30 July 2010
The 'moderate Republican' Dallas businessmen for Bill White...are Democrats
More than a dozen prominent Dallas business and civic leaders, including several who supported Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Republican primary for governor, have signed a letter backing Democrat Bill White in his effort to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the Nov. 2 general election.
The White campaign hopes to use the prestigious names to help the former Houston mayor cut into Perry's support among conservative business circles and illustrate his ability to reach across party lines.
John Adams, former chairman and CEO of Chase Bank of Texas, said the majority of the signers are moderate Republicans like himself. But he said some are independents who have supported both Democrats and Republicans.
About half the signers supported Hutchison in the primary, according to White's campaign.
Eyeballing the list (printed below), I didn't see names I recognized as being Republicans, moderate or otherwise. Here's the list:
Among the signers are Dallas investor Edward "Rusty" Rose, a prominent supporter of former President George W. Bush who served with Bush as a partner in the Texas Rangers baseball club; former Pizza Hut executive Mike Rawlings; and Lucy Billingsley, who heads a multimillion-dollar real estate company. Others include Garrett Boone, co-founder of the Container Store, and his wife, Cecilia; investor Bill Montgomery and his wife, Susan; and Naomi Aberly, a philanthropist who formerly chaired Planned Parenthood of North Texas. Former Dallas/Fort Worth Airport board Chairman Tom Dunning, who signed the letter with his wife, Sally Dunning...
I'm all for people calling themselves whatever they want to call themselves, but if someone gives hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrats and never to Republicans, I generally don't call that person a moderate Republican. I call them a Democrat.
So let's go in reverse order of the people mentioned by Dave Montgomery as business leaders (and moderate Republicans) for Bill White, according to the research I spent this morning doing in databases for federal races:
Tom and Sally Dunning. Sally Dunning is a prolific donor. By the records I checked, she had given 100% to Democrats. Her husband Tom had given even more prolifically, and about 95% of his hundreds of thousands of dollars went to Democrats.
Naomi Aberly. The former chair of Planned Parenthood has also given hundreds of thousands. 100% to Democrats.
Susan and Bill Montgomery. Susan Montgomery has given about 75-80% of her donations to Democrats. If you take out donations to Kay Bailey Hutchison, she's given about 90+% to Democrats, including to Bill Clinton over George Bush in 92 and Ron Kirk in 2002. She maxed out for Obama in 08. Bill Montgomery is a little bit more difficult to say for certain, as there are alot of William Montgomerys who contribute politically. However, if I located his giving correctly -- and I'm about 90% sure I have -- he's given mostly to Democrats, including Bill Clintons campaigns, Ron Kirk in 2002 and several challengers to W in 2004.
Garrett and Cecilia Boone. Garrett Boone has probably donated about $100k, and 100% of it was to Democrats. Obama, John Edwards, Rick Noriega, Harry Reid, Ron Kirk. Cecilia Boone has given even more prolifically, maxing out to both Hillary, John Edwards and Obama, as well as Chet Edwards, Ron Kirk, etc etc. 100% of her donations were to Democrats.
Lucy Billingsley. She maxed out for both Obama and Hillary in 2008. She maxed out to Ron Kirk over John Cornyn in 2002, though she did give Cornyn $1k a month after that election. She's probably given about 50/50 to Republicans and Democrats, although if you took out Kay Bailey Hutchison (her largest recipient) then she would have given distinctly more to Democrats.
Michael Rawlings. Maxed out to Obama, Hillary, McCain and John Edwards in 2008. Without calculating exactly, I'd say he's given between 75-90% of his money to Democrats. If I'm correct about his wife -- and I'm pretty sure I am -- she's also an 80%ish Democratic donor (the exception being W).
