The Markum Report - The Conservative Blog of Galveston County, Texas: May 2006 Ladies and Gentlemen.... Now Forming at the North End of Kyle Field... the Nationally Famous.. Fightin' Texas Aggie Band !

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

CD 22 candidates opening statements from the Ft. Bend County candidates forum

For those of you interested in the race to select the replacement candidate for Congressman Tom Delay, Chris over at Texas Safety Forum has a nice recap of the Ft. Bend County candidates forum posted on his blog. Chris has audio of the opening and closing statements as well as some of the key questions.

Click here for the audio of the opening statements.

Also, please take our survey and share your thoughts as well. The consensus among conservatives in Galveston County is that it will take a real conservative to beat Nick Lampson. Some of the CD 22 candidates say they are conservative but with the recent tax bill fiasco, it's time for the grassroots to start holding candidates accountable.

We have a chance to pick a true conservative to do battle against the left and we need someone who will energize the base and recognize the power of the conservative base in this district.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Huge Victory in Texas Legislature for Pro-Life movement

Dr. Robin Armstrong, a strong friend of the pro-life movement, wanted to pass this information along about some of the good work that the Texas Alliance for Life is doing.

State Reps Charlie Howard and Robert Talton who are seeking the CD 22 nomination for Tom Delay's seat are singled out for special mention.

HUGE VICTORY in Texas Legislature on stopping tax-funded embryonic stem cell research and cloning. Thanks for your help!

FROM: Joe Pojman, Ph.D., Executive Director

DATE: May 19, 2006

At the end of the Special Legislative Session at the Capitol, we scored a MAJOR VICTORY in the state Legislature in the effort to prevent state tax-dollars from being used for research that involves the destruction of human embryos -- embryonic stem cell research and cloning.

This win is HUGE, the FIRST VICTORY on this critical issue EVER in Texas! Very few states have managed to do anything similar. In fact, the anti-life lobby in several states, including New Jersey and California, have prevailed and passed measures to actually fund human embryonic stem cell research.

We strongly support stem cell research, so long as that research involves only adult (and cord blood) stem cells. Obtaining adult stem cells does not harm the donor. Doctors are now using adult stem cells almost routinely to cure and save lives. We oppose research involving human embryonic stem cells and cloning because these can only be done by destroying human embryos -- life at the earliest stages. No one has ever been cured of any disease using embryonic stem cells. The FDA has approved no therapies using embryonic stem cells (See more information below.)

The win was sealed Monday, the last day of the special legislative session, when the House voted to concur with the Senate's pro-life amendments to House Bill 153, a massive bill that creates more than 60 new buildings on public universities.

The initial versions of H.B. 153 (and the Senate companion, S.B. 46) authorized the creation of and provided funding for research centers at which human embryonic stem cell research and human cloning were intended by several legislators and members of the research community to be performed. A pro-life amendment offered in the House last week stripped out funding for one such research center in Houston. The Senate version added further protections.

Thank you for your support! During the 10 days after Texas Alliance for Life and other pro-life organizations put out alerts, thousands of pro-life calls flooded the Capitol. So large was the number of calls that some legislators' voice mail filled up. These calls were decisive in turning the tide of momentum in our favor!

Our Heroes
Without the support of the leadership in the Capitol -- (l. to r.) Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Tom Craddick -- this victory would not have been possible. Now that we have achieved a victory please send a short email to each expressing our appreciation. (Just click on each name.)

SAMPLE MESSAGE: (please use your own words)

Dear ________________,
Thank you for supporting pro-life amendments in H.B. 153 that removed tax funding for research that involves human embryonic stem cells and cloning. I strongly support adult stem cells research (including cord blood stem cells). This research does not harm the donor and has proven to be very productive. Thousands of people are alive because of adult stem cell transplants.

I strongly opposed tax-funded research on human embryonic stem cells and cloning because these require the destruction of innocent human embryos. No one has ever been cured of any disease using embryonic stem cells. The FDA has not even approved the use of embryonic stem cells in any therapies.


More Heroes

Pro-life efforts in each chamber were lead by (l. to r.) Sen. Steve Ogden (R-Bryan), Rep. Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), and Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford). Each worked effectively to ensure that tax dollars were not used for the highly unethical research, and their leadership was indispensable. Many other members played a significant role, including Rep. Dan Gattis (R-Georgetown), Rep. Charlie Howard (R-Sugar Land), Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena), and Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington).


