Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Texas Rep. Chuck Hopson-R Kicked Out of Texas State House!

Texas Rep. Chuck Hopson-R Kicked Out of Texas State House!

Long Time Democrat Turned Republican After President Obama Was Elected, Chuck Hopson Who Said; “He Could Not And Wound Not Follow President Obama” Has Been Kick out of The Texas State House As A Republican Representative Even After Receiving Endorsements and Support from the Longest Serving Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

District 11 State Rep. Chuck Hopson said the Democratic Party in Washington no longer aligns with his own personal values and as a result he officially joined the Republican Party.

"Obama and the Democratic Congress in Washington are really out of step with East Texas and I get constant reminders that the Democratic Party is doing this and the Democratic Party is doing that. It doesn't reflect on our party in Texas but my constituents think it does," Hopson said. "My personal values seem to line up a little more with the Republican Party's than the Democrats right now, when we talk about family values, guns and God and land."
Hopson, a pharmacist in Jacksonville, Texas said he believes the Democratic health care plan will have negative effects on East Texas' businesses and residents. Unfunded federal mandates for Medicaid expansion represent a harmful policy shift for the state and small town East Texas.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said by turning his back on the Democratic Party, Hopson has turned his back on rural Texans.
"Make no mistake ... as a rural Democratic elected official who served in rural Texas, I can tell you that if, in fact, Chuck Hopson makes this announcement this afternoon, he will be joining a party that has abandoned rural Texas," Richie said in a statement.
"The (Democrats) that liked me still like me, and the one's that don't like me, really don't like me now," he said.
Before Hopson's departure Democrats made strong gains in the House. House Democrats were instrumental in the ousting of former Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, replacing him with a more moderate Republican Joe Straus of San Antonio. Hopson's switch increases the Republican-Democratic gap to 77-73. Henderson said he did not know of any Republican House seats facing vulnerability in the coming election.
"In East Texas I am considered a conservative," Hopson said. "It's not politics when I do something, it's because I think its right."

“We believe in God and guns, and we want to protect all that stuff,” Hopson said earlier this year. With water resources, “We want to make sure ... we protect it and don't let someone take it away.”

Hopson, a former Democrat, has been in the state House since 2000. He switched parties in 2009, saying at the time, “I don't agree with the plan in Washington now for the future of our country. I'm not in favor of the health care bill that passed. It doesn't represent my views or it doesn't represent the views of my district or the people that live in my district.”

A Former Chuck Hopson Supporter and Staff member Phillip Martin Told: Progress Texas

A man who lives with honor says to your face what he says behind your back.
I used to think Chuck Hopson was that kind of man. Today, I learned the harsh truth that he is not.
I always knew Chuck was first and foremost about self-preservation, but I would have thought he would retire before becoming a Republican -- a promise he's told countless State Representatives, party officials, and local constituents. In fact, he had a fundraiser for himself no more than two weeks ago, taking money from Democrats.
Chuck's decision to join the Republican Party shows that he has sunk to a level of political cowardice I never expected from him. As a former employee of Hopson's, I feel betrayed by his lack of conviction -- betrayed that I ever trusted someone who so clearly puts his own self-interest above that of those who support him.
My first job in the Texas Capitol was as a legislative aide for Hopson. I began working for him in the 2005 Regular Session, and stayed on through the school finance special sessions in 2006, after which time -- in September 2006 -- I went to work as Chief of Staff for State Representative Garnet F. Coleman.
His decision today to switch parties reflects the colder side of Hopson, the side most people never encountered but was always there beneath the surface. It is a side of a man whose principles are dictated by self-preservation, and whose positions on policy you could only count on once you'd convinced him that it was politically safe for him to take action.
I can remember countless times where I had to talk Chuck into doing the right thing, including...
  • Water Rights

    The biggest issue facing East Texas is water rights. The city of Dallas, for years, has tried to build the Fast rill Reservoir along the Neches River -- water that no one in East Texas wants to lose to Dallas, and land that was promised to be built for the Neches River Wildlife Refuge.

    In what should be a no-brainer to any rural member with brains (Don't give our water away to Dallas!), Hopson struggled. I wrote constituent  letters, official letters to county and city officials, press releases and speeches where Hopson was straddling the fence -- calling for "further study" on an issue where, during a local fair in Jacksonville more than "1,269 new people signed on in support of the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge" in a single day in 2006. (Source)

    Why wouldn't Chuck speak up against the Reservoir? Because of the money. If he didn't block the Reservoir, he would get political donations. So for months and months, he straddled the fence, refusing to take a position despite my constant urging that (1) it was the smart political decision, and (2) it was the decision his constituents wanted him to make.

    Since then, he has publicly covered his tracks. A person who always put himself first can do that pretty well.
  • Public Education - I Wrote His Education Plan for his 2006 Campaign

    Chuck was facing a tough race in 2006. He needed to speak strongly about public education, but since I'd done all the policy and press work for him, he needed me to write it. So, I put together most of the work I'd done on school finance in the 16 months I'd been there, put together a simple plan, and wrote press releases, a speech, and policy papers for him. 
  • He then -- two months before his election, and five months before I thought I was going to get to be his Chief of Staff -- fired me. But that education plan I put together for him ended up in mail pieces, and he used it as a crutch in his town hall meetings for the final weeks of his campaigns.

    I don't think he ever even filed legislation on any of the policy proposals I created for him.

For me, it worked out in the end. I got hired on as Chief of Staff for a real Democrat, State Representative Garnet Coleman -- another person who, throughout the years, did everything he could to get Chuck re-elected. But, Hopson; I was always okay with the fact that he fired me without any notice, and that he often worked harder to get himself re-elected than to do any real work in Austin. I remember some good work he did, too -- but I also remember enough that I was never at ease with the way Hopson ran things, and with his kind of politics.
I thought I was just too young. I thought I didn't understand politics. I assumed Chuck knew what he was doing, and was doing what was best for his constituents.
Turns out he was just doing what he has always done - what is best for him. The party of self-interests just got the most self-interested man I've ever had the displeasure of working for. Good riddance.