23 February 2014
Pete Sessions doesn't live in Texas
This video is "ouch" for Pete Sessions. He clearly doesn't live at the address he lists in Dallas.
hat tip to Breitbart Texas
20 February 2014
The MSM endorsement list
In recent years, Texas newspapers have done an impressive job of picking losers in near-unison. Sure, there were a few dissenters here and there, but the vast majority of editorial boards made the following selections:
Kay Bailey Hutchison over Rick Perry
Bill White over Rick Perry
David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz
Paul Sadler (who?) over Ted Cruz
In each one of those cases, they took the more liberal candidate for the office. Clearly MSM editorial boards in Texas have different values than the majority of Texas voters.
There has been similar agreement this year in MSM endorsements for the competitive races. There have been a couple of differences, but there has been a clear leader in each race for the most number of newspaper endorsements.
Here is the MSM endorsement list:
For Lt Gov: David Dewhurst
For Attorney General: Dan Branch
For Comptroller: Harvey Hilderbran
For Agriculture Commish: J Allen Carnes or Eric Opiela
For Railroad Commish: Ryan Sitton
What do you think? Have the editorial boards again identified the least conservative candidate in the Republican primary?
19 February 2014
Some DC reporters seem to think only the leadership has any power
Chris Cilizza writes, "Ted Cruz isn't planning to be in the Senate for very long." Here is a condensed version of Cilizza's argument:
[T]his latest gambit by Cruz may well be the most telling because it directly impacts two men who, if Cruz had any thought of sticking around the Senate for any extended period of time, not only could, but would make life very uncomfortable for him.
McConnell and Cornyn, both of whom are favorites to win their primaries, will never forget Cruz's move this past week.
Cruz won't be climbing the leadership ladder. Ever.
Well, duh. Cruz won't be climbing the leadership ladder. So what? That means nothing about whether he'll be in the Senate for 2 years or 40 years.
But two points:
1. Political reality trumps whatever hurt feelings have occurred now. Cornyn needs Cruz more than Cruz needs Cornyn. It's been true so far and probably will remain so for awhile. McConnell is also a pretty sharp observer of political reality -- just witness his charm offensive of Rand Paul.
Put differently: Ted Cruz's power base is conservatives across America, not the personal feelings of the current occupants of the Senate GOP leadership offices. If Ted Cruz maintains his popularity with those folks, then the leadership can't afford to antagonize Senator Cruz.
2. Not everyone who angers the leadership goes on to a short tenure in the US Senate. Jesse Helms served in the US Senate for 30 years if memory serves. Despite poking the leadership in the eye as much as possible, he managed to chair both the Agriculture and Foreign Relations Committees.
Hedrick Smith's seminal book on Congress described Helms as a "devastatingly effective power broker" in large part because he refused to toe the leadership line. Cilizza might want to re-read it.
I know Ted Cruz cares about ideas. If you observed him on the campaign trail in 2012, you'd have noticed that he was most engaged with voters when discussing issues, and the more arcane, the better.
So as long as the US Senate is his best opportunity to defend liberty, then I imagine you'll still find Ted Cruz there.
Dan Patrick hired illegal immigrants
Dan Patrick has a long record of changing positions. He's flip-flopped on Dewhurst more times than I have fingers. He's flip-flopped on Ted Cruz. He's been for a full-time Texas legislature, then against it. The list could go on and on.
He's run a virulent campaign for lieutenant governor targeting illegal immigrants. The former shock jock has gotten increasingly shill as the campaign goes on.
He used to feel differently when he owned a restaurant. Back then, Dan Patrick employed multiple illegal immigrants. In fact, Dan Patrick even wrote a letter to help one of them obtain citizenship.
Andrade, who worked as a dishwasher and then a cook at Dan and Nick's Sports Market in the Rice Village from 1984 to 1986, described Patrick as a compassionate boss who extended help when Andrade's mother was ill.
He said Patrick wrote a letter recommending him when he applied for U.S. citizenship, which he attained in 1992. He said the letter was a requirement for him to prove he had been employed in the United States consistently since his arrival in 1980.
Andrade said he is married, with five children, including a son in the U.S. Army.
"I saw him as a very good person. Almost like my father," said Andrade. "He was so good at that time, helping Hispanics grow up in this country. We were so appreciative of him."
Dan Patrick has run a dishonest campaign. He's denounced others for hypocrisy at the same time he's been guilty of his own hypocrisy.
18 February 2014
Dan Patrick says Dewhurst has the same record as he does: inaction, hypocrisy, and duplicity.