The initial version of H.B. 153 / S.B. 46 had serous problems that were corrected by changes in the House and Senate. That version authorized and funded a $41,000,000 biomedical research facility at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, where research on human embryonic stem cells and closing was planned. There were other problems.

During House floor debate on H.B. 153 on May 11, 2006, the embryonic stem cell issue in H.B. 153 became very apparent. When Rep. Geanie Morrison introduced a pro-life amendment to remove the Houston facility from the bill because that facility "brought several problems for members," embryonic stem cell advocates immediately protested. "As I understand it, the problem or one of the problems you are talking about is the [human embryonic] stem cell research issue?" asked Rep. Pete Gallego (D-Alpine). "Correct," replied Morrison. The reason for the amendment was ". . . because there are members in this body who are opposed to [embryonic] stem cell research, right?" echoed Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) after expressing her support for embryonic stem cell funding.

To watch the archived video of the debate, click HERE and begin at "1:25".

  • EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS -- The pro-life movement opposes research involving human embryonic stem cells and cloning because these require the destruction of human embryos -- human life at its earliest stages.

  • For a pro-life response, see the letter from "Texans for Ethical Research" on H.B. 6, a bill debated last summer which is virtually identical to H.B. 153. The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops recently released a statement opposing human embryonic stem cell research.

  • Last summer the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution opposing embryonic stem cell research.

  • No one has ever been cured of any disease using human embryonic stem cells. The FDA has not approved any therapies involving them.

  • ADULT STEM CELLS: The pro-life movement supports research on stem cells, as long as they are "adult" stem cells (including umbilical cord blood stem cells). Unlike embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are obtained without harming the donor. Adult stem cells reside in many places in our bodies -- blood, bone marrow, certain nerves, fat, and others, including umbilical cord blood. Research on adult stem cells is ethical and productive. Here are some examples of this exciting and productive life-saving treatments using adult stem cells:

  • Texas Heart Institute Stem Cell Center -- Heart disease treated using adult stem cells.

  • The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston -- Traumatic brain injury in children treated with adult stem cells.

  • Texas Cord Blood Bank -- People with cancer and other diseases are treated using adult stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

  • CBS News Story (May 8, 2006) -- North Texas woman is treated for lupus with adult stem cells.
Other Ways to Help

  1. As always, we appreciate your support, especially financial. The more financial support we receive, the more pro-life work we can do. Visit our website at or click -HERE-.

  2. Would you like a speaker from Texas Alliance for Life to make a presentation to your pro-life group, church, business association, etc., on this very critical issue? Please contact us at

Monday, May 22, 2006

Republican Party of Texas Vice Chairman's battle starting to heat up

As many of you know, League City's Dr. Robin Armstrong, the current SREC Committeeman for Senate District 11 and the President of the Galveston County Medical Society, is running for the Vice Chairmanship of the Republican Party of Texas.

If you are a delegate, please consider voting for Robin at the state convention as he will bring a wealth of experience and solid conservative credentials to the job.

The following article recaps the race quite nicely.

As an aside, both Robin and Bobby are Aggies, so we will have a voice in the party's leadership.
Former State Republican Chairs Take Sides in Vice-Chair's Battle that's Starting to Sizzle

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor

Establishment Republicans who lost control of the Texas GOP a dozen years ago are lining up behind the owner of a national online news service for grassroots activists in an open race for state party vice-chair against an African-American doctor with strong support from conservative forces.

GOPUSA owner Bobby Eberle of Pearland announced Friday that he'd won endorsements from former Republican Party of Texas state chairs George Strake and Fred Meyer in his battle against Robin Armstrong of League City for a vice-chair's job that will be filled by delegates to the GOP's state convention in San Antonio in two weeks.

For full article, click here.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Attention Republican Delegates- SD 11 Republican State Convention Training, Friday May 19th - 7p - Clear Lake

If you are new to the Republican Party of Texas convention, make plans to join SREC 11 Committeewoman Kathy Haigler for an informative overview of our state convention process.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

SD11 State Convention Training Meeting
Friday, May 19, 2006
7:00 pm
Harris County Annex Building
16603 Buccaneer, 2nd Floor (Judge Louie Ditta’s Courtroom)
Houston (Clear Lake) 77062.

The training is not mandatory – just helpful to those who are new, and fairly new, to the convention process and want to understand it better.

