Yablon’s view: Standing for Straus no way to pick a Speaker of the House

By Mark P. Yablon
The Republican Caucus earned an “F” for the final semester grade Monday, Jan. 10, 2011, in Austin. Based on its abysmal method of conducting the Texas Speaker’s race, many Republican leaders need to return to high school to learn civics and how to conduct a valid vote.
House Republican leaders acted more childish conducting the crucial business of selecting the Speaker than our kids do at a high school pep rally.

According to insiders, Republican House leadership asked those who supported incumbent Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, to stand instead of holding a secret ballot as we teach our children. Shouldn’t there have been a recorded, written ballot in such a highly-charged vote?
Even in high school, I recall using a recorded, private ballot for student council.

The public may never fully know the truth from this caucus vote. House leadership forbade all outsiders from observing. The whole process was unfortunate. Once the loyalist Straus faction stood on the called vote for only incumbent Straus, group think prevailed to the detriment of our shared values.
No vote was ever called for Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, or Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa.

I don’t know Straus personally. It would be wrong to attack him personally because I disagree with him and believe most voters picked a conservative Texas Legislature, which Paxton would best lead.
Texans elected the largest freshman class of representatives (22) in about 50 years and elected the largest Republican majority (101) in more than 100 years, or more than two Republicans to one Democrat.

The 2010 election cycle was a clear and convincing victory for tea party activists, social conservatives, economic conservatives, patriots and red-blooded Americans. They are concerned citizens humbly and respectfully wanting to take back our political system and restore Constitutional law. Texans voted with a heart for “is it beneficial to all concerned,” as we say at Rotary each week.

Constitutional law is not Republican or Democrat

Rule of law infused by our Texas and U.S. Constitutions is not conservative or liberal. It just is.
Texans bestow upon elected officials the responsibility and duty to right wrongs, to protect hard-working citizens from all predators and to give us freedom to “pursue” happiness under constitutionally-mandated limited government to stay out of our lives except when needed under “limited” circumstances.
As stated earlier, many of our Republican representatives failed their first test in the 2011-12 Legislature. Let’s pray to God they immediately end this foolhardiness.
What to do?
*Vigilantly stand for our children’s’ and grand children’s benefit and all living Americans today.
*Easily move to the next crisis or more entertaining project.
*Don’t even try; takes too much effort with no guaranteed success.
*Don’t bother. Why risk being on the losing side. You can’t change “city hall.”
How will you hold our “citizen” legislators accountable for their actions or inactions? Will you support the good ones and encourage them even against the odds?
Congratulate Rep. Paxton for taking truly, bold principled action on behalf of the public at large at significant jeopardy to his own self-interest. His supporters state he is unlike most politicians in that respect.

Same is true of our respected friend Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, who tirelessly worked to elect Paxton for Speaker at her own peril.
Seasoned politicos, bureaucrats and lobbyists are watching us, too, with earnestness (and skepticism). They postulate that conservatives are temporarily excited and advise, “Wait them out or give them a bone, and they’ll go away as always.”
They will give us more — or less — taxes, personal freedoms, liberties, protecting the vulnerable, bringing sanity to our civil and criminal legal systems and so on.
Warning: “Say what you mean, and do what you say!”
Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011—when the entire Legislature formally voted for Speaker Straus — is a seminal moment in returning our government to its roots – the grass roots – of citizens. We are not going to accept politics as usual!
Too many Republicans pretend to be conservative during elections to receive the grass-roots support and hard work, but later vote for liberal leaders and laws and cut deals for their own self interest. These Rinos (Republican in name only) are becoming a rallying cry for long-time and new voters, alike. Many constituents are now proclaiming they will replace unreliable incumbents, especially those who misrepresented their true selves just to get elected.
Today’s conservative movement is primed to expand beyond anything former President Ronald Reagan, my political hero, would have envisioned.

It’s hard now to comprehend that Reagan lost to President Gerald Ford, the moderate incumbent, in the 1976 Republican primary.
Liberal Jimmy Carter creamed Ford in the general election.
Reagan returned stronger than ever to win the presidency in 1980 and 1984. Reagan still dominates political thought from the grave as the United States of America’s beloved conservative standard bearer.
Reagan said in his Jan. 25, 1974 speech The Shining City Upon a Hill: “The man who has nothing which he cares about more than his personal safety is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
What are you willing to do to end politics as usual and restore America’s greatness for your family’s future generations to enjoy?

