<![CDATA[NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth - Dallas-Fort Worth and Texas State Political News]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+5-KXAS+Logo+for+Google+News.png NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth http://www.nbcdfw.com en-us Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:01:02 -0500 Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:01:02 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Indiana Gov: We Intend to Fix "Perception" Problem of Law]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:55:30 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/pence-presser-468206814.jpg

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday said a bill he signed into law week has been "grossly mischaracterized" and subjected to "shoddy reporting," but said he and legislators have been working around the clock to draft new legislation to clarify its intent.

"We've got a perception problem here ... and we intend to correct that," Pence told reporters during a morning press conference from Indianapolis.

The Republican reiterated earlier comments that the intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was not to discriminate but to protect religious freedom. The measure prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws, and critics of the law alleged it could provide some businesses the opportunity to refuse providing services or selling goods to some people based on religious grounds.

Pence said he found that claim "offensive," and called upon the state's General Assembly to address the issue.

"This law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone," he said. "The intent of the law was to give the courts in our state the highest level of scrutiny in cases where people feel that their religious liberty is being infringed upon by government action."

His comments Tuesday were a follow-up to an op-ed piece he penned for the Wall Street Journal that the law was not a "license to discriminate."

"I abhor discrimination," he wrote. "I believe in the Golden Rule that you should ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The law sparked outrage from many in Indiana's business community and others with ties -- established and planned -- to the Hoosier state. The public-employee union known as AFSCME announced Monday it was canceling a planned women's conference in Indianapolis this year because of the law. The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an open letter to Indiana corporations saying Virginia is a business-friendly state that does "not discriminate against our friends and neighbors," while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to more than a dozen Indiana businesses, urging them to relocate to a "welcoming place to people of all races, faiths and countries of origin."

In a separate editorial with a clear message, Indiana's largest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, stressed urgency: "Fix this now."

Photo Credit: Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Indiana Gov. Addresses Law Controversy]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 09:56:48 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Mike-Pence-Indiana-Gov.jpg

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said in a Tuesday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that a controversial bill he signed into law last week is not a "license to discriminate."

"I abhor discrimination," he wrote. "I believe in the Golden Rule that you should ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore."

"As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it," he continued.

His published remarks are an attempt to quell the firestorm that's brewed since he affixed his signature to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act last Thursday. The measure prohibits state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs. The definition of "person" includes religious institutions, businesses and associations.

Gays and lesbians are not a protected class under Indiana’s civil rights laws, and critics of the law maintain it could allow some businesses to refuse providing service or selling goods to some people based on religious grounds.

That's sparked outrage from many in Indiana's business community and others with ties -- established and planned -- to the Hoosier state. The public-employee union known as AFSCME announced Monday it was canceling a planned women's conference in Indianapolis this year because of the law. The band Wilco said it was canceling a May performance. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe issued an open letter to Indiana corporations saying Virginia is a business-friendly state that does "not discriminate against our friends and neighbors," while Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent letters to more than a dozen Indiana businesses, urging them to relocate to a "welcoming place to people of all races, faiths and countries of origin."

Republican legislative leaders said they are working on adding language to the law to make it clear it does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.

In a separate editorial with a clear message, Indiana's largest newspaper, the Indianapolis Star, stressed urgency: "Fix this now."

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["I'm Not Running": Warren Shuts Down 2016 Buzz Again]]> Tue, 31 Mar 2015 08:36:50 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP868875334282.jpg

Sorry, "Elizabeth Warren for President" holdouts.

The U.S. senator from Massachusetts on Tuesday dealt another blow to supporters — and rivals on the right — hoping she'll enter the 2016 race, repeating her intention to stay on the sidelines. 

"No, I am not running and I’m not going to run," she told NBC's Savannah Guthrie in an interview.

"I'm not running. I'm not running," she repeated when asked again whether there was any room to hedge.

Warren, who has gained a national profile as a vocal critic of Wall Street, has insisted for months that she does not plan to run against likely candidate and frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic primary. On Tuesday, as she appeared on the "Today" show to promote her new memoir, she said serving in the U.S. Senate is the best platform for fighting for changes on financial regulation, student loans and more.

“I’m in Washington and I’ve got this really great job and a chance to try to make a difference on things that really matter," she said.

