As the Texas Legislature prepares to gavel out at the close of the 2015 session, we’re preparing a summary of what happened at the Capitol. So while we pull that together, here is the end-of-session press release we just sent out:

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller issued the following statements on the end of the 2015 session of the Texas Legislature today:

On the effect of tea party extremists on the Legislature: “This session highlighted how tea party ideologues have slowed progress and skewed legislative priorities with scorched-earth tactics and extreme, uncompromising demands. Lawmakers wasted a lot of time on issues like guns, abortion and discriminating against gay and transgender Texans. Meanwhile, they failed to address truly serious problems that concern most Texas families, like underfunded public schools, lack of access to health care and the millions of dollars that anonymous special interests spend to influence our elections. That’s what happens when you try to please extremists who threaten and stomp their feet when they don’t get their way.

Tea party temper tantrums shouldn’t dictate legislative priorities. But they will until more Texans turn out at the polls and stop letting an extreme, vocal minority define… Read More

Our friends at Right Wing Watch have more about United in Purpose, one of the group’s behind a religious-right conference a at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport hotel today. We reported about the conference earlier this month. Following is a cross-post from Right Wing Watch:

Today, Religious Right leaders including Rick Scarborough, David Barton, Jim Garlow and Glenn Beck are meeting with Religious Right and Tea Party activists in Dallas at a summit “bringing together leaders of conservative organizations from around the country to brainstorm and strategize on how to get out the vote for the 2014 midterm elections.”

The summit is being jointly organized by Rick Scarborough’s Tea Party Unity and United In Purpose, a voter-mobilization group funded largely by Silicon Valley venture capitalists that partnered with several dozen Religious Right and Tea Party groups in the lead-up to the 2012 elections with the goal of getting five million new evangelical Christian voters to the polls .

United In Purpose, which received national news coverage for its data-driven efforts in 2011 and 2012, has what you might call a long-term goal: it is closely tied to advocates of “Seven Mountains Dominionism,” who aim to have conservative Christians take control of every… Read More

Tea party activists like to argue that they simply want a small government that doesn’t intrude on the freedoms of Americans. But that’s hard to do believe when you see tea party and religious-right activists marching together with locked arms.

Consider, for example, Rick Scarborough, head of the religious-right group Vision America, which is based in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Scarborough has worked to tie the tea party and religious-right movements together. In fact, he created Tea Party Unity, a project of Vision America, “to provide services and recognition to Tea Parties across the nation, and to help build a tsunami of grassroots activism that will restore our nation to her Judeo-Christian heritage.”

Today’s Tea Party Unity e-newsletter promotes an essay by Lee Duigon, a contributing editor for the Chalcedon Foundation. Chalcedon, founded in 1965 by the late Rousas John Rushdoony, promotes Christian Reconstructionism. That radical movement advocates for a theocratic government and a society based on libertarian economics. Mother Jones has described the movement as “an obscure but increasingly potent theology whose top exponents hold that Christian crusaders must conquer and convert the world, by the sword if… Read More

… they’ll give you the axe. Or at least try to.

From the start, the CSCOPE hysterics have demanded accountability and transparency from whatever they think CSCOPE is. Well, they’re getting it (there was a public meeting today from which we’ll have a report soon). And they’ve gotten it (there was a public meeting last week to which no one bothered to show).

But Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, via Twitter, confirmed our suspicions that this has never been about accountability.

I hope Texas House members will support SB 1406, which will end CSCOPE as we know it. #txlege

— David Dewhurst (@DavidHDewhurst) May 15, 2013

Yep, this is about destroying CSCOPE, not about improving a teaching tool approximately three-quarters of all 1,000+ Texas public school districts depend on.

The witch hunt continues.… Read More

Our friends at Right Wing Watch have a new post about Cathie Adams, president of Texas Eagle Forum and former chair of the Texas Republican Party, taking another ride on the Crazy Train:

Yesterday, Cathie Adams, the president of the Texas Eagle Forum, delivered a presentation to the Southeast Texas Tea Party on the dangers of environmentalism and Agenda 21 in which she made the case that the environmental movement is like a watermelon: “green on the outside and Marxist red on the inside.”

Adams said that environmentalists are blasphemers because “these people worship the creation instead of the Creator” and that is why “our children are being taught now in public schools to capitalize the “E” of “Earth”; it is an object of worship.”

When Adams later asked rhetorically why President George H.W. Bush went to Brazil in 1992 to sign the United Nations Climate Change convention, an audience member blurted out that he did so because “he’s a traitor!” which prompted Adams to declare that “this climate change treaty is exactly the New World Order”:

Read More