1.      Why are you running for Lieutenant Governor?

Texas needs a Lieutenant Governor who will fight for the people of our state, not a political insider who is serving special interests and his handful of billionaire donors and using the office as a platform for future political ambitions.  As a life-long traditional Republican, I am frustrated with our current Lieutenant Governor’s lack of attention to the tenets of traditional conservatism. As a businessman, I have a good feel for the policy issues that are most vital to our state’s economy, and I will work hard to move our state forward.

2.      What experience do you have that qualifies you to hold this position?

I have dedicated most of my professional career to uniting large groups of people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in communities all over Texas to find common ground upon which they could work together toward common goals. My experience has taught me how to identify elements of complex issues that unite rather than divide, a skillset I believe is tragically absent from governance today and that I believe uniquely positions me to get things done in the political arena.

My experience on the Rockwall City Council for two terms grounded me in the issues that matter most at the local level, which is a vital perspective for any statewide officeholder. Our current Lieutenant Governor has no such perspective. Texans want strong community public schools, police, fire, and emergency medical services. They want to feel safe. They want quality roads, highways, clean water, great parks, and their trash picked up regularly. Each community across this great state is as unique as a fingerprint and needs autonomy to serve their residents. By his actions, the current Lieutenant Governor does not value the concept of limited state government to protect the tenet of local control so that local leaders are free to provide these essential services.

If elected, I will do all I can to focus the state’s attention on state business while limiting its intrusion into local matters wherever possible.  Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

I am dedicated to serving the people of Texas, and my number one goal will be to move forward legislation that protects our state’s interests.  I am a rational, traditional Republican offering an alternative to the incumbent’s irrational political priorities. We need someone who wants to get real work done in the Capitol.

3.      What political leader do you most admire and why?

Although it seems like the default response for all Republicans, I choose RONALD REAGAN. The unfortunate reality of today’s Republican political climate is that Reagan likely could not get elected in Texas. He was not a radical like those who control our state’s Republican Party.

Reagan was a calm, reasoned, respectful, rational leader who understood the need to find common ground on the most important issues. He once said, "If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that's what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it.” Our irrational incumbent Lieutenant Governor is one of those radicals Reagan was referring to in this quote. He refuses to seek common ground.

I’ll let my favorite Reagan quotes speak for my admiration of Ronald Reagan.

  • “I'm not a politician by profession. I am a citizen who decided I had to be personally involved.”
  • “Our whole system of government is based on "We the people," but if we the people don't pay attention to what's going on, we have no right to bellyache or squawk when things go wrong.”
  • "We must never remain silent in the face of bigotry. We must condemn those who seek to divide us. (Candidate’s Note: Our Lieutenant Governor is seeking to divide us.) In all quarters and at all times, we must teach tolerance and denounce racism, anti-Semitism and all ethnic or religious bigotry wherever they exist as unacceptable evils. We have no place for haters in America -- none, whatsoever.”
  • "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”
  • “Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.”
  • “No nation in history has ever survived a tax burden that reached a third of its national income.”

4.      What is your position on local control?

I believe local government - not state or federal bureaucracy - is best equipped to address local concerns. I will fight for local control and work to keep the state and federal governments from getting involved in local decisions.

5.      Does Texas spend enough on public education?

Local homeowners pay too much. The state does not pay enough. Texas has the revenue to adequately fund education without a tax increase, but improper spending priorities at the state level have resulted in a system that places a disproportionate share of the burden on local taxpayers through property taxes.  In the 1980s, the state funded 68% of school expenses, and now the state’s share is 38%.  Local property taxes have had to make up for this difference, and that is not the proper way to fund schools.  I will work hard to eliminate waste in the budget so the state can direct more general revenue to schools without increasing taxes.