The senator's own words haven't stopped supporters on the left from continuing a draft-Warren effort to lay groundwork and generate support for a run. Republicans have also used the buzz surrounding a possible Warren bid to rally their base — citing the progressive Democrat in fundraising emails and other appeals for support.

Even as she rejected the speculation surrounding her own plans, Warren sidestepped a question about whether Clinton is the best messenger on issues embraced by the party's liberal wing.

“I think we need to give her a chance to decide if she’s going to run and declare and to lay out what she wants to run on," she said. "I think that's her opportunity to do that.”

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Apple's Tim Cook: "Religious Objection" Laws Are "Very Dangerous"]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:22:16 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/tim-cook-apple-fortuna.jpg

Apple CEO Tim Cook slammed Indiana's new "religious objection" legislation over the weekend, penning a Washington Post piece warning that “there’s something very dangerous happening in America.”

The piece, which was posted late Sunday night, said the openly gay executive, who was raised in a Baptist home in the South, was "deeply disappointed" in the recently passed "Religious Freedom Restoration" law in Indiana that shields business owners who turn away customers for religious reasons.

"This isn’t a political issue," he wrote. "It isn’t a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous."

Cook called this new wave of legislation "very dangerous," noting there are about 100 similar bills under consideration in two dozen states. And he added that they "go against the very principles our nation was founded on" and "have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality."

“America's business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business,” he wrote. “At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers' lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair. That's why, on behalf of Apple, I'm standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I'm writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement.”

Cook, who was baptized in a Baptist church and grew up in the South in the 1960s and 1970s.  He publicly disclosed that he is gay in October. Last week, Cook announced that he will give his fortune away.

Photo Credit: NBC NEWS]]>
<![CDATA[Iraq War Vet Tammy Duckworth Launches Senate Bid in Illinois]]> Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:24:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/Tammy-Duckworth3.jpg

In a video to supporters, Rep. Tammy Duckworth on Monday made official a 2016 challenge to Sen. Mark Kirk. 

"I’m running for the United States Senate in 2016 because it’s time for Washington to be held accountable and to put Illinois’ families and communities first," the Hoffman Estates Democrat said her video message.

Duckworth, an Iraqi war vet who lost her legs in a helicopter crash, recently had her first baby at the age of 46. 

Well known in her district, her message was a sort of introduction to a statewide audience. She said she was a Marine, a wife, a new mom and a combat veteran. She recalled the financial struggles she faced with her family while growing up and as she put herself through college.

"If you elect me as Illinois’s Senator, I will fight my heart out to represent you with honor and integrity," she said. 

Kirk, who suffered a stroke in 2012, plans to run for re-election.

Illinois Republicans quickly tied Duckworth to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is currently serving time in a Denver-area prison on a corruption conviction.

"Rod Blagojevich protégé Tammy Duckworth is not the kind of partisan politician Illinois families want to represent them in the United States Senate," said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider. "Duckworth represents the extreme wing of the Democrat party — voting with Nancy Pelosi 92 percent of the time. I have no doubt that next November, Illinois voters will re-elect Mark Kirk who has been a strong & independent voice for our state in Washington."

Photo Credit: YouTube / Tammy Duckworth
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<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: March 29, 2015]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:24:10 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg On this week’s Lone Star Politics, a bombshell report. The Dallas Morning News breaks the news that Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk spent time in rehab for prescription drug use. We talk to the two reporters who broke this story and ask will this affect how she leads the DA’s office. Then, Sen. Ted Cruz becomes the first candidate officially announce he is running for president. We look at his chances and what the Tea Party favorite will need to do to win the republican nomination. Watch this week’s Lone Star Politics on Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[LSP: What Ted Cruz Must Do To Win GOP Presidential Nomination]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:56:07 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg Texas Sen. Ted Cruz makes it official: he is running for the White House. What are his chances, and what does he need to do to win his party’s nomination? The Dallas County GOP Chairman joins us to answer these questions. Watch the interview on Lone Star Politics, Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[LSP: Dallas Co. DA Spent Time in Rehab: Report]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:54:49 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk spent at least a month in rehab for prescription drug use. We talk to the two reporters who broke this story and ask how will this affect her ability to run her office. See the entire conversation on Lone Star Politics, Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Speaks in NH]]> Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:22:38 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/cruz-AP938170470053.jpg

Just days after making his presidential candidacy official, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is in New Hampshire for a two-day swing.

Cruz was the first major candidate to announce a run for president. He made the announcement on Monday at Liberty University in Virginia.

