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CALL TO ACTION: Need Your Help with HB650!

2013-03-29-7

Friday, March 29, 2013 by Kelly Canon

Hello everyone!

I rarely send out “calls for help”, but now I need EVERYONE’S help big-time!  Right now, in Austin, HB 650 is being stalled in committee without a chance for a public hearing! This bill may never see the light of day, unless the members of the committee hear from YOU.

If you live in Texas, and care about our election process, please keep reading!

As most of you know, I’ve been researching the issue of ballot access for presidential candidates for over three years, having also testified in front of the Interim Elections Committee Hearings (last September), personally meeting with several state representatives, the Elections Director (Keith Ingram), and even personally bringing this issue to the attention of (at the time) Sect’y of State Hope Andrade.

With the research I’ve done, I can say with 100% certainty, that the Texas Democratic Party was able to get Obama’s name placed on our Texas General Election ballot last year (and in 2008) without so much as a glance at his documentation by anyone at the Secretary’s office – not even his application for a place on the ballot.

The Republican Party of Texas was equally negligent!  They (almost) placed an ineligible candidate on the ballot! Had Rick Santorum won the nomination, there would have been a problem with his residency!  His ballot application clearly shows that he, too, fell short of the Constitutional requirements for President.

These issues illustrate a flawed process in our current election laws. HB650 will correct these flaws, among others.  Moreover, it is equally disturbing to know that if nothing is done THIS session, we only have one more legislative session left before the next Presidential election in 2016. If HB650 doesn’t pass, then the State of Texas will REMAIN vulnerable to future attempts at putting another potentially ineligible candidate on the ballot.

You see, our current law allows for each political party to put whomever they want on the ballot. While that is perfectly fine for a PRIMARY election, it shouldn’t be as easy to get those same names on the general election ballot, not without putting in place a stronger set of laws, which will standardize the process, and ensure that only eligible candidates can have their name printed on the ballot.

You would think that this was a given, right?  Not so.

Please take a look at the ‘white paper’ I wrote for HB650, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  Pay particular attention to pages 4 through 7, which shows you the actual applications for a ‘Place on the (Primary) General Ballot’ for this last election. I legally obtained these documents through the Open Records Act.

See if you can spot the problems on these applications. I’ll give you a hint: Page 6, Obama’s application for a place on the ballot.  Compare it to the Republican version on page 4 or 5.   Texas law does not require either/any political party to send a copy of the ballot application(s) to the Secretary of State.  And if the Secretary had been sent a copy of Obama’s application, they would have had no choice but to remove his name from the GENERAL election ballot because there was no acknowledgement of ANY eligibility requirements for president.

And with Rick Santorum’s application (page 5), they would have also had no choice but to keep his name off of the general election ballot because he stated he had only lived in the country for 4 years! It’s supposed to be 14 years minimum continuous residency in the United States.

I have explained all of this in better detail, and have highlighted these issues on all of the applications, in the ‘white paper’.

Here’s where I need YOUR help!

All I need you to do is contact the members of the Elections Committee, and respectfully ask that they bring this bill for a public hearing. They are currently “sitting” on it, and it will go nowhere, if it remains in this status. I have provided you the full contact info (below) for all members of this committee. If you want to just email them all at once, here are all of their email addresses; you can copy & paste the entire text (as is) in to the address box of a NEW email message:

Justin.Unruh_hc@house.state.tx.us; Geanie.Morrison@house.state.tx.us; Borris.Miles@house.state.tx.us; Eric.Johnson@house.state.tx.us; Stephanie.Klick@house.state.tx.us; Rick.Miller@house.state.tx.us; Ron.Simmons@house.state.tx.us; Gene.Wu@house.state.tx.us

Be sure to put in the subject line, “Support HB650”, or something similar.

If you’d rather call each one of the members, start with the Chairwoman, Rep. Morrison.  I’ve included their phone numbers, below.

That’s it!  It’s that easy!  Thank you so much for your help! Several of us have worked way too hard on this to watch it “die” in committee!!  But, it does no good for just ME to keep bugging the members of this committee.  They need to hear from as many Texans as possible! Let’s do this!!

-Kelly

KellyCanon

NOTE from Opinion Arlington: Emailing as noted above is by far our easiest way to contact the committee, but inasmuch as Kelly prepared a complete phone list, we are copying it below for our reader’ reference. Kelly has worked tirelessly on this issue and, in the process has uncovered serious flaws in our state’s candidate eligibility process. HB650 addresses many of those concerns and as such, it deserves our attention and support.

Elections Committee – Contact Information

Committee Clerk: Justin Unruh
Justin.Unruh_hc@house.state.tx.us
512-463-0772

Chairwoman: Rep. Geanie Morrison, District 14
Geanie.Morrison@house.state.tx.us

Room 1N.9, Capitol
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0456
(512) 463-0158 Fax

1908 N. Laurent, Suite 500
Victoria, Texas 77901
(361) 572-0196
(361) 576-0747 Fax

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Borris Miles (Vice Chair) District 4
Borris.Miles@house.state.tx.us

Room E2.718, Capitol Extention
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0518
(512) 463-0941 Fax

2656 South Loop West, Suite 265
Houston, TX 77054
713-665-8322
713-665-0009 Fax

Eric Johnson, District 100
Eric.Johnson@house.state.tx.us

Room E1.204, Capitol Extension
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0586
(512) 463-8147 FAX

1409 S. Lamar St., Suite 9
Dallas, TX 75215
(214) 565-5663
(214) 565-5668 Fax

Stephanie Klick, District 91
Stephanie.Klick@house.state.tx.us

Room E2.716, Capitol Extension
P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
(512) 463-0599
(512) 463-0751

Rick Miller, District 26
Rick.Miller@house.state.tx.us

Capitol Office: EXT E2.312
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768Capitol
Phone: (512) 463-0710
District Address: 130 Industrial Blvd. Ste. 126
Sugarland, TX 77478

Ron Simmons, District 65
Ron.Simmons@house.state.tx.us

Capitol Office: EXT E2.420
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0478
District Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768

Gene Wu, District 137
Gene.Wu@house.state.tx.us

Capitol Office: EXT E2.820
Capitol Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768
Capitol Phone: (512) 463-0492
District Address: P.O. Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768

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