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

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Friday, June 30, 2006

Harris County GOP takes the First Step to Replace Tom Delay on the November Ballot

In a festive atmosphere yesterday in Judge Louie Ditta's courtroom, the Harris County GOP took the first step towards placing a Republican nominee on the ballot in November.

Long-time party activist and SREC District 11 Committeewoman Kathy Haigler was overwhelmingly selected by her fellow Harris County CD 22 Precinct Chairs to represent Harris County on the CD 22 District Executive Committee.

Taking her historic responsibility seriously, Haigler immediately went to work, explaining that her plan was to give every CD 22 Chair in Harris County a ballot so they could express their first, second, and third choice for the selectee.

Haigler wants to be ready when Republican Party of Texas Chair Tina Benkiser calls the District Executive Committee together in the next few weeks to replace Delay on the ballot.

Galveston, Brazoria, and Ft. Bend have their CD 22 Executive Committee meetings scheduled next week, so all four members of the CD 22 District Executive Committee should be chosen by the July 7th. All of the meetings are open meetings, so if you want to see democracy in action, plan to attend your local meeting.

Although they were not able to address the precinct chairs, several candidates were in attendance, including: Shelly Sekula-Gibbs, Charlie Howard, David Wallace, Robert Talton, Tom Campbell, Tim Turner, and Andy Meyers.

The meeting was run very smoothly by Harris County GOP Chairman Jared Woodfill who beat back one attempt from the floor to overrule Jared's decision not to allow the agenda to be amended from the floor.

RPT Chair Tina Benkiser and Vice-Chairman Dr. Robin Armstrong were also in attendance as was RPT Parliamentarian Butch Davis.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

From a reader - End The 40 Year Study Of Clear Creek -- Save $$

Our good friend Kathy Rogers in Friendswood wanted to pass along the following info for those of you on Clear Creek.

The next few days will determine if the old US Army
Corps creek project (from the mid 60's) lingers on for
a few more years (needlessly costing millions) - or -
if it can be ended NOW.

Funding has been automatically removed and Tom DeLay
did not restore the multi-million dollar budget item
to continue study of the creek project for another
painful year.

Some governmental entities (i.e. like Pearland and
Brazoria DD4) are lobbying Senators Hutchinson and
Cornyn to force the federal budget to be expanded to
include another $2.5 million for more studies again
next year.

The Army Corps stripped any benefits for League City,
Friendswood, Webster, CLC or the downstream
communities from this project and our elected
officials should be informed just how we feel about
spending more money on an effort that fails to provide
any flood relief for local homeowners and businesses.

Just a few calls to the Senators offices may cause
enough doubt about this project to kill this never
ending study of the creek ... and wakeup everyone to
the fact that we need a local plan to address

If you can make just one call to each of the following
numbers and let the office staff know that this
project has been a big waste, it doesn't address
flooding problems in Friendswood or the downstream
communities, and it's truly time this project be taken
off the books. If we can create just a little doubt
I think we may have a chance to finally stop this
never ending study that's already topped $50 million
and we still don't have any flood relief.

Senator Hutchinson - Houston Office - (713) 653-3456
Senator Cornyn - Houston Office - (713) 572-3337

And, of course, if you're FOR it, you can tell them
that (because this is a Party open to ideas!)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Republicans move quickly to replace Delay

The Quorum Report is reporting some breaking news in the CD 22 race:

Federal Judge Sam Sparks accelerates case by converting hearing into full trial on the merits

With the expiration of the Temporary Restraining Order yesterday, Republicans hit the ground running today to replace Tom DeLay on the ballot for CD22.

Republican Party of Texas Chair Tina Benkiser notified the chairs of Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston and Harris counties that they need to convene their precinct chairs in order to select an elector to meet and pick the ballot replacement.

Meanwhile, federal Judge Sam Sparks surprised many when he decided to convert Monday's hearing to a full tilt trial on the merits of the case brought by the Texas Democratic Party. They are arguing that DeLay's actions prohibit the Republican Party from replacing his name on the ballot.

Notwithstanding the outcome of the trial, Republicans are continuing the process of selecting a candidate to replace DeLay.

This is a tough race to predict because it is largely determined by precinct chairs.

State Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena) has been in the political grassroots the longest of the most frequently mentioned candidates and started out with familiarity and good relations with Harris and Galveston County precinct chairs. At the State Republican Convention a few weeks ago, the consensus was that he was the frontrunner.

