San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

November 2nd, 2009
Medina speaks at Texas State

Debra Medina, speaking last week at Texas State. Photo by Sean Batura.

News Reporter

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.”

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27 thoughts on “Medina speaks at Texas State

  1. I was not able to attend this event but I heard Ms. Medina on the radio that night. Government growth (in both size and power) is astronomical. We need leaders who will stand up and say no to an out of control federal government.

  2. I’m glad I stumbled across this article – not because I agree with Medina’s views (I pretty much don’t), but because it’s helped me make up my mind on the City Council race at the last minute. Lisa Marie Coppoletta is a Ron Paul supporter? I thought she was a left-wing activist, which I would have liked, but now I see she’s just a libertarian.

    That pretty much seals my vote for Ryan Thomason, who seemed the most qualified and rational, yet still inspiring and positive, anyway.

  3. My GAWD!! A tribal society based on local loyalty, tribal leaders, and collective anarchy!! Why didn’t somebody think of this before? A system paid for by regressive taxes! Everybody knows that sales taxes are paid in large majority by the poor, who have less total wealth but buy more taxable stuff–and there are SO MANY of them. I know, let them pay the freight, and the overlords make the rules! Just like,… why, just like… in the Middle East! The way it has worked for century upon century! Eureka! What do you need but guns and the Jesus of your interpretation and a heritage of wealth and property?

    But what about Homeland security?–Take a BUNCH of sales taxes!!! And ambassadors to all the other states? And treaties to sign and sign and sign and fight over–why, it’s Heaven on Earth! Go, Rick! Go, John! Go, Ron!

  4. Billy-

    The major impact of Medina’s sales tax will be on commercial real estate. So how will this impact the poor? I like the idea of owning the land rather than renting it from the local school district.

  5. Uh – didn’t I see a link up there in that first post. Tsk. Tsk.
    Billy is right Big dog. You must have flunked history.

  6. “Everybody knows that sales taxes are paid in large majority by the poor, who have less total wealth but buy more taxable stuff.” Mayor Moore, any support for your baseline assumption that sales taxes are more regressive than property taxes?
    The sales tax is more regressive than an INCOME TAX but an income tax is not Medina’s idea. She proposes to replace the property tax with a SALES TAX. Everybody pays under a property tax; even Poor Renter pays the property taxes of Rich Owner who passes them on.
    As to which of property taxes or sales taxes is more regressive, seems it would depends on what portion of assets/income Poor and Non-Poor spend on shelter as compared to portion of assets/income Poor and Non-Poor spend on taxable purchases. I haven’t seen hard numbers on this, but it would seem that Poor spends a larger portion of his assets/income on shelter than Rich; houses only get so big. Plus, there are normative nudges of each system — a property tax punishes ownership while a sales tax punishes consumption.

  7. I think you just explained it John – a sales tax on property WOULD be passed on to renters – as are property taxes (and insurance, etc.). And probably in a higher proportion than one might even expect – rent is not exactly itemized with respect to such matters.

    Reminds me of a little tune: “the rich get rich and the poor – get children…”
    (or “laid off” in a later verse…)

  8. Wrong John! You are falling for that “myth” the rich have used for YEARS to convince Americans that income tax is more “fair” than sales tax. It is actually the reverse! A sales tax is better for the poor and lower income! Why? Because: just like with our Texas sales tax—it is NOT applied to basics like food and medicine! The poor can’t afford and don’t usually buy the non-necessary items to which it is applied. Yes, some things like clothes will have it, but you handle that just like now with the “earned income credit” that the poor get back each year (or a similar method). You see John, the rich liberals and conservatives–from the Kennedy’s to John Cornyn and Rick Perry— they pay less percentage of their fair share to support government than the middle class. (Ask Warren Buffett, he has spoken about this many times on CNBC).
    Those with the highest disposable income—under a sales tax vs income tax–would pay far more BUT also have a CHOICE ’cause they could choose not to buy so much too. And you can control for the poor by what you charge sales tax on—just like we do in TExas now where food, medicine, services, etc. are NOT taxed.
    Don’t fall for the myth anymore!

  9. I disagree with one comment that food (in grocery stores)isn’t taxed in Texas. It is in many counties.


    Is it possible to send “good” people to Washington to “clean things up”? Is it possible that good people can withstand the onslaught of the D.C. beast and survive uncorrupted?

