Press Release: South Austin Republican Club Announces Endorsement for Texas Attorney General

10:26AM – Austin, TX USA

South Austin Republican Club

Dallas Emerson, Communications Director & Data Analyst

dallas@southaustinrc.org


Primaries are often ugly—and Republicans’ primaries have been uglier than usual lately.  

When politicians disagree on policy or ideas, primaries can be enlightening, allowing voters to partake in choosing the direction of the party, and the evolution of our shared ideology.  

When politicians share essentially the same ideas, the debate comes down to one of character; which means that everyone should grab their ponchos, because the mud will be slung.  

The Texas Attorney General’s Republican Primary is an example of this phenomenon. Heading into the runoff, Ken Paxton, the incumbent, and George P. Bush, Texas’ Land Commissioner, must be thoroughly examined.  

Both are dedicated followers of President Trump’s MAGA movement, with Paxton holding Trump’s endorsement, but Bush is a close ally of the former President as well.  

Both men are conservative. Ken Paxton has been a staunch defender of Texas’ rights as a state and fought to ensure that the Federal Government abides by its own laws. George P Bush has worked within his power as Land Commissioner to secure the Southern border during unprecedented waves of immigration in Texas. 

Neither could be described as “moderate” or as a “RINO.” 

So, we at South Austin Republicans Club have interrogated the character of these two men.  

And as a result, we believe Ken Paxton to be compromised in his role as Attorney General, beset by scandal, and in his seventh year of indictment for securities fraud.  

The bedrock of our legal system is the presumption of innocence. In no way are we commenting on his innocence or guilt; that is to be determined by a jury of Paxton’s peers.  

But the role of Attorney General relies in large part on moral authority, not just a bright legal mind. And after seven years of investigation, Paxton is a tarnished man.  

He has faced widespread staff resignation, has chosen to recuse himself from some of his duties as Attorney General, and faces scrutiny regarding ethical violations for the funding of his legal defense fund.  

Within weeks of joining the Texas State Senate, his wife, Senator Angela Paxton, filed legislation that would allow the Attorney General to issue exemptions for the very actions he was under investigation for allegedly committing.  

Rather than pushing for his day in court, Paxton has sought every delay, every legal tactic to avoid a verdict being reached.  

Texas’ credibility is weakened by this spectacle.  

He has operated under this cloud for too long, and with his court date approaching, he will, by necessity be focused on his defense, not on the legal needs of the state. Texas needs an Attorney General that can be 100% dedicated to the job at hand.  

This brings us to the other man in the race, Land Commissioner George P. Bush. 

Son of former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, George P Bush carries a name and legacy that evokes mixed emotions. While it is unfair to judge a man by his father’s, uncle’s, or grandfather’s actions, it cannot be denied that the Bush family is a dynasty in American politics. 

The concept of one family wielding so much power is rightfully unsettling to most Americans. Many Republicans are reflexively distrusting of Kennedys for this reason, and after decades of dominance by the Bush family, the GOP is wary and weary of further Bushes.  

Bush is not without controversy of his own; primarily the bizarre, emotionally charged, debate over the Alamo, which Bush was charged with renovating. During this time, it was alleged that Bush wanted to erect a statue of Mexican Dictator Santa Anna—a claim made without any evidence. Bush responded that these rumors were due to his ethnicity, as his mother is a naturalized citizen from Mexico. We do know that Bush wanted the Cenotaph—an absolutely staggering monument to the brave defenders of the Alamo—moved off the Alamo grounds. This plan was defeated.  

However, the strongest critics of Bush voice few concerns other than the arcane Alamo fight and his family name.  

Frankly, these criticisms have little bearing on his ability to execute the duties of the Office of Attorney General.  

George P. Bush, as was previously stated, is a conservative Republican. He has campaigned on further securing the border and cracking down on crime—which he notes has risen under Paxton’s watch. 

It is never enjoyable to take sides in an intraparty fight. SARC usually avoids endorsing before primaries as this unnecessarily divides the party, leaving us weaker. And in a city like Austin, we cannot have that weakness.  

But sometimes, a line has to be drawn.  

