Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category

Republican Leadership’s Zombie Amnesty Crawls Out of Grave

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Like a dog returning to its sick, Republican leadership just can’t keep away from illegal alien amnesty.

First we hear that “Speaker John Boehner and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they aim to pass immigration legislation this year.”

Illegal alien amnesty is unpopular with American workers, American voters, and Republicans, and yet the GOP leadership can’t seem to give up its suicidal longing for it.

Now comes word that Republicans are trying to slip an amnesty provision into a defense appropriations bill. Though the bill is narrowly tailored, amnesty opponent Mickey Kaus lays out its real purpose:

[Rep. Jeff] Denham’s amendment isn’t about helping a few patriotic DREAMers. It’s about getting an immigration bill–any immigration bill–to the Senate where Democrats led by Senators Reid and Schumer can expand it by adding as much of the massive Gang of 8 amnesty as possible.

Also, don’t be fooled by Rep. Eric Cantor’s protestations that Obama’s actions have put him off amnesty; all insider reports have him as pushing for some form of “down payment” on illegal aalien amnesty this year, be it Denham’s amendment or some other camel’s nose under the tent.

I urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators a remind them that no form of illegal alien amnesty is acceptable, and that no immigration-related bills should be passed at all until the federal government starts enforcing existing immigration law and securing the border.

I also urge you to print this out and send it back to the RNC or RHCC they next time they ask you for campaign contributions.

If You Don’t Think Ted Cruz is Running for President in 2016, You Haven’t Seen His Schedule

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Some political observers think Ted Cruz will pass on running in the 2016 Presidential race, including the very perceptive liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz, who says flatly that “Cruz won’t run in 2016.”

I would suggest to those who don’t think Cruz is running should look at his travel schedule. This Saturday, for example, Cruz has a pretty hectic itinerary in New Hampshire:

Saturday, April 12

10:00 am ET – Nashua
Greater Nashua NHGOP Day of Action Rally
Nashua City Hall, Back Parking Lot
229 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060

11:00 am ET – Manchester
Greater Manchester NHGOP Day of Action Rