Archive for the ‘Texas’ Category

Politico Names Wendy Davis As One of Worst Campaigns of 2014

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

This Politico piece won’t reveal anything new to anyone who has been following the campaign, but it will probably prove quite a shock for out-of-state liberals who might still believe Davis has a chance:

Davis’ June 2013 filibuster against a restrictive anti-abortion measure in the Texas Legislature endeared her to liberals nationwide, with everyone from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to actress Lena Dunham voicing support. All of a sudden, it seemed, Democrats had a high-wattage candidate capable of the seemingly impossible: turning Texas blue.

It’s been all downhill from there for Davis, a candidate for Texas governor.

A Dallas Morning News story in January raised questions about inconsistencies in how she recounted her life story. In March, she had a weaker-than-expected showing against an obscure and underfunded primary opponent. A month later she was dissed by her own party’s governors association. And in June, the state senator shook up her campaign.

Meanwhile, in a conservative state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994, Davis has struggled to demonstrate that she’s focused on more than abortion rights.

A recent New York Times poll showed Davis trailing Republican state Attorney General Greg Abbott by double digits.

And Politico doesn’t mention the poor in-person appearances or the general lackluster nature of her campaign…

Rich Liberal Trial Lawyer Steve Mostyn is the Bank Behind Texas Municipal Police Association PAC

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

It’s always interesting to find out where the money for innocuous sounding political committees is really coming from. Today the Dallas Morning news revealed that rich liberal trial lawyer Steve Mostyn provides the majority of money behind the Texas Municipal Police Association PAC.

Houston trial lawyer and political mega donor Steve Mostyn, who usually helps Democratic candidates, bankrolled a police group that was mostly playing in GOP primaries last spring because he’s from Tyler and wanted to knock off tea party-backed freshman Republican Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, a spokesman said Monday.

Snip.

Among the PAC’s targets were attorney general candidate Ken Paxton of McKinney, whom the law enforcement group’s president chided in this open letter for failing to register as an investment adviser. The omission drew Paxton, a freshman state senator, a fine from the Texas State Securities Board. Three months earlier, the police PAC endorsed Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, Paxton’s chief rival for attorney general. In a May 27 runoff, Paxton crushed Branch.

The association says it has more than 20,000 members who are law enforcement officers and first responders. Late last year, its PAC moved early to back Republican Speaker Joe Straus for re-election to his House seat in San Antonio. In this year’s GOP House primaries, the PAC generally supported Straus allies. For instance, it helped Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, who won; and Rep. Bennett Ratliff, R-Coppell, who narrowly lost.

This confirms, yet again, another reason why it’s high time Straus was ousted from the Speaker’s chair.

Of the $72,000 the municipal police association PAC has raised this year, 69 percent came from the Mostyn Law Firm, according to a Dallas Morning News review of campaign-finance reports to the Texas Ethics Commission. Of the $81,500 the PAC has spent on candidates in 2014, just over $52,000 — or 64 percent — went to buy radio ads, mailers and brochures for Schaefer’s GOP challenger, Tyler businessman Skip Ogle, the newspaper found.

How did that work out?

The effort failed as Schaefer, one of the House’s most conservative members, fended off Ogle in the initial March 4 balloting, 61 percent to 39 percent.

In other words, it worked out pretty much the same way as just about all of Steve Mostyn’s political donations work out: Abject failure.

So whatever happened to Mostyn’s plans to head up to New York City?

(Hat tip: Michael Quinn Sullivan’s Twitter feed)

Gun and Crime Roundup for September 23, 2014

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Been a while since I did a roundup on gun news and examples of criminal stupidity, so here it is:

