Tag Archives: Mike Collier

TLCQ 2018: Mike Collier

 

In the Third installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Mike Collier candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor.

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.

 

TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

MC:  Mike Collier 

 

TL:  Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?

MC:  No 

 

TL:  As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?

MC:  We simply cannot do for ourselves in all things.  We must band together as a community and help one another.  And government is precisely that.  Moreover, government is an expression of the values we cherish. The quality of our life is profoundly influenced by the values our leaders display in their work in government.  

 

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.

MC:  We are in the grip of a fiscal crisis in Texas, which means we are struggling to invest in the things that matter to us like public education, healthcare, transportation, Child Protective Services, mental health services, and on and on.  Of course, we CAN invest in these things; our fiscal crisis is the result of Republican fiscal orthodoxy that says, “I’ve got what I want.  Good luck getting what you want.”  We can resolve this crisis specifically by turning our relationship with big corporations into a partnership wherein they help us invest in the things that matter to us. The Republican idea that we need to enrich corporate shareholders while our services and infrastructure collapse, and while our values of compassion and empathy are thrown out the window, is what I am campaigning against.  In my first legislative session as Lt Governor, I intend to close the big corporate property tax loophole that robs our state of $5 billion per year (based on the last estimate, from 2006, adjusted for inflation) and use that money to increase our investment in public education.  There is more work to do in reforming tax policy and investing in our state, but this is my first-session objective.

2. We also need to eliminate corruption, and in the first session I will propose the creation of The Texas Audit, Performance and Integrity Commission (“APIC”) which will have a highly innovative structure that will completely eliminate political influence.  Every politician and trough-feeder will fear APIC. Every Texan will love it!

3. We also need to kill gerrymandering for good before gerrymandering kills our democracy.  We can do this by adoption a Redistricting Commission, similarly designed to be completely free of all political influence, which I will introduce in my first session as Lt Governor.

 

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is on course to have an unprecedented boom in the state’s population. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.

MC:  As discussed above, we need to change our relationship with big corporations in Texas and bring them back into partnership with us to invest in infrastructure. We MUST invest infrastructure, and we MUST NOT land every penny of this on the backs of homeowners and renters.  Republican fiscal policy has been shifting the burden of investing in infrastructure, including education, away from the big corporations and onto the backs of homeowners and it has led to property taxes that are way too high and services and investment that are not keeping up. Reversing these unwise fiscal policies will produce the revenues we need to invest in infrastructure without raising taxes on ordinary people.

 

TL:  Even as impressive growth continues in around the state’s urban centers, rural Texans are faced with a healthcare crisis.  According to Laura Garcia of the Victoria Advocate, rural communities across the state have lost 18 hospitals in less than five years, and this was before any additional challenges worsened by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey.  Without hospital services in or near their local communities, the medical and emergency care is at an increasing risk our citizens.  As a Lieutenant Governor, how would you plan to address this issue and help Texas’ vital rural healthcare facilities stay open?  

MC:  Rural healthcare is indeed a crisis in Texas and I hear it everywhere I go.  We should expand Medicaid and reform it so that it marries well with the requirements of healthcare providers including rural healthcare providers. And we should support and improve ACA, not destroy it. In the end, we must treat healthcare as a basic human right, including for those living in rural Texas, and we need to be prepared to invest. We should attempt to do this by working in concert with federal policy.  If we lose confidence that this is possible, Texas is large enough, smart enough, and prosperous enough to design and implement our own healthcare system, one that gives rural Texans confidence that they too will have access to high quality healthcare.

 

TL:  In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn an Obama-era rule which classifies internet service providers as public utilities, and thereby governed under the 1934 Communications Act.  This decision essentially erases the principle that Internet Service Providers should treat all online content equally without giving preference to particular sources, otherwise known as Net Neutrality.  Please describe your views on this decision, and whether or not you would support legislation at the State or Federal level to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality.

MC:  I think we should adopt a pure common carrier system, which would be even better than net neutrality as it has been recently debated. Every Texan should be able to access any ISP and switch as often as they like. The physical infrastructure that makes this possible should be completely separated from ISPs and work on a simple fee structure. And while we are at it we should invest in high speed internet in rural Texas.

