Just over one year ago, we held our first ever Rockwall County T.E.A. Party around Rockwall City Hall. A lineup of conservative speakers was essential to encourage and animate fellow patriots. Mark Russo was a “first choice” speaker.
Immediately following that first historic T.E.A. Party, Mark asked, “What do we do, now?” The answer – a public forum where citizens communicate one on one with elected officials.
Mark continues to host the weekly Rockwall County Conservatives and Coffee meetings where he connects citizens with political leaders and informs them on important issues. Initially, his meetings were confined to the City of Rockwall, but, by popular demand, he spreads his time between Royse City and Rockwall to help incorporate all Rockwall County citizens into the government process.
What can I say about him? Awarded “Volunteer of the Year” for Senate District 2, faithful Rockwall City Council member, fellow conservative – an all around good citizen who selflessly represents his constituents.
Until this afternoon, I genuinely had nothing to say about his opponent. Nothing, that is, until someone forwarded an email from the dark side that accused Mark of every unholy deed except the conquest of South America by the Spanish Conquistadors.
Unlike his mud-slinging opponent, Mark is someone to be counted on to make tough decisions in City Council meetings. Mark’s strategy is, and continues to be
I cast my vote for David White, Rockwall City Council, Place 6.
Early voting starts Monday morning. Be sure to cast your ballot.
David is my choice because his conservative values mirror my own. He understands the times and he knows what to do.
How is it that I have known David for 35 years? That’s easy to answer: he’s my youngest son. David has worked with me for many years as project manager, estimator and computer programmer. He knows how to manage a budget and to control costs. It is fair to say, he attends more City Council meetings than most of the members of Council and regularly reports City activities at http://rockwallzoo.com
Too long, progressive liberals have held control over Rockwall City Government, exposing us to enormous financial risks. It’s time to reign in taxes and spending. It’s time for transparency in government. It’s time for accountability.
Several of you are receiving appeals from the Dallas TEA Party to join the Dallas TEA Party. You ask, “Who is this guy?” – I don’t know him, but I know his organization.
2008 Elections spawned a plethora of “TEA Party” groups around the country. Collectively and independent of one another, we held Tax Day protest rallies April 15, 2009.
Our April 15th rally drew over 2,000 conservative Americans to City Hall in Rockwall. It was a glorious event because it was a spontaneous movement by concerned citizens. We collected no fees, rented no equipment, paid no salaries and we left the property undamaged and clean. Local leaders like Col. Jerry Hogan, Rockwall City Council members and other conservative spokesmen inspired our people to resist socialism and radical government spending.
Our July 4th Independence Day rally around the Historic Courthouse was, likewise, a stellar event where we were encouraged and inspired by Gov. Perry, Cong. Ralph Hall, State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg and other conservative leaders. Once again, we collected no fees, rented no equipment, paid no salaries and we left the property undamaged and clean. It was a genuine grassroots production.
The Dallas TEA Party started off right with its first rally at Dallas City Hall on April 15th. But, what happened next? Ironically, the Dallas TEA Party held its July 4th rally in Collin County.
What’s the difference between the Dallas TEA Party and the Rockwall TEA party? We are a grassroots organization of independent citizens who work to promote conservative legislation by involving ourselves in the government process by communicating with and influencing lawmakers and other elected officials. The Dallas TEA Party claims to stand for conservative principles and expects to influence government apart from working with elected officials. How is that possible?
Before I went abroad in April, I encouraged Rockwall County conservatives to participate in the Lone Star TEA Party. About 27 area TEA Party groups were planning to attend. At the last moment, the Fort Worth 912 Project withdrew from the event. Why? The Fort Worth organization, like our Rockwall group, understands how government works: we must elect conservative candidates and give them a forum to lead. The Fort Worth 912 group wanted to feature Stephen Broden, an eloquent conservative statesman and political candidate. That experience discourages me from future participation with the Dallas TEA Party.
What is the strategy of the Dallas TEA Party if not to support conservative candidates? I truly don’t know, but they behave a lot like a third party. Third party? Do we need to split the conservative vote, thereby facilitating Democrat victories? I think not.
Should you join the Dallas TEA Party? This is America, friends – we are still a free people. If you need “marching orders”, it’s probably a good fit for you. On the other hand, if you are an informed, independent-minded conservative voter, you might want to investigate the organization.
Meanwhile, what is the Rockwall TEA Party doing?
