Rick Perry vs World
20 September 2013
Everything that is wrong with the federal government in one clause
But there's one provision tucked into the [continuing resolution to fund the federal government] that may anger constituents back home: Among the various sections of the House-passed CR are 28 words that would pay $174,000 to the widow of the late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J.
"Sec. 134. Notwithstanding any other provision of this joint resolution, there is appropriated for payment to Bonnie Englebardt Lautenberg, widow of Frank R. Lautenberg, late a Senator from New Jersey, $174,000."
In 2011, the 50% mark for American household income was $50,000. Lautenberg is super rich: he's probably worth about $100 million dollars. And yet Congress is giving his widow $174,000. For no good reason.
But there's no waste in the federal government. Riiiiight.
19 September 2013
Least insightful news analysis of the year?
This might be one of the most ridiculous ledes I have read in awhile. Hearst:
State Sen. Donna Campbell's campaign released a poll Tuesday that showed her with a strong lead over her primary challenger Mike Novak, but also indicated she has lost 15 percent of voters from the same pool who elected her last year over seven-term incumbent Sen. Jeff Wentworth.
In a primary election between Campbell and Novak, 51 percent said they would vote for Campbell and 11 percent chose Novak, while 38 percent are undecided.
Analysis: Campbell won last year's primary runoff against Wentworth with 66 percent of the vote, indicating she has dropped in support, according to her own poll numbers. The large number of undecided voters, 38 percent, leaves Novak, or any challenger, room to work to usurp votes.
I have no doubt that Campbell's opponent will fundraise well. But Wentworth couldn't beat her even with all the advantages of decades of incumbency. What is Novak going to do -- criticize Donna Campbell for not spending enough? Call himself a conservative and blur the difference?
The poll doesn't show "room to work." It shows a race that is pretty close to over. Perhaps the sample is flawed, but one might note that the pollster has a pretty good record in Texas in recent years.
14 September 2013
Reality is sometimes offensive to journalists?
Imagine if a Republican had just lost an election in Kansas after passing right-wing social legislation. Then a Republican politician in California runs for governor by doubling-down on the issue. You would probably label that California Republican out-of-touch. Stupid. An idiot, even. Definitely not a serious candidate for governor.
Of course, that's exactly what just happened. Two Colorado state senators just lost recall elections in very blue districts that Obama carried by over 20 points against Mitt Romney after they passed gun control legislation.* They were the first legislators to ever be recalled in Colorado, and one of them lost by over 12 points in what were "high-profile special elections."
Strangely, Wendy Davis decided to cement her image as an ideologue liberal by telling a reporter that she would "happily" sign gun control legislation that is similar to what Democrats passed in Colorado. A right-wing blogger labeled her "too stupid to be governor."
And yet for some reason the Dallas Morning News and Christy Hoppe think this is newsworthy.
I look forward to the day when Texas journalists get equally offended by the names that left-wing bloggers call Republican politicians. Off the top of my head, I can think of fascist, ***hole, and bat**** crazy yet I don't recall Hoppe writing a single article in indignation when Democratic politicians retweet those bloggers.
* PPP sat on a poll that showed the Democrats in trouble.
03 September 2013
Just want to holler in favor of Outbox for those of you in Austin.
Outbox picks up your snail mail, digitizes it and then lets you do a whole bunch of cool stuff with it. They're only in Austin and San Fran right now, so this is an opportunity to be an early adapter.
Disclaimer: Facebook says the founders and I have mutual friends from all over the country.
02 September 2013
"I'm the Dewhurst of 2014"
It's been a week and a half, but I'm still amused by a Todd Staples email (subject: BREAKING NEWS) that lead with:
Today, Texas Weekly released an "Inside Intelligence" poll reflecting our team taking the lead in the race for Lt. Governor!
Yes, this is the same Insider Intelligence that said Dewhurst was a sure thing from start to finish. 75% of them thought Dewhurst was going to win the runoff, just a few weeks before he went down in a double digit defeat.
Instead of bragging about it, I'd be concerned.
01 September 2013
How much will Dewhurst spend? (2014 edition)
The Dew historically spent up to $20 million each campaign, but he always got paid back afterwards. Since he had technically loaned himself the money, he'd just pay himself back with lobby money and campaign contributions once he won.