  • Study shows that banning “assault weapons” has no effect on crime.
  • The Missouri House and Senate override the veto of Democratic governor Jay Nixon for expanded concealed carry.
  • California is evidently cooking up a whole new batch of unconstitutional gun laws. (A repeat from the latest Texas vs. California update, but it certainly fits here as well…)
  • The New Jersey Star-Ledger comes out for mandatory gun confiscation. Perhaps New Jersey gun owners should come up with a boycott of all Star-Ledger advertisers until the editorial board is replaced…. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.)
  • A look at the crappy, unverified statistics used by the gun grabbers in Nevada. “The source links given by Nevadans for Background Checks do not lead to any independent research on gun background checks, but lead solely back to statements by a gun-control advocacy group that are unsupported and ignore conflicting evidence.” (Hat tip: Alphecca.)
  • One police officer’s advice on how police can rewin the public’s trust: End the militarization, wear cameras, and end the drug war (or at least the war on marijuana). (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Dear Pennsylvania State Police: Please note that there is no void when searching for a cop killer clause in the Bill of Rights.
  • The Brady Bunch is suing an ammo manufacturer for the crazy Colorado movie shooter? Really? “It does sound like a civil action that is a sure loser, brought in hopes of gaining publicity. That of course runs a big risk of getting hit with sanctions.” (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned)
  • Homeowner’s rights against criminals: “It is called confinement. In the situation where someone has illegally come inside a person’s home or workplace, that person can hold the intruder by force until police get there.”
  • Broken Windows: How a tiny bit of criminality (things stolen from open garages) has escalated to home invasion in an Austin neighborhood. Close your garage doors and lock your doors and windows at night, people…
  • Break into a home, get shot. That’s the Houston way.
  • Speaking of Houston, gun sales there are off 18%.
  • Four Chicago gangbangers decide to execute a 9-year old boy. (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Speaking of murderers of 9-year olds, Texas executed Lisa Coleman on September 17.
  • Pro-tip: If you don’t want to be arrested, try not to smuggle “38 pounds of marijuana, two disassembled .40 caliber semi-automatic weapons and 350 pounds of ammunition” onto a plane at JFK airport.
  • Pro Tip: Don’t try to hold up a man with the gun you’re buying from him off Craigslist. Especially since it’s unloaded. (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)
  • If you’re going to get drunk and go joyriding, try not to crash in the home of the medieval weapons enthusiast, which will help minimize your chances of being stabbed with a spear. (Hat tip: Sipsy Street.)
  • LinkSwarm for September 22, 2014

    Monday, September 22nd, 2014

    A Monday LinkSwarm of some recent(ish) news:

  • Surprise, surprise, surprise: ObamaCare covers abortions.
  • Alaska doctor shuts down practice due to ObamaCare.
  • Obama’s own Secretary of Defense says we left Iraq too soon.
  • Strangely enough, Gaza landlords are no longer wild about renting to Hamas.
  • Another day, another 36 people killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
  • “A Pakistani academic known for promoting liberal views on Islam has been shot dead by gunmen.” And people wonder why we don’t hear from more moderate Muslims…
  • The progressive media consensus on Islam is stultifying, and deliberately so. It’s a series of simplistic claims intended to drown out any adult discussion on the issue in favor of childish happy-talk which serves no purpose except to preserve the fragile progressive voting coalition.”
  • How well is the war against ISIS going? David Gergen compares it to the rollout of ObamaCare.
  • Meanwhile, ISIS continues to advance in Syria.
  • “The ‘social justice warriors are only happy when they’re destroying someone. That’s because they’re awful people with mental and emotional issues.”
  • Are you a whistle-blower who has spoken truth to power? Then expect to be investigated by the media, if the power you spoke truth to has a (D) after their name…
  • Global warming has been missing for 19 years.
  • Fareed Zakaria: Plagiarist. (Via Instapundit.)
  • Mary Burke: Plagiarist. (Also via Instapundit.)
  • C. David Heymann: Serial Liar. (Hat tip: Dwight.
  • Federal Reserve makes a $7 Trillion (with a T) cut-and-paste error. I would think that when you’re dealing with trillions of dollars, you’d want to have additional auditors checking your math. Silly me…
  • With antisemitism on the rise, Jews decide that Glocks go with lox.
  • The college rape “epidemic” is complete bunk.
  • Last year: Socialist Party Vice Presidential candidate. This year: Texas Democratic Party state House candidate.
  • Wallace Hall update: Remember how Rep. Dan Flynn was part of the “impeach Hall” committee? Guess what?

    Flynn, however, is one of the lawmakers who tried to pull strings for a family friend, and never disclosed that fact throughout his yearlong investigation, even as the question of legislative influence became the subject of two official investigations and independent media investigations, and ultimately led to the forced resignation of the university’s president, Bill Powers.

    Flynn wrote a letter to Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa on behalf of a family friend who was applying to UT; the name of the applicant and the letter’s date are redacted on a copy of the letter that was published Thursday by the Texas Tribune.

    The Texas Tribune published 112 pages of correspondence with Cigarroa’s office involving letters of recommendation; five of those letters were from state legislators: Reps. Flynn, Tryon Lewis and Brandon Creighton, and Sens. Carlos Uresti and Mario Gallegos.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction)

  • S. T. Joshi on why replacing H. P. Lovecraft’ visage on the World Fantasy Award statuette (an idea pushed by the usual radical feminist Social Justice Warriors) is a bad idea. Keep scrolling, there’s a lot of slagging of a very foolish idea at a very high level of diction…
  • Feminism is about women’s equality. Period. It’s not about capitalism or socialism or racism.” Well, first wave feminism, anyway…
  • Dripping Springs ISD administrators have decided that the children in their charges are the perfect laboratory for social justice engineering via “Meatless Mondays.”
  • We just passed the 40 year anniversary of Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump. Kids: Ask your parents what an “Evel Knievel” was. Or, urm, your grandparents. And get the hell off my lawn!
  • Austin wants to spend $1 billion to extend their toy trains. Citizens Against Rail Taxes explain why that’s a bad idea.
  • Follow-Up On Abbott-Davis RGV Debate

    Saturday, September 20th, 2014

    The Abbot campaign sent around this two minute exchange from the debate as being Davis’ most cringe-worthy performance:

    The Houston Chronicle says that Abbott is right on the facts in that exchange:

    Shot: Davis said “the only thing right now coming between our children and appropriate funding of their schools is (Abbott).”