On Friday, he attended a rally in Merrimack, New Hampshire, at 3 p.m.

He's also scheduled to speak later in the day at the "New England Freedom Conference" in Nashua, being held by the Young Americas Foundation. On Saturday, he is scheduled to speak at a brunch being hosted by the Rockingham County Republican Committee and the Seacoast Republican Women.

Cruz has made four previous visits to the Granite State with more than a dozen individual stops dating back to 2014. See those visits and more in NECN's New Hampshire Candidate Tracker. 

Photo Credit: FILE - AP Photo/Andrew Harnik]]>
<![CDATA[New Bill Introduced in TX to Stop Recording Police ]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:25:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/police+watcher+bill.jpg

A committee hearing has been postponed regarding a controversial bill authored by a North Texas State Representative.

Representative Jason Villalba introduced a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to record police within 15 feet.

Villalba said the bill was “primarily for independent bloggers who are focused on keeping law enforcement accountable.”

His office adds it is for protection of both sides.

This bill has become controversial and Villalba’s spokesperson says he has received threats. The Department of Public safety is on watch, and Dallas police are checking on him and his family.

Governor Greg Abbott was in Dallas on Thursday, and NBC 5 asked him about the bill.

“I think it’s important not to put public limitations on public access, including viewing like that. I don’t know where it stands in the legislative process. I have a perception that it may not gain much traction,” said Abbott.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[CA Attorney General Moves to End Anti-Gay Initiative]]> Thu, 26 Mar 2015 09:44:47 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/file-kamala-harris-ca-ag.jpg

California Attorney General Kamala Harris asked a state court on Wednesday for permission to reject a proposed ballot initiative stipulating that anyone who engages in gay sex be killed.

Harris issued a statement saying she was making the unusual request to stop the measure filed by a Southern California lawyer late last month. The initiative seeks to amend the California penal code to make sex with a person of the same gender an offense punishable by "bullets to the head or by any other convenient method." The distribution of gay "propaganda" would be punishable by a $1 million fine or banishment from the state.

"This proposal not only threatens public safety, it is patently unconstitutional, utterly reprehensible, and has no place in a civil society," Harris said.

Matthew McLaughlin, the Orange County lawyer who paid $200 to submit the initiative, did not respond to a telephone call seeking comment. A Democratic state senator, Ricardo Lara, has asked the California bar to investigate whether McLaughlin's actions make him unfit to practice law.

The measure puts Harris in a difficult position. Although the bill has no discernible momentum or likely chance of success, she said unless a judge rules otherwise, she will have no choice but to give McLaughlin the go-ahead to seek the nearly 366,000 votes needed to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot.

California is one of 21 states where citizens can petition to have laws put on the ballot through the gathering of voter signatures. Under California's initiative process, state officials do not have authority to refuse to administer initiatives they find objectionable, the California Supreme Court has ruled. Although few of the dozens submitted to the attorney general each year make it on the ballot, the ease with which a resident with a pet peeve can gain clearance to circulate their proposals while seeking signatures has prompted calls for reform.

University of California, Davis law professor Floyd Feeney, an expert on California's initiative process, said Harris alone cannot impede the proposed law. And despite the numerous legal problems with McLaughlin's proposal, Feeney said he was not convinced a court would agree to halt it at this stage.

"The courts, rightly or wrongly, treat the initiative as sort of the citizen right and they are reluctant to get involved in trying to get rid of it, at least in advance, by using the law to keep something from being presented to the electorate," he said.

On Wednesday, a Southern California real estate agent, Charlotte Laws, countered the so-called "Sodomite Suppression Act" with an initiative of her own. Titled the Intolerant Jackass Act, it would require anyone who proposes an initiative calling for the killing of gays and lesbians to attend sensitivity training and make a $5,000 donation to a pro-LGBT group.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Variety]]>
<![CDATA[The DMN's Rudy Bush on Cruz for President]]> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:32:26 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TDMN_Cruz_Obama_11a_032515_1200x675_418044995758.jpg The Dallas Morning News' Rudy Bush discusses Sen. Ted Cruz's decision to run for U.S. President.]]> <![CDATA[Cruz Becomes First in Crowded Presidential Field]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:41:13 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/467344620_TedCruz.jpg U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced his 2016 presidential campaign on Monday, talking about his family, his faith and the promise of America.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sen. Ted Cruz Announces Presidential Bid]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:42:54 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ted-cruz-speech.jpg U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, kicked off his presidential campaign with a speech Monday, March 23, 2015, at Liberty University.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Reaction Follows Cruz Campaign Announcement]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:39:24 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ted-cruz-family-speech.jpg Reaction has been pouring in since U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced his intention to run for president of the United States.

