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Defending the Constitution, So Help Me God

By Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

I learned a long time ago that politics can be a tough business. But if your opponents are forced to concoct misleading attacks, you’re probably doing something right. It’s obvious from the Editorial Board’s most recent opinion piece they are still seething that the people of Texas elected a conservative as Attorney General. They’re even more upset that I’m actually fulfilling my campaign promise to protect our constitutional rights and liberties, however untrendy that may be with the Austin press corps. 

When I took my oath of office, I swore to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.” I take this oath seriously and work diligently to uphold this pact between myself and the people of Texas, no matter the sentiment among those critical of my leadership. 

As the paper pointed out, there are allegations against me. These unfounded charges are, at their core, politically motivated. Even the Editorial Board grudgingly concedes the allegations don’t equate to guilt and I deserve my day in court – where I will prevail. I’ll be sure to put their note on top of the stacks of news clips generated by the paper against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and former Governor Rick Perry. The innocence of these two honorable public servants didn’t preclude the paper from its decade-long journalistic campaign as the propaganda arm of the political left. Sadly, the complete exoneration of these Republican leaders didn’t seem to generate the same level of coverage as the politically motivated attacks and endless news coverage against them. 


Corruption Most Foul - Hillary Clinton

There is a foul odor emanating from Northeastern United States. Its epicenter is Chappaqua, NY. However, other locales such as New York City, Washington DC, Charleston, SC, and wherever else the Hillary for President campaign happens to be traveling, do their fair share in polluting the atmosphere. That odor is now also emanating from the Hoover Building, the Washington DC Headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That odor is the fetid, smell of in-your-face, arrogant, public corruption.

Public corruption (protection, bribery, bid rigging and the like) is ubiquitous throughout the entire civilized world. Different languages even have their own little colloquialisms for it…Baksheesh (Persian & Arabic), Na Lyeva (Russian), Mordida (Spanish), Under the Table & Kickbacks to name two common American ones.

At its lowest level and while still criminal, some minor amount is tolerated in many places. There is a Sicilian saying, “fari vagnari u pizzu,” let someone wet their beak (as in a very small bird), implying such a small amount as  to be invisible, kind of like Secretary Kerry’s “unbelievably small” airstrikes in Syria.  What is tolerated (or possibly not even really considered corrupt) and how much, depends on where you live, the culture there and sometimes even the specific circumstances.

In the United States at one end of the spectrum, we might see a local civil servant expediting an inspection or permit for a friend.  While at the other, we see legions of lobbyists using dinners, playoff tickets and campaign donations to gain access to and influence the decisions of politicians.


Hands Up, Don't Shoot: A Myth Born from a Lie

In November-December 2014, I wrote a series of nine articles for the American Thinker website describing the various groups then engaged in the Ferguson, Missouri protests.

The titles of those posts, in order of their appearances, contain hyperlinks to the articles:

  1. Group proposes ‘Rules of Engagement’ post-Grand Jury decision
  2. Behind the Don’t Shoot Coalition in Ferguson
  3. Don’t Shoot Coalition in Ferguson: a facade for progressive social activists
  4. N.S.W.E.R.Coalition not letting Ferguson crisis go to waste
  5. N.S.W.E.R.Coalition is Marxist-Leninist Activism in Ferguson
  6. N.S.W.E.R.Coalition and the Partnership for Civil Justice
  7. Just who is driving the ‘new civil rights movement’ demonstrations on Ferguson?
  8. Hard-left drivers of the ‘new civil rights movement’ demonstrations on Ferguson
  9. Leftist organizers are using Ferguson to rehearse the Big Ugly

In the context of interviewing a key organizer of the “Don’t Shoot Coalition,” the on-site ad hoc group that stood behind the Ferguson protests, I was told two things that, in hindsight, testify that the movement was knowingly founded on a lie.

The source was working in Ferguson as an employee of one of the major organizations engaged in funding, staffing, and coordinating the street protests against the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.

The source spoke from extensive legal training and experience.

In the context of the phone interview, the source told me two things that, while interesting then, have become more noteworthy with the passage of time; it’s coming up on two years this November.



