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:
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 -- 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:

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Nila: Special HD 46 election 'does not have to happen at all'

Strange things are afoot in HD 46.
Circular firing squads consisting entirely of the Austin political establishment are fine with us. Yet the Republican challenger for House District 46 reminds East Travis County voters that a high-stakes elimination contest among the local Democratic elite to replace Rep. Dawnna Dukes does not have to take place at all.

And it may not have had to happen if any of the Democrats throwing their hat into the ring for this (as-of-yet entirely hypothetical) special election race would have actually bothered to challenge Dukes in the Democratic Primary! See below for Gabriel Nila's latest submission for more reasons why he is "the one" to represent East Travis in the 85th Texas Legislature.

Monday, September 26, 2016

OPINION: Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated

And we still are.
By Andy Hogue, Editor

"The report of my death was an exaggeration." --Mark Twain.

Two things amazed me during the Robert Morrow saga, pro and con:

Pro: How quickly and formidably the grassroots came together to solve a problem. By setting up additional checks and balances in a way that was fair to the winner of the county chairman's race and everyone involved, we built a better party in less than half a year. From an objective standpoint, the Travis GOP was running better than ever despite the controversy -- even during Morrow's two months in office.

Con: How much stock a group of voters who supposedly hate "the liberal media" believed media hype about the situation our party was in. You would think we were in shambles waiting for someone to come rescue us, or hunkering down for two years of diminished expectations. This was obviously not the case.

GOP challenger urges Dukes to go ahead and resign for good of HD 46

Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin, HD 46) has announced her intention to retire in January, according to an article on Quorum Report.

Since the deadline to alter the general election ballot has passed, her name will likely remain printed there. Texas election law and common sense dictates that Dukes would only have to resign if she -- after all the beating she has taken lately -- still manages to defeat Republican challenger Gabriel Nila in November.

A resignation from Dukes after the election would, based on similar situations in other legislative districts in years past, trigger a special election to be called by the governor. Dukes cited health reasons for her pending resignation as well as concern for her daughter's well being. Unmentioned was legal challenges she faces based on allegations of staff being forced to perform unpaid, mandatory "charity work" while on the clock. Naturally, she hasn't mentioned the flack she caught for cancelling a scholarship fundraising festival in East Austin despite overwhelming public interest in keeping it going.

Below is a statement from Nila, via a press release:
"Maria and I both wish Representative Dukes a full recovery from her health challenges. 
"But the reality is that Dawnna Dukes has been under criminal investigation for many months. We do not yet know the conclusion of that investigation, but the allegations are very serious.  
"If Rep. Dukes intends to resign in January due to health reasons, there is no good reason for her to resign 100 days from now, after a general election and needlessly disadvantage her successor and cause an expensive Special Election. 
"The constituents of this district deserve to have new representation immediately, not months after the new biennial session begins. If Rep. Dukes wins election to a new two-year term that she plainly does not plan serve, then this district's new representative will be 150th in seniority and will be starting late to build a staff, seek committee slots, file legislation, and get up to speed for the session. For once, Dawnna Dukes should put the district and the taxpayers first and immediately resign."
So what of the pending indictment against Dukes for her criminal charges? We'll be tracking that, too.

Gabriel Nila ... just like the sign says!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

That time Heidi Cruz schooled William Weld -- two dissenting views on economic freedom

Weld and Johnson: Libertarians in name only?
With Ted Cruz and Gary Johnson garnering significant media attention for stops in Austin over the weekend we thought this would make for both some interesting Sunday reading and a much-needed reality check.

Keep this one in the top drawer of your file cabinet the next time one of our Libertarian friends attempts to sell you on a Johnson-Weld ticket over the Republican nominees.

It's no secret that not only is former New England Republican Gov. Bill Weld a gun-grabbing moderate, but once upon a time he signed off on a study which had little problems with proposing the erosion of national sovereignty in the name of global trade. Worse: he was the co-chairman of the task force that wrote the study. Facts like these have not been lost on many Johnson supporters.