Edward "Rusty" Rose. Chose Ron Kirk over John Cornyn in 2002. The majority of his donations are to George W. Bush and committees that W raised money for while he was president. Because of that, more than 50% of his donations have gone to Republicans. If, however, you exclude his donations to W, then he's 50/50 or even leaning Democrat. In Texas races, he appears to have frequently chosen the Democrat. For example, he chose Bob Krueger over Kay Bailey Hutchison in 93, as well as Kirk over Cornyn.
John Adams. Longtime and frequent contributor to Martin Frost. Maxed out in primary and general to Chet Edwards this cycle. Chose Ron Kirk over John Cornyn in 2002. Adams has probably given about 65% to Republicans, I'd say, although a significant amount of that is contributions to W and KBH. You could make the argument that in the competitive races in Texas that he's donated to, John Adams favored the Democrat.
Despite John Adams' spin, these "moderate Republicans" are actually not moderate Republicans. If they are, they are a very strange breed of moderate Republican that likes to give lots of money to Democrats.
In short, Bill White has the support of some Democrats who are Dallas businessmen. How exactly does that help him reach into conservative business circles and cross party lines?
28 July 2010
Bill Archer cuts a striking contrast
All Democrats, interestingly. Reading this made me think: it's a shame that Bill Archer isn't still in charge of the tax committee. He was an excellent chairman.
The curse of Ways and Means Committee chairmen hangs over the House this week.
As with Charles Rangel, the careers of his longtime Democratic predecessors ended with sad and ignominious ousters that weakened the once-powerful committee and ultimately the Democratic majority.
The sins of Dan Rostenkowski and Wilbur Mills, as well as those of Rangel, had little to do with the work of the tax-writing panel, as Ways and Means defenders point out. But in each case, Democratic barons were taken down by sins of venality and the perception of personal entitlement.
Bill White San Antonio ad
Bill White's ad targeting San Antonio
Not bad, but kinda unfocused. Why do they keep changing their slogan and focus every month or so?
Bill White tells Dallas radio station he won't vote for Obama?
I'm hearing that Bill White said he won't vote for Obama in 2012. Anyone have an audio clip?
27 July 2010
Diigo links on the sidebar
I've started using Diigo to tag what I'm reading around the web. The links should now appear on the sidebar, or you can click to read my annotations. It's not too pretty on the sidebar, but I'm pretty function over form when it comes to this blog.
And to be honest, it makes me way less motivated to blog when I can just do a Diigo feed.
23 July 2010
Henry Cisneros bearish on Obama re-election chances
TT interview with Henry Cisneros:
Emphasis mine, which is a shocking admission in my opinion.
TT: Do you think [President] Obama can still galvanize Latino voters in 2012?
Cisneros: It’s too early to be talking about reelection. We have an election to get through in 2010, and the lay of the land after that will be [that] more Republican or Democrats will have been affirmed. And there are a lot of issues that will play out in the next session of Congress. So I think today he’s obviously not as strong as he was in 2008 -- the bloom is off the rose in some ways, the polls make that clear. But he is certainly in fighting position and one would have to say he has the advantage against anybody running against him. I see no primary challenge at this point and a fighting chance to win a second term.
I suppose we can differ on what "a fighting chance" means quantitatively, but that's generally a phrase that underestimates Obama's chances at winning re-election vis a vis my own thoughts. Obama has underperformed nearly everyone's expectations as president, but the power of incumbency is strong indeed.
Rick Perry and Bill White file campaign finance reports
Twas deathly sick last week, but I am healthy again. Thanks for worrying.
Raised between 2/21 and 6/30 of 2010
Bill White $7.4M
Rick Perry $7.1M
Spent 2/21/2010- 6/30
Rick Perry 3.5M
Bill White 3.3M
Cash on Hand 6/30/2010
Rick Perry 5.9M
Bill White 9M
Meanwhile the Libertarian Party candidate Kathy Glass raised 7k, spent 8k and had about $7000 on hand.