In this case, the Executive Committee of the South Austin Republicans Club felt that AG Paxton’s scandal has outweighed his ability to faithfully execute his duties. If he were the employee of a small business, under investigation for fraud, accused of violating ethics, unable to perform all his duties because of these investigations, and his work being judged as suspect because of the scandal he refused to put to rest—he’d be fired. And in this case, SARC agrees; he should be fired. 

For these reasons, we the Executive Committee have chosen to endorse George P. Bush for Attorney General of Texas.   

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Press Release: South Austin Republican Club Announces Endorsement for Texas Attorney General

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November 2021 Propositions | SARC

On November 2nd, 2021 Texans will have the chance to vote on 8 statewide propositions. Austinites will have the chance to vote on 2 city propositions. You can learn about them here and we encourage you to vote!


Texas State Propositions

Prop #1
The 2021 ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.”

Lotteries approved in Texas in 1989 for a State Lottery, Charity bingo events, and Charity raffles

In 2015 the list was increased to add major sports teams; Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Football and Soccer.

In 2017 they added additional sports leagues, NASCAR and other motor sports, and hosts of PGA events.

This amendment adds Rodeo to the long list.

Prop #2
The ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”

This is really a change to allow counties to use up to 65% of increasing tax revenue to pay off debt and finance the purchase of land, development and construction of roads and other infrastructure in areas they designate as “blighted” or “underdeveloped”. Terms they get to define. We have already seen where the left is going with “infrastructure.”

Prop #3
The ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.”

This is an amendment to the Texas Constitution which guarantees freedom of worship. Reading that section (Section 6) I don’t see where there is a prohibition against doing what CA and other states have done – closing churches during emergencies, when people most need them!

Prop #4
The ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.”

This adds new, more stringent qualifications for the mentioned judges. I am all in favor of doing what we can to make sure our justices are well qualified and experienced.  I wish they would make it easier to remove judges that attempt legislation from the bench. But that isn’t covered.

Prop #5
The ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.”

Currently the Commission can only handle complaints against judges. This amendment would give them power to investigate candidates for judicial offices, as well. On its face it may help inform the voters about candidate misconduct but I wouldn’t count on it’s not being misused for political purposes.

Prop #6
The ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.”

Why? This is a sneaky thing. The Constitution already guarantees the rights to have visitors during hospital care – this changes the Constitution to add the word “AN” meaning ONE and only ONE caregiver.  It further gives the legislature the ability to provide guidelines for the visitation and policies used by hospitals. On the other side it prevents the governor from saying “no visitors at all” using his emergency powers.

PROP #7
The ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse’s residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person’s death.”  -and –

Prop #8
The ballot will read…
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.” Ad Val taxes are Property Taxes, by the way. There are currently some 17 different types of people that receive this benefit. It started with the military, then first responders, jailers, then HHS employees, chaplains, Parks and Rec’s employees that “help” with law enforcement.  These amendments will have the effect of property tax abatement on the survivors of those killed “in the line of duty,” not just in combat and extend the benefit to school taxes if the spouse is 55 or older at the time of death.


City of Austin Propositions

City of Austin Proposition A

The 2021 ballot will read…
Shall a petitioned ordinance be
approved to enhance public safety and
police oversight, transparency and
accountability by adding new chapter
2-16 to establish minimum standards
for the police department to ensure
effective public safety and protect
residents and visitors to Austin, and
prescribing minimal requirements for
achieving the same, at an estimated
cost of $271.5 million – $598.8 million
over five years?

Proposition A sets a mandate for staffing and sets minimum standards that will provide oversight and accountability on both the police department and city leadership. As we look ahead to more city growth, we must make public safety a top priority. Prop A would do exactly that.

City of Austin Proposition B

The 2021 ballot will read…
Shall the City Council be authorized to
convey or lease approximately 9 acres
of parkland currently used as the
Central Maintenance Complex (CMC)
located at 2525 S. Lakeshore Blvd.
through a public bidding process,
where the total value of the bid is
equal to or greater than the appraised
fair market value of CMC, in exchange
for at a minimum: 1) at least 48 acres
of waterfront land contiguous to an
existing City park; and 2) the cost or
construction of a new maintenance
facility for the Parks and Recreation
Department on other city-owned land;
and 3) partial or full funding for the
removal of Fiesta Gardens’ existing
maintenance facility and restoration of
that land to parkland?

Parcel on South Lakeshore Boulevard that voters are being asked to approve for trade.

Sources:


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