Debra Medina, speaking last week at Texas State. Photo by Sean Batura.
By SEAN BATURA
The Republican primary race for Governor of Texas made a quick stop, albeit a quiet stop, last Thursday at Texas State, where candidate Debra Medina (R-Wharton) spoke for state sovereignty, an end to property taxes and an end to illegal immigration.
Medina is running for governor against two Republican heavyweights, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Governor Rick Perry.
In a lecture hall before about 30 people, Medina propounded a political philosophy resting on the rights of gun ownership and private property, in addition to what she called the “three pillars” of a free society: Individuals and families, communities and churches, and limited government — “three separate institutions.”
The event was sponsored by Young Americans For Liberty (YAFL) at Texas State, a registered student organization. The group’s faculty advisor is listed on the university’s website as Professor Brock Brown of the Department of Geography.
Texas Liberty Campaign (TLC) members Rob Roark and Craig Young provided assistance in organizing the event. A non-voting seat on TLC’s executive board is reserved for Campaign For Liberty’s (C4L) Texas State Coordinator, who is currently Medina. C4L is a national organization forged in the crucible of Congressman Ron Paul’s (R-Victoria) presidential campaign.
C4L, a 501(c)4 organization, is prohibited by law from endorsing political candidates, unlike TLC. TLC member Lisa Marie Coppoletta is running for the San Marcos City Council seat held by Pam Couch. Coppoletta’s opponents are aviation business owner Shaune Maycock and homebuilder Ryan Thomason.
“The pundits don’t really know what to do with all of this new political interest and activity, not only in our great state, but across the country as Tea Party groups and 9/12 groups and Young Americans for Liberty spring up,” Medina said Thursday night. “Something is happening in our country as we are reawakening to those ideas that our founders held when they established this great nation, and I encourage you to be a part of that.”
The San Marcos 9/12 Patriots, along with all the aforementioned groups, have in common a general affinity for Paul’s general ideas. During his tenure as Hays County Republican Party Chair, Young advocated Paul’s ideas. Medina worked for Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign, and the congressman recently praised her in a letter addressed “Dear Defender of Liberty.” During a September interview on the “Inside Texas Politics” show on WFAA-TV in Dallas, Medina said she doesn’t expect a political endorsement from Paul, but she added that he would probably offer financial support to her campaign.
“It’s clear there’s a lot of ideological similarity between the two of us,” Medina said of her and Paul. “And so I cherish his friendship and look forward to a good working relationship with him and the whole Texas congressional (delegation).”
Medina told attendees at her Thursday talk that pursuing the ideal of liberty necessitates abolishing property taxes, which, she said, would not entail a loss of prosperity, as the two “go hand in hand.”
Said Medina, “We don’t own our property in Texas. We are tenants in our own homes. We pay very high taxes to stay in those homes. That is a tenant relationship. We must have property ownership if we’re going to be free. That means we have to get rid of property tax in Texas.”
Medina indicated support for a proposal published in April by Austin-based think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). TPPF’s stated mission “is to promote and defend liberty, personal responsibility, and free enterprise in Texas.” Medina’s campaign website provides a link to the TPPF report. Medina said property taxes could be replaced by a higher sales tax or a sales tax on more goods.
“If property taxes as a source of revenue were abandoned and that burden was placed on consumption, personal income in the state of Texas could potentially increase in the range of $3.1 billion to $3.3 billion in the first year,” states the TPPF study, some results of which Medina cited. “Over a five-year period, if the property tax were replaced dollar-for-dollar with a higher sales tax burden, personal income could, on a cumulative basis, increase between $21.3 billion and $52.1 billion—or an increase of 2.0 percent to 4.3 percent higher than it would have been otherwise. The proposed tax reform would lead to a net gain of new jobs. During a five-year horizon, between 127,700 and 312,700 over the job growth Texas would have had if no tax reform were implemented.”
Medina mentioned the national dialogue initiated by Governor Rick Perry’s recent allusions to secession, and said he is not a true supporter of state sovereignty.
“It seems the governor just discovered the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Medina said.
Medina has said publicly on multiple occasions that Texas should not secede.
“Start the state sovereignty fight with the tools that are available to us,” Medina said. “The answer is not secession. The answer is aggressive use of nullification and interposition. Those are the tools the founders said the states have to keep the federal government in Washington, DC, where it belongs, and we need to use them aggressively in this state.”
Medina said Texas should nullify federal laws that affect the state’s agriculture industry, education system, energy sector and health care industry. Medina praised the State of Montana for recently defying federal laws regarding personal identification cards and the manufacture of firearms and ammunition.
After Medina’s talk, an audience member asked her whether she, as governor, would allow “sanctuary cities” to ignore federal immigration law.
“I don’t think I want to see a statewide policy that tells cities what they can and can’t do,” Medina said. “I think that’s horrible policy. But if we believe in local government, then if your local city decides, through the guys you elected, that that’s what you want to do, then I think it’s probably your right to do that. It’s bad policy, and I bet if citizens got more involved, they’d stop that kind of thing. I’d champion stopping that kind of thing as governor, but I don’t think I’d support the government mandating that on the cities.”
Medina said border sheriffs such as Terrell County’s Clint McDonald and Hudspeth County’s Arvin West have warned of increasing problems associated with a porous southern border, including vandalism of private property, burglaries and illegal drug trafficking. Medina said people, and not natural resources, make a country wealthy.
“See, the wealth of a nation is in her people, and immigration has made — a legal immigration and assimilation process has made this country the great country that it is today,” Medina said. “We must promote a legal immigration process. We cannot allow an invasion. We have to secure that border, we have to insure that all traffic across that border comes through the legal port of entry. We don’t fix that problem by grandstanding during political campaigns. We don’t address that problem by directing a few Texas Rangers to the border when it’s time for a governor’s race.”
The crowd applauded for Medina when she said she supports the elimination of property taxes, the nullification of federal agriculture and education laws, and when she suggested that the majority of sales tax be left in San Marcos rather than most going to Austin.
“What you see in societies where the government tried to do everything and tried to be all things to all people, the people became enslaved, and less free, and less prosperous than in those societies where government was limited and people were free to own private property and own guns to protect themselves,” Medina said. “(They recognized) that the government can neither provide for you, nor can it secure you. People are secure in their own defense, and that’s what we need to move back to in Texas.”Email | Print