Thursday, May 31, 2012

More fallout from the primary elections: Conservatives are tripping over each other

Reprinted from the Texas Home School Coalition Political Action Committee website.

Read the complete story

By Tim Lambert

The Republican Primary in Texas yesterday was very significant to say the least. To begin with, from THSC PAC’s perspective, our top race was the race to unseat State Representative Rob Eissler, Chairman of the House Public Education Committee, because of his dishonest dealings with THSC in the killing of one of our key legislative priorities while saying he has “always supported home schooling.” Steve Toth, home school dad, defeated Eissler with over 56% of the vote. Toth said he was “setting the pace and the tone of the campaign. The conservative political action committees, they never get behind a contender unless there is blood in the water.”

Several Republican House leaders were defeated by conservative challengers, and several more are in a runoff scheduled for July 31st. Overall, it was a night where conservatives seemed to have much influence, and a stalwart conservative House member and great friend to home schoolers, Bryan Hughes, announced his plans to seek the Speakership of the Texas House.

In the Texas Senate, conservatives also made great strides, and THSC PAC-endorsed Dr. Donna Campbell forced Senator Jeff Wentworth (who represents Hays County) into a runoff for the representation of Senate District 25 in the San Antonio and Austin areas. Dr. Campbell is a former home school mom, who, unlike her opponent, is strongly pro-life and pro-parental rights.

Texas Primary Shows Limit to Hispanic Clout

From The National Journal | Read the complete story

By Scott Bland and Josh Kraushaar

Paul Kane wrote a must-read story in today's Washington Post on the just-completed Texas primaries, concluding that Hispanic voters aren't taking advantage of their numbers to elect their own to Congress. It's something we noted in last week's magazine, and offers a warning sign for the president's re-election team too, which is reliant on high levels of Hispanic turnout in the November general election to win states like Florida, Nevada, and Colorado.

Tuesday's election results in Texas illustrated why the increase in Hispanic population isn't translating -- at least not yet -- into increased representation. Latino growth fueled the state's overall population growth, allowing the Lone Star State to gain four House seats during reapportionment - the most in the country. Two-thirds of that growth came from the Hispanic population. But while 38 percent of voters are Hispanic, it's likely that only six of the state's 36 House representatives (14 percent) will be Latino in 2013. That would be a lower rate of representation for Hispanics than in the state's current delegation, despite expectations that 2012 would be a watershed year for Hispanic candidates.

In the primary, Hispanic candidates suffered a trifecta of stinging defeats, thanks to low levels of Latino participation in the Democratic primaries. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, the influential former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, was upset by Beto O'Rourke, an upstart, white former El Paso city councilor. Reyes' loss makes it more likely that the number of Hispanics in the state's delegation will remain at six, counteracting the gain from the newly created TX-34 Gulf Coast seat, where attorney Filemon Vela is the favorite after a strong showing in the initial primary.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

City seeks input for FY 2013 budget; and the long and winding story of Mill Race Lane

The (city funded) professional mediator went back and forth among the parties for several weeks, finally declaring an impasse . . .
The residents' representatives rejected the city's terms (for repairs) and resorted to a public relations campaign telling their side of the story

Note: City Hall Briefs, written and edited by Bob Flocke to inform the citizens of Wimberley about city activities, is neither an official nor an authorized publication of the City of Wimberley. City Hall Briefs is distributed by email to anyone who wishes to receive it. Anyone who wishes to be added to the distribution list should send their email address to Mayor Flocke (below). The RoundUp has edited the Briefs for length and style.

Send your comments and questions to Mr. Flocke at, 512.847.5421, or click on the "comments" at the bottom of the report

Budget public meetings scheduled
June 4 & June 18 at Community Center

How would you like to see the City of Wimberley spend your tax dollars? That is the question that will be posed to Wimberley residents by the City of Wimberley’s Budget Advisory Board at an upcoming series of informational meetings on the City budget.

The first of two informational meetings is scheduled for Monday, June 4, 2012, at 6 p.m. at the Wimberley Community Center. The second meeting will take place Monday, June 18, 2012, at 6 p.m., also at the Community Center.

“The informational meetings will provide residents with a great opportunity to share their ideas about where they would like to see their City’s tax dollars spent,” said City Budget Advisory Board Chairman Rick Millinor. “We (the Board) want to know if there are any services and/or capital projects the City is not currently funding and should be for funding in the City’s Fiscal Year 2013 Operating Budget.“

At the informational meetings, City staff and Budget Advisory Board members will provide a brief overview of the City’s revenues and expenses, explain the budget preparation process and then gather ideas from the public on future City spending.

