Tag Archives: Texas House of Representatives

TLCQ 2016: Matt Murphy

In the First installment of the 2016 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Matt Murphy, candidate for the Texas House of Representatives, District 147.  He is a Republican.

Please note: Responses are 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 may be considered during the endorsement process.

 

TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot and the office that you are seeking in 2016?

MM:  Matt Murphy (R) for Texas House of Representatives-District 147

 

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

MM:  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?

MM:  The Declaration of Independence and Constitution clearly shows how to govern effectively and protect our individual Liberty. It is important to have a representative democracy where the voice of the people can be heard. If partisian politics would follow the Constitution as it is written and all politicians actually started representing the people instead of their party platform, our society would be better. It also takes the participation of the voters, however most have become so apathetic to the process. It is time to be different in our approach to help maintain our FREEDOM. 

 

 TL:  If elected, what is your top priority in office for the upcoming term? Describe how you plan to accomplish it.

MM:  As a political outsider, I choose to reverse the current trend of representation by going into the community instead of waiting for the community to come to me. This refreshing approach has helped me gain a diverse group of supporters from Republicans,Democrats, and Independents while also encouraging new voters to get involved in the political process. 

Our campaign encourages people to “Know Your Neighbor”. If we can strengthen our relationships with our neighbors, we can unify local leaders and unite as one voice for better streets, better schools and better crime prevention. By avoiding divisive social agendas pushed from the top down, we can refocus on the core role of government, and free up resources to address pressing concerns. I have always said that if you know your neighbors name, then you are obligated to look after them regardless of your differences. 

 

TL:  Recent years in American Politics have yielded an environment of hyper-partisanship, the results of which have often led to government inefficiency, and sometimes total government gridlock.  Describe how you plan to break through this partisan gridlock for the good of your constituents, and work with those from differing political ideologies.  

MM:  Most partisan politics are lead by the elite few leaving most of America without strong leadership. This becomes very discouraging to many because their vote does not matter, so they stop voting altogether. One of the biggest ways this has happened is because the politicians pander to the political PACs with money instead of depending on the grassroots efforts for the people. Grassroots efforts are rarely appealing because it does not account for enough money to run a campaign. This has resulted in a politician having to listen and vote the way that those that “give them money” want them too instead of represent those they represent in their district. However, incumbents continue to get elected by a large majority because their name recognition is increased while in office and low voter turnout. We may never be able to change this through legislation, but if candidates were willing to stay determined and resilient towards the grassroots movement, they will eventually get elected and become a strong voice for the people that will focus on creating an efficient government that looks at the source of problems instead of the surface of problems. 

 

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

MM:  For over 25 years the people of Texas House District 147 have not been given a choice in who represents their values in Austin because my opponent has ran unopposed. This lack of accountability has resulted in my opponent ignoring the responsibility to represent our diverse district with an equal voice. He has also showed a complete disrespect of the law and our freedoms. He is a political insider that feels untouchable. 

The people of Texas House District 147 want a CHOICE. They want a leader that represents their values of Faith, Family, Freedom, Patriotism, and Building Stronger Communities. They want a leader that will put his own opinions aside and represent the community opinion as the way a representative democracy was invented. The people of this district are yelling, “I Matter!”

I am completely different than my opponent because I choose to be in the community instead of forcing the community to come to me in Austin. I choose to educate the community on the facts surrounding issues instead of giving them my own personal opinions in efforts to make them a more informed voter. Once I receive a consensus of the community, I can go back to Austin and vote based on their values while maintaining an open channel during the process. This continues to resonate with the voters in this district and hopefully results in our success on election night. 

 

TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

MM:  I am fortunate to have an amazing son, Shawn, and a smoking hot wife, Rachel that I love to spend time with when I am not on the campaign trail. We love to explore our district by going to all of the amazing parks, businesses and restaurants in Downtown, Midtown, Museum District, Third Ward, OST/South Union, Sunnyside, South Park and Hobby Airport area. Since we live so close to Hermann Park, we love to ride our bikes there to enjoy a good picnic, feeding the ducks, playing frisbee, or going to a great performance at Miller Outdoor Theater. Our district is amazing, and we need a true representative that believes in the values of the voters that will protect our great places. I hope my campaign can get out the “good news” that District 147 finally has a choice, because “Your Choice Matters!”

