Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Endorses Dan Patrick

July 23, 2014

AUSTIN – Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, received the endorsement of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) for the upcoming general election in November.

“TSCRA is proud to endorse Dan Patrick for Lieutenant Governor,” said Pete Bonds, TSCRA president and TSCRA PAC Co-Chairman. “Throughout Dan’s tenure as a Texas State Senator, he has been a strong supporter of landowner’s property rights and free enterprise. We know he will continue working to defend ranchers and landowners by finding commonsense ways to rein in burdensome government regulations and preserve private property rights. He knows how important the cattle industry is to the State of Texas, which is why TSCRA supports him.”

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) is a 136-year-old trade organization and the largest livestock association in Texas.

The association represents more than 16,400 beef cattle producers, ranching families and businesses who manage approximately 4 million head of cattle on 79.5 million acres of range and pasture land, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma.

TSCRA offers a broad range of services, including law enforcement, government and public affairs, insurance services, industry news and information on best practices, educational programs, and discounts for ranching supplies and related services to members and the industry.

“I am truly honored to receive the endorsement of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association,” said Dan Patrick. “I am a staunch supporter of landowner’s property rights and free enterprise. These fundamental values are what make Texas and our agricultural community national leaders. I am proud to stand with the TSCRA so they can continue to stand for agricultural producers in Texas.”

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It’s Time to Mobilize the National Guard

July 21, 2014

 HOUSTON – Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, just back from a tour of state and federal operations along the Texas-Mexico border has issued the following statement:

“We’ve all seen, read, and heard the news accounts.  Our border, already in crisis, now faces another: the flood of children illegally crossing our southern border in unprecedented numbers.  Federal resources have been overwhelmed.  We find ourselves again in a situation where Texas is forced to fill the gap.  In the past few weeks, Texas has committed additional Department of Public Safety resources to deal with this crisis.

“On Friday, I toured state and federal operations along the Texas-Mexico border.  Colonel Steve McCraw, Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, and Steve Mach, Public Safety Commissioner, arranged the tour.

“I came away with several observations, which I detailed last night on social media.

“Our southern border is not secure.  The federal government has failed to perform this basic function.  This is a matter of public safety.  Among the thousands of immigrants crossing our border illegally looking for work and economic opportunity are criminal elements who are committing serious crimes against our citizens.  There are also terrorists slipping across the border undetected.  Now we have an added element of unaccompanied alien children crossing.

“More manpower and more resources are needed.  It’s time to mobilize the National Guard.  This should be done by President Obama, but if he refuses, and Governor Perry decides to act, I fully support that decision.

“If the federal government will not take this important step, and Governor Perry is forced to act, the burden will fall upon Texas taxpayers and the 84th Session of the Legislature to appropriate the necessary funds.  I believe the public and the members of the Legislature agree with me.”

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Statement from Dan Patrick on the use of Common Core in AP US History

July 18, 2014

HOUSTON – Today, Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, issued the following statement on the use of Common Core in AP US History in Texas.

“Common Core is a threat to our state’s high-quality education standards.  As State Senator, I carried H.B. 462, which was signed into law in June 2013, to keep Common Core out of Texas.  I also asked Attorney General Greg Abbott to issue an opinion against the use of Common Core in Texas.  In this opinion he agreed that the intent of H.B. 462 was to prohibit the outright adoption of the national Common Core standards.”

“Today, I applaud SBOE Member Ken Mercer and his efforts to fight Common Core.  Ken is leading the charge to prevent Common Core from being brought back into Texas classrooms via a backdoor through the Common Core aligned AP US History exam.   As Lt. Governor, I will fight to ensure that Texas continues to educate students with our own high-quality standards, rather than national mandates pushed by special interests.”

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Dan Patrick earns Texas Civil Justice League endorsement

July 17, 2014

HOUSTON – Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, received the endorsement of the Texas Civil Justice League today.

“We are proud to endorse Senator Patrick in this important race,” said John Fainter, Chairman of the Texas Civil Justice League. “We look forward to working with the Texas Senate, under his strong leadership, in the upcoming session.”

“Since his election to the Texas Senate in 2007, Senator Patrick has consistently supported legislation aimed at leveling the playing field for litigants in the Texas courts and strengthening the integrity and efficiency of the Texas judicial system. Senator Patrick’s business experience provides unique perspective and will enhance his ability to help guide the healthy Texas business environment and job market,” said Carol Sims, TCJL PAC Treasurer.

