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Bryan Preston


September 27, 2013 - 9:52 am

Earlier this week, I sat down for an on-camera chat with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. Staples is one of the four heavyweight candidates for the lieutenant governorship in Texas, including the incumbent David Dewhurst. Constitutionally, the Texas lieutenant governor is granted great power, more than any other elected official in the state. The Republican primary for lieutenant governor is expected to be the most competitive race in Texas in 2014.

I caught up with Staples fresh from his statewide bus tour, which has taken him all over the huge state. I asked him about that tour and about other issues facing the state. There were no rules for our interview, no pre-approved questions, nothing was set out of bounds in any way.

Staples called the reception of his statewide bus tour “refreshing,” adding that Texans are telling him that “the Texas spirit is alive and well, and we’re not ready to hand the keys over to a liberal element that wants to grow government and provide government solutions” to all issues. That liberal element would be the Obama-connected Battleground Texas, and its allies at the Lone Star Project, Texans for Public Justice and other Democratic front groups. And, frankly, the mainstream media.

Staples touted his record as Texas agriculture commissioner, a position from which he oversees one of the state’s key industries.

“As I have served as commissioner of agriculture, we’ve cut waste,” he said. “I’ve worked with the legislature to abolish agencies. We’ve moved those functions to the Department of Agriculture. We’ve delivered them at lower cost, and with fewer number of employees.”

He addressed the competitiveness of the lieutenant governor’s race, saying that “competition makes us all better and it gives the voters a clear picture of who they’re voting for and what they’re gonna do.”

“I really think this race is about two things,” Staples said. “It’s about leadership and it’s about results.” Among Staples’ results, he says he has stood up for landowners against government eminent domain, has championed statutory reform, and has stood up “against the Obama administration when they tried to impose job-killing EPA mandates on Texas.” He added that he also stood up against the Obama administration when it declared, despite the evidence, that the border with Mexico is safer than ever.

The lack of security along the Texas-Mexico border is probably Staples’ strongest issue. He possesses a very detailed knowledge of the security situation on the ground, having commissioned a military assessment of the border zone. He assailed the Obama administration’s handling of it, as he also does in his book, Broken Borders, Broken Promises. Staples, a former rancher himself, says that farmers and ranchers on the border routinely deal with incursions across the border and are even “chased off of their own property,” prompting me to ask him about an incident the previous weekend in which Texas Department of Safety officers apparently caught and then released nearly two dozen suspected illegal aliens crossing a Texas ranch.

Watch our exclusive interview to hear Staples’ ideas on securing the border.

Staples also discusses gun control and President Obama’s politicizing of the Navy Yard massacre, the recently concluded Texas legislative sessions, the fight over the abortion bill, and the candidacy of Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, among other issues.



Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Thanks so much for the additional perspectives!

Governor Perry came up to Maryland promoting Texas and offering a lifeline to our sorely beleaguered/abused business owners. I gather, Texans for America's Future not withstanding, we have businesses that will be taking him up on his offer. Texas well earned reputation for opportunity and success is noteworthy!

I am concerned that TFAF may have broadcast similar messages in other states the Governor has/may visit with similar invitations.

My guess is the TFAF sponsors:
Resent Texas legislation re filing lawsuits
In spirit, support fellow Attorney O'Malley both in terms of his hard left philosophy and his potential run for President - and thus want to destroy any potential competition.
Maryland "residents (no voter id)" can vote for a President (tho as a band of "blue footed boobies," the likelihood of their supporting a responsible conservative candidate is VERY dicey).
Not to mention TFAF extreme putdown of Texas bleeds across state lines via their purchased radio waves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It sounds as if Texas is enjoying a excellent slate of candidates for Lt. Governor.

As a U.S./Maryland citizen who would be substantially gratified to see the U.S. transition to the “Texas Model,” I have been suffering through a week of ads vilifying Texas.

I am hoping on or before the next election, or most certainly quickly there after, someone will be focusing on overcoming the negative impressions that are being promulgated by local subversive elements.

Texans for America's Future/evidently financed heavily if not solely by the Mostyn Law Firm
has been characterizing Texas as the State where:

*One child in four lives in poverty.
*The highway department has to convert some modern paved state roads back to gravel
*Texas ranks dead last in the percent of population that graduates from high school
[Last year the U.S. Department of Education released new graduation figures, in which the states used common rigorous data, allowing for true state-by-state comparisons. That data shows Texas ranks 3rd in the nation with an 86 percent graduation rate]
*We're Number One in the production of hazardous wastes, and a strong fourth in cancer causing chemicals released into the air.
[In a study released in late August, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that emissions from cars, trucks, industrial smokestacks, trains, boats, and commercial heating systems contribute to the death of 113 people per 100,000 population per year in Maryland—more than any other state]
*28% of Texans have no health insurance at all
[California actually has the highest number of uninsured under age 65 uninsured in the nation,
according to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.]
*We're rated the worst in the nation in health care services.

(Some of the Rebuttal Credit goes to:
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Fact Checking Martin O'Malley)

As you might imagine Mostyn and his “Texans for America's Future” lay Texas failure at the Governor’s doorstep.

May the Lt. Governor candidate who will be able to do the most to continue and further Texas success win!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
*One child in four lives in poverty.

And how was that determined? Simple; the rules and guidelines for getting your child on the free school breakfast/lunch program has changed. No longer do parent[s] have to prove their income in order to apply for their child. So dishonest parents just check the [YES] box when asked if they are "proverty" level income wise.

Any parent who earns less than $9.97 hourly, after taxes, is considered poverty level. If they have two children, that makes them eligible for $536.00 a month on a Lone Star card where they can purchase not only food, but clothing, TVs, other furniture, get cash for cigarettes, booze and lottery tickets. They can get reduced rent in Section 8 housing (around $220/month) and have their kids and themselves insured through CHIPS. Add it all up and you have about $1,500/month worth of "in kind" government contributions to add to the $20,000/annual after tax income for a total income valued at roughly $38,000.00 after taxes.

As to those who are uninsured in Texas, the stats include two million illegals who frankly, have no right to insurance in the United States. Yet are still eligible for health care services through charities and federal laws regarding ER treatment.

Mostyn, a Houston lawyer who made his fortune on tort law, is a big supporter of Wendy Davis, whose wife gives millions to Emily's List to promote abortion supporting candidate. What his purpose in running ads in Maryland is, is not quite clear since Maryland residents cannot vote in Texas, legally, that is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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