    Haven’t we been sending “good “ people to D.C. for decades to clean things up? Haven’t we already been doing that? We have. And look where we’re at. Worse off than we’ve ever been.

    Is it reasonable to think that we can restore Constitutional governance using the very same UNCONSTITUTIONAL, despotic system that brought us to this point? Personally, I don’t think so. To me, it’s like trying to slay a fire-breathing dragon with a wooden toothpick.

    We should stop using the same failing strategy over and over again. Is it possible there’s another way to solve our “Washington” problem? I happen to think there is. In my mind, the answer has been right before us the whole time. Read on for “how” we accomplish our goals.

    We re-direct our efforts and resources. We focus our attention and energy to elect and appoint strong representatives in the STATE legislature and state courts who can and will draw a line in the sand with the federal government.

    We elect a state legislature, county and city officials ,Governor, and Attorney General that will deny Washington un-enumerated federal privileges. States will always be on firm Constitutional grounds if they actually follow the Constitution in their governance.

    What does this mean in real terms? We slowly starve the D.C. dragon to death by denying it the two things it really needs to survive – unconstitutional tax dollars and un-enumerated governing privileges.

    This isn’t just my opinion. We are beginning to see similar examples of this trend in other states. The Tennessee State legislature is beginning to communicate with other states to form “joint agreements” that are designed to ban together with other states to nullify un-enumerated federal actions.

    The citizens of Texas are fully within their rights to nullify unconstitutional federal actions and rulings. The Constitution grants states the superior position when considering un-enumerated privileges granted to Washington, but only if the states choose to do so. The prerogative is ours.

    At this time, over twenty states are declaring their state sovereignty in one form or another. On April 9, 2009, Governor Perry stated in regards to HCR 50, the State Sovereignty Bill, in that, Texas should “return to the letter and intent of the U.S. Constitution.” I don’t know about you, but I intend to hold the good Governor to every letter of his words.

    Why is this change in strategy so important? Why is working to achieve genuine self-governance so important? Because it’s the only bloodless, legal recourse we have against a growing beast that we haven’t been able to slay for decades.

    It’s absolutely vital that we begin working to shift the concentrated power/money dynamic in Washington back to the states… that we begin starving the dragon to death. States must stop granting Washington D.C. un-enumerated privileges.

    I have an idea! Instead of redistributing the wealth, let’s redistribute Washington’s power/money structure over 50 geographical states. How great would it be to require special interest groups such as ACORN to come physically to Texas to plead with the state legislature for our hard-earned tax dollars?

    If all 50 states instituted this one requirement, the large, fire-breathing dragon would soon be reduced to something resembling a puny, endangered, West Texas Horny Toad.

    The real result of achieving genuine self-governance is to peacefully defund and deny Washington D.C. the power it has usurped. When we accomplish this, Washington will no longer hold the last word over our lives, our property, and our fortunes.

    Teresa Alvelo
    San Marcos

  11. Gee! Would that mean we could throw out all those national agencies for mail, health care, roads and transportation, regulation of mining natural resources, big science, R&D seed money, protection worldwide from hostility and natural disaster? We could price our own goods and services and control the quality of consumer products? We could make rules for investment, banking, real estate, fair labor and safety rules? We could make our own treaties and set up our own international, unregulated markets? We could dicker for minerals and other substances that go into our food and durable goods manufacturing? Wow! Local anarchy! What a BLAST!

    How brilliantly simple! Our own local militias! Our own legal standards! Our own flight standards, air traffic control, and independent airports, trains, etc.! Coining our own money! Defending our own borders (Damned Okies, anyway.)! OUR Army. OUR Navy!

    Just keep all our money and our stuff to ourselves and prosper! To heck with bureaucracies like the Fair Trade Commission and OSHA, FTC, USDA–we can do that as we like! And as for useless organs like the Centers for Disease Control and FEMA, who needs ’em. A Libertarian Valhalla, a veritable fairyland, where all is well, and if it is not, we still have our guns and pitchforks.

    (I must confess at this point that I am probably not worthy.) My self-control came under question early on, over some digestive dispute with my Mother. It never got much better, even with the easy stuff, like the amount I eat or exercise. Smoking, drinking, driving crazy, lying, saying embarrassing things in public without just goes on and on. (And I have a question as well about a neighbor or acquaintance or two–would that be OK?) Fortunately I am not really criminally inclined–at least by the OLD rules. Or would somebody friendly ORDER me what to do, and make sure I did it just like everybody else? I’ll just have to think it over and get back with you. Would I be free to be me, or only to be Rick Perry?