 

Thanks to Mr. Murphy for the responses.

Election Day 2016 is Tuesday November 8th, and Early Voting runs from October 24th through November 4th.  For Houston area voters, here’s early voting information for Harris CountyFort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, and Galveston County.  For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.

matt-murphy-2016

TLCQ 2014: Susan Criss

In the Eighth installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Susan Criss, former Galveston County District Judge and candidate for the Texas House of Representatives, District 23.  She is a Democrat.

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? 

SC:  Susan Criss

 

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

SC:  I was a district judge here in Galveston County for 15 years.

 

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

SC:  Government is essential to protecting people’s rights, property, and quality of life. After Hurricane Ike I saw the impact that laws and government had on the recovery process. I want to be a voice for the people of District 23 in Austin

 

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session.  Describe how you plan to accomplish them. 

SC:

1.) Protecting citizens of HD 23 from the economic consequences of the storms we endure. I plan to hold insurance companies to their commitments, and stand up for the people of Galveston and Chambers counties, not the insurance industry.

2.) I plan to find solutions to the water crisis. Despite being surrounded by water, our area is constantly under water restrictions. Conservation efforts as essential to ensuring our citizens and our industries have a sufficient water supply.

3.) Adequately and sufficiently funding public education. Providing our children with a quality education is not a choice. Not only do we disservice our children by not funding our schools, we drive up the rates of poverty, shrink our economy, and eliminate jobs. I will work to restore the devastating cuts that my opponent’s backers pushed through the legislature in 2011.

 

TL:  A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association.  Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance.  This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded healthcare benefits in other states. If elected, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong?  If not, please explain why.  If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure.   

SC:  I have always prided myself on my ability to work across the isle to find solutions for our citizens. As State Representative, I will work with whoever is willing to tackle the looming issue of our health insurance crisis. We must work to bring our tax dollars into our own economy, insure more people, reduce the cost on our hospitals, and stop wasting precious capital on partisan lawsuits that have such a detrimental effect on Texan’s health.

 

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions.  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.  

SC:  Our crumbling infrastructure is an ongoing cause for concern in our state. Modern, well maintained highway and bridge systems are an essential part to a booming economy. We must invest in projects that enable new companies moving to Texas to thrive, instead of choking their productivity with insufficient infrastructure. Investing in our roadways and bridges in good for the economy, and good for jobs.

 

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

SC:  My experience as a Judge has prepared me for this position. Seeing the countless faces that have passed through my courtroom has given me the distinct experience of seeing problems through the eyes of my would-be constituents. I’m a candidate that will fight for everyone, not just special interest groups. I have seen first hand how laws and legislation affect people, and I will take that experience with me to the capitol to create laws that protect the citizens of District 23, not take advantage of them.

 

 

TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?  

 SC:  I like spending time with my two dachshunds, Brutus and Brooke. I also enjoy photography, gardening and Pintrest.

 

Thanks to Judge Criss for her participation.

TLCQ 2014: Ron Reynolds

In the Seventh installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from State Representative Ron Reynolds, incumbent of the Texas House of Representatives, District 27.  He is a Democrat, running for reelection.

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?

RR:  Ron Reynolds

 

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

RR:  Current: Texas State Representative, District 27

 

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

RR:  I am passionate about protecting and serving the rights of my constituents. Our government provides the platform to establish laws that protect citizens and preserve their rights, prosperity, longevity, infrastructure, education and peace of mind for their families and generations to come.

 

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.

RR:  My top three priorities are to fight for economic development, expand access to high quality affordable health care and fund public education.

I will continue to accomplish these goals by ensuring funding for entrepreneurs and small business owners within Fort Bend County through low-interest loans and start-up grants, and equal opportunities for contracts with state governmental entities.  Regarding health care, I believe all Texans have a right to high quality affordable healthcare.  I will continue to support legislation that funds CHIP, stem cell research and access to healthcare for everyone.  Public education in Texas ranks at or near the bottom compared to the rest of the country. I am committed to correcting this problem by supporting initiatives that de-emphasize the significance of teaching to the test and support our educators and students.

