Events

Latino Candidates and Campaigns

Are You Ready To Run: Latino Candidates and Campaigns

Online Training Hosted by

What you will learn

“I’m a small-town kid who grew up with a cornfield in the back yard and dreaming of serving my country in public office.” Vice President Mike Pence

“We all have our roles… We are all who we are. It takes all of us to make a country,” – Rush Limbaugh, text conversation between Mark Levin and Rush as featured in Rescuing Sprite.

Everyone has a role. Is yours serving in public office? Is it recruiting others to run for public service?

The Leadership Institute and The LIBRE Institute are collaborating to present, “Are You Ready to Run: Latino Candidates and Campaigns.”

Are You Ready to Run is a webinar series of discussions with former officeholders, candidates, consultants, campaign managers, and political leaders to help you decide if you should run or if you would be better at identifying and recruiting candidates to run.

This particular installment is a discussion for the Latino communities across America about the importance of local offices and how to prepare for your run. Speakers will include Latinos with political expertise and who have been elected to office.

Ideal attendees for this installment of Are You Ready to Run? are individuals looking to become more politically active or who are recruiting others to run.

Over the course of the series, attendees will learn how to:
• Decide if they are ready to run
• Organize a campaign staff and structure
• Raise funds
• Communicate with voters

Tuesday July 13th
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Cost: Free

Register Now

Program is sponsored and co-hosted by:

Events

Campaign Workshop

Hosted by

What you will learn:

“Make a perfect list of voters, and ascertain with certainty for whom they will vote, and on Election Day see that every Whig is brought to the polls.” Abraham Lincoln


The Texas Campaign School teaches you how to manage or contribute to a winning campaign. You will learn to create a campaign, finance, and communications plan. Additional on-demand content, which complements this material, is available to program enrollees.


Ideal attendees are campaign staff, candidates, volunteers, activists, and anyone interested in impacting public policy.


Attendees will learn how to:
• Develop a campaign strategy
• Determine vote goals and voter targeting
• Create a compelling message
• Fundraise for your campaign

Saturday, July 24th
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

San Antonio Marriott Northwest
3233 NW Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78213 Map

Cost $25.00

Register Now

Photos · Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Bexar CEC Meeting June 28, 2021 Video

The County Executive Committee meeting chaired by John Austin was held at the Firefighters Hall in San Antonio, and was livestreamed by Karen Marshall on her personal facebook page. The video is split into three parts, in order to leave out most of the party’s financial and budget information, as naturally that does not need to be posted on the world wide web. Commentary provided in the video is her own and not approved by SREC Committeeman Mark Dorazio.

Highlights of the meeting included a visit from Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judges Mary Lou Keel, Scott Walker and Jesse F. McClure III, and Judge Lori Valenzuela swearing in the crop of new precinct chairs. The meeting got heated at times when new business was brought up. Here are the livestreams:

CEC Meeting Part 1

CEC Meeting Part 2

CEC Meeting Part 3

Photos · Reports From Your SREC - Blog

RPT Chairman Candidates Forum

Texas National Committeewoman Toni Anne Dashiell hosted a forum by Zoom on Friday, June 25th featuring all four of the candidates running to be the new chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.

These candidates are Matt Rinaldi, David Covey, Chad Wilbanks and Bill Burch. One of these four will be elected by the members of the State Republican Executive Committee on July 11th at the special meeting in Lewisville, Texas.

This election meeting will be livestreamed on the TXSD25 facebook page, and is scheduled to start at 2:00 PM CST.

If you have a strong preference for which candidate you would like to see elected, you should contact your SREC Committeeman and Committeewoman to let them know who you would like them to vote for. If you live in Senate District 25 (Donna Campbell’s district), then Mark Dorazio and Krissy Coons are your SRECs.

The new chairman will serve until the next state convention, in 2022.

Here is the link to watch the one-hour forum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAFgsF04Kb8

Uncategorized

HB 4537 Bill Analysis

HB 4537 by Rep. Middleton is the identical companion bill of Sen. Bettencourt’s SB 1968

Analysis by Texas Public Policy Foundation staff:

H.B. 4537 amends the Education Code to add Subchapter J which creates the Family Educational Relief Program for the purpose of giving children from low-income households more choice in education. The program would fund education-related expenses of participants.

