Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Texas Governor’s Race Update for September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Reporting on the Wendy Davis campaign at this point is like reporting on the Titanic 80% of the way into the sinking (“And there goes the second smokestack under the waves!”). But someone has to write a first draft of those epic failures for the historical record, so let’s press on…

Right now polls show Greg Abbott up a comfortable 18 points over Davis, 54% to 36%.

It’s gotten so bad that the Davis campaign “leaked” one of those ridiculous, can’t remotely trust them “internal polls” that shows her a mere 8 points behind Abbott, 38% to his 46%. You know it’s bad when you can’t even pretend to be winning in your own fantasy land poll.

Also, the Abbott campaign filed an ethics complaint against the Davis campaign for using her campaign funds to attend a book signing in New York City. (I wonder if her New York City signing had the same strict conditions as her Austin signing.) Since Davis did have one fundraising event on the trip, I doubt the complaint will succeed legally, but it does further the Abbott campaign’s picture of Davis as a woman who has more supporters in New York and California than in Texas.

The big question at this point is: What’s the floor for how poorly Wendy Davis can do in the general election? I think she can drop below the 39.96% Tony Sanchez garnered in 2002. I don’t see her eclipsing the pitiful low-mark of Garry Mauro’s 31.18% in 1998, much less Chris Bell’s 29.79% in the 4-way Perry-Bell-Strayhorn-Friedman race in 2006. Davis has garnered a lot more fawning media attention than Sanchez ever got, and didn’t have the bruising primary fight Sanchez had against Dan Morales, much less one where her opponent ended up endorsing the Republican nominee, as Morales did. On the other hand, Davis doesn’t have $60 million of her own money to spend on her campaign the way Sanchez did.

“No One Is Allowed To Take Pictures of The Great and Powerful Wendy Davis!”

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Wendy Davis is signing at Austin book store Bookpeople tomorrow (September 11, 2014) at 12:30 PM. (Bookpeople, if you haven’t been there, is a nice independent bookstore that has all kinds of authors in for signings, not just liberal politicians, and Rick Perry signed there in 2008.)

The signing itself is not odd, it’s the conditions for the signing that are odd:

EVENT GUIDELINES

  • This event is a SIGNING only. Senator Davis will not give a public talk.
  • Tickets are required to join the signing line.
  • Tickets are available to purchase in-store and via bookpeople.com
  • Tickets cost as much as the price of one copy of Forgetting to Be Afraid plus tax.
  • Each ticket grants access to the signing line for ONE person and will be exchanged for ONE signed copy of Forgetting to Be Afraid at the signing table the day of the event.
  • There is a limit of one ticket/book per person.
  • The line for the signing will form first come, first served the day of the event.
  • Books will not be personalized.
  • Photos will not be allowed at the signing table.
  • No memorabilia will be signed at this event.
  • No talk, no photos, no personalization. It’s like it’s a privilege to be in the same room as her. And if I know Bookpeople, plenty of autographed copies will be available the next day for purchase, sans ticket.

    I know for a fact that such rules were not in place for signings there by Neil Gaiman or Neal Stephenson (both of whom, I’d estimate, are considerably more famous that Wendy Davis). Indeed, the “no personalization/no photo” rules were not even in place for Hillary Clinton’s signing there.

    Why does a failing gubernatorial candidate merit more high-and-mighty treatment than a former Secretary of State, First Lady and losing Presidential candidate?

    If I had to guess, it would be that her handlers are scared to death she’ll make a gaffe…

    “Wallace Hall Was Right About UT All Along”

    Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

    That’s the headline on this Dallas Observer story by Jim Schutze (who you may remember from my piece on Tom Leppert’s term as Dallas Mayor).

    The Hall piece details what members of the conservative Texas blogsphere (myself included) have been saying for over a year: Hall was right, his critics were wrong:

    When Hall began to criticize the way UT-Austin was run on strictly administrative grounds, he was roundly denounced as a sort of fifth-columnist for Perry’s assault on tenure. Later when he accused the university of corruption, he was hunted like a witch.

