Archive for June, 2011

July 4th Rally Planned At Houston National Cemetery
June 30, 2011


Stand for religious freedom at Houston National Cemetery!
HAPC joins call for termination of Arleen Ocasio for anti-religious bigotry

Houston Area Pastors and Patriots:

What better way to celebrate the 235th anniversary of our Independence than take the time to stand against religious bigotry by government officials and for religious freedom at the National Cemetery on the 4th of July!  Read the story below if you have not yet heard, and make plans to join us for a one-hour, spontaneous rally on Monday!

Houston VA accused of censoring religious speech

WHAT:       Religious Freedom Rally

WHERE:    HoustonNationalCemetery

                  10410 Veterans Memorial Drive

WHEN:       Monday, July 4

                   10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Media Advisory

June 29, 2011


Local coalition of pastors calls on Texas Congressional Delegation to demand removal of Houston National Cemetery Director

Houston, TX – A greater Houston coalition of pastors representing a broad ethnic and denominational spectrum is planning an event on the 4th of July to call for the removal of Arleen Ocasio, director of the National Cemetery in Houston.  Ocasio ignited controversy prior to Memorial Day by attempting to censor a pastor’s prayer, and has issued a general policy prohibiting reference to God or Jesus as well as other prohibitions of religious expression at the cemetery.

Pastor Willie Davis of Houston, an Army Special Forces veteran himself, stated on behalf of Houston Area Pastor Council that Ocasio’s actions are offensive in every possibly way and should result in her termination.  “We concur wholeheartedly with Congressman Ted Poe’s call for her dismissal for these egregious attacks on the sacred right of expressing religious faith on the hallowed ground of our National Cemetery on behalf of those who died to protect that right,” Pastor Davis declared.  “There can be no better way to spend a few minutes on Independence Day than to stand together as a community at the National Cemetery and make our voices heard.”

Houston Attorney Prepares for Service in Afghanistan
June 29, 2011


Prominent Houston attorney Jim Grace is preparing to serve his country during a nine month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Baker Botts partner signed up for the U..S. Navy Reserves before his 40th birthday. Grace has endured several grueling summer training missions, however, this is his first deployment.

“I’m proud to serve,” said the youthful looking Grace. “I’m going to go do what I’m trained to do and I’m excited.”


Gov. Perry’s Statement on End of Special Session
June 29, 2011

R i c k P e r r y

Statement by Gov. Rick Perry on End of 2011 Legislative Session

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding the end of the legislative session:

“I’m proud of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus and lawmakers’ principled leadership to pass a balanced budget that doesn’t raise taxes and preserves billions unspent in our Rainy Day Fund, leaving our state on firm fiscal footing for the future. The decisions made were difficult, but lawmakers should take pride in the fact that they did what families all across Texas are doing: living within their means. I’m also proud we passed legislation that effectively reforms the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, addresses necessary health care efficiencies and completes congressional redistricting.

“Although I am disappointed lawmakers did not finalize legislation that would have banned sanctuary cities, I commend the Legislature’s work to pass measures that further strengthen our legal system through loser pays lawsuit reform, uphold the integrity of the ballot box by requiring voters to present photo ID at polling places, protect unborn life by requiring an ultrasound before an abortion, strengthen private property rights, and increase penalties for individuals who participate in human trafficking. And although the airport pat-down bill did not pass, it did initiate a public discussion and some changes in airport security procedures.

“Ultimately the measures we have worked together to complete this session will keep Texas a model of good, efficient and limited governance that other states and the federal government should follow.”

# # #

Katherine Schwarzenegger Will Visit Houston
June 29, 2011

She’s made headlines recently because of the shocking behavior of her father, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who fathered a child with the family’s nanny.

However, Katherine Schwarzenegger deserves attention for her own positive spirit and bold accomplishments.

As author of “Rock What You’ve Got”  Schwarzenegger will headline the Rockin Resiliency Luncheon benefiting The Women’s Fund.

