Reader Responses, February 16, 2014

Published on Saturday, 15 February 2014 21:08 - Written by

I have watched with interest the State Representative race where Matt Schaefer is being challenged by Skip Ogle, local businessman and long-time lobbyist. Two issues are repeatedly mentioned concerning Matt’s service in Austin.

The first is Matt not having a local office during the legislative session. Is this really a problem? Most people today contact representatives by phone or email. With unlimited long distance and nationwide cell coverage, my phone doesn’t know if I am calling Tyler or Austin, and I can email China as easily as I can my neighbor.

The second accusation is that Matt cannot build coalitions in Austin. I heard this shortly after I attended a local fundraiser, where 20 conservative legislators traveled from across Texas to speak on Matt’s behalf. Maybe what was really meant is that Matt cannot “get along” with liberals or moderate Republican leadership, or that he refused to compromise on principles he campaigned on.

With Mr. Ogle’s Austin experience and connections, he will “get along” with everyone. If that is your criteria for a representative, you now have a candidate. If you prefer a representative that stands on conservative principles, advancing freedom and limited government, even if it ruffles the feathers of a few liberals, you already have your man, Matt Schaefer.

Ron Green



I support Matt Schafer, our current Texas State Representative, for many reasons. The main reason I support Matt is that he is a strong, fiscal conservative. I am concerned that the state of Texas remain financially strong and it does not adopt the policies of our federal government. Matt has proven his fiscal conservative values and is well respected by his peers in Austin. Matt is not afraid to stand up to the establishment Republicans when they attempt to deviate from our state’s conservative values.

In the recent debate, Skip Ogle, Matt’s opponent, called for higher taxes on “oil truckers” despite all the new tax revenue that industry has generated recently. A true fiscal conservative representative should look first at reducing wasteful spending — not resort to raising taxes.

I see the decision as simple: Matt Schaefer is a true fiscal conservative, a staunch supporter of right to life, a veteran of Afghanistan, a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, and a proven commodity. Skip Ogle has been a lobbyist for many years.

Ask yourself if want a proven conservative to represent your district or if you want a lobbyist that has sold his services to the highest bidder to gain special interest money for his clients at the expense of the Texas taxpayers.

The answer is simple — vote Matt Schafer for state representative.

Robert Patterson



Going door-to-door to engage our community has been a priceless experience. As a high school student, I am learning a lot as I pay residents a visit to ask them to vote for my friend, Matt Schaefer, for state representative. The response I have gotten in Bullard and Tyler is very positive, and it is encouraging to see how many support Rep. Schaefer.

A vote for Matt is an investment in the future of Texas. Matt Schaefer champions free markets and traditional values.

I trust Matt Schaefer to represent us in Austin, and I will continue to recommend him to voters at my church and elsewhere who ask me who they should select on their ballot.

Hayden Sparks



It’s somewhat a mystery why Mr. Tim Dunn gives so much of his money to help candidates outside of his district — unless he expects to have considerable influence over their votes in the State House and Senate. According to news reports, Dunn gets tons of state aid for his pet projects. He gave state Rep. Matt Schaefer more than half of his campaign money. Challenger Skip Ogle has received about 6 percent of his donations from “foreigners” while Schaefer has gotten somewhere between 70 to 80 percent of his donations from sources outside our district.

I sincerely believe that Skip can get more done for Smith County than Schaefer, as he has the temperament to negotiate without unnecessarily ruffling feathers by being “in your face” immediately when discussing issues of importance to Smith County.

Dave Pierson