Conservative leader speaks to local Republicans
Michael Sullivan, head of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, spoke to a packed house of Northeast Texas Republicans Saturday, Jan. 10, in Mount Pleasant.
An audience of over 100 County Republican Party Chairman and party loyalists packed the meeting room of Herschel’s restaurant as Sullivan discussed the upcoming legislative session.
He was introduced by Sue Evenwel of Mount Pleasant, a member of the State Republican Executive Committee for Senate District1, who noted his group “is one of the most influential conservative groups in Austin.”
Taking a jab at Austin’ liberalism, Sullivan noted “that’s like being called the tallest midget in the room.”
Looking forward to the legislative session, Sullivan said the Republican tide at the polls last November “should be correctly interpreted as a mandate for fiscal responsibility.”
He noted how gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis was a media darling who was depicted as leading Texas into the Democratic ranks.
“But I have a higher opinion of the people, and Texans got it right by rejecting a radical agenda,” said Sullivan. “She ran a horrendous campaign that claimed it would take Texas back from the Republicans. Instead, Texans rejected Chicago-style thuggery.”
He warned Republicans not to become complacent, however.
“The Left is making great strides in Texas,” he said.
He also warned the legislature must continue to encourage business growth in Texas.
“The other states are watching us, because Texas has made smart decisions and encouraged business with lower taxes during the past 15 years,” he said. “But we can’t sit on our laurels, and other states have learned from us.”
“Those businesses that have moved here from, say, California, they could always move on,” he added.
Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, as well as its parent group, the Empower Texas Foundation, are against the re-election of House Speaker Joe Straus to his legislative post.
He said the legislature has an “Elephant Team and a Donkey Team” and the Elephant Team are the winners.
“I don’t understand why they do things that make the Donkey Team happy,” he said.
He criticized Speaker Straus for being too moderate and willing to cooperate with the “Donkey Team.”
Sullivan urged audience members to lobby their representatives in Austin to oppose Straus.
Other speakers who preceded Sullivan included former Harris County Republican Chairman Jared Woodfill, and Neal Frey of Longview, president of the Truth in Texas Textbooks Coalition.
Woodfill is running for state party chairman. He said he’s learned how to fight the liberal agenda by battling Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who last year supported a city ordinance barring businesses from discriminating against transgender people.
Woodfill warned the liberal agenda is spreading, noting Plano passed a similar ordinance last month. Both cities are being sued over the ordinances.
Frey urged members of the audience to support legislation to require that state funds cannot be used when a school district decides to use non-state approved textbooks.
After the speakers, Evenwel met with the Senate District1 county Republican chairmen.