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E-Verify is ‘Anti-Plano and Anti-Business’ ??

Posted by Mike O on June 4, 2011

So claims Pat Gallagher, Candidate for Plano City Council.  Amazing that the simple process of actually validating the information every business is already required to gather in an I-9 via an easy-to-use, FREE online service is “Anti-Plano and anti-business”.  (See http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1185221678150.shtm for details)

Below is an emailed letter, nearly hysterical in presentation, which Pat sent out in desperation: the complete dissection of the misrepresentations will appear below:

From: “Patrick Gallagher” <gallagherpw@verizon.net
Date: June 3, 2011 10:29:15 AM CDT
To: “Patrick Gallagher” <gallagherpw@verizon.net
Subject: My Plano City Council Opponent Aligns With North Texas Tea Party   

Dear Friends,
I entered this race to help maintain and improve the quality of the life for our citizens. I promised myself to keep my integrity intact and make this campaign experience genuine and focused on the ideals that spurred me to run for Plano City Council Place 7. 

Last week the North Texas Tea Party Legislative Chair proposed to City Council Runoff candidates they sponsor a City of Plano Ordinance requiring ALL businesses in Plano to have an annual Business License requiring a $10,015 per employee fee. If businesses used E-Verify and provided an ANNUAL certification that the business used E-Verify, then there would be a $10,000 credit for every employee.

The first candidate that agreed would receive the support of supposedly over 1,000 Tea Party backers.

I told them *NO*, the Ordinance was one of the most anti-Plano,
anti-business development moves I’ve seen in a long time. This would place Plano at a distinct disadvantage recruiting against neighboring cities unencumbered with E-Verify business license requirements.

My opponent committed to supporting and Vote *YES* for this Ordinance.

Should this be the focus of your next Councilman?   

Where to even begin:  First off, while such a proposal DOES exist, Greg (and even many of us in the NTTP) thinks the numbers are way too excessive.  What Greg HAS promised to do is to work within the council to come up with an effective and reasonable approach to encourage and reward E-Verify usage within the businesses of Plano. He is the first to have the courage to do so.  

And again, what is E-Verify?  It is an online service that validates the gathered I-9 information that doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes per employee and is more than 99% effective (The 96.9% listed on the site leaves 3.1% as not automatically verified: the VAST MAJORITY of those are PROPERLY invalid; one would think most honest businesses would want those corrected.) E-Verify is NOT discriminatory; every employee undergoes it and it serves as a deterrent to identity theft.  A lot of businesses are already adopting it, the local Taco Bells being an example.  A recent Supreme Court decision (5-3) proclaimed that efforts to even MANDATE its use are constitutional: Giving a specific financial encouragement to do so certainly passes muster.   

Greg Myer has had the courage to commit to working with the other council members and city staff to come up with a viable and business-friendly ordinance.  This is the type of listening to the constituency and innovative thinking that will serve ALL Plano citizens well. What we DON’T need is hyperbole, political gamesmanship and ‘gotcha games’ that Pat Gallagher seems determined to play.  I encourage all Plano voters to consider which approach you prefer and vote for the adult in the race.

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People take Politics too Personally

Posted by Mike O on April 24, 2011

I’m currently in the middle of multiple political firefights and am ticking off a BUNCH of traditional political people.  One fight is because I dared to challenge a somewhat questionable bill- put forth by someone viewed as a solid conservative- that he tried to slide through the consent agenda.  It is one of those ‘Private-public’ things with ‘innovative’ financing; not like I haven’t been raising questions about such things for about 40 years.  In the area affected, half of the people are upset with the rep and half are upset with me; the first half will come around to being ticked at me after they’ve been smooth-talked.  But corporate welfare on the taxpayers risk and expense has to stop like all other non-core government functions until we get a better grasp on current and future government expenditures.