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Transcript: Sen. Ted Cruz Announces Presidential Campaign]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:17:44 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ted-cruz-speech.jpg

Below are the remarks delivered by Sen. Ted Cruz at Liberty University, March 23, 2015, sent by the Cruz campaign.  According to NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell, Cruz did not use a prompter and gave the speech from memory.

It's time to reignite the promise of America courageous conservatives will stand for liberty. Thank you so much, President Falwell.

God bless Liberty University.

I am thrilled to join you today at the largest Christian university in the world.

Today I want to talk with you about the promise of America.

Imagine your parents and their children, imagine a little girl, growing up in Wilmington, Delaware, during World War Two, the daughter of Irish and Italian Catholic family, working class, her uncle ran numbers in Wilmington, she grew up with dozen of cousins because her mom was the second youngest of 17 kids, she had a difficult father, a man who drank far too much, and frankly didn't think women should be educated, and yet this young girl, pretty and shy, was driven, was bright, was inquisitive, and she became the first person in her family to go to college.

In 1956, my mom, elenor, graduated from Rice University with a degree in math, and became a pioneering computer programmer in the 1950s and 1960s.

Imagine a teenage boy. Not much younger than many of you here today. Growing up in Cuba. Jet black hair, skinny as a rail.

Involved in student council and yet Cuba was not at a peaceful time. The dictator, Batista, was corrupt. He was oppressive. And this teenage boy joins a revolution. He joins a revolution against Batista. He begins fighting, with other teenagers, to free Cuba from the dictator. This boy at age 17 finds himself thrown in prison, finds himself tortured, beaten, and then at age 18, he flees Cuba. He comes to America.

Imagine for a second the hope that was in his heart as he rode that ferry boat across to key west and got on a greyhound bus to head to Austin, Texas to begin working washing dishes, making 50 cents an hour. Coming to the one land on earth that has welcomed so many millions.

When my dad came to America, in 1957, he could not have imagined what lay in store for him.

Imagine a young married couple, living together in the 1970s, neither one of them has a personal relationship with Jesus. They have a little boy, and they're both drinking far too much. They're living a fast life. When I was three my father decided to leave my mother and me. We were living in Calgary at the time he got on a plane and flew back to Texas. He decided he didn't want to be married anymore and he didn't want to be a father to his three-year-old son.

And yet when he was in Houston, a friend a colleague, from the oil and gas business invited him to a Bible study. Invited him to Clay Road Baptist church. And there my father gave his life to Jesus Christ. And God transformed his heart, and he drove to the airport, he bought a plane ticket, and he flew back to be with my mother and me.

There are people who wonder if faith is real. I can tell you, in my family there is not a second of doubt because were it not for the transformative love of Jesus Christ I would have been saved and I would have been raised by a single mom without my father in the household.

Imagine another little girl, living in Africa, in Kenya and Nigeria. Playing with kids. They spoke Swahili, they spoke English. Coming back to California, where her parents, who had been missionaries in Africa raised her on the central coast. She starts a small business when she is in grade school, baking bread. She calls it, Heidi's bakery. She and her brother compete baking bread. They bake thousands of loaves of bread and go to the local apple orchard where they sell the bread to people coming to pick apples. She goes on to a career in business, excelling and rising to the highest pinnacles.

And then Heidi becomes my wife and my very best friend in the world. Heidi becomes an incredible mom to our two precious little girls, Caroline and Catherine, the joys and loves of our lives.

Imagine another teenage boy, being raised in Houston, hearing stories from his dad about prison and torture in Cuba. Hearing stories about how fragile liberty is, beginning to study the United States Constitution, learning about the incredible protections we have in this country that protect the God-given liberty of every American.

Experiencing challenges at home. The mid 1980s oil prices crater. And his parents business go bankrupt. Heading off to school over a thousand miles away from home at a place where he knew nobody. Where he was alone and scared. And his parents going through bankruptcy meant there was no financial support at home. So at the age of 17 he went to get two jobs to help pay his way through school. He took over $100,000 in school loans. Loans, I suspect a lot of y'all can relate to. Loans that I will point out I just paid off a few years ago.

