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Texas Senate, District 2

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  • Don Bates (L)

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    Bob Hall (R) Retired

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Biographical Information

Length of residency in your district:

Occupation/main source of income:

Education (include all degrees):

Highlights of current civic involvement/accomplishment:

Highlights of past civic involvement/accomplishment:

Previous public offices sought or held:

How much funding have you raised for your campaign?

Who are your top three contributors?

Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings? If so, please explain:

Have you ever been involved in any civil lawsuits or declared personal or professional bankruptcy? If so, please explain:

What is an example of how you led a team or group toward achieving an important goal?

What political leader do you most admire and why?

Why are you running for this office?

Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

What are the state's greatest challenges that government can address?

The current two-year budget restored billions of dollars from previous cuts. Are there places where you advocate more spending and, if so, how would you pay for it? Are there areas where you would spend less?

The state’s business climate is considered a jobs magnet. How would you improve on today’s business conditions, regulation or promotion?

Please assess the safety net for Texas' poor and working poor. What changes, if any, would you make?

The 2013 Legislature broke with the recent past and boosted spending on mental health care. What other reforms should lawmakers pursue to address mental health in Texas?

What would you advocate to prevent another disaster like what happened in West?

Texas' "Closing the Gaps in Higher Education" master plan is due for a 2015 update. Are there new directions or initiatives you advocate for the state's colleges and universities?

How will you judge whether the state’s new accountability system is working for public education?

The Legislature may have to contend with another court order to overhaul the system of financing public schools. What is your idea of a better way to support public education in Texas?

If voters approve an extra $1.2 billion a year in highway spending in November, that’s only a fraction of what TxDOT says is needed. How would you bridge that gap to meet the needs of the growing population: taxes, fees, tolls, borrowing, some combination, or none of the above? Please be specific.

An ABA-sponsored, bipartisan review of Texas’ death penalty recommended numerous reforms. What weaknesses or needed improvements would you cite in the administration of the death penalty?

Do you favor open carry for handgun owners in Texas?

Gov. Rick Perry has advocated "decriminalization" of marijuana possession. What changes would you support in prosecution of drug laws in Texas?

Would you vote to place a medical marijuana amendment before Texas voters?

What changes, if any, would you make in Texas’ open records and open meetings laws?

Should the Legislature pass laws that supersede local control over oil and gas drilling?

What, if anything, should the state do to reform laws that govern payday lending?

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Address 728 PR 7005
City/Town Edgewood
Age 75
Campaign Phone Number (214) 632-1391
Email Address bobhall@texascellnet.com
5+ years
Retired - personal savings
BSEE
Tea Party Organizer and Leader
Tea Party Organizer and Leader
None
I have about $40,000 for the General Election
The Dallas Morning News did not receive a response from the candidate prior to the deadline.
No
Yes. See answer I gave for the primary
I have been in a position of leadership in a wide variety of circumstances and organizations since my youth.

BOY SCOUTS: My first introduction to leadership came from the Boy Scouts in the days when morals and Judeo-Christian values were not mocked and scorned. I was one of the youngest boys in the state to achieve Eagle Scout. I was also awarded Brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow.

SPORTS TEAM CAPTAIN ASND SCHOOL: As early as the 9th grade I was elected football and basketball teams captain or co-captain. I was also the football team quarterback and on the basketball team I was the play-maker. I quickly learned the, the hards way, the value of good leadership principles to pull the teams together. I was also elected student body vice president and president of the “Wheel Club” (school version of the Rotary club).

The CITADEL: All four years at the Citadel I was recognized for my leadership. Each year I advanced in rank. For the second and three years, I was the top ranked cadet in my Company. My senior year I was made a Lt. Colonel and selected to be one of four Battalion Commanders. in the Corps of Cadets. As a Battalion Commander, I was the top ranked US Air Force Cadet in my graduating class.