Postcard invitations were sent to SD11 Delegates and Alternates, but
Republican delegates and alternates from any Senate District may attend.

For further information, contact Kathy Haigler.

Republican Party of Texas Vice Chairman's Candidate Forum Tomorrow

To all our friends and state party delegates in the Houston area, there is an Republican Party of Texas Vice-Chairman Forum on Wednesday, May 17th at Baywood Country Club, 5500 Genoa Red Bluff, Pasadena, 77505.

Both candidates for the office are Aggies, Dr. Robin Armstrong and Bobby Eberle and are scheduled to attend.

Registration and Social time start at 6:30 pm and the Forum will begin at 7:00 pm. The forum is a combined effort of San Jacinto Republican Women, Bay Area Republican Women, and Glenbrook Valley Republican Women. Dinner is optional at $10 per person, but please contact Olga Whittington at or (281) 461-0372 to RSVP if you are coming and let her know whether you plan to eat, or not.

Please come by and show your support for Robin who is our current SD 11 SREC committeeman!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Help Jerry Patterson bring the Internet to our soldiers in Iraq

Texas Land Commissioner and Chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Board Jerry Patterson is going back to Iraq this month.

He'd like to bring along a 24 station Internet Cafe so our brave fighting men and women can stay connected to their loved ones here at home.

Jerry is asking for financial support to help pay for the cost of this worthy project. Please go to the following website for more information on how to give to the Department of Texas VFW foundation, a 501 (c) 3 entity that is managing this effort.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cones supporter claims Mayor Shults endorses Mike Lee

Politics in League City is getting stranger and stranger.

Last week, Elaine Kosty, who supports Mike Lee's opponent, incumbent Councilman Tommy Cones, in the League City City Council race informed Guidry News that Mayor Shults, in a stunning break from tradition, endorsed Mike Lee over Cones.

Today, Lee accepted the endorsement even though he knew nothing about it and had not been contacted by Mayor Shults.

Urge Governor Perry to veto HB 3, The largest tax increase in Texas history

The following is a call to action from Dr. Steven Hotze to Governor Perry to Veto HB 3. Let's hope the Governor listens to the groundswell of opposition to the largest tax increase in Texas history.

May 7, 2006

It is crucial that you take immediate action to convince Governor Perry to Veto HB 3, the largest tax increase in Texas history!

Redouble your efforts and keep up the pressure! Never, Never, Never give up! The Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee, made up of 600+ precinct chairwomen and chairmen, is scheduled to meet on Monday, May 15th to pass a resolution opposing HB 3.

This effort is being led by Paul Bettencourt, Harris Co. Tax Assessor-Collector, and Jared Woodfill, Harris Co. Republican Party Chairman. The opposition to HB 3 is growing dramatically as Texans find out about this huge tax increase and the danger it poses to the Texas economy.

The May 7, 2006 edition of Mike Hailey's Capitol Inside has a long report on the building opposition. Our Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry from Texans for No New Taxes follow this e-mail.

Please contact the Governor and the following members of the Governor's staff and inner circle to tell them of your opposition to HB 3. Copy and paste the following e-mail addresses of Gov. Perry's staff in the To: or better yet the Bcc: section of your e-mail address to send all of them your e-mail opposing HB 3.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Please call the following individuals to tell them of your opposition to HB 3.

Governor's Office -;
- 512.463.2000

Governor Perry's Adm. Asst.Theresa Shirmer - - 512.462.1762

Gov. Perry's Campaign Manager - Luis Saenz - - 512.478.3276

Chief of Staff - Deirdre Delisi - - 512.463.1762

Policy Director - Mike Morrissey -
- 512.463.1778

Deputy Legislative Director - Victoria Ford -
- 512.463.1830

General Counsel - Brian Newby -
- 512.463.1788

Economic Development Ex. Dir. - Tracye McDaniel -
- 512.963-0101

Former Chief of Staff - Mike Toomey - - Lobbyist, Confidant to Governor

Former Legislative Director - Sen. Dan Shelly - - Lobbyist, Confidant to Governor.

HB 3 is on the Governor's desk now. Keep the Pressure on the Governor to Veto HB 3, the largest tax increase in Texas history!Please circulate this e-mail far and wide!Once you have done this, then please send him a personal letter opposing HB 3 by FedEx to Governor Rick Perry, The Governor's Mansion of Texas, 1010 Colorado, Austin, Texas 78701.