12 July 2010
20 Questions with Marc Campos
I decided to send some questions to Democratic consultant Marc Campos because he generally tells it as it is. Less spin, more candor. Over the course of his career, he's had a hand in almost every elected Latino's campaign from one time to another all the while being one of the more frank commentators on Houston politics. His website is here, and he issues an always interesting daily commentary.
1. Rick Perry vs World: In my research for this interview, I found relatively little about your background and how you got into politics. I read something that implied that your father got you interested in politics growing in Houston's East End. Somewhere along the line after that in 1979, you got elected chair of the statewide Mexican American Democrats. Later it seems like you worked for Mark White, the SVREP and Ben Reyes, though probably not in that order. Then eventually you struck out on your own. Can you fill in the lines for me of your political biography?
MC: Here is a sampling of my political resume: I was Deputy Director in 1976 for the Texas Democratic Party GOTV effort. That was the last time Texas voted for a Democrat for President – Jimmy Carter. In 1977, I served as Research Director of the Texas Democratic Party. In 1978, I was part of the leadership team for the Bob Krueger for U.S. Senate Campaign. We lost to John Tower. I ran Ben Reyes' campaign for city council in 1979. From 1979-1981, I was chair of the Mexican American Democrats of Texas. In 1982, I handled Mark White’s Latino voter outreach effort. I spent the next four years as his Special Assistant. After we lost in 1986, I decided to consult. I've worked primarily on local races (mayor, city controller, congress, state house, state senate, city council, school board) although we did get hired in 2000 by the DNC to put together Truth Squad press events in battleground states during the presidential election.
2. What's your favorite campaign story from those years in politics?
I have a bunch like when Bob Krueger ripped into John Tower in Spanish and English at the 1978 State LULAC Convention in Laredo right before Tower spoke. I got Krueger to turn Tower's "con nosotros" slogan on him. Tower was really pissed off. In 1980, during the Kennedy vs Carter Texas presidential primary, a number of Latinos were supporting Kennedy against a sitting Democratic President. Kennedy came to a rally at a church in Denver Harbor, a Latino neighborhood in Houston. We were sitting behind him and he recognized us by calling me "Marv" Campos, State Representative "Hal" Luna (his name is Al Luna), City Councilman Ben "RayASS" (his name is Ben Reyes), and finally then State Reps. Gonzalo Barrientos and Paul Moreno were also seated with us and Kennedy said "and my good friend Representative Gonzalo Moreno" and Paul, who is confined to a wheel chair, leaned over and told Gonzalo "hey you stand up."
3. When you wrote your political bio, I remember reading during my research a few quotes from you saying mildly unflattering things about Mark McKinnon's involvement in the Krueger campaign. Does it surprise you that he flipped to working for W or did you see seeds of it back then?
I always have a problem with media consultants making a lot of money off of candidates and campaigns, and when their candidate loses, they blame the candidate. When you get beat 2 to 1, there is plenty of blame to go around. I think Mark was the guy that did Krueger's Terminator ad.
I didn't see the seeds. I always just thought Mark went for the big bucks.
4. In my view of American history, immigrant groups (with one important exception) have eventually become assimilated to the political center, whether they started out right or left. If so, in the long-term, the trend should eventually be that Latinos eventually trend more towards the center (that is, a greater percentage vote Republican) as they become second and third generations. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Since I've been professionally involved in politics, there has always been a debate about the percentage of Latinos that vote Republican. The debate has always centered around the 20% to 45% range. I think a lot has to do with income levels. However, I always get back to this – of all the Latinos elected to office in Texas – from school board to congress, how many vote in the Democratic Party primary versus the Republican Party primary. I would suspect it would probably be 9 to 1 Democrat. I would say it is going to be this way for a while.
5. The term Hispanic has always confused me a little bit, since I don't think anyone identifies as Hispanic. Any thoughts on why the use of Hispanic persists in American politics instead of Latino?
Hey we used to be Latin Americans, then Mexican Americans, then some became Chicanos, then Hispanics, now Latino. I just don't think that the community has ever had a true debate on what we should be called. We've been worrying about more pressing issues. I'm hoping we can eventually agree on Latino.
