The day started with Kay Bailey Hutchison's official endorsement of Gov. Rick Perry. The gubernatorial primary rivals did a pretty effective job of political Kumbaya, joking and appearing relaxed, with all that nasty election talk behind them.
They appeared on stage together at a Texas Federation of Republican Women event and not at the convention itself.
Hutchison made the same amount of news announcing at the TFRW breakfast she'd have made announcing at the GOP convention, but avoided a crowd that has never warmed to her like it has to Perry and others. There's a bit of history on both sides. The TFRW has always been a source of political support for her. And she's had a contentious relationship with official Texas Republicans; in 1996, the party made an effort to keep her and George W. Bush from being seated with the delegation at the national party's convention. Perry's never had that trouble. On the floor of a Texas Republican Party convention, he's Elvis.
Hutchison cited a time crunch — she needed to catch a plane for the East Coast to make it to an event for Republican U.S. senators. But she got to make her announcement in front of her crowd, a friendly audience.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
(Gov. Perry frequently deviates from prepared remarks)
I want to thank you all for being here today, in this gathering of people from all walks of life, from farms and small towns, from the suburbs and cities of our great state.
We gather in this place to make a simple statement, a statement of unity…in a singular purpose, as we continue the momentum that is carrying our values, our principals and our party to victory.
We may not all look alike, sound alike or even agree on every issue, but I know that we all share some elemental beliefs.
Like you, I believe in Texas.
I believe in a state that was carved out of the wilderness by rugged individualists, who sought opportunity, and the chance to live free.
I believe in a state that has endured under the flags of several nations, and forged a culture of independence unlike any other.
I believe in a state that has rebounded from wars fought within its boundaries, natural disasters like droughts and floods, oil busts and bursting tech bubbles, and emerged always stronger than before.
I believe in a culture of patriotism, service and sacrifice that has guided countless young Texans to distinguished military service, in the defense of freedom the world over.
I believe in a philosophy that encourages personal responsibility, and disdains the premise that government should do everything for everyone.
I believe in a people whose commitment to family, compassion for others and hope for a better day, compel them to connect in communities large and small, and help their neighbors in the worst of times.
I believe in a people who want nothing more than a job that demands and rewards their best effort…a safe neighborhood, and an education that propels their children beyond their own achievements.
This is our Texas…we are those people…and we have a noble calling to continue guiding our state.
As we hear the rumble of distant wars…natural disasters… and economic turmoil, Texas cannot retreat from its traditional position of leadership.
As Washington steadily encroaches on our freedoms, we must not be silenced by their criticisms, or intimidated by their threats of litigation.
Instead, we must continue to speak with the freedoms guaranteed us by the Constitution of this great country, and resist the unchecked growth of the federal government, as it barges into our doctor’s office, dips into our wallets and sets up shop in our classrooms.
Now, understand me clearly: the federal government has a purpose, and we’re gratified when it fulfills its essential roles.
However, we take offense at the unelected bureaucrats who conspire to derail our energy industry, while ignoring the environmental progress that we’ve made, by applying local solutions devised with government, business, and community leaders.
We resent being forced to purchase Washington’s healthcare option, which will drive doctors out of practice, and reduce access to healthcare across our state and nation.
If only the federal government would devote so much time and energy to its real responsibilities…like securing our border.
Instead, Texans have picked up their slack, spending hundreds of millions of Texas tax dollars over the past few years, directing sheriff’s deputies, game wardens, state troopers and citizen volunteers, into roles best filled by Border Patrol agents and the National Guard.
Imagine if the federal government would invest in genuine economic development, like cutting taxes, balancing the federal budget, and freeing entrepreneurs to innovate, manufacture, sell and hire.
Instead, they tighten the red tape with which they bind us, choking the life out of important industries, and laying waste the once-productive fields of our economy.
It is comical to hear this administration boast about job creation, when they simply took our tax dollars, and used them to hire more census workers.
Those are not the green shoots of economic growth, they are merely synthetic turf…Astroturf, with no hope of regeneration.
I wish that Washington would review the number of private-sector jobs we have created here in Texas…and consider our approach.
We strengthened our economy by following a few simple rules, that Washington is clearly unable to grasp, because they flow from our belief in the power of the individual…and embrace of fiscal discipline.
First, we don’t spend all the money…and we keep our taxes low.
Second, we keep our regulatory system predictable, so that employers don’t find themselves caught up short with unexpected changes.
Third, we reformed our legal system to cut down on over-suing, reducing the frivolous lawsuits that were leeching the life out of our economy, and reducing access to healthcare.
Fourth, we have continually improved the quality of education, by holding teachers and administrators accountable, and calling our students to a higher standard, as we build the workforce of tomorrow.
These precepts are beautiful in their simplicity, and their effectiveness.
They are the foundation of our success, which give Texans the chance to apply their legendary work ethic…and enjoy the results.
