Texans for Greg Abbott Unveils We the People Policy Plan
AUSTIN – Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott today continued his We the People policy release in Corpus Christi, TX. In discussing the second in a series of upcoming policy proposals, Abbott offered reforms that will fight ObamaCare, strengthen gun rights, protect DNA rights and eliminate loopholes that allow legislators to vote on legislation in which they may financially benefit, among others.
In the included remarks, Abbott discussed his vision for Texas, saying, “The future of this state is not found in the halls of government, it lies in the hearts of our people. To keep Texas the land of boundless opportunity, we need to keep government out of your private information. And Texas must lead the nation in promoting you individual liberty.”
You can find detailed information on Abbott’s proposals on TownHall254.GregAbbott.com.
We the People Policy Speech:
*Greg Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks.
Yesterday we celebrated Veterans Day at the DFW National Cemetery thanking veterans for their service.
One of the veterans I thanked was my brother. After 20 years as a Navy Officer, he retired as a Commander. His service brought him to Corpus Christi where he trained as an Aviator.
We were reminded yesterday that even though we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11th, November 12th and every other day is also Veterans Day. Every day in America is a day to thank our veterans for their service, who defend the freedom we all enjoy.
It’s that freedom that I’ve been fighting for as your Attorney General. I’ve also been fighting for smaller government, lower taxes and less regulation. That is why I have sued the Obama Administration 30 times. I didn’t invent the phrase “Don’t Mess with Texas”, but I have applied that phrase more than anyone. I filed suit against ObamaCare because it imposes heavy burdens on families and small businesses. I sued to stop EPA regulations that threaten jobs in our growing energy sector. I sued Eric Holder to enforce our voter ID law in Texas. I’ve fought for your Second Amendment rights. I’ve defended the values and principles that have been a part of this state from the beginning. I defended the display of the Ten Commandments placement on the Texas Capitol grounds before the United States Supreme Court, and I’ve defended the phrase “One Nation Under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance.
When it comes to our freedom and our future, I will never stop fighting. And that is why I am asking the people of Texas to elect me as your next governor.
As governor, I will apply the same tenacity and the same commitment to constitutional principles and limited government.
For example, two weeks ago I rolled out a job growth plan for Texas. It’s a plan to get government off the backs of employers and keep it out of your wallets. The goal is to create an environment where more jobs are created and you get to keep more of what you make. To do that, we must keep government limited so it spends less of your tax dollars.
Today, I am unveiling my second policy initiative. The focus of my plan today is to return power to the people themselves.
The threat to your freedom is more than just government growing too big. It also comes from government turning into big brother and invading your privacy, taking your property and threatening your liberty.
Government agencies like the NSA, IRS and EPA are increasingly using tools to look at our emails, our phone calls, financial information, our health records and our political communications. Government is going beyond trying to protect us and now seems to be trying to protect itself from political dissent.
To protect Texans from these big brother type tactics, my “We the People” plan includes privacy protection, ethics reform and a heavy dose of protecting your freedom.
It is time to draw a bright line around your personal privacy and your private information. Many state agencies collect information about you and then sell that information to private businesses without getting your consent. The Department of Motor Vehicles keeps records on 22 million vehicles and drivers in Texas. That information was sold 2,500 times last year to businesses like collection agencies, banks, towing companies and private investigators. The Texas Department of Health Services sold information concerning 27 million hospital visits. One business bought and resold that information to 100 customers in just one year. This use of your information must stop. This is your information. It should be given away or sold only with your express approval. I will champion privacy protections that prevent the sale of your personal information unless you expressly agree to it.
Of all the information about you, the information that is most personal and most unique to you is your DNA. Your DNA belongs to you and no one else has a right to use it without your express approval. Advances in technology are threatening that privacy right. As John Locke wrote, every man has a property right in his own person, and I believe it is time to create a personal property right for your DNA. You should have control over how information about your DNA is used. Four states have already acted on protecting personal DNA data. I want Texas to be the fifth.
Big brother is not only collecting and selling your information, he is also watching you as you drive through traffic lights. Both the advocates of red light cameras and detractors have a point. One emphasizes safety, the other privacy. But I believe it should be up to you the people to decide whether red light cameras are right for your community. So I propose changing Texas law to allow voters the option to repeal red light camera ordinances by voter-initiated referendum.
There’s one area where we need less privacy and more transparency. That’s for elected officials. These are people who are supposed to be your public servants. Not people who are using their positions to line their pockets. You deserve to know more about how they make their money and who they have contracts with. That’s why I’m proposing that all state elected officials be required to disclose more about their sources of income and to disclose any contracts they – or their family members – have with state agencies or local government bodies. The light needs to shine on public officials who are profiteering off the system.
And while we are at it, we also need to eliminate loopholes that allow legislators to vote on legislation in which they may financially benefit. They are supposed to be working for you, not their own bank accounts.
And you deserve to know more about where campaign contributions are coming from – especially as it concerns powerful interests that try to pour big money into campaigns in their closing days. To end this practice, candidates should not be able to spend contributions of $5,000 or more in the final 30 days of a campaign, until that contribution has been disclosed online.
We also need to stop the practice of some lawyer legislators from using the prestige of their office to make money by referring lawsuits to deep-pocketed lawyers without doing any real legal work for clients. Lawyer legislators should be prohibited from receiving any benefit from referring lawsuits.
Another practice at the Capitol that must end is using tax dollars to hire lobbyists to lobby for school districts or school boards. Using your money to lobby for more of your money is a conflict of interest. It needs to stop. School districts should directly represent the needs of their schools at the legislature and not waste taxpayer resources on lobbyists.
In addition to protecting your privacy and requiring greater public official transparency, we also need to do more to promote your individual liberty. Just as I have fought to protect your Second Amendment rights as Attorney General, as governor I’ll fight for your right to protect and defend yourself. That is why I support open carry and campus carry laws in Texas. Every law-abiding Texan should have the freedom to protect themselves and those they love.
Speaking of freedom, there may be no greater government-led threat to freedom than the ObamaCare law. We should have the freedom to make healthcare decisions, without facing federal penalties or fines for simply choosing not to purchase insurance. To do more to protect Texans from the harsh effects of ObamaCare, I’ll support legislation that prevents creating state exchanges that try to implement ObamaCare. And I will work to make it illegal to use any state resources to implement that flawed law.
The future of this state is not found in the halls of government, it lies in the hearts of our people. To keep Texas the land of boundless opportunity, we need to keep government out of your private information. We must reform the way entrenched politicians operate by elevating ethical standards and requiring more transparency. And Texas must lead the nation in promoting you individual liberty.
As governor, I will protect that freedom and the free enterprise principles behind it. I will fight for the ideals and values of the greatest people to inhabit this Earth, the people of Texas.
Thank you, and God bless you all.