In the other scuffle, traditional political conservatives are upset with me with my redistrict efforts, where I am advocate something of a compromise (not as much of one as conservatives fear) with the maps submitted by the powers that be.  The conservatives- in insisting on no compromise- risk replaying the House Speaker fight. which we lost badly.  they insist on trying to get 100% of the loaf, rather than 75% of it (and half of the rest obtainable in the next primary with a good scape).

It’s a good thing I DON”T have political ambition;  traditional political type don’t understand that the issues are to be fought, that personal loyalties don’t mean you can’t vehemently disagree on one or two points, and that the time for keeping everything ‘under the cover’ is passed. Open and transparent governance is essential- especially for conservatives.

IT’S NOT PERSONAL; IT’S POLICY!

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Why I’m Taking a Political Sabbatical

Posted by Mike O on April 16, 2011

I’m very tired- more of the soul, than the body.  I see all the sound and fury of the birth of our Tea Party effort, hoping that something could sustain things from a philosophical, not a personality standpoint.  It has yet to be determined if that is going to occur, but the time for my particular skill sets seem to be at ebb.  Others will have to carry the torch for awhile; the wounds- both front and back- need to heal awhile.  This is an easy decision to make for one without personal political ambition.

I will maintain the North Texas Tea Party web presence and email lists, but others will need to pick up the slack elsewhere if they want the other aspects (meetings, etc.) to continue.  At this point, I would plan on returning to the other parts of the fray in September.  Things could change, but it would take a personal call to action from someone I politically respect, and the number of people who fall into that category is small and gets smaller almost every day.  (Listening to a speech of one of those very few as I write this; Rep. Allen West).

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The Next Generation is Doing Great

Posted by Mike O on March 7, 2011

Well, Alan had his 6 months review and got a boost in pay for his exceptional performance.  With his shifter differential, he’s now paid more that his Old Man; Proud of him!  Another review like that and he’ll get promoted and that will be great.

And now I’ve gotten great news about BOTH of my saviors during my last visit to Uganda. Esther Gray, the lovely young lady who dropped what she was doing to come to help Ritah in the recovery of my stolen camera.  She was able to pull a paid position with a fine Children’s charity: Children At Risk National Collaboration of Christian Agencies.  She had been volunteering for them and the competition for the paisd slot was stiff.  She claims the website I put together for them at her request was the turning point to her favor.  I doubt it; I think they just realized what an excetional employee she would be, but I’m flattered and pleased if it the website above was a help to her.  A little bit of repayment for her kindness.

And I just heard that Ritah Namwiza, who had pulled a paying job earlier, is doing extremely well.  I’ll bet her employer is fast tracking her for the great things she is capable of.  I give her at the most 3 years before she a Director for a local NGO.  She and her colleagues at LEAD Africa are also establishing leadership programs is several schools.  They are making great use of my small financial efforts to get them rolling.   Ritah, Esther and my daughter Winnie (who has a couple prospects herself) represent the future of their country and I am proud to be some small help to them.

Good things happening for the next generation; a good legacy to have.

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Possible Sign Design?

Posted by Mike O on January 30, 2011

FINAL DECISION: No, I’m not going to run.  The Tea Party stuff I currently am doing is having too much impact to give up.  Others will have to try to represent the unrepresented- the taxpayer- on City Council.

UPDATE: This is close to final.  More expensive, but I HAVE to keep Gadsden Yellow. 🙂

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Politics is just one big Tar Pit

Posted by Mike O on January 3, 2011

…And I can’t get out of it!  A long phone call an Christmas eve…while driving through a monsoon to see Alan.  A meeting on Dec. 28th: 2 State reps, me and about a dozen ticked off activists.  Meeting on December 31st: one state rep, me, and 45 ticked off activists!  Video work, postings, commentary.  And now, City council candidates wanting to meet!  Planning an Austin trip on the 10th; signs, emails, blogging, oh my!  I’ve been accused again of being a hired professional at this; I almost wish (couldn’t take the loss of speaking my mind, though!)

