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The Issues

Education

Our Texas public schools are the backbone of our communities. And in many places, they are the only schools available in the area. Senator Phil King repeatedly votes to try to introduce the school voucher program, which will harm our public schools and further stratify our society into rich vs. poor. Up to this point, only the Texas House of Representatives, where Democrats and some Republicans have united to oppose vouchers, has stood in Senator King's way and prevented disaster. Public money should not be taken away from public schools and given to private schools!

Energy

Texas Republicans’ attacks on green energy in Texas are simply attempts to prop up the moneyed gas and oil industries that bankroll their campaigns. Diversity in our energy sources is critical. Natural gas is abundant, but not foolproof and not the only solution. In the winter storm of 2021, natural gas lines failed. Green energy is a growing, thriving sector in Texas, which is now a national leader in such energy generation; green energy need not be seen as some kind of enemy. Texas’ energy grid, fragile already, needs such diverse sources of energy to help sustain us in increasingly extremely hot summers and unexpected freakishly cold winters.

Hard Work

The decline of the middle class in America has paralleled the decline in worker protections in America, and is a result of the decades-long rise of a new “gilded age” where the few richest Americans continue to gobble up the fruits of Americans’ labor for themselves. The American Dream's promise, that each new generation would be better off than the previous one, is failing.


Republicans' economic policies over the decades have allowed the rich to hoard wealth and power at the expense of the healthy growth of the economic prospects of regular Texans.Capitalism is unquestionably the best economic model in world history, but leaving market forces almost entirely to their own devices results in vast inequalities and a severe under-investment in the kinds of public goods that are not monetarily profitable in the short term but critical to our social well-being (e.g. quality public education, accessible and affordable medical care, robust family services, a proper retirement system, etc.).


And speaking of the decline in the economic prospects of working-class families: Because Texas is a “right-to-work” state, unions fight an impossibly uphill battle to be able to represent the workers of the industry. An individual employee of a company has precious little bargaining power regarding their pay and benefits, as we all know, having been employees ourselves. It is when workers band together that they begin to have some power in relation to their employer. But Texas, under Republican rule, favors the wealthy owners over common folk like you and me. We must bring better balance to the power dynamic between workers and ownership.


It is high time for Texas to reign in unfettered greed and pursue the common economic good. And it is time for Texas to turn the law to the advantage of Texas' workers, and restore the proper balance between workers and owners.

Integrity

The acquittal of Attorney General Ken Paxton in the Texas senate impeachment trial is a marker of how our leaders' integrity in office has deteriorated. Instead of removing an attorney general who not only abused the powers of his office for personal gain and the protection of his donors but also is unrepentant for doing so, Senator Phil King and most of his republican colleagues in the senate chose to bow to pressure from Donald Trump and antidemocratic extremists in order to save their re-election prospects and protect who knows what other interests they may have. They fear primary challenges from the far right if they do not fall in line. It’s time to boot them out and send principled leaders to the senate who will stand up for what is right in the face of political pressures.

Life

A healthy respect for Texans’ 2nd Amendment rights must be balanced by America’s long historic acceptance of reasonable restrictions on military arms in civilian hands. Military-grade weaponry (like the AR-15), designed to destroy the human body and kill as many people as possible, does not need to be available in stores when it can be bought and then used against the children in our schools, the families at our shopping centers, and the worshipers in our churches.


What kind of a society do we wish to live in? Should we fear for the lives of our children every time we drop them off for school? All for the sake of a few people's extreme reading of the 2nd Amendment?


And it's time for Texas to put its money where its mouth is regarding MENTAL HEALTH. Run a search online, and every report you can find ranks Texas last or nearly so among all the states in the nation regarding mental healthcare. Don't let politicians have their cake and eat it, too. If they refuse to take action on gun violence by deflecting blame to our mental health, then mental health should be a TOP priority for this Republican senate. But is it? No.


That should tell you how seriously they take safety in this state.

Real Religious Freedom

Texas Republicans’ push toward a modern American theocracy is misguided,  dangerous, and brazenly unconstitutional. I say that as a Christian myself

Religious freedom is a bedrock principle of our nation's founding, and the idea is a Christian one: Many protestant Christian denominations in the past were once persecuted by other state-sponsored Christian denominations. Take Southern Baptists, for example: Separation of church and state is an important principle in their guiding document, the Baptist Faith and Message. Why? Because Baptists were once persecuted, too, by a state-sponsored Christian denomination.

The state must have no role in telling Americans what religious beliefs to hold to, just as the state should not unduly restrict the free exercise of our faith. Children in our public schools should not be coerced or pressured to adhere to a particular faith. Let’s remember that all religions, faiths, and belief systems are protected by the First Amendment. No one of them should receive special state sponsorship.

The Golden Rule - Immigration

As an immigration lawyer, I’ve seen firsthand the struggles of our immigration system. The United States must have a secure border; state support for illegal immigration, which puts Americans at risk and drives down wages, should cease.


But the barbaric political theater being played by Governor Abbott and the Republicans MUST be stopped. Razor wire on the banks of the Rio Grande? Stating a desire to shoot migrants attempting to cross the border? Blocking the U.S. Border Patrol from fulfilling its duties? Usurping the role of the federal government? Framing a humanitarian crisis as an "invasion" in order to incite violence? This insanity has no place in a Texas government that should deal with this crisis in a fact-based, level-headed, and humanitarian manner.


Going hand-in-hand with a secure border is a reformed immigration system. Fewer people will seek to come illegally when the legal pathways are fixed; as the system currently stands, 15-20 year wait times are common for people seeking to come here legally! The Texas government must call upon the U.S. congress to advance sound immigration reform; as a border state, our voice carries unique weight in the national conversation.

The Land

Texas is a majestic state! From beaches to plains to forests and to mountain ranges, our state's precious natural vitality must be safeguarded. But what power do average Texans have against the giant corporations that are destroying our gulf coast waters, causing the earth to quake in the west, and polluting our air? Our power is through our local and state governments. We the people have the choice. We can vote for Texans who will hold these corporations accountable.

Phil King, in just one month between November and December 2023, received large donations from (among many others): BP North America Employee PAC, NRG Energy Inc PAC, ONCOR Texas State PAC.


Vote out the politicians who are in the pockets of Big Energy. Hold accountable those who would trash our state for the sake of their greed.

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