Christmas time has always been a favorite holiday for our family, but it took on an added significance this year as the Perry family received the gift of a new daughter-in-law who walked the aisle with our son just a few days ago. We could not be happier and we appreciate the flood of congratulations we have received from across Texas and beyond.
No matter what gifts top your list this year, we pray that you and your family are blessed with health, happiness and optimism for a new year. With friends like you, we are confident that 2010 will be an amazing year.
As you gather with friends and family this week, please remember to say a prayer of thanksgiving for our troops serving bravely overseas and their families here at home, asking God to protect their every step. Their gift to us is freedom and our gratitude should know no bounds.
We have added a special section to our flickr.com site where you can see photos of troops I met during my trips to Iraq and Afghanistan earlier this year.
Go to http://www.flickr.com/groups/freedom-fighters where you can not only look for and tag troops you know, you can also upload images of your loved ones serving our country overseas. (If you're not a flickr member already, it's easy to sign up for a free account.) This online album will be a nice holiday tribute to our troops.
No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, Anita and I pray blessings on you and your family.
On Nov. 9, Senator promised to “use every option provided to us in the Senate to filibuster this legislation”
At 1:01 a.m. this morning, the U.S. Senate voted to end debate on the Fiscal Year 2010 defense spending bill. Only three Republicans joined with every Democrat to vote to end debate on the defense bill – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. (SOURCE: Roll Call Vote #381, 12/18/09)
From today’s Washington Post: Taking the floor as the new day's session began just past midnight, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) laid out what appeared to be a case to filibuster the defense bill. "The bill that is before us is not what is driving, actually, the timing of this vote at 12:15 in the morning on Friday. I think that what is driving it is health care," Hutchison said. An hour later, Hutchison joined Maine Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe as the only Republican votes for the defense bill. (SOURCE: “Senate Democrats block GOP filibuster,” Washington Post, 12/18/09)
The vote was held in the middle of the night because Democrats are attempting to pass health care legislation by Christmas, but the Senate must pass the defense spending bill first. This morning’s vote was a procedural vote on the defense bill, and as a result, a final vote to pass the defense bill is expected to be held early Saturday morning.
By voting to break the Republican filibuster, Sen. Hutchison broke a promise she made to Texans on Nov. 9 during a campaign speech in Corpus Christi to “use every option provided to us in the Senate to filibuster this legislation.” (Corpus Christi Caller-Times, 11/10/09, “Hutchison vows to fight health reform.”)
“Another day, another broken promise by Sen. Hutchison,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “After promising to filibuster health care, Sen. Hutchison abandoned her pledge and voted with the Democrats to bring the health care bill one step closer to reality.”
Last month senator said “We shouldn’t keep our jobs either” in response to criticism of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.
Today Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison voted against the nomination of Ben Bernanke to serve a second four-year term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. The Senate Banking Committee, of which Sen. Hutchison is a member, approved Bernanke’s nomination, 16-7, and his nomination now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
During an appearance on CNBC’s “The Call” this morning after the vote, Sen. Hutchison said she voted against Bernanke because of “the mishandling of TARP.” (Clip available online: here.)
Sen. Hutchison voted for the $700 billion Wall Street Bailout (TARP) one day after telling Texans she opposed it, and during an appearance on “Meet the Press” on Nov. 22, when asked if Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should resign as Texas Congressman Kevin Brady said on Nov. 19, Sen. Hutchison said, “We shouldn’t keep our jobs either.”
Here is the exchange between “Meet the Press” host David Gregory and Sen. Hutchison:
Gregory: Do you think Geithner should keep his job?
Hutchison: Look, I think Kevin Brady was right to bring it up. I think that we are going in the wrong direction. I think the President, I think the Congress, I think the Secretary of the Treasury …
Gregory: It’s a simple question, do you think he should keep his job?
Hutchison: Look, then we shouldn’t keep our jobs either.
“Sen. Hutchison said that we are going in the wrong direction and that everyone in Washington responsible shouldn’t keep their jobs. This includes Sen. Hutchison despite her wish to take back her disastrous vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “While she is calling for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve to be replaced, she should accept responsibility for her own role in Washington’s economic mess.”
The Governor is working hard to keep Texas the best place in the nation to live, work, and raise a family, and the grassroots support for his re-election campaign just keeps growing. These are just a few pictures of Governor Perry visiting with supporters all over Texas.
The Senate voted Monday to cut off funding for ACORN, the anti-poverty group that has become a target of the conservative talk radio and Fox TV. The vote was overwhelming, but Kay Bailey Hutchison didn't vote. And Rick Perry's campaign wants to know why.
Says Perry spokesman Mark Miner: "Less than one week after the Senate returned to work, Senator Hutchison skipped a key vote to prevent ACORN from receiving taxpayer funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is yet another example of Senator Hutchison failing to protect the taxpayers of Texas. The Senator made time to vote for a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street, but when it came time to prevent tax dollars from going to a liberal activist group, she was nowhere to be found."