6. You write quite frequently about immigration policy. If you could write US immigration laws, what would they be?
The DREAM ACT and pathway to citizenship for those that have been here without proper documentation.
7. What is the single most important foreign policy change (outside of immigration) that the US should make vis a vis Latin America?
We need to continue to change our policy on Cuba. US policy on Cuba has been held hostage by the politics of Florida. It is ridiculous.
8. You lobbied for Mexico in favor of NAFTA once upon a time. If I counted right, half of Texas Latino Congressman voted against CAFTA. Does that surprise you?
No not really. In 1991, the NAFTA negotiations were started by Bush and in 1992, NAFTA was supported by Clinton, so when Clinton was elected and the vote came in late 1993, it had a more bipartisan look. CAFTA was a George W. Bush initiative and when the vote came around in 2005, it was a more partisan atmosphere.
9. You've written some complimentary things about the Harris County GOP East End efforts? What would you do differently?
I don't think I've been complimentary. I just give them credit for at least being out there. Here is their problem. There really aren't that many Latino GOP elected officials, so the folks they send out to engage the Latino community are hired Latino guns. They need to send the County Judge and maybe some of their statewide elected officials like their U.S. Senators, Lieutenant Governor and Comptroller - folks that are truly involved in shaping public policy to engage these communities and listen to what they have to go through in life. There is a huge gap between GOP policies and the best interests of Latino communities. They have no idea what is going on in our schools or what is discussed at our dinner tables.
10. If Tony Garza woke up tomorrow and decided he wanted to win the Texas governor's mansion in 2014, do you think he could do it?
Nope. I don't think he could get the nomination from his party. I don't think he being a Bush appointee would be a plus among the tea party faction of the GOP. I don't think his ambassadorship to Mexico would be a plus either. He has pretty much been off of the state scene for the past decade. Grass roots GOPer don't know who he is.
11. Critique this ad (Bill White's spanish-language ad).
Bill White speaks Spanish. They are going to need a lot more than that to get the Latino vote enthused.
12. If you were running statewide as a Republican, who would you hire?
The guy that is running Rick Perry’s campaign. I’d also bring on Jessica Colon from Houston.
13. How long do you think it will be before Democrats control both branches of the Legislature?
I'd have to see how things look after redistricting. I will say that we will probably win the House back before we win the Senate.
14. As a Democrat, what's the one thing you hope Texas Republicans don't do with regards to Latino voters?
I hope they don't stay off of Spanish language TV and radio. If they get on Spanish language TV and radio, it will force Democrats to do the same and we could have a real good Spanish language air war and Latino voters might feel wanted and come out to vote.
15. It hasn't been very long, but so far Annise Parker seems to me to be the best mayor of Houston since I started paying attention. If you were to rank Houston's last 4 or 5 mayors, including Annise Parker, how would you put them?
I think she's done a real good job, but I don't think six months in office is enough time to get you to the all time best list. If I start ranking them, I'll get in trouble. I think Bob Lanier was bold. He gets the credit for marshalling the resources to save the city's affirmative action program when it was assaulted by the right. I think Lee Brown's administration was the most inclusive. White gets good marks for how he handled the hurricanes.
16. I've had a soft spot in my political heart for Harris County Judge Ed Emmett ever since I saw him at a candidate forum. In unfriendly territory, he didn't pander a single bit. You've written some complimentary things about Judge Emmett. Is he your favorite local Republican? If not, who is?
I guess I would say that he is my favorite Republican. He decided early on that he wasn't going to be rabid on the immigration issue and I appreciate that. I like what he said on this issue before the State GOP Platform Committee hearings.
17. It's amazing to me that Houston has never had an alcalde latino. Sanchez came close (although you helped run efforts against him). Obviously we probably have 6 years before the next real mayor election, but how long do you think it will be until we have a Latino mayor in Houston?
