The controversy over the proposed Texas Confederate license plate we told you about earlier this year is back in the news. And one Republican state legislator has penned an open letter to Gov. Rick Perry, asking him to quash the controversy.

The letter by state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, reminds us what the Confederate flag represents — as if we needed reminding, but apparently some people do — and offers a solution to the controversy: You want to study the historical significance of the flag? Fine, pick up a book.

We felt Sen. Carona’s letter is simple, yet so reasonable, that it should be shared with our readers. Here it is:

A Message to the Governor

As a friend of Governor Perry, fellow conservative, and former Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, I offer our Governor the following advice: Soundly reject the proposal before the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to approve a new license plate depicting the Confederate flag.

Those who are advancing such a plan do not reflect the sentiments of most Texans.

No one wishes to deny our history as a state. But we as leaders should take every opportunity to support that which unites… Read More

Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign is not going through the best of times right now. After an initial splash that sent Texas' longest-serving governor to the top of the Republican presidential polls, the campaign has stumbled through a series of gaffes and lackluster debate performances. So Gov. Perry this week will go back to the basics, once again sharing a venue with the American Family Association hate group and making his faith a political tool as he courts conservative voters. In fact, Gov. Perry is on the Friday schedule for the 2011 Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., as is the AFA. You'll recall it was the AFA that sponsored Gov. Perry's prayer rally at Houston's Reliant Stadium in early August, an event the AFA and Gov. Perry proclaimed nonpolitical though the AFA later used the event to register voters and the governor formally announced his presidential candidacy a week later. Read More

It's become a staple of modern presidential elections -- at the first hint of criticism from the right flank, a Republican puts out a call to religious-right kingmakers to testify to his or her religious bona fides.  So when Texas Gov. Rick Perry found his conservative credentials in question (over the HPV vaccine mandate and other issues that troubled social conservatives), the Perry campaign obviously pulled out the standard playbook. But Gov. Perry doesn't do anything modestly. Where other candidates might simply get Jerry Falwell's Liberty University to give them a platform to speak to social conservatives -- something Gov. Perry did last week -- the governor gets the religious pooh-bahs themselves to carry his message to the base. Leading the charge: pseudo-historian David Barton of the Texas-based WallBuilders organization. Barton took to Twitter a few weeks ago to circulate a detailed rebuttal to a popular email listing "14 Reasons Why Rick Perry Would Be A Really, Really Bad President." Most of these 14 charges have nothing to do with social issues (they focus primarily on Gov. Perry's economic record), but Barton wants to make sure all his followers know that the governor no longer supports…… Read More

Before you get too excited about the headline, let's make it clear that this happened in the context of Gov. Rick Perry seeking the Republican nomination for president. So while it would be great to be able to say that Gov. Perry has offered mainstream science a sincere Texan bear hug, it's more likely that his defense of science was commanded by the politics of the day. This all originates from Monday's Republican presidential debate. Gov. Perry has appeared in recent weeks to be locked in a two-man race for the nomination with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Many political observers believe part of Gov. Perry's strategy to win the war against Gov. Romney is winning the battle for the votes of social conservatives against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, herself not exactly a champion for science. Which brings us to Monday's debate in which Gov. Perry was hit hard for his controversial move to mandate the HPV vaccine for girls in Texas. Throwing some of the hardest punches was Rep. Bachmann, who in an interview after the debate said a tearful woman approached her to say her daughter suffered mental retardation because of the vaccine. Gov. Perry

There we were, almost at the end of last night's Republican presidential debate, ready to declare that Texas had gotten off embarrassment-free. Then the moderator had to ruin it all by asking Gov. Rick Perry a question about science. Asked about climate change, Gov. Perry repeated his claim that the idea of man-made global warming is increasingly in dispute in scientific circles (not really), and .... "Galileo got outvoted for a spell." Here's the video: [youtube] Buried somewhere beneath this flat, 6,000-year-old Earth of ours, Galileo spun in his grave. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

It took years to convince the @TXSBOE to create a Mexican American studies course for the state's public schools. It's great to see school districts offering it to students.