“I am very honored to receive the endorsement of the Texas Civil Justice League PAC,” said Dan Patrick. “As a long-time small businessman, who values a balanced judicial system, the support of this group of business leaders is particularly appreciated.”

Formed in 1986, the TCJL PAC supports statewide, legislative, and judicial candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who are committed to creating and maintaining a fair and efficient Texas civil justice system.

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Dan Patrick Addressed 86th Annual FFA Texas State Convention

July 16, 2014

HOUSTON – Today, Dan Patrick, Republican nominee for Lt. Governor, addressed a crowd of over 11,000 students, parents and teachers at the annual FFA Texas State Convention in Fort Worth.  His remarks were well received by the audience as he stressed various educational hurdles facing Texas.

Patrick’s remarks followed closely with the convention’s theme, “I Can” and challenged the young leaders of FFA to continue pursuing opportunities to learn inside as well as outside of the classroom.

As chairman of the Senate Education committee in the 83rd legislative session, Dan Patrick led the charge on giving students more flexibility to choose rigorous academic courses that fit their interests and skills. The reforms enacted last session provide additional classroom choices in CTE courses as well as opportunities for businesses to partner with school districts and develop courses to teach within the community.

“Texas is driven by a very diverse economy that demands an equally diverse and well trained workforce,” said Dan Patrick. “The reforms we passed in public education last session are going to make our schools and our economy much stronger.”

“As Lieutenant Governor, I will continue to champion the dreams of our students by maintaining high standards, providing graduation plan flexibility to our students and choice options for their parents,” said Dan Patrick. “No child should be forced down a graduation path that doesn’t inspire them and no parent should be confined to a failing school because of their zip code.”

 

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Dan Patrick Fundraising Totals Climb

July 14, 2014

Demonstrates continued fundraising strength and ability

HOUSTON – Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, released his fundraising totals ahead of his report due tomorrow with the Texas Ethics Commission.

“Since July 1, 2013, the campaign has received over 4,000 contributions totaling nearly $7.8 million,” said Allen Blakemore, Patrick Campaign Senior Strategist.  “The Patrick Campaign continues to meet or exceed every fundraising goal.”

“The Patrick Campaign raised $2.2 million during the Primary, then raised $4.5 million during the Runoff, and has already raised $1 million since the Runoff Election.  Dan Patrick is a proven fundraiser, demonstrating a robust ability to attract contributions and unwavering support.  He will raise the necessary funds to carry out an aggressive campaign this fall.”

“We have a great fundraising team,” said Dan Patrick.  “Together we will secure the necessary dollars to carry our message to the voters of our great State and, along with the entire Republican ticket, be victorious in November.”

The campaign’s regular report of contributions and expenditures, covering activity through June 30, 2014, is due to be filed with the Texas Ethics Commission on July 15, 2014.

 

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Patrick Signs Letter Asking Congress to Reimburse Texas for Border Security Costs

July 10, 2014

July 9, 2014

To Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation:

In light of the ongoing border crisis and Texas’ extraordinary law enforcement efforts, and following President Obama’s request for a $3.7 billion emergency supplemental appropriation to support a sustained border security surge, we write to you with an urgent request, which is necessitated by the federal government’s neglect of its constitutional duty to police our international border.

We respectfully ask that you reimburse Texas for the full cost of our border security law enforcement surge, whether you grant the President’s emergency supplement appropriations request or not. Where the federal government has failed to secure our state’s international border, Texas has risen to the task by authorizing a border security operations surge, thanks to actions undertaken by Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and Speaker Joe Straus. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), which is charged with leading the border security operation, estimates that the cost of this surge will be $1.3 million per week.

We specifically request $68 million dollars for 52 weeks of border security surge funding, and we ask that this money be available to DPS for border security law enforcement purposes without further restrictions.

On July 8, President Obama formally asked Congress for a $3.7 billion emergency supplemental appropriation to stem the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America. The President’s July 8 letter notes that one purpose of the requested emergency supplemental appropriation is to “support a sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement.” Texas DPS has been extremely effective at this very type of mission in the past, and this is exactly what Texas leadership authorized on June 18.

We note that a border security surge is only one of President Obama’s stated goals for the emergency supplemental appropriation, although our reimbursement request would amount to a reasonable 1.8 percent of the total appropriation requested by the President.