A child is eligible to participate in the program if the child is eligible to attend public school and qualifies for the national free or reduced lunch program or is a sibling of a child who qualifies and is eligible to attend public school. A child is no longer eligible for the program if he or she graduates high school, is no longer eligible to attend public school, enrolls in a public school, or is declared ineligible by the comptroller.

Certain organizations will be designated as certified educational assistance organizations; to be eligible for certification, organizations must be able to perform the functions and administration required by the program and have 501(c)(3) status. A parent of an eligible child can apply to enroll the child in a certified educational assistance organization and must include eligibility verification information. Organizations may not keep information obtained to qualify the child beyond the period necessary to determine eligibility. The certified educational assistance organization must include on their website the expenses allowed under the program, the expense reporting requirements, and the descriptions of the responsibilities of both the participants and the organization. Priority for admission will be given to students who participates in the program the previous year, siblings of participants from the previous year, and children with the greatest financial need.

The comptroller will provide to certified educational assistance organizations and include on the website a list of preapproved providers and vendors. If the vendor is a private school, in order to be approved, the private school must be accredited by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission, administer annual assessment under Sec. 39.023, provide evidence of certain policies, and allow participants in the program to apply for any other scholarship offered by the school. If the vendor is a private tutor, therapist or teaching service, in order to be approved the vendor must be certified, hold relevant licenses, be employed (as a teacher or tutor) in an institution of higher education, and complete a national criminal history record review. If the vendor is an online educational course or program, the vendor must be accredited by an organization recognized by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission. All other types of vendors must present documentation and qualifications. An education service provider may not be required to change practices, policies, curriculum, or assessments to receive money under the program.

Parents of the participants must agree to only spend the money from the program on allowed expenses and notify the certified education assistance organization within 30 days of the child losing eligibility. Funds from the program may not be paid to any anyone related within the third degree or household member of the participant. An education service provider cannot charge a child participating in the program an amount greater than the standard amount and refunds or credit to the participant are not allowed. The following fees are approved education related expenses:

  • Private school, institution of higher education, or online course tuition;
  • Textbooks, uniforms or other required materials by the school;
  • Tutoring or teaching services; and
  • Educational therapy not covered by any federal, state, or local government (such as Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program) or private insurance.

90% of state’s average maintenance and operations expenditures per student in daily attendance will be placed in an account per participant. Any remaining money at the end of the fiscal year will be carried forward unless the account is closed. In the event the child no longer qualifies, the account will be closed, and funds returned to the Family Education Relief Program Fund. The fund may not be financed by federal money or money from the school fund, but the comptroller can solicit and accept gifts, grants, and donations from public and private sources. The comptroller will make quarterly equal payments to the account.

The comptroller will also make quarterly payments to each certified educational assistance organization to cover the organization’s administration cost though the total amount to all certified education assistance organizations cannot exceed 5% of the funds appropriated. Prior to the payment, each certified education assistance organization must compare participant and public school enrollment lists and notify the comptroller of any overlap. The comptroller may contract a private entity to conduct random auditing to verify compliance with the program.

An account will be suspended if the participant fails to comply with the rules of the program as adopted by the comptroller. Upon receiving notification of suspension of the account, a participant has 10 days to respond and take corrective action. On the 10th day, the comptroller will either close the account and remove the participant from the program, temporarily reinstate the account on a specified condition, or reinstate the account in full. The comptroller may recover money used for not authorized expenses from the participant or entity. If there is evidence of fraudulent uses of the account, the comptroller or organization may refer the case to the attorney general.

Every certified educational assistance organization must post on their website and send to each parent of a child with a disability who applies a notice stating private schools are not subject to the same laws regarding special education and a child with disability may not receive the same services at a private school along with a list of rights under federal and state law children with disabilities have at public schools.

H.B. 4537 amends the Government Code to add subsection (c) to allow the comptroller to obtain criminal history records for private tutors, therapists, and employees of teaching services who intend to provide services to a child in the program.