    A campaign launched against Hall included impeachment proceedings in the Legislature and a criminal complaint brought to the Travis County district attorney. Even the establishment press turned on Hall, whose greatest sin was doing what the press is supposed to do — ask questions that make powerful people uncomfortable. An unbroken chorus of editorial page shrieking from Texas’ biggest newspapers denounced Hall and called for his resignation.

    The dramatic denouement is threefold: Hall has been vindicated of charges he abused his role as a regent. The charges of mismanagement and corruption he brought against UT are all being re-investigated because now people are admitting he was on to something. And finally, Hall’s biggest accusers are starting to look like the biggest rats, the ones who had the most to hide.

    In fact it’s hard to recall a case in Texas history where a person so roundly denounced has been so completely vindicated.

    More:

    Williamson, the reporter at The National Review, said in an email: “The Texas dailies have fallen down on the job covering this story, mainly because reporters perceive this as a confrontation between Rick Perry and the University of Texas, and they are reflexively hostile to Rick Perry.

    “I’ve spent most of my life in the newspaper business, and I know bias when I see it: If there were a suggestion that Rick Perry were twisting arms to get family members into A&M, it would be on the front page of The Austin American-Statesman. But when the malefactors are UT administrators and the whistle-blowers are Perry appointees, reporters in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio become strangely incurious.”

    While there isn’t a whole lot new to Schutze’s piece if you’ve been following the story on this and other blogs, the fact that even lefty alternative weeklies now have the same take on the scandal as Michael Quinn Sullivan is a big step forward for justice and transparency, and I commend the entirety of the piece to your attention.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    John Bucy III Campaign Claims Lien Was Filed Against John Bucy II

    Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

    The John Bucy III campaign has issued another denial stating that the tax lien issued against 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, was not, in fact, against candidate John H. Bucy III, despite his name being on the lien. But the press release does not go any farther.

    However, I have finally received answers from Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign to questions I sent in yesterday, and he confirms that the lien was against John H. Bucy II, the candidate’s father.

    My questions are in italics, and Grady’s answers are in bold:

    1. Is it true that John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II, and works at the latter’s law firm?
    John Bucy III is the son of John Bucy II and offices out of 6633 E. Hwy. 290, but John III owns his own company and is not employed by his father.

    2. Did John Bucy II live at 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759, and was the actual tax lien filed against him?
    – Yes.

    3. Travis County records show that 8609 Camelia Ln, Austin, Texas, 78759 was sold to John Bucy II on May 30 of this year, and then the lease assigned the same day to “The Jarrett-Simmons Irrevocable Trust,” whose address is the same building that both John Bucy II and John Bucy III show as their respective business offices (6633 Hwy 290
    East, Austin, Texas, 78723). Is that correct?

    – Unknown. This house does not (and never did) belong to John Bucy III, nor did he ever live there.

    4. Does John Bucy II still live at 8609 Camelia Ln?
    – Yes.

    5. Did the IRS accidentally put the lien as applying to John Bucy III when they meant to apply it to John Bucy II?
    The lien was properly applied to John Bucy II. There was just a typo on the form, which put “III” on it, instead of “II,” and we notified the Dale campaign a week ago that it was a typo and not John Bucy III, the candidate.

    Thanks to Brent Grady of the John H. Bucy III campaign for helping clear things up. The answers have the virtues of fitting all the facts, and government agencies committing typos are hardly unknown.

    Absent any additional information from the Tony Dale campaign that the tax lien is indeed against John H. Bucy III rather than John H. Bucy II, I would consider the matter closed.

    Update: Response from the Tony Dale campaign:

    “Mr. Bucy’s ‘shocked and appalled’ response to the revelation that the IRS filed a $163,000 tax lien against him for unpaid taxes is misdirected. Mr. Bucy is running for public office and is subject to public scrutiny. The federal government believes he has not paid his taxes. If the IRS is in error, he needs to produce proof in the form of the removal of the lien in his name, not ask the citizens of Williamson County to simply take the word of the Democratic Party Chairman or his dad.” -Corbin Casteel

    Update 2: Attached find an IRS document sent by the Bucy campaign, but I hardly find it conclusive…

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    Democratic State House Candidate John Bucy’s $160,000 in Unpaid Taxes

    Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

    What is it with Democrats and their recurring problems with paying their taxes? Certainly they seem more than capable of passing and raising taxes. But paying them on time? Not so much.

