Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category

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)

Texas Election News Update for August 14, 2014

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

With all Obama’s manifest incompetence at the national and international level, it’s easy to neglect Texas election news, so here’s a small update to tide you over.

  • Even liberal MSM fossil Paul Burka says that the governor’s race is over and Wendy Davis has already lost. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell her national liberal donors! Let them keep tossing dollars down the hole…
  • Abbott wants to reform Texas occupational licensing schemes, noting that an EMT only requires 33 days of training, but cosmetologists and barbers require 350 days of training.
  • Lt. Governor candidates Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte will be having debate in September.
  • Brandon Creighton wins special election for state senate.
  • In the Texas House District 136 race (my district), Democratic challenger John Bucy claims to have raised more money than Republican incumbent Tony Dale. But that’s only true by counting Bucy’ spersonal political expenditures as contributions, contrary to state law, counting his volunteer campaign manager’s non-existent $22,018.70 “salary” as a contribution, and counting a bunch of other in-kind contributions.
  • “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…

    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…

    Ted Cruz Addresses the 2014 Texas Republican Convention

    Saturday, June 7th, 2014

    Ted Cruz spoke to the Texas Republican Convention yesterday. Since I suspect most of you didn’t have a chance to catch the livestream, here it is in handy YouTube form. Includes considerable criticism of Obama’s foreign policy (or lack thereof).

    Consider this a “Hey, it’s the weekend, here’s something vaguely resembling content” post.

    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.

    Patrick, Paxton, Sitton Win, Miller Leading

    Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

    According to the latest results.

    Both Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton were hovering around 64-65% of the vote, which is pretty decisive.

    Ryan Sitton is currently winning with 58% to Wayne Christian’s 42% for Railroad Commissioner. That’s a mild surprise to me, but down ballot races are harder to predict, and I did notice a late direct mail push from Sitton.

    Sid Miller is currently leading Tommy Merritt 54-46% for Agriculture Commissioner, but they haven’t called the race yet.

    On the Democrat’s side, David Alameel beat Larouchite Keisha Rogers fairly handily, 72% to 28%, for the chance to be slaughtered by John Cornyn in the Senate race. And Kinky Friedman appears to have lost to non-campaigning candidate Jim Hogan 55%-45% for Agriculture Commissioner. As to why, maybe Texas Democrats hate one or more of: Marijuana, Jews, country music singers, mystery writers, guys who smoke cigars, or guys named Kinky. Or they still hate him for running as an independent in 2006. Or they like guys with nice Anglo names. Take your pick.

    More tomorrow (maybe).

    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
  • Why Won’t Zombie Amnesty Die?

    Friday, May 23rd, 2014

    Pretty much every week brings the same set of stories over and over again:

  • One person says that illegal alien amnesty is dead for the current election cycle.
  • News bubbles up that mainstream Republican leadership is still trying to find a way to shove illegal alien amnesty down conservatives’ throats.
  • This week’s example of the first comes from Pennsylvania congressman Lou Barletta (who I donated to in the 2010 election cycle, when he retired Stupac-block flipper Paul Kanjorski) has an editorial stating that immigration reform is dead for now due to the news that “the Obama administration had released more than 36,000 illegal immigrants who had been convicted of other crimes.”

    The thousands of illegal immigrants released from custody had been found guilty of a total of almost 88,000 crimes, including 116 homicides, 43 counts of voluntary manslaughter and one classified as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.” Throw in thousands of drunken driving convictions and other crimes, and the picture is clear that these inmates were not simply in custody for their most basic crime: being illegally present in this country. Yet they were released into the neighborhoods of America, supposedly having paid their debt to our society and sent along their way. This should be appalling to anyone who cares about the rule of law or public safety.

    This week’s example of the second comes in the form of Obama Administration capo Valerie Jarrett claiming that she has a “commitment” from House Republican Speaker John Boehner to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” (that is to say illegal alien amnesty) after the elections.

    Could she be lying? Of course. She is, after all, an Obama Administration official; it seems to be part of their job description. But given that Boehner has previously told his own donors he’s “hellbent” on getting it done this year, and since Majority Leader Eric Cantor still remains vocal in supporting amnesty, I think it’s a lot more likely she’s telling the truth.

    Remember, as Mickey Kaus continues to observe, the trick is to get any piece of immigration reform passed in the House so the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill (including amnesty) can be tacked on in the joint committee and rammed through the House with Democratic votes.

    Amnesty is opposed not only by the majority of Americans, but by the overwhelming majority of blue collar workers, conservatives, and Republicans. Zombie amnesty refuses to die because Republican business supporters have an insatiable hunger for cheap labor and 2012 spooked the establishment into full blown hispanicing.

    As the Barletta piece shows, the Obama Administration refuses to deport convicted murders and rapists when they have an excuse not to. Does anyone even remotely believe they would actually enforce any immigration agreement, much less one promising “amnesty now, enforcement later”? Trusting the Obama Administration to obey an inconvenient law is like trusting Vladamir Putin to obey an inconvenient treaty.

    Everyone should call your U.S. congressional representative to remind them that there can be no immigration reform until we have an Presidential Administration who is actually willing to obey they law, which won’t occur until 2017. And Republicans should never sign off on another “amnesty now, enforcement later” bill ever again.

    Conservatives should refuse to donate a dime to establishment outfits like the NRCC until Boehner and Cantor publicly give up on passing any immigration bill until Obama leaves office.

    Finally, every Democratic “War on Women” ad should be met with one asking “Why is Obama furloughing illegal alien rapists?” This is ready-made attack ad fodder for anyone willing to ignore the tut-tuting and name-calling of MSM liberals, who will inevitably denounce such ads as racist because they know they work. (Just ask Michael Dukakis.)

    Take the fight to the enemy.