H.B. 4537 amends the Insurance Code to add Chapter 230 to create a tax credit for contributions to the Family Educational Relief Program that entities can apply for. The amount of credit an entity receives is equal to the lesser of the amount contributed during the period covered by the tax report or 50% of the entity’s state premium tax liability for the report. For the 2022 fiscal year, the total amount of credit cannot exceed $200 million and following years, the credit available will stay the same unless 90% of the available credit was awarded the previous year, then the credit available will increase to 125% of the previous year’s credit. The comptroller can require an entity to estimate the amount of credit it intends to apply for at any point in the year.

Prior to making a contribution to the fund, an entity can apply for preliminary approval of credit by filling out a form for the comptroller. The comptroller will grant preliminary approval on a first-come, first-served basis for as long as there is credit available without exceeding the year’s credit limit. For a standard credit application, the entity must apply within the tax period the contribution was made through a form created by the comptroller. The comptroller has discretion in choosing who receives credit and reasoning for denial cannot be requested though an entity can request a reconsideration within 30 days which is final. Credit awarded cannot be transferred to another entity unless all assets of the entity are transferred to the other.

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

School Choice Gets the House’s Back Door Treatment

Thursday, April 22, 2021 – Budget Day in the Texas House of Representatives

Near 5:00 PM, Rep. Herrero introduced Amendment 84 with Rep. Huberty standing close behind him. He thanked “Dr. VanDeaver and all those that support public education…..Stand with our public school teachers.”

The amendment reads, “Prohibition on Use of Appropriated Money for School Choice Programs. Money appropriated by this Act may not be used to pay for or support a school voucher, education savings account, or tax credit scholarship program or similar program through which a child may use state money for nonpublic primary or secondary education.

Rep. Steve Toth, whose district is in Montgomery County near Houston, spoke against the amendment, saying,

“Members, not all of us have choice. I have choice. If I lived in a district that didn’t adequately and effectively provide a good education to my child, I have choice, I can move to a different district. Parents desire choice. Parents desire to make that decision as to whether or not the educational experience their child is receiving is effective or not. Every parent deserves that choice.

This is a poll that was done by the Mason-Dixon Polling Strategy Company. It’s a nonpartisan organization.  They do polling for Republicans, Democrats, on all sorts of different issues. I’m kind of a polling nerd. I used to work for the Harris poll.

They went out to 625 registered Texas voters, margin of error of plus or minus 4%, with a 95% probability rate. And here’s what it says,

If you live in East Texas, 79% of Texans desire parental choice.

If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, 76% of parents desire School Choice.

Houston Metro, parental choice, 79%,

Central Texas, 76%

West Texas, 71%

And if you’re in a 50/50 district, here’s the most key thing of all, if you’re in a 50/50 district, independent voters, overwhelmingly, 74% believe in parental choice.

Let’s give underserved children the same choice that every single member of this Texas House and Senate has. And I ask for you to reject this amendment.”

Then Rep. Huberty, of the Public Education Committee, spoke for the amendment:

“Members, we’ve had this discussion in this body for years about this. The reality of the situation is we have plenty of options of choice within our public schools. That’s just false narrative. We’ve had the ability to send, when we talk about special needs kids as an example, we have the ability to put them in private placement, we have the ability to let them do that. We’ve expanded the options for parents through the pandemic, of creating opportunities. We’re talking about virtual schools now. We talking about all these wonderful options that we have there. So I respectfully ask you to vote for the amendment.”

Rep. Herrero said in closing: “Join all the members that are here in support of this amendment (indicating the members standing behind him) and stand with our public school teachers and support this amendment. I move for the adoption.”

Rep. Biedermann raised a point of order against further consideration of Amendment 84 under Rule 8, Section 4, of the House Rules on the grounds that the amendment changes general law through an appropriations bill. The point of order was withdrawn.

A record vote requested by Rep. Toth.

Final vote tally:  115 Yeas to 29 Nays, 2 present but not voting.

The 29 Republican representatives who voted in favor of School Choice by voting against this amendment to defund any form of it were:

Biedermann, Bonnen, Cain, Capriglione, Cason, Craddick, Frank, Gates, Hefner, Hull, Jetton, Klick, Krause, Leach, Metcalf, Middleton, Murphy, Noble, Oliverson, Parker, Patterson, Paul, Sanford, Schafer, Shaheen, Swanson, Tinderholt, Toth, Wilson.