    Today’s example of a Democrat not paying his taxes comes from House District 136 candidate John H. Bucy, which a press release from his Republican opponent, incumbent Tony Dale‘s campaign (not yet up on his websites) identifies as owing $160,000 in back taxes to the IRS:

    John H. Bucy, III, the Democratic nominee for Texas House, District 136 in Williamson County, apparently failed to pay his taxes for at least 4 years and owes over $160,000 to the IRS. According to the IRS tax lien filed with the Travis County Clerk, Mr. Bucy owes personal income taxes dating as far back as 2008 and as recently as 2011. And there could be more.

    The Dale campaign also notes that “In addition to the IRS tax lien, Mr. Bucy has problems with the state of Texas as well. Every single business Bucy has registered with state of Texas has forfeited its existence for failure to pay the required taxes and fees, seven total businesses.” To me, this is not only several orders of magnitude less important than the taxes owed the IRS, it’s not necessarily an issue at all, as it could mean Bucy’s business entities are no longer active and he simply let the registration expire.

    I emailed the Bucy campaign for comment about an hour ago, but so far have not heard back from them.

    Note: Dale is my own state representative, and I endorsed him in 2012.

    Update: The Bucy campaign contends that Dale got the wrong John Bucy:

    Mr. Lawrence [sic],

    The accusations are false, and John has never had a lien filed against him.

    We are aware of the document that the Dale campaign claims to possess, and the “John Bucy” referenced in Tony Dale’s press release is NOT John Bucy the candidate. — Not only is John Bucy (the candidate) not the person to whom the lien attaches, he has also never even lived at the address to which the John Bucy in the lien attaches to.

    We spoke to the Dale campaign last week and made them aware of this. — The Dale campaign still chose to move forward. — They clearly do not care to be honest with the voters.

    To the other point of John’s companies, John has only been affiliated with 3 companies, and we do not know where the count of 7 comes from.

    One of the companies is his current company, which is in good standing, and the other two companies have been closed down properly.

    None of this information should be published, as it is false, and we are presently exploring all options to stop these false accusations.

    -Brent Grady.
    Campaign Manager, Bucy for Texas

    Update 1: My update on the still murky issue is here.

    Update 2: Bucy campaign claims that the lien was against his father, John Bucy II, which fits the facts in the first update above.

    The Late, Not-So-Great Wendy Davis Campaign

    Thursday, August 28th, 2014

    It’s not been a good month for people trying to pretend the Wendy Davis campaign is actually capable of winning the Governor’s mansion.

    First, during a time when Davis desperately needs media attention to have any hope of closing the gap with Republican opponent Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Rick Perry indictment is sucking up all the media oxygen. “It’s very good for Greg Abbott because he’s up by 12-13-14 points on Wendy Davis and he has two to three times as much money as she does to close out this race in the final weeks.”

    Next comes word that Wendy Davis is actually polling 10 points behind where Bill White was at this time four years ago. And Bill White, despite running a markedly more competent and professional campaign than Davis has thus far, got slaughtered.

    Then it was revealed that Davis was trying to hide her 2013 tax returns, giving partial copies to the media “with the stipulation that the document couldn’t be shared with anyone or published in full.” A look at those returns shows why. Her 2013 tax return itself shows that out of $249,754 in gross income, Wendy Davis actually paid Uncle Sam a grand total of $788 in withholding in 2013. That left her just a wee, tiny bit short of the amount she she estimated had to pay. Namely, $60,000 short. But even that amount (which is what she sent in with her extension form) turned out to be less than the $70,252 she actually owed, which is why she paid $1,246 in tax penalties.

    Evidently, when you pull Davis’ string, she says “Math is hard!” in addition to “Abortion is awesome!”

    Finally, Davis’ laughable attack ad attempt to link Abbott to problems at the troubled Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas gets slammed by MSM fact checkers. In fact, Jerald Combs, the only person indicted in the now-closed CPRIT investigation, has not donated anything to Abbott.

    In a state as deep red as Texas, Democrats were always going to need a string, spotless candidate running a flawless campaign to have any hope of beating Abbott. Davis isn’t, and she hasn’t.