Sugarland Mayor David Wallace has been promoting his successful fund raising. In an email earlier this week, he told supporters, "In the past 60 days I have been able to raise a considerable amount of money, and in the coming days I will surpass the $200,000 mark in contributions. I have also secured an additional $800,000 in commitments and I will continue to aggressively raise money to prepare to defeat the $2.5 million war chest of the Democrats.

Today Wallace began airing a radio spot attacking Democratic candidate Nick Lampson. Folks close to the campaign point out that the election is a little more than 120 days away. Wallace intends to demonstrate that he is the most energetic candidate and well financed candidate in the field and therefore the most likely to be victorious in November.

Houston City Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is still working. Some argue that as a councilwoman she has the highest name ID and is getting a lot of news coverage over her high profile efforts against undocumented workers in Houston.

If three of the four county electors can not agree on a candidate, the selection process moves to the State Republican Executive Committee which will have an entirely different set of dynamics.

Copyright June 23, 2006 by Harvey Kronberg,, All rights are reserved

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Strayhorn and Friedman on the ballot in November, Stockman fails to get enough signatures for the CD 22 race

Secretary of State Roger Williams has certified that Carole "Flip-Flop" Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman will be on the ballot as Independent candidates for Governor.

In a related item, former congressman Steve Stockman did not have enough verified signatures on his petition, so Steve will not be on the ballot as an Independent for Tom Delay's old seat in CD 22.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

If you live by the sword......

From Nick Anderson, the Editorial cartoonist at the Houston Chronicle

The Democrats failing script

Really, it's not just me who sees the failing strategy of the Democrats on the national, state, and local levels.

The depth of their despair must almost be unconsolable.

Dustin Hawkins writing on is insightful in his analysis of the fecklessness of the Democrat party.

Even the Dems think the Texas Democrat Party is irrelevant

Lest our liberal readers think it's just me who thinks the Texas Democrat Party (TDP) is directionless and has no agenda, I wanted to pass along this tidbit from the Left.

The BOR blog is reporting that Kelly Fero, who was a top political consultant for the Texas Democrat Party in '04 and '05, has said in the Austin paper that "the TDP is currently almost wholly irrelevant".

I concur.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Federal Judge sets Monday June 26th hearing on Dem attempt to stop Republicans from selecting a replacement nominee to go against Lampson

Democrats can't win elections in Texas at the ballot box, so their strategy to try and win the CD 22 seat is to tie the selection up in court.

You would think that if Nick is sitting on $1.5 million, he wouldn't care who the Republicans pick. If the Democrats had an agenda, that mainstream Texans supported, it wouldn't matter who Nick was running against.

But as many of us have seen, the Democrat party is in such disarray, is in such a shambles that their best chance of winning an election is when there is no Republican nominee.

The Star-Telegram is reporting that a hearing in federal court has been set on the Democrats dubious claims that the Republican Party of Texas should not be able to name a replacement nominee for the November ballot.

Every day the Democrats try and deny Republican voters, through their duly elected Precinct Chairs, a chance to select a replacement nominee, they improve our nominee's chances of unifying the Republican base and beating Nick Lampson.

Conservatives throughout this district and throughout the country will come together like never before, just to make the point that CD 22 is not just a Republican district, but it's a conservative Republican district and Nick Lampson does not represent the values of CD 22.

The Democrat leadership and the Lampson campaign may do well to heed one of my favorite sayings - "You can run if you want to, but you'll just be tired when we catch you".

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Republican Party of Texas has CD 22 Lawsuit moved out of Liberal State Court to Federal Court

June 16, 2006

AUSTIN — In response to the frivolous lawsuit filed last week by Democrats regarding the Texas Congressional District 22 race, the Republican Party of Texas has removed the case to federal court.

“Democrats cannot have their cake and eat it too,” said Republican Party of Texas Chairman Tina Benkiser. “If Democrat plaintiff trial lawyers want to raise federal issues under the U.S. Constitution, they cannot then seek to have them decided in the liberal state court of their choice.”

Last week upon receiving public records of Congressman Tom DeLay’s recent move to Virginia, Chairman Benkiser declared DeLay ineligible to run for reelection in Texas on the November general ballot. Two days later, Democrats, as usual, ran to court attempting to win there what they cannot win at the ballot box.

Rather than filing in the correct court, Democrats conveniently chose to file in the liberal 201st District Court in Austin. The state judge granted a temporary restraining order to keep Republicans from following the legal process set forth in the Texas Election Code to replace Congressman DeLay on the November general election ballot.