“We feel it is important to allow the residents to share their thoughts and ideas on future City spending in advance of the actual development of a proposed City budget,” said Millinor. “The public input gathered from these budget meetings will be considered by the Board as it prepares budget recommendations to the City Council for the Fiscal Year 2013 City of Wimberley Operating Budget.

The City’s Budget Advisory Board is expected to present recommendations to the City Council regarding the City’s Fiscal Year 2013 Operating Budget in late July.

At that time, City Council will start talking about its spending priorities for the City of Wimberley. A proposed budget will be presented for review and consideration in mid-August. The proposed budget, with any amendments, must be approved by the City Council no later than September 30, 2012.

For more information on the upcoming public meetings, please contact City Administrator Don Ferguson at 512.847.0025 or at

Mill Race Lane, the Agenda Item that Won't Go Away

The topic of Mill Race Lane has appeared in a number of recent city council agendas. Some of the public feedback includes: "Why don't you just give them (the residents) the street?" or, "If the residents want to pay to have the street paved, why don't you let them? The city certainly doesn't have the money to spend paving a street that the residents are willing to pave."

Good questions both, but nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

First a little history. Mill Race Lane was on a list of 81 public streets that Hays County turned over to the City of Wimberley upon incorporation in 2000. The formerly county roads – Mill Race Lane was County Road 179 – were now city streets, and the city assumed responsibility for their maintenance.

Whether or not Mill Race Lane is a public road has been in dispute for several years. Some of the residents say that the road is private even though the county maintained it as a county road for years before the city incorporated, while the city says the road is public.

There are two ways in which this matter can be decided once and for all. The first is to ask a court to resolve it. But one drawback to that approach is that it would require the city to bring suit against the residents. Unless it is absolutely necessary, the city generally tries not to be in the business of suing Wimberley citizens. The other way to resolve the issue is for the city to abandon the right-of-way to the adjacent property owners. That can be done only upon receipt of a petition signed by 100 percent of the street's residents. So far, the residents have not been able to achieve the necessary 100 percent agreement required by Texas Law.

For several years, some residents did not want the city to make any repairs to Mill Race Lane. The city council approved a prioritized list of the city's streets that were recommended for repair by the Wimberley Transportation Advisory Board. Mill Race Lane was near the top of the list of 81 streets in repair priority.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, the city proposed mediation at city expense. The mediation, which included one 10-hour session with all three sides – the city, residents against repaving, and residents in favor of repaving. The professional mediator went back and forth among the parties for several weeks, finally declaring an impasse.

It was at this time that the city received a letter from Mill Race Lane residents offering to pave the street with a contractor of their choosing at their own expense. At the council's direction, the city administrator and city attorney met with representatives of the residents to negotiate a deal on the paving.

The city was and is in favor of the private paving under the following terms:

– That the residents provide assurance that the taxpayers will not be liable for any damage resulting from the resurfacing, since such resurfacing would be performed by a paving contractor who is not under the city’s control.

– Plans for the paving had to be approved by the city.

– The residents' paving contractor must apply for all necessary permits required by the city.

The city also offered to accept the residents’ offer and for the city to pick up any expenses over and above that which residents had planned to spend.

While privately-financed street maintenance is not uncommon, such maintenance in all cases must meet local standards in work quality and in public safety. The city is responsible for providing safe, well-constructed thoroughfares for the public.

The residents' representatives rejected the city's terms and resorted to a public relations campaign telling their side of the story. The truth is, the city stands ready and willing to work with the residents, but it cannot agree to a course of action that violates Texas law or that places the city at risk.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Election Day Tuesday May 29

Final Primary Election Results, Hays County

Cutler, Conley sail to re-election

Sheriff Cutler / Commissioner Conley
Hays County Sheriff Republican Primary: Incumbent Sheriff Gary Cutler reelected to first full 4-year term - 6,111 votes, 65.07%; former sheriff and challenger Tommy Ratliff 3,281 votes, 34.93%

Pct. 3 County Commissioner Republican Primary: Incumbent Commissioner Will Conley reelected to third term - 2,604 votes, 71.91%; challenger Sam Brannon 1,017 votes, 28.09%

Republican Primary
President: Mitt Romney 6,398 votes, 63.71%; Ron Paul 2,182, 21.73%; Rick Santorum 558, 5.56%; Newt Gingrich 404, 4.02%; John Huntsman 84, .84%; Uncommitted 323, 3.22%

Democratic Primary President: Barack Obama 3,476, 94.82%

Republican Primary U. S. Senator: (July 31 runoff between Dewhurst, Cruz) – David Dewhurst, 3,961 votes, 41.17 %; Ted Cruz 3,136, 32.60%

Democratic Primary U. S. Senator: (July 31 runoff between Sadler, Yarbrough) – Paul Sadler 1,300 votes, 40.57%; Grady Yarbrough, 814, 25.41%

Democratic Primary U. S. Congress 35th District: Doggett handily wins nomination over two San Antonio area challengers – Incumbent Lloyd Doggett 1,564 votes, 88.66%; Sylvia Romo 119, 6.75%; Maria Luisa Alvarado 81, 4.59%.
Doggett faces former San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz, winner of the Republican primary nomination, in November. The new 35th District takes in portions of San Marcos, Kyle and Buda.

