We keep hearing "This will be our most conservative session" in a very long time, but unless a miracle happens between now and the end of the 87th Legislative Session happens, it will be nothing but a fail for Texans. You, conservative voters of Texas, know we are speaking the truth. We want to go over some of this, so that when your Senator and State Rep comes home to your district and says "we made great progress this session, you just need to send me back next session, so I can complete the job," or "people just don't understand how things work at the Texas Capitol," you will not be intimidated or silenced into compliance.
You will know that something is wrong when Republicans control the Senate, the House, the Governorship, the LT Governorship, every committee at the Capitol including the Calendars Committee, yet democrats seem to get their way and come out ahead. Something is terribly wrong when State Reps. like Burrows, Oliverson, Jetton, and Hull - manage to get a bill to the Calendars Committee and on the House floor, that creates a new Texas Holiday. The cause for celebration? Islam's first victory over non-Muslim forces. smh
You know something is wrong when SB1416 (monument protection bill) is filed on 3/10/21, sent to the Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee on 3/18/21, but hasn't had public testimony nor moved since then. Sen. Birdwell sat on this bill at the direction of LT Gov. Dan Patrick, despite the bill being a priority, despite 97.3% of conservative Texans voting for Monument Protection back in 2020. Meanwhile bills like make San Marcus the mermaid capitol of Texas, Dr. Pepper becoming the states official drink, and other inconsequential bills to move & pass without incident.
What about HB3013, a bill that stated "keep the focus of the Alamo on the 1836 Battle of the Alamo" was blown out of the water after Democrats added 7 amendments that puts the focus on slavery & honoring slaves, even though the Battle of the Alamo wasn't fought over slavery and slavery didn't play any significant part of the battle. Where were Republicans then? Where were our elected officials when a important bill and the bill author needed them? Now the best we can hope for is that the bill is withdrawn by the author or the Senate kills the bill.
THE BIG FAIL
It comes down to this, Texas's grass roots have spent our time and treasure to coerce, lean on and corral our Texas Republican leadership to pass the top 8 legislative priorities. Out of the 75 bills currently on their way to Gov Abbott's desk, none of them are the top 8 priority bills. We had a 90% chance to pass "Monument Protection", we had good odds that Constitutional Carry would pass without being watered down, but the future does not look bright at this moment.
This Is Texas Freedom Force spent 1,728 hours (collectively as a organization) at the Texas Capitol working on Monument Protection (1,463 hours) and Constitutional Carry (265 hours). TITFF followed the process of monument protection since day 1 (filing of SB1416, HB2713, HB3013 & HB446) and what we learned along the way is shocking, but that's another topic for a different article coming soon.
One priority bill did pass the House, the Heartbeat Bill, which will help save Texans lives, but the bill is imperfect when it comes to abolishing abortion in Texas, but it has not been heard in the Senate. Election Integrity was debated on the House floor, but democrats seem to be running the show, so the amendments added are just making it weaker and weaker. Speaker Phelan, has yet to bid that the chair of the House calendars committee Rep Burrows, put HB1399, the bill for banning pediatric sex change, on the calendar to be heard on the House floor. Chairmen Pattie is still holding up SB10, a ban on some forms of taxpayer-funded lobbying, hostage in his State Affairs Committee, along with a few other priority bills. Senator Birdwell is still holding SB1416, our Senate monument protection bill hostage in committee under the direction of Lt Gov Dan Patrick.
Republican Party Chairman Allen West has given Republican Senators & House Reps. a "D" grade for their performance. To many Texans, they don't even deserve a "F", more like a "F-". They have ignored the will of grass roots conservative Texans, and we must hold them accountable. Republican Senators & House Representatives need to ask themselves, do you want to govern for a long political career, or do you want to do the will of the people? We have no use for career politicians here in Texas.
"The leadership is going to have a lot to answer for to the conservative grassroots base. Why are we electing Republicans and why are we presenting these legislative priorities if we have individuals making the decisions about what they see as a priority?”
The Republican Party of Texas Vice Chair Parks put out a statement earlier this week trying to cover for Republican Representatives. Parks suggests focusing on those priorities as the only metric of success for the Legislature would be shortsighted.