These are all of our stories. These are who we are as Americans. And yet for so many Americans, the promise of America seems more and more distant.

What is the promise of America? The idea that the, revolutionary idea, that this country was founded upon, which is that our rights, they don't come from man. They come from God Almighty. And that the purpose of the Constitution as Thomas Jefferson put it, is to serve as chains to bind the mischief of government.

What has enabled millions of people from all over the world to come to America with nothing and to achieve anything. And then, the American exceptionalism that has made this nation a clarion voice for freedom in the world, a shining city on a hill. That's the promise of America. That is what makes this is nation an indispensable nation, a unique nation in the history of the world. And yet so many fear that, that promise is today unattainable. So many fear it is slipping away from our hands. I want to talk to you this morning about reigniting the promise of America.

240 years ago on this very day a 38-year-old lawyer named Patrick Henry stood up just 100 miles from here in Richmond, Virginia, and said, 'give me liberty or give me death.' I want to ask each of you to imagine, imagine millions of courageous conservatives all across America rising up together to say in unison, we demand our liberty. Today, roughly half of born-again Christians aren't voting.

They're staying home. Imagine instead millions of people of faith all across America coming out to the polls and voting our values. Today, millions of young people are scared, worried about the future, worried what the future will hold. Imagine millions of young people coming together and standing together saying, 'we will stand for liberty.' Think just how different the world would be. Imagine, instead of economic stagnation, booming economic growth.

Instead of small businesses going out of business in record numbers, imagine, small businesses growing and prospering. Imagine young people coming out of school with four, five, six job offers. Imagine innovation thriving on the Internet as government regulators and tax collectors are kept at bay and more and more opportunity is created. Imagine America finally becoming energy self-sufficient as millions and millions of high-paying jobs are created.

Five years ago today the President signed Obamacare into law. Within hours Liberty University went to court filing a lawsuit to stop that failed law. Instead of the joblessness, instead of the millions forced into part-time work, instead of the millions who have lost their health insurance, lost their doctors, have faced skyrocketing health insurance premiums, imagine in 2017 a new President, signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.

Imagine health care reform that keeps government out of the way between you and your doctor and that makes health insurance personal and portable and affordable. Instead of a tax code that crushes innovation, that imposes burdens on families struggling to make ends meet, imagine a simple, flat tax. That lets every American fill out his or her taxes on a postcard.

Imagine abolishing the IRS. Instead of the lawlessness, and the President 's unconstitutional executive amnesty, imagine a President that finally, finally, finally, secures the borders. And imagine a legal immigration system that welcomes and celebrates those who come to achieve the American dream. Instead of a federal government that wages an assault on our religious liberty, that goes after Hobby Lobby, that goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor, that goes after Liberty University.

Imagine a federal government that stands for the first amendment rights of every American. Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life and to uphold the sacrament of marriage. Instead of a government that works to undermine our second amendment right, that seeks to ban our ammunition, imagine a federal government that protects the right to keep and bear arms of all law-abiding Americans.

Instead of a government that seizes your emails and your cell phones, imagine a federal government that protected the privacy rights of every American. Instead of a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculum through common core. Imagine repealing every word of common core. Imagine embracing school choice as the civil rights issue of the next generation. That every single child, regardless of race, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of wealth or zip code, every child in America has a right to a quality education. And that's true from all of the above, whether it is a public schools or charter schools or private schools or Christian schools, or parochial schools or homeschools, every child.

Instead of a President who boycotts Prime Minister Netanyahu, imagine a President who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel. Instead of a President who seeks to go to the United Nations to end-run congress and the American people. Imagine a President who says, I will honor the Constitution and under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Imagine a President who says, we will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. And we will call it by its name. We will defend the United States of America. Now all of these seem difficult. Indeed to some they may seem unimaginable. And yet if you look in the history of our country.

Imagine it is 1775 and you and I were sitting there in Richmond listening to Patrick Henry say, 'give me liberty or give me death.'

Imagine it is 1776, and we were watching the 54 signers of the Declaration of Independence, stand together and pledge their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to igniting the promise of America.

Imagine it was 1777, and we were watching General Washington as he lost battle after battle after battle in the freezing cold as his soldiers with no shoes, were dying, fighting for freedom against the most powerful army in the world. That too seemed unimaginable.

