Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Wendy Davis’ Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Friday, July 18th, 2014

This has not been Wendy Davis’ week.

First Greg Abbott’s campaign announces that he has more than $35 million cash on hand. Since Abbott was already the prohibitive favorite, hearing that he’s shattered Texas gubernatorial fundraising records wasn’t exactly a ray of sunshine for Team Wendy.

Second, a Dallas Morning News headline proclaims that “Hollywood luminaries, labor and trial lawyers fuel Wendy Davis campaign.” Thus reminding everyone yet again that Davis is a liberal media darling whose fundraising occurs out of state because she’s far more popular in Hollywood than in Texas.

Now even the Democrat-friendly Texas Tribune is debunking her fund-raising numbers:

Instead of $13.1 million in cash on hand as claimed, the reports Davis and her allies filed show there was actually $12.8 million in the bank at the end of June, a difference of about $300,000.

Meanwhile, the $11.2 million Davis claims she raised over the latest period — an amount she said was larger than the $11.1 million Abbott raised — contains over half a million dollars in non-cash “in-kind” donations and counts contributions that could benefit other Democratic candidates.

One of the biggest sources of non-cash donations: a $250,000 in-kind contribution from country singing legend Willie Nelson. That’s how much the red-headed stranger told the campaign he would have charged for a free concert he gave at the senator’s Houston fundraiser, the campaign said.

The lower-than-advertised cash figure and non-traditional accounting methods raise questions about how much money can be accurately attributed to Davis for the latest period.

Also this:

It was the cash-on-hand figure from Battleground Texas that came in lower than advertised. In the press release, the Davis campaign said Battleground would report $1.1 million in the bank. But Battleground told the Ethics Commission it only had $806,000 in the bank.

That’s a double-dose of good news: The hopeless Davis campaign is sucking up money that might go to competitive races nationwide, and the well is running dry on Battleground Texas, which might conceivably be able to swing a few down-ballot races with better funding.

And the general election is four months away…

“Greg Abbott Shatters Record, Reports $35.59 Million Cash on Hand for Campaign”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

That’s the title of the press release the Abbott campaign just sent out. Details from that release:

  • $35.59 million cash on hand for the fundraising period ending on June 30th – the highest cash on hand amount ever reported by a Texas candidate.
  • Since January 1st of this year, Texans for Greg Abbott has raised $16.6 million.
  • For the current reporting period running from February 23rd-June 30th, Abbott reported raising $11.1 million.
  • Greg Abbott’s fundraising is coming from Texas: 95 percent of Abbott’s contributions came from within the state.
  • That last line is a direct jab at Wendy Davis’ Hollywood fundraising trips. The farther she goes from Texas, the more they like her…

    The fat lady isn’t just warming up, she’s already striding out on stage in full Valkyrie gear…

    Texas Statewide Races Update for June 23, 2014:

    Monday, June 23rd, 2014

    Some Texas statewide race news to start your week with:

  • Her campaign manager twitched her whiskers, then jumped off the USS Wendy Davis. Speaking of which, remember her old logo?

  • Of the move, liberal MSM fossil Paul Burka says it’s about time: “The Davis campaign has been a disaster.” Also:

    Democrats have already started describing the Republican slate as the “Abbott, Patrick, Paxton ticket.” There is always a “be careful what you wish for” component to these races. Patrick in particular is a very shrewd operator who has widespread support from the conservative base. He is a dangerous opponent. Democrats who underestimate him do so at their peril.

  • The fact that Greg Abbott is kicking Wendy Davis’ ass in polls is no surprise. The fact that Dan Patrick is kicking Leticia Van de Putte’s ass by an even bigger margin is.
  • Davis’ political obituary is already being written: “Privately, many of her supporters are resigned to her losing. And, already, some political operatives are pondering how she can stay politically relevant beyond November.” As I’ve said before, I think in 2015 she’ll host her own show on MSNBC.
  • Don’t give up, Wendy Davis! “Republicans needed her to be sucking up Democratic donors’ dollars all year long.”
  • Davis continues to raise funds where she’s most beloved: outside Texas.
  • More on that theme.
  • Abbott’s first ads against Davis are running in Spanish during the World Cup. It’s a sign of Abbott’s strength that he feels no need to secure his own base, so he can cut into Davis’ base right out of the gate.
  • Davis and Van de Putte are getting together to celebrate the one year anniversary of her abortion filibuster on Wednesday.
  • Abbott and Davis agree to two debates.
  • Abbot is not a big fan of corporate welfare.
  • Aftershocks From Eric Cantor’s Defeat

    Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

    Pretty much everyone on both sides of the mediasphere/punditocracy was shocked by last night’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by David Brat.