Achievements and Awards Included: Who's Who in American Colleges Distinguished Military Graduate Chicago Tribune Award, (outstanding 3rd class-man) Convair Cadet Award, (outstanding 2nd class-man) Wade Hampton Saber Award, (most leadership contribution in 4 years) Cadet Lt. Colonel, Battalion Commander Captain, Sky Diving Team President, Arnold Air Society

I graduated in four years with a BS in Electrical Engineering.

AIR FORCE OFFICER: As a junior US Air Force Captain, I led a team of contractors and UFAF officers (all senior to me), on a special Top Secret project to fix a major design flaw in the MINUTEMAN Missile System during the height of the cold war. As one of the few top DoD projects, it received very high level attention from the Pentagon. Even though I was the junior officer (most were Lt Colonels or Colonels) with the least technical and leadership experience, I was able to organize, structure and manage the very diverse team of officers senior to me. One of the real benefits of this project was that I learned to stand my ground for what was right, even when I was out ranked, out numbered and the only one standing. The mission was accomplished on time and in budget.

BUSINESS OWNER: As President of an engineering consulting company, which I started, I led the company to being one of the most successful in our business field. I am very proud that the work we did saved the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars because of our creativity and leadership.

In the early 1980s, I began working as a consultant in the emerging field of proposal writing. For approximately three years, I provided consulting services to major aerospace corporations through several consulting firms. However, I soon found that their standards of performance, quality of work, and business integrity did not meet my higher standards of ethics. Therefore, in 1984, I started my own consulting business to provide proposal management and writing services to companies seeking contracts with federal and state government agencies.

My business offered companies quality consultants, highly skilled in communicating technical ideas and advanced concepts in proposals that could be understood by government personnel. By establishing my own company, I was able to control the quality and integrity of the service we provided. My business strategy was focused on quality rather than quantity. I chose to control my company’s growth in order to maintain the highest quality services – even though it meant less profit. This is a decision I have never regretted.

Our clients included major corporations such as United Airlines, General Motors, United Defense, Pratt and Whitney, Oshkosh Truck Corporation and many others. As President and CEO, I led this new company to being one of the most sought after proposal management companies in the industry. We achieved one of the highest win rates in our field of business. This success was based on our commitment to loyally serving our customer with a high degree of business ethics and integrity.

GRASSROOTS ACTIVISTS: I have organized and led successful Tea Parties and grassroots organizations in East Texas.

LICENSED CAPTAIN: Aircraft Captain - I hold a Commercial, Single and Multi-Engine aircraft pilot’s license. Ship Captain - I was also awarded a Unite States Coast Guard 25-ton ship Captain’s license.

POLITICAL CAMPAIGN: I managed my own primary campaign where I led a grassroots team with very little money to a victory over longtime incumbent who received exceptionally strong support from the media and establishment.
Ted Cruz. (Current) Ted Cruz’s actions in office are consistent with his campaign. His focus is on serving the people, not himself. He has demonstrated that he is truly a Constitutional conservative with Judeo-Christian values, that he believes in all the principles of conservatism and is willing to stand for what is right even if he is the only one standing. He does not parse his words to please the media. Unlike our incumbent SD 2 Senator, He knows that Obamacare will destroy our country and he is determined to do what ever he can stop it. He knows that America, just like Texas, has a government that is too big, doing too many things that it should not be doing, spending too much money on things we do not need, do not want, cannot afford and will be sending the bills to our children and grandchildren to pay for us.

Ted Cruz does not pander to the establishment Republican Party or the media.

While most elected officials, in Washington and Austin, are more concerned about how their votes will impact their re-election than the impact those votes will have on future generations, Ted Cruz is acting in the best interest of our children and grandchildren.

