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Showing posts from June, 2014

Day 6: Nats Take Top 3 Offices; March to the Capitol and Head for Home

The final day of Texas Boys State must begin with a note of congratulations to the top elected officers for 2014. We are proud to announce the election of Arthur Dixon, governor, Elton McIntosh, lieutenant governor, and Christian Green, attorney general. All three are from the Nationalist Party. Dixon, in this capacity as governor will return to Texas Boys State next year to preside over the 2015 session.
Meanwhile, what started as a week of uncertainty on Sunday is finishing up as a lifetime of memories for statesmen. The delegation will conclude the week with a march to the historic Texas State Capitol building after breakfast. Along the way, the winners of the races for Agriculture Commissioner, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Commissioner of the General Land Office, and Supreme Court of Texas will visit their respective offices and given tours by office staff.
Once at the Capitol, the lieutenant governor will preside over a session of the Boys State Senate. Unfortunately, the Senate…

Day 5: The Big Debate, The Big Election, and The Big Show

Statesmen are settling into their daily routines nicely. But, given the fast-paced nature of the program, once a statesman feels comfortable with his daily Texas Boys State routine, the program is almost over! But, it is the whirlwind nature of Texas Boys State that tends to burnish positive memories in these young men’s minds for the rest of their lives.

After breakfast on Thursday, all statesmen are headed to the LBJ auditorium for the first of two general assemblies today. The morning assembly features final speeches from the Federalist and Nationalist candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and governor. Both parties met last night and agreed upon the rules for the morning assembly. Speech time for each candidate was determined, as well as the rules for debate, candidate cross examination, and questions from the Boys State press corps. The assembly moderator is the current Boys State editor-in-chief, a position elected from within the press corps. The morning assembly is the f…

Day 4: Election Home Stretch and Legion Night

The 2014 version of Texas Boys State hit the halfway point Wednesday morning as statesmen headed to the polls for primary elections in all races except House and Senate. The early election of the upper and lower chambers cleared the way for members to get to work on legislation Wednesday. However, numerous races remain undecided at the county and district levels.

A unique twist on the activities featured a morning rotation period allowing statesmen not involved in other activities to attend three panel discussions. One panel included a discussion on party politics featuring candidates from the Green and Constitution parties. The second panel included a presentation from lobbyists and their role in the political process. The final panel discussion featured staff from The Texas Tribune. Ayan Mittra, assistant managing editor, Neena Satija, environmental reporter, and Morgan Smith, education reporter, took numerous questions from statesmen about their roles in the "fourth estate&quo…

Day 3: Party Conventions Continue, Back to LBJ for Keynote Speaker

Following Monday's election of the Texas Boys State House and Senate, it was off to party conventions and the election of officials there. Neither the Federalists nor the Nationalists were able to elect their full complement of whips and a speaker on Monday, so it was back to work on Tuesday.

Statesmen not elected to the legislature returned to their respective parties to discuss platform items. Next up, it was time to move on to speeches from candidates for statewide elected office, including governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Though the list of activities does not sound like much, the party meetings are a necessary part to introduce statesmen to the painstaking process of electing government officials.

Part of the process of teaching 17 year-old young men about being responsible citizens and governing means also recognizing and respecting their need for leisure time. After lunch, and between the lengthy party sessions during the morning and evening, statesmen h…

Day 2, Evening Post

It was a busy afternoon at 2014 Texas Boys State.

Rain posed a threat to the initial Olympiad competition but ultimately cleared out in time for statesmen to participate in football, basketball, and dodgeball. This was the initial competition but all is not lost for the cities that did not won today.

On the political front, the Boys State Legislature was elected, allowing them to get to work much earlier in the week than in sessions past. The Federalist and Nationalist parties sorted out their rules and platforms. Later in the evening, the parties gathered to elect chairmen who will lead their party's conventions as they nominate candidates for statewide elections.

The Monday evening activities included visits from Austin-area dignitaries, including Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick and former attorney general candidate Eric Opiela. The evening speaker at the LBJ Auditorium was Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams.

Day 2, Morning Post

Day 2 started early for the statesmen on Monday, June 9, as they assembled with their cities at 6:30 a.m. and proceeded to breakfast. The schedule is a packed one because the Texas Boys State Senate and House of Representatives are elected early in the week. This means the statesmen got right to work immediately following breakfast.

Before lunch, the statesmen heard speeches from House and Senate candidates before breaking out into individual precinct (city) meetings by party, essentially dividing the precincts in half. At the precinct meetings, statesmen elected a precinct chair and voting delegates to their party's county convention. Also chosen were members of each party's Rules, Platform, and Campaign committees.

The county convention immediately followed as statesmen elected a county convention chair and voting delegates to their party's state convention. The immersion into the election process continued as the state party convention commenced following the county con…

2014 Texas Boys State: Off and Running to Learn by Doing

Welcome to the official blog of the 2014 Texas Boys State! Here, we will keep you up-to-date with the events and happenings at this year's action-packed week.

To learn more about Texas Boys State, click here.

The program got underway Sunday, June 8, as 920 statesmen checked in to the Jester Center dormitory on The University of Texas campus in Austin. Statesmen began their experience with a meeting in their cities Sunday afternoon. From there, it was off to dinner before the first Texas Boys State assembly in the sunken garden at Jester Center.

At the assembly, statesmen learned two integral parts to the Boys State program: proper respect for the United States flag and the Boys State song. You can see a video of the retiring of the colors on Sunday by clicking here. Click here to see the statesmen singing the Boys State song for the first time.

After the first general assembly, it was off to city orientation meetings where statesmen in each of the 20 cities elected mayors for each…