Heidi Cruz
Heidi Cruz, wife of former presidential contender, Sen. Ted Cruz, also signed off on the report. However, a look at Heidi's objections -- and the total lack of Gov. Weld's -- shows a sharp distinction of political philosophy. It's one that deserves some attention.

Please take a read at a few snippets of that report below, or you may download the report:

Weld, a two-term governor of Massachusetts (1991-97), and Assistant U.S. Attorney General, wrote (emphasis ours) ...

Friday, September 16, 2016

SNEAK PREVIEW: campaign ad pits Don Zimmerman against ... Don Zimmerman?

Remember that episode of "Star Trek" in which Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Lt. Uhura, and Engineer Scott beam up to the U.S.S. Enterprise during a freak electromagnetic storm -- only to end up on a very similar Enterprise featuring darker, sinister versions of their fellow crew mates?

In that grand television tradition of meeting "alternate universe" takes on our favorite characters, we meet a tax-happy version of our beloved Councilman Don Zimmerman in this much-needed injection of laughter into the 2016 campaign season.

Rumor has it this TV ad will air during Sunday Night Football and the presidential debate. Football fans may remember a similar concept -- "Arts and Crafts Tony Romo" vs. the real quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys -- airing during a previous season.

Stay tuned Sunday night to see if it airs ... But we included a 30-second version of the ad above just in case it gets preempted.

(And, yes, we just managed to weave Star Trek, NFL football, and politics into a single blog post. We keep raising the bar for our faithful readers!)

Mirror Universe Spock gives the Democratic Party salute.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Mom fights for school choice as means to give students 'the right tools to thrive'

Melissa Bodenger, a full-time mom who spends what spare time she has coordinating Republican candidates for the Travis County GOP, recently gave testimony to the Texas Senate Education Committee regarding school choice.

For her and her special-needs son, school choice is not simply a matter of being more easily able to send her child to a successful public school -- it's a matter of her son being able to succeed in a public school, period.

A snippet of Bodenger's testimony is below. You can read the whole thing here.
... My name is Melissa Bodenger and my 10-year-old son, Josh, is the one in every 42 boys diagnosed with Autism.

In a public school Josh would not be immersed in the [Applied Behavioral Analysis] therapy environment that helps him learn to conquer the challenges of being Autistic.

He would have standardized tests, higher student teacher ratios, and the social stigma of being a special needs child looming over him on the playground. [...]

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Austin conservatives show solidarity against taxpayer-funded union activism

Last week, former Texas House staffer and candidate Jay Wiley and National Review legal contributor Mark Pulliam -- both active members of the Travis County Republican Party -- came out swinging against taxpayer-funded union activism.

It's no secret to conservatives that labor unions provide manpower and fundraising efforts for Democrat candidates and causes. But besides the obvious conflict of interest of using public servants to perform union tasks, there is also a prohibition on this kind of activity in the Texas Constitution.

See below from the desk of Jay Wiley:

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Hey, Kaepernick: KISS this!

We've known KISS front man Gene Simmons to be quite conservative for many years, despite the band's former reputation as being anything but favorable toward God, country, apple pie, and all that. But that we've lived long enough now to witness the above spectacle of KISS with uniformed veterans auxiliary members is worthy of a post, even on a local political blog. Take a watch -- even if you're not much of a rocker.

This display of high-voltage patriotism on Sept. 9 in Richmond, Virginia, follows public outcries after National Football League player Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem at a pre-season San Francisco 49ers game against the Green Bay Packers.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Martinez: a vote for Hernandez is a vote to make Austin a 'sanctuary city'

Coria-Gonzales arrest photo
Deported FIVE TIMES. Still not enough.
While there is a lot of debate over what, exactly, a "sanctuary city" consists of, one thing is clear: Electing a liberal Democrat as Travis County's top cop would do nothing but increase the amount of sanctuaries available for illegal immigrants.

