Republican Women Lead the Way!

By Elizabeth Buffie Ingersoll

There is little doubt that the Harris County Republican Party under Chairman Paul Simpson is the party of strong qualified women running for office. We have one of the strongest tickets in years, with almost 50 female candidates up and down the ballot, running for US Congress, state legislature, and many important judicial positions.

Carmen Maria Montiel is a television journalist and conservative online talk show host who is running for Congress in District 29. Montiel is seeking to be the first woman, the first Hispanic and the first Republican to represent this majority Hispanic district. Businesswoman Kathaleen Wall is the choice of the conservative grassroots and the only woman running in Congressional District 2, to replace retiring Congressman Ted Poe. If elected, Montiel and Wall would stand for conservative values against Sheila Jackson Lee, who is currently the only female voice in the Houston area congressional delegation.

Running for re-election in our area state legislative delegation is Senator Joan Huffman, a former prosecutor and judge who has been a leader in the Texas Senate on issues of public safety and finance. State Representative Sarah Davis was recently named one of the most powerful women in Texas politics. State Representative

Valoree Swanson, a founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, is running for her second term in District 150, and longtime conservative activist Gail Stanart is running for the open seat in State Representative District 126.

For our state intermediate appellate courts, we have extraordinarily qualified candidates such as Justice Jane Bland, Justice Jennifer Caughey, and Katy Boatman running for positions on the 1st Court of Appeals, and Justice Martha Hill Jamison running for re- election on the 14th Court of Appeals. All of these appellate court candidates have been carefully vetted as constitutional conservatives who will apply the law as written and never legislate from the bench.

Among our many Republican candidates for our district courts, there is wide ranging support for Angelina D.A. Gooden, who was appointed to the 280th Family District Court by Governor Greg Abbott and is running for re-election. Former Judge Erin Lunceford is the favorite for the 189th Judicial District Court, and former Judge Alyssa Lemkuil, who was appointed by Governor Abbott, is clearly the most qualified candidate in her race for the 257th Judicial District Court. Michelle Fraga is a well-known and very qualified first time candidate running against another very qualified Republican with whom she shares many dual endorsements in the race for the 295th Judicial District Court.

These are just a few examples of the highly qualified Republican women who are leading the way in Harris County. Under Chairman Paul Simpson’s leadership the Harris County Republican Party has welcomed a diversity of candidates with wide ranging backgrounds and qualifications, while also equipping them with the tools, organization, and support needed to form a winning ticket against the Democrats this coming November.

GOP Voters Should Be Wary of Pay-to-Play Slates

By: James C. Rains and Chase Bradstreet, Houston Young Republicans

We in the Houston Young Republicans want the strongest possible Republican ticket in November and therefore believe we must elect the best candidates in the March primary. Our party faces a very difficult obstacle to accomplish that.

It’s because the so-called “Big Three” slates; the Link Letter, the Texas Conservative Review, and Conservative Republicans of Harris County (alternately known as “Conservative Republicans of Texas”), wield disproportionate influence in the Republican primary process. The problem is that these mailers are in essence paid advertising masquerading as a helpful voter guide.

This system of purchased endorsements jeopardizes the Harris County GOP’s strength, standing, and responsiveness to the voters.

These three slates ostensibly 
offer an easy and effective argument on behalf of the candidates they endorse: the appearance that they have done their homework, that chosen people are qualified, and that their picks share your values. To voters, they appear to use a legitimate process for making endorsements. In reality, one or two people make the decision on whom to endorse – often without interviews or questionnaires.

It is a dysfunctional system. For years, the Big Three slates’ endorsement was the deciding factor on an election. This resulted in under- qualified candidates winning the primary who ultimately failed to be competitive in the general election.

The pay-to-play slates undermine legitimate voter guides made through the efforts of real grassroots organizations. These groups devote time and resources to do the actual legwork of research and engagement necessary to enable honest competition in the marketplace of ideas.

Groups such as the “C” Club of Houston, the Conservative Coalition of Harris County, the HRBC, the Kingwood Tea Party, the Spring Branch Republicans, the Texas Asian Republican Club, United Republicans of Harris County, and many others offer their own endorsement lists, which are comprised of choices made after accountable, transparent processes. None of these organizations require candidate contributions, and many expressly refuse to accept them.

The Young Republicans may not always agree with the endorsement lists put out by fellow grassroots organizations, but their process for selecting candidates is just that – a process. It’s open to scrutiny, where candidates’ conservative credentials are actually inspected.

We acknowledge the shades of gray here: not every endorsement is purchased, and many truly qualified and conservative candidates feel the need to pay tribute. We implore citizens of Harris County to do their own research. Voters should solicit information about candidates from trusted sources including knowledgeable friends and neighbors. Become acquainted with your precinct chairman or chairwoman and inquire about their opinion.

The Harris County Republican Party Executive Committee, comprised of the party’s precinct chairs, has condemned deceptive voter guides on three separate occasions. In their November 2017 resolution, the committee did so in order to “protect the integrity of the 2018 Republican primary, and to “[educate] voters about the negative impact [of] these ‘pay to play’ slates.”

2018 has the potential to be a banner year for Harris County Republicans. With new tax cuts in effect, a strengthening economy, and a governor and senator at the top of the ticket.

Republicans have reason to be optimistic. It would be a shame if these opportunities went to waste. Deceptive, for-profit slates in the Harris County GOP’s primary increase the likelihood of this result.

The Houston Young Republicans are leading the effort to combat this perversion of our primary process. To let the Big Three know that Harris County voters are on to their game, we have launched the Trash The Slates campaign.

We encourage voters to share video and photographs of themselves disposing of pay- for-play slate mailers along with the hashtag #TrashTheSlates. We will be joining you with content on our Facebook page “Trash the Pay- for-Pay Slates in Harris County.” We will also be at the polls during early voting with bright red trash receptacles to encourage voters to put these slates in their proper place.

These organizations claim our values but betray our cause for profit. Their hypocrisy deserves to be brought out into the open.

Editor’s note: A version of this op-ed that originally appeared in the Houston Chronicle. (Source)

Tax Cuts: Republicans Deliver…Big Time

By Congressman Kevin Brady

Despite what the pundits and many naysayers in the media and Congress said, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is doing exactly what we promised.

Since President Trump signed the bill into law, there has been daily news of businesses increasing wages, delivering bonuses, extending maternity and paternity leave, increasing 401(k) contributions and making major investments at home. To date, more than 160 American companies have announced more than $1.6 billion in new investments in the United States. Many utility companies have announced reduced rates, and the Treasury Department recently confirmed that 9 out of 10 taxpayers will see a boost in their take-home pay as soon as next month.

As House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, and lead author of the bill, my goals were simple: cut taxes for the middle-class, simplify our unfair and broken tax code and make America the most competitive place in the world to do business.

The hardworking American people now have a tax code that allows them to keep more of their money to use as they see fit not how Washington sees fit. This is only the beginning. As each new part of the law takes effect, and America becomes more competitive, families will see even more of the benefits with a stronger economy, more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks for Texans and hardworking taxpayers nationwide.