This is a year unlike any other. Passage of Texas GOP Legislative Priorities should not be the sole indicator of a successful legislative session. If Texas legislators pass fifty bills related to Republican Party of Texas Platform planks, and only pass one bill from the Texas GOP Legislative Priorities, did we fail as a Party? While current Texas GOP messaging says yes, Texas Republican voters indicate otherwise,”
Her comments were dissonant to actions from the party since Chairman Allen West was elected to lead the Texas GOP in July of last year. Since then, West has placed a heavy focus on the priorities, as well as the failure of the Republican-dominated Legislature to address them in past years. Earlier this year, the party hosted a rally promoting the priorities ahead of the start of the legislative session. Parks was not in attendance, go figure. Republican Party Chairmen LTC Allen West fired back at Parks's comments saying
The legislative priorities of the Republican Party of Texas are generated from the grassroots membership of the Republican Party of Texas through the delegates at our state convention, and our delegates are representative of the voices of Republicans in Texas. So when we look at these eight legislative priorities, the definition of success is related to those delegates and those voters out there believing that their priorities that they see as important are passing,” " It is my responsibility as the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas to be that gladiator that goes into the arena for them … to really fight hard and to advocate for those legislative priorities to be passed." "While there are many issues that should be addressed by the Legislature, “when you look at the principles and values of who we are as Republicans in the state of Texas, these are the things they want to ensure are passed.”
This Is Texas Freedom Force is going extremely upset that our priority bill, monument protection, was blocked by Dan Patrick and stalled by several House Representatives. This legislative session has been a complete failure that has not passed a single one of the Republican Parties priority bills (remember Constitutional Carry still hasn't been signed into law). TITFF will be looking at our priority monument protection bills in the House and Senate, we will look at the committees they were in & calendars committee, as well as the votes from these committees, and we will let you know how many of our Republican Representatives and Senators stood in our way. We Then you get to decide what to do next.
MONUMENT PROTECTION BILL UPDATE
On our last Monument Protection Bill update, all hell was breaking loose. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had instructed Senator Birdwell to sit on SB1416 and not allow the bill to go before the Natural Resources & Economic Development Committee for public testimony. TITFF has spent countless hours at the Capitol trying to find a solution or a way to work around the Patrick road block and today we can say with confidence we have found a solution, but it will require the help of Texans across the state.
FIRST THE GOOD NEWS
So before we get into the ins and outs of our Monument Protection Bill, we do have some good news to share with you. We will start will HB3013 (Filed by Rep Kyle Biedermann, related to the displays & exhibits located on the grounds of the Alamo complex). This bill was referred to the Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee on 3/19/21. TITFF & Texans were able to give public testimony on the bill on 4/19/2021. This bill was reported favorably by the committee on 4/26/21 and we are please to announce that it was sent over the Calendars Committee on 4/29/2021, so we expect it will be heard the House Floor soon.
HB1186 (filed by Rep Anchia, relating to removing and renaming certain objects and structures in or near the Capitol) is still pending in committee, so it looks like it will die in committee. This is good because the bill would have removed several Confederate Monuments on the Capitol grounds and it would remove several portraits inside the Capitol. TITFF, SCV & the UDC all testified against the bill in committee on 4/19/2021.
HB446 (filed by Rep Allison, relating to increasing the criminal penalty for the offense of criminal mischief involving the damage or destruction of a public monument) was referred to the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on 2/25/21. TITFF Directors were the only Texans who testified for this bill on 4/26/21. The bill is still pending in Committee, but we expect to see this bill move this coming week.
HB4538 (filed by Rep Cyrier & Rep Middleton, relating to the removal, relocation, alteration, or construction of certain monuments or memorials located on municipal or county property; providing civil penalties) went to the Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee on 3/29/21. TITFF, SCV & the UDC testified against this bill in committee on 4/19/21. This bill was a sad attempt to act like they were doing something, while in reality they were doing absolutely nothing. The bill would allow citizens in the county to vote to remove monuments that were 40 years old or older. That means the big cities, who are dominated by liberal democrats, could remove any monument they wanted to. This bill has been left pending in committee and we hope it dies there too!
HB1079 (filed by Rep Perez, Cain, Morales, Christina & Guillen, relating to the relocation of the Battleship "Texas" after refurbishment) was sent to the Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee on 3/4/21. Public testimony was taken on 4/19/21 and it is still pending in Committee. TITFF testified on this bill but we remained natural. We want to see the Battleship Texas restored and on display for Texans, the problem we have is only about 80,000 people visit the ship each year where it sits, that doesn't cover the cost to maintain it after repairs. The County & City have had ample opportunity to repair this ship and build more attractions (restaurants, hotels, shops, etc.) in the area, outside of the Battle ground, to attract more visitors. We gave some ideas on what to do to fix that problem, but if the County/City can't draw the visitors in, then we would like to see it go to Corpus Christi next to the Lexington, where tourism is high & it can be maintained. If the County/City can fix the visitor problem, them we are 100% fine with it staying at San Jacinto.
So the anti-history bills or bad history bills are hung up in committee, the pro-history bills are moving in this committee. We'd like to take just a sec to thank Rep Kyle Biedermann on his tireless work trying to protect/save the Alamo. He filed several Alamo bills, unfortunately only one bill seems to be moving. Rep Biedermann has been a great help to TITFF's #NotOneInch movement (save the Alamo Cenotaph), he is the only State Rep that attended several Reimagine The Alamo Plan meetings. He has fought along side of TITFF on this issue, for that we thank him!