John Quincy Adams (Historical) John Quincy Adams was a man of principles who had the courage to stand by his convictions even when he stood alone. After being President he was elected to the House of Representatives. He was so passionate about ending slavery that he continuously, week after week, for 16 years attempted to introduce legislation to make slavery illegal. He face near unanimous opposition to his bills but, very much like Ted Cruz, he continued to stand by his principles. Unfortunately, he died in office before realizing his dream of ending slavery. However, during his last term in office a young Representative from Illinois was impressed and moved by Adam’s tenacity and his mission. That young Representative was none other than Abraham Lincoln. John Quincy Adams had the wisdom to know the right thing to do, the courage to it and the strength to stand by his convictions, even when he had to stand alone.
I have a vision for a better Texas which will have a “Right Sized” government. A “Right Sized government is one that is big enough to deliver what the people need, yet small enough to care that what it delivers serves the people and not the special interest groups.

I am not, and will not, be a career professional politician. I am just an ordinary citizen who feels led to use his God given talent, skills and experiences to serve the people of Texas and leave a legacy for future generation of which we can be proud.

I am fully committed to taking a leadership role (like Ted Cruz) to make Texas better for our children and grandchildren. I am fully committed to supporting: Term limits for all elected offices in Texas Improving gun rights for law abiding citizens No tax increases English as the official language of Texas Repeal of Obamacare American Laws for American Courts (prohibited from using Shira Law in courts) Reducing Texas dependency on federal money Eliminating the Business Franchise Tax Making property ownership real by elimination of property tax Limiting state spending increases to population growth plus inflation Healthy Rainy Day Fund Better K-12 education through proper funding, parental choice Defending Texas sovergnity by stoping federal government over-reach in Texas

I am not a professional politician. I am, just like most of the SD 2 voters, an ordinary citizen who is concerned about the legacy we will leave our children and grandchildren, if we do not change the fiscal and social course of our state. As a true Constitutional conservative (social and fiscal) I believe in all the core principles of conservatism, not just the easy ones.

Why BobHall ........

Hall wants to limit government spending increases to “population growth plus inflation”

Hall wants to expand Texas gun carry rights

Hall wants to Eliminate property taxes

Hall wants to seal the border, eliminate sanctuary cities and stop the magnets

Hall wants to establish English as the official Texas language

Hall wants to require judges to recognize only American and Texas laws in court decisions.

Hall wants to define human life as beginning at conception

Hall wants to limit government to constitutional core functions

I am endorsed by the legitimate conservative organizations in Texas: Young Conservatives, Texas Right to LIfe, Americans For Prosperity, Eagle Forum, Empower Texans, Republican Conservatives of Texas, Independent Conservative Voters of Texas, Concerned Women for America, and Texas Home School Coalition to name a few.

I am also endorsed by all the legitimate Tea Parties in East Texas and many throughout the state.

1. Protecting the rights of the citizens of Texas from the illegal aliens coming into our state because the federal government has failed to it job.

2. Leaving more money in the hands of taxpayers by changing the tax structure (e.g. eliminate the Business Franchise Tax, eliminate property tax, reduce/eliminate dependency on federal money are some examples)

3. Reducing the fiscal and social impact of illegal aliens.

4. Improve delivery cost of mandatory medical services.

5. Improve k-12 classroom education for our children.

6. Restructure state government and limit growth to population plus inflation.
The above opening statement "The current two-year budget restored billions of dollars from previous cuts" could be interpreted to be technically correct, however, it is misleading. In typical liberal fashion the statement is based on an erroneous assumption; the state spent less money one year than it did the previous year. According to the Texas State web site, the total state spending, of state money, is consistently more each year than it was the previous year. In 2009 the state accepted a significant sum of one-time stimulus money from the federal government. Instead of treating the wind-fall federal money as the one-time payment, which it was, the legislature treated the extra money as though it were going to be available every year. The excessive increases in funding from 2007 to 2009, including where the funds were allocated, resulted in unreasonable expectations in 2011 when EXTRA ORDINARY, one-time federal funds were not sent again.

By organizing, managing and spending more wisely current spending (pre 83rd 24% increase in spending) is more than adequate to accomplish the core functions of state government.

