Rick Perry vs World
04 December 2013
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the tycoon who has everything?
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, ever attentive to the economy, has moved decisively to respond to disappointing Black Friday sales by announcing his very own Cyber Monday. Yes, he has opened an online store where you can buy swag from his re-election campaign.
You too can contribute to Dewhurst's campaign! Looking for the maximum value in your shopping dollars? You contribute $20, he'll contribute $20 million. But wait, there's more! If you act now, he'll throw in a Dewhurst coffee mug with that yard sign!
03 December 2013
Two interesting Houston races to watch
I haven't been paying very close attention to the candidate filings but there are two candidates who I am curious to see whether they get serious primary challenges: Sarah Davis and John Zerwas.
Sarah Davis is the most liberal Republican in Austin. She's a staunch supporter of Speaker Straus. She used to have a swing district until Straus -- thinking he could shore up a moderate in her seat by doing her a favor -- gave her more Republican votes in redistricting. 134 now has a pronounced lean to the right -- and definitely will in 2014.
Some might think that Republicans in this close-in west-side district are moderates. They'd mostly be wrong. Plus, there is no district in the state in which Republican primary voters want to have the most liberal Republican as their representative.
Sugar Land Rep John Zerwas wrote the bill to implement ObamaCare exchanges in Texas (see eg, Zerwas interview with the liberal Texas Observer). If there's ever a single issue that could imperil an otherwise safe seat, it's aiding and abetting ObamaCare's implementation.
02 December 2013
Dan Patrick: You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean
BigJolly had a rather odd post up today in which he criticized a recent Todd Staples campaign email as the "worst press release."
The Staples campaign sent an ICYMI email to call attention to Mark Jones' analysis of legislative voting records which found Todd Staples and Dan Patrick to be the same:
neither can credibly be considered noticeably more conservative than the other. In sum, Staples' voting record was as conservative as Patrick's, and vice versa.
Dan Patrick has been crying loudly -- without much substantiation -- that he is the most conservative. He seems to believe that he can convince people of his conservatism through stupid stunts like backing Ted Cruz for President. Nevermind the fact that Dan Patrick was the most strident voice opposing Ted Cruz for Senate just a few months beforehand. In fact, Dan Goeb/Patrick even went so far as to ambush Cruz on his radio show.
He's also called for an end to the filibuster in the Texas Senate.
Look, the Staples email was very poorly messaged. The message should have been something more like "Politician Dan Goeb/Patrick can't be trusted. Another of his claims shown false" instead of "Todd Staples is just as conservative as Dan Patrick."
But then again, the Staples email got people talking about how Dan Patrick is not the most conservative candidate in the race. No matter how often Goeb/Patrick likes to repeat it, it isn't so.
18 November 2013
Wendy Davis cashes in
May as well cash in on her popularity with the far left:
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator whose 11-hour legislative filibuster of an abortion bill gave her instant fame in the Democratic Party, is about to take the next logical step in her political ascent: writing a memoir.
Ms. Davis, a candidate for governor in Texas, has signed with Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House, to write a book about her personal life and career, the publisher said on Thursday.
She's an ardent liberal running in a conservative state whose campaign has been marked by a series of missteps. May as well try to make some money on the deal, I guess.
16 November 2013
Those funny stereotypes
This is what Wayne Slater thinks is "funny and familiar" to Latinos.
As for speaking directly to Hispanics, she can be funny and familiar.
"I still live in the barrio. And if I get lost I can find the gang signs on my way home," she said recently. "The closest gated community to my house is the jail."
09 November 2013
John Weaver got paid well to mismanage Ben Hall's campaign
When I read in early August that Ben Hall had hired John Weaver to run his campaign*, I knew Annise Parker would be re-elected as Houston's mayor. I said so on Twitter:
John Weaver has called himself a Republican. He's also called himself a Democrat. While he seems to be calling himself a Republican again now, he spends most of his time criticizing Republicans as if he were still a Democrat. Over the course of Weaver's career, there is no detectable ideological consistency. But the one constant is that John Weaver gets paid. If there is one thing John Weaver is good at, it is finding deep-pocketed candidates. In fact, I said that back in August:
@PubliusTX if there is one thing John Weaver is good at, it is finding deep-pocketed candidates.— Evan PVW (@PerryVsWorld) August 3, 2013
I took a quick tour through the City of Houston's campaign finance reports this morning. Here are the payments from Hall to John Weaver or to John Weaver's consulting firm*:
That's a grand total of $535,735. Ben Hall received just 46,775 votes for under 28% of the vote. Hall paid about $11.50 per vote to John Weaver/Weaver's firm for a campaign that was terribly strategized and poorly executed.
