Yesterday I was in San Angelo with the Life, Liberty and Property Tour, during which other conservative leaders and I shared our frustrations and successes in the last Texas legislative session and what can be done to change things.
In the course of that event one leader said that her state senator had told her if she wanted an issue dealt with, she needed to come up with a plan and then sell it to legislators. She replied, “Then what do we need you for?” Her frustration expressed what we have been saying during this election cycle: It is no longer enough for elected officials to simply say they are “for” home schooling and/or parental rights or other critical issues. Such legislators are giving lip service to supporting us and our issues, while not being willing to expend any effort or “political capital” to enact legislation that is important to the protection or promotion of parental rights or to stop legislation that would harm these rights. Such action is not acceptable.
While that meeting was going on, the city council of Magnolia was also meeting. Home schoolers and other concerned parents came to this meeting in response to a THSC e-blast about the city’s effort to adopt or readopt a daytime curfew. In addition to the e-blast, we also wrote a letter and delivered it to Magnolia city officials prior to that city council meeting. The room was filled to overflowing with citizens who, according to the city attorney, were the largest and most well-behaved opposition to any ordinance that he had ever seen in his practice of representing multiple cities. He also commended the well-reasoned arguments against the ordinance.
Just before both meetings started I got a call from State Representative Steve Toth, who is a home school dad and a candidate in a runoff for the State Senate District 4 seat—the district that includes Magnolia. Steve told me he was going to the meeting and asked me for details and talking points. He went as a state legislator and gave testimony against the ordinance about why this curfew was a bad idea for the community and families. It became clear that there was overwhelming opposition to the daytime curfew, and when he and others pointed out that the same problems existed with the city’s nighttime curfew, the council decided to kill both.
Representative Toth also explained to the council that Montgomery County commissioners have the same kind of ordinance in effect and that THSC will work with him and other leaders to address this issue to the commissioners and seek to have that ordinance removed as well.
While this was a great victory for freedom and parental rights, it is also instructive in terms of what voters should look for in elected officials. THSC Association has endorsed Steve Toth in his election bid for the State Senate because he has proven, in this situation and in many others, that he is willing and able to be an advocate for home schooling and parental rights, which is what we need in the Texas Legislature. While his opponent is a conservative and says he supports home schooling and parental rights, he did not get involved in this matter and has not been an advocate for home schooling and parental rights in the Texas Legislature.
We will be working on this issue as it moves forward in Montgomery County, but I hope all liberty-loving supporters of parental rights in Senate District 4 will support Steve Toth in the August 5 special election, because this situation proved again that Steve is the right man for the job.