“Republicans want to ensure that voters in Congressional District 22 are given a choice of candidates in the fall,” said Benkiser. “They deserve a chance for a conservative voice in Congress, and we are confident that they will have one.”


Paid for by the Republican Party of Texas
900 Congress Avenue, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78701.
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee.

State Representative Robert Talton pegged as front runner in CD 22 race

Mike Hailey of Capitol Inside pegs State Rep Robert Talton as the frontrunner in the race to be selected as the replacement nominee for CD 22.

State Rep. Robert Talton, who's arguably the Texas Legislature's most conservative member, appears to be the frontrunner in the race to replace ex-U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on the November general election ballot.

But it's not a done deal. A Pasadena Republican who's served in the House for the past 13 years, Talton is looking particularly strong in Galveston and Harris counties - two of the four counties where GOP activists will choose a new fall nominee for Congressional District 22 - barring a court order that prevents them from doing so.

The competition for the one vote that Republican precinct chairs will have in Fort Bend County appears to have narrowed to Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace and State Rep. Charlie Howard of Sugar Land. The Brazoria County vote is apparently still up for grabs - and Talton is believed to have the inside track for the two votes that precinct chairs in Harris and Galveston will have in the DeLay replacement derby. Harris County's vote, however, may be more in play at this point than the vote that GOP precinct chairs in Galveston County will cast if and when the Texas Republican Party calls a vote on a replacement as planned.

While the debate and campaigning continues, the process has been in limbo for the past week as a result of a temporary restraining order that an Austin judge issued last week in response to a request from Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie.

Democrats contend that the state GOP cannot replace DeLay as the CD 22 nominee because he has a homestead exemption on the Sugar Land residence where he lived before moving to Virginia and resigning from Congress last week. Richie argues that DeLay's withdrawal from the race is not a sufficient cause to trigger a move to find somebody to run in his place this fall.

Republicans are confident that they will prevail in the court battle - either at a June 22 hearing on a permanent injunction before State District Judge Darlene Byrne of Austin or in the State Supreme Court in the event of a second adverse ruling from the lower court later this month.

Byrne, a Democrat, granted the TRO one week ago on the same day that the Democratic Party kicked off its state convention in Fort Worth. Republicans note that DeLay has registered to drive and to vote in Virginia and taken additional steps to establish his residence there. The homestead exemption on DeLay's previous residence in Texas won't expire until January.

Even most partisan Democrats predict that Republicans will eventually be allowed to pick a new nominee to face former Democratic Congressman Nick Lampson, a Libertarian and possibly former U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, who hopes to be on the ballot as an independent candidate. But the court-imposed delay has reduced the amount of time that a Republican candidate will have to raise money and to organize grassroots support for the race.

The field of potential replacements includes State Senator Mike Jackson of La Porte, Houston City Council member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, former State Republican Executive Committee member Tim Turner, Fort Bend County Commissioner W. A. "Andy" Meyers, retired Air Force officer Don Richardson and Sugar Land lawyer Tom Campbell, who lost to DeLay in the March primary election. Harris County Judge Robert Eckels had been mentioned as a possible contender but removed his name from the competition several weeks ago.

Once State GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser gets the green light to proceed with the process, Talton appears to be in decent position to go into it as the favorite. The precinct chairs who will designate one of their own from each county to cast their county's vote tend to be more conservative than the average Republican voter - and Talton's reputation as staunch conservative is second to none among lawmakers at the Texas Capitol.

Talton, a member of Speaker Tom Craddick's leadership team as the House Urban Affairs Committee chairman,captured headlines across the state last year when he led a push to ban gays and lesbians from being foster parents.

If Talton wins the support of the Galveston County precinct chair designee as Republican insiders predict, he would be assured of at least a tie with a victory in either Harris or Brazoria counties. A tie would be broken in a vote of the SREC. Before the process would be settled by the state governing board, two candidates would have to win two counties apiece unless four separate contenders each received one vote.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Dems find liberal democrat judge in Austin to deny the Republican party a chance to pick a replacment nominee for Delay's seat

In a desperate attempt to use the court system to deny Republican voters a chance to select a replacement nominee, the Texas Democrat party got a Democrat judge in that bastion of fairness to Republicans, Austin, TX , to issue a temporary restraining order stopping the Republican Party of Texas from following the law and picking a replacment nominee for Congressman Delay's seat.