Actually, Texas does not have a revenue problem. Texas has a spending problem. Too much money is spend outside the core functions of the state government. A "clean sheet" restructuring of state government and how it operates would reveal that most agencies, programs, commissions, etc. have more that adequate funding to accomplish a mission that serves the people.

We have to stop looking at government as a "jobs program". The purpose of government, at any level, is not to employee as many people as possible. The purpose of government is to provide the services necessary for the unencumbered growth of our free-enterprise system and to provide protective services to the people. Texas has more than enough revenue to accomplish the true purpose of a state government.

Zero based budgeting would allow visibility for meaningful management and transparency for the public to know how their tax dollars are actually being used.

Establishing meaningful metrics for each government entity by which its performance can be measured and results used to evaluate new budget request.

For every new program, include a measurable set of accomplishment that must be achieved on a prescribed time schedule and specify a require near term sunset review to determine the viability of the program.

Eliminate unfunded mandates that have an economic impact on local governments.  
The primary reason that Texas has a favorable business climate is that the Texas government has largely stayed out of the way of hard-working Texans who want to do business with one another.  I would work to maintain that environment and to remove obstacles and hurdles that remain.  The government's proper role is to ensure that property rights and contracts are respected, not trying to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.  Texas isn't successful because it has the best government programs, but because it's full of hard-working Texans who get up every morning and make things happen.

ELIMINATE THE BUSINESS FRANCHISE TAX: One of the best things Texas could do is eliminate the Business Franchise Tax
Texans are generous, big-hearted people, willing to help out a neighbor in need.  Where possible, we should seek to help our neighbors on a personal level, and not rely on government to do what we should be doing.  That said, where government decides to step in, any such help should be temporary and focused on returning folks to gainful employment.  Further, I would work to ensure that Texas tax dollars go to primarily to those who are legally here.  Another major reform I support is for the State of Texas to track government benefits to illegal aliens and report that information to the voters.
Health care is a core constitutional function of Texas government, and mental health care is a fundamental part of that.  Where possible, however, we should avoid imposing statewide "one-size-fits-all" solutions and work instead to help local communities address mental health challenges in their areas in ways that work best for them.  I am particularly concerned about adequate mental health care for our veterans, and where our VA system may be letting our veterans down, I would support efforts at the state level to pick up the slack.
The primary responsibility for prevention of industrial disasters lies with the owners and employees of the facilities.  Secondary responsibility lies with municipal and county authorities.  The state government has a tertiary responsibility.  I advocate that we identify areas, if any, in which the state government has prevented or interfered with efforts to improve workplace safety, and that we work to remove such obstacles.
I advocate returning control over tuition rates to elected representatives.  The track record for so-called "tuition deregulation" has not been a success.  The numbers show that tuition at public universities has risen dramatically in the last ten years, requiring more and more Texas families to incur higher and higher levels of debt to fund their children's' education.
I will be persuaded that the latest accountability system is worthwhile when and if we see it actually helps Texas children learn and compete with other states.  Based on prior results, I am not optimistic.
I am in support of child-centered and parent-directed funding, empowering children to attend the schools that work best for them rather than the schools that may be convenient for education bureaucrats.  The idea that we should measure success by the number of dollars we dump into the system rather than the academic performance of the children is completely backwards.  Beyond a minimum funding threshold, there is not a correlation between gross dollars spent per child and academic achievement.  We should instead be empowering parents and children to control these decisions.
Like most progressive/liberal rhetorical questions, this question is founded on very questionable assumptions.

At the outset, we need to stop blurring the lines between "transportation funding" and "highway construction."  Until we have our highway construction needs met, we need to stop the diversion of gas tax revenues and other road-related user fees away from highway construction.  Dedicating those funds to highway construction would go a long way toward making up the shortfalls.  Until the diversions are ended, the people of Texas will not--and should not--be interested in listening to any proposals for additional gas tax revenue.  As for tolls, Texas has a fairly successful history with traditional taxpayer-owned and controlled toll roads, and an unsuccessful history with private, for-profit corporate toll roads.

