Montgomery County, Austin, and Washington, October 28 – The political fault lines are forming for the 2018 political season, as citizens are leading the charge to take back the heart and soul of the United States, reject corruption, and bring the leadership of the Republican Party sharply towards the conservative beliefs of the activists who have worked to elect Republican officeholders for decades only to have those elected officials turn against them after they took office.
The most ignorant comment of calendar year 2017 came out of the mouth of liberal radio talk show host Michael Smerconish on Thursday, October 26, around 9:22 a.m., when he discussed the decisions of United States Senator Jeff Flake (supposedly R-Arizona), Senator Bob Corker (supposedly R-Tennessee), Congressman Dave Reichert (posing as R-Washington), Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (posing as R-Florida), and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (pretending very poorly to be R-San Antonio) to retire. The liberal lawyer Smerconish referred to that entire group as “establishment, i.e. more independent minded thinkers.”
That’s the whole point! The so-called Republican “establishment” are not independent minded thinkers at all. They support the growth of big government, massive government spending, and the destruction of individual rights through high taxation and collective government control over the economy. They march in lock-step to the collective movement of those who seek the centralized government planning that we fought two hot world wars (World War I and World War II) to defeat and that we fought one Cold War to defeat.
The war between reform forces and the political “establishment” in Montgomery County is particularly acute, because the County government suffers from devastating corruption that has resulted in massive property taxes, wasteful programs such as unnecessary tollroads, the failure to implement voter-approved roads, overspending on County engineering vendors who have contributed mightily to Commissioners Court members, and corrupt practices in purchasing and information technology functions. In the Montgomery County government, merit, efficiency, and service to the citizens get punished, while secrecy, funneling tax dollars to the right political contributors, massive County Judge and Commissioner salaries, and finding new methods of wasteful spending receive rewards.
What has happened in the past year or so is that citizens have become far more active in Montgomery County politics than they have ever before been involved. It was private citizens who led the effort for the 20% homestead exemption which the Commissioners Court approved in April, 2017. Private citizens have led numerous other reforms, even though the County Judge and Commissioners Court attempt to ignore them on some issues. Private citizens have demanded additional funding for law enforcement while they’ve demanded substantial cuts in overall government spending. While the Commissioners Court adopted the highest governmental expenditure budget in Montgomery County history, it’s significant that one Court member voted against the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget and some of the District Judges have started to raise serious questions about the County’s fiscal and audit policies. The reason The Golden Hammer has become Montgomery County’s “leading daily newspaper” is precisely because citizens have begun to take a strong interest in getting hard news about what is really happening inside the community rather than receiving spoon-fed public service announcements from the “establishment” politicians and their captive little Houston-owned blog.
The March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election is shaping into a blockbuster of citizen-led reform efforts versus the “establishment” fighting for its power and its control of tax dollars. But citizens recognize that they have to rely upon themselves. The Republican Party has failed those seeking lower government spending and taxation. With Republicans controlling the Commissioners Court (unanimously), the Governor’s Mansion, a two-thirds majority of the Texas Senate, a two-thirds majority of the Texas House, the White House, and both houses of Congress, it’s become apparent that the Republican “establishment” is the political group behind higher taxes and the massive inflation of government spending and regulatory destruction of free markets.
What are the big issues in Montgomery County in 2018?
- Substantially reducing government spending (in the range of $100 million per year), increasing law enforcement funding (as the Citizens Budget Committee fought for), and establishing a long-term road-and-bridge fund, to achieve net reductions in spending of $60 million out of the present $328 million per year County budget.
- Defeating the crazed Tx-249 Tollroad that will cost half a billion, plus massive interest, in tolls, plus approximately $75 million out of County tax dollars for frontage roads, in addition to the $13 million approximately the County government has already spending out of tax funds.
- Bringing real salary reform, especially to Commissioners Court, which probably needs at least a decade-long salary freeze.
- Reforming the Montgomery Central Appraisal District for real. That won’t happen if elected leaders don’t have the resolve to put citizens on the MCAD Board of Directors who will bring real reform.
- Ending the publicly-induced, regulatory-driven, water sale monopoly which the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District has perpetrated to the benefit of the San Jacinto River Authority.
- Leading the San Jacinto River Authority to design and pay for the flood control which it must provide under its statutory duty.
- Removing the hegemony of County vendors, particularly engineering firms that have made political contributions, over County government decisions.
- Eliminating the influence of the Davenport Ring over County purchasing and information technology. Any candidate or elected official who remains under the control of corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport either should go or should leave his lair.
Who are some of the leaders?
- The top level leaders are citizen-reformers who include: Bill O’Sullivan, Julie Turner, Pat Tibbs, Kelli Cook, Ginger Russell, Paul Crowson, Reagan Reed, Paul Gebolys, Mark Frank, Jean Renfro Mann, Randy Council, Dave Roberts, Simon Sequeira, Gordy Bunch, John Brown, John Wertz, Steve Toth, Kristin Bays, Melanie Pryor Bush, Rusty Fincher, Alison Winter, Betty Anderson, Lynn O’Sullivan, Bob Bagley, Jason Millsaps, Matt Beasley, Diane Bass, Martha Gustavsen, Peggy Hausman, Paul Edwards, Jon Bauman, Natalie Laurent, Jon Bouche, and so many other great people that this paper is probably offending a lot of them by not mentioning them all here.
- The public servants and candidates to be our servants during the 2018 election cycle and who seek reform seem to be: Steve Toth, Mark Keough, Matt Beasley, Brian Dawson, Gregory Parker, Bob Bagley, Jim Clark (incumbent Precinct 4 Commissioner), Melanie Pryor Bush, Melisa Miller, Mark Turnbull (incumbent County Clerk), and Kristin Bays. There may be many others. The citizens must keep their eyes open, evaluate the candidates on the issues, apply the Instant Corruptibility Index, and avoid emotions in the evaluations.
- The clear scions of corruption and the “establishment” are: Craig Doyal (Davenport Ring), Charlie Riley (lost and angry), James Metts (Davenport Ring), Stephanne Davenport (Davenport Ring), Jason Dunn (due to his joining the Davenport Ring), and Wayne Mack (Davenport Ring). Of course, there are others.
- Which groups are reform-minded? Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC, Montgomery County Tea Party, Liberty Belles Republican Women, a majority of the Woodlands Area Republican Women.
- Which groups are split between reform and “establishment”? East County Republican Women, North Shore Republican Women.
- Which groups are “establishment”? Lake Conroe Area Republican Women, Montgomery County Republican Women. Even in those two groups, however, there are several reform-minded people.