    P.S: Are taxes really “punishment,” or a “ticket to ride”?

  12. Senseless rhetoric aside, there is an issue in America now with the size of our government and the growing dependence of the citizenry on government programs.

    Twenty years ago, we didn’t need a law to tell us to wear our seat belts – it was considered common sense. This is just one example of the way that our society has decided to criminalize poor judgement. There is an ongoing effort in government to legislate not only morality but also common sense. It’s just one way that government has grown out of control.

    Our growing sense of “social justice” now calls for people like Tom Cable to be fired or somehow punished based on nothing more than allegations of bad behavior. It has gotten to the point where if you simply offend someone’s (or even worse, some special interest group’s) hyper-sensibilities, they call for your job, your career, and Lord only knows what else. What, jerks don’t have rights anymore? And the worst part is that these interest groups have involved the government in their efforts – and government has been happy to participate.

    As Americans, we need to get up off of our butts and stop waiting for government to “handle” things for us…grow some thicker skin and actually learn again to work for what we want. As more people live on the government dole, more will vote to preserve the status quo – why work when you can just vote for a politician who will allocate more “gummint money” to you during his next term?

    Our Government is charged with providing infrastructure, keeping the National Defense, and maintaining Public Safety….not running a retirement system, the public charity system, a health care system, our nation’s car manufacturers, and Wall Street.

    I believe it was Margaret Thatcher who said: “The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

  13. I for one am actually very glad we have seatbelt laws. I still don’t understand why we allow motorcycle riders without helmets.

  14. Dano, you lost me at your first statement, “Twenty years ago, we didn’t need a law to tell us to wear our seat belts – it was considered common sense”. Very few people used seatbelts 20 yrs ago. Seatbelts as well as other MANDATED safety features on vehicles saves lives. You really need to try a new tv channel.

  15. Focusing on seatbelts misses the broader point, because any single act of the government can be rationalized as mandating “better” choices than the citizens would make in the absence of the government mandate. Maybe you agree with seatbelts, but once you allow the government the power to decide, they will inevitably make a few choices for you that you disagree with. Eventually, they will tell you what doctor to see, when to buy a car and what kind of car to buy, when to buy a home, appropriate investments, when to go shopping, when to save more, what kind of light bulbs to use, when to upgrade your television…
    Many view paternalism as a better approach to protect the stupid citizens from themselves, but there is no guarantee the elected and appointed are any smarter, not to mention the dangers of corruption. We the people know what is better for us than many who govern and we are always less corrupt. The expanse of government only comes at the expense of liberty, and few powers taken are ever returned. Even if you trust the present government to decide everything for you, ceding the power paves the way for a future despot that you might not like as much.

  16. I think the council voting to extend the defaulted Masters School loan is “expansive government” and paternalisim as stated above.

  17. Thanks John – you “get it”.

    The point isn’t that the government makes me buckle up, the point is that the government has intruded into my life to tell *me* what is and isn’t best for *me*….and that’s not their job. If I don’t want to wear a seat belt, shouldn’t that be between me and my insurance company?

    Once you allow that type of government intervention, it’s only a matter of time before they’re telling you how to save for retirement (social security), which doctor to see (universal health care), or any of a number of overreaching programs….and the worst part is that they will use these programs to justify ever-higher tax rates for the “rich” and the “evil corporations”.

    Of course, if you’re one of the 48% of Americans who are of voting age and currently pay NO federal income taxes, you’re likely to be a fan of the current trends. But what happens when the breadwinners get tired of footing the bill for the rest of the country – and simply leave? Where will our bloated government get the tax revenue that it so desperately needs then?

  18. Voter, it ain’t about me. If you want to have a personal discussion give me a call, come out from behind your handle, or explain how city arrangements with private entities relates to paternalism or choice architecture.

  19. Thanks, I understand now. The government should not tell me how fast to drive my truck as that is between me and my insurance company. I hope the the poor fool that gets in front my 100 mph truck traveling down Hopkins as I past the Hays County Courthouse has enough money to purchase insurance. Hey, the light was green and no one was in front of me. Next thing you know our evil government will want me to drive on the right side of the road or even stop for a school bus unload children. Yup, I understand.