    Here’s a quick roundup on thoughts and reactions to Cantor’s defeat:

  • If David Dewhurst’s flailing campaigns hadn’t already destroyed consensus wisdom that money is everything in a political race, Brat’s vitory provides further confirmation. “As of mid-May, Brat had raised only about $200,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Cantor raised more than $5.4 million for this election cycle.”
  • Indeed, Cantor’s campaign spent almost as much on steakhouses as Brat spent on his entire campaign.
  • Erick Erickson:

    The media will play up Cantor’s loss by claiming it was about immigration. They will be wrong, but it will be useful for the rest of us. Immigration reform is now DOA in the House of Representatives thanks to David Brat.

    But Cantor really did not lose because of immigration alone. Immigration was the surface reason that galvanized the opposition to Cantor, but the opposition could not have been galvanized with this issue had Cantor been a better congressman these past few years.

    He and his staff have repeatedly antagonized conservatives. One conservative recently told me that Cantor’s staff were the “biggest bunch of a**holes on the Hill.” An establishment consultant who backed Cantor actually agreed with this assessment. That attitude moved with Cantor staffers to K Street, the NRSC, and elsewhere generating ill will toward them and Cantor. Many of them were perceived to still be assisting Cantor in other capacities. After Cantor’s loss tonight, I got a high volume of emails from excited conservatives, but also more than a handful of emails from those with establishment Republican leanings all expressing variations on “good riddance.”

    Cantor’s constituent services moved more toward focusing on running the Republican House majority than his congressional district. K Street, the den of Washington lobbyists, became his chief constituency.

    “Cantor lost his race because he was running for Speaker of the House of Representatives while his constituents wanted a congressman.”

  • Erickson also says the race is a good indication of why conservatives should forget about the American Conservative Union congressional rankings:

    The American Conservative Union has long been a mouthpiece of the Republican Establishment and in the past few years has basically been K-Street’s conservatives. Their scorecard reflects the Republican-ness of a member of congress far more than the conservativeness of a member of congress. Just consider that Mitch McConnell was considered more conservative in 2012 than either Jim DeMint or Tom Coburn.

    In contrast to the American Conservative Union, Heritage Action for America takes a more comprehensive approach to its scorecard, it does not try to help Republican leadership look good, and is a better barometer of a congressman’s conservativeness. The ACU had Eric Cantor at a 95%. Heritage Action for America has him at 53%.

  • And as long as I’m quoting Erickson:

  • Constituent: Why we fired Eric Cantor:

    Because [Cantor] didn’t have to worry too much about getting re-elected every two years, his political ambition was channeled into rising through the hierarchy of the House leadership. Rise he did, all the way up to the #2 spot, and he was waiting in the wings to become Speaker of the House.
    The result was that Cantor’s real constituency wasn’t the folks back home. His constituency was the Republican leadership and the Republican establishment. That’s who he really answered to.

    Guess what? Folks in the seventh district figured that out.

    Snip.

    That, ladies and gentlemen, was Eric Cantor: the soul of an establishment machine politician, with the “messaging” of the small-government conservatives grafted uneasily on top of it.

    So yes, you can now tear up all those articles pronouncing the death of the Tea Party movement, because this is the essence of what the Tea Party is about: letting the establishment know that they have to do more than offer lip service to a small-government agenda, that we expect them to actually mean it. Or as Dave Brat put it in one of his frenzied post-victory interviews, “the problem with the Republican principles is that nobody follows them.”

  • Mickey Kaus, who probably did more than any other pundit to defeat Cantor, points to the importance of illegal alien amnesty as the decisive issue in the race:

    I would have settled for his challenger, Dave Brat, getting more than 40%. I was all ready to (legitimately) spin that as a warning shot across Cantor’s bow. Instead, Brat went and actually beat Cantor–decisively, by 10 points, 55% to 45%. He and his campaign manager Zachary Werrell obviously ran a very effective race with minimal resources–against Cantor’s millions. Independent anti-Cantor actors like the We Deserve Better group — and various local conspiracies we don’t even know about — probably played a role as well.

    But the main issue in the race was immigration. It’s what Brat emphasized, and what his supporters in the right wing media (Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin) emphasized. It’s the charge Cantor defended against—by conceding the issue and posing as a staunch amnesty opponent. But Cantor had signed onto the GOP’s pro-amnesty “principles” and endorsed a poll-tested but irresponsibly sweeping amnesty for children (a “founding principle” of the country, he said). Brat opposed all this, even as illegal immigrant children were surging across the border in search of a Cantor-style deal.

