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Apparently taking heed of Winston Churchill, in 1952 the conservative Democratic governor of Texas, Allan Shivers, did something not often done then or now. He put his state before his party and endorsed the Republican nominee for president, Dwight Eisenhower. The issue was the tidelands, submerged land in the Gulf of Mexico that Texas retained when it joined the Union in 1845. In 1950, the U. S. Supreme Court decided Texas didn’t own those 3.5 million acres and the Democratic presidential nominee, Adlai Stevenson, endorsed that decision. Eisenhower supported Texas, and for that reason, Shivers and the State Democrat Executive Committee endorsed Eisenhower. Ike won and Texas regained title to the tidelands. As a result, billions of dollars of oil and gas revenue have been generated for the Permanent School Fund and Texas public schools.
Today we have different, but equally as important, issues in the race between incumbent Republican Land Commissioner George P. Bush and his Democratic challenger, oil and gas attorney Miguel Suazo.
Attracting the most attention is Bush’s mismanagement of the shrine of Texas liberty, the Alamo, which Bush operates with nonprofit entities that are exempt from public disclosure. He precipitated a disastrous lawsuit with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, lost on all counts and was compelled by the court to use state revenues to pay the DRT attorney fees. He is negotiating a lease agreement with the city of San Antonio that could give the city the ability to “monitor compliance” in order to satisfy requirements of the UNESCO designation of the Alamo and the other San Antonio missions as World Heritage Sites. He has refused to take a position on the movement of the Cenotaph, a memorial to the Texans and Tejanos who died at the Alamo fighting for liberty. In fact, when asked if he supported moving the Cenotaph to another location he responded with, “As long as I’m commissioner, the Cenotaph will always stand.” So much for actually taking a stand.
But in actuality, he has taken a stand. On September 12, 2018, George P. Bush signed the order mandating that the Cenotaph be moved off of the Alamo Battleground and then strongly urged the Mayor and City Council of San Antonio to do the same just as soon as possible.
The Hurricane Harvey shelter-at-home emergency housing effort, known as Partial Repair Emergency Power and Shelter (PREPS), was inexplicably delayed until mid-December when he finally signed the necessary contracts to start a program that should have begun in September — when thousands of Harvey victims suffered in shelters across coastal Texas.
While the General Land Office has had great success in generating revenue from Texas school lands, last month Bush, for the first time, decided to forgo the biennial transfer of GLO revenue to the State Board of Education-managed PSF portfolio. Last week all 15 members of the Republican-dominated SBOE signed a letter asking him to reconsider his decision, a decision that flies in the face of more than 100 years of GLO and SBOE co-operation.
Suazo is a cattle rancher and attorney with experience in oil, gas and other forms of energy as well as land use and real estate — critical issues at the Texas General Land Office. He has worked on Capitol Hill and has experience with federal agencies and public policy. He has stood up for the Alamo and has committed to putting Texans in charge of their Alamo and keeping the Cenotaph in its rightful place. And finally, Bush just doesn’t have the leadership fit for a state like Texas. He rarely gives interviews, resorts to calling criticism “fake news” and refuses to debate his political opponents to defend his record and set forth his vision for the future. Texans deserve better.
All four of Bush’s former Republican primary opponents have decided to follow Shivers’ lead. Alamo historian Rick Range and I, after lengthy discussions with Miguel Suazo, have decided to endorse Bush’s opponent for land commissioner. His other 2018 primary opponent, land surveyor Davey Edwards, has unequivocally said he will not vote for Bush. His 2014 Republican primary opponent, author and photographer David Watts, adamantly opposes Bush’s re-election as well.
While we don’t intend to “change our party for the sake of our principles” as Winston Churchill opined above, we do agree there is one Republican we cannot support for re-election this coming November. His name is George P. Bush.
Patterson is the former commissioner of the General Land Office.
“Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.”
— Winston Churchill
In 1952 the Democratic Governor of Texas, Allan Shivers, and the State Democratic Executive Committee, did something unusual in politics: they put their state ahead of their party and endorsed the Republican candidate for President, Dwight David Eisenhower.
The issue was 3.5 million oil & gas rich acres of submerged land in the Gulf of Mexico that Texas had title to since it entered the Union in 1846—acres lost due to a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1950. Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson supported federal ownership. Eisenhower supported Texas. Governor Shivers and the Texas Democratic party endorsed Dwight Eisenhower. Dwight won, and Texas reclaimed ownership to its submerged lands, making billions of dollars dedicated to public education.
Today there's another issue of equal importance—the current mismanagement of the Shrine of Texas Liberty, the Alamo. The multiple nonprofit entities not subject to public disclosure and failed litigation against the Daughters of the Republic of Texas are just part of the story. On the issue of the removal of the Cenotaph, it was Bush himself who originally requested last year that the City of San Antonio pass the motion to remove the Cenotaph. Furthermore, Bush has full veto power on any element of the plan and he knows this full well.