 

TL:  What makes you the best candidate for this office?

MC:  Many of the issues we face in Texas require investment. So the Lt Governor has to find the money, without raising taxes on the people who live and work here and without drowning our state in debt.  I make my living diagnosing complex financial situations and recommending solutions. I have a very clear idea as to how to raise the money without raising taxes on people, without increasing debt, and without choking our job-creation machine.  In short, we need to reverse the decades-long trend of shifting the tax burden away from big corporations and onto the backs of homeowners and small businesses. We can do this by closing the technical loopholes in the Equal and Uniform (property tax) law, and we need to reengineer the 2006 tax swap and this time do it right. We can live in a state that is great for creating jobs, and that is also compassionate and welcoming.  But it will take considerable financial and commercial expertise to do it, and I bring both to this endeavor.

 

 

Thanks to Mr. Collier for the responses.

Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th.  Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris CountyFort Bend CountyBrazoria CountyMontgomery County, Galveston County For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

(if you like this Texas Leftist post, please consider a donation!  Help us encourage Progressive, common sense solutions in the Lone Star State!!)

 

Leticia Van de Putte: Earning Every Vote

If State Senator and Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor Leticia Van de Putte really is behind by double digits in the polls, you wouldn’t know it if you see her in person.

In the final days up to what is sure to be an historic election, the candidate spent her time racing across the state on a grueling, 30-city Bus Tour.  Van de Putte hit virtually every corner of this state, including many places where she knew she wouldn’t be winning everybody’s vote.  Here’s more from Alexa Ura of the Texas Tribune who joined her for the Bus Tour…

LUFKIN- When state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s campaign bus drove up to the Goodwill Baptist Church here on Wednesday, she was greeted by an unusual sight in this Republican region: a lively group of Democrats.

“As Democrats here, we just try to keep the lights on and the flag up and say, ‘Yeah, we’re still here,’” said Glenn Donnahoe, a retired veteran active in Lufkin’s small Democratic community. But he added that the group gets energized when candidates like Van de Putte campaign here.

Van de Putte’s Lufkin appearance, attended by more than 50 people, was one of four East Texas campaign stops Wednesday for the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate’s statewide bus tour.

It could seem unusual for Van de Putte, a decided underdog against Republican state Sen.Dan Patrick, to be here the week before Election Day. But she said splitting the homestretch of her campaign between Democratic strongholds like the Rio Grande Valley and conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas is key to increasing voter turnout to give her a chance to propel Texas Democrats to their first statewide win in 20 years.

“We’re different in regions, but we’re no different in the way we dream big,” Van de Putte told the Lufkin crowd, as she attempted to forge a last-minute connection with voters many miles from her Senate district in San Antonio.

This type of “shoe leather campaign” is exactly what people expect from the political underdog. All year, Van de Putte has run an open, honest campaign, well-evidenced by her impressive slate of endorsements.  Her willingness to talk to voters, even in places like East Texas where she’s unlikely to win.  Have you seen Dan Patrick campaigning and holding press events… well anywhere lately??

The campaign bus rolled through Houston last week, and Texas Leftist was there to take pictures and even grab a short video of the candidate’s speech.  Check them out here…

LVdP Tour Bus

LVdP Hou2

LVdP Hou3

LVdP Hou1

 

Through the course of this campaign, Leticia has proven why she is the smart choice for Texas.  As great as glitzy TV ads may make a candidate look, they are very little on substance, and far inferior to the type of personal interactions that truly good politicians strive for.  Van de Putte made it her mission to greet voters across the state, and sit with every media outlet possible, whether they are titans like the Texas Tribune and Dallas Morning News, or simple bloggers like Texas Leftist. This level of commitment and dedication used to count for something in politics, and I for one sincerely hope it pays off for Van de Putte tonight.  Sure Dan Patrick can buy a lot of votes, but Leticia Van de Putte has done the true work of earning Texas votes, and she should be commended.

If you haven’t voted yet, be sure to get in line at your polling place before 7pm tonight. And hopefully when you get there, you will support smart, savvy candidates like Leticia Van de Putte.

