Manor, Tx 78653
Campaign Phone Number
born November 15, 1956 in Austin, Texas and raised here my whole life.
owner of Law Offices of Jamie Balagia, P.C.
1976, Associate Arts Degree in Law Enforcement, Blinn College
1978, Texas State University (Southwest Texas State University), B.S. Criminal Justice
1992, University of Texas School of Law, Doctorate of Jurisprudence
Legal Counsel for San Antonio NORML
Weekly Home Bible Study teacher
Leading individuals to a relationship with Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior
less than $1000.00
I run a trial practice with a team of six associate attorneys. We strive to help defend the Constitutional Rights of our fellow citizens every day. We have successfully obtained dismissals of criminal charges, obtained reductions in charges and received Not Guilty verdicts in a large number of these cases.
Gary Johnson, Libertarian Candidate for United States President. I have met Gary Johnson of two occasions and was impressed by his commitment to excellence, his desire to serve and his intelligent discussions of the issues facing our nation. It is a shame on our political system that he has been denied participation in the presidential debate circuit. This is another example of how the media distorts the issues and hides the truth from the people.
To bring attention to the need for Texas to legalize marijuana, allow medicinal marijuana and to require police accountability to the citizens they are sworn to protect and serve.
I will not use this position to further a political career. I will not serve more than two terms if elected. I will bring an open forum to the office so that citizens will know they can have openness and accountability from the Texas Attorney General. I will work and serve the people, not the other way around.
I was a Texas Peace Officer from 1978 until entering the University of Texas School of Law in 1990. As a small businessman, I run a successful law practice in Austin and San Antonio. Early in my legal career I was one of the CLEAT (Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas) legal representatives for the Austin area. I represented police officers in disciplinary actions. I have represented Texas citizens for over 37 years as either a law enforcement officer or criminal defense attorney. I do not owe any favors or paybacks to any politician or political party. I believe in serving and protecting the Constitutions of Texas and the United States. I am a trial lawyer and know how to conduct myself in a courtroom during a trial. I also know how to avoid fixing something that is not broken. The Texas Attorney General's office has dedicated employees who should be respected and retained. I will not be a token for big business or corporations if elected.
I took a simple internet test that showed I was clearly a Libertarian in thought and action. I have supported Libertarian Candidates often during the past elections but also voted for Democrat and Republican candidates. I am opposed to straight party voting and believe it is unAmerican to vote a straight ticket. I believe in Liberty, in freedom, in self sufficiency and in giving a helping hand when needed and asked for. I believe that the War on Drugs has caused great harm to minority relations with our law enforcement agencies. I believe that the police agencies should protect and serve the citizens with the first call to duty being the protection of the Constitutional Rights of our citizens. I believe that at least half of any assets that are forfeited as a result of drug prosecutions should be used to provide drug treatment, psychological therapy, job training and other assistance to those on probation for those crimes. I believe that non-violent offenders should not be incarcerated except as a last resort. I also believe that some offenders should receive prison sentences for their violent behavior but prison should never be a place of sexual violence, gang recruitment or civil rights violations. The Libertarian Party is the best choice for obtaining those goals.
I believe that the government should stay out of the marriage business. I believe that married persons should not be given any special treatment over single persons. I am a practicing Christian but understand that I cannot force my religious beliefs on any other citizen. The God I believe in never forced anyone to believe or follow his teachings. I believe that any brief that contains the truth would have to admit that procreation as a reason is a lie. If we want to increase procreation we could just encourage people to have lots of unprotected sex and avoid birth control and abortions. If the Attorney General want to deny marriage rights to gays then the office should just take that position and explain why. I may upset some of the religious readers with my comments but that is how I feel about this issue. We need less government, not more interference in our personal affairs. If the A.G. is supposed to act like a civil firm that does the bidding of their employer, like most Texas civil law firms, then it should do what the people want, instead of what the politicians want. I will serve the people, not the State house in Austin.