But then he actually lost $20 million in his US Senate primary loss to Cruz, because federal law won't allow him to be repaid. That led to some very hilarious scenes late in the campaign last year, where Dewhurst was spending time raising money in order to pay himself back rather than going out and talking to voters. One notable moment was the night before the runoff, where he had a high dollar fundraiser in Dallas with Rick Perry...maybe even some of his max donors were undecided as to who to vote for?
After Dewhurst made that ridiculously awkward attempt to pull rank and intimidate a police officer, any path to victory is more expensive. His positive ads had little effect in the last campaign, and burnishing your image is more expensive than tearing down your opponents.
31 August 2013
Scott McCown brings the funny
Texas Monthly's interview of far-left* think tank CPPP president Scott McCown is pretty amusing. His attitude is that Texas is an ok place...but Texas would be great if we just had a big government. No kidding, he actually offered Detroit as his example of a place where they just didn't have enough government planning.
But the best Scott McCown quote was undoubtedly this one:
What's frustrated me about TPPF is that assertions they have made have been proven to be demonstrably wrong by organizations like Politifact, and yet they continue to say the same things over and over.
How you doin', Pauline Kael?
* For Texas.
15 August 2013
If I were David Dewhurst, I would...
... run for governor.
Is he likely to win? Not really, no. Is he likely to be re-elected as lieutenant governor? Possibly, maybe.
But Dewhurst running for Lt Gov re-election makes no sense. What's the end game to getting re-elected? If things play out the way they stand now, Governor Abbott is likely to serve until 2023, at which time David Dewhurst would be 78. That means Lite Governor Dewhurst would find it awfully hard to become Governor Dewhurst, if he even wanted to at that point. And heck, Abbott might pull a Rick Perry and stick around for 3 and a half terms. He's certainly waited in line long enough that he might not want to leave after two terms.
Plus there's always the outside chance that the Texas Senate takes away the Dew's power as Lite Guv. Not likely...but not zero, either. And even if they leave his powers untouched, there is definitely an element of soft power to being Lite Guv which ebbs and flow, but which has often ebbed for Dewhurst as the legislative session dragged on.
So can he win a Lite Guv race? I am on the record that Dewhurst can. Remember this: right now, everyone running for Lite Guv (and against Dewhurst) endorsed his record as lieutenant governor. But it's definitely possible that he loses. It might even be more than 50%. Remember also this: Dewhurst NEVER cracked 45% in his bid to the Senator.* Dewhurst's loss had nothing to do with when the primary date was held,** and everything to do with the fact that he couldn't convince a majority of people to vote for him AT ANY TIME even when the voters had no clue who was running against him.
If Dewhurst is going to win, he is going to need to solve the 45% problem. That fact doesn't change whether he runs for Lite Guv or Guv.
And that is why he should run for governor. He has the money to run, so why not give it a shot? Nobody grows up dreaming of being Lt Gov for 20 years. Dew won't be the favorite, so he can let loose and relax. He can run as the conservative that he claimed that he was in 2012. He can run on a couple simple ideas: slash the higher ed bureaucracy so middle-class kids graduate without crushing debt, reform the tax system, and promote school choice so poor kids in the city can have a shot at a decent life. With that platform, he'd keep a good chunk of the moderates and win a bunch of conservatives. He'd give Abbott a run for his money. It'd be good for Abbott, and it'd be good for Texas to have a debate about the future of the best place on earth.
Do I think Dewhurst will take my advice? Of course not. There' s a history of Dewhurst ignoring good advice.
* Except in some bogus polls that only some gullible journalists bought because it fit their mistaken preconception of the race.
** Despite warnings of very low turnout in a late July runoff, there was negligible dropoff.
14 August 2013
Wendy Davis is Bret Schundler.
...wait, who? Exactly.
Bret Schundler was once the conservative superstar of blue New Jersey, in much the same way that Wendy Davis is the MSNBC infatuation du jour. Of course, unless you follow NJ politics*, that means you haven't heard Schundler's name in the last decade.
Wendy Davis won in a GOP-leaning Fort Worth district**. Big deal -- Schundler was mayor of Jersey City, a place where Democrats routinely get over 75% of the vote.*** Not only that, he was re-elected mayor with 69% of the vote.
They both went to Harvard. Some people seem to care about that.
Unlike Wendy Davis, Bret Schundler actually accomplished things in elected office other than just talking. A May 1, 1994 Washington Post news article commented:
When Bret Schundler took over as mayor of this diverse city less than two years ago, it was on the verge of bankruptcy and crime was raging out of control. Since then, he has cut taxes, balanced the budget and made the city's streets safer.