Got a Skype call from my dear, beautiful friend Huibo Wang in China while I wrote this (and got 4 emails).  Huibo is the sunshine that helps: pretty, always cheerful, not demanding at all, anxious to hear me prattle to improve her English to come back. A refreshing break!

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Educational Perspective

Posted by Mike O on December 11, 2010

My recent trip to Uganda, after a too-long three year hiatus, was definitively an eye-opener.  Especially in the area of education.  At one end was being awaken every morning for over a week by the gathering and initial, disciplined recitation of a pre-school class of 76 crammed into a single classroom, managed by one teacher.

In the middle, the appalling state of materials being overcome by horribly paid, but dedicated teachers:

all the way to was the joyous college graduation- and the related celebration- of my daughter Winnie, a product of such hardships, and as fine an intellectual as I’ve met.

More than anything, it reminded me that education is more about desire, focus, discipline and moral support by family and community, than facilities and expenditures.  There is no question, facilities and expenditures can help if the other elements are in place; but the LACK of the initial components CANNOT be made up for with money.  THAT is more the reason the Chinese- and others- are kicking our tails in the area of education, as clearly demonstrated by these results.  And, until we start bringing back the basics of desire, focus, discipline and day-to-day family support, throwing money is simply a waste of resources we borrow from future generations.

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Response to a Response

Posted by Mike O on November 29, 2010

Stefani Carter responded to an open letter from Ken Emmanualson of the Dallas Tea Party calling her to pull her pledge to Joe Straus for Texas House Speaker, making the point of how unhelpful Ken had been to her election. While true, it did NOT address the question of her instant signing of a Pledge letter to Joe, despite repeated input for the vast number of her volunteers on this issue otherwise.  Since she circulated her response to ken to many people, I responded to those same people with the following response to the response:

========================================================

First, let’s point out a few things Stefani (because I DID work for you AND brought along others to do likewise, not to mention drove the ‘TeaApproval of your group).

I would point out that Straus violated his own pledge card to Craddick to get elected in the first place. The entire Pledge Card system is- and has been- only honored out of convenience and frankly, it’s time for that antiquated system so rife with potential intimidation to go!

Were you impressed with the Ethic Commission hearing?  the one where Hughes, the accuser, took the oath (apparently both in the 2+ hour private session and in under 15 minute public session to make his accusations.  And the chairman- who received $42K from Straus- and did not recuse himself- allowed the accused to NOT take the oath to read a carefully written statement (as apparently is required, per this writeup by a group that was a significant backer of you)  Does this REALLY sound like the kind of stuff you want to be party to?  (As I said before, being Hughes was in Straus’s camp and all of this can do for him is political damage, there was no motivation except principle for him to make such an accusation.)

Your FIRST commitment is to your constituents and supporters; if they are publicly coming out in droves for you to back Straus and ‘the way things are done’, fine.  But if it’s mainly from a few Austin ‘powers that be’, please realize some of these are the same forces we did battle with in the primary up our way.   Not afraid to do it again, as needed.

‘Your word’ was given before the full scope of the mandate was known.  By keeping to this antiquated system your word that you gave as an Independent Conservative Republican is sacrificed. Because the message you are getting from ‘the conservative majority of the Party’- your first allegiance, supposedly- cannot be more clear.

=======================================================

Her response was: “Thanks, Mike, for your continued thoughts. ”  Probably the briefest statement you’ll ever get from an Ivy League lawyer (but still speaks volumes).

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Back from Africa; back to campaigning

Posted by Mike O on October 31, 2010

Can’t say enough good things about my ‘kids’ (many grown to fine young women) in Uganda and how reluctant I was to come back.

 

But need to make money and put in the last-minute campaigning to help put an end to governmental fiscal insanity.

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The GOP talks a Good Game, but….

Posted by Mike O on July 19, 2010

…has a LONG history of not following through.  That’s why, while I’ll do my part to roll the Dems out this election cycle, the GOP is on notice for the next one:  Follow through, or face a new Third Party in 2012!

This graph- from this excellent article– says it all:


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