    Fact: It’s a little more complicated than that. This charge came in the lead-up to her sole question of her Republican opponent, which was whether he would drop the state’s appeal of a judge’s ruling that Texas’ school finance scheme is unconstitutional. Abbott is defending the law passed by the Legislature – as is the job of the attorney general. So while Abbott may get pinned with continuing to legally vouch for the state’s $5.4 billion in cuts to Texas public schools in 2011, he retorted that it was the Legislature that stood between the children and appropriate funding. Abbott also correctly pointed out that the Legislature passed a law last session that limited the attorney general’s ability to settle cases like the one over school finance.

    Even a friendly press is saying that Davis “fails to land blows on Republican rival.”

    Dallas Morning News: Davis “failed to rattle a poised Greg Abbott…At one point he asked Davis if she were still glad she had voted for the president, whose deep unpopularity in the state is a headache for Democrats. Davis laughed at the question but didn’t answer it.”

    WendyBot5000. Will. Continue. Speaking!

    Friday, September 19th, 2014

    Well, if Wendy Davis was hoping the Rio Grande Valley debate would help her catch up to Greg Abbott, she probably should have worked to have a voice other than the pre-programmed monotone she used. She also loses points for the lack of discipline at having answers that extended beyond her allotted time (which I commend the debate hosts for strictly enforcing), and then continuing to talk rudely over their attempts to shut her off.

    Abbott won by a comfortable margin. Davis wins points for actually knowing the Mexican Water Treaty of 1944, but loses even more points for flat out lying about Republicans wanting to repeal the Voting Rights Act of 1964, as opposed to ending the preclearence requirements.

    I doubt terribly many minds were changed by the debate, except possibly those of donors who previously thought Davis might be worth giving more money more to…

    Greg Abbott Debates Wendy Davis Tonight At 6 PM

    Friday, September 19th, 2014

    Tonight Greg Abbott faces off against Wendy Davis in the Texas gubernatorial debate. In Austin it should be broadcast here live starting at 6 PM.

    Texas vs. California Update for September 17, 2014

    Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

    Time for another Texas vs. California roundup:

  • The Texas economy continues to hum along:

    During the second quarter, Texas employers added 148,200 net nonfarm jobs—an average of 49,400 per month. This amounts to an 18 percent share of all jobs created nationwide over this period in a state with only 8 percent of the country’s population and about 10 percent of total economic output. Over the last year, the addition of 382,200 net jobs in Texas was more new jobs than any other state. These employment gains increased the annual job growth rate to 3.4 percent, which is higher than those of the national average and other highly populated states.

  • The city of Los Angeles is at an impasse over police raises: the police union (naturally) wants raises, while the city says they can’t afford them. So what happens next? The issue goes before the Employee Relations Board, which just happens to be packed with union-approved appointees. In one-party Democratic cities and states, it’s always government together with unions against taxpayers. (Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
  • “The ugly reality is that so long as the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS are controlled by public employee union loyalists, pension reforms enacted by state lawmakers and signed by governors will never live up to their billing.”
  • Jerry Brown lies about pension spiking.
  • Why San Antonio’s public-private partnerships are better at dealing with drought than Los Angeles.
  • A FAQ on Costa Mesa’s pension situation. Including answers to such questions as “How could the $228 million in unfunded pension liabilities affect the city budget?”
  • Watsonville, California passes a sales tax hike solely to pay for additional union pension payments.
  • A judge rules that bankrupt San Bernardino can cut firefighter pension benefits in order to exit bankruptcy.
  • A union-sponsored bill tries to increase liabilities for companies that hire contractors.
  • California is evidently cooking up a whole new batch of unconstitutional gun laws.
  • A look at phony baloney jobs numbers for California’s high speed rail boondoggle.
  • Firefly Space Systems is relocating from California to Burnet County, Texas. “King said Firefly was attracted to Texas partly because of its business and regulatory climate.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out California offers a lousy climate for business. Or to put it another way: My days of underestimating California’s ability to improve its business climate are certainly coming to a middle…
  • Drone-maker Ashima is relocating to Reno, Nevada from California.
  • If you hadn’t heard, Tesla is building its battery factory in Nevada, not California.
  • An actual good law out of California: A law that prevents companies from suing customers for negative reviews.
  • North Carolina offered twice as much incentive money to Toyota but still lost out to Texas for relocating their HQ.
  • Your dedicated BART employee in action:

  • 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…