We are supposed to have a free market economy but there must be some controls in place to prevent abuses by an industry that has a history of skirting the rules. I personally favor an energy strong economy but we must protect our land and future from an industry that should be watched carefully. I do not favor allowing the federal government to control how Texas deals with our energy market when we can create jobs for Texans. Here is an area where we can provide job training in the minority communities and I do not mean the low paying jobs. We can open up opportunities for minority management positions once we train the people so they are the best applicants for the jobs. Texas is energy and we should be the leader in these United States in the energy market.
As a former police officer I have always been a supporter of the death penalty. In the past few years I have been made aware of too many cases where citizens were abused by the criminal justice system. No one can seriously say that minorities are not subjected to the death penalty at a higher rate than anglo citizens. I believe in the fair application of the law. Until we can eliminate discrimination in sentencing, open up programs to help our minority offenders avoid the cycle of prison and be absolutely convinced that no innocent person is executed - EVER - then we need to suspend the Death Penalty. Ending the War on Drugs and legalizing marijuana would make great strides in bringing down the tension between the police and our minority citizens. Along with mandatory police body video camera recording it would end the constant harassment of so many of our minority citizens. This would stop illegal searches and seizures that continue to harass the minority communities and would eliminate false reports of police abuse and false accusations by police officers against the citizens. Our most hardened criminal personalities did not get that way overnight. We need to change the way things are done or things will remain the same.
Our citizens pension funds must be protected and this is one area where I would support prison sentences for non-violent offenders. Historically we have either not prosecuted these offenders or we have given them probation or light sentences. This is a slap in the face to every poor person who receives a prison sentence for stealing paltry sums of property or money. We lock away drug addicts for stealing to support their habits but we don't hep them beat those habits. We have to try new methods to get better results at stopping the ugly cycle of recidivism in Texas. The current system creates a cycle of violence, drug addiction and crimes against property and persons. When what we have been doing for decades continues to fail we must get to the root of the problem and solve it. I do believe in accountability with positive results.
Offer them the chance for bettering their lives so they can provide for their kids. Offer job training and get them employed. If they are committed to a life of avoiding the support of their children then we need a form of punishment that doesn't continue to punish the tax payers. What good does it do to put them in jail and make the tax payers support them and their kids through jail and welfare programs? We need to educate our young kids about the problems associated with young adults having kids before they are ready. I would offer a return to "government milk, bread and cheese" and "soup kitchens" for citizens who can't support themselves. That creates assistance without locking them into a system of comfortability. Where is the encouragement to get off full government support if we don't require job training and moving up in the society. When I was being raised my parents taught me that they were working extra hard to give me the chance to advance higher than they had in income. They taught me that I was supposed to raise my kids the same way so that every generation would raise higher than the last. What happened to that kind of thinking?
The Attorneys General's office currently protects government agencies from review by the citizens. Unless there is an absolute risk of exposing an active law enforcement investigation I believe in openness in government. Law enforcement should be required to wear body cameras and live stream so that we the people could have constant review of what our employees are doing. There could be certain law enforcement exemptions if that would compromise an investigation but there should be citizen oversight to make sure that any exemption is deserved. We the citizens should be in control and not be under control of our government. Open Meetings, what is so hard to understand about that term? The only way to assure that our government is operating within the boundaries that we demand is to make sure we have open access to them. Even executive sessions should have a requirement that recordings are made for review within a short period of time. That would insure that no one is abusing an elected office.
No, i believe in the free market unless we are absolutely sure that the issue was legitimate. If it was legitimate then he should have fought to prevent the merger. We should encourage businesses to come to Texas by offering tax incentives if that will bring sustainable growth to our communities. Texas should be the prize locations for business in America and we should make our state a business friendly place, while making sure we protect our citizen employees.
Refund all donations or refuse to accept them in the first place. It is obscene to see the amount of money raised in a campaign for election to an office that pay $150,000.00 a year. If any official refuses to refund or decline the money to begin with they should be run out of office. Ethics should rule when it comes to "public service".
