Monday, February 22, 2010


I learned a long time ago that "Nothing is ever easy." At least when it comes to accomplishing significant goals, be it in business or sports or, especially, politics. So when I declare that I will fight to lower taxes extensively, the first question that should come to mind is just how do I plan to accomplish this?

The answer: Lower the size of the Texas State Budget by aggressively utilizing the power and scope of the Sunset Act.

In 1977, the Sunset Act established a process to regularly evaluate approximately 150 Texas state agencies and to assess whether their missions were still needed as well as to evaluate the efficiency of their operations. Under the process, each agency must perform for the Sunset Commission a self-review of its roles and responsibilities, including areas in which its duties may overlap those of other agencies and the effect of the agency's abolition on loss of federal funding. Every agency, no matter how big or important, must succumb to this review by an independent body made up of professional staff, attorneys and representatives of the Texas Senate, House and the public.

Since its inception, 58 agencies have been abolished and another 12 agencies have been consolidated. The fiscal impact of Sunset recommendations over time can be estimated through fiscal note data. Bureaucracies such as the Poultry Improvement Board and the Texas Indian Commission have ceased to exist while the Occupational Therapy and the Physical Therapy Boards were combined. Estimates from reviews conducted between 1982 and 2009 indicate a potential 27-year revenue savings of approximately $783.7 million, compared with expenditures of $28.6 million for the Sunset Commission. Based on these estimates, for every dollar spent on the Sunset process, the State has received $27 in return.

Currently this review process is scheduled once every twelve years. I propose changing this to once every six years. In addition, I will seek a 2/3 vote of each House of the Legislature for an agency to be renewed. These changes in the Sunset Act are designed to speed up the transfer to the private sector of well-meant programs that have not proven themselves and, just as importantly, to help facilitate the elimination of those designed to favor special interests. Pruning State agencies that don't work well will enable us to lower State taxes while still ensuring that the basic needs of all Texans are met.

Back in 1928, Herbert Hoover's campaign used what has become over the years a very famous quote -- but you can rest assured that a Poultry Improvement Board is not needed to provide "A chicken in every pot."

(In the days ahead there will be additional postings related to how we can lower taxes in Texas. Be sure to check back often.)

Government is the last resort.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


FINALLY, something liberals and conservatives can both agree on:

As long as legislators make deals behind closed doors, as long as legislators can pass laws without having read and understood them, and as long as legislators can vote on laws without providing advance notice to the citizens, the State of Texas and our nation will always be in jeopardy and subject to political whims, pressures and special interests, rather than to the citizens.

Transparency is key to having honest government of, by and for the people.

It is for this reason that I fully support the HONOR IN OFFICE ACT which requires each member of the legislative assembly who intends to vote in favor of a bill to first execute a written statement in the following language and form:

"I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I, personally, have read (INSERT BILL NUMBER) in its entirety, and that I have taken the steps to understand the entire contents of this bill and its ramifications to the best of my ability."

With this in mind, I intend to write and sponsor an Amendment to the Constitution of the State of Texas which will read as follows:



Honor In Office --- Reading the bill - Transparency and accountability - Citizen input on final version of bills.

1. In order to give citizens the time to provide thoughtful input which legislators then have an opportunity to review before their vote, and to also afford legislators the time to read and understand the final version of the bill, no vote to pass or defeat a bill shall occur in either the House or the Senate until five days (including weekends and holidays) after the absolute entirety of the final version of the bill has been posted in a publicly accessible fashion, on the Internet, continuously, up through the point the vote is completed. Any alterations, revisions, additions or deletions to the bill during this five day public review period will require a reposting and restart of the review period. This requirement shall not apply to dire emergencies involving state security or natural catastrophes for which immediate action is necessary to prevent further loss of life.

2. No member of the legislative assembly shall vote in favor of the passage of any bill by either house unless such member certifies that he or she has fully read and understands the contents of such bill. Prior to voting in favor of the passage of any bill, each member of the legislative assembly who intends to vote in favor of such bill shall execute a written statement in the following language and form:

"I hereby certify under penalty of perjury that I, personally, have read [INSERT BILL NUMBER] in its entirety, and that I have taken the steps to understand the entire contents of this bill and its ramifications to the best of my ability."

A vote in favor of the passage of a bill shall not be counted unless it is determined that the member casting such vote has executed this writing.

Friday, February 12, 2010


The Taxpayer Protection Pledge is considered to be the single-most important step a political candidate can make to demonstrate his or her commitment to the principles of fiscal responsibility. My solemn pledge to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes" is now on file with the Americans for Tax Reform headquarters in Washington, D.C. It should be noted that there are no exceptions to the Pledge.


Let me reiterate -- there are no exceptions.

Tax-and-spend politicians often use "emergencies" to justify increasing taxes. In the unfortunate event of a real crises or natural disaster, I believe the legislature should cut spending in other areas instead of initiating a new tax burden which, once enacted, almost never goes away.

For more information regarding the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and Americans for Tax Reform, please go to

Vote NO! on tax increases.

Vote NO(wotny)!

Robert Nowotny
Libertarian Candidate
Texas State Representative, District 73

Monday, February 8, 2010


My candidacy for State Representative, District 73 is only a few weeks old and already I have received tremendous encouragement from a wide variety of individuals. Perhaps none, however, were as moving as that received from Major Michael Fagan, a rescue helicopter pilot in Vietnam with 301 combat missions and 28 combat saves. In addition, Major Fagan served as a helicopter operations officer in Cambodia during the evacuation of Phnom Penh.

With Michael's permission, I am posting below what he wrote:

"Are you crazy? Hell yes! You are totally mad! Mad as hell, I think you said. You are as crazy as those idiots who stood by a bridge in Concord on April 19, 1775, in the insane belief that they could form a government which represented the People. You are as nuts as that black woman who wouldn't sit in the back of the bus. You are as far off the wall as the millions of us who fought and bled in wars with which we didn't necessarily agree with to preserve a system -- a culture -- a way of life in which we had a choice and a future.

I was strong among those who wanted change. What I got is not the change I bargained for. Yes, I support your insanity because it parallels my own. I have my own pet issues but they are like yours. I do not live in Texas (at this time!) but I am behind every warm blooded American who wants to take back our Constitution and Bill of Rights -- and among those rights is the freedom to keep the bulk of what I earn and spend it wherever the hell I want! Industry and business make a strong economy, not big government. Redistribution of wealth eliminates real wealth and thus the ability to hire, innovate, grow and make others wealthy. The current occupants of the big chairs need a refresher course in history and economics.

Go for the gold! The politics of Texas won't be totally real to me until I retire and move back to my adopted home but every assault upon the current utterly unsustainable economic policy and totally unacceptable deterioration of our fundamental hard won freedoms demands my support -- at any level in any place.

I don't have much. They don't pay schoolteachers very well in Missouri either. But, give me an address and maybe I can find a few bucks to contribute to reclaiming a little of what I fought for for twenty years."

Thank you Michael. Thank you very much.