republicans, and deliver remarks at, the unveiling of the African American Heritage Monument on Saturday on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol.

Though speeches at the unveilings of monuments on state capitol campuses are what governors are wont to do, Abbott's speech and the presence of local Republicans represents a solidarity with the rights of Black Americans that goes to the very roots of the Grand Ol' Party.

The monument is set to be unveiled at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. More information.

According to the Republican Party of Texas, the GOP has quite a stake in this celebration:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Zimmerman issues first circuit court challenge to Austin's $350 contribution limit

If the appeal is taken up, Austin City Councilman Don Zimmerman will be leading the first Circuit Court challenge against the City of Austin's candidate contribution limit.

Below is the press release from his attorney, Jerad Najvar:

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Dickey: There's much to be proud of this election ... and humbled by

James Dickey is sounding like one proud papa this week. Facing overwhelming odds on Nov. 8, the Travis GOP held the line in 2016. On his personal blog he lays out a few key accomplishments of the party on multiple levels:
  • The gracious and thoughtful words of both the President and the President-Elect the day after the election as they discussed the result and next steps in the transition.
  • Susan Narvaiz, Gabriel Nila, Ceasar Ruiz, Maura Phelan, Joe Martinez, Pat McCord, and Deke Pierce – who all stepped up to face incredibly long odds and longer hours in an effort to help make Travis county better for all.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Poll watchers receive boost from Paxton

A sign in Hill County says it all -- poll watching only goes so far

"... a watcher is entitled to observe any activity conducted at the location at which the watcher is serving.  A watcher is entitled to sit or stand conveniently near the election officers conducting the observed activity. A watcher is entitled to sit or stand near enough to the member of a counting team who is announcing the votes to verify that the ballots are read correctly or to a member who is tallying the votes to verify that they are tallied correctly." --Texas Election Code 33.056.

Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion on Monday strongly supporting the legal right of poll watchers to observe election and vote-counting activity. But the opinion stopped short of calling for electronic images of all ballots as a means to stamp out voter fraud -- mainly because it's still a matter before the Third Court of Appeals.

Opinion KP-0118

According to the Austin American-Statesman ...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ruiz: Democratic opponent 'a prime example of non-representation'

Ceasar Ruiz and family... when not calling out Celia Israel!
Ceasar Ruiz doesn't mince words when it comes to the representation of veterans in the Texas Legislature. See below for his most recent press release in his bid for Texas House District 50:

Ruiz: Incumbent has ignored veterans issues for too long
Absence on key Hazlewood votes in 84th lege reason enough for new representation

AUSTIN, Texas -- With Veterans Day fast approaching and proposed changes to the Hazlewood Act already being discussed for the next Legislature, the question must be asked:

Will Celia Israel ignore veterans once again?

Drastic changes proposed by 2015's Senate Bill 1735 put the Hazlewood Act -- which exempts veterans, their spouses, and dependent children from tuition and fees -- on the chopping block.

Every veterans association opposed the changes and called each legislator under the Capitol dome, including Texas House District 50 incumbent Celia Israel.

Unfortunately, Israel was absent for key debates and ALL substantive votes on the bill.

"My opponent ignored veterans last session," Texas House District 50 challenger Ceasar Ruiz said. "She only voted to extend the Hazlewood Act on the ceremonial third reading -- that 'happy-go-lucky' vote that takes place after passage is already a done deal."

"This is a prime example of the non-representation HD 50 has received over the past two years, and it is unacceptable," Ruiz continued. "Voters simply cannot expect my opponent to adequately represent their needs when she is clearly unwilling to stand and fight for our most noble citizens. As a military veteran, I promise to continue fighting for my brothers and sisters in arms but also for all Texans in need."

--30--

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Zimmerman: the buffer between liberal central Austin and Battleground Texas

A communique from the Travis County GOP today explains the difference a city council seat can make in the grander political picture. We copy the text verbatim below:


Did you know that Battleground Texas is actively positioning volunteers in Southern Williamson County? Their gambit is to collect data and see if there are enough central Austinites in exodus to justify spending TONS of money at our north door in future elections. Fortunately, Councilman [Don] Zimmerman stands between Austin's liberal-leaning central neighborhoods and Battleground Texas' scoped-out territory. The stronger victory we hand to Don the stronger message we send to the Democrats that we have liberalism contained ... and we're closing in on them! Consider donating or waving a sign for him on election day.