Pure politics is what we have been witnessing recently. There has to be some compromise with our federal system issues. Texas should never allow the feds to run rough shot over us but we are part of the United States of America. If the Texas taxpayer is being abused by the manner that federal programs impact us then we need to stand to our guns and get legitimate reimbursements. I am a moderate when it comes to sitting down and working things out. I can also stand tall and fight to the end if the federal government tries to abuse Texas.
Houston, Texas 77019
Campaign Phone Number
51 years, my entire life
Attorney, partner in Shepherd, Scott, Clawater and Houston, LLP, a Houston law firm
BBA, University of Texas, 1984
JD, Baylor Law School, 1987
The last year most of my time has been spent with my law practice, my campaign, and my family.
I volunteered with Sheltering Arms and The Center for the Retarded for many years. I was on the Board of Trustees at my church for many years and also served as the Cubmaster for my son's cub scout pack.
I was the Democratic nominee for Texas Supreme Court in 2008.
I was arrested for DWI 17 years ago in Houston.
I have prepared and tried many cases to verdict. This included managing other lawyers and assistants. It also included coordinating and working with witnesses, clients, court staff and the judge. I have also served as a partner with a successful law practice for many years.
I am a great admirer of Theodore Roosevelt because he was a leader who stood up for what was right, regardless of the political consequences. I admire Sam Houston for the same reasons.
The Attorney General should represent all Texans, not just those of his political party. This office has been used for political purposes and I intend to take the politics out of the office and make sure it serves the people of Texas.
Texans need an Attorney General they can trust. My opponent has a pattern and history of unethical and likely criminal behavior directly involving his role as a lawyer and an elected official. In May of this year, he signed an Agreed Order with the Texas Securities Board admitting he violated the Texas Securities Act and paid a $1,000 fine. His actions led to a criminal complaint being filed against him. A grievance was also filed with the State Bar of Texas.
I have 26 years serving as a practicing attorney. I am Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and in Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocates. I am a member of the State Bar of Texas and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
The Democratic Party stands for fairness and inclusion of all. Party members believe that everyone has the right to share in the American dream and that no one should be excluded for any reason. This is why, among other reasons, I chose the Democratic Party. I think our party has more realistic solutions and approaches to government than the Republicans. I think the issues raised in the Republican Primary highlight those differences. The Republicans push divisive issues that do not further Texans' overall interests. We really need bipartisanship now. That is why as Attorney General I will bring transparency and representation for all, not politics, to this office.
There is no legal basis for this argument. I would not have raised it.
I believe that in many circumstances, the AG can and should protect the interests of consumers through an expanded role in energy regulation. The AG has broad obligations to the citizens of Texas to provide oversight, to issue opinions and to investigate abuse against consumers and the environment, as well as to investigate fraud and malfeasance.
I believe that, in general, criminal matters should be handled at the local level. So, absent special circumstances, I would not be in favor of expanding the AG office's role on this issue at this time.
Texas public pension funds are among the most fiscally sound funds in the nation. In order to protect the integrity of the funds, the AG's office should take an active role in making sure these funds are safeguarded.
While no one has sympathy for those who fall behind on child support payments, the AG must ensure that all citizens are treated fairly and equally under the law. Child Support scofflaws should be held strictly accountable, but the ultimate goal should be to maximize child support payments to vulnerable young Texans, not simply punish the offenders.
The AG's office needs to make sure that the Open Records and Open Meetings laws are followed and that the law is applied equally and consistently across the state. I take issue with AG Abbott's decision allowing the state health department to keep secret the information about chemicals stored by Texas companies. The West disaster should have taught us that it is vital that people know about what chemicals are stored near their homes, schools, hospitals, churches and businesses. Under the Texas Public Information Act, information is open to the public absent any specific exception. Federal and state statutes specifically make this information available to the public. General Abbott took a non-specific statute and said it overrode the public right to know statutes. Legally, this is incorrect.