Imagine it is 1933 and we were listening to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tell America at a time of crushing depression, at a time of a gathering storm abroad, that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Imagine it is 1979 and you and I were listening to Ronald Reagan and he was telling us, that we would cut the top marginal tax rate from 70% all the way down to 28%. That we would go from crushing stagnation to booming economic growth, to millions being lifted out of poverty and into prosperity and abundance. That the very day he was sworn in, our hostages who were languishing in Iran would be released. And that within a decade, we would win the cold war and tear the Berlin wall to the ground.

That would have seemed unimaginable and yet with the grace of God that's exactly what happened. From the dawn of this country, at every stage America has enjoyed God's providential blessing over and over again when we faced impossible odds, the American people rose to the challenge. Compared to that, repealing Obamacare and abolishing the IRS, ain't all that tough.

The power of the American people when we rise up and stand for liberty knows no bounds.

If you're ready, to join a grassroots army across this nation, coming together and standing for liberty, I'm going to ask you to break a rule here today and to take out your cell phones. And to text the word, 'constitution', to the number 33733. You can also text 'imagine.' We're versatile. Once again, text 'constitution', to 33733. God's blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation. And I believe God isn't done with America yet.

I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America. And that is why today, I am announcing that I am running for President of the United States.

It is a time for truth. It is a time for liberty.

It is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States. I am honored to stand with each and every one of you. Courageous conservatives. As we come together to reclaim the promise of America, to reclaim the mandate, the hope and opportunity for our children, and our children's children we stand together for liberty.

This is our fight. The answer will not come from Washington it will come from only the men and women across this country from men and women, from people of faith, from lovers of liberty, from people who respect the Constitution, it will only come as it has come at every other time of challenge in this country.

When the American people stand together and say we will get back to the principles that made this country great. We will get back and restore that shining city on a hill, that is the United States of America. Thank you and God Bless you!

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Students Protest Mandatory Attendance of Cruz Announcement]]> Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:21:56 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/rand-t-shirts-cruz.jpg

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) opened the first major campaign of the 2016 presidential season with a kickoff speech attended by thousands of students at Liberty University, but those students had to attend and some made it known the conservative from Texas was not their choice for the nation's top office.

Students at the college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell said attendance was mandatory, as with all convocations held three times a week.

One student told the non-partisan publication National Journal that students faced a $10 fine for not showing up.

Several students who said they didn't want to appear to support Cruz wore "Stand With Rand" T-shirts and sat in view of cameras covering the event.

"We felt like if we didn't wear shirts showing our true political preference then the media might think we all supported Cruz," Eli McGowan told National Journal.

McGowan, who organized the not-so-subtle protest, said the group passed out 50 shirts and they ran out quick.

Liberty University posted a clarification about the Convocation forum written by the university's president Jerry Falwell:

"Convocation is not a worship service. Convocation is Liberty’s educational forum for students to hear from speakers with a wide diversity of viewpoints from all walks of life — entertainment, business, politics, ministry, and more — many of whom are globally respected as experts in their areas. It is no secret that Convocation is held three times a week and attendance is required, just like class is required for students. No one is expected to agree with every speaker on every point. In fact, Convocation speakers do not all line up with traditional Evangelical Christian viewpoints or even Liberty University’s doctrinal statement. A fundamental part of the college experience is being exposed to a variety of viewpoints so students can better understand why they hold their own beliefs and be better prepared to defend them. Liberty intentionally gives every student this opportunity to become well-rounded on important matters of faith and culture.

The fact that some students attended the service wearing T-shirts supporting another potential candidate shows that our students are not indoctrinated; they are free — and encouraged — to form their own opinions about what they hear in Convocation and to express it.

I should, however, point out that standing ovations are not required. Students are free to cheer or boo as they see fit. I also think it is irresponsible to take anonymous social media posts and assume that they are students, or are representative of the entire student body.

It fills me with great pride, then, to see that our students consistently provide such a warm atmosphere for every speaker who comes to campus, regardless if they agree with them or not.

Right after Convocation today, a pre-med student, who is a Democrat, came up to me and shared his appreciation for Convocation and how we bring in such a diverse panel of speakers. He said that he appreciated the opportunity to hear from Sen. Cruz so close to his announcement to run for president. He appreciated that Liberty was chosen as a platform for such a prominent moment. The student told me that he enjoyed the speech and even found some common ground with Senator Cruz on many issues."

