Rick Perry vs World

30 December 2013

Latino Republicans win primaries; media says they don't

Someone please explain to me how it is possible to write an article about how "Hispanic candidates struggle to win statewide [Texas] Republican primaries" after Ted Cruz.

It's like writing an article about how African-Americans with funny names can't be elected president of the US, and at the end just glossing over some guy named Barack Obama. It's prima facie absurd. For the rest of this post, the blockquotes are from that article.

Fighting the perception that Hispanic candidates struggle to win statewide Republican primaries, many party officials have pointed to the 2014 land commissioner's race, which features George P. Bush, the odds-on favorite, whose mother was born in Mexico.

What perception? I've heard of the myth that Democrats repeat because they believe their own spin. Victor Carrillo's poor campaign (to the extent that you can even call it a campaign) for Railroad Commissioner aside, there is no evidence.

But many political observers in Texas say that Mr. Bush, the grandson of former President George H. W. Bush and son of former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, should not be seen as the start of a trend. After all, Mr. Bush has a famous -- and non-Hispanic -- name. Candidates with Hispanic surnames are still expected to face challenges in Republican primaries in Texas.

Boy, what a stroke of luck for George P. Bush that his last name doesn't end in an s or even worse a z, because then he'd never have a chance with those crazy Texas Republicans. Right?

Blurring reality
But that's funny because I seem to remember some Latino with a Spanish last name winning a Republican primary recently. He beat a stuffy old white guy who all the other stuffy old white guys (especially the ones who work in the media) said could never lose. I mean, how could some guy named Cruz beat a rich white guy named Dewhurst among those Republican primary voters? I bet Dewhurst would bury that guy with tens of millions of dollars and I bet Dewhurst would even try to clumsily play the race card. That Cruz guy wouldn't stand a chance with Texas Republicans.

Must've been my imagination.

Mike Baselice, a longtime pollster for Republicans in Texas, said that Mr. Bush would probably poll 5 to 10 points lower than his opponent if he had a Hispanic surname...

Baselice....me suena, me suena. Claro, ya me acuerdo, he was the pollster for David Dewhurst...¡y que encuestas! He's been consistently wrong about Latino Republicans in Texas. Baselice's polls consistently put Ted Cruz at least 5-10 points under Dewhurst. Remember how Baselice said Dewhurst was ahead by 5 points right before the runoff when the Dew was behind by 10? Remember when Baselice said Dewhurst was up 8 a few weeks before the runoff?

To put it bluntly, Baselice's polls lack credibility. He already screwed up on this exact question once before.

And now, 6 paragraphs and 337 words into the article, we get to the elephant in the room:

Steve Munisteri, the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, dismissed the idea that Hispanic candidates were handicapped in the primaries by their surnames, citing Ted Cruz's victory in the 2012 race for the United States Senate and recent legislative wins by other Hispanic Republicans. In fact, Mr. Munisteri said, Hispanic candidates could "have a slight advantage, given the party’s awareness of the need to attract Hispanics."

6 paragraphs and 337 words before an article on Latino Republicans running for office mentioned Ted Cruz's victory. Hyperbole fails me. You. Can't. Make. This. Stuff. Up.

Jason Villalba beat a tough field in Dallas
In the real world, Latino Republicans have done very well in competitive primaries. The article simply ignores JM Lozano beating a guy named Bill Wilson in the Eagle Ford Shale district or Jason Villalba beating an old stuffy white guy in Dallas. Not to mention Larry Gonzales beating out a tough field in the suburbs of Austin. Between those 3 districts, you have a relatively representative sample of the Texas Republicans who vote in statewide primaries. Latino Republicans emerged victorious out of large fields in all of them.

To even begin to think that Hispanic candidates "struggle" in Republican primaries, you'd have to be convinced that Texas Republicans are prejudiced. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense. The evidence says that Latinos do quite well in Texas Republican primaries.

Posted by Evan @ 12/30/13 04:28 PM | Comments (0)


29 December 2013

As of yesterday, December was the highest trafficked month for 2013. Thanks to the several thousand of you who visited and special thanks to those of you who linked. Feliz Año Nuevo.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/13 09:24 PM | Comments (0)


26 December 2013

The year of Ted Cruz?

"Celebrate the year of Ted Cruz with 74 of his best quotes."

