San Angelo Tea Party, Inc.
West Texans for Constitutionally-Limited Government
Please join us. Unless otherwise noted, our meetings are held starting at 6:30 PM on
the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at the West Texas Training Center (Howard College),
3501 N. US Highway 67, San Angelo 76905
Subscribe to our email list
(You may unsubscribe at any time)
Next Meeting, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 6:30 PM
West Texas Training Center (Howard College)
3501 N. US Highway 67, San Angelo 76905
Speaker: Peggy Venable, Texas Policy Director, Americans for Prosperity
Topic: Texas is Lone Star Strong
Peggy Venable has worked in public policy in the government, the political and the private sector arenas for over 35 years.
In 2010, Campaigns and Elections named Venable as one of the top 25 “Texas influencers.” In 2011, she was named to the University Star Hall of Fame at Texas State University. In 2012, she was identified as one of
the most influential third parties on Twitter during the legislative session.
A native Texan, Peggy spent a total of 15 years in Washington, D.C., working at various times for three Administrations. During that time, she worked in the areas of education, natural resources, energy and transportation.
Peggy was White House Liaison for two cabinet secretaries: The US Department of Education when “A Nation At Risk” was conceived and the US Department of the Interior where she directed the “Take Pride in America” grassroots campaign which encompassed eight federal agencies and national spokesmen were Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson and Lou Gossett, Jr.
Peggy served as executive director of the Republican National Convention for President Reagan’s re-nomination in 1984.
For 10 years, Peggy directed the Texas chapter of Americans for Prosperity and now serves as the Texas Policy Director and Senior States Policy Advisor for the national organization which has a membership of over 2.1 million nationwide. The Texas chapter has 120,000 Texas activists.
The San Angelo Tea Party is a victim of the “obviously deliberate and targeted abuse, harassment and attempted suppression”1 by the IRS along with other conservative, pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-Israel and Christian groups that are opposed to the Obama agenda.
The IRS has violated Free Speech Rights (1st Amendment), Equal Protection Rights (14th Amendment) and Privacy Rights (4th Amendment) in response to applications by these groups for classification as non-profit tax exempt organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the IRS code.
Our application was submitted to the IRS in March of 2010 along with the $400 fee. We received a letter in response from the IRS dated January 12, 2012 asking for more information before they could “complete consideration” of our application. Click here to read the burdensome, aggressive and invasive IRS letter. Please note the following:
1. We were only given about two weeks after receipt of the letter to provide a response or the IRS “will close your case.” And if the information is received after the due date, “we may ask you to send us a new application.” This is after the IRS taking about 21 months to respond to our application.
2. Note that all the information provided will be made available for public inspection (including the personal information demanded.)
The San Angelo Tea Party was indirectly denied tax-exempt status, even though qualified, by the IRS requiring information so onerous, laborious and invasive that it was difficult to impossible to provide. The tea party did not continue to pursue the application for these reasons.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility℠
March 5, 2014
Subject: Texas Conservatives Win Big
Tuesday night's election results have made for a very good Wednesday for conservatives in Texas! :
In the statewide races, each of our endorsed candidates has the strong lead going into the anticipated run-offs. After being in statewide office since 1998, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst found 72% percent of GOP primary voters going against him last night. While his 28% was strong enough to make it into the run-off, conservative State Sen. Dan Patrick’s is in the driver’s seat having earned 41% of the vote.
In the Attorney General race, conservative Ken Paxton takes an 11-point lead into the run-off against liberal-leaning Dan Branch. Glenn Hegar came within a couple votes of winning outright, but will face Harvey Hilderbran in the run-off. Sid Miller has a strong lead over Tommy Merritt in the Agriculture race (establishment lawyer Eric Opelia didn't even place, despite having out-spent the entire Ag field combined).
And all three of the conservative Supreme Court justices -- Nathan Hecht, Phil Johnson and Jeff Brown -- fended off challengers who were funded largely by Democrats and trial lawyers.
Our greatest hope for Tuesday was to see our establishment-opposed conservative incumbents win re-election. And they delivered crushing wins! Charles Perry in Lubbock got better than 73% of the vote, Jonathan Stickland earned 65% and Matt Schaefer garnered 61%.
The Austin lobby crowd went in big against Stickland and Schaefer, with the Texas Association of Realtors spending heavily against them. These races send a clear message to moderates and big-spenders alike: conservatives win and win big.
Some very clear lessons can be drawn from the senatorial races.
Last night saw Don Huffines beat liberal Republican John Carona in Dallas County’s Senate District 16 contest. Huffines didn’t waste time, and started his campaign swinging. That victory significantly shifts the Texas Senate, as will the run-off election in SD2 where incumbent Bob Deuell goes into an unexpected race against conservative Bob Hall.