I would like to point out to our liberal friends that the law they seek so quickly to stop Republicans from using was written, passed, and signed into law when the Democrats controlled the Texas legislature.

If they don't like the law, they have no one to blame but themselves. And because of their obsession with all things Delay, they will stop at nothing to keep a Republican nominee off the ballot.

If Nick Lampson is such a strong candidate, what are the Dems afraid of? Why try and run out the clock, why not just stand and fight?? Maybe it's just not in their character to fight fair or maybe they are afraid that with the national attention still on the CD 22 race, the world will find out that the democrats don't have any real ideas or real solutions that Texans can support.

I think they have awakened a sleeping giant in the conservative Republican base of CD 22 and they have just blown whatever chance they thought Lampson had of winning.

The next hearing in Austin is set for June 22nd.

When Nick loses in November, and Nick will lose, I am going to enjoy my pork chop Mr. Mallios.

Click here for the article by Ft Bend Now.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

CD 22 Update - Delay declared ineligible

Texas GOP Chairman Tina Benkiser has declared U.S. Congressman Tom Delay ineligible to be on the Republican ballot in November. Click here for her statement.

This officially starts the replacement process. The Republican party chairmen in Galveston, Harris, Fort Bend, and Brazoria Counties now have to call a meeting of the CD 22 Precinct Chairs in their respective counties.

State party rules require a specific time period in terms of notice, so most of the meetings will be after June 21st. The only agenda item on the meetings will be to select the name of one of the precinct chairs from each county to serve as an elector on the CD 22 District Committee.

Once those names are forwarded to the state party, Chairman Benkiser will call a meeting for the four electors to select the replacement nominee.

With any luck, we should have a new Republican nominee for CD 22, that everyone can rally behind, by the end of the month.

Based on what I heard from the CD 22 delegates and precinct chairs at the state convention, the most conservative of the declared candidates (based on proven, documented votes on conservative issues) State Reps Robert Talton and Charlie Howard appear to be the front runners.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fool me once...

A reader asked if I could post this cartoon by Nick Anderson from the Houston Chronicle. Although I am not a fan of the liberal media, many conservatives share this sentiment.

Texas Republican National Committeeman Bill Crocker Comments on Recently-Passed McCain-Kennedy Immigration Bill

Bill released the following statement to the Texas Insider. I think the statement does a good job of reflecting the sentiments of the delegates at the Republican State Convention last week.

The recently-passed Senate immigration bill, dubbed the McCain-Kennedy bill, is another outstanding example of the results achievable when moderate Republicans compromise with Democrats.

It can only be described as a sorry spectacle. It is 641 pages long and as the details buried deeply inside it come slowly to light, no thanks to the media, it appears more and more ridiculous. There is no point in burying you in a recitation of its ludicrous provisions.

I had the pleasure of hearing Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum speak for the better part of an hour last Thursday in San Antonio, recounting example after example of what can only be considered an irrational desire for national self-destruction.

Click here for the full article.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Newt Gingrich Wins Big in Minnesota Republican State Convention Straw Poll

This just came in from local political pundit Burt Levine out of Houston and it bolsters my prediction several months ago that Newt is currently the front runner in the Road to the White House in '08 :

In yet another sign that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) is planning to make a serious White House run in 2008, Gingrich scored a surprise first place finish in the straw ballot conducted at this weekend's Minnesota Republican State Convention.

540 convention delegates cast ballots. Gingrich was first with 40%, followed by US Senator George Allen (R-VA) at 15%, and US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Secretary of State Condi Rice (R-CA) tied at third with 10% apiece. The rest were far behind.

What is more interesting is that convention delegates all received a two-page letter that boasted "no one can articulate a Republican vision for America better" than Gingrich -- and it warned of "a significant risk that a moderate candidate will get the Republican nomination in 2008." The letter went on to attack McCain and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, saying "between them they have supported tax hikes, free speech restrictions, amnesty for illegal immigrants, gay marriage and abortion."

The letter was signed by Republican National Committeeman Brian Sullivan, former State GOP Chair Chris Georgacas, former Republican National Committeeman Jack Meeks and several other leading Minnesota GOP activists. Former Congressman Vin Weber (R-MN) -- a close Gingrich ally -- also remains very influential in the Minnesota GOP.

If you had any doubt whether or not Gingrich is really running for President, those doubts should be gone now. With this solid win -- and with his close third finish in last month's Wisconsin GOP straw poll -- Gingrich has unexpectedly demonstrated he may still be a major candidate for the 2008 nomination.