Statements of vote:

Button was out of the chamber, but would have voted “no.”

Leach said he was shown voting no, but intended to vote Yes.

Leman was shown voting Yes, but intended to vote No.

Metcalf was shown voting no, but intended to vote Yes.

Shaheen was shown voting No, but intended to vote Yes.

(So apparently statements of vote changes afterwards are documented in the journal, but the tally does not change. Their votes stay as recorded. I crossed through the names who indicated they meant to vote for the defund amendment.) All the representatives not named above voted for the defund amendment.

This was a back door move to eliminate any chance of any kind of School Choice getting through, because while activists attentively watch the progress of bills, which all had to be filed by March 12, no one outside the back offices of the Capitol could have seen this amendment coming, and it was only filed the day of the Budget vote. And the great majority of Republican Representatives and all the Democrats voted in favor.

Reports From Your SREC - Blog

Let Our Children Go!

There is ONE approved bill for achieving the School Choice for All Legislative Priority, and it desperately needs action right now.

Senator Bettencourt’s SB 1968 and its identical companion bill, Representative Middleton’s HB 4537, establishing the Family Educational Relief Program, are stalled.

SB 1968 was assigned to the Senate Education Committee, HB 4537 was assigned to the House Public Education Committee, and neither has been seen or heard since.

These bills MUST be given hearings by the first week in May, or they are high and dry.

Republican voters have been requesting School Choice for decades now, for the benefit of all Texan children. Polls demonstrate that in every region of Texas, over 70% of the population wants choice in schools. School Choice has been placed on the ballots of multiple Republican Primary Elections as Propositions, and each time has passed statewide by wide margins.

More than this, School Choice is one of the ten enduring Principles of the Republican Party of Texas, ahead of all the planks in the Platform. To that end, it has once again been voted by the thousands of state convention delegates as one of their priorities for the Texas legislators.

But unless legislators are swiftly shown that constituents’ will is forcefully behind this cause, this issue and these bills will be allowed to quietly lapse for the 13th legislative session in a row. Other issues have become more prominent this year and garnered much of peoples’ attention. Perennially, influential unions and associations, superintendents and school districts who think of families being allowed to choose as a threat to “Our Money” and “Our Students,” lobby powerfully to see that such legislation gets quashed at the outset and never sees the light of day.

But an enduring issue such as School Choice, with effects greater than can be measured, what with the quality of educations and success of children growing up now at stake, should not be disregarded any longer.

If you believe children should not be consigned to the school the district has assigned, then please contact legislators NOW to support SB 1968 and HB 4537.

To learn more about how the Family Educational Relief Program would work, see these articles:

PARKER: Is Texas Legislature Closer to Passing More School Choice Than Ever Before?
https://www.texasinsider.org/articles/parker-is-texas-loser-than-ever-to-more-school-choice

Is Texas About to Change How Parents Choose Their Children’s School?
http://texasinsider.org/articles/is-texas-about-to-change-how-parents-choose-their-children-s-school

Photos

Hays County Republican Party January 2021 CEC Meeting

Monday, January 25, 2021 at the Hays County Republican Party Welcome Center

On this evening, a certain “intrepid photographer” managed to alarm the good people of the Hays Republican Party upon arrival, until she “checked out” as being a fellow Republican of good intent.

Chairman Bob Parks and the County Vice Chairman had a lot of election information and important upcoming efforts they conveyed to the conscientiously spaced attendees of this meeting. SREC Committeeman Terry Harper presented RPT Legislative Priority information. SREC Committeeman Mark Dorazio and SREC Committeewoman Naomi Narvaiz also attended the meeting to gather and exchange information with the Hays County Republicans.

Hays volunteers have furnished their welcome center delightfully patriotically, with a marvelous curated collection of American, Texan, and Republican pictures and authentic memorabilia.

Photos

Hays County Republican Women’s Valentines for Veterans Event

The ladies who organized this project did a superb job from start to finish, rallying volunteers and providing all the supplies for making the hundreds of heartfelt Valentines created which will be delivered to troops in Kuwait by Valentine’s Day. They thought of everything! The event included delicious homemade baked treats, wine, and many generously donated door prizes.

Hays County Republican Welcome Center, January 27, 2021