Dan Patrick in 2014:
"Dewhurst has a proven record of inaction, hypocrisy and duplicity," Patrick said, contending that an outsider like himself is needed to get things done in the state Senate.
Dan Patrick in 2012 said "[David Dewhurst's] record was the same as Rick Perry's and mine." Here's the screenshot of Patrick/Goeb's Facebook rant:
In the same Facebook post endorsing Dewhurst's nasty campaign against Ted Cruz, Dan Goeb/Patrick then revised it to say that they share 98% of the same record.
16 February 2014
We are under invasion
Dannie Goeb was born up in Nancy Pelosi country -- in fact, Pelosi's father was mayor when Goeb/Patrick was born. So I am entirely in agreement with Dan Patrick that we Texans are under invasion.
But then again, shock jocks gonna shock jock. They'll call Ted Cruz a liar, "endorse" Cruz's opponent and then do a Wendy Davis-style flip-flop a few months later and proclaim that Cruz should be president.
Is that who we want to be one heartbeat away from 1010 Colorado?
12 February 2014
Now we know why Wendy Davis has been shutting out Texas media
Remember how the Wendy Davis campaign tried to deal with the fallout of her exaggerated bio in late January by cancelling interviews with reporters and shutting off press access while stage-managing awkward photo ops and throwing up political Hail Mary desperation plays?
Now we know why! The Davis campaign was running to the New York Times to try to change the narrative:
One sunny Friday morning in late January, Wendy Davis took me on a two-hour tour of the life she led just a decade or so ago, back when she was a city councilwoman and the world knew nothing of her. . .
Robert Draper wrote a favorable article about Wendy (!) Davis a few months ago, laying out the most favorable case that Wendy Davis in fact had some semblance of a chance to win as a liberal in Texas.
Since Davis's campaign was so pleased with Draper's previous article, they went back to the well. And they'll like what they got: hagiography that repeats all of Matt Angle's talking points with barely a whisper of criticism.
Early on Draper suggests that Wendy Davis exaggerations and distortions of her biography are a story because...she's female.
But [the controversy over falsities in Davis's bio] was also very much the story of a female politician -- and was thus fraught with choices for which male candidates are seldom second-guessed by either voters or pundits.
And yet, despite getting former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm on the record to cry sexism...
As former Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm of Michigan, a Democrat, told me: "Politics is so far behind the other sectors, I guess because in a democracy you have to appeal to the broadest spectrum in order to get elected. People still expect a more traditional thing from female politicians. Calling a man ambitious is seen as a positive thing. With a woman, it's a negative."...the best quote Draper can get from a Republican is from frequent GOP critic Christie Todd Whitman:
Former Gov. Christie Whitman of New Jersey, a Republican, put it this way: "It's not that the questions about the accuracy of her narrative are illegitimate. It's the intensity of the questioning that's so disheartening."Even Whitman acknowledges the legitimacy but questions the...intensity. I recall Whitman very intensely bashing Jim Florio's record back in the day, so this must be a newfound concern for her.
Later on, Draper tells us that:
To this end, Davis makes for an intriguing warrior. Even her political enemies concede her toughness.
The only support offered for that assertion comes from quotes by her fellow liberal Democrats in the Texas Senate, Kirk Watson and Rodney Ellis.
09 February 2014
Que bronca! Van de Putte is running because of Dewhurst
I listened to the rest of Leticia Van de Putte's interview with Evan Smith and one thing jumped out at me: the repeated shots at David Dewhurst, even when they were completely off topic.
The repetition made it seem like she is motivated to run by personal pique over Dewhurst's removal of Van de Putte from the chair of higher education. That's a bit strange when Dewhurst is reasonably likely to not even be in office next session.
There were oblique references to Buddy Barfield embezzling Dewhurst's campaign cash, Dewhurst's penthouse apartment, Dewhurst's business skills, Dewhurst not picking the right committee chairs (wonder who she was referring to?), and Dewhurst not understanding the Texas Senate. Honestly if I went back and took notes I would probably find a few more. It was bizarre how often she returned to the subject.
Van de Putte was never going to win. But if she were to have had any possibilities of winning, those would have been hurt by an interview that didn't really even feature any particularly difficult questions.
08 February 2014
Wendy Davis's running mate reacts to Wendy Davis's pandering
On Thursday, Evan Smith asked Leticia Van de Putte whether she agreed with her running mate Wendy Davis on open carry.
Leticia Van de Putte looked flummoxed. I counted 9 seconds of uncomfortable silence where all she could say was "Well..." And this despite Evan Smith giving her a long lead-in to the question.