6.      What is your position on standardized tests and school accountability ratings?

I do not support labeling students, teachers, schools, or school districts based on standardized tests. Students are not standardized! The only role for standardized testing is to provide teachers and support staff with insights into what students have mastered and what they have not. I would support limited standardized testing if associated with a meaningful system of assessment developed by professionals who are knowledgeable in the subject. I will not support it if its purpose is punitive in nature. I do not support the use of standardized testing to evaluate teacher performance.  We have a very mobile student population. Many teachers don't finish a school year with the same students they started with, and therefore do not have the benefit of teaching the kids they are testing for the full year. There are many other more meaningful ways to measure teacher quality.

The A-F rating system for schools is a monstrosity designed to pit schools against one another and make them all look like failures so that those who support vouchers and privatization may advance their agendas.

7.      How should public education be addressed?

For starters...

1. Repeal and replace the broken system of funding for our public schools.

2. Reverse the downward trend of the state’s share of public school funding.

3. Establish rule requiring that state properly funds costs associated with enrollment growth and inflation each biennium.

4. Address the teacher health insurance program crisis.

5. Implement a cost-of-living pay increase system for retired educators.

5. Repeal state’s high stakes testing and accountability nonsense and replace with meaningful assessment system.

6. Establish a minimum expenditure-per-student funding expectation and require state supplement in property-poor districts that cannot fully raise the funds locally.

7. Oppose any efforts to divert public funds from the public schools to private institutions.

8. Prohibit unfunded mandates.

9. Fight against all efforts to introduce legislation to allow vouchers in any form.

10. Reduce state-mandated compliance burdens and restore an educator's freedom to teach!

For more detailed information on my views about public education, please visit the following websites:

8.      Do you support the proposed bullet train between Dallas and Houston?

This question like many does not trigger a yes or no answer. It’s much more complicated. I do support consideration of alternative modes of transportation to give Texans options when traveling from point A to point B.  We cannot continue to rely solely on traditional highways with a population of 50+ million people projected by year 2050.  Alternative means of funding our transportation needs should be open for discussion, as long as any negotiated public-private partnership serves the best interests of Texans.  However, I do not support the use of imminent domain laws to acquire private land for any purpose.

9.      What changes, if any, should be made to the state’s gun laws?

I support the Second Amendment, and I would firmly oppose any attempt to amend our state’s laws in any way that would interfere with this fundamental right. I proudly hold a Concealed Handgun Permit (CHL), now know as License to Carry (LTC), from the State of Texas.

10.     What are your thoughts about healthcare and the government's role in ensuring access for all Texans?

Healthcare is a complex issue, and many Texas families are facing rising insurance premiums as a result of the disastrous federal Obamacare law.  I support market-based solutions that will help drive down costs, including allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines and ensuring all Texans – regardless of their plan deductibles – are able to access Health Savings Accounts.

11.      What will be your goals as Lieutenant Governor?

My top priority will be to get the Senate back to the business of serving Texans. That means eliminating waste from our budget in order to ensure we can fund key programs like education and transportation infrastructure without any tax increases.  I will focus on delivering homeowners real tax relief – not just lip service – by finally reforming the school finance system. I will work to bring back respect for the public institutions of our great state and to ensure we operate under the understanding that we are all pulling in the same direction, with the same primary concern – ensuring a thriving, prosperous state of Texas.  There is no reason that a Republican-led House and a Republican-led Senate should be bickering.  Lawmakers have to start approaching their duty as an important civic responsibility, not as an opportunity to position themselves for higher office or get political leverage over one another.

12.   What issues will you concentrate on as Lieutenant Governor?

I believe property tax relief, transportation, and economic growth will all be key issues in the coming session. I fully support property tax relief and will work to see that the state starts paying its share of education expenses instead of forcing local property owners to make up the difference. I will work to cut bureaucracy and get out of the way of the free market. I believe we have to take a hard look at our budgetary priorities and work to eliminate waste. By cutting unnecessary spending, we can free up much-needed funding for schools and infrastructure investments. I also believe we must fix our transportation crisis. There is not enough infrastructure to adequately serve our state’s growing population as it is.



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