Schundler had started his adult life as a Democrat, working a staffer for a Democrat in Congress and then working for Gary Hart's presidential campaign.
Schundler then ran for governor of New Jersey, in the Republican friendly year of 2001. George W. Bush's ratings as president were sky-high, and the Democrats fielded the weakest candidate they could find, Jim McGreevey****.
Schundler still lost by 15% to McGreevey.
And so it is with Wendy Davis. She can run for re-election. She'll very likely lose, because voters are now paying attention to how liberal she is. Or she can run for governor, where she is even more likely to lose.
But unlike Bret Schundler, maybe Wendy Davis can parlay the loss into an MSNBC gig?
* He was Chris Christie's Commissioner of Education in 2010, until Christie scapegoated him for a snafu.
** Good job, Bryan Eppstein.
*** 6% of Jersey City's population is registered currently as Republican. This hasn't changed in the intervening decade.
**** McGreevey was mired in ethics scandals when he resigned.
16 July 2013
The road not taken
Back in February 2011, I said that "smarter play is for Dewhurst" to skip the senate race and run for governor. He'd be the frontrunner for governor right now instead of Abbott if he had never run for Senate. Unlike the Senate primary, he would have been unlikely to lose.
Dewhurst and Abbott did actually run against each other for Lt Gov for a brief bit back in 2002, until Abbott backed down and ran for AG.
Instead Dewhurst ran for Senate, and now faces a tough battle to hang on to his seat.
05 July 2013
#TXLtGov: Something tells me the field ain't set
Right now, four candidates are running for Lieutenant Governor: David Dewhurst, Todd Staples, Dan Patrick, and Jerry Patterson.
Notice something about that? They all endorsed Dewhurst in 2012 #TXsen.
Even moreso than Rick v Kay, the Cruz vs Dewhurst race was the seminal primary. There is a huge opening here for someone else: Staples, Patrick and Patterson have already endorsed Dewhurst's record.
26 June 2013
Dan Patrick/Goeb to challenge Dewhurst...after endorsing Dewhurst's record?
Dan Patrick/Goeb appears to be about to announce his campaign for Lt Guv on a blogger conf call tomorrow. Per email:
Since then, there has been much speculation as to my plans to continue to serve the State of Texas, and that is why I'd like to invite you to a Blogger Conference Call. On this call, I'd be more than happy to discuss this year's legislative session and address any questions in regards to my plans to serve in Austin going forward.It looks like we know where Patrick/Goeb is aiming:
This year we have witnessed one of the most active and transformative legislative sessions in recent history. I was one of the few senators to stand in opposition to the Lieutenant Governor's reckless and bloated budget which cut funding for border security, increased spending and raided four billion dollars from the rainy day fund.
This is the Dan Patrick/Goeb that endorsed David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz last year. According to Goeb/Patrick, Dewhurst and Goeb/Patrick agree 95% of the time. Or was that 98% of the time?
Gee, Dan, how can you run against Dewhurst when you endorsed all but 2% of his record?
22 May 2013
Skipping Perry14 for Perry16
It sure seems that the word from folks around the governor (eg here in National Review) is that the governor's preferred option is to skip re-election in 2014 and just run for president in 2016.
Perry 2016 without Perry 14 is wishful thinking.
21 May 2013
John Carona has forgotten whom he serves
Texas Monthly/Texas Tribune have published a must-read series on John Carona. It is a very fair -- maybe too fair -- piece by Jay Root on Carona's regulation of his HOA business interests. It is no wonder that we have such widespread HOA scandals. But the part that most struck me was this:
Only once during our interview did John Carona show any sign of his trademark anger. It happened when I asked him about reports from former Associa company employees that he sometimes treats company assets as if they were his own, whether it's the corporate jet he uses to ferry himself between Austin and Dallas, often multiple times per week, or the leased warehouse near Love Field where he keeps his cherished vintage-car collection. "Those are issues that pertain to my business interests and my personal interests, and frankly, I think it's out of line for a political reporter to be digging into any issue of that nature," he said.
Politicians who have that kind of attitude have forgotten that they are supposed to be public servants. Carona seriously thinks the public has no right to know his business interests? That is mindblowing.