She looked upwards, darted her eyes back and forth, pursed her lips, said "Well...", got a pained look, pondered awkwardly a few seconds more, and then finally came up with a 2nd Amendment platitude.
07 February 2014
Wendy Davis logo looks like a sinking ship
If you are friends on Facebook with any Texan who is a Republican, then you've probably seen this at least a few times over the past few days.
You'd think that the campaign would want to draw attention to Wendy, instead it's shoved awkwardly into a slanted position. It looks slightly better in the original blue/red/white color scheme, to be fair.
Campaign logos don't win or lose you elections. But for a campaign taking on friendly fire that increasingly looks befuddled, that is a very curious logo choice.
06 February 2014
Wendy Davis is throwing the Hail Mary in February
Wendy Davis's campaign decision to support open-carry will likely be one of the strangest decisions of the entire 2014 campaign cycle.
Wendy Davis has a long history of being anti-gun. As a city councilwoman in 2000, she proposed banning gun shows from the Fort Worth Convention Center and wanted the federal government to pass more gun control. During her first term in the Texas legislature, she voted against campus carry. The Texas State Rifle Association gives her a D grade, and the NRA gives her an F.
But Wendy Davis's campaign has been flailing about for weeks now, having alienated the press in her attempt to change the topic of conversation away from her many biographical exaggerations. Plus she faces the grim reality that she is a left-winger running in a right-of-center state.
What to do?
Apparently the best thing they could come up with on short notice was open carry. Anything to change the conversation, even at the very substantial risk of alienating her base.
You'd think they would have tried to find something that a swing voter could find believable. Nobody thinks that Wendy Davis actually supports open carry, given her record.
'Davis position is pragmatic. GovAnnRichards, vetoed concealed handgun, but George W. Bush made it major issue & defeated her.' #UniteBlue— Turn Texas Blue (@UniteBlueTX) February 6, 2014
Will grassroots liberals will lose their enthusiasm? If you check Twitter, you can find people asking for their campaign donations back and other "progressives" saying that Wendy has lost their vote.
Furthermore, are the rich liberals in San Francisco and New York City going to continue to fund a campaign that looks rudderless AND supports open carry? I'll wager she lost the possibility of any multi-million dollar Bloomberg ad blitz on her behalf.
This is a very strange decision from the Wendy Davis campaign. Not many campaigns feel like they have to throw a Hail Mary in February. And Wendy Davis sure doesn't look like Doug Flutie.
03 February 2014
Down with pay to play
More Mark Jones:
While a candidate's list of supporters provides valuable information about what type of executive, legislator or judge he or she would be if elected, Houston-area Republican primary voters would be wise to treat the multi-candidate "slate" endorsement lists arriving in their mailboxes with a healthy dose of skepticism. These endorsements frequently have less to do with a candidate's qualifications and "conservative credentials" and more to do with the candidate's willingness to "pay to play" and/or to their personal and professional relationships with the lists' proprietors.
What is unfortunate is that these work. To date, enough people don't realize that the LinkLetter is a bought endorsement.
Down with pay to play.
02 February 2014
Is it tougher for #txlege to lie to constituents?
Rice University's Mark Jones wrote a solid op-ed:
Opinion polls reveal that in recent years, a large majority of the Texans who vote in the GOP primary elections are very conservative. At the same time, many of the most conservative advocacy organizations have become increasingly sophisticated in monitoring and evaluating politicians and aggressive in backing candidates they support and in attacking those they oppose. For better or worse, the days of some elected officials being able to successfully maintain separate and distinct Austin and district personas appear to be numbered. (italics mine)
We'll see over the next few months. By and large the Joe Straus wing of the party has spent lots of time trying to blur the difference and appear to be less corporatist than it is actually is. There have been shadow groups created to try to confuse voters (eg, Texans for Fiscal Accountability) and scorecards that give left-wing Democrats more conservative marks than some right-wing Republicans.
Mark Jones has probably been one of the biggest reasons why it has been tougher to blur the differences. His scorecard is unimpeachable and lays bare the voting record of our representatives in Austin. This is a valuable public service.
Of course, in many races, to uncover these differences, you have to wipe away the near-identical "strong conservative" body paint the candidates have covered themselves with. But once you review each candidate's record, the individuals and groups supporting them and their platform, you will find in most instances that they are not all peas from the same pod.
Indeed they are not. But largely the ones trying to conceal their true beliefs are allied with Joe Straus. It is a shame that the Straus wing isn't a bit more honest in presenting their vision for Texas.
Given how the campaigns are playing out, their polling must show that to be a bad idea.