It’s scheduled to be held on October 15, 2011, at the Hilton Post Oak.

 For more information about this event please contact Karen Lee Goulding 713.851.3540 or by email at

Here’s more about Katherine’s background:

Rock What You’ve Got

Katherine Schwarzenegger believes that every young girl should be encouraged to “rock what they’ve got.” She speaks candidly, openly, and honestly about the struggle to develop a healthy body image in today’s body-conscious society and the confidence it takes for young women to celebrate who they truly are. She guides young girls through their turbulent teens to womanhood while encouraging them to love their bodies, love themselves, and stay healthy. With her engaging and fun “secrets,” Katherine shares stories and tips to break the cycle of an unhealthy body image.

 Katherine Schwarzenegger is an author, a global activist, a student, the “big sister” every girl wishes she had, and the trusted, secret ally every mother needs. At the age of eighteen, while interning for Dove’s “Campaign For Real Beauty,” Katherine became aware of, and interested in, how prevalent the issue of body image is for young girls in America. Now twenty years old and living in Los Angeles, Katherine is at the forefront of a movement to inspire young women to recognize their true self worth. Katherine writes for various web outlets on body image and women activists here at home and abroad. She also blogs about body image and self-esteem for the ABC Family show Huge and is an open-ended columnist blogging for the California Women’s Conference website.

In addition, Katherine has been active in raising awareness of maternal mortality. At nineteen, she created the fashionable VIDA bags to increase awareness for global maternal mortality and partnered with the White Ribbon Alliance and CARE to diminish the staggering number of mothers worldwide dying during pregnancy and at childbirth. She also writes for various outlets about women activists in Africa and here at home.

Katherine is a communications major and gender studies minor at the University of Southern California.

Palin’s ‘The Undefeated’ To Play In Houston Thursday
June 29, 2011

On Thursday evening Houstonians will gather to watch the premiere of  The Undefeated, the documentary about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.  

It opens nationwide on July 15, however, a few select cities are getting exclusive early viewings.

Palin showed up to the premiere in Iowa Tuesday night.  There’s no indication she will be at the Houston screening on Thursday.

Here’s a note I received about the movie from Michelle Lancaster, who saw it a few weeks ago at the RightOnline conference.  “It truly  moved me. Even if you’re not a fan of Sarah Palin, I  hope you can join me and your community leaders at this special screening.”









Mayor Parker’s Campaign Manager is Moving On and Up
June 28, 2011


He’s the mastermind behind Annise Parker’s first big victory leading into the office of Mayor, but now Adam Harris is moving on and moving up.

Harris is launching his own political and communications firm.

Here’s the note he sent out to friends earlier this morning.

Best of Luck, Adam. It’s been my pleasure to work with you – and butt heads sometime – on the political trail.

Hey friends—

Within a few hours we will release the news; Annise Parker’s campaign is going great and I am moving on! 

As many of you know I have been contemplating hanging out my own shingle and having my own firm.  Mayor Parker looks to be in a great position for re-election with no major opponents and with a June 30 fundraising report that will exceed all expectations, it looks, as of today, that she will cruise to re-election. 

Given her strong and almost inevitable position, I’ve decided to finally take this moment to pursue a long held dream for me. 

Today, we are launching Horizon Strategies.  Our firm will offer traditional political consulting (i.e general consulting, mail, media, and everything you can imagine that a campaign would have to deal with), crisis communications and strategy, public affairs counsel, and a mastery of tactics paired with the acute resources applied to an issue.  We have an intimate knowledge of the workings of Congress, the City of Houston, and every level of campaigns, from Presidential to City Council. 

We will only accept a limited number of clients.  It is our mission to serve a few clients with distinction and results, rather than many clients in mediocrity. To retain, Horizon Strategies, please email, or call 501-590-3365 or 202-657-6002.

Appeal Filed Over Red Light Camera Battle
June 28, 2011

While the City of Houston is deciding its next move in the battle over red light cameras,  opponents  have filed an appeal with the 5th Circuit.