And to think, if Dewhurst had won the senate race, Carona might be lieutenant governor right now. Senate Democrats were going to pick the least-conservative Republican, so it was pretty much a race to the left between moderates like Kevin Eltife, Kel Seliger and Carona. As the article notes, Carona already has at least one Senate Democrat on his payroll.
Part two of the John Carona series.
14 May 2013
O RLY, Stu Rothenberg?
This is certainly conventional wisdom in Washington, DC, and has been for decades. But past results, while not necessarily indicative of future performance, completely belie Rothenberg's claim.
DeMint and others of his ideological stripe continue to believe that the GOP needs to present a more ideological, less compromising candidate, and that essentially means doubling down on the partys message over the past few years -- the same message that has cost Republicans presidential races and Senate seats.
More ideological/less compromising nominees
Less ideological/more compromising nominees
Res ipsa loquitur. In the past 40 years, it looks like the GOP only won when they did the opposite of what you want them to do, Stu.
29 April 2013
Will Rick Perry run for re-election as governor of Texas in 2014?
If you follow me on Twitter, you know I am on record: I think Perry will run for re-election.
He's got the POTUS bug
After the end of the 2012 presidential run, Perry told staffers on different occasions that "we learned a lot for the next time." It was a pretty firm indication that his plan was to run in 2016. Things change, of course, but immediately after the disastrous 2012 presidential bid, he wasn't planning to fade off into the sunset.
Assume for a minute that he has the presidential bug, and you start to see why it would be necessary to run for governor in 2014. Conventional wisdom has been that you need to run for re-election in order to be seen as a serious candidate. Otherwise you have troubles with fundraising, getting endorsements, and having the press treat you seriously.
The clear and recent exception is Mitt Romney. He quit as Mass governor after one term in 06 to run in 2008 and then again in 2012. But Romney's fundraising was always so strong that it was clear he would be a serious candidate. Just count the networks Romney could tap for easy money: Mormons, Bain consultants, Harvard Law, Harvard MBA, private equity, venture capital, Boston, Olympics, Detroit, etc. On his first day as a presidential candidate early in 2007 he raised a then-astonishing $6.5 million.
It is an open question as to whether Perry could raise the early money (or get the endorsements) for 2016 if he is not residing at 1010 Colorado. Donors are not going to give to a candidate whose last campaign was as disastrous as Perry's 2012 effort. So winning in 2014 -- especially in a tough race -- would re-establish Perry as a winner. Perry 2016 could raise some early money in Texas whether Perry is governor or not. The question is whether there would be the same second wave of fundraising. And Texas donors would have a reason to give perhaps a bit more generously to super PACs.
If he isn't governor, Perry also doesn't get the free media from doing "I'm coming for your jobs" tours in places like Boston and Chicago which might have some media overlap with early primary states. And if the Texas economy keeps booming, then there is someone to share the credit if he doesn't run (on the flip side is the danger that our economy tanks).
Perry thinks he can win in 2014
Assume Perry runs. Who can beat him? Probably only Attorney General Abbott, who might not run. When Perry said publicly that AG Abbott would not run against him, the governor was only repeating publicly what he has said privately. For years Perry folks have said that Abbott wouldn't run against the guv.
Abbott has waited in line for a long time. Does he want to risk it now to run against a friend? Especially if Perry announces right after the session that he is running for re-election? He has the money, but if he uses it now it might be tough to get it in 4 years. It is a risk, and the only example we really have to guide us is 2002 -- where he left the LG race to run for AG. And Abbott could very likely be LG in 2014 if he wants to be.
Perhaps there is a dark horse that would run against Perry if Abbott doesn't. I doubt that keeps Perry up at night though -- and it looks like George P. Bush has taken himself out of the running by saying he is running for a different job.
Perry is just avoiding lameduck status
I just don't see it. If you go back through this dance over the years, he has been pretty candid about his future plans, including the presidential bid. During that time, the conventional wisdom was usually that he was retiring...and it was wrong. I tend to take his statements at face value -- he hasn't absolutely decided whether to run.
Also, if he were not running for re-election, why would Governor Perry call state Rep Lyle Larson in for an hour-long talking-to to warn him against pushing his gubernatorial term limits bill?
Loves being governor, enjoys the campaign trail
All indications are that Rick Perry really loves being governor of Texas. It is not as time-intensive as in other states. Since he is doubledipping on state salaries, he is getting paid pretty well and has no expenses. He also appears to really enjoy the campaign trail. And why wouldn't he? He is good on the trail and until the 2012 bid he enjoyed unrivaled success.
