Gooden Opposes Government Transparency
The Tea Party is devoted to keeping citizens who live in Kaufman County informed about what their representatives in Austin are doing on their behalf in the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature. The best voter is the most educated one. Feel free to share this information with your fellow constituents.
For those not familiar with the Texas Open Meetings Act, TOMA was first passed into law in 1967. The intent was to require local governments to comply with certain standards of transparency, making backroom meetings and secret deals illegal.
Through the years, it has undergone several changes, but one you will not find is when the legislature moved to submit itself to Open Meetings law. In Austin, what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander.
Consequently, there is much that goes on in Austin that Texans never know anything about.
In an effort to crack the secrecy dam, conservatives in the House introduced several amendments to increase transparency during Rules negotiations. Rep. Tony Tinderholt made two attempts to do just that but failed because the cartel of Democrats and corrupt Republicans, aka the Uniparty, who hold the majority of votes, voted to “table” them. In the House, when something is tabled, it’s dead.
What exactly got tabled on January 11th?
First some background information: There are 38 committees in the Texas House. One of the most powerful is the Calendars Committee, which is tasked with the placement of bills on House calendars for consideration. This is a very important committee because all bills must pass through Calendars, and if a representative’s bill doesn’t survive this particular committee, it dies a swift and certain death.
The House is run by liberal Speaker Joe Straus, and only his 15 most trusted lieutenants are chosen to serve on Calendars.
Current rules allow Calendars’ members’ votes – deciding which bills die and which get to the floor for consideration – to be cast in secret. Remember, we don’t send our representatives to Austin to conduct the people’s business in private. But “leadership” (Straus) keeps the people of Texas on a “need-to-know” basis.
Thousands of bills have died in Calendars for no reason other than they were conservative. Who on Calendars is obstructing conservative legislation that this state desperately needs – things like outlawing sanctuary cities, providing real border protection, and lowering property taxes? Right now, it’s a secret.
Enter Rep. Tenderholt who introduced a simple and straightforward amendment (6) that reads as follows:
The vote of each member of the [Calendars] committee must be recorded in the minutes of the committee for each bill or resolution that is not unanimously approved by the committee. Page 139
Had this amendment passed, it would have required a recording of the vote of each member of Calendars, allowing Texans to know who obstructed good legislation, and who didn’t. Representative Gooden voted to table the amendment, effectively killing it. (Page 139)
Later, Rep. Tenderhold made another attempt to crack the dam.
Background: One of the ways that representatives snooker their constituents is called “tagging.” In any given district, when there is overwhelming support for a particular issue, or perhaps a deep-pocketed donor wants a bill introduced, but the representative isn’t interested (for whatever reason), he or she may submit a bill to Calendars, with a request that it be “tagged.” Tagging marks the bill to die in Calendars, allowing him or her to go home and tell his or her constituents that they introduced the bill, but it “died in committee,” intentionally, knowingly, and secretly killing it with constituents none the wiser.
This is dishonest to its core and to his credit, Tenderholt submitted the following amendment (11):
TAGGING OF BILLS PROHIBITED. The informal tagging of a bill or resolution in a calendars committee is prohibited. A calendars committee may not maintain an informal system that allows a member to tag a bill or resolution or otherwise delay or prevent the bill or resolution from being placed on a calendar without a record vote by the committee. (Page 142)
Again, Rep. Gooden voted with Straus’s Democrat/corrupt Republican majority to table the amendment, killing it. (Page 142)
Gooden has always billed himself as a conservative. If this is true, why didn’t he work with his conservative colleagues to increase transparency, instead of against them?
The Tea Party recommends that Kaufman & Henderson County residents contact Rep. Gooden and ask him why he voted against transparency twice. You may call him at (512) 463-0458 or email him.
(Note: Many of Gooden’s supporters will not be pleased with this report and blame the messenger. We ask the reader to keep an open mind towards the information given and the sources that support it. Focus on facts contained herein, and whether or not they are true and contextually accurate, a goal we rigorously strive for. The information has been sourced so people can conduct their own investigation and make up their own minds. And as always, should we discover that we have communicated anything that is misleading or inaccurate, we will quickly and publicly retract.)
Conservatives are at a distinct disadvantage in the House because they are vastly outnumbered by the Democrat/corrupt Republican cartel. They need to hear from you. You can thank Rep. Tenderholt for his efforts by calling him at (512) 463-0624 or emailing him.
Senator Hall has authored and filed the following bills this session to:
- Protect our electrical grid
Require state contractors and state grant recipients to use E-Verify, and the suspension of some licenses held by private employers for knowingly employing illegal aliens.
Prohibit counties from withholding automobile registrations from citizens with outstanding traffic fines issued as a result of traffic cameras
Outlaw the use of traffic cameras in Texas
- Strengthen the Second Amendment
- Add tax protections for disabled veterans
- End the requirement that Texas schools teach in any language other than English, which costs this state billions
- Abolish the Texas Enterprise Fund, which allows the government to grant millions of taxpayer-supplied dollars to multi-billion dollar industries to do business in Texas,
and many others.
So far, no votes have been taken in the Senate, but we will be watching and reporting.
Many of Hall’s bills will breeze through the Senate and die in Joe Straus’s House where lobbyists will pay millions of dollars to thwart the will of most Texans. Many of those dollars will find their way into the pockets of our representatives to keep the status quo of waste and corruption.
To contact Senator Hall, call (512) 463-0102 or email him here.
Kaufman County Tea Party
January 21, 2017