More: National Journal | Libery University

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Cruz to Announce White House Run for 2016]]> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 22:52:15 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/ted-cruz-anunciara-candidat.jpg Senator Ted Cruz will make it official Monday morning.

Photo Credit: GETTY]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Gov.: Cruz Unfit for WH]]> Sun, 22 Mar 2015 14:02:06 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/brown-cruz.jpg

Calfiornia Gov. Jerry Brown tore into climate change skeptics on Sunday, saying one major presidential hopeful's position on climate change should disqualify him from the highest office in the nation.

Brown warned that climate change would be a major issue for America's next president in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," days after announcing a roughly $1 billion plan to combat California's drought.

"That man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office," Brown said, when asked about Texas Senator Ted Cruz's claim that there isn't a scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activity.

Cruz made his remarks on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" this week, saying that "climate alarmists" have a problem because scientific data doesn't back up their claims.

"My view actually is simple. Debates on this should follow science and should follow data," Cruz said.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that Cruz was preparing to formally announce on Monday that he will run for president in 2016.

Brown, who has sought the White House three times, said more than 90 percent of climate scientists "are absolutely convinced" that human and industrial activity are leading to heat-trapping greenhouse gasses that caused both California's drought and severe cold and storms on the Eastern seaboard.

According to NASA, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that warming trends in the last 100 years are "very likely due to human activities."

When pressed by NBC's Chuck Todd, Brown didn't directly link his state's drought crisis to climate change, but said more droughts are inevitable in the coming decades. Two-thirds of California are in an extreme drought after more than three years of low water levels, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Brown also called the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) letter to convince states to block or ignore the EPA's proposed carbon pollution regulations "a disgrace."

"Here's the point, that the buildup of carbon coming from coal and petroleum and other sources, that this is going to create these droughts and much, much worse. And that's why to have the leader of the Senate, Mr. McConnell representing his coal constituents, are putting it at risk, the health and well being of America, is a disgrace," Brown said.

Calling the drought California's new normal, Brown wants a presidential campaign "almost at the level of a crusade" to make the public aware that man-made carbon dioxide emissions can have an affect on the climate. He implied that politicians who dismiss the scientific consensus on climate change are doing the bidding of profit-hungry constituents and corporate donors.

"The coal companies are not as important as the people of America and the people of the world," Brown said.

Climate change, balancing the country's budget and investing in science and technology are the three issues presidential candidates should be talking about, Brown said.

Asked if he would consider running if he was 10 years younger, the 76-year-old Brown said, "Yes, I would."

"If I could go back in a time machine and be 66, I might jump in. But that's a counterfactual, so you don't need to speculate on that," he added.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: March 22, 2015]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 17:10:33 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg This week on Lone Star Politics, a Dallas attorney’s fight to win the seat for Dallas mayor. What he says is needed to get the city back on track. Plus, from education and roads to videotaping police, Gov. Abbott talks about work going on in Austin. Also the representative behind the ‘unborn child due process act’ explains the changes he want to make to laws involving life sustaining treatment for pregnant women.]]> <![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: Unborn Child Due Process Act]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 16:08:03 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg Representative Matt Krause introduced a bill that would appoint a guardian to an unborn child whose mother is unconscious, unresponsive and undergoing life-sustaining treatment. He explains how it would work and why it is needed, on Lone Star Politics, this Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Lone Star Politics: Ronquillo on Dallas Mayor Race]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 16:05:55 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/NEW+013114+lone+star+politics.jpg Dallas Attorney Marcos Ronquillo is challenging Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings for the city’s top seat. Ronquillo says it is time to turn the focus to re-building Dallas neighborhoods. Hear how he plans to do this if elected Dallas Mayor, on Lone Star Politics, this Sunday at 8:40 a.m. on NBC 5.]]> <![CDATA[Lewinsky Talks Cyberbullying, Affair on TED Stage]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:39:01 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/TED2015_031915_2DD7163.jpg

Monica Lewinsky spoke bluntly about cyberbullying and her own experience in the public spotlight Thursday, as the she took the stage for one of her most prominent appearances since her affair with President Bill Clinton as a White House intern.

Lewinsky, now 41, said during a TED talk that her own scandal was “brought to you by the digital revolution," according to TED.com. When the news of the tryst broke online, she told the audience that she transformed from being a “completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one worldwide.”

