Eric Yollick, The Golden Hammer
Many conservatives who spent their time, sweat, and treasure to work so hard to elect Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough have expressed some frustration over a few of his votes during the first two Commissioners Court meetings. Keough seemed to support expansion of the County government bureaucracy on some important votes.
When, on January 29, 2019, Keough voted against proposals of some of his colleagues – particularly Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack and Precinct 4 County Commissioner James Metts – to trim spending on salaries in order to give some relief to beleaguered Montgomery County property taxpayers, conservatives both in the Commissioners Courtroom and watching the proceedings on video began to wonder whether Keough’s priority is unifying disparate ideologies rather than achieving the principled reform on which Montgomery County voters carried him to landslide victories in the March 2018 Republican Primary Election and the November 2018 General Election.
It’s interesting that these concerns are rising to the fore around two holidays, Candelmas (based upon Leviticus 12:1-8 and Luke 2:21-40) and Groundhog Day, both times related to purification and the beginning of life. There’s no question that, when Jesus entered the Temple as a teenager and as a adult to confront the Pharisees later in his life, he wasn’t there to unify but to insist upon firm principles on which he wouldn’t compromise. Candelmas, exactly forty (40) days after Christmas celebrating the birth, and Groundhog Day both came on February 2.
Yesterday, I attended a Conference which conservative Republican activist Kelli Cook had organized during which the speaker, the renowned Shawn Dow of Arizona, focused on differentiating policy advocates who are “champions” from run of the mill elected servants. “Champions” are those elected servants who are committed to the conservative principles of the numerous activists who elected them and remain focused and adherent to those principles while in office. “Champions” are the polar opposites of the “establishment” who are willing to compromise on all principles, even though they chip away at the freedom of the citizens.
During his first month in office, Keough has done some good things. Unquestionably, the Commissioners Court is already far more citizen-friendly in its meeting protocol than it was during the Doyal era. Keough kept his campaign promise to reduce his salary by 12% at his first Commissioners Court meeting on January 8, 2019. Not only was that historic but also Keough showed strong enough leadership by example that two Lubbock County Commissioners signed Affidavits to Reduce Salary on January 14, only six days later, to give the taxpayers of Lubbock County a break as well.
The citizens who chose Keough in the Republican Primary as their Nominee and who elected him as County Judge on November 6 did not elect Judge Keough as a unifier, a collectivist, or someone to bring us all together, three catchphrases which liberal democrats frequently utter as they foreclose our freedoms and raid our wallets.
The citizens of Montgomery County elected Mark Keough as their “Champion.” Keough began his campaign at an event at Del Frisco’s Restaurant where he bemoaned Montgomery County’s statewide reputation as “the most corrupt County government in Texas.” Keough put ethics reform, elimination of conflicts of interest, and an end to nepotism as his highest priorities to excite pro-reform conservatives to get behind his campaign.
During his extraordinary grassroots campaign, Keough signed a “Contract with Montgomery County” where he continued to emphasize ethics reform – both within the County and at the state legislative level such as El Paso’s wonderful ethics code – and reducing government spending to alleviate the massive burden of property taxes which have exploded upon the backs of County taxpayers during the past two decades.
Keough signed up to be the citizens’ Champion for conservative reform. He’s gone through a month of introductions (“purification”). It’s time for Mark Keough to champion the reforms of our County government for which Montgomery County citizens so greatly hunger.
Mark Keough is the right man for the job, so let’s get the job done.