Aside from the obvious point that ACORN has dominated conservative talk for the last week or so, the other problem for KBH is that going AWOL is not new for Senator Hutchison. The Dallas Morning News has previously reported on her missing key Senate Committee Hearings:
Hutchison has been absent from the committee's work on two top priorities of Congress: health care legislation and consumer protection. When she recently announced her departure from the Senate in the fall, she said she'd stay in Washington long enough to participate in the health legislation. [However,] Hutchison missed all four Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearings that explored problems with health insurers, including one that showed insurers "purge" small-business beneficiaries if their claims exceed underwriters' expectations.
It is inherently difficult to oust an incumbent, especially one in your own party. But this task is made nearly impossible when you fail to show up to work. It's hard to imagine her calculus on this ...
If endorsements can be viewed as a signal as to the health of a campaign, Kay Bailey Hutchison's campaign is on life support.
Over the past few weeks, incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry has lined up a long list of endorsements while Senator Hutchison has remained silent.
Following are a few of the recent Perry endorsements:
RNC Committeewoman Cathie Adams
Texas Right to Life
Texas Alliance for Life
Texans for Life President Kyleen Wright
Free Market Foundation President Kelly Shackelford
Americans for Prosperity Texas State Director Peggy Venable
Texas Republican County Chairman Association President Linda Rogers
Texas Municipal Police Association
Texas Chemical Council
Texas Society of Professional Engineers
Houston Realty Business Coalition
Texas Apartment Association
Heidi Group Founder Carol Everett
Texas Department of Public Safety Officers Association PAC
Texas Home School Coalition PAC
Conservative Republicans of Texas President Dr. Steve Hotze
Texas Chiropractic Association
State Director of Americans for Prosperity Peggy Venable
Texas State Association of Fire Fighters
So why is Hutchison running? Unfortunately, when you hear her campaign speeches she has taken a page from the Obama playbook of offering “Change” without any plan on how she would actually accomplish it.
Senator Hutchison’s biggest challenge is going to be selling her, “Texas can do better” theme when the state is widely considered a model other governors should aspire to.
Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed into law, Senate Bill 596 in August, preventing SFA's name from ever being changed.
Perry signed the bill into law on the SFA campus. The bill enrolled in the Senate in late May, and Perry originally signed it into law on June 19. The ceremonial signing was well received by a wide audience on the campus.
Sen. Robert Nichols and Rep. Wayne Christian stood next to Perry during the bill signing. Nichols authored the bill, and Christian, who has worked on similar legislation in the past, worked in conjunction to help pass the bill.
The bill ensures that the University's name can never be changed and prevents the board of regents from ever being able to do so.
Bob Wright, director of public affairs at SFA, attended the signing and said the room overflowed with attendees who came to witness the historic event.
"It was standing room only, and I would say about half the number of people were standing outside the room and peeking through the door," Wright said.
Passage of the bill elicited a sigh of relief from countless alumni and students who feared that one day a name change might occur. Wright mentioned the importance of the name difference between SFA and other Universities in Texas. SFA is linked to a forefather of the state of Texas.
"Unlike most universities, SFA is named after one of the most important historical figures of Texas, the father of Texas," Wright said. "When you carry something that meaningful and important, you should hold on to it for your entire existence."
AUSTIN, Texas -- A special election to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison could cost up to $30 million.
Responding to a request for a cost breakdown from the conservative group Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Secretary of State Esperanza "Hope" Andrade said in a letter released Thursday that a single special election would cost between $18 million and $20 million.
If there's a runoff, it would cost up to another $10 million, Andrade said.
Hutchison has said she expects to resign before the end of the year to focus on her race for Texas governor. Her opponent, Gov. Rick Perry, would designate a temporary replacement and call a special election to fill the senator's unexpired term.
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry honored two local lawmen Friday — one posthumously — for their sacrifices to their community.
Perry presented the “Star of Texas” award to more than 20 officers and first responders who have been either killed or injured in the line of duty, including Seguin’s Teyran “Ty” Patterson and Zach McBride in a presentation timed to coincide with remembrances of the more than 400 first responders who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
“September 11th renewed our sense of appreciation for the men and women who are first upon the scene of tragedy and step into harm’s way to protect the innocent,” Perry said in a statement.
“I am honored to stand with so many of our state’s finest to present the Star of Texas awards to those who set aside concerns for their own safety in order to preserve and protect the lives of their fellow citizens.”
Patterson was a Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife Game Warden from Seguin who drowned while rescuing his partner.
McBride is a Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office investigator who was grievously injured in a high-speed crash that occurred when his patrol car hit a semi-rig on State Highway 123.
Members of both officer’s families and departments attended the ceremony conducted in the house chamber of the state house.
Joe and ViAnn Patterson accepted the award on behalf of their son, who was one of three officers killed in the line of duty who Perry singled out, and chatted briefly with the governor.
“People who get this award earn it,” Joe Patterson said. “Our son gave his life. He should always, if nothing else, be seen as an example for the young on this earth. All his life he did everything to make us proud of him, and he continues and makes us more proud in death.”
Ty Patterson, 28, worked as a Seguin Police Department dispatcher before going to the state game warden academy to realize his dream of becoming a peace officer.
On May 30, 2007, Patterson and fellow game warden Danny Tuggle were working to recover the body of a teen who drowned in the Paluxy River near Glen Rose when their boat capsized.
