On Election Day, November 4, 2014, moderates and liberals were thrashed and humiliated. Texas Right to Life AGAIN won almost every major race in which our PAC was involved. While most states were blessed with fabulous victories — including upsets of entrenched, pro-abortion politicians, no state enjoyed the millions of conservative, Pro-Life ballots that were cast in Texas.
Conservative Pro-Lifers won every statewide office and even picked up a few new seats down the ballot. Adding to an already strong majority is a quite difficult task.
The Republicans now hold 98 of the 150 State House seats. At least 92 of those Republicans vote Pro-Life, and at least 5 Democrats will always support final passage of Pro-Life bills. Of the 20 Senate Republicans, 15 are automatic Pro-Life votes with the other 5 Republicans In Name Only (RINOs) pushing for weakening amendments and loose enforcement provisions when they cannot kill our bills behind the scenes (e.g., in the closed-door Senate Republican Caucus). However, these five will always vote Pro-Life when the vote is public record and then predictably push to the front of the photo at the bill signing of the very bill they tried to squash. One Democrat senator will usually also support Pro-Life bills, but Senator Lucio endures immense pressure from his party to withhold from the Blocker Bill so that any Pro-Life or conservative bill cannot make it to the Senate floor where it would easily pass.
The elevations of Ken Paxton to the office of Attorney General and Sid Miller to Agricultural Commissioner marked two sweet, telling victories for true conservative Pro-Lifers and stinging, troubling defeats for RINOs. The statewide victories of two former legislators who were exiled from the Capitol Country Club should elate the conservative movement and concern other RINOs whose eyes are fixed higher, as every elected official’s are.
All conservative grassroots membership organizations (the ones labeled “outside groups” by the RINOs because they don’t like us exposing the truth to their constituents who are also our dues-paying members) now rightfully expect a spate of long-sought movement bills to be sent from the Senate to the House and vice versa EARLY in the upcoming 84th Legislative Session. Any Pro-Life bill or marquee conservative bill should pass by at least 90 votes in the House and 20-11 in the Senate. Despite the tired mantra of letting the will of the House determine action and policies, House leadership still manages the flow of legislation, prioritizing such pressing moral issues as gambling expansion and the regulation of coal plants. The shield of the Blocker Bill behind which Senate leadership hides to avoid a divisive issue (i.e., any bill that might reflect a plank in the Republican Party Platform) must be removed. Our new Lieutenant Governor-Elect Dan Patrick has championed the death of the Blocker Bill, and the liberal press are desperately trying to convince conservatives that keeping the Blocker Bill is in our best interest.
Texas RINOs must ask themselves if they will again try to obstruct the conservative agenda when the 84TH Texas Legislature convenes in January. Will House Republican leadership and the Senate RINOs try to stop or weaken every conservative bill now that Texan and American voters have rejected the Austin establishment, Obama, progressives, and all liberal policies?
If 2015 is a repeat of 2013 and only one, two, or even three token, watered-down conservative bills are passed by the State Legislature during the regular session, the grassroots will have ample motivation to enforce term limits at the ballot box. In the last four years, Texas Right to Life has banded together with every other major grassroots group to defeat in the primaries three Republican state senators and more than 10 Republican representatives. How many more Republican Texas state senators and representatives are willing to sacrifice their political careers attempting to thwart the conservative agenda?
The entire 2014 election cycle has been an unmitigated success for the conservative, Pro-Life movement. The battle now moves to Washington and Austin with the finest Pro-Life Texas conservative, Pro-Life army every elected.
Jim Graham is Executive Director of Texas Right to Life