April 15th, 2009 – TAX Day rally in Rockwall County
July 4th, 2009 – Independence Day rally in Rockwall County
July 17th, 2009 – joined with other TEA Parties to protest Obamacare in front of Sen. Hutchison’s Dallas Office
September 4th, 2009 – Participated in the TEA Party Express in North Dallas
September 9th, 2009 – Protested Obamacare in front of WFAA studios
September 12th, 2009 – Participated in the Fort Worth 912 Project
April 15th, 2010 – Participated in the Lone Star TEA Party (and, yes, I also made a financial contribution, even though I was not in attendance)
Along the way, we held a Property Tax TEA Party at the Rockwall County Library where State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg and Cong. Ralph Hall led the discussion on property tax.
Many of us worked to re-elect Cong. Ralph M. Hall who won the Republican primary election.
We meet every month, the first Saturday, 9 am to 10 am at La Madeleine Restaurant in Rockwall, where we educate and inform conservative leaders on important and relevant issues.
Many have asked about the news that there may be “infiltrators” at tea parties around the nation. A website (crashtheteaparty.org) was recently set up. The creator, though he tried to hide his identity, has been outed; his name is Jason Levin, and he’s a middle school teacher in Beaverton, Oregon. He’s on record saying that you might see some of his team in Nazi uniforms at your local tea party pretending to be racists and other offensive characters. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy doesn’t it? And one has to ask the question; if tea partiers are racist, anti-Semitic homophobes, and it’s so obvious, why does he need to plant people who pretend to be those things at your tea parties? Ah…leftist logic and tactics…there is no way to understand their twisted thoughts. But you do need to know what the left is up to.
And by the way, if you’d like to let Mr. Levin’s school district know what you think of his behavior, and his potential influence on public school students in Beaverton, Oregon, you can contact them here. And you can reach the Principal at his school, Mr. Zan Hess, at this number: (503) 524-1345. If you choose to contact them, in direct contrast to Mr. Levin’s behavior, please be polite. Remember, just because he’s exposed himself publicly as a vile, indecent human being who will stoop to Nazi symbolism, and the promotion of racism and bigotry to silence those with whom he disagrees, doesn’t mean everyone in the school district is bad. In any event, we know that infiltrators might be coming to our tea parties.
But remember last April 15th; the idea that the tea parties would be infiltrated in the same way was all over the news. The results? Virtually no infiltration. We know they might be coming, and they know we know. And they know we are ready. So if you’re a couple of guys who enjoy wearing Nazi uniforms or holding racist signs, are you really likely to show up…just a couple of you, all alone, at a well organized tea party of 1,000-20,000 people who disagree with you? I haven’t seen many leftists with that much spine. They prefer to hide in the shadows and lurk, like sleazy predators, or secret molesters. They don’t want to be identified. And we ARE ready to identify them. Do they really want their ugly mugs pasted all over the internet holding racist signs? Hmmm…they might find it funny to think about and even to threaten, but it’s probably not a good career move, and most will chicken out before they ever get started.
So here are some tips for dealing with this situation, should it arise at your tea party.
1. Be prepared. Make sure your security team knows about the potential for disturbance, and your procedures for dealing with any issues. If you have law enforcement at your event, let them know about the potential threats in advance. Most are happy to remove people who intend to disturb your event.
a. Have a plan. We suggest that you handle every incident in a predetermined manner. Your preparation will allow you to handle any incident in a calm and reasoned manner.
i. No aggressive confrontation. Make sure all of your people know that they are in the media spotlight. Our behavior will be watched. So if you encounter these miscreants, be polite, and ask them to leave your event. If you have police there, ask them to help you.
ii. Video, video, video. Make sure you have teams of people with Flip cams or other easy format video, and make sure every single encounter of this nature is captured on videotape. Create the record. We’ll use it later to publicly humiliate the bad actors, and also to allow you to prove your version of the incidents if challenged.
iii. Partner up. If you are going to deal with one of these situations, always have at least one other person with you. It’s imperative that any situation not be your word against someone else’s. Have a witness and a helper with you at all times.
iv. Make signs that say “Infiltrator. This person is not with us.” Put a big arrow on it so that you can stand next to infiltrators and point at them. Usually this will embarrass them, ruin their prank, and they will leave. Plus it’s just plain fun and makes for great photos and video. Again…always with good humor, and a cheerful demeanor. It’s fun to mock the lefties, and it makes them truly crazy when you are nice.
b. Talk about the issue of behavior and signs at the beginning of your event. Set the guidelines from stage.
i. No signs or behavior evidencing bigotry or racism of any kind will be tolerated, and people will be asked to get rid of them or leave.
ii. We are polite, law abiding people, and that’s how we run our events.
iii. Ask attendees to immediately report any suspicious people to event security or the police (according to your own guidelines).
c. Don’t worry…be happy. If you weren’t so good at what you are doing, and so successful at influencing the debate in this country, people wouldn’t feel compelled to try to shoot you down using sleazy tactics. You are dominating the political playing field, and doing so by being honest, operating with integrity and staying within the law. Be proud of what you are accomplishing, and enjoy your day.
