Mr. Speaker, I read the duties of the Speaker of the House from your own website. Nowhere on that list of duties do I see a duty to autocratically obstruct the will of the people, as expressed by the majority seating before you.
I know you as a gentleman. Will you remain a gentleman in the special session?
If you believe Governor Greg Abbott’s agenda unpopular, bring all the items to the floor for a vote to prove your point.
The speaker is the presiding officer of the house of representatives. The Texas Constitution requires the house of representatives, each time a new legislature convenes, to choose one of its own members to serve as speaker.
As presiding officer, the speaker maintains order during floor debate, recognizing legislators who wish to speak and ruling on procedural matters. The constitution also requires the speaker to sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature. As a member of the house of representatives, the speaker may vote on all questions before the house.
The other duties and responsibilities of the speaker are determined by the members of the house in the House Rules of Procedure, which are adopted by a majority vote of the members at the beginning of each regular session of the legislature. The members give the speaker the authority to appoint the membership of each standing committee, subject to rules on seniority, and to designate the chair and vice chair for each committee. Under the rules, the speaker is responsible for referring all proposed legislation to committee, subject to the committee jurisdictions set forth in the rules. The rules also allow the speaker to appoint conference committees, to create select committees, and to direct committees to conduct interim studies when the legislature is not in session.
Forfeiture actions have become common in drug cases and white collar crime cases. Additionally, Texas forfeiture law has been expanded to apply to any felony of the first or second degree in the Texas Penal Code, as well as numerous expressly listed offenses contained in other codes.
Allowing local law enforcement officials to keep a substantial amount of the proceeds obtained from seizing contraband for their own official use gives the police and prosecutors an improper incentive to overzealously pursue civil forfeitures. This asset forfeiture system often leads to corruption, particularly in Texas where the police and prosecutors are allowed to keep the property they seize.
How Police Can Seize Your Property Without A Trial
In just over a decade, Texas law enforcement collected more than half a billion dollars, $540.7 million, in cash and personal property from Texans suspected of breaking the law. Known as civil asset forfeiture, this legal practice leaves average Texans vulnerable to having their assets seized by police, no trial or proof of guilt necessary.
Texas is among the worst states in the nation for civil asset forfeiture abuse. The Institute for Justice’s “Policing for Profit” report gave Texas a D+ and said the state leads the nation in average annual forfeiture proceeds, at roughly $41.6 million. Read more from the DMN
Financial Incentives Corrupt Good Government
Back in the day when tiny Lavon, Texas had a meager population fewer than 400 souls, that Collin County city was a notorious speed trap. The city’s police force included four full-time officers and 12 reserve officers.
Lavon city law enforcement claimed the department was merely protecting its citizens, but police officers were writing tickets for all manner of things from one mile per hour over the posted speed limit to tinted windows that allegedly exceeded state-mandated limits.
Bottom line: After the Texas Legislature limited the share of traffic fines, the city reduced the size of its police department and today Lavon is no longer a speed trap.
The overall effectiveness of government is inextricably dependent on public trust. A 2011 FBI law enforcement bulletin stated, “In terms of public trust for law enforcement, recent polls show that only 56 percent of people rated the police as having a high or very high ethical standard as compared with 84 percent for nurses.”
In the wake of the Obama administration, public trust in law enforcement is at an all-time low as mobs take to the streets of major metropolitan areas and leftist organizations like the ACLU and the BLM movement oppose legitimate law enforcement.
Call for Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform in Texas
The 85th Texas Legislature has before it Senate Bill 380 carried by State Senator Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) to dramatically reform civil asset forfeiture in our state.
Previously, State Senator John Whitmire (R- Houston) carried SB-316 that successfully curtailed abuses of property unjustly seized at roadside traffic stops. But, it did not go far enough.
Article I Established the Legislative Branch. There are ten sections and 2,268 words that describe every aspect from its membership to the enumerated powers of federal government to the authority to impeach presidents.
Article II defines the Executive branch in four sections and 1,025 words. This section authorizes the President to make treaties with the consent of the Senate, but not on his own authority. This article describes how the Legislative Branch can impeach him to remove him from office. The president is also authorized to execute the laws written by the Legislature.
Article III establishes the Judicial branch in three sections and 377 words.
The Federal Register (the daily newspaper of the Federal government) is a legal newspaper published every business day by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Federal Register contains Federal Agency Regulations. Proposed Rules and Public Notices. There are 743,069 documents published on tens of thousands of pages.
Dr. Ben Carson estimated the size of the Federal Register in 2015. At the end of that year, the Register had 82,036 pages. At 250 pages per inch, the Register would make a stack twenty-seven (27) feet high and this was two years ago. You can imagine its size now.
In any industry or organization, how do you know who the boss is? Is it not the person who can fire you?
There are actually five divisions of government, the most important division is the ‘We the People’ division. Federal bureaucracies are known as the fourth branch of government.
We the People can fire lawmakers, representatives and senators. The Legislative Branch can fire Presidents and federal judges. However, neither the President nor the Judiciary can fire lawmakers. Do you see now the hierarchy of government?
Let’s take a moment to review the fourth branch, the bureaucracies. Over the eight years of the Obama presidency, 20,642 regulations were added. This amounts to seven new laws per day, 365 days per year for 8 years.
Historian David Barton says we Americans commit on average three felonies a day and have no idea what regulations we violate.
The 2016 election cycle was unlike any in all our history. President Donald Trump was elected by Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians. He was opposed by the leadership of both major political parties. He pledged to drain the swamp, cut taxes, slash confiscatory business-strangling regulations and make America great again. While giving his inaugural speech, he said and I quote:
This is your day.