Flood him with FedEx letters and he will have to reconsider his position.

With much appreciation for all your efforts in this critical matter, I remain, as always,

Sincerely yours,

Steven F. Hotze, M.D.,Co-Chairman, Texans for No New Taxes

P.S. - Go to
for updated information on the Perry/Dewhurst Business Tax, HB 3.

Open Letter to Governor Rick Perry
Steven F. Hotze, M.D. and Norman E. Adams, C.I.C
Co-Chairmen, Texans for No New Taxes
May 5, 2006

The Honorable Rick Perry
Governor of Texas
The Governor's Mansion of Texas
1010 Colorado
Austin, Texas 78701

Dear Governor Perry,

Greetings! As you are well aware, we have been faithful and loyal supporters for years because we had confidence in you and have agreed with your policies. We have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to your campaigns and have used our influence to encourage others to support you.

Every leader, including you, Governor, needs friends who are willing to risk their relationship in order to warn him about an action that may have unintended consequences.

We are urging you to veto House Bill 3.

You are well aware of our principled opposition to this business tax which, if signed into law by you, would become the largest tax increase in Texas history.

Unless you veto HB 3, Texas will be the only state to tax businesses on their gross margin. Due to the diversity of businesses, this tax is extremely inequitable. The only reason that this margin tax was recommended by the Texas Tax Reform Commission, rather than an income tax, is because the Texas Constitution strictly prohibits a state income tax. To even the most unbiased observer, HB 3 is an end run around the state constitution.

Governor, you and your advisors have been telling corporations which currently pay the Franchise Tax that your "tax reform plan" would lower their tax rate from 4.5% to 1%. This is inaccurate. In fact, your business tax eliminates the 4.5% Franchise Tax rate on net income, only to replace it with a 1% tax rate on up to 70% of gross margin. This is a much larger dollar amount. In most cases this will dramatically increase the amount of tax paid. The vast majority of businesses that we have evaluated, which currently pay the Franchise Tax, will pay significantly more on the Margin Tax, in some cases up to 10x as much.

Governor, your business tax would be an effective tax rate of 10%-15% of net income of businesses with a net profit margin of 5%, and an effective tax rate of 20%-30% of net income on businesses with a net profit margin of 2.5%. This is simple math. If your advisors have told you otherwise, then they have deceived you and have placed your reputation, as well as the welfare of Texans, in jeopardy.

Norman Adams, Dan Patrick and Paul Bettencourt met with Mike Morrissey, a member of your staff, on Friday, April 21, 2006, in Austin, at your request. They gave Morrissey numerous examples of real businesses with completed Schedule B tax forms. For bringing this to your attention, we have been called liars in writing by John Sharp. Please take time to review our rebuttal at, Press Room, April 29, 2006, TNT's Norman Adams Rebuts John Sharp's "The Big Lie." We gave the names of these businesses to your advisors, as requested, but neither Morrissey nor anyone from the Texas Tax Reform Commission ever called these businesses as they told us they would do. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that your advisors are not interested in you knowing the facts.

During our testimony before the Senate Finance Committee Hearing on April 28, 2006, we exhorted the members of the panel to send the Schedule B tax form to every Texas business affected by HB 3 in order to get feedback from individual business owners as to the effect that this tax would have on their businesses. We encouraged the senators not to act on HB 3 until they had visited with business owners who had filled out their Schedule B tax forms. This would have been a prudent course of action. You and your supporters have argued that the business tax would be offset by the property tax proposal, HB 1. In its current form, HB 1 offers property tax reductions that are so minimal that most businesses would invariably pay hefty new taxes. In order for any business to benefit, it would either have to have enormous property holdings or a 20%+ net profit margin. Accordingly, HB 3 may benefit a few companies but it will decimate the vast majority of businesses that fuel the economic engine of our Texas economy.

Governor, you discussed the adverse effects of business taxes in your speech at the Texas Association of Business Annual Conference on February 6, 2004.

"There are no phantom taxpayers. Even those who talk about taxing business would be wise to remember an observation once made by President Reagan: 'Businesses don't pay taxes, people do.' Higher taxes on employers get passed on in the form of higher prices to the customer. Or maybe the employer is forced to sustain a smaller profit margin, meaning someone often loses their job. Either way, when taxes get raised on employers, real men and real women pay the price, not some faceless entity."

Governor, what has caused you to change your mind?