Ever haunted by a melody, a tune that replays over and over in your head? Even as I write this, an enchanting melody continues to flow through my mind. Sure, a catchy song comes along once in a while and for a season of time I’ll hum it or sing it, much to the annoyance of my beloved wife. (My sing alongs in the theater also annoy her, but that’s a story for another day.)
“Vincent”, an ode to artist Vincent Van Gogh laments his sad passing. Its melody has been in continuous replay in my head for about two weeks – sad, indeed. Vincent died of self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the age of 37 years. Depressed over his lack of commercial success and, no doubt, other personal issues, he suffered emotionally and, at one point, was confined to a mental hospital where he painted one of his best-known works.
Click on the picture to hear “Vincent” (Starry, Starry Night)
In the ten or so years of his artistic career he sold only one painting, no doubt contributing to his sense of low self worth.
Van Gogh’s paintings today are considered some of the most valuable in the world. In fact, six of his works are listed among the highest prices paid at auction, ranging in values from $138 million to $64 million.
Following prayer and meditation, I think the message that came to me is really a message for someone harboring thoughts of suicide.
When life is so terribly unbearable, when you think you can no longer continue in anguish and you feel you must find a way out, it is at this point you must not abort your life. As some say, when you are this low, you can only go up. And that’s the point: when you are at your lowest, YOU CAN GO UP!
Imagine the unintended consequences of your decision to prematurely end your life. You may be depriving someone of a “masterpiece” they so long for. All life is precious. No life is worthless, at least not to others.
Even when you no longer love yourself, God loves you and he sent his only natural born son to redeem what you would otherwise think a worthless life.
Editor’s note: I am pleased to re-print an email from Col. Bob Amick in support of Jerry Hogan for County Judge.
Friends and Associates:
Tomorrow, we have a choice between two qualified candidates.
I have voted for my choice, Jerry Hogan, because I strongly believe that he is the BEST QUALIFIED.
Jerry completed a “first” career as an “authoritarian leader” in our Army Special Forces. Be assured that if he would have applied “Obama like” consensus building to his assigned missions, he would still be waiting to pursue the enemy…in the military and in the civilian world we don’t have the luxury of deferring decisions until we have “consensus of the committee”. Simply stated, a leader must lead…not wait on a committee to defer and delay. Jerry’s leadership style is such that he makes decisions that reflect the will of the people, and does so in a manner that is truly conservative…not progressive!
My request to each of you is simple…please vote tomorrow…and if you agree with my position, vote for Jerry Hogan. His success in leading large groups of people (more than 2) is documented. Rockwall County needs Jerry’s expertise..NOW!
Fellow Authoritarian(by choice), Retired Army Colonel, and proud Rockwall County Resident
We citizens of Rockwall County are a blessed people. Hall marks of our matchless quality of life are generosity, superb leaders, and wonderful neighbors.
Jerry Hogan and Kevin Fowler are two gentlemen for whom I am thankful. It was my privilege to serve on the 2008 Road Bond committee with the two of them. We worked together for a successful outcome.
I write to endorse Jerry Hoganfor Rockwall County Judge.
Setting aside political rhetoric, claims and counter claims, I weigh the ideas and pledges of the two candidates.
Kevin pledges to be a consensus builder on Commissioners Court. Jerry Pledges to work to be a watchdog, a steward of our County tax dollars.
Over My Shoulder a Backward Glance
Was it not a consensus of the Court that overruled the will of the people, not once, but twice? The ageless wisdom of Ronald Reagan comes to mind:
“From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?” — First Inaugural Address, January 20th 1981
Leadership vs. Consensus
In every successful organization we find a leader who has the gifts and callings to discern right from wrong and to fearlessly chart a course for a desirable outcome. We need a leader who understands our form of government – a democratic republic that derives its power to govern from the governed.
The Court twice failed to represent the will of the people, with respect to the new courthouse. Members of the Court behaved as an elite group superior to government for, by, and of the people.
Jerry, I believe, understands the importance of citizen participation in County government and his pledge toward fiscal responsibility is credible.
I ask you to vote for Jerry Hogan, Rockwall County Judge.
Early voting ended last week and Election Day is TOMORROW –April 13.
It’s your money; it’s your children’s and grandchildren’s debt to pay.