  20. @ARMYDAD,

    Unfortunately, it seems that rather than honestly debate the issue at hand, you have chosen to follow the lead of television pundits and make an absurd comparison in hopes of somehow discrediting the opposition’s argument. Perhaps you should try watching your news on a different channel.

    Let me say this as plainly as possible:

    (1) It’s been repeatedly said that the issue here isn’t specifically seat belts – rather, it was an easy example of something in which government probably shouldn’t involve themselves.

    (2) Even if you do focus on the seat belt issue, your example is ludicrous. There is no way to honestly compare mandatory seat belt use (a personal choice that only affects the person wearing the belt) to speeding or reckless driving (a genuine public safety issue). Your attempt to compare the two strikes me as disingenuous, to say the least. Do you really think you’re advancing your argument with such statements?

    If you want to honestly debate the role that you believe government should take in our lives, then fine. I’m game. But if all you want to do is spout rhetoric, then I have nothing for you but sympathy.

  21. I can’t seem to reconcile the real practicality of pesky seatbelt laws, OSHA rules, USDA guidelines, FTC and EPA guidelines, etc.–the “mandates forced on us by a paternalistic government”–against maniacal fears that “government” (JUST WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, ANYWAY?) will override the rampant decency and common sense abounding among us and want (Can a government really “want” something?) to decide who our doctors will be, or make us wear our underwear on the outside, or make us all live in identical houses, etc.

    While watchfulness and continuous participation are the duties of every citizen, I think some of us may be napping as others hark to the call of highly-paid showmen and hucksters. We are owned and driven by “interests,” which also write most of our laws as a favor to us.

    I too see the huge amount of wealth that goes untaxed, which seems to be, curiously, over $350 Billion/yr., but I also know that the 20 top corporations and the 10% of top personal wealth is the big part that goes untaxed each year, not to mention the $375 Billion/yr. that is shipped to tax havens offshore. Apparently the “radical socialists” have far to go before they tap into the REAL freedoms and cash among us–like Limbaugh’s $38 Million/
    year salary less perks and sides.

    And I really hate that when some moron wrecks, maims and kills, then lets the taxpayers and premium payers pick up the bills. I hate when I read that some mega-corp. has CONFESSED to a mass felony and settled quietly out of court for a pittance to keep the victims quiet. I don’t like that banks should be held harmless, or that war criminals get out of jail free by the “amnesia defense.” Nor do I like that a large fraction of the “bureaucracy” is now civilian contractors who contract, often unbid, for gigantic overcharges to a helpless public and a corrupt Congress.

    In short, while I am not a “big government” fan, I need protection from the sharks in the oligarchy–the scary “military-industrial complex” Ike warned about–and the “common sense” of the Great Unwashed. Be nice if common sense were at all common, and if more of the freedom-seekers had less power.

    They lied to me in school, I guess, when we discussed something known as a Social Contract, in which we all agreed to give a little, take a little, and seek the good of the whole. I have to confess that I did work very hard and pay all my life on Social Security, which I now depend on, and that my insurance company ALREADY tells me which doctors to go to, which medicines I can afford, and what the co-pays, deductibles, limits and exclusions are.

    At least the government will be made to CONFESS to certain monopolies and price-fixing schemes (farm subsidies? drilling rights in natural parks?), rather than insisting on ALL THE MARKET CAN BEAR plus more subsidy on the side. The feds couldn’t have dreamed of derivatives of derivatives of derivatives for sale. Only a Libertarian or a status quo faction.

  22. I do not believe any of you understand the tax thing.
    Think “Fair Tax”. What ever you buy and whoever you may be, you pay a set LEVEL tax. You pay it. No more property tax bills and, if you lived in a state that had income tax, that would be gone. It is collected everytime you buy a pack of gum,steak or a car. No matter where you purchase it. Read about it – FAIR TAX: THE TRUTH by Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder with Rob Woodall

  23. Stargazersdad, you are right!! Sales tax is THE most FAIR tax, and contrary to the myth’s spread by many, it does NOT hurt the poor at all. Why? Because you don’t apply the tax to food, medicine, most services—basic life necessities–just like Texas has done for YEARS with our sales tax! Set up correctly, the poor and middle class come out WAY better than now with more disposable income in their pockets—which in turn helps the economy everywhere. Time for people to read the truth and not myths perpetuated by special interests and the rich, both of whom don’t want a “fair tax”.

  24. I think Debra Medina did a very credible job in the debate last Friday. It inspired me to go back to this article and the comments and start thinking about some of her ideas much more seriously.

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