    Brat won this immigration debate. Cantor lost. It’s basically that simple.

    Kaus also notes that it puts a stake in the heart of MSM “Republicans are really OK with amnesty” BS.

  • What does it mean for House leadership?

    Those conservatives, suddenly smelling blood in the water, might now be emboldened to push for a wholesale change in leadership—ousting Boehner and McCarthy in this November’s conference elections, and entering the next Congress with a new top three.

    “It should frighten everyone in leadership,” one conservative House Republican, who exchanged text messages on condition of anonymity, said shortly after Cantor’s defeat was official. “They haven’t been conservative enough. We’ve told them that for 3 years. They wouldn’t listen.”

    The GOP lawmaker added: “Maybe they will listen now.”

  • Cantor’s internal polling (conducting by the McLaughlin Group) showed him up by 34%, when he actually lost by 10 points. I guess McLaughlin failed to note the results were +/-44 points. That’s some mighty fine polling methodology you have going on there, John…
  • Debunking myths about Cantor’s defeat. It wasn’t a low-turnout election, and Democrats didn’t provide the margin of victory.
  • Brat on his victory: “Dollars do not vote. You do!”

  • Brat offers Washington insiders a lesson in humility. Bonus: “The 10th Amendment is the big one; the Constitution has enumerated powers belonging to the federal government. All the rest of the powers belong to the states and the people.”
  • A look at David Brat’s theological writings, which cover Christian Libertarian ground. Warning: Hitler (but not in a Godwin’s Law sense).
  • Eric Cantor Goes Down in Flames; Will He Take Amnesty With Him?

    Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

    Tonight is primary night in Virginia, and in Virginia’s 7th congressional district, and with 75% of districts reporting, House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor is losing to underfunded tea Party challenger David Brat by about 56% to 44%.

    Cantor used to be a reliable conservative, but the overwhelming issue in this race was Cantor’s support for the thin “Dream Act” wedge of illegal alien amnesty. Republican voters, blue collar workers and Americans in general have stated over and over again they’re opposed to illegal alien amnesty, but Democrats, big business lobbyists, certain Hispanic groups and squishy establishment GOP moderates keep pushing it.

    Attention all Republican office holders everywhere: Supporting illegal alien amnesty is a career-ending move.

    Also, it appears that reports of the Tea Party’s death have been greatly exaggerated…

    Leland Yee Update for June 5, 2014

    Thursday, June 5th, 2014

    I’ve been busy with other things, so until Dwight covered it, I didn’t realize that indicted California state senator Leland Yee’s suspended campaign still came in third in the race for California Secretary of State, pulling in a quarter-million votes.

    Yee finished ahead of ethics watchdog Dan Schnur, a former chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, who framed his campaign around cleaning up Sacramento. Yee also finished ahead of Derek Cressman, a Democrat and former director of the good-government group Common Cause.

    “Sure, he’s been indicted on a gun trafficking and murder-for-hire scheme, but I really liked his opposition to banning shark fin soup.”

    Alternately, maybe all California voters just naturally assume that all Democratic office holders in their state are crooked.

    In other Leland Yee news:

  • California’s Senate Rules Committee refuses to release his legislative calendar. because you puny peasants have no right to know what slimy deals your betters are making behind closed doors.
  • The presiding judge has ordered the material released to the defense attorneys sealed, as per Yee’s wishes, but over the objections of the lawyers for Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

    “There are sensitive materials identifying numerous individuals who are not believed to have engaged in any criminal activities, but who were nonetheless captured on FBI surveillance or documented in FBI reports, for example after being introduced by charged defendants to undercover agents. Such materials, if improperly disclosed, could be used to besmirch these otherwise innocent individuals,” noted the April 8 motion for a protective order.

    Chow’s lawyers, Tony Serra and his team, who claim their client is innocent, take issue with this reasoning.

    ”He knows the politicians, the celebrities who were investigated and through this order of his gagging us, there’s an implication he’s almost protecting their reputation,” Serra said about Breyer.

  • Some Texas Runoff Result Links

    Thursday, May 29th, 2014

    I keep looking for some insightful pieces on the Texas election results, but mostly what I’m finding is the usual MSMN “those extreme extremist Republicans have sure gotten extremely extreme” blather (see just about any Paul Burka piece for an example of the form), but I did find a few links of interest

    Here’s a Texas Tribune piece.

    “‘Some Democrats have said they want me to be the nominee,’ Patrick said during his victory speech. ‘Well, they’ve got me, and I’m coming.’”