Look, I might be all wrong and Perry really has decided to retire from politics to go make money in the private sector. Maybe he and Abbott have already decided on a schedule for that announcement that maximizes Abbott's chances at victory. But from what I see, I would bet Perry is running for re-election.
28 April 2013
Social media buttons on PvW (!)
This website has long looked like it was stuck in 2005. For a good reason, which is that I have never felt like there a long-term commitment to the ol blog.
Well the site still looks like the mid 2000s, but at least tonight I spent the 30 minutes necessary to wade through the API documentation to stick a couple social media buttons here and there. It still does not look right in IE, but oh well.
24 April 2013
Take Public Integrity Unit away from Travis County DA
BOR cogently argues why the Public Integrity Unit of Texas should not belong to the Travis County DA:
Those calling on Lehmberg to resign need to recognize the severity of handing the Public Integrity Unit and the environmental prosecution division over to a Perry crony whose attitude on everything from pre-trial release to the death penalty is likely to be out of touch with Austin's progressive community values.
Executed properly, the Public Integrity Unit invaluably serves all of Texas by enforcing anti-corruption law. Yet our Public Integrity Unit is subject to the whims of white Austin liberals who dominate the Democratic primary in Travis County.* Their current selection Rosemary Lehmberg has shown herself to be unfit for the office in a variety of ways.
Officials who serve all Texans should be accountable to all Texans, not to "Austin's progressive community values."
* One wonders whether moving the Public Integrity Unit to Travis County would pass Voting Rights Act preclearance in the Obama Justice Department.
09 April 2013
In Texas, we call this "shoring up the base"*
Pro-Obama group Organizing for Action went online Monday with ads targeting nearly a dozen lawmakers on gun control legislation. The ads, running on Facebook and search engines, urge viewers to call their senators and push for action.
According to OFA, the ads target constituents of Republican senators in nine states: Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Saxby Chambliss and John Isakson of Georgia, Dan Coats of Indiana, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio and Ted Cruz of Texas.
Perhaps the carpetbaggers that Obama sent down to form Battleground Texas have been feeding bad information back to Chicago and DC?
I find it amusing that they are attacking Cruz instead of Cornyn, who is actually up for re-election this cycle.
But more amusingly, they aren't actually running any ads against Cruz yet. This morning, I checked Google, Yahoo, Bing and Facebook from a variety of different accounts and couldn't find a single ad. Not a single one.
* Texas will be blue before it turns anti-gun.
08 April 2013
Obama le falla a la media clase
El presidente Obama llega hoy a Miami para hablar sobre la economía, y le doy la bienvenida y lo exhorto a visitar algunos pequeños negocios del Sur de la Florida. Los creadores de empleos de nuestra comunidad sin duda le dirían como con frecuencia me dicen por toda la ciudad lo difícil que es en la economía actual administrar un negocio debido a las normas y las regulaciones que vienen de Washington.
El presidente Obama también debería escuchar las historias de muchos de nuestros vecinos para darse cuenta del efecto que más aumentos de impuestos y alzas de los gastos tendrán en la clase media de nuestra nación. Al escucharlos, entendería que muchos aspectos de políticas como el Obamacare han afectado a muchas familias de clase media en vez de ayudarlas. Descubriría que el creciente papel de nuestro gobierno ha creado incertidumbre al establecer reglas que muchos pequeños negocios no pueden seguir.
Miami es donde aprendí que el sector privado de Estados Unidos si se le deja operar libremente es el mayor motor de prosperidad y de movilidad económica que el mundo ha conocido. Lo supe viendo a mis padres trabajar duro en empleos de clase media, que existían porque alguien puso un negocio y tuvo bastante éxito para contratarlos. Fueron estos trabajos y los esfuerzos de mis padres los que me permitieron tener una vida mejor que la de ellos. Si estos negocios hubieran tenido impuestos o regulaciones onerosas, sus dueños quizá no hubieran podido mantener el empleo de mis padres, o habrían reducido sus horas de trabajo. Ambas cosas habrían sido devastadoras para nuestra familia.
Indiscutible que Obama es el peor presidente económico de las últimas décadas...y antes también. Lamentable, evitable, pero él sigue con su obsesión ideológica a aumentar el tamaño y poder del gobierno.
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