Keep an eye on Council Member James Rodriguez. I can see a scenario for a Latino getting elected in 2015. Some folks will say that it can't happen because Latinos don't come out to vote. They'll come out if they think they can make a difference.
18. In your series on the 2010 Latino Vote, you shared stats on national origin. My sense is that over the last decade Central Americans have slightly increased in the overall proportion of Houston Latinos. Over the next decade or two, do you think the national origin will change or remain relatively the same in Houston?
Probably relatively the same.
19. What percent of Houston Latino voters do you think get a majority of their political info from Spanish language media?
That is hard to say. It depends on what you mean by political info. Campaign and candidate info? Policy debate info? Houston Latino voters read newspapers, watch the newscasts, tune into Jorge Ramos, go on the internet, listen to talk radio, and discuss issues and politics with their family, friends, and co-workers. I will say that the local Univision station’s evening news ranks high in the ratings. I am going to out on a limb and say that most of their viewers speak Spanish. There are a number of political info sources so I would not say we get the majority from the Spanish language media, rather a substantial.
20. I've always been surprised that there hasn't been more of an effort to challenge Gene Green in a primary. Would you support adding precincts during the next round of redistricting that would make it easier for that district to elect a Latino?
I'm going to stay away from commenting on what I would like to see in redistricting at the congressional or state legislative levels. It is not my intention to get involved there. My redistricting involvement will be with Houston City Council and HISD trustee districts.
Ciro Rodriguez loses his temper on camera
This video is making the rounds this morning.
The race in CD23 just got a little more interesting.
09 July 2010
The coolest video I've seen in awhile
Here's a video of a time lapse run of the Houston ship channel at night:
If you want to see that run during the day, head on over to the GCaptain blog.
05 July 2010
I saw this editorial from the FWST and was stunned by the bolded sentence:
But redistricting has become primarily a power grab. Members of whichever political party is dominant manipulate the maps to protect their incumbents, increase the chances of electing more of their candidates and squeeze out opposing party officeholders.
Knowledgeable people should not produce such sentences. The term gerrymander is over 200 years old.
02 July 2010
Straus criticized by those who have no options.
Jason Embry in today's Statesman:
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is under fire from the left and right.
Some staunch conservatives have looked skeptically at Straus ever since he became speaker last year with the support of Democrats and moderate Republicans. Now some of the Democrats who were part of his initial coalition say he's neglecting them as he tries to win over his critics on the right.
"He's bending over backwards for people who are never, ever going to support him," said Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston . "Those of us who would like to work with him in running the state, he's taking for granted."
Of course he's taking you for granted, where else are you going to go?
Coleman's charges probably help the Speaker, by notifying Republicans that maybe he's not so buddy buddy with the Democrats who picked him.
Farrar and Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, swiftly criticized the Taylor appointment because it left one Democrat and four Republicans on the panel.
"The speaker has had four chances to appoint members to the Sunset commission and only one of those appointments has been a Democrat," Coleman said. "Anyone who doesn't believe he is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican isn't paying attention to the appointments."
But the Democrats now criticizing Straus supported him when he was first elected, and he may need them again. One Republican, Rep. Leo Berman of Tyler, has already launched a campaign against Straus and is likely to attract some Republican votes. Knowing that he will again seek their votes, Straus' critics may be looking for leverage.
This illustrates why Straus' critics like Farrar have absolutely zero leverage. A few are unhappy, but from Straus' perspective, so what? What are they going to do, go vote for Leo Berman? Obviously not. Vote for a Democrat? Only if they win a majority in November, which is highly unlikely, and even then Straus is gone anyway. So Straus has short-term danger from both sides, that Democrats negotiate with a Republican to make him Speaker and that Republicans decide they don't like Straus, get enough people together and then grab a Dem vote or two. Fortunately for Straus, he only has to dodge this for a few cycles, establish himself in the mainstream of the Republican caucus, and turnover will do the work of allowing him an independent power base.