 

TL:  A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association. Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance.  This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded healthcare benefits in other states. If elected, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong?  If not, please explain why.  If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure.

RR:  I support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act and other options that will restore the funding necessary to support the state’s CHIP program and other critical programs that protect the health of our families.

 

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions. 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.

RR:  Fort Bend County is one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. It is a challenge to keep up with expansion while not compromising quality of life.  Infrastructure is essential to maintaining excellent highways, airports, roadways, water systems, drainage, wastewater treatment, traffic lights and bridges. I will remain proactive in supporting infrastructure projects that plan long-term and strategically for the future economic, physical, social and cultural well-being of the county.

 

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

RR:  I believe to whom much is given, much is required. I am a public servant at heart and always will be. It is simply who I am. I am the best candidate for this office because I care about the well-being of our constituents and will continue to fight for the best interests our families, educators, business owners and community leaders. I willingly reach across the aisle to achieve positive results for the benefit of our citizens, while putting people matters first over politics.

 

TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

RR:  Staying grounded through maintaining a strong spiritual life and spending time with my family are very enjoyable to me.

 

Thanks to Representative Reynolds for his participation.

 

TLCQ 2014: Laura Nicol

In the First installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Laura Nicol, candidate for the Texas State Representative, District 133.  She is a Democrat.

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? 

LN:  Laura Nicol

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

LN:  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? 

LN:  Government’s job is the protection and empowerment of ordinary people and their communities. Protection from natural disasters, accidents, and predators (animals, people, and businesses). Empowerment via infrastructure, institutions, and programs that anyone can use to achieve success.

Workers need a living wage, humane working conditions, and affordable housing near public transportation. Families need wholesome food, health care, and social services within their community. Neighborhood schools need full funding and the freedom to teach. Immigrants need legal options and an efficient path to citizenship.

TL:  If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session.  Describe how you plan to accomplish them. 

LN:  As State Representative for Texas House District 133, I will fight for full restoration of funding for neighborhood schools, and distribution of resources according to need, not test scores.  I will champion legislation to require every job to provide a living wage, decent working conditions, and regularly scheduled days off.  I will fight to protect communities from endangerment and exploitative business practices by enforcing regulations, requiring independent inspections, and imposing crippling penalties for repeat infractions.  If necessary, I will push for a state income tax to fund these measures.

TL:  A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association.  Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance.  This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded healthcare benefits in other states. If elected, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong?  If not, please explain why.  If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure

 LN:  Yes. If there is suitable existing legislation, I will vote for it.  If not, I will submit a bill.  In addition, I will join other advocates in publicizing the benefits and debunking the feared consequences of Medicaid expansion.

TL:  In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions.  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.

LN:  Infrastructure is what individual prosperity is built upon.  But infrastructure rests upon the foundation of environmental health. Water, air, and soil are our most fundamental and essential assets.  Environmental protection regulations must be enforced and continually updated to include new data. Natural resources must be managed for the good of all, not the profit of a few. Once the foundation of environmental health is secure, civilization’s infrastructure can be addressed:  education, health care, housing, transportation, etc.  All must be addressed with the intent to provide the most good for the most people in the long run.  There are fact and evidence based solutions already working out in the rest of the world; we should not let profiteers call the shots.

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

LN:  The incumbent is a business man, not a public servant.  He is wealth oriented, stuck in the profit paradigm where money matters most.  He brags about how many private schools are in his district, and voted to both reduce and divert public education dollars, starving our neighborhood schools for the benefit of exclusionary institutions.

I am committed to the health and well-being of all Texas residents; I believe every neighborhood needs good public schools, affordable housing, accessible health care & social services, reliable public transit, and a variety of small businesses providing goods, services, and living wages.  We all do better when we ALL do better.

TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?  

LN:  Although I no longer sing in a choir, I still lead hymns at my UU church every Sunday.  I read a couple of hours a day.  The exception is when my children coax me into trying out a new video game, which I will play for a couple of months before losing interest.  Several times a year I like to spend a day in the garden, focusing on plants and dirt; it puts everything else into perspective for me.

Thanks to Ms. Nicol for her participation.