    Texas vs. California Update for August 25, 2014

    Monday, August 25th, 2014

    Another look at how Texas stacks up to the no-longer-so-Golden state:

  • Problem: Those lousy taxpayers get pension reform passed. Solution: CalPERS uses “99 categories of ‘special pay’” to go on a pension spiking orgy.
  • What are some of those 99 categories? “Clerks who type well. Cops who shoot straight. Librarians who are “assigned to provide direction or resources to library patrons.” I’m too scared to check if “Teachers who don’t rape their students” is an actual category or not…
  • Governor Jerry Brown is sending mixed signals on the pension spiking issue.
  • Who actually owns the CalPERS gap between actual funding and what they’ll need to pay out? “CalPERS can be risky (and it has been) with no consequences. The taxpayers have all the responsibility, but none of the control.”
  • So how much payroll and pension did Stockton trim in their bankruptcy? Zero.
  • There is no California comeback. “Personal income-tax revenues fell by 11 percent in the first quarter of this year and more than 6 percent through June.”
  • California cities are among the slowest to recover from the recession.
  • The only way California can get pensions under control is through a constitutional amendment.
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is asking for more money. They’re also asking Angelinos to overlook their high salaries and lack of accountability.

    City leaders are battling with DWP’s union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, to release financial records of a nonprofit trust, run jointly by labor- and management-appointed trustees, that has run through $40 million in ratepayer money. Brian D’Arcy, IBEW Local 18’s business manager, has refused to turn over the trust’s financial records, and DWP executives have said they don’t know how the money was spent.

  • California voters get to weigh in on a 7.5 billion water bill in November, which seems to have considerably less pork than a previously delayed $11 billion bill.
  • So how does bankrupt San Bernardino plan to climb into the black? Cutting back on outrageous pensions? Ha, you must be high! “Help us, weed, you’re our only hope!”
  • I know this is a shock, but California’s High Speed Rail Authority is behind schedule on buying land for it’s doomed boondoggle.
  • Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz opposes ride share programs like Uber and Lyft. Strangely enough, he’s also received $11,000 in campaign contributions from the taxi industry. Quid pro, meet quo.
  • YTexas helps companies relocating to Texas connect with local businesses.
  • LinkSwarm for August 22, 2014

    Friday, August 22nd, 2014

    Just making it to Friday coming back from vacation to Texas in the middle of August seems like it’s own victory condition…

  • The Great Obama Meltdown.
  • Ferguson is the Great Society writ large because the Great Society convinced, and then reassured, black people that they were victims, taught them that being a victim and playing a victim was the way to go always and forever.”
  • Maureen Dowd is never so readable as when she’s slamming Democrats for their personal failures. This week: Obama:

    His bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude, the article said, “has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”

    (snip)

    The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.

    (snip)

    The sad part is that this is an ugly, confusing and frightening time at home and abroad, and the country needs its president to illuminate and lead, not sink into some petulant expression of his aloofness, where he regards himself as a party of his own and a victim of petty, needy, bickering egomaniacs.

  • Russia is very upset street artists are turning Bulgarian monuments to the Soviet Union into American superheroes.
  • Enlightened, peaceful members of Temple University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine call a Jewish student a “kike” and punch him in the face.
  • Convicted felon Brett Kimberlin bitchslapped by the court to the tune of $600 a week.
  • “Every major American church that has taken steps towards liberalization of sexual issues has seen a steep decline in membership.”
  • Washington Post: “Libertarians silent on Mo. shooting.” Except for all the ones who weren’t.
  • Rick Perry grand juror was an active Democratic Party delegate during indictment proceedings.
  • Mike Ditka stands up to the PC police.
  • Saturday Night Live announcer Don Pardo has died.
  • A tiny bit about Robin Williams.
  • Morning Tweet Roundup

    Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

    I’m back from vacation. Have some Low Calorie Content Substitute:

    Adventures in Badly Targeted Ads

    Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

    I hit Instapundit this morning, and guess who the banner ad was attacking?

    Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 8.11.56 AM

    That’s right: An anti-Greg Abbott, pro-Wendy Davis ad on Instapundit! That’s some mighty fine use of targeted advertising, Wendy Davis campaign!

    Next up: A Jewish Defense League fundraising appeal on Al Jazerra…