MONUMENT PROTECTION BILL
So let's discuss the Monument Protection Bills. We met with Senator Birdwell's Legislative Director on April 9th. We asked why Senator Creighton's bill hadn't been heard in committee yet since it was filed on 3/10/21 and was sent to the Natural Resources & Economic Development committee & had it's first reading on 3/18/2021. Sen Birdwell's Legislative Director told us he would get a answer to why the bill hadn't been heard in committee no later than Monday 3/12/21. Monday came and went with no response, so TITFF went to his office 4/13/21, there we were informed that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick had instructed Senator Birdwell to sit on the bill, no further explanation was given. On 4/14/21 TITFF confirmed this through Capitol sources and we sounded the alarm to Texans. At this point TITFF lobbied several other Senators & State Reps to hold Senator Birdwell's bills until he allowed SB1416 to be heard. We had some success with this effort. Meanwhile, the House version of our Monument Protection Bill HB2713 (filed by Rep Hefner, Rep White, Rep Metcalf, Rep Bell & Rep Cecil, relating to the removal, relocation, alteration, or construction of certain monuments, memorials, or designations located on public property; authorizing a civil penalty) went to the Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee and TITFF testified in support of the bill on 4/19/21.
On April 26th we went back to Senator Birdwell's office to talk to his Chief of Staff. We told Sen. Birdwell's Chief of Staff that it wasn't a wise move to sit on SB1416. Senator Birdwell has absolute power in his committee. He was elected to do the will of Texans, not to do the will of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. In 2020 97.3% of Conservative Texans voted to say "Texas should protect & preserve all historical monuments, artifacts & buildings". Senator Birdwell's Chief of Staff said, "Patrick had told Birdwell to sit on SB1416 because in the 86th Legislative Session the Senate passed Senator Creighton's bill and it just died in the House". THIS IS A BOLD FACE LIE! Yes Senator Creighton's bill did pass in 2019, but by the time it got to the House there was only 1 week left in the 86th Legislative Session, so the bill never got a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd read, so the bill was never heard in the House. The bill had support, it just ran out of time. Senator Birdwell's Chief of Staff said, "We are waiting for the House Bill to get out of the House, once it does Sen. Birdwell will hear it in the Senate". We explained to Senator Birdwell's Chief of Staff that if HB2713 or SB1416 doesn't pass this legislative session, because of the delays & road blocks, then TITFF is going to go after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick & Senator Birdwell when election time rolls around. We also informed her, "With all due respect to Sen. Birdwell & Dan Patrick, y'all aren't the ones running to physically defend these monuments, we are", "Things got extremely ugly in 2020 and we are trying our best to put a stop to this nonsense, doing it the right way, before someone gets hurt". She said she understood and would relay our message to Senator Birdwell (which it was), and we left Sen Birdwell's office to go talk to Rep Ken King (Committee Chair) in the House.
On April 26th, as TITFF left the Capitol for our 218th hour at the Capitol this session, HB2713 was reported favorably by the Committee! Even better, on 4/29/21 HB2713 was sent to the House Calendars Committee! We spoke with long time friend Senator Creighton's office to ensure he heard the good news. Senator Creighton is just waiting on HB2713 to pass the House and he is ready to grab it and get it in & out the Senate ASAP! So the hope to see a Monument Protection Bill (either HB2713, SB1416 or a combo of both bills) passed in the 87th Legislator. But do not get complacent Texans. We still need your help!
If you love our vast & rich Texas History, if you are tired of the cancel culture removing our historical monuments, we need you to make some calls and write some emails. Every Conservative Texan needs to take a few minutes out of your life and contact the Calendars Committee and let them know you want to see HB2713 sent to the House Floor ASAP. Here is a list of the Representatives on the Calendars Committee and their numbers......
We need every Texan to call these Calendar Committee members at least once a day. Tell them to get HB2713 on the House Floor as soon as possible! Be polite on your phone calls, you can even ask them for their email address so you can email them as well. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease, be that squeaky wheel.
After you make your phone calls and/or emails to the Committee Calendar members, we need you to contact your State Representative and tell them to support HB2713. Again, be polite. We have a sure fire way to get this Monument Protection Bill passed in the House & the Senate, but every Texan must do their part. You can get your State Rep's number below....
This Is Texas Freedom Force will be headed back to the Capitol this week. Our goal is to get the Monument Protection Bill passed in the House & Senate. We will be meeting with every single House Representative, so make those calls so we hear "A lot of Texans are calling us about this issue". Together Texans, nothing can stop us from protecting & preserving our Texas History!
God bless Texas,
TITFF Board of Directors
You can order the T-shirt above in the pic by simply pressing the black button below. All proceeds go to fighting to protect our Texas History.