These principles encourage growth, attract investment and create private sector jobs, in ways that leave federal bureaucrats scratching their heads.
Unfortunately, too many Texans are still without jobs, as too many employers wait for the economy to rebound, so we cannot rest in our efforts to create yet more jobs.
New taxes stifle economic growth, so we need to safeguard our citizens with legislation requiring a 2/3 vote of the Legislature to raise taxes.
We need to protect the sanctity of the vote by requiring voters to verify that they really are who they say they are.
We need to take the tax cut we won for 40,000 small businesses, during the last Legislative session, and make it permanent.
We need to make higher education more accessible, by freezing a college student’s tuition rates for four years, at the level they pay as a freshman.
We need to keep improving the quality of public education, by doubling the number of STEM academies, so more students get the science, technology, engineering and math skills they need to compete in the global marketplace.
We need to strengthen the impact of our Ranger Recon Teams, and overall border security efforts, by pursuing criminal penalties for employers who knowingly violate employment laws, by hiring workers who are in Texas illegally.
Do you think a liberal Democrat would do that?
Unfortunately, the Democrat Party is pulling out all the stops, and calling in markers from across the country, as they try to topple conservative Republican leadership in Texas.
Given what EVERYONE knows about the Lone Star State, you’d think they’d find a candidate who embraces traditional Texas values, whose priority is job creation…who respects our military, and supports our Constitutional right to bear arms.
If you thought that, you would be wrong.
When it comes to the kind of cap & trade legislation that’ll decimate our energy industry, destroy jobs and raise the cost of living, my opponent not only supports it, he coached the Obama administration on how to sell it to America.
In a state where a balanced budget is not only expected, but required by our Constitution, he applied Washington-style budgeting to the city of Houston, borrowing from tomorrow to pay for today.
Leadership is not about sweeping problems under the rug for someone else to fix…it’s about making tough choices…the right choices.
He certainly didn’t make the right choice when he joined a national anti-gun group, that sought to limit the Second Amendment rights of Texans.
In a state with a military history as rich and colorful as ours, the home of heroes like Sam Houston, Audie Murphy, Freddy Gonzales and Marcus Luttrell, my opponent has supported lawsuits to limit the voting rights of service members…deployed in the defense of freedom.
All of these decisions make me want to ask a simple question.
Are liberals that blinded by their intellectual elitism, leftwing ideology and the worship of big government?
Texans of all political persuasions who are concerned about the egregious overreach of the federal government, need to understand something.
Electing my opponent will accelerate Washington’s takeover of our state.
Are you willing to accept that?
November 2nd is less than five months away…and it is my honor to accept your nomination for governor.
If you’re a conservative, and think you can sit this one out, think again.
If you’re a Republican, and think you can take a breather “because Texas always leans to the right,” guess again.
If you’re a Texan and think your vote doesn’t count, because it’s one of more than 13 million, reconsider.
We are engaged in a struggle for the very heart of this state, in a contest to determine the role of government in our lives, and continue our economic rebound.
The nation is watching Texas, to see if our model of state-based solutions, will triumph over the Democrat’s big-government movement that controls our nation’s capital…for now.
That’s why each and every vote counts, as does each and every phone call, email, Facebook post and tweet.
Our Party is not a monolith, a conformist block of rule followers who agree on every issue and vote in lockstep.
Go check out a Platform Committee meeting if you believe it is.
Our Party is a diverse collection of individuals from every walk of life and every corner of the state, with different dreams and aspirations.
Our Party is Gale Sayers from Converse, a home school mother and dedicated Church member.
Our Party is Ray Huebner from Dallas, a retired Marine who continues to serve our country by staying active in the political process.
Our Party is Naomi Narvaiz, a mother of five from San Marcos who is dedicated to serving her community.
Our Party is the best hope for the greatest state in the nation.
These folks up here represent a rising tide of conservative leaders, who have embraced the responsibility of leading a home headquarters, in their hometowns across Texas.
To ensure our victory in November, I need you to join them, and become a part of a rapidly-growing network, of thought leaders walking a new path to victory.
Simply stop by the Perry Pavilion on the exhibit floor to sign up, or take out your cellphone and text “FIRED UP” to 95613.
My team will not only use that number to let you know how to sign up, they’ll also keep you informed in the months to come, as we march toward victory in November.
Your support is not only vital for my campaign, it’s necessary for our entire slate of candidates.
We have an incredible group of Republican candidates on the ticket, from local races to folks seeking statewide office, like David Dewhurst…Greg Abbott…Susan Combs…Jerry Patterson…Todd Staples…and David Porter.
We have principled Republican leaders in Washington like Kay Hutchison and John Cornyn.
We have Party leaders like Cathie Adams, who led her team to put together this remarkable convention.
We all must understand that this next election is no mere academic exercise or a hobby to pass the time. It will determine the very fate of our nation.
