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Texas gubernatorial candidate Tom Pauken discusses platform

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Amarillo, TX -- Texas will soon have a new governor for the first time in 12 years - and one candidate is already vying for the position.

On Monday (Jul. 8), Governor Rick Perry announced he won't run for re-election this time around, leaving his three-term position open for contenders -- and so far, the only official contender is Republican Tom Pauken.

I sat down with Mr. Pauken earlier today (Jul. 11) to get a feel for where he's coming from, and where he thinks we're going as a state.

Pauken is basing his campaign on several key issues, including public education, job creation, border security, and state sovereignty.  his platform is based on traditional conservatism - which he says has been diluted and distorted over time.

"This is a real battle for the soul of the Republican Party," said Pauken, "I'm a longtime conservative, and I was part of the "Reagan Revolution" if you will, and I think it's really the Reagan conservatives versus the top-down Rove Republicans, and which direction the Republican Party goes in the future.  Our job is not to represent big business, big labor, big government; they've got plenty of folks representing them - our job as conservatives is to represent the forgotten Americans - the middle-class taxpayers who don't have lobbyists in Washington and aren't looking for loopholes in the law, and I think we've got to do that here in Texas; if we're going to lead the nation back, we've got to show the way."

Public school funding was another issue - in Pauken's view, the longstanding current system of redistributing property taxes flies in the face of Texas law.

"I think it's unconstitutional," said Pauken, "It's in violation of our state constitution as prohibition of a statewide property tax. I will get rid of it, and that's $1.1 billion in lower property taxes, and you can do it two ways: one is, take the money out of the Rainy Day Fund, and give it back to the taxpayers by lowering property taxes, or if that's not available, then you could take a slight increase in sales tax and decrease the property tax by an equal amount."

Another issue Mr. Pauken brought up was border security, and he specifically referenced the governor's $50 million "Emerging Technology Fund," for research and development as a source of revenue.

"I will eliminate that $50 million fund, and apply that $50 million toward increased border security. I don't have a lot of confidence in Janet Napolitano and Homeland Security in terms of protecting our own borders, and we have a responsibility to do that," said Pauken.

Pauken says he is pushing for smaller government, fiscal responsibility, and a return to conservative Christian values.

"Without a culture based upon the principles of Christianity, we wind up falling into what I call the Darwinian survival of the fittest; every man for himself," said Pauken, "We've got to have a solid culture, and the best way to do it is to have it based upon the Judeo-Christian ethic and the principles of Christianity and not separate those from real life."

If you'd like to learn more about Pauken's campaign, you can follow the link attached to this story.  We've also posted the full interview on this website.

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