 

 

Texas Leftist 2014 Endorsements

For those interested, here is the full list of Texas Leftist endorsements for 2014.  Some candidates will also have individual or group posts regarding their endorsement, which will be linked via candidate name from this post.  If a candidate participated in this year’s Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, that information will appear beside their party affiliation.

Texas Leftist has chosen to endorse candidates because they have demonstrated a commitment to advancing public policies that will improve the lives of Texans.  Though each person’s individual positions vary, they are generally candidates that stand for equality, social justice, healthcare expansion, living wage, economic prosperity and common-sense governance.

Today is Election Day!!  Early Voting has begun for the state of Texas, and runs from October 20th until October 31st.  For any questions on where or how to vote, check out this previous post or visit the My Texas Votes website.

 

Though not endorsed by Texas Leftist, candidates Ron Hale, Ron Reynolds and Matthew Whittington did participate in this year’s Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire.  Please consult their interviews for more information.  

 

Federal Races

U.S. Senator:                                                    David Alameel (D)

U.S. Rep. District 2:                                      Niko Letsos (D)

U.S. Rep. District 7:                                      James Cargas (D)

U.S. Rep. District 14:                                    Don Brown (D)

 

State Races

Governor:                                                           Wendy Davis (D)

Lieutenant Governor:                                 Leticia Van de Putte (D) [TLCQ]

Attorney General:                                         Sam Houston (D)

 

Comptroller of Public Accounts:                Mike Collier (D)

Commissioner- General Land Office:     John Cook (D)

Commissioner of Agriculture:                      NO ENDORSEMENT

Railroad Commissioner:                                   Steve Brown (D)

 

State Senator, District 15:                               John Whitmire (D)   [TLCQ]

State Senator, District 17:                               Rita Lucido (D)   [TLCQ]

 

State Rep. District 16:                                         Michael Hayles (D)

State Rep. District 23:                                          Susan Criss (D) [TLCQ]

State Rep. District 132:                                       Luis Lopez (D)  [TLCQ]

State Rep. District 133:                                       Laura Nicol (D) [TLCQ]

State Rep. District 137:                                       Gene Wu (D)

State Rep. District 144:                                       Mary Ann Perez (D)

State Rep. District 148:                                       Jessica Cristina Farrar (D)

State Rep. District 149:                                       Hubert Vo (D)

State Rep. District 150:                                       Amy Perez (D)

 

District Races

1st Court of Appeals, Place 3                           Jim Sharp (D)

113th Judicial District                                           Steven Kirkland (D)

308th Family Judicial District                           Jim Evans (D)

309th Family Judicial District                           Kathy Vossler (D)

314th Family Judicial District                           Natalia Oakes (D)

District Attorney                                                      Kim Ogg (D)

 

Harris County Races

County Judge:                                                              Ed Emmett (R)

County Probate Court No. 3                             Jerry Simoneaux (D)

County Probate Court No. 4                             James S. Horwitz (D)

County Clerk                                                                Ann Harris- Bennett (D)

County Treasurer                                                      David Rosen (D)

County School Trustee Pos. 7                            Melissa Noriega (D)

 

Propositions

State of Texas Proposition 1 (Infrastructure)             FOR

Lone Star College System, Proposition 1                       FOR

 

 

 

Debate Grate: Is Dan Patrick Afraid of Leticia Van de Putte??

In this year’s race for Texas Lieutenant Governor, one candidate is ready to rumble, while the other is scared to even get in the ring.  Do you know which is which?  If not, Here’s the story from the Houston Chronicle

Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Leticia Van de Putte said Thursday that her Republican opponent, Dan Patrick, has yet to respond to a series of debates she has proposed ahead of the Nov. 4 election.

Van de Putte and Patrick spoke separately at the Texas Association of Broadcasters annual convention, in what amounted to a rare opportunity to see the two candidates address the same audience back to back.

A state senator from San Antonio, Van de Putte used the speaking opportunity in front of TV and radio industry folk to reiterate her call for a robust schedule of debates.

She has challenged Patrick to five in all — part of an aggressive plan to pit the candidates head-to-head in the state’s four largest markets and in the Rio Grande Valley — and has left the door open to three more.