The issues in the case were complicated and eventually settled. My disagreement stems more from the seemingly political nature of the AG's actions. There was a great deal of rhetoric issued during the challenge that suddenly changed primarily due to political pressure. I have said many times that lawsuits should be a last resort and should never be used for political gain. I think in general I would handle such matters differently.
Anyone who donates to my campaign receives one thing in return: good government. However, if a question is raised, I would either turn the case over to an assistant, who would pursue it without my involvement, or, if necessary, bring in outside counsel.
While lawsuits are sometimes necessary, public policy lawsuits should not be used to further party interests or as campaign rhetoric. I believe the Attorney General should exhaust all other remedies before filing a suit -- particularly against another branch of government. We need to be open to discussions and negotiations that may resolve any differences with Washington rather spending taxpayers dollars on lawsuits. These suits can drag on for months and years, requiring a large commitment of taxpayer's money and time spent by state officials.
Campaign Phone Number
I originally moved to Fort Worth, TX in 1995. I then went into the military and was stationed in Oklahoma. After completing my service, I returned to Texas in 2007 and have lived here since then.
I am not a liberty to answer questions which I consider to be personal or irrelevant to my positions on the issues.
Juris Doctorate (law degree)
Masters Degree in Public Affairs
Bachelors of Arts (Political Science)
I am currently serving as Executive Director for "Citizens Against the Bar." I currently litigating a lawsuit against the State, challenging the State Bar Act and its undue burden on fundamental constitutional rights. I have also organized a protest against the Texas Bar Association and continue to educate people about their right to counsel of choice.
I have been a member of Occupy Dallas. I have also participated in activities organized by Occupy Austin and Texans for Accountable Government. I participated in various protests and organized a protest against the Texas Bar Association. I have written opinion editorials for the Examiner and other publications. I have also participated and assumed leadership roles in student organizations. Additionally, I have served in the U.S Army for 4 years and the Oklahoma National Guard for 5 years.
This information is public record. I only answer questions about my positions on the issues. I do not answer questions which I consider to be personal or irrelevant.
As Executive Director of Citizens Against the Bar, I am currently leading members to fight for their right to counsel of choice and not be relegated to exploitation by members of the Texas Bar.
I respect the fact that Congressman Dennis Kucinich, had enough courage to bring Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush. However, Kucinich sold out when it came to the public option for "Obamacare." I also respect the legacy of President Truman because he was a leader. Instead of waiting for Congress, Truman issued executive orders to desegregate the federal workforce and the armed forces. Truman also challenged the military industrial complex by forming a Senate committee to monitor spending on national defense. In terms of philosophy, I am most influenced by Ayn Rand, David Benatar and Plato.
I am running for this office because the Texas Bar Association's monopoly over the practice of law is unconstitutional and I intend to put an end to it. The State is violating citizens' constitutional right to counsel of choice and effectively forcing citizens to be represented by the members of the Texas Bar. The State claims that this is for the public's interest, but the real goal is economic protectionism. By eliminating competition, lawyers are able to charge clients $500 an hour. By granting the Texas Bar a monopoly and refusing to impose meaningful regulations of attorney's fees, the State has left citizens completely vulnerable to exploitation. Citizens should be free to chose who they want to represent them and not be relegated to hiring a random stranger selected out of a phonebook. It's time for someone to finally stand up these crooks and expose them for their true nature.
Voters should choose me because I believe in common sense. I am not afraid to call a spade a spade and speak truth. I am very direct and speak in plain English. I don't play politics or make empty promises. I believe in limited government and individual freedom. I understand that the best government is the government which governs least (this applies to economics, a woman's body as well as a person's bedroom). I want everyone to have the freedom to make their own choices with limited government interference. If elected, I will use my position to fight for "The People" as opposed to fighting for the government.
The difference between me and the other candidates is that I am not an attorney. I graduated law school; however, I am not a member of any bar association. I have represented myself in lawsuits and have helped others to do the same. The role of an attorney is to turn citizens over to the court's jurisdiction. I don't want anyone subjected to a court's jurisdiction unless the court actually has legal jurisdiction. Many people waive their rights because they do not follow the proper procedure. I don't want anyone paying for fines/traffic tickets or going to prison unnecessarily. My training in the law and outside research has prepared me to deal with these types of situations.