The GLO's botched Hurricane Harvey recovery effort and Bush's recent decision to cease sending money to the SBOE for public education are other examples of the Bush General Land Office’s "amateur hour" of woe.
Former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, and Alamo historian Rick Range, after long discussions with the Democratic GLO candidate, have decided to have an Allan Shivers, or maybe a Spartacus moment, and endorse the Democratic nominee, oil & gas attorney Miguel Suazo. Both Patterson and Range opposed Bush in the 2018 Republican primary.
Bush's 2014 Republican primary opponent, David Watts has unequivocally stated he will not vote for Bush in November, as has Commissioner Bush's other 2018 primary opponent, Davey Edwards.
This is quite possibly a first in the rich political history of Texas; all of the past primary opponents of a statewide candidate are voting for the other party nominee. - Jerry Patterson
For the first time since 1952, the State of Texas comes first in political candidates' hearts. Republican challengers are crossing party lines and endorsing Democratic candidate Miguel Suazo for Texas General Land Office Commissioner.
Bush signed the proposal over the objections of several Republican lawmakers.
BY CASSANDRA POLLOCK SEPT. 13, 2018 Texas Tribune
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has signed a proposal to overhaul Alamo Plaza, he announced Thursday morning.
"Yesterday I signed the resolution advancing the Alamo plan," Bush tweeted. "I ask the mayor to join me in executing this plan to treat the Alamo with the respect and reverence it deserves. God bless the Alamo and God bless Texas."
The proposal, which has drawn backlash in recent months from some Republicans in the Texas Legislature, was unanimously approved last week by the Alamo Management Committee and then sent to Bush and San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. Nirenberg's office told The Texas Tribune on Thursday afternoon that there are still a number of steps to work through before the mayor can approve the plan.
Bush's announcement comes the day before a number of Republican lawmakers, including state Reps. Kyle Biedermann of Fredericksburg and Lyle Larson of San Antonio, were scheduled to hold a news conference on Alamo grounds opposing the plan. A spokesperson for the group confirmed Thursday afternoon that they still planned to hold the event.
Another state lawmaker, state Sen. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels, penned a Sept. 6 letter to Bush highlighting her concerns over relocating the Alamo Cenotaph, a 60-foot-tall monument currently located near the center of the Alamo Plaza. The overhaul plan, according to news reports, suggests moving the Cenotaph about 500 feet south.
“Many questions about the expense and feasibility of removing and relocating such a massive and beautiful monument without damaging it have not been addressed,” she wrote. “I urge the committee and the land office to slow down, prioritize accountability to the citizens of Texas, and reconsider the delicate history that is being reimagined here at an undetermined cost.”
There's also the question of how the state's regulatory requirements would impact the project.
In a letter dated Aug. 22, Texas Historical Commission Executive Director Mark Wolfe clarified to Bush and Niremberg the role the commission plays in the decision-making process. Wolfe said "work on, or alterations to [state archaeological landmarks] requires the issuance of a permit by the THC," adding that since the Cenotaph is on Alamo grounds, it is subject to those same provisions under state statute.
Bush's office told the Tribune on Thursday afternoon that it plans to request permits for items owned by the General Land Office when appropriate. The office also said that the city of San Antonio owns the Cenotaph and would be responsible for requesting a permit to relocate it. Nirenberg's office said in a statement to the Tribune that San Antonio "will go through every regulatory agency required."
Meanwhile, another debate over the Alamo has recently dominated Texas headlines. After a working group of the State Board of Education had proposed removing “heroic” when defining Alamo defenders from the seventh-grade social studies curriculum, Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas elected officials — including Bush — called on Texans to stop what Abbott described as “political correctness” in schools. The board changed course after the backlash and tentatively voted earlier this week to keep the language intact.
Despite outcries from historical and heritage organizations as well as loud protests from Texas citizens, it appears the plan will be implemented.
Recent polling as well as other data indicates that the race for Texas General Land Office Commissioner will most likely be the closest statewide race in Texas this November. In fact, it may very well be decided by a razor-thin margin. Due to this fact OUR votes will be extremely critical in this race—probably determinative.
This conclusion is based on a compilation of several very reputable polls recently conducted with regard to the statewide races on the ballot this November, as well as a detailed analysis of the votes cast in each of the state’s 254 counties in the race for Texas General Land Office Commissioner in both the Democratic and Republican Primaries in March of 2018.
In light of this situation, we MUST not cast a protest vote that achieves nothing by squandering it on a minor party candidate. That is all it would end up being—a protest. No independent or third-party candidate (no matter how deserving) has ever even come in SECOND place—much less first—in the ENTIRE HISTORY OF TEXAS. And it is not going to happen this time. YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK.
No, we must cast a WINNING vote—one that can actually DEFEAT Bush, and that means a vote for Miguel Suazo. Suazo will be an excellent Commissioner to oversee the Alamo plan, and there is no VALID reason for NOT supporting him for this position.