But since she laid out the proposal more than a week ago, Van de Putte said Patrick, a senator from Houston who is a tea party favorite, and his team have yet to get back with a solid answer — or any answer, for that matter.

“He’s not responded to our request for debates,” Van de Putte said, adding that she’s not sure if Patrick is dodging the debate issue or just can’t make up his mind. “This is a race where there’s a big difference in candidates … and the people of the state need to hear the candidates.”

Actually, the reason for Dan Patrick’s reluctance seems simple enough… he’s scared.  As the presumed front-runner in the Lieutenant Governor’s race, Patrick knows very well that to share the stage with Leticia Van de Putte puts him at risk to get OWNED by Leticia Van de Putte.  Time after time in public forum, the Democrat has proven herself an incredibly effective communicator for her ideas.  He also knows that giving voters the chance to hear their views side-by-side puts him at risk of sounding like a far-right extremist.  Of course he sounds like an extremist because he IS an extremist, but that is beside the point.

On debates, Patrick is playing from an old playbook.  Texas Governor Rick Perry won re-election without a single debate against then-Democratic challenger Bill White in 2010, choosing instead to demand White’s tax returns in exchange for meeting him mano a mano.  The “no debates” strategy is now a time-tested method for the Texas GOP… keep Texans in the dark about Government by not allowing them to hear opposing viewpoints.

But 2013, and its massive jump in national exposure for Texas Democrats, brought new hope that more Republicans will have to cave in to pressure to face their electoral adversaries.  GOP Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has already promised to face Wendy Davis in at least two meetings, and Democratic Comptroller candidate Mike Collier seems intent to not give up on a head-to-head with his GOP rival Glenn Hegar.

As Senator Van de Putte made clear last week, Dan Patrick can run but he can’t hide.  Texas has learned from the past, and will demand a campaign for Lieutenant Governor worthy of the great state that eventual office-holder hopes to represent.

Mike Collier Hammers Glenn Hegar on Education Cuts

Long dismissed as an easy win for the GOP, the Texas Comptroller’s race is starting to heat up faster than August.  Here’s the story from the Dallas Morning News…

Democratic comptroller nominee Mike Collier says GOP rival Glenn Hegar bragged to a tea party interviewer last year that he was proud of the Legislature’s 2011 budget cuts to public schools.

Collier, who released a video Friday to back up his claims, said it’s “embarrassing and unacceptable” that Hegar “takes pride in cutting education.”

“Hegar does not share our values, and he poses a profound threat to something Texans have held dear since our founding, … a great educational system,” said Collier, a Houston businessman.

Hegar spokesman David White called Collier’s 40-second Web video “a distortion.”

Though Hegar, a state senator from Katy, joined other Republicans in approving $5.4 billion in cuts to schools in the 2011 Legislature, he “believes in adequately funding our education system,” White said.

The clash comes less than 90 days before the election as each tries to gain an edge in the race for the low-profile job as comptroller, the state’s chief financial officer.

The Montgomery County Tea Party posted video of its interview with Hegar on its website late last year. At the time, Hegar faced three other Republicans for the party’s nomination to succeed Susan Combs, who is stepping down.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIWVWHxFY6s?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

The new video is the latest move in an aggressive campaign by Collier, evidenced by a slew of television ad buys and an impressive social media presence.  The Houston businessman has attacked Hegar on his plan to explode sales taxes and a lack of qualifications to even be Comptroller.  Collier has also made several calls to debate Hegar, and even started an online petition to rally the cause, but as yet, Hegar has refused to schedule any debates.

Mike Collier is proving that he has what it takes to win the 2014 election, and more Texas Democrats need to follow suit.  Though some candidates may not have a personal fortune to spend on TV ads, there are other ways to run an aggressive campaign and make lots of noise.  Half the battle in this state is just to get enough name ID to voters so they’ll even know to look for you on the ballot.  Mike “the watchdog” Collier is doing a fantastic job at that as well.  For those hoping that a Democrat will break Texas’ “grand ole ceiling” and get elected statewide this year, the Comptroller’s race is one to watch.  If Collier can building momentum and force Hegar on to the debate stage, he may well win in November.

See Bay Area Houston for more.