Texas Lt. Governor Forum – San Antonio, Texas
by Sonja Harris on November 6, 2013 at 9:48 AM
The Bexar County Republican Party sponsored a Texas Lt Governor Forum in San Antonio at Pedrotti’s Ranch on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Candidates present who thought enough of their candidacy and the audience were Dan Patrick, Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples. All seasoned Republicans. Patrick is a Texas State Senator District 7, Patterson is the Land Commissioner and Staples is the Agriculture Commissioner. Patrick was accompanied by his wife Jan and Staples also had his wife Jane present at the forum.
Dan Patrick with his wife Jan
Todd Staples with his wife Jane
Voters came to hear what the candidates had to say about their candidacy in this very important race. The panelists asking the questions were John Bell, Allen Parker and Eric Green. The questions ranged from why are you the best candidate for the position of Lt Governor, to water, transportation, education, 2nd Amendment and immigration, which was barely touched. The panelists asked some strong questions but the two minute time limit made it almost impossible to fully answer any question. The rules of the forum were two minutes to answer questions and one minute for a rebuttal if necessary.
In their opening statements Patterson was the first one asked to comment. “I can lead better than the other two.”
Patrick told the audience, “I have substance.” I will not appoint half of the committee chairs from the ‘other’ party. I know exactly what bills you want passed. I am a Christian, Conservative and a Republican. I believe he was making reference to the order in how he stands.
Staples said, “We are passionate about the Texas of tomorrow. It should not look like the California of today.” He spoke about the rights of private property owners and that marriage is between one man and one woman.
Education seemed to be the major topic of discussion.
PATTERSON: Believes that the federal government should not have anything to do with our education. It should all be local control. He also stated that the Texas legislature needs to define what ‘efficient’ means in describing how teachers teach. Patterson said that public schools can not compete the way the program is set up now and school choice is an answer.
PATRICK: Asserted himself in saying that he and Greg Abbott put a stake through C-SCOPE. He said that education needs to be ‘off the backs of the taxpayer’.
He mentioned that he had spoken to 200 superintendents about school choice. Many were afraid that they would lose money with school choice.
STAPLES: Expressed his desire that parents need to know what their children are being taught in the classroom and that they should be prepared for the workforce.
Parents need to be part of the child’s education. He referred to New Orleans educational system by commenting that it was doing great. He would like to discover other success stories in the country. He also said that the money should follow the child to empower the parents. He ended his education discussion by saying, “We can not have a one size fits all mentality in education.”
The discussion on water was short. Interesting, as water is vital to our very existence. It could be the panelists did not ask the right question concerning water or did not want to delve too deeply into this topic.
STAPLES: Believes that there should not be a ‘slush’ fund for water.
PATTERSON: Brought up the issue of ‘political’ Right of Capture concerning water rights. Patterson seemed more prepared to discuss the water issue.
PATRICK: Four conservative Senators did not vote to spend Rainy Day Fund.
PATTERSON: A strong gun rights supporter asserted that there should not be any restrictions on Militia weapons. He did say that there should not be any restrictions on any gun excluding ‘nuclear weapons’. He was emphatic that the 2nd Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with hunting. It is to defend and that “the 2nd Amendment is the defender of the rest of the amendments.” He also mentioned that he is personally sitting down with the San Antonio City Attorney for a ‘talk’ on gun laws.
PATRICK: Pretty much agreed with Patterson and mentioned his appearance on the Piers Morgan show defending gun rights.
STAPLES: Stated that Washington DC does not care what we think in Texas. Then he brought up the fact that Patrick wants for the Texas Legislature to have gun privileges that we as ordinary citizens do not have.
It was a consensus from all three that there should not be any tolling on existing roads. Staples suggested a ‘Pay As You Go’ system, while Patterson believes it should be a vote of the people and Patrick thinks it should be a budget item. Patterson also said no to the Trans Texas Corridor.
It was here that Patrick had an opportunity to repay Staples for his previous attack on his gun legislation. Patrick claims that Staples voted to give illegals drivers licenses, in-state tuition and health care. To be fair to Staples, the Texas legislature was the first in 2001 to vote to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. There were NO, no votes from the Texas Senate.
STAPLES: Made a strong comment that Roe vs Wade should be over turned. He believes that life should be protected from conception to end of life. I asked him about the ‘end of life’ issue and he told me that it is the family with the patient that should have the last say.
PATTERSON: His stance on life took me off guard because he said that he is Pro Life except in the case of saving the mother’s life. I also asked him about the ‘end of life’ issue and he replied that the family together with the recommendations of the doctor should be adhered.
PATRICK: His answer surprised me the most when he said that David Dewhurst had taken the words ‘ban abortion’ out of the initial bill. I am not sure that he specified which bill other than the bill the Texas legislature fought so hard to pass this year. He also made note that he sponsored the Sonogram bill.
The last question pertained to the future of Texas and what their vision was for our great state and what each candidate believed was the greatest challenge in the next five years.
PATTERSON: Would like to ‘preserve Texas as it was when I grew up’. He told the audience that he would stand up and do what is right for Texas and not worry about the next election. He received a robust round of applause when he said that all the ‘new’ people moving into Texas should ‘adapt to the Texas mindset’!
PATRICK: Would like for Republicans to embrace his vision to change the Hispanic and African American vote to Republican. In his next breath he stated that he wanted to end in-state tuition and would like to see an end to Sanctuary cities in Texas.
STAPLES: Said that he wants to end the ‘culture of dependency’ and focus on equal opportunity to all Texans.
Their closing arguments revealed how each candidate feels from the heart. Staples stated that all rights come from God and not man. He also said Texas should be more pro active and not reactive. Patrick claimed that he certainly walks the walk as a conservative and asked us to look at his record. He would like to end property taxes. Patterson said as a Marine he just wants to ‘get it done’. He expressed his opinion that not enough time had been allotted to immigration even if it is a federal responsibility.
Each candidate made perfunctory promises to the voters but Patrick made several promises on direct topics if he is elected to be our next Lt Governor. Patrick found it hard to resist attacking David Dewhurst, so he did, several times. It is your responsibility as a voter to seek out the truth about each of the candidates because after all, we deserve the officials we elect!
RED SONJA 2013©
PRAY, FIGHT, NEVER GIVE UP!
Voting Record http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/57986/dan-patrick
NO SHOW David Dewhurst