Remember that this is our last chance to save the Alamo and the Cenotaph. We only have to surpass Bush by ONE SINGLE VOTE in order to prevail on November 6. It could be YOUR vote that determines whether or not Bush is re-elected. Please seriously bear that in mind when you make your decision. The entire future of the Alamo is INFINITELY more important than any party label.
P.S.— You can also go to this post on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/savethealamotogether/ and hit Share. If we get the word out widely enough, this race is definitely winnable.
Tony E. Arterburn, Jr. is a former U.S. Army Paratrooper, a veteran of three foreign wars, radio host, published columnist, and world champion powerlifter. He lives with his wife Melissa, son Houston, and chocolate lab Layla in San Antonio, Texas.
He has written this thoughtful and thought-provoking piece that we wanted to share with you.
REMEMBER TO VOTE ON MARCH 2 (LAST DAY OF EARLY VOTING) OR MARCH 6 (ELECTION DAY).
We are a grass roots organization dedicated to preserving the integrity of our most sacred Texas Shrine. Please stand with us in face of revisionist history elites and politically correct financiers of George P. Bush. Say NO to "Reimagine the Alamo."
"If enacted this plan by George P. Bush will be every bit as destructive to the Alamo as was the Mexican Army in 1836. Every Texan should be outraged.Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is foisting upon the people of Texas a horrible and disrespectful plan for the Alamo. He has consistently thwarted or ignored every objection by the citizens of this State and all attempts to stop it.The current plan for the Alamo is a looming disaster that must be prevented."- Rick Range
Today we of the Save The Alamo Committee want to announce our full endorsement of Miguel Suazo in his race to defeat George P. Bush as Texas General Land Office Commissioner on November 6.
I can tell you that Mr. Suazo is fully versed on all aspects of the Alamo—both the past and the present situation that we have been dealing with. I have had numerous meetings and conversations with him lasting several hours, and I can assure you that Mr. Suazo is totally in agreement with what we all have been fighting for. To list a few major points:
1. The Battle of 1836 and the heroism of the Defenders shall remain the primary focus of any future plans for the Alamo.
2. The Cenotaph memorial to the Alamo Defenders shall not be moved one inch from where it currently stands.
3. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas shall be restored to their proper role at the Alamo.
All of these points and more are publicly listed on Mr. Suazo’s website at https://www.miguelsuazo.org/media/remembering-the-alamo. He is imminently qualified and has well-thought-out positions on all the duties of the Land Office.
On the other hand, from his past actions and personal philosophy (“The focus of the Alamo has to be taken off the battle in order to promote unity and not division in our society”), we know that the defeat of George P. Bush is absolutely essential if we are to save the Alamo from political revisionism. If not, the entire future of the Alamo will be based on plans promoted by the politically correct Mayor and City Council of San Antonio, along with the Castro brothers and all the other radicals of their ilk. They have made no bones about their intent, and Bush has neither the spine nor the inclination to stand up to them. He has amply demonstrated that he cannot be trusted with the future of the Alamo.
Make no mistake, Democratic nominee Miguel Suazo is the one and only candidate capable of defeating George P. Bush in the General Election. A vote for anyone else, Libertarian Party candidate Matt Piña or otherwise, will do nothing to further this goal. Fifty percent is not required, and there is no run-off. Unlike the Primary, whoever receives the largest number of raw votes in this General Election automatically wins. Regardless of party affiliation, it is critical that we use our votes and support in the only manner capable of defeating Bush. A vote for anyone else will in effect be wasted. That is just the reality of the situation. And voting against Bush will have no negative effect whatsoever on any of the rest of the Republican ticket. (I myself personally intend to vote for all of them except for Bush.) Nonetheless, the entire future of the Alamo is infinitely more important than blind loyalty to any particular political party. What’s more, Bush has clearly proven that he does not merit the vote of any true Republican. Unlike Mr. Bush’s preposterous claim of being “the most conservative Land Commissioner in the history of Texas,” Miguel Suazo is indisputably the real conservative when it comes to the Alamo, the Cenotaph, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
If ALL of us do our part, we can be the army that helps to push Suazo over the goal line. In the March 6 primaries, the combined Democratic vote for the GLO was 943,932, the vote for Bush was 859,209, and the combined anti-Bush Republican vote was 617,356. Together this would equate to: Suazo—39.0 percent, Bush—35.5 percent, and the anti-Bush Republicans—25.5 percent. It is obvious that our votes could very well determine the outcome of this race. Now is the time that we must all unite and do everything in our power to defeat George P. Bush. The future of the Alamo depends on it.
Remember the Alamo!
P.S.—Please share this message with everyone that you possibly can. This will dramatically magnify our impact. It is imperative that we get this word out to each and every single person who voted against Bush in the Republican Primary, and beyond. And remember that this is absolutely our last chance to stop Bush and save the Alamo for posterity. The good news is that this race is winnable. Forty-two percent of the voters in Bush’s own party have already cast a vote against him last March. We must now ensure that they all do so again in November.