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YCT Releases Ratings of the 84th Texas Legislature

AUSTIN, TX — Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) released its ratings of the 84th Texas Legislature.

These ratings mark the 21st consecutive installment of the YCT scorecard. With bi-yearly installments dating back to 1975, YCT issues the most thorough, respected and consistent legislative ratings in the Lone Star State. You can view their ratings online at http://ratings.yct.org/

“Any legislator can claim to be conservative, so our scorecard gives voters an objective tool to cut through the noise and compare results to rhetoric,” said Jeff Morris, YCT State Chairman. “Over the last 6 months, we have carefully vetted the voting records of each legislator to determine who truly went down to Austin and did their job."

Scores for the 84th Legislature are calculated based on 50 votes taken in both the Senate and the House. Members of the legislature received a score for the session based on their votes on bills that have a clear left/right policy choice. Each legislator also has a combined career score covering his or her time in the legislature. 

Taking into account all members of each chamber, the average score in the House was a 46 and in the Senate a 56. The average score amongst Republicans in the House was a 63 and a 74 in the Senate.

Senator Konni Burton and Representative Matt Rinaldi earned the group’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ awards for their first legislative session in their respective chambers of the legislature.

“Under the leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Senate flourished with the highest scores on record for the chamber,” continued Morris. “The addition of nine new freshmen made a huge difference in the culture of the senate.”

YCT recognized 13 Legislators with scores of 90% or above on their “Honor Roll” for the session. They were Rep. Jonathan Stickland (100), Sen. Konni Burton (98), Rep. Matt Rinaldi (98), Rep. Matt Krause (96), Rep. Tony Tinderholt (96), Rep. Matt Schaefer (94), Rep. Scott Turner (94), Rep. Matt Shaheen (92), Rep. Stuart Spitzer (92), Rep. Molly White (92), Sen. Bob Hall (90), Sen. Don Huffines (90) and Rep. David Simpson (90).

The most liberal Republicans in the House were Rep. JD Sheffield (33), Rep. Gilbert Peña (33), and Rep. J.M. Lozano (36). The most liberal Republicans in the Senate were Sen. Kel Seliger (56), Sen. Craig Estes (60), and Sen. Kevin Eltife (58). The most liberal Democrats in the House were Rep. Dukes (2), Rep. Johnson (9) and Rep. Anchia (9). The most liberal Democrats in the Senate were Sen. Ellis (16), Sen. Menendez (16), Sen. Jose Rodriguez (16) and Sen. Kirk Watson (14).

Along with the release of this year’s ratings YCT also announced the new ‘Ratings Web Application.’ This year, YCT students and young professionals volunteered to research and compile all historical ratings. These ratings, along with the current ratings, now reside within an interactive web application.

This application is available in a colorful, easy-to-use format which allows for quick analysis specific to these ratings. YCT plans to enhance its web application with many new features in the future. Again, YCT invites you to view the legislative ratings online at http://ratings.yct.org/

“It is our hope that the ratings web application will be used by voters and legislators alike to better understand the political climate in which the Texas Legislature operates. I am excited to see what sort of analytics we can provide Texans in the future based on this application,” said William Dominguez, who serves as the Chair of the YCT Legislative Affairs Committee.

YCT prides itself on being objective in the record votes it chooses to rate. In general, the ratings do not include unanimous votes, since those votes do not measure on an ideological scale. The ratings are not padded by any additional weights, nor are legislators given any special sponsorship credit. Higher scores are generally difficult to obtain on this rating spectrum. These ratings were compiled by a committee of members of our organization. In order to keep the ratings as objective as possible, the committee itself was comprised of individuals who do not currently serve in any legislative office or on any particular campaign.

Young Conservatives of Texas is a non-partisan organization that has promoted conservatism at universities across the Lone Star State for over three decades. The State’s most active political youth organization, YCT is composed of hundreds of members and alumni who participate in the full spectrum of politics. YCT issues the most respected ratings of the Texas legislature and is the only conservative group to have done so without interruption over the past 21 legislative sessions. For more information about YCT, please visit www.YCT.org.



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