The news has just come out that Cruz will speak at the Gridiron Dinner. Last year, Obama elevated Cruz by taking a jab at his pointed Hagel questioning.

Cruz's performance will determine how much money is there for the nascent Cruz 16 campaign.

Posted by Evan @ 12/26/13 11:38 PM | Comments (0)


21 December 2013

John Cornyn, Steve Stockman and Facebook likes

I was going to get rid of the Facebook like buttons that currently occupy the bottom of individual posts. No one uses them, which doesn't really surprise me.

But then I saw that the post "Will Cornyn get a primary challenger?" got 42 likes.

The energy for a race against Cornyn was real. It was there, waiting to be harnessed if the right candidate came along.

But Steve Stockman has underwhelmed even my very low expectations. Despite columns suggesting that Stockman is a test of the Tea Party's potency, I don't see evidence that Tea Parties are backing Stockman.

Posted by Evan @ 12/21/13 08:16 AM | Comments (0)


20 December 2013

The sun will rise tomorrow

Blogger lobbyist Robert Miller has a very strange boast topping his blog right now:

I got it right in the City of Houston mayor's race from start to finish, correctly predicting that Mayor Parker would win without a runoff. I was correct when I stated that Sen. Davis would run for Governor. I fist pump these successes, because it is time to screw up my courage and climb back out on the trapeze.

In the ranks of political prognostication, this...doesn't rank at all. Ben Hall hired John Weaver, whose reputation involves cashing in, not winning campaigns. John Weaver proved true to his reputation. And Wendy Davis was obviously going to run for governor after getting so much love from Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. She thought she was a star.

Just for the record:

Posted by Evan @ 12/20/13 07:38 AM | Comments (0)


19 December 2013

UTexas admissions favoritism

Jon Cassidy has been doing some impressive investigative journalism lately. His latest researches the favoritism shown to the children of legislators:

Children of three Texas lawmakers who graduated from the University of Texas School of Law repeatedly failed the state's bar exam, highly unusual for the prestigious school where almost every graduate passes the bar exam on the first try.

Jeffrey Steven Carona, Carlos Manuel Zaffirini Jr. and James Ryan Pitts have taken the Texas bar exam 10 times between them, and passed it just twice. Pitts will get another chance in February.

Out of nearly 2,700 UT law school grads in that period, we found only 197 who had to retake the bar exam. Only four UT grads in that time failed the test more times than Zaffirini and Carona.

Despite the Hollywood mythology around the bar exam, it is simply a matter of putting in hard work over a brief period. Show up for BarBri, memorize, show up on time for the exam. As a friend of mine said before she took* the bar, "Trained monkeys could pass the bar exam."

Or as a different friend said while he was waiting for his bar results**, "Taking the bar is really more like fraternity hazing than it is an exam. You have to fail yourself out."

So if the children of our #txlege legislators are failing the bar exam, the most likely two possibilities are
1. There is a massive amount of favoritism being shown in UTexas law admissions
2. They can't be bothered to do the work that every other lawyer does.

While Chancellor Cigarroa says he is probing UT admissions favoritism, I'll bet they don't touch the recommendations made by regents and former regents. Hint, hint.

* It goes without saying that she passed.
** He passed. I hope the suspense wasn't killing you.

Posted by Evan @ 12/19/13 07:40 AM | Comments (0)


18 December 2013

Wendy Davis continues to audition for MSNBC

Wendy Davis must be auditioning for a gig at MSNBC. Why else would she go to New York to proclaim that the Texas model of prosperity and job growth is toxic:

Texas has the tendency and reputation of passing toxic policies that seem to spread across the country

Texas has been thriving. The rest of the country has not been. Picture via Willisms:

Texas is growing while America is stagnant

And yet to Wendy Davis it is a bad thing that others want to imitate Texas' policies and grow jobs. She'll even go to New York to bad mouth us!

Meanwhile, she makes almost $300,000 a year, yet only gives $500 a year to charity...but she owns $600 shoes.

Posted by Evan @ 12/18/13 08:01 AM | Comments (1)


17 December 2013

Bill White must be planning on running for office again

Former Houston mayor Bill White wrote a very interesting op-ed in the Houston Chronicle to promote his new book America's Fiscal Constitution. He illustrates just how far to the left the Democratic Party has moved in the last 50 years.

