Opinion

An Update on the State Capitol

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From my family to yours -- Happy New Year! As we settle in to 2021, I felt it appropriate to begin by giving thanks. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the unique interests of our district, and I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for allowing me to be your voice in Austin for the next two years. Further, I’d like to thank all those who have shared their thoughts and concerns with me throughout the preceding year so that I have a firsthand understanding of how the events of 2020 impacted so many of you. Your calls, emails, and conversations will be used during this upcoming session to make meaningful progress for the State of Texas.

Comments on hatred in America

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On January 6, I along with most Americans watched in horror as a mob intent on disrupting certification of the 2020 presidential election results stormed the Capitol building in Washington. Their anger was fueled by months of false comments by many elected officials, including the President himself, that the election was stolen and the results were false. And this was occurring despite the fact that not a single instance of election fraud was presented to a court, anywhere, with all of the false claims thrown out by more than 60 judges including a number who were appointees of President Trump himself.

Firsthand account from Capitol

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I’m Kevin Counsil, Republican Chairman of Madison County. I was elected to this position to promote the Republican Party and the conservative values of our county. On Jan. 6, a group of us attended the Trump rally on the south lawn of the White House and on Freedom Plaza. My reason for going was to see this historical event for myself and to report it to the good people of Madison County and those on my social media page. I never felt unsafe at anytime while I was there, there were families with strollers, grandparents with grandkids and people of all colors and nationalities at the rally. After the rally was over we walked the 15 blocks to the US Capital building where we stood on the west lawn with thousands and thousands of others to exercise our 1st Amendment right to assemble and protest the results of the recent election. Although I will not and do not condone any of the violence that occurred, nor the individuals entering the Capitol building, our objective was to make our voices heard and to gather information regarding the event as a firsthand account. Since returning home and sharing photos and videos of the event, social media has restricted my accounts as well as restricted the President’s account. I will continue to share my firsthand account of the events that occurred near the Capitol building on Jan. 6 because I refuse to have my 1st Amendment right stripped away. Taking away the ability to speak freely typically only occurs in communist countries, but we need to be aware that, if we are not careful, our rights can be easily dismantled and taken away one by one.

Don’t Mess with Texas Restaurants

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When Texas restaurants and bars were first ordered to close their doors in mid-March, small business owners and their employees were left up the creek without a paddle. With no tables to wait on or customers to serve, it was impossible to earn a paycheck, cover the rent or even come close to making ends meet. In April, Texas restaurants lost $4.2 billion in sales, and 81 percent of restaurants were forced to lay off or furlough employees.