We also must stop wasting highway construction funds on crony capitalism research projects like "hover craft" and "jet packs". If funds are to be spent on research it should be on ways to improve highway construction.

Top three things we need to get done on transportation next session are:  1. End diversions of all road user fees (motor fuel tax, vehicle sales tax, tire sales, auto parts sales tax) to non-transportation uses ($750 million/yr for schools, and another roughly $1 billion/yr in other diversions).

2. Phase-in motor vehicle sales/use tax revenues to the Highway Fund ($3.3 billion/yr).

3. Ensure no taxpayer funds go to subsidize, provide loan guarantees, or bail out ANY toll projects. Using tax money for toll roads is a DOUBLE TAX!

Their choices are a false predicament. This state was awash in cash coming into 2013 with an $8 billion surplus. The governor, Lt. governor, and speaker all promised to make water and transportation priorities for the session and neither was funded in the base budget. They sought to raid the Rainy Day Fund in order to fund basic government functions like water and roads. 

In addition to ending diversions of the gas tax, Texas should dedicate vehicle sales taxes to roads, instead of making it part of General Revenue to fund other government services. Doing those two things can go a long way to bridging the gap without raising taxes. I also propose a full top to bottom audit of TxDOT and zero based budgeting to determine if we truly need $4 billion more on an annual basis in order to properly fund roads.

We must get away from excessively tolling roads, handing our public roads over to private corporations that extract exorbitant toll rates, and from building roads with debt, and get back to pay-as-you-go. It's going to require tough decisions and cutting waste in government, not just in TxDOT's budget, in order to get those funds dedicated to roads. That's why I'm a big advocate of across the board zero based budgeting to dig into state agencies' budgets and find the waste so we can direct our hard-earned taxes to priorities like roads. 
The people of Texas have every right to demand that we have a criminal justice system that efficiently and accurately identifies and punishes the correct perpetrators.  Among other proposals, the ABA has recommended increased funding for Texas DPS forensic laboratories, that information related to criminal investigations be appropriately retained and catalogued and that legal professionals handling criminal matters be adequately trained.  To the extent that these proposals can be shown to enhance the likelihood that the actual perpetrator of a crime is caught and punished, I would support them.  At the same time, I will listen closely to the concerns of law enforcement professionals, and will not support any proposal that hamstrings their ability to do their job without a reasonable benefit to the wrongly accused.
I am more concerned about the limitations on where CHL holders can carry their defensive weapons legally. I am not opposed to open carry but feel it is more important to expand the places where CHL holders are allowed to protect themselves and their families.
We need to address changes that better protect the citizens and results in less use of marijuana.
Your question is too generalized to answer.
According to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, Texas' overall grade in transparency is a D+, placing Texas 27th among the 50 states, and 29th overall in public access to information, with an F in that category.  Although the intent of the law is to presume disclosure, the law in its current form provides many exceptions and processes governmental entities can use to delay response.  Certain entities have become notorious for running to the Attorney General upon receipt of open records requests, even where there is no clear rationale for avoiding disclosure.  I believe the open records laws should generally be tightened to prevent governmental entities from abusing the system to delay and prevent disclosure of public information.  Although there are legitimate reasons why certain information may be kept from the general public, I am a believer in the maxim that "sunlight is the best disinfectant."
While I am generally a strong proponent of local control and local autonomy, I am also a strong believer in private property rights.  While municipalities should certainly have latitude to regulate whether and to what extent oil and gas wells may be considered appropriate in heavily-urban areas, local autonomy ought properly to be balanced against the property rights of the land owners in the area, particularly in more rural areas.  Thus, if local regulations are so restrictive as to act as a complete and total ban on any drilling whatsoever, local land owners may have a legitimate claim to a right to relief.
I support local autonomy and am generally opposed to statewide, one-size-fits-all rules.  If localities in Texas decide to regulate payday lending in their local areas, I would generally protect their ability to do so, but I am not convinced it's a matter for the state legislature to mandate top-down from Austin.