Patterson’s superiors cited him posthumously for saving the life of Tuggle, a 25-year veteran, before he became entangled in ropes from their upturned boat and drowned.
His body was escorted home for a memorial service at the Seguin-Guadalupe County Coliseum that was attended by 1,200 people. The motorcade to Patterson’s final resting place in Guadalupe Valley Memorial Park took more than an hour to pass out of Seguin.
This past March, Patterson was honored by concurrent resolution of the Texas Senate and House of Representatives.
McBride’s award was very nearly a posthumous one, too.
He was running to a domestic dispute call late at night on April 12, 2006, when his patrol car slammed into a semi-rig that was making a U-turn on State Highway 123 near Cordova Road.
“From what I was told, I hit right behind the driver’s door,” McBride said. “I hit it hard enough to knock the trailer loose.”
He hit it hard enough to be pinned in the wreckage of his patrol car with a dislocated hip, a broken leg and many other injuries.
McBride spent a month in University Hospital and it would be a year before he could go back to work, where he now is an investigator in Sheriff Arnold Zwicke’s Criminal Investigation Division who specializes in property crimes.
McBride said Friday receiving the Texas Star award was a great honor in itself.
For him, it was better still because he was nominated by his wife, Amanda, a police officer herself who was his fiance at the time of the accident.
Today, she works at the Guadalupe County Jail.
“I’m happy for the recognition,” McBride said. “I’m grateful to Arnold for letting me come back to work, and especially to my wife for staying with me and supporting me all the time she has, and for nominating me for this award.”
Zwicke, who stood by as McBride and his wife were recognized by the governor, said he thought the Star of Texas award was a fitting one for Patterson and McBride.
“It’s a heck of a way to get an award,” Zwicke said. “Ty Patterson made the ultimate sacrifice for another officer. Zach McBride has gone through a lot and will suffer with his injuries for the rest of his life.”
Joe Patterson said his family appreciated the support of the law enforcement community, the state and the governor — and in particular the game wardens who work in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“We appreciate this recognition the state has shown Teyran and we appreciate the state and the governor taking time out of their busy days to do this,” Patterson said. “We went up there and attended with a bunch of game wardens who have supported us and made us feel like we’re in a big family.”
The Star of Texas award was created by the legislature in 2003 to honor and commemorate first responders. The legislation also designated Sept. 11 as Texas First Responders Day.
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry proudly received the support of the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA) for his re-election campaign.
“Texas Wildlife Association is proud to once again support Rick Perry for Governor,” said Tina Y. Buford, president of TWA. “He has a terrific understanding of land stewardship, hunting, and conservation issues, and he was a leading proponent in the passing of the Prop 11 constitutional amendment on eminent domain reform in 2008. We look forward to working with the governor on efforts to achieve further meaningful eminent domain reform in the Legislature.”
“The TWA candidate selection policy has remained consistent through our history, and we continue to support our long-term friends in office that have helped with our private landowner, hunting and conservation issues,” said Dr. Wallace Klussmann, legislative committee chairman for TWA. “Governor Perry understands and supports issues important to the economic well-being of rural Texas. He has made great decisions and appointments in areas and issues affecting our members, and we are glad to put TWA’s support behind his campaign.”
The Texas Wildlife Association is a statewide membership organization that actively advocates for wildlife and natural resource conservation at the local, state, and national levels.
“I am honored to have the support of the Texas Wildlife Association,” said Gov. Perry. “The TWA is a tremendous partner in protecting our state’s natural resources.”
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry proudly received the endorsement of the Texas Quarter Horse Association for re-election in 2010.
"I am pleased and honored to announce the Texas Quarter Horse Association voted to endorse Governor Rick Perry in his bid to serve another term as our governor," said President Robin Frid. "Having been raised on a farm and previously serving as Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Governor Perry has a great understanding of the Texas Equine Industry and its importance to Texas agriculture."
The Texas Quarter Horse Association began in 1978 and is the largest American Quarter Horse affiliate. They are located in Austin, Texas, and currently have over 2,500 horse enthusiasts as members of the organization.
"The equine industry is the lifeblood of Texas agriculture for so many of our farmers and ranchers," said Gov. Perry. "My years on the family farm taught me the value of hard work and the importance the equine community plays in making our state's agriculture community thrive."
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the Texas Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons political action committee (TOMSPAC) for re-election in 2010.
“Throughout the years of Gov. Perry’s leadership for Texas, the Texas Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons wish to compliment him for supporting the best healthcare standards for our citizens,” said Roger P. Byrne, DDS, MS, MD, chairman of the TOMSPAC. “We support sound conservative values and feel Gov. Perry is the best person to promote these standards.”
Texas Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons PAC
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of Conservative Victory Committee President Brent Bozell.
“Because of Governor Rick Perry’s leadership, Texas stands as an example to the rest of the country of what can be accomplished when elected leaders uphold conservative values and show fiscal restraint. The Washington-model of politics is clearly broken, and Texans should vote to re-elect Governor Perry and continue down the path of economic freedom and prosperity.”
Conservative Victory Committee President Brent Bozell