As Texas has borne the brunt of this wave of people crossing illegally, and as we have already authorized decisive action that is nearly identical to one of the President’s goals, reimbursing Texas for our ongoing and extraordinary border security efforts is sensible, prudent, and just. These are costs that the federal government should bear, whether or not you pass the emergency supplemental appropriation requested by President Obama.

Thank you for your attention to this reimbursement request, and for your service to the United States of America and Texas.

[PDF of Letter]

Patrick Signs Letter Questioning Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs

June 24, 2014

June 23, 2014
Sloan Gibson
Acting Secretary
United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20420

Dear Mr. Gibson,

We are appalled by the deplorable and dishonest treatment of our nation’s veterans by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), the department charged with providing health care to the men and women who have served our country in the military. The endless waitlists and failure to provide adequate care to all veterans are inexcusable, but even more troubling is the systemic breakdown of values and integrity among career VA leadership and employees, as revealed by their efforts to hide the truth about waiting times.

One of many examples of the deeply troubling VA failures comes from El Paso, where the El Paso Times reported on a survey conducted by Congressman Beto O’Rourke, which found:

It takes veterans in El Paso on average of 71 days to see a mental-health provider, and more than 36 percent of veterans who tried to make an appointment at the local clinic were unable to see one… it takes 85 days from the day a veteran seeking primary health care requests an appointment until he or she is seen by a health care provider.

While Secretary Eric Shinseki’s public recognition of the gravity of the scandal that took place under his leadership was a positive development, there must be accountability throughout the VA—not simply at the top. It is imperative for us to recognize that Secretary Shinseki’s recent resignation, while prudent, is not the solution to the problems at hand, and that we must not forget that those responsible for these fraudulent reports are still within the VA and not yet held accountable. Not only was there an “unacceptable lack of integrity within some of our veterans health facilities,” but before his official resignation, Secretary Shinseki came to the realization that the crisis was much larger than he previously thought:

I said when this situation began weeks and months ago that I thought the problem was limited and isolated because I believed that. I no longer believe it; it is systemic.

In addition to the dishonesty and deceit underlying this secret waiting list scandal, the Austin American-Statesman has reported that whistleblowers are being intimidated. A letter from one whistleblower’s attorney, quoted by the Statesman, also alleges a disturbing motivation for VA officials to lie about waiting times:

It is readily apparent that many VA directors and supervisors have traded the health and safety of America’s veterans for money and performance awards. It is now clear that any employee, like my client, who opposes them will be retaliated against, silenced and punished.

The VA scandal may have broken on Secretary Shinseki’s watch, but he is not solely culpable. A report in The Washington Times indicates that the Obama-Biden transition team was warned in 2008 of the VA’s faulty wait-time information and data integrity issues. That this problem has festered and ballooned into a full-scale crisis without being remedied sooner is all the more unacceptable.

Furthermore, outcomes at VA facilities are inconsistent. A recent review by The Wall Street Journal, published by the paper on June 3, found “vastly disparate treatment results and what some VA doctors contend is the slippage of quality in recent years at some VA facilities.” Indeed, the Journal notes:

The Phoenix facility at the heart of the crisis at the Department of Veterans Affairs is among a number of VA hospitals that show significantly higher rates of mortality and dangerous infections than the agency’s top-tier hospitals, internal records show.

A thorough investigation is overdue. Waiting times, delays in care, and inconsistent quality of care must be expeditiously and completely addressed. Most critically, the culture of deceit, self-preservation and toleration of poor performance without consequence must be rooted out and eliminated.

Our nation’s veterans, which includes many Texans, deserve at least two things:

1. Quality health care delivered within a reasonable time frame; and,

2. An honest VA administration with integrity.

These outcomes are of immediate importance, and we ask that you make them your first priority. We also respectfully ask that you provide answers to the following questions:

1. What steps are you taking to ascertain the full extent of the crisis at your agency?

2. What actions, policy changes, terminations, or other steps will you take to immediately rectify known problems?

3. What longer-term reforms do you plan to implement?

4. How will you change the culture of the VA so a travesty of this nature never happens again?

5. If it does not already exist, what authority will you request from Congress that affords you and your subordinates the ability to discipline or terminate career SES or GS employees found acting with maleficence or misconduct?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter, and these questions.

Sincerely,

Senator Brian Birdwell

Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson

Senator Donna Campbell

Representative Trent Ashby

Senator Kelly Hancock

Representative Cecil Bell, Jr.