I don't believe that anyone should vote for a candidate based simply on his or her political affiliation. Unfortunately, many voters vote based on a straight-party ticket and do not weigh out the candidates individually. I know that this is an onerous process but it is very important. If people vote for me, it should be because they agree with my principles and my platform. If anyone is considering voting for me based on the fact I am a Green Party Candidate, they are voting for the wrong reason.
This is clearly wrong. The State has no interest other than serving its citizens. The State is not the ruler but the servant. The State does not tell us what is in our interests; we tell the State what is in our interests and the State is supposed to act accordingly. This is what it means to have a republican form of government.
There is no such thing as a "state interest" or a "public interest." "The public" is both undefined and undefinable. There is no such thing as "the public." The public is made of individuals. Therefore, the government cannot serve the public's interests without first serving individuals. If the government is not serving the interests of citizens as individual members of the public, it goes without saying that the government is not serving the public.
The government should not create any regulatory policies unless it pertains to its core functions; the protection life, liberty and property. The government is not supposed to act as an adult babysitter. The government's role as it relates to marriage is administrative, not regulatory. Marriages are private contracts between consenting adults. The government is supposed to enforce contracts once they are validly executed. The government has no right to interfere with citizens' right to contract.
Lastly, procreation is not a legitimate state interest. Marriage has absolutely nothing to do with procreation. There are many unmarried couples who procreate and many married couples who do not procreate. Greg Abbott appealed the court's decision because he does not believe in the rule of law, but supports mob rule trampling over the rights of the individual. This is same man who has wasted taxpayer dollars filing multiple lawsuits against the Obama administration over the Affordable Healthcare Act. These claims were proven to be frivolous, just as this appeal is frivolous.
Unless there are specific cases of antitrust violations, I don't see what is supposed to be monitored. Any investigations made by the Attorney General's office should be initiated by the public. Once members of the public have made their complaints, claims should be investigated and prosecuted when necessary.
I am more concerned with trade practices related to the Texas Bar Association and it's unconstitutional monopoly over legal service than I am with energy markets.
The Attorney General cannot micromanage every attorney who works for his or her office. At the end of the day, it is the jury who decides whether or not to impose the death penalty. The only time that the Attorney General's office should intervene is if there are allegations of racial or gender bias. The AG's office should be aware of whether bias has played a role in a prosecutor's decision to seek the death penalty.
I don't think that the Attorney General's role is to police. If someone makes an allegation that public funds are being misappropriated, the claim should be investigated and prosecuted if necessary.
Enforcement of child support orders should be left to the courts. A person who violates a court order should be held in contempt. Once a person is held in contempt, courts have the power to fine and/or imprison offenders for up to 6 months. I don't think that failing to pay child support should be a felony. I also think that it is tacky for Greg Abbott to boast on his website about the fact he had someone sent to prison for 18 months for not paying child support.
While I think that parents are morally responsible for taking care of their children, I also think that State law regarding child support is grossly unfair and biased against men. We all know that child support is usually not used to actually support children. Anyone who is collecting child support to have to document how this money is being spent.
Overall, I don't think that it's the State's role is to police these matters. People should exercise self-restraint and personal responsibility. Although I consider myself to be liberal and a feminist, I do not support the idea of children being raised by parents living in separate households. Since only women are capable of bearing children, common sense says that women have a greater responsibility. If a woman knows that a man is not a good provider, she should not chose him as a mating partner. If a woman makes a poor choice, she should be left to deal with the consequences of her actions. The State should not interfere.
It is too easy to eliminate a unwanted pregnancies. I support all options including abortion. Protecting a child's quality of life is exactly why easy access to birth control is necessary. There are many people who know beforehand that they do not want the responsibility of taking care of children. Anyone who does not want to have children should have the option of being voluntarily sterilized at the State's expense.