Open trade advocates have their points to make, and there are plenty of merits to the "Texas Solution" touted by the Republican Platform in 2012. Ask three immigration reform activists what the solution is and you'll get four answers. But no matter how you slice it, illegal immigration is illegal and attracts other illegal behavior.

Read Travis County Sheriff candidate Joe Martinez' latest press release below, as well as the link to a recent Fox 7 story, if you're not entirely convinced.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Robert Morrow resigns Travis GOP Chairmanship to run as Independent for President

It's official. Robert Morrow is no longer the chairman of the Travis County Republican Party.

The Travis GOP sent out a media advisory on Thursday of a 10 a.m. Friday press conference to explain why Executive Vice Chairman David T. Duncan is now calling himself "Acting Chairman." This led to several media outlets reporting on this development around noon Thursday.  The Republican Party of Texas released a press statement of their own following this development, and this is all became very public knowledge. 

However, the Travis GOP at Friday's press conference had several reasons for rightfully assuming Robert had left a vacancy, which we include below in their press release.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Planned counter-protest mocks 'Cocks Not Glocks'

National Review recently had a soul-convicting article about how the Left ultimately makes everything about sex.

Everything. Even the Second Amendment.

Here's a selection from this gutsy article that speaks volumes about a protest sure to grab headlines this week:
The so-called culture war ... has not been conducted by people of religious faith on one side, and people of no faith on the other. It is instead a contest of competing faiths: one in the Good Book, and the other in the more newly written figurative book of secularist orthodoxy about the sexual revolution. 
Nowhere is this phenomenon more pronounced than during a perennial protest against gun rights at the University of Texas where hordes of participants carry sex toys (and other everyday items intended to be suggestive) in holsters around campus. Watch the video below in which left-of-center hyenas laugh it off as perfectly acceptable college hi-jinx:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Don Zimmerman is racist ... toward his own son?

Remember that little flare-up last night regarding City Councilman Don Zimmerman's "offensive comments?" About that: it looks like he said something very similar about his own two-month-old son.

As a bonus, it appears no one was offended at similar remarks made over the course of his two-year-term.

See below for a press release from Zimmerman's office setting the record straight:

Don't let the Dems trick you: Austin City Council races are VERY much partisan

Contrary to the easily dis-proven meme that Austin City Council races are historically non-partisan, the Travis County Democrats attempted to FUNDRAISE off of City Councilman Don Zimmerman today as well as to commit themselves to defeating him in November. (See the image above which is a mobile phone screenshot of a fundraising email.)

And all this before the Aug. 22 ballot deadline, before they know who all is in the running for City Council District 6.

What the liberals are upset about today is barely worth a mention -- and Empower Texans has a nice vindication of Zimmerman's comments here if you're curious.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

$720M Austin transportation bond: Gotta keep 'em separated?

The Austin City Council minutes ago gave the green light to a $720 million bond proposal to address traffic concerns in the not-so-Little City.

It passed unanimously, but the real struggle on this may come next week when the Council votes on ballot language and a few procedural matters. Proposed projects, many of which owe their origin to the Mayor's "Year of Mobility" initiative and the additional heat put on by greater constituent input following the implementation of the 10-1 plan, include mostly roadway improvements. But also in the plan are bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, a generous sidewalk allotment, and some public transit tweaks.

Rep. Dukes' challenger gives Austin open mic on police, community relations

 Some familiar faces gather for a photo after the town hall.
You may remember a forum held on July 13 in Manor regarding police and community relations in the wake of a spate of shootings over this summer -- particularly an attack on officers at a downtown Dallas demonstration. The "It's Time for Unity" town hall, organized by House District 46 candidate Gabriel Nila, was a rousing success with a standing-room-only crowd.

You may also recall that the Manor rally was held after a dialogue event for greater Austin was essentially hijacked by local Democrats and turned into a showcase for liberal values. Republican officials and candidates, such as Nila, were not invited to the forum held on a local public broadcasting channel (which necessitated the Manor event be held separately to assure that a variety of voices be heard).