    And what does the party that hasn’t won a statewide election this century think of developments?

    “Democratic Party spokesman Emmanuel Garcia added, ‘The days of a pragmatic Texas Republican Party are over.’”

    Why yes, I’m sure we all remember how much Democrats praised George W. Bush and Rick Perry for their “pragmatism.”

    Democrats also might find it hard to win the Agriculture Commissioner’s race with a candidate who refuses to campaign.

    Empower Texas on what the media are calling the “Tea Party Takeover”: “You can’t have a takeover of something that was already dominated by those who are claimed to be taking it over.” The Tea Party is essentially conservative voters who insist that Republicans who run as conservatives actually govern as Republicans. Imagine that.

    More EU Election Fallout

    Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

    It’s hard to know just how much weight to put in widespread gains by Eurosceptic parties in EU elections, mainly because the EU decision-making process seems so opaque to outsiders. Even if Eurosceptic Parties had won significant majorities, you get the impression that they would be like Patrick McGoohan’s character on The Prisoner after he got elected #2, issuing orders and flipping switches to no effect whatsoever:

    Even were the Eurosceptics to form a coalition, power would still lie in the Council, or, some feel, in the permanent unelected EU bureaucracy. The entire apparatus seems designed specifically to thwart popular will and keep all power in the hands of the continental elite.

    More reactions to the election:

    Roger Kimball:

    The architects of the EU envision a European superstate in which national identity is subordinated to the abstraction of “Europe.” The regime would be internationalist but only titularly democratic: the real power (as has been traditional on the continent) would reside in a technocratic elite, not the people. But the people, it seems, have just awakened to this reality and it turns out they don’t like it.

    One take-away from yesterday’s election is this: when conservative parties cease providing a natural home for the community-binding sentiments of patriotism and national identity—when, that is to say, conservative parties cease being conservative—those parts of the population not indentured to the apparatus of dependency look elsewhere.

    John O’Sullivan in National Review:

    These results are merely the latest evolution of a very ominous long-term trend for the Tories. As Anthony Scholefield and Gerald Frost pointed out in their 2011 study Too Nice to Be Tories, the Conservative Party has been steadily losing one region of the United Kingdom after another in the last 40 years. It used to be able to depend on nine to twelve Unionist votes from Northern Ireland for its parliamentary majority; it gets none now. It won half the Scottish seats in 1955; the last three general elections each returned one Scottish Tory to Parliament. It wins eight seats out of 40 in Wales. And from the 158 MPs elected from the North of England, the Tories got 53.

    This is a dreadful record, but it could get worse. UKIP is now starting to replace the Tories as the main challenger to Labour in northern working-class constituencies. The new party takes votes in particular from culturally conservative and patriotic working-class men whom both major parties have abandoned in their pursuit of urban middle-class progressives. UKIP may therefore be a threat to both parties, but the local elections suggest that it is a bigger threat to the Conservative party.

    All this leaves Cameron with difficult choices:

    Either he does the electoral deal with UKIP that he now says he won’t do, in which the Tories agree to support UKIP candidates in a given number of seats in return for UKIP’s not fielding candidates elsewhere. In London, for instance, that would give UKIP an electoral base of something just above 40 percent — in Britain as a whole an even larger one.

    Or he contrives to lose the Scottish referendum on independence, which would remove only one Tory from the House of Commons but 41 Labourites and 11 Lib-Dems.

    France’s ruling class are in a panic following the strong showing of Le Pen’s National Front.

    Here’s a piece from the Jewish magazine Tablet in 2011 suggesting that Marine Le Pen has worked to purge the party of the antisemitism her father exhibited. Maybe.

    Could UKIP and Eurosceptic parties even form a majority coalition in the European parliament? Possible but doubtful.

    Then there’s the question of who would lead such a coalition, Nigel Farage or Marine Le Pen. Anglo-French rivalry is not exactly unknown…

    LinkSwarm for May 27, 2014

    Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

    Texans: Don’t forget to vote in the runoff today!

    Now a LinkSwarm to follow the Memorial Day weekend.

  • Hillary 2008: “Forget a new campaign managers[sic], she needed a Feng Shui consultant—or an exorcist.”
  • How ObamaCare screws black doctors.
  • One of the first polls of doctor’s offices dealing with ObamaCare patients. Tidbits:

    “We are going to have to hire additional staff just to manage the insurance verification process.”

    “Identification of ACA plans has been an administrative nightmare.”

    “Patients have been very confused about benefits and their portion of the cost. Once the patients find out their deductible, they’ve cancelled appointments and procedures.”