Transparency is essential in a semi-free society. The State must make public records available to the public. It is impossible to me to know every ruling that Greg Abbott has made regarding public records requests. As far as I know, Greg Abbott has interpreted the law correctly. The problem is that state agencies have made the process overly complicated in order to avoid compliance with public records requests. Any public servant who does not comply with public records requests should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I also think that the process for requesting Attorney General opinions is too restrictive. There is a very limited list of individuals who are deemed "authorized requestors." Anyone who is a Texas resident should be an authorized requestor. At the very least, we should be able to request AG opinions through our elected officials.
Lastly, I think that the either the Attorney General or the Secretary of State should be designed by statute as agents for accepting service of process on behalf of the state. Many states have already done this. No one should have to play guessing games when trying to figure who to serve.
I think that Greg Abbott is a hypocrite. When it comes to airlines, he claims to support a free market. However, does not support a free market when it comes to the practice of law. Members of the Texas Bar have used the legal system impose a coercive monopoly against its citizens. Anyone who not a licensed attorney may not give "legal advice" or face fines and imprisonment. This is a clearly violation of the free exercise of freedom of speech. As a member of the Texas Bar and as a former justice on the Supreme Court of Texas, Greg Abbott has actively supported this corrupt system. He has helped lawyers to exploit the public and charge clients unconscionable legal fees. He should be ashamed of himself.
The worst antitrust violations are always committed by the government, not the private sector. Government monopolies are coercive rather than voluntary. I do not support any government monopoly which does not pertain to the government's core functions (protecting life, liberty and property). For example, a government should monopolize state prisons. However, the government should not monopolize activity which is purely commercial in nature. I do not support occupational licenses created for the purpose of economic protectionism. Citizens should have the freedom to enter into contracts and accept the benefits of such contracts with limited government interference.
Abraham Lincoln was able to become a successful attorney with no formal education and only a 10-minute oral exam. At common law, citizens had to the legal right to prosecute both civil and criminal cases. At some point, the government decided to eliminate private citizens' right to prosecute criminal cases and to make it extremely difficult to become a lawyer.
I think that we need to deregulate the legal profession and issue licenses at the county level based on minimum competency. We also need to write laws in plain English so that any person of ordinary intelligence can understand them. In case of conflicts, the State should hire private prosecutors.
This is an incredibly vague question. I'm assuming that this question pertains to Greg Abbott's multiple lawsuits against President Obama over the Affordable Healthcare Act. While I do not agree with "Obamacare," I think that Abbott's approach was flawed.
As I understand it, I think that he filed about 30 separate lawsuits. Why wasn't one lawsuit enough? This was clearly politically motivated. What's worst is that he did this with taxpayer money.
Greg Abbott made such a fuss about individual freedom regarding healthcare while at the same time denying citizens individual freedom to chose who they want to represent them in a court of law. This man is a hypocrite and a moron. He should not be taken seriously and should not be elected as Texas Governor.
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Over 30 years.
Baylor University, B.A. in Psychology (1985); Baylor University, M.B.A. (1986); University of Virginia School of Law, J.D. (1991)
In the Texas Senate, I currently serve as Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee. Additionally, I also serve on the following committees of the Texas State Senate: Education; Government Organization; Intergovernmental Relations; and Jurisprudence.
As a member of the Texas House, I have served as Vice Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Vice Chair of the General Investigating and Ethics Committee, Vice Chair of the State Affairs Committee, and Vice Chair of the Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Appraisal Reform. I have also served on the following committees of the Texas House: Financial Institutions; Public School, Subcommittee on Cost Adjustments; Human Services; Land and Resource Management; Select Committee on Fiscal Stability; County Affairs; and Urban Affairs. Some of my previous civic involvement includes: Allen, Frisco, Plano, and McKinney Chambers of Commerce; Board member, Prestonwood Pregnancy and Family Care Center in Dallas; Member, McKinney Rotary Club; Advisory Board Member, America’s Futures Series; Honorary Chair, Prosper Open Foundation; Advisory Board, Marketplace Ministries; Advisory Board, Frisco Association for the Arts and Cross Timbers Youth Orchestra; Board Member, The Wilberforce and Lincoln Center; Board Member, Sacra Script Ministries; named one of the 21 Leaders of the 21st Century by Inside Collin County Business; Baylor University Student Body President.