The appeal was filed on behalf of  Francis and Randall Kubosh, who lead the successful referendum to dismantle red light cameras.

Last November 53% of Houston voters rejected red-light cameras, however, federal Judge Lynn Hughes ruled earlier this month that the city charter requires action to overturn ordinances by referendum to take place  within 30 days of  when the ordinance was passed. Houston’s red-light ordinance passed in 2004

Last week American Traffic Solutions sent city leaders a letter saying it planned to once again begin recording citations on August 1, unless the city pays the damages ATS believes it is owed on its contract with the city.

In the Kubosh appeal attorneys argue, among other points, “if government by the people, of the people, and for the people is to have meaning in  Houston, this Court must permit Appellants to appeal the manifestly erroneous, June, 17, 2011, summary judgment granted in ATS’ favor.”

 I’ll keep you posted on what happens next.

Fundraising Drive for US War Dogs!
June 27, 2011

(News Release)

(Houston, TX June 27, 2011) Rover Oaks Pet Resort recently launched a month-long donation drive, Operation: War Dogs!, to support the United States War Dogs Association (USWDA).  The drive officially began on Memorial Day and will culminate on Independence Day, July 4, 2011.  Rover Oaksis holding a special event THIS Saturday, July 2, [2:30pm – 4:30pm at Rover Oaks Houston & Katy] to recognize Independence Day and to celebrate everyone’s contribution toOperation: War Dogs!   The festivities will feature special activities including:

~ Pups in patriotic attire (bring your dressed up pup for a prize!)

~ Free goodies from Premium Pet Products

~ Lots of tasty food and refreshments for you and your fur-kids

They will also be giving away a FREE WEEKEND STAY at Rover Oaks, so make sure you plan to attend, and bring your friends! 

To date, the group has raised $4700 for the USWDA and, with your help, they can reach their goal of $6000!  These donations will help provide an abundance of critically needed items including K9 medications, food, grooming tools, bedding and other necessities. 

So grab your pups and join in the fun, while taking a moment to remember what is so special about Independence Day — honoring those who serve and protect our country and freedom!

To learn more about Rover Oaks, visit or follow them on Facebook by clicking here! To learn more about the USDWA, their programs and how they are assisting our country, visit Click here to view the Facebook page for the Operation War Dogs! event and to RSVP!  


Red-Light Camera Battle Heating Up
June 20, 2011

The battle over red-light cameras in Houston will heat up Tuesday when representatives from the camera company are expected to speak at city council.

This will be the first time we hear directly from a representative from American Traffic Solutions.(other than a written statement) addressing city leaders.

On Monday, ATS issued a ultimatum: begin issuing citations again or pay millions of dollars in promised revenue.

ATS is asking the city to make a decision by August 1, 2011.

You can read the letter here:

This follows a decision by U.S. Federal Judge Lynn Hughes that last November’s election to ban red-light cameras violated Houston’s city charter covering the repeal of an ordinance.

Fifty-three percent voted against Proposition 3 in the Nov. 2 election. .

 Hughes said the city can keep the red-light cameras, or the city has the option of paying the company the extent of the contract.

Houstonians Celebrate Juneteenth
June 20, 2011

Houstonians held parades, picnics and musical tributes to commemorate Juneteenth, often referred to  as African-American Independence Day.

The holiday fell on Father’s Day this year,  but that didn’t stop the community from remembering the day in 1865 when  General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston to read the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed more than 250,000 slaves throughout Texas.

On Saturday, St. Representative Sylvester Turner  hosted the Juneteenth Centennial Parade.

The parade route went through the heart of the Acres Homes community and featured horses, marching bands, community groups and politicians, including Mayor Annise Parker and City Council Members Jarvis Johnson and Melissa Noriega. 

“I am very excited to be able to celebrate the community of Acres Homes and to have a parade that is a worthy tribute to our rich heritage,” said Rep. Turner.