Mark P. Yablon is an entrepreneur in Historic Downtown McKinney.

He leads (well, tries to) his four beautiful daughters in various community and church activities, including pro-American, pro-family and pro-business causes. He was a delegate to Republican State Conventions from his hometown in Harris County, as Baylor University student in McLennan County and in 2010 from adopted hometown in Collin County.

PICTURED BELOW: A White House photographer captured this picture of President Jimmy Carter using his paddle on a fishing trip. The rabbit, which had been swimming near his boat, attempted to hop on board the President’s fishing boat near Plains, Georgia, despite President Carter’s efforts to shoo it away with his paddle.

Texans: Ask Your State Reps to Pick Ken Paxton for Speaker

By Mark P. Yablon
One of the greatest movies of all time is Academy Award winning “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” starring Jimmy Stewart. Every American each year should view this inspirational movie.
Frank Capra produced/directed the 1939 movie at a time when socialists were covertly infiltrating American life and World War II was brewing in Europe. Jimmy Stewart is appointed to the U.S. Senate. He’s the All-American guy – and very naive. The governor, senior U.S. Senator and their crooked financier want Stewart to vote their agenda to get along and enjoy the fruits of their clandestine gains.
However, Stewart stumbles onto their multi-million dollar plan to defraud taxpayers. He sets out to educate his fellow senators and the American public. Instead of truth prevailing easily, they run into roadblocks of thuggery, intimidation, political assassination and media manipulation
That movie reflects politics today.
That’s why Texans must stay active after the general election. We can affect another critical statewide election, even though we can’t vote directly. State reps are about to select the next Texas House of Representatives Speaker. The speaker controls the house agenda and appoints all committee chairmen. If he’s against securing our borders, for instance, then it will never be addressed. Some claim the Speaker is the most powerful state political leader.
State Rep Ken Paxton’s (R-McKinney) courageous effort to lead the Texas House as its newest speaker is akin to Mr. Smith – only Ken is not naive and has a proven record of success and political leadership. Texans just elected the largest Republican majority (99 to 51) in nearly 150 years, but there’s no guarantee Paxton will prevail.
Two years ago, 65 House Democrats and 11 Republicans voted in Joe Straus (Rep-San Antonio) as speaker when Republicans barely controlled the house, 77 to 73. Some Republican blue-bloods aka RINO’s falsely believe true conservatives are not electable. However, Reagan in 1980, Paxton in 2002, and this year prove voters want principled, conservative political leaders to stop government intrusion into our daily lives. We want government to protect us from danger, but otherwise, to leave us and our property alone.
Ken and I became friends when we served in Student Congress at Baylor University. I was elected Dorm Rep, and Ken was elected Student Body President. As teenagers, I observed Ken’s ethical and genuine leadership skills. Today, he offices across the street from me in Historic Downtown McKinney, which could be in a Jimmy Stewart movie. Ken is the same principled person who has grown into a loving husband, father of four wonderful children and a speaker for today’s conservative movement.
Ken wants to
1. Bring principled, conservative and ethical leadership to the House as mandated by Texas voters
2. Pass true immigration reform and voter ID;
3. Reduce property taxes permanently; and
4. Stop the feds from invading Texans’ rights;
Those mainstream ideas are equally conservative, which all hard-working Texans support, but don’t seem to be on the radar screen of the current House leadership. What to do?
Rep. Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) stated under oath in a hastily staged House investigation this week that Straus’ supporters are threatening Republicans with writing them out of office in the upcoming redistricting process if they support his opponents. Besides the allegations, some reps are too comfortable and don’t want to rock the boat aka their own House committee appointments. Complacency and self-preservation among politicians is bad policy, which conservative reps are starting to publicly address in their support of Ken Paxton.
“Nov. 2 sent a message to legislators that the citizens are done with go along get along politics,” Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R-Parker) told me Friday. “We … need a leader with integrity, vision and solid conservative principles. There is no one more qualified than Ken Paxton to lead us as Speaker of the House. Ken is brilliant, articulate and highly respected among his colleagues.”
Texans can advise elected reps to vote for Ken to lead our Texas House. His common-sense conservative values are now prime-time.
Check out the following and safeguard our liberties and rights:
Phone number of state reps and suggested comments http://capwiz.com/libertyinstitute/callalert/index.tt?alertid=19405501
Flow chart of the players http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/texas-house-speaker-race-flowchart/
Rep. Chuck Hobson’s (Chairman, General Investigating & Ethics Committee) ethics and legal warning to House Members about communicating with “private citizens” and improper influencing the speaker’s race http://texaslegislativeupdate.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/hopson-letter1.pdf
Kelly Shackelford’s (President/Chief Counsel of Liberty institute) letter to House members explaining legality for public to influence speaker’s race pursuant to lawsuit his group won in 2008 http://texaslegislativeupdate.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/ltr-to-tx-house-of-representatives1.pdf