  • ObamaCare is also sowing union/management discord and threatening to cause strikes across the nation.
  • “Such dealings as I have had with the New York Times suggest to me very strongly that condescending is the house style.”
  • Nothing says “open-minded” quite like comparing NRA members to supporters of Hitler.
  • Liberal publications: The whitest guys in the room.
  • More examples of that voting fraud Democrats swear doesn’t exit. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • South Carolina replaces Gender Studies with Constitutional Studies.

  • “Journalists feel particularly underpaid with regard to their self-assessed status.” You don’t say…
  • I’m sure an MSNBC host dismissing the Holocaust is precisely the image General Electric wants to convey to shareholders.
  • Terrorist associate given pass by Obama Administration.
  • The EUrocrats are visibly miffed that members of the peasantry still think they’re allowed to hold opinions contrary to their betters.
  • More on the victories of UKIP and other Euroskeptic parties: “Populism is a favourite Eurocrat word, meaning ‘when politicians do what their constituents want’ — or, as we call it in English, ‘democracy’.”
  • Why did John Kerry work so hard to save the life of an illegal alien cop killer?
  • Getting press accreditation in Fredonia the “People’s Republic of Donetsk.”
  • Speaking of Donetsk, Ukraine launched an airstrike to retake the airport there.
  • Another day, another 27 people killed by Jihad in Yemen.
  • In Thailand, a mountain of rice builds up, thanks to an ill-advised agricultural subsidy scheme.
  • Mexican drug cartel threatens U.S. law enforcement via billboard.
  • “Amazon vows 10,000 robots in warehouses by year’s end.” Robots don’t need ObamaCare, or a $15 an hour minimum wage… (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • You deserve a fake today.
  • All-female J-Pop group AKB48 attacked by a man with a folding saw. When oh when will Japan institute “common sense” saw control? (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Mark Steyn reviews Hotel Rwanda.
  • Dear NASA: they’re on to you!

  • Acid-dropping LARP-er guy puts on a clinic of what not to say in an interview when you’re facing felony charges.
  • Finally, two tweets on the VA hospital scandal:

  • Final Statewide Race Runoff Update

    Monday, May 26th, 2014

    Tomorrow is the Texas primary runoff, so now would be a good time to find your voting card and confirm your polling place.

    A final roundup of runoff tidbits:

  • The Dallas Morning News says that Dan Patrick is poised to win due to his staunch opposition to illegal immigration. Oversimplified, but not entirely wrong. They also say Patrick has done a good job connecting with Ted Cruz supporters.
  • The end for Dewhurst draws nigh.
  • Dan Branch would have raised more money for the Attorney General race than Ken Paxton…were it not for the $1 million loan from Midland oilman Tim Dunn via Empower Texans PAC. Now you see why so many liberal reporters call Michael Quinn Sullivan the most powerful figure in Texas politics.
  • Talk show host Dana Loesch endorses Paxton. Less a move-the-needle endorsement than a reminder that conservatives are united on Paxton’s side.
  • Hey, that union Branch lobbied for totally wasn’t a member of the AFL-CIO…at least when he lobbied for it.
  • Governor Rick Perry took the unusual step of endorsing Sid Miller for Agriculture Commissioner over Tommy Merritt.
  • Some controversy over Miller’s campaign loan repayments.
  • On the Democrat side of the Ag Commissioner runoff, Kinky Friedman is running against an invisible opponent. “In the May 27 runoff the choice for the party’s faithful is either Friedman or Jim Hogan, a former dairy farmer who hasn’t campaigned for the office or even has a campaign website…Hogan could not be reached for comment because a phone number listed under his name was out of service and the Democratic Party of Texas did not respond to a request for other contact information.” Also, win or lose, Kinky said this is his last race.
  • Hogan seems to be taking a very Zen approach to campaigning.
  • One website has tried to fill the Jim Hogan void.
  • Here’s a Texas Tribune piece on the runoff between rich guy David Alameel and Larouchite Kesha Rogers for the Democratic Senate nomination. Fun as it would be to see Rogers upset Alameel, I don’t see it in the cards.
  • Finally, just in case you were unclear, Texas Monthly‘s Paul Burka is very upset that Republican primary voters continue to prefer actual Republicans over Republicans who act like Democrats once in office.
  • Here is who I will be voting for tomorrow (all of whom I expect to win):

  • Dan Patrick for Lt. Governor
  • Ken Paxton for Attorney General
  • Sid Miller for Agriculture Commissioner
  • Wayne Christian for Railroad Commissioner