Hays County Republican Primary State Senate
(July 31 runoff between Donna Campbell and Incumbent Sen. Jeff Wentworth) / Hays County results – Campbell 4,368 votes, 52.28%; Wentworth 2,516 votes, 30.11%; Elizabeth Ames Jones, 1,471, 17.61%

Election update Early voting totals
(From the Hays County Elections Office)

President Republican Primary: Mitt Romney 2,446 votes, 64.5% / Ron Paul 775, 20.4% / Newt Gingrich 143, 3.77%
Hays County Sheriff Republican Primary - Current Sheriff Gary Cutler 2,420, 66.28% / Tommy Ratliff 1,231, 33.72%
Republican Primary Hays County Commissioner Pct. 3 - Current Commissioner Will Conley 1,169, 73.38% / Sam Brannon 424, 26.62%

U. S. Congress Democratic Primary: Lloyd Doggett 469, 89.33% / Silvia Romo 34, 6.48% / Maria Luisa Alvarado 22, 4.19%

Today is Election Day in the Republican and Democratic Primary Elections. The Polling Places below are in County Commissioner Precinct 3. Please take the time to vote today. Polls will be open until 7 p.m. Find your voting precinct number on your yellow voter registration card, next to the date of birth box. Click on these links for all Hays County voting locations in the Democratic Primary and the Republican Primary. For more information, contact the county elections office at 512.393.7310.

Republican primary
• Voting Pcts. 301/315/316/318 (RP) – First Baptist Church, 325 W McCarty Lane, San Marcos
• Pcts. 318/330/336/339 – Horizon Bay at San Marcos, 1720 Ranch Road 12, San Marcos
• Pcts. 332/334 – Travis Elementary School, 1437 Old Post Road, San Marcos

• Pcts. 333/335/337 – (R) St. Mary's Catholic Church, 14711 Ranch Road 12, Wimberley

Democratic primary
• Voting Pcts. 301/315/316/317 – First Baptist Church 325 W McCarty Lane, San Marcos
• Pcts. 318/330/336/339 – First Lutheran Church 130 W Holland St., San Marcos
• Pcts. 332/334 – Travis Elementary School, 1437 Old Post Road, San Marcos
• Pcts. 333/335/337 – Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Rd 12, Wimberley

Monday, May 28, 2012

Conley campaign: Dems are stealing Republican primary election

"The future of our Republican Party, our values, and our community hang in the balance."

Will Conley

Note: The emailed message below was making the rounds Monday morning. It is from a group of Democrats responding to that yellow flyer mailed to Republican voters last week by the Conley campaign. It's nice to see that some Dems are at least trying to inject a little humor in a campaign that otherwise has been marked by a lot of ugly personal attacks and hype (see yellow flyer below). The race between incumbent Commissioner Will Conley and challenger Sam Brannon will be decided in the Republican primary election. Election day is Tuesday May 29. Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you haven't voted, you should. In this race, every vote will count. It could be a cliff hanger or a big win for either candidate.

** Please click on "Older Posts" below the yellow flyer for the complete lineup of previously published stories in the RoundUp. Thanks.

Democrats Respond: Conley's having a fit

Precinct 3 County Commissioner, Will Conley, has accused Democrats of voting in the Republican Primary, and he’s mad. In fact he’s so mad about this that he sent out a long letter to Republicans, telling them that: Democrats are sabotaging the Republican Primary and stealing the Republican Party.

Democrats are organizing and voting in large numbers for Conley’s opponent, Sam Brannon. Democrats are doing this because they despise traditional conservative values.

Here’s our response to Conley’s whining: As a group of dedicated Democrats, we'd be the first to tell you that we couldn’t steal a party if we wanted to.

We also wonder why anybody would accuse Democrats of being organized in the first place.

Let's face it. Conley's having a fit and we can make it even worse. Think of it this way. If you want to make a difference in local government, this time around, now’s the time to vote in the Republican Primary. Now’s the time to make Commissioner Conley’s worst nightmare come true.