This is your celebration.
And this, the United States of America, is your country.
What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before.
At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
Personal self-defense isn’t a new idea. In fact, the first murder ever was one brother killing a sibling thousands of years ago. Bad guys are not a new invention either; they have forever been with us. Bottom line: the right to self-defense is a God-given natural right. Self-defense is natural to all men and women.
Our Constitutionally guaranteed Right to Keep and Bear arms has its roots in English common law. The 1689 Bill of Rights guaranteed Protestants the right to keep and bear arms and was the inspiration to our lawmakers to include the Second Amendment in our U.S. Bill of Rights.
Paradoxically, as more state legislatures pass legislation allowing citizens to keep and bear arms, there are businesses and organizations owned or overseen by progressives who then prohibit firearms on their respective properties.
On July 1, 2016 Senate Bill 1736 becomes the law of the land in the state of Tennessee. The intent of the bill is thus:
“This bill creates a cause of action whereby any permit holder who is harmed while on posted premises or traversing any area to and from the premises and the location where the permit holder’s firearm is stored may bring suit against the person who posted the property. The full text of this bill specifies the burden of proof that a plaintiff must meet in order to prevail in a suit brought under this bill. In addition to damages, a permit holder who brings a suit under this bill will be entitled to attorney fees and costs. The statute of limitations for actions brought under this bill will be two years.
“This bill requires that any person who posts their property to prohibit firearms on the premises must use a sign that includes language citing this bill and the duty of care that such person owes to permit holders.” – SB 1736 Summary
I ask fellow Texans to join me to advance and pay similar legislation in the 2017 Texas Legislature.
Dr. Martin Luther King decried willful ignorance: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
Ronald Reagan placed the spotlight on progressives, saying, “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Mr. Carvin, my ninth-grade English teacher daily posted wise sayings on the far right-hand side of his chalkboard. I remember best one saying he attributed to Confucious:
“He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool – shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is a child – teach him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is a wise man – follow him.”
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution identifies five freedoms, five natural rights. Do you know them?
1 – Freedom of Religion: This is not a ‘freedom of worship’. This is the freedom to live out your religion publicly and privately.
2 – Freedom of Speech: We have no natural right to slander one another. This freedom is our natural right to speak out against a faulty government.
3 – Freedom of the Press: Unlike the second freedom above, this natural right facilitates diffusion of sentiments among the people to shame corrupt government officials or agencies.
4 – Freedom to Assemble Peaceably, also called Freedom of Association: We have the natural right to be with others to peaceably address grievances or complaints against government wrongdoing. We have no right to destroy the property of others or to disrupt the lives of others while assembled, the definition of a mob.
5 – Freedom to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances: Self-explanatory – sign petitions, write or call your congressman, etc.
I say the above and that which follows to encourage my fellow Americans to be intentionally well-informed before going to the polls.
I see in Holy Scripture an ancient prophecy about our times. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.”
Such is the phenomenon of score cards that lend the appearance of a ‘quick start guide’, but most often virtual puppet strings pulled by a special interest group .
Today we cast ballots in the runoff elections; in November, we make choices that will shape the future of our nation for all time.
Google is a good research tool. Libraries, also. My number one choice for research is prayer. As it is written, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.”
What is truth? The truth is the way things really are. Will you succumb to score cards or will you follow the example of the Bereans? The Bereans “were more willing to understand” what they were hearing than the larger body of their fellow citizens; the Bereans researched “to see if those things were true“.
“to stand or act in place of, as an agent or substitute, or on behalf of.”
My TEA Party friends to the south successfully got their representative elected. But, now they lost him this election cycle because they gave themselves over to the Empower Texans agenda that interferes in local elections. Yes, elections for state representatives are local elections. In our case, we the people of Rockwall County know whom we want to represent us.
A member of the Texas House of Representatives was in Rockwall campaigning against us. He ardently promotes the Frisco fellow. Why? Because the Frisco fellow is the favorite of Empower Texans.
So it was this out-of-district representative and I discussed the matter of representation. Basically, his understanding of the above-defined word is he will do what he thinks best for his constituents (as in father knows best).
My attempt to convey the reason we choose Rockwall County native Justin A. Holland over the Frisco fellow is simply this: Justin will REPRESENT us in Austin, not a special interest group. You who attended the candidate forum at Rockwall High School will remember his pledge to vote the will of the people over his own interests.
ELECTION DAY is Tuesday, May 24. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Our voting strength is 54,433. To not vote for our Rockwall candidate is, by default, a vote for the out of town candidate. Getting out the vote is our key to victory. At church, in the marketplace, or while walking the neighborhood, encourage your friends to vote for Justin Holland on Election Day.
29 year resident of Rockwall County
Decorated Vietnam-era Navy veteran
Civilian Vietnam veteran
Father, grandfather, property owner, local business owner
An old man who actually knows Justin personally
Justin A. Holland is a full-time family man, full-time businessman and full-time Heath city councilman.
How does John Keating compare?
John Keating is an ABSENTEE Frisco city councilman.
In summary, yes, the Heath City Council raised taxes. However, John Keating and his Frisco City Council have raised taxes numerous times AND Frisco city property taxes are HIGHER than Heath city property taxes.
Bottom line: Keating is a hypocrite on property taxes. How can you trust him to help hold down property taxes? The answer is obvious: John Keating is not trustworthy in the matter of property taxes. As with ever so many politicians, Keating will say whatever it takes to capture your heart and your vote.
Early voting is underway now. Election day is next Tuesday.
Let’s elect a true representative, a businessman who has “skin in the game” with respect to property taxes.
Thank you for standing with your Rockwall neighbors.