Texas State Senate, 2013 - current
Texas State Representative, 2003 - 2013
Since announcing for Attorney General, we have raised just above $4 million. (This amount is through June 30, 2014, the period covered by the most campaign finance report required as of the due date of this survey.) Our next campaign finance report, which will provide the most up to date campaign finance information on donations and donors, will be publicly available on October 6 at the following link: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/php/filer.php?acct=00051407COH.
I was one of several defendants named in a frivolous lawsuit. The suit was quickly disposed of by the plaintiffs themselves.
As a member of the Texas House and Senate I have a record of leadership. In 2006, I was one of the few legislators who opposed the creation of the Texas margins tax in House Bill 3 because the tax was harmful to small business owners and the Texas economy. I began working on legislation immediately to reduce the harmful impacts of the margins tax. In 2007, I worked on tax rate reductions and methods of calculations with House members. In 2009, I worked with the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee to pass a bill that decreased taxes for thousands of small business owners. In 2013, I continued to work with both Senate and House leadership to pass House Bill 500 that would reduce taxes for small business owners and reduce the harmful impacts of the margins tax on the overall economy.
I most admire President Ronald Reagan. My father served as an Air Force pilot, and I spent some of my early years in California. At the time, California was a prosperous state under the leadership of then-governor Ronald Reagan. He inspired me and I became interested in politics at a young age. As president, Reagan demonstrated political courage, developed sound economic policies that helped the economy grow, inspired Americans through optimistic, principled leadership, fought Soviet communism ushering the collapse of the Soviet Union, and promoted traditional family values.
Texas is the last, great hope against complete federal intrusion upon the states and the office of Attorney General is the front line of that battle. This office is the line in the sand – in some cases, the only elected position standing between President Obama and the State of Texas. It is critical that the next Attorney General be a trusted, committed, constitutional conservative – someone Texans know they can count on to demonstrate political courage.
Throughout my time in elected office, I have had the courage to fight for what is right, even if it wasn’t popular. I voted against bloated budgets. I cast vote after vote, sometimes against my own party leadership, to protect Texas’ values. I have the experience, credentials and political courage to stand for Texas as your next Attorney General.
The position of Attorney General is one that requires strategic planning, vision, and analytical skills. It is critical that the next Attorney General be a trusted, committed, constitutional conservative – someone Texans know they can count on to demonstrate political courage, regardless of the personal consequences.
I had the good fortune to attend the University of Virginia School of Law, a premier law school founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson’s vision for American independence and self-governance still resonates with me today. After law school, I moved back to Texas, taking a job with the law firm of Strasburger & Price, LLP, in Dallas where my practice areas were corporate law and banking. I then joined JC Penney as in-house legal counsel. I then moved to a midsize firm where I honed my strategic skills in the area of business and estate planning. I currently am a named partner in the law firm of Pittenger, Paxton, Nuspl & Crumley.
The Attorney General must be a strategic thinker and experienced lawyer. My current law firm handles many civil matters in the areas of complex civil litigation, real estate, estate planning and business law. As a state legislator, I have worked closely with the Office of Attorney General for years. Through my service as both a Texas State Representative and State Senator, I have intimate knowledge of the Attorney General’s office. For example, in November 2009, I joined a bi-partisan group of state legislators and other elected officials from all 50 states and signed an amicus curiae, or "friend of the court," brief. This brief encouraged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that Second Amendment rights must be upheld by the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The brief was in response to McDonald v. City of Chicago, a case filed in the U.S. Supreme Court by Army Veteran Otis McDonald, who challenged a 28-year old city ordinance in Chicago that banned private ownership of handguns.