To be fair, some of those big payments to Weaver's consulting firm were for media buys. We don't know how much Weaver's firm made on those ad buys. However media buyers often get about 5% of media buys. If Weaver made 5% on the ad buys, then he made $80,000 (and $1.71 per vote) from four months of running Ben Hall's campaign into the ground.
* Mark Sanders' firm was also involved in the race.
** Those were just the payments I found in a quick check of the reports. I wouldn't be surprised if I missed some payments, so the actual amount could be higher.
06 November 2013
From the same playbook
Early returns on Ted Cruz vs the establishment
Last night's gubernatorial results do not reflect the apocalyptic-style predictions made by some in the GOP establishment about the electoral consequences of #DefundObamaCare.
1. Chris Christie cruised to re-election in NJ. His team looked to be patterning his re-election bid on George W. Bush's 98 effort, but the politician Chris Christie most reminds me of is John McCain. Christie benefited from sucking up to Obama during Sandy, but clearly NJ's solidly Democratic electorate did not hold the R by Christie's name against him.
2. McAuliffe squeaks by Cuccinelli in Virginia. This augurs pretty well for Republicans since 1) McAuliffe was outspending Cuccinelli 25 to 1 on the air, and even 10 to 1 in the closing days (per PoliticoLive last night), 2 liberals bankrolled a libertarian who got 7% by peeling off votes from Cuccinelli, and 3) Cuccinelli wasn't a stellar candidate. And exit polls even showed Virginia voters held Obama equally as responsible as Republicans for the government shutdown.
As for Texas angles:
1. With Wendy Davis and Barack Obama leading the way, 2014 should be a tough year for downballot Democrats.
2. I wonder if John Cornyn regrets his vote to not Defund ObamaCare? Someone should ask him.
3. Those overblown predictions made a few months ago do not look very smart nor perspicacious.
31 October 2013
Houston mayoral elections comment
A strange paragraph from Robert Miller:
An analysis of the City of Houston vote by Kyle Johnston of Johnston Campaign estimates that through the first five days, the ethnic breakdown of those casting Houston ballots is African American 32%, Hispanic 12%, Asian 1%, and Other (Anglo) 55%. Mr. Johnston also finds that of the City of Houston voters, 61% have a Democratic primary history, 34% have a Republican primary history, and 5% have no primary history. This partisan breakdown provides further evidence that the time has passed when a candidate running as a Republican can be elected Mayor of Houston.
This is a strange paragraph on multiple levels.
First, partisan ties are much weaker in big city municipal elections so the right candidate can always win. How else would NYC go 2 decades without a Democratic mayor?* Houston's elections are non-partisan by law, but Houston is obviously a less Democrat-dominated city than Los Angeles. That didn't stop Dick Riordan. You could probably even point to Sam Katz in Philadelphia, who came very close in a much more difficult partisan environment than Houston. Of course finding the right candidate isn't so easy, and often good political talent doesn't work in political races (or it doesn't get hired because candidates are very poor at selecting consultants), which leads me to my second point.
You can't project a D vs R election when this is a Democrat vs Democrat election. There are no Republicans running for mayor. It's not surprising that Democrats are more motivated to turn out to vote in a battle between two Democrats. Ben Hall has occasionally tried to speak to Republicans, but he made the mistake of hiring John Weaver. Maybe Weaver is calling himself a Republican again these days (it's tough to keep track of his party and ideological switches) but he really hasn't run a good campaign that would motivate Republicans.
Third, when was this mythical time when Republicans could be elected mayor of Houston (in Miller's mind)? Are we going back to Jim McConn and counting him? In 2001, Orlando Sanchez ran a pretty good campaign against a weak, bumbling Lee Brown in the height of post-9/11 Republican turnout. He lost, despite some big GOP endorsements and robocalls in the finals days from Giuliani and George HW. To go back to my first point, he could have won the open seat in 2003, but rather inexplicably he didn't do the necessary work to win in a difficult environment.
* For purposes of this post, I'm going with the nominal truth that Mike Bloomberg isn't a Democrat.
21 October 2013
The Texas outside of 360
I consider myself to be as much a representative of a true Texan as anybody I know, but I have to confess to one shortcoming: I just don't get the gun culture, and I don't think I ever will. . . . I don't own a gun and have no plans to get one.
With all due respect to Paul, he grew up in Galveston, went to Rice and then has lived his entire adult life in Austin. He doesn't own a gun.
I doubt many people outside of Travis County consider Austinites who don't own guns to be "representative of a true Texan."
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