After President John F. Kennedy pledged in writing to support "a tighter rein on" federal spending, in 1963 Ways and Means Committee Chairman Wilbur Mills obtained House passage of a bill lowering personal income tax rates.

Everyone understood that high Cold War tax rates distorted economic decisions, but Mills reminded Kennedy of the public commitment to a simple idea: Without a surplus, "if you're gonna cut taxes, you gotta cut spending."

It is hard to imagine a Democratic party that would cut spending, or cut taxes. Those days are long over. Modern day Democrats characterize budgets as draconian when they increase spending by 2% instead of 3%. That's basically been every partisan budget battle for the last 20 years.

White likes to claim that he's fiscally conservative. His book publicity even proclaims him a "fiscally conservative politician." Unfortunately Bill White's record as Houston mayor was not fiscally conservative:

Not according to the city's finance department, which reports more spending than income for each of the six fiscal years White presided over the city.
Not to mention that Bill White kicked the can down the road instead of solving the city's pension problems:
White borrowed money every year of his administration to meet the city's pension obligations, as much as $63 million in fiscal year 2007.

And then there's the higher taxes from Bill White's time as mayor.

Bill White must be planning on running for office again.

Posted by Evan @ 12/17/13 08:05 AM | Comments (1)


Ted Cruz charms...the CBC?

Roll Call:

HOH has confirmed that Cruz, who did not respond to email requests seeking clarification about any interactions whilst traveling, spent at least part of the 40-hour (round trip) voyage getting better acquainted with Reps. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., John Lewis, D-Ga., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

Several of those aboard the flight said Cruz was seated next to Moore for both legs of the trip.

[A Gwen Moore staffer] categorized it as "a very friendly conversation;" they got so chummy, in fact, that the chatter eventually flowed into how each pol planned to spend the holidays.

Cummings does not, however, presume to have performed any Saul-to-Paul style conversions on the Canadian-born Cruz, a potential presidential hopeful.

"Hopefully, we planted some seeds in his head about why we are so concerned about things," he stated. "[Because] he's gotta run for president of all people."

Cummings later proclaimed himself to have "no doubt" that Cruz will run for president.

The astonished tone that runs through the article is priceless.

Let's declare the obvious: Cruz is running for president already, just like Rick Perry is. The question is whether either gets enough encouragement as they go down that road to actually file an official committee.

Posted by Evan @ 12/17/13 07:19 AM | Comments (1)


16 December 2013

George P Bush for...Newt?

AP filed a story on George P Bush that tried to put him in an ideological box. C'mon, you knew it was coming whenever there was a slow news cycle.

But rather than campaigning on the mainstream Republicanism embodied by the family name, Bush says he's "a movement conservative" more in line with the tea party.

As if to underscore the point, he says he draws the most inspiration not from the administrations of his grandfather, George H. W. Bush, or his uncle, George W. Bush, but from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who engineered the 1994 Republican takeover of that chamber.

That's really a point worth exploring, but unfortunately we got little insight from the AP article aside from a 94 mention. I don't remember "P" endorsing Newt's presidential run, although that's hardly dispositive: it's definitely possible to admire Gingrich as a prolific fount of -- occasionally brilliant -- ideas even if you don't think he has the temperament to be president.

The "movement" is accepting of P for a few reasons that I think the article missed or glossed over:
1) His father Jeb was a more conservative governor than his uncle George W, despite the fact that Florida was and is a much less conservative state than Texas.
2) P's endorsements in high-profile races have been conservative. The Cruz endorsement came early in July 2011, and while personal connections may have played a strong role (they founded MavPAC together) in the Cruz endorsement, the Cruz campaign found George P to be a pleasure to work with. Likewise, P officially endorsed Rubio relatively early in Jan 2010 against Crist, but had scheduled a fundraiser for Rubio at least a month beforehand. At the time, Rubio had traction but was about 10 points back, per public polls. By contrast, John Cornyn didn't soft-pedal (and never rescinded) his Charlie Crist endorsement until March 2010, at which point Rubio was clearly winning the primary.
3) He's done the work. MavPAC and Hispanic Republicans of Texas have both been P projects, plus the fact that he's been available for speeches and fundraising for a long time.

Posted by Evan @ 12/16/13 07:52 AM | Comments (2)


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