The Republican Party stands for upholding the U.S. Constitution, limited government, state sovereignty, traditional family values, economic freedom, securing our nation’s borders and a strong public education system. These principles are essential to the conduct of the office of Attorney General since one of the principal duties of the office is to defend the constitution and laws of this state. These same principles will guide me in defense of the work of the legislature, just as they did when I was a state legislator.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in the Windsor case that states have the constitutional ability to regulate marriage within their own states. The Texas Constitution recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. The constitutional provision pertaining to marriage is clear and explicit. The Attorney General has a duty to defend and advance the laws of the state and I hold that duty sacred.
The primary role for monitoring practices and competition lies with the Public Utility Commission of Texas and ERCOT. As a matter of principle, I believe the free market, meaning the men and women who own and operate businesses, working competitively with each other and cooperatively with consumers, are the best determinant of competitive prices and ethical practices. Of course, there is a role for the Office of Attorney General in these matters, but that authority need not expand.
I would not support the Attorney General’s office review of death-penalty cases. The Attorney General must defend the state in court in certain death penalty cases. The OAG shouldn’t both review and defend the state’s actions. These decisions are exclusive to the judiciary branch of government and do not need a further review by the Office of the Attorney General. The appellate courts and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals are constitutionally authorized to evaluate cases on appeal and making rulings.
The public pension funds are currently managed by the respective retirement system agencies and local governments. The primary entities which oversee public pension funds are ERS, TRS and others. If the legislature were to grant the Attorney General additional authority to evaluate public pension funds, I would ensure the office is capable of performing the job efficiently and effectively.
The Office of the Attorney General has the unique position of enforcing court-ordered child support, and the child support division of the Office of the Attorney General is the largest division of the entire office. Each child and each family is priceless and we have a moral responsibility to ensure that child support is properly collected. This is one of the most essential duties of the Attorney General’s office and, if elected, I will ensure these collections continue with all haste. I will continue General Abbott’s work on collecting court ordered child support payments, which exceeded $3.6 billion in 2012, so that those families that are affected can maintain their self-sufficiency. This is one of the Attorney General’s highest duties and I welcome it.
Attorney General Greg Abbott has been a forceful advocate of open meetings and open records laws. I will continue that advocacy if elected. I have filed and helped pass transparency legislation as a legislator.
To appropriately analyze this matter requires access to data and the case itself, which neither candidate for the office have nor will we until after the election. As Attorney General, I will evaluate these cases using the same guiding principles I applied in the Legislature: federalism, limited government, state sovereignty and free markets.
The Attorney General of Texas shall not be swayed by campaign donations, be they large or small, as the duty of the Attorney General is to honor the rule of law. The Office of the Attorney General supports the rule of law as passed by the Texas Legislature and must defend the laws of this state, without exception.
The United States of America is an exceptional country, the first in the world founded on an idea – that of individual liberty. We fought a revolution to win independence from England to form a republic in which the people directly elect their representatives. “We the People” established the Constitution of the United States to prohibit the government from seizing our liberties and our God-given rights. In addition, it was the states that created the federal government, not the converse, and the Founders clearly intended the powers of the federal government to be few and those specifically enumerated in the Constitution. As an example, the first amendment is emphatic that Congress shall make no law in regards to our rights to press, religion and association.
Over the course of decades, starting with the advent of the progressive movement in America and accelerating in this last decade, the U.S. Constitution has been under assault from those seeking to centralize power, expand government, and disregard the protections that the Constitution seeks to protect; this document empowers citizens and limits the government’s power and authority.
Texas has been on the front lines of this battle as the “Texas Model” seeks to limit government, expand economic opportunity, protect the sanctity of life and honor traditional family values. The success of Texas is a direct threat to those who seek to shift the balance of power from the individual and states to the federal government. We need another Attorney General that will stand up for the U.S. Constitution and the individual liberties it protects, and that is one of the primary reasons that I am running for Attorney General. As Attorney General, not only do I pledge to defend the Constitution, which I am sworn to protect, but I also promise to have the courage to advance the principles for which it stands.