Update on RPT Convention, CD 22 & CD 17 races

Chris Elam over at Texas Safety Forum has a very detailed recap of this past weekends Republican State Convention.

Chris also has some details on the process that will start this Friday as soon as Tom Delay's resignation becomes official.

Several national political magazines have TX 22 as one of the top 50 congressional races in the country to watch, even with Delay resigning, so stay tuned. I've had over 650 people take our current survey on the CD 22 candidates and the interest in the race is building after 8 of the candidates camped out at the SD 11 and SD 17 caucus rooms at the state convention.

Another Texas race to watch is the battle by Republican Van Taylor to replace Chet Edwards in the Waco area TX 17.

Van is a Marine with an MBA from Harvard; he is the only Iraq war veteran running this cycle as a Republican.

CD 17 is the most Republican district in the country still represented by a Democrat so the district can be ripe for a pickup for a solidly conservative Republican candidate like Van.

Monday, June 05, 2006

League City's own Dr. Robin Armstrong wins Republican Party of Texas Vice Chairman's race

For those of you who were not at the Republican Convention, here is an article about the historic victory of TMG client and League City's own, Dr. Robin Armstrong. Congratulations to our new Vice Chairman.

Republican Delegates Tap African-American Physician for State GOP's Number Two Job By Mike Hailey Capitol Inside Editor

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - An African-American physician who grew up in a family of Democrats was chosen Saturday by delegates at the Texas Republican Convention to be the new vice-chairman of the state GOP. Texas Republican Chairwoman Tina Benkiser was re-elected without opposition to a second full term as the state party's top leader before the convention adjourned.

Robin Armstrong - a State Republican Executive Committee member from Dickinson - led the voting for vice-chair in 18 state Senate District caucus meetings while GOPUSA web site owner Bobby Eberle received more support in 13 caucus votes. Eberle conceded the election in a tear-choked speech that he used to express gratitude for the support he'd garnered in the competition for vice-chair and to commend both sides for staying on the high road throughout the race.

More than 4,000 delegates ratified the selection of Benkiser and Armstrong for the state party organization's top two slots in a voice vote from the floor of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio. Armstrong prevailed in the race to replace David Barton as state GOP vice-chair after bypassing an opportunity to take advantage of revelations that Eberle had once hired a reporter who was eventually identified as a former male escort. Eberle said that he wasn't aware of the reporter's past exploits when he'd offered him a position with an online news service that he ran before founding his current web site - and he insisted this week that the story was a non-issue in the state vice-chair's race. Armstrong refused to make it an issue despite assertions by some Republicans who felt it was a legitimate concern to raise in a race against Eberle.

Pausing several times when overcome with emotion, Eberle called the race "a class act" from start to finish while acknowledging defeat once the outcome was obvious. Eberle said he and his supporters had done everything they could to bring people together and to get out the message he sought to convey during the race. Armstrong was generally viewed as the more conservative choice in the competition for vice-chair - and that perception was reinforced when GOP leaders such as former state chairs Fred Meyer and George Strake endorsed Eberle.

Armstrong suggested to reporters that he'd been compelled to join the GOP as a result of his conservative views on abortion, school choice and other issues. In a state where about nine out of every 10 black voters tend to support Democrats in political contests, Armstrong gives the state GOP more evidence to point to in its quest to bring more minority voters into the fold.

The new state party vice-chairman is the fourth African-American to win an election to a high-profile political position in Texas in recent years. Three African-American Republicans - Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and Supreme Court member Dale Wainwright - currently hold statewide offices. But while African-Americans have won statewide as Republicans in Texas and held high-level positions in President George W. Bush's cabinet, there are no black Republicans in the Texas Legislature or the state's congressional delegation.

The U.S. House has one Hispanic Republican member from Texas - and the GOP's only Hispanic state legislator in Texas lost a bid for re-election in this year's primary vote. But Armstrong suggested that minority voters embrace conservative positions on key issues - and he vowed to be active in outreach efforts in order to help
the Republican Party expand its base in Texas.

Armstrong - who paid his political dues with stints as a precinct chair, election judge and convention delegate - is a doctor on the staff at the Mainland Medical Center in Texas City and an assistant clinical internal medicine professor. He's married to a physician - Martha Armstrong - and has two sons.

Barton was forced to give up the vice-chairman's job after eight years as a result of term limits.

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