Senator Dan Patrick

Representative Dennis Bonnen

Senator Charles Schwertner

Representative Greg Bonnen

Senator Larry Taylor

Representative Cindy Burkett

State”Representative”Bill”Zedler

Representative Angie Chen Button

Representative Stephanie Klick

Representative Travis Clardy

Representative Jodie Laubenberg

Representative Myra Crownover

Representative George Lavender

Representative Dan Flynn

Representative Jeff Leach

Representative John Frullo

Representative Rick Miller

Representative Craig Goldman

Representative Geanie W. Morrison

Representative Lance Gooden

Representative Jim Murphy

Representative Linda Harper-Brown

Representative John Otto

Representative Jason Isaac

Representative Chris Paddie

Representative Susan King

Representative Tan Parker

Representative Tim Kleinschmidt

Representative Charles Perry

Representative Scott Sanford

Representative Ed Thompson

Representative Kenneth Sheets

Representative Steve Toth

Representative Ralph Sheffield

Representative Scott Turner

Representative Ron Simmons

Representative James White

Representative Drew Springer

Representative Bill Zedler

[PDF of Letter]

Patrick Backs Border Security Actions of State Leadership

June 19, 2014

HOUSTON – Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, issued the following statement regarding recent emergency action by Governor Perry, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, and Speaker Straus:

“I want to thank Governor Perry, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, and Speaker Straus for their decisive emergency action today in authorizing Department of Public Safety, Director Steve McCraw to take all necessary and appropriate actions to secure the Texas/Mexico border.

“Throughout my campaign, I have made clear that securing the border will be my top priority as Lieutenant Governor and I am pleased that Governor Perry, Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst, and Speaker Straus have made this important decision.

“Today’s action will ensure that Colonel McCraw has the resources and the flexibility to deploy them when and where they will be most effective.

“This is an emergency. Law enforcement is currently overwhelmed. Shifting resources there is critical.

“Rest assured that when the Texas Legislature convenes in January 2015, I will make border security a priority for the Texas Senate. We should not be funding border security as an emergency, or part of a temporary surge – instead we must fund border security as a 24/7/365 operation. The Texas Senate will get this done.

“Texans along the border are in harms way. However, the effects of the drug trade, sex trade, and human trafficking are omnipresent across Texas. This crisis deserves the attention of our state leadership and today they responded.”

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Patrick Statement on Emergency Funding of Border Security

June 17, 2014

HOUSTON – Dan Patrick, Texas State Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, released the following statement seeking emergency action by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House for emergency funding for border security:

“I’ve focused on the importance of border security since I joined the Texas Senate in 2007. I’ve been criticized by Democrats for talking about the overwhelming number of people illegally crossing into Texas, the potential for disease being brought into our state, the number of hardened criminals crossing our border, and the possibility of terrorists coming into Texas.

“Over the past few weeks the lack of security along our Texas Border has been exposed for all to see. Thousands of unaccompanied children and teens, along with adults, are swarming into Texas. Currently, the federal Immigration Statistics Office has increased the estimated number of unaccompanied children projected for this year up from 60,000 to 90,000. Two years ago 11,000 unaccompanied teens and children crossed the Border illegally.

“There are many concerns about the latest influx of illegal aliens, including the health impact to our state. Chris Cabrera of the U.S Border Patrol says, “agents are worried about illegal immigrants coming over with contagious infections. We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA staph infections, we are starting to see different viruses,” Cabrera said. He went on to say that the U.S Border Patrol is overwhelmed.

“The state is making sure each child is vaccinated, but our overall resources are being stretched to the limit. If we have a major hurricane this summer requiring mass evacuations our own citizens they may not be able to get the help they need because of this latest crisis.

“There are many theories about why the wave is hitting Texas now. Some say Obama Administration policies are to blame; others believe the current wave is orchestrated by the drug cartels. Nevertheless, we are overwhelmed by the current humanitarian crisis and our border is less secure than ever to the drug cartels, human traffickers, and potential terrorist activities.

“As a member of the Texas Senate I am calling on the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House to take immediate action.

“The Texas Department of Public Safety has indicated that sustained operations along our southern border will require $1.3 million per week. I am calling on the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House to immediately allocate $1.3 million a week in emergency spending for the rest of the year for added border security through Texas law enforcement.

“In January 2015 the legislature must take up border security as the first priority of the new session. As Lt Governor, I will insist our budget funds border security at levels recommended by Texas Law enforcement on a 24/7/365 day basis. We must do all we can to protect Texans until Washington meets its responsibility to secure our border and pass responsible legal immigration reform, which brings an end to illegal immigration.

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