So I ask you…will you stand up for what’s right?
Will you stand up for Texas values?
Will you stand up against Washington’s shameful excess?
Will you defend our children’s future with your vote?
Then let’s move forward together, and secure the future, and let’s keep our beloved state moving forward, with proven leadership and Texas values.
May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.
Cornyn's opening line: "I have some good news to report. Congress is not in session today."
Another line: "A recession is when you lose your job. A recovery is when Barack Obama loses his job."
"Do you feel the need to apologize that America is land of opportunity?" (NO!)
"Do you feel the need to apologize that our military dominant superpower in the world? (NO!) "Are you proud that we do things here in Texas differently than in Washington?" (YES!)
The video there was the opening for Staples' speech.
Here's what career politician Rick Perry didn't mention today: the $18 billion budget hole, nearly doubling state spending and doubling state debt.
Even with an $18 billion budget hole, Perry refuses to stop draining taxpayers for a lavish rental mansion with a heated pool and one and a half chefs.
"I call on all you patriots to get rid of Obama and take back this party." Pretty good ovation at the end.
One motif of this convention is anti-Washington, anti-Obama, pro-state thread that shows up in appeals for support as well as in entreaties to the TEA Partiers who made such a splash in this year's GOP primaries.
And today is the day that members of the United States Congress — Republicans, and Texans, but still — take the stage. Oughta be interesting.
Also on the ticket for Saturday: A vote on who'll chair the Republican Party of Texas — a three-way contest between incumbent Cathie Adams and challengers Tom Mechler and Steve Munisteri; and a vote on the party's platform, possibly with immigration as a focal point.
There is a ton of Steve Munisteri signage around, and I've seen lots of people walking around with "STEVE" pins and stickers. I wonder if there will be a Cathie Adams upset today. Volunteers are currently placing signs on all the chairs in the hall (there's 14,000 of them):
A few people are still milling about the booths, too, like this woman who was having her picture taken with a life-size Sarah Palin:
aggiehoss04: We should push for a computer vote. @cathieadams voters probably couldn't use one anyways. #rpt10
aggiehoss04: they are buying the smoke screen that only she is pro-life & steve is a muslim. It's despicable. #rpt10
SpunkyTrunk: I'm in SD8- Cathie's district. Believe it's going to be a fight btwn her peeps & @munisteri4rpt people. Gear it up! #rpt10
specialk_mom: #RPT10 mechler is spreading falsehoods... Rpt has an aggressive campaign for black & hispanic votes, um meet the txgop? Hello?
ChrisWPeterson: Looks like williamson county is split 3 ways.#rpt #rpt10 #txgop
@mqsullivan: My current tally: Adams now at 11 senatorial districts, mechler 5, munisteri 6. #rpt10
not sure if that includes Senate District 18 -- which a later tweet from another person said when for Munisteri.
@RobSchlein: I'm glad my bladder is holding up. 4hours locked up in sd8 with this vote. #rpt10
@mjsamuelson: #sd14 voting for chairman weighed down by procedure. Rules need to deal with this. #RPT10 #TX2010RPT
@HiMaintnceLady I wish people would just keep their opinions to themselves at this point in the convention. #RPT10
· An end to "catch and release" policy
· Criminal penalties and aggressive enforcement for those who knowingly employ illegal workers
· Expeditious hearings on deporting non-violent illegal immigrants
· Amending the constitution to suspend automatic U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants
· Empowering state and local law enforcement agencies to detain illegal immigrants
· Eliminating laws requiring hospitals to give non-emergency care to "illegal's"
· Requiring E-verify system to confirm legal status of all new hires
The minority report, signed by 11 of the 64 SREC members (that's 62 from the senate districts and 2 national committeemen), states:
"We have never supported and oppose a policy of mass deportation. We support a realistic solution which permanently secures our borders and humanely resolves the legal status of illegal immigrants. We recognize that many illegal immigrants were brought to this country as minors."
· Straus' vote to increase the budget by 19 percent
· the fundraisers for Patrick Rose, Jason Isaac, and Trey Martinez Fisher
· an $1000 donation from Planned Parenthood, and a vote for SB 419, "which would have made it easier to perform late-term, third-trimester abortions"
· the gambling issue (Straus' family owns racetracks)
The Statesman attributes the document to David Barton, the former RPT vice chairman and current WallBuilders activist.
He just removed his own sticker from his lapel, and replaced it with a Munisteri sticker, and asked his supporters in the crowd to do the same.
The Convention Secretary has just called a floor vote for the chairmanship. Votes, she says to grumbling from the crowd, will be requested in 10 minutes.
Adams — 2950.9
MunisterI — 4294.11
That means the RPT has a new chairman.
RPT bylaws require the chair and vice-chair to be a man and a woman, so once Adams lost that meant current vice-chair Robin Armstrong was out.
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.