Rep. Callegari took the lead most of the night, I presume because of his seniority in the Texas House. He was first elected in 2000, Rep. Zerwas in 2006. Each gave a short introductory speech about their accomplishments and then turned the program over to John Colyandro, Executive Director of the Texas Conservative Coalition.
Mr. Colyandro gave a presentation reviewing the successes of conservatives in the legislature. He started out using the Berlin wall as an example of what is possible when you aim high. He discussed all of the usual bullet-points that conservatives like to bring up such as the lowering of property taxes with the increased franchise tax (he did address the need to fine tune that tax), the success that conservatives had in limiting spending to population growth plus inflation (he neglected to mention that they really didn’t do that) and the impact that tort reform has had on healthcare, saying that over 6,000 doctors from other states had applied to work in Texas since that bill passed in 2003.
On that last one, I wish he would have addressed the election of Cathie Adams to be the head of the Republican Party of Texas. Mrs. Adams is against tort reform and campaigned actively to defeat it in 2003. As well, Harris County Republican Party Chair Jared Woodfill is trying to overturn it, going so far as to put a trial lawyer on a healthcare panel during the height of the HCRP’s activity to defeat the Democrat’s bill in Congress. Will the TCC work to stop these leaders from destroying reforms that have worked for the benefit of the state?
Overall, Mr. Colyandro did a good job of presenting conservative issues, successes and even pointed out some failures. It is about 27 minutes long but it would be worth listening to if you are interested in this stuff. Download the podcast here.
Also attending was Michael Quinn Sullivan, President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Mr. Sullivan presented Rep. Zerwas with a Taxpayer Advocate Award.
And then the fun started. If you’ve never been to a townhall meeting, the question and answer session is the most fun by far. Mostly because of the bizarre questions asked and this meeting was a good example of that. The questions for two state representatives ranged from why don’t you close the border to why do we have a President that doesn’t have a birth certificate. Yup, you read that right, a birther showed up. You’d think the fact that the guy has a mother who is unquestionably an American citizen would stop that nonsense but no, it must be asked. Again. And again. And again.
One citizen asked about term limits. Both representatives spoke against them, here is Rep. Zerwas’ response.
And now, it is time to introduce you to Nancy Perez. An all time classic townhall questioner. But first, let me recommend that the organizers of future townhall meetings contact the Memorial West Republican Women for rules on running efficient meetings. Letting questioners ramble on for any length of time they wish does not make for a good townhall. Back to Ms. Perez. She is appalled, angry, irritated and who knows what else. Mercifully, Mr. Colyandro finally stepped in at the 10 minute 30 second mark to ask her if she had a question. She went from free markets don’t work, to not liking that a German owns her mortgage, to Mexico for a birth certificate, to Mexico for the birth of a child, to Mexico for cheap prescription drugs from Pfizer, to being laid off because her employers didn’t handle money correctly, to….well, listen. Okay? I did! Or download it for one of those times when you need something to push you over that last hill you are trying to climb.
Go ahead, download the podcast. I dare you.
All in all, a fun night. Lots of candidates showed up, including Donna Detamore, Paul Dwight, Sheri Y. Dean, Jim Murphy, Richard Raymond, Nina Schaefer, Michael Wolfe, Chris Daniel and a few others. They were running through them at the end and I missed at least three names.