There seems to be a new organization that’s getting started. It’s called “Texans First.” Here’s what I think is going on. It’s a Rick Perry play all the way. That’s obvious from the signature on the letter, which is that of Bill Jones, formerly Perry’s general counsel and former chairman of the A&M Board of Regents. Perry is doing what he does every session: Ingratiate himself with the freshmen. This is straight from the Perry playbook. He’ll probably try to attend freshman orientation too. They are the only ones left who might be impressed by a governor who is desperately trying to extend his own relevance.
The letter says,
Congratulations on winning your race. You earned it. Now comes the hard part–delivering on the promises you made, so Texas avoids becoming a high-tax, over-regulated, lawsuit riddled disaster like California.
Benjamin Franklin cautioned, “We most all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. That’s why those of us at Texas First, a group of liberty minded entrepreneurs who are dedicated to the same principles you are, want to invite you to an intimate gathering of legislative policy leaders, policy experts, and successful entrepreneurs. If you will come, we promise you a day of deep principled discussion and serious commitments you won’t soon forget.
The location is the Acton School, the private MBA program run by Jeff Sandefer, a longtime Perry ally.
The letter goes on to say that the goal will be to draft a serious plan for advancing the freedoms of all Texans, “before the destructive forces of lobbyists, special interests, and petty politics begin to tear at us all.”
As for avoiding the destructive forces of lobbyists, special interests, and petty politics, I wouldn’t count on it. The event (scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19), is being hosted by Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
This is an explanation of who and what Texans First is, from Amanda Venable:
1. The Bill Jones cited in the blog post and the Bill Jones that is president of Texans First are two different people. The Bill Jones that is president of Texans First is an entrepreneur from Odessa that now works and lives in Austin. He is also a teacher at the Acton School of Business, thus, our access to the Acton campus. No relation to Bill Jones, Perry’s former counsel.
2. Texans First is not that new of an organization. We’ve been around for two years. We were formed by a small group of entrepreneurs and community leaders. No politicians have been involved in the formation of our group or are active in the day-to-day operations.
Texans First is a collection of entrepreneurs, business leaders, teachers and community leaders that have come together to help advance entrepreneurial civic causes and initiatives. We provide a space for entrepreneurs to take the same skills that created successful ventures and apply them to the world of policy — be that in the realm of education and mentorship or economic vitality or government accountability.
Actually, this group sounds pretty interesting. The Bill Jones mentioned here is involved in Jeff Sandefer’s Acton School of Business. Thanks to Ms. Venable for the explanation.