Paul Bettencourt, the Harris County Tax-Assessor Collector, has stated that the average home owner in Harris County would receive only a $15 savings in property tax in the first year when the 7% increase in appraised property value is taken into account. This is so minimal that few homeowners would ever notice the difference. But many small businesses would be crushed by HB 3.

HB 1 would solve the immediate problem with the Texas Supreme Court. The property tax reduction under HB 1 would not change in the first year whether or not HB 3 is adopted. HB 3 would not kick in until 2008. So why not just pass HB1 and allow the 80th Texas Legislature to deliberate on your proposed business tax and its future ramifications?

Governor, you can be a hero. Reduce property taxes, solve school finance with the $8.2 billion surplus and avoid any new taxes.

HB 3 creates an enormous problem for the Texas economy in the future. If you sign HB 3 into law, then Texas business owners will be shocked when they find out what their business tax will be. This will invariably have future political repercussions.

Do you want your legacy to be that you signed into law the largest permanent tax increase in Texas history?

The property tax reduction which HB 1 offers is minimal and would be temporary. Without appraisal caps, the promise of meaningful property tax reduction is worthless.

Please take time to consider our recommendations and veto HB 3. Then encourage the Texas Legislature to pass HB 1 and avoid this business tax.

Governor, you have staked out your position and most Republican Legislators have followed your lead. To veto this bill would demonstrate that you are willing to reevaluate your decision in light of additional information and are willing to take appropriate action to prevent future unintended consequences. Nothing endears a leader more to his supporters than when he admits that he was initially mistaken in his position and then rectifies the problem.

It is our prayer that you will consider this letter.

With much appreciation for your friendship, we remain, as always,

Sincerely yours,

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Friendswood Election- TMR Endorsements

Based on the input of our fellow conservatives in Friendswood, TMR recommends the following candidates in the May 13th municipal election:

Goza for Mayor

Sharp, Hill, and Horecky for Council

Conservatives in Friendswood need to get Councilmen Chris Peden and John Le Cour some help so citizens can raise families, and not taxes.

Early voting at Friendswood City Hall continues on Monday, May 8th and Tuesday, May 9th.

Election Day is Saturday, May 13th.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Big League Dreams Audit is released

The long anticipated audit of the Big League Dreams project in League City has been released. The Galveston Daily News has the report posted on their website here.

The audit does not paint a pretty picture of senior staff communication with city council or effective council decsion making during the planning and building of the project.

For your information, the only council person left on the council who voted for this misguided spending of $22 million of taxpayer's money is incumbent council member Thomas Cones, who is up for reelection.

It is interesting to note that the report states that BLD owners did not want a public hearing or referendum on the project.

If the project has that much benefit for the city, why keep the citizens in the dark??

In the May election, elect a conservative to city council and make sure that city money is not spent on BLD type projects in the future.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Don't forget that early voting for local elections has started!!

League City

Early Voting for the League City Municipal Elections has started at the League City Civic Center, across from City Hall.

The polls wil be open from 8a - 6p this week until Thursday, May 4th
Friday, May 5th - 8a - 12n
Saturday, May 6th - 10a - 6p
Monday/Tuesday - May 8th and 9th - 7a - 7p

In the contested races, I think Mr. Lee and Mrs. Sanborn have the conservative philosophy needed to spend our tax money wisely and the temperment, and ability to work with the Mayor, Council, and City Staff to move League City forward.

Please exercise your right to vote.

Election Day is Saturday, May 13th.

Join Tax Assessor - Cheryl Johnson and KSEV Radio personality Edd Hendee on Wed at 5p at the Outlet Mall in La Marque

A message from Tax Assessor Cheryl Johnson:

Tie a string around your finger and remember to join me and special guests Paul Bettencourt and Edd Hendee as we celebrate Tax Freedom Day this Wednesday, May 3rd from 5-8 pm at the Gulfway Plaza in La Marque (I-45 and Delany Road--the old La Marque Outlet Stores).

The Tax Foundation formally announced April 26th as the official day we finally started working for ourselves instead of the government! This is three days later than 2005 and 10 days later than 2004. Government, sadly, is taking a bigger bite every year. But--don't despair--share the pain with taxpayers across the County!

Entry is free for the fun. Bread and soup (for us poor folks) will be available for a small donation or free with a spoon (no plastic please).

Sponsorships and silent auction items are welcome and may be delivered after Noon at the event location.

See you Wednesday!


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