Thanks for sending a link of this letter about Ken to your friends.

Mark P. Yablon is an entrepreneur in Historic Downtown McKinney. He participates with and leadings his four beautiful daughters in various community and church activities, including pro-American, pro-family and pro-business causes. He was a delegate to Republican State Conventions from his hometown in Harris County, as a Baylor University student in McLennan County and last year from his adopted hometown in Collin County.

To see movie trailor for “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”

Mark Yablon: Try serving others for a richer life

By MARK P. YABLON, Viewpoint
Do you ever get that feeling in your gut that something is missing? Ever feel disenfranchised or wonder what is God’s purpose for you? So many Americans today are detached from family, friends, work, neighbors, places of worship and political leaders like never before.
It’s hard to put in words. Others sense something is awry, but have not experienced the benefits of what’s missing. Though they never had “it”, they long for a connection to others and for real meaning.

As kids, we knew nearly every neighbor – adult and child. We ran together, left for college, started careers and married, but we returned “home.” There was stability and purpose. We bonded through a patchwork of families living in the same neighborhoods for decades, being active in churches and synagogues, attending school, playing sports, volunteering in community projects and cultural events and trying to improve politics for future generations.

Adults are so mobile and usually in a rush. They change careers and states more often than autos. People are too busy to know their neighbors, much less regularly interact for fun and to improve community. Many “get” what they “need” for instant gratification and immediately seek the next “hit.” They go through the motions, respond to who knows what and why and wish for only God knows what or why.

Too many kids today may never experience growing up appreciating the value of long-term relationships and the communal bond for another reason. The rampant numbers of “no fault” divorces show children not to be accountable to one another since even “permanent” relationships become disposable, unilateral contracts, not interdependent relationships that vibrant cultures were built upon.

I was pondering these thoughts as I walked from my office to my Rotary luncheon at Rick’s Chophouse in Historic Downtown McKinney recently. I had a few minutes to reflect with no stop lights or cell phones (turned off for Rotary) to interrupt. That’s when it occurred to me that most people would benefit from and could help many more as part of Rotary International, Lions, Kiwanis and others. The public knows their names, but not their purposes.

On many levels, society benefits from membership. When Paul Harris helped found Rotary in downtown Chicago, he was a young lawyer new to town who initially wanted to network with other disconnected professionals in town.

Fast forward 100 years, and Rotary is known as the leader in abolishing Polio worldwide except in four countries. I understand Bill Gates Foundation gave its largest grant to Rotary because it’s is considered the most viable group to permanently eradicate polio worldwide.

I’m not saying you’ll find purpose and unity with our community only through joining a service club. But, I personally know the value in helping future generations by being part of something bigger than myself that will outlive my kids. Paul Harris probably never dreamed his club would do such grand projects, but thank God he understood it takes one person to act before the rest of society benefits.

Mark P. Yablon is an entrepreneur in Historic Downtown McKinney. He can be seen with his four beautiful daughters leading them in various community and church activities, including pro-American, pro-family and pro-business causes. He was a Rotary Student of the Month at Sam Rayburn High School in Pasadena, Texas. Yablon joined McKinney Rotary shortly after moving here in 1993 and is a Paul Harris Fellow. E-mail him at markyablon@mckinneyoffices.com for more information on Rotary, including one of the newest clubs forming in Melissa, or to comment on his thoughts.

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