Similarly, Konni Burton takes a strong lead into the SD10 primary run-off. As a grassroots activist, Burton’s showing is important on its own. But even more so, because SD10 is the seat that had been mis-represented by Wendy Davis.
An interesting takeaway is found in SD31, where liberal Republican Kel Seliger was challenged by Mike Canon. The challenger entered the race late and didn’t really start drawing distinctions with Seliger until very late in the contest. Seliger won early voting, but Canon won on election day. It is fair to say that Canon is very strongly poised to win the next time he tries.
The lessons: 1) start early, 2) come out swinging, and 3) engage with the grassroots.
House District 81, an open-seat nestled inside SD31 and based in Odessa, saw conservative Brooks Landgraf win a decisive victory over the heavily establishment-backed Austin Keith.
In House District 60, incumbent Jim Keffer – one of Speaker Joe Straus’ closest allies – did hold on to his seat despite a very strong challenge by conservative Cullen Crisp. Make no mistake: incumbency is powerful, but in order to win Keffer outspent Crisp by almost 3-to-1. There even were reports on election day that lobbyists from Austin were camped out in front of polling places handing out free donuts to voters!
Even still, Keffer’s re-election numbers were far below those of other challenged incumbents.
Indeed, Keffer’s “win” might be best considered “,” as the resources sent to him translated into big losses elsewhere for Team Straus. By marshaling forces for Keffer, Straus lost Bennett Ratliff, Ralph Sheffield, Linda Harper-Brown, Diane Patrick and Lance Gooden. They were each soundly defeated by Matt Rinaldi, Molly White, Rodney Anderson, Tony Tinderholt and Stuart Spitzer, respectively.
We’ll be writing a lot more about the takeaways from the individual statewide and legislative races in the coming days.
On our website are the . Please join us in congratulating these great patriots and their campaign
teams on jobs well done!
Thank you for your interest in, and support of our work. More importa, thank you for your devotion to a stronger, more brightly shining Texas!
Michael Quinn Sullivan
& the EmpowerTexans.com Team
Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility℠
PO Box 200248, Austin, TX 78720
IRS Proposes Rule Designed to Silence Obama Critics
Press Release | February 8 2014 | by Western Free Press
WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the Congressional Republican leadership, along with Republican leaders of the Appropriations, Finance and Ways and Means Committees, today called on the new Commissioner of the IRS to abandon a proposed rule designed to muzzle the free speech rights of groups critical of the Obama administration.
“It is our view that finalizing this proposed rule would make intimidation and harassment of the administration’s political opponents the official policy of the IRS and would allow the Obama Administration to use your agency as a partisan tool. This would be a serious error, especially in light of the recent track record of intimidation at the IRS. It would also cement your reputation as someone who is unable or unwilling to restore the public’s faith in this important agency,” according to the letter addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
The letter was signed by House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rodgers, Senate Finance Committee ranking Republican Orrin Hatch and Senate Appropriations Committee ranking Republican Richard Shelby.
Referring to the IRS targeting of conservative groups in the run-up to the 2010 and 2012 elections, the lawmakers wrote that the proposed new rule continues the agency’s targeting of First Amendment rights by these same grass-root conservative groups.
“This rule would redefine political activity so broadly that grass-roots groups all across the country will likely be forced to shut down simply for engaging in the kind of non-partisan educational activities” their tax designation was designed to support, the letter said. “In many cases, these are the same groups that were already victimized by the IRS’s inappropriate targeting.”
The top Republican lawmakers wrote that the proposed rule appears calculated to take effect just in time for the mid-term elections, giving a “strong appearance” of political motivation.
“This proposed rule is an affront to free speech itself,” the letter said. “It poses a serious and undeniable threat to the ability of ordinary Americans to freely participate in the democratic process. That’s why groups all along the political spectrum, from the ACLU to the Chamber of Commerce, and the citizens who support them, are increasingly concerned about its effect.”
Noting that the recently confirmed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen inherited the proposed rule from his predecessor, the letter said that Koskinen now faces a choice of either withdrawing the proposed rule or allowing the Obama Administration “to use the agency as a means to infringe on the constitutionally protected right to free speech.”
“One of the reasons you have been appointed to a five-year term is so that you will be protected from undue political pressure. So, we urge you to take a stand against this kind of intimidation, abandon this proposed rule, and make it clear to a nervous public that your agency will no longer engage in government-sanctioned crackdowns on speech,” the lawmakers wrote.
Read the full letter here.