Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Texas Correctional Voting Block Works

Staff Reporter
Austin, Texas
With highly contested and well funded races in place where correctional employees reside, AFSCME Texas Correctional Employees for the second time in history put together a list of candidates and endorsements in these highly contested races.  Correctional Employees weighed in on 10 contested races which will determine the next Speaker of the Texas House, who makes committee appointments. 
Shadow Political Action Committees such as Texans for Fiscal Responsibility ran by Austin political insider Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans targeted some of the Speaker of the House's closest allies in rural areas of Texas.  Here are the results of AFSCME Texas Correctional endorsed candidates:
District 15: Senator John Whitmire WON
District 1: Representative George Lavender LOST
District 121: Representative Joe Straus WON
District 134: Sarah Davis WON
District 18: Representative John Otto WON
District 59: Representative J.D. Sheffield WON
District 71: Representative Susan King WON
District 8: Representative Byron Cook WON
District 83: Representative Charles Perry Won
District 131: Representative Alma Allen Won
District 145: Representative Carol Alvarado Won
State District Court 278: Hal Ridley Won
Correctional employees are able to make a statewide impact in primary races where voter turnout is usually low.  Under state law if no one receives a majority of the vote, the top two candidates head to a runoff election to be held May 27.  These races have an even lower turnout and may determine statewide candidates.  It is important for Texas correctional employees to make their vote and voice be heard in these important elections which may determine the fate of their retirement, pay, and benefits.  Click here to receive a form in the mail to register to vote
Myths about voting:
1)  If I register, I will be selected for jury duty.  FALSE Counties now use driver license list to help pull juries, so get rid of your drivers license too if that is the case.
2)  My vote doesn't count.  FALSE  Everyone's vote counts and voting together in a block can make a large impact.
3)  Politicians don't care if I vote for or against them.  FALSE Some elections are decided by a handful of votes.  Politicians sometimes will spend hundreds of dollars to attract one extra vote.
4)  Public employees groups who are politically active are usually paid more.  TRUE  In the State of Texas Law Enforcement and fire fighters are very politically active in most large cities and make almost twice what most correctional officers make. 
5)  Correctional employees don't vote.  FALSE We do vote and we are making an impact.  Our impact needs to be felt better. 


  1. From the Desk of BoBoTheBeaten:

    It has to be a whole town of idiots that would re-elect Senator Twitmire. What exactly has he done for TDCJ except to coordinate hugh raises for the Leadership?

  2. The Governor set the size of the raise for the director. Whitmire does not head the finance committee, he heads the Criminal Justice Committee which only passes legislation on criminal justice bills and not financial decisions. Funding for the agency is decided by the house appropriations committee, senate finance committee, and finally the Governor's office. 1 member of the 181 member legislature can not control or force a budget upon the other 31 senators or 150 house members. Whitmire actually has been one of the only members of the senate to visit a prison or push pay raises for staff. I wish TDCJ employees would stop organizing against themselves by voting for anti-government employee candidates such as Dan Patrick. Whitmire us guilty of talking trash to Brad Livingston, who cares... It's not like he isn't paid well, thanks to governor good hair...