“At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss,” the website cited her saying. “At the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences."

The Internet, she said, had created a culture where people enjoy viewing others' downfall online, a dynamic that made her situation worse at the time it was made public in the 1990s.

“It was one of the first time that the traditional news was usurped by the Internet, a click that reverberated around the whole world,” she added. “When this happened to me, 17 years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyberbullying.”

She later referenced cyberbullying cases in recent years that have made national headlines, including that of an 18-year-old student at Rutgers University in New Jersey who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly watched him having a sexual encounter with a man using a webcam and posted about it online. 

In her 18-minute talk, Lewinsky urged people to be more compassionate and mindful when communicating online.

"Showing empathy to others benefits us. Imagine walking a mile in someone else's headline," she said. 

Photo Credit: James Duncan Davidson/TED]]>
<![CDATA[Feds Probe Ex-Rep. Schock: AP]]> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 18:13:00 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP326057663792_RepSchock.jpg

Friday was the day things went from bad to worse for Congressman Aaron Schock.

The Congressman, already under fire for globe-trotting vacations, documented on Instagram and often billed at taxpayer or campaign expense, abruptly resigned on Tuesday. And on Friday, federal subpoenas began going out, in what would appear to be a wide-ranging investigation of the Peoria Republican’s finances.

NBC 5 Investigates has learned that even former Schock staffers began receiving subpoenas to appear before a Federal Grand Jury in Springfield in April. And separately, the Federal Election Commission confirms it has received a complaint, asking for an investigation of the congressman’s campaign accounts.

Schock’s resignation blunted a pending inquiry by the House Ethics Committee, but his upcoming departure does not quell a potential criminal investigation. And a spokesman for the F.E.C. confirmed that enforcement matters there can continue even if a candidate or officeholder is no longer active, since political committees often continue in existence long after an official has left office.

Neither the congressman’s spokesman or his attorneys returned calls seeking comment.

Investigators are reportedly focusing on Schock’s House office expenditures and expenses, his campaign, and personal investments. The FBI would not formally comment on the investsigation. But the agency’s Springfield chief made clear that a probe is underway.

“Public corruption is one of the FBI’s top criminal priorities,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Cox. “When there are allegations of public corruption, it is our responsibility to look into those allegations.”

In resigning Tuesday, Schock cited a “heavy heart”, but that the constant questions about his spending and business dealings had become too much of a distraction. His departure was so sudden, the congressman did not even give the customary (and expected) notice to House leadership. Speaker John Boehner made no effort to rise to his defense.

“If somebody’s going to violate the rules, they’re going to violate the rules,” Boehner said. “And in almost every case, sooner or later, it catches up with you.”

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Launches 2016 Exploratory Committee Ahead of NH Visit]]> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:29:28 -0500 http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/213*120/AP333051909036.jpg

Business mogul Donald Trump is considering throwing his hat in the 2016 ring, announcing the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

"We have lost the respect of the entire world," Trump said in a message from the committee. "Americans deserve better than what they get from their politicians, who are all talk and no action!"

Trump went on to tout his success as a businessman and added he will push to control the nation's borders, education system and military.

Trump will also head to New Hampshire Thursday night, bringing his total number of trips to the home of the nation's first primary to at least five since early 2014, according to NECN's 2016 New Hampshire Primary Candidate Tracker.

He is expected to address the media following a reception at the home of State Rep. Steve Stepanek. Trump was invited back in January when Stepanek was at the Iowa Freedom Summit.

"It sounds like he's serious," Stepanek said of Trump. "He's gonna get a taste for what it's like to campaign in New Hampshire. We're going to have him wade into the crowd, doing what you have to do to be a candidate in New Hampshire."

Stepanek, who said he's hosted similar events for Rudy Giuliani and others in the past, is expecting about 200 people on Thursday. It's the first in a series of house parties featuring GOP presidential candidates being hosted by the House Republican Caucus. Ted Cruz is expected to speak in April, and Ben Carson in May.

Trump recently wrapped up hosting the seventh season of reality show "Celebrity Apprentice," in which television personality Leeza Gibbons won $250,000 for a charity of her choice.

Trump, whose presidential aspirations have generated buzz for years, recently said he would not renew his contract for the show, according to the Associated Press, a sign that he could be more serious this time around. The show airs on NBC, which is owned by the same parent company as this site.

Photo Credit: File - AP]]>