VOTERS: If you live in District 6 (Northwest Austin) and plan on voting straight-party PLEASE check the bottom of your ballot. Don is not listed as a "REP" candidate (Republican) but is in a non-partisan city race. Straight-party will not select him, nor make a choice in Proposition 1 (which we oppose, by the way).

Friday, October 28, 2016

UT sinks even lower with Halloween cowboy hat ban

The height of campus insensitivity
First, the University of Texas admin had its shorts in a bunch over a perennial Affirmative Action bake sale by the Young Conservatives of Texas. That they weren't upset over "Cocks not Glocks" earlier this year was the subject of a Tracker article just this week.

Not 24 hours passes before UT launches another full-on assault on political incorrectness. This time, UT's Sorority and Fraternity Life department of the Office of the Dean of Students is going out of its way to make certain Greek student organizations do not hurt anyone's feelings.

So don't even think about taking your date to a Halloween party dressed as a Cowboy and Indian. (Shhh ... don't tell the Longhorn Band!) Instead, dress as ...

... brace yourself ...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thank you, Commissioner Daugherty, for shining a spotlight down-ballot


Too often this election year, true-believer conservatives have been myopic about their ballot choices -- only seeing the top of the ticket as worthy of discussion (and dissension in some cases) while ignoring the merits of an overwhelming number of qualified and talented down-ballot contenders.

We have our own Travis County Commissioner incumbent for Precinct 3 Gerald Daugherty to thank for bringing some much-needed attention to our local races as the spotlight is most certainly on Trump versus Clinton.

Daugherty's ad has been featured in the Washington Post and CNN (not the usual GOP cheerleaders, in other words) and continues to go viral with well-over a million hits on YouTube. We include the ad above if you haven't yet seen it.

"The response to the ad has been overwhelming," said Daugherty, via Facebook. "It’s gratifying that so many people across the country have felt a connection to it, and I hope that it also reminds voters of the importance of the little-known elected offices at the bottom of the ballot."

Daugherty's video touches a nerve many politically interested people deal with: Family members (yes, even spouses) who are every bit supportive but have their limits when it comes to lively political discourse and wonkish conversation about the issues we face. That it continues to resound as one of the best ads this political season also tells us that the nation is ready to laugh after such a taxing 2016 election cycle.

The earned media is well-deserved. Daugherty was the first major donor to the county GOP as they attempted to resurrect their bank account following the Robert Morrow debacle. Daugherty was also one of the hangers-on during a period of unrest a decade ago and formed a PAC to keep donations and volunteerism directed toward conservative candidates at the grassroots level. Not only that, but Daugherty has spent years as the sole Republican voice on the Travis County Commissioners Court -- no easy feat.

This moment of fame couldn't have come for a better candidate.

Full list of Travis County local candidates (including Daugherty).

'Anderson Mill-Gate' continues to raise public suspicion of Flannigan campaign

Move along ... nothing to see here (which is good!)
Ok, so "Anderson Mill-Gate" might be taking the whole "-gate" eponym too far. Regardless, this is a story that needs to circulate for the next few weeks as it frames the overall vibe of this year's Austin District 6 City Council election: that is, a defeated 2014 candidate spending the entire two years until the next election positioning for the office and doing next-to-nothing to help the actual powers-that-be govern effectively.

Even our friends at the notoriously liberal Austin Chronicle has given "credit where credit's due" to District 6 incumbent Don Zimmerman's recent busting-of-chops. Team Zimmerman called out Democratic opponent Jimmy Flannigan for hogging the credit for Anderson Mill Road expansion progress and on-the-book future plans. While the Chronicle doesn't exactly give Zimmerman a glowing report (naturally), the Tracker is excited to see journalistic curiosity alive and well on the other side of the spectrum. Perhaps there's hope for our Little City, yet.

UT: X-rated displays are fine, but don't you dare host a conservative bake sale!

Image stolen from Cahnman's Musings.
Our friends at Cahnman's Musings certainly have their fingers on the pulse of the students and faculty currently occupying the Forty Acres. They noted a blatant hypocrisy on Texas' flagship campus in a "tale of two protests." The unflappable Adam Cahn writes:
We deliberately ignored the "Cocks not Glocks" (CnG) protest earlier this year because it was stupid. Nevertheless, yesterday's kerfuffle over YCT's 'affirmative action' bakesale got us thinking. There's a contrast. ...
Read all about the UT admin's false piety here.

The Tracker offered its thoughts on the phallus-oriented anti-Second Amendment protest here.

If you think it's noble and a proper exercise of government to offer reduced prices and financial assistance based on race for higher education -- but that it's morally offensive to give complimentary discounts for baked goods -- then click here. You'll thank us one day.


Monday, October 24, 2016

Ruiz: Hey Celia, lay your money on the table!

Scrooge McIsrael?
So what is Democrat incumbent Celia Israel waiting for? An invoice from her constituents, perhaps?

Below is a press release from the Ceasar Ruiz for Texas House District 50 campaign questioning the logic behind Rep. Israel's tightwad of a campaign.


AUSTIN, Texas -- Hillary Clinton is buying TV ads in Central Texas and Battleground Texas is expending resources in southern Williamson County.

They know the writing is on the wall of a rising Republican tide and are doing everything they can to push back -- even in conservative territory.

So why is Texas House incumbent Celia Israel refusing to spend in her campaign against GOP challenger Ceasar Ruiz?

"My opponent's near-total lack of spending on campaign communications shows a profound disrespect for the voters of HD 50," Ruiz said. "The voters deserve to know more about where each candidate stands on the issues that are important to them."

Ruiz points out the following facts:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Anderson Mill Road improvement claim: another Flannigan shenanigan

A press release from the Don Zimmerman re-election campaign counters a strong rumor going around town that his Democratic opponent Jimmy Flannigan is responsible for placing improvements to Anderson Mill Road on the upcoming transportation bond.

We post the entirety of the press release below. Zimmerman is the incumbent for Austin City Council District 6.


AUSTIN, Texas -- Council Member Don Zimmerman’s opponent, Jimmy Flannigan, has been exposed for his exaggerations and deceit regarding his marque accomplishment claim: having Anderson Mill Road added to the Mayor’s Transportation Bond proposal.

Zimmerman first noticed this claim while listening to the Sept. 12, 2016, Austin Monitor interview when Mr. Flannigan said that the reason that Anderson Mill Road was included in the Mayor’s Transportation Bond proposal was because of Mr. Flannigan’s Northwest Austin Coalition (NWAC) work.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Seperate R and D Proposition 1 mailers: Proof Austin's Republican voter bloc is a force to be reckoned with

Proposition 1's consultant must be on to something.

According to a recent Austin Monitor story, there are two versions of the mailer that supports Austin's $720 million transportation bond.

One Republican, with few frills, not as much green, and no photos or illustrations of mass transit options. Just cars on roads and bridges.

The other Democrat, with exactly what you'd expect.

The discrepancy was noted by an East Austin Republican Precinct Chairman whose mail got mixed up with a decidedly more liberal neighbor's.

According to the Monitor:
A consultant for the pro-bond campaign, David Butts, said the polling they’ve done sought to weed out how conservatives and liberals think about getting around. 
“Republicans represent a certain philosophy,” said Butts. “They’re more inclined to see roads and cars as being something that’s absolutely necessary and something we should be trying to accommodate.” 
Read more: http://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2016/10/vote-republican-primary-heres-whats-mayors-transportation-bond
While county-wide race candidates with an R by their name may rarely win in Travis County, they can still take around 40 percent of the vote with little cash and minimal advertising. This is a demographic even liberal consultants cannot deny when pushing a non-partisan issue such as public bonds. We expect to see more of this in the near future as Austin's economy and dynamism continues to draw the best and brightest.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

County party hosts coolest fundraiser ever


Who needs hotel asparagus, a boring talk about the most recent session of Congress, and speech after speech thanking the event planning committee?

The Travis GOP has a better idea: a hero of the Benghazi raid as the guest of honor, a Q&A with donors, your choice of two activities, plus the Alamo Drafthouse and Red's Porch booked on a beautiful weekend in Austin! We hear rumors of an all-you-can-eat taco bar at the evening receptions. Way to raise the bar, Republicans.

Unbelievably, tickets are still available ... probably only because this event was announced about two weeks ago. If they had longer to promote this bad boy no doubt it would be a sell-out event.

You can read more about it at BenghaziATX.com -- movie trailer, VIP options, and more. We recommend our Tracker readers attend (Sunday worship services permitting, of course).

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Dickey takes to TV to discuss Travis GOP's turnaround


Newly elected Travis GOP Chairman James Dickey answers a few questions from veteran newsie Karina Kling about the miraculous turnaround of the county party in this week's episode of "Capital Tonight" on Channel 8 YNN Time Warner Cable News Spectrum News.

It's worth a watch here -- especially if you're not quite up-to-speed on what all transpired since March 1: http://www.twcnews.com/tx/austin/capital-tonight/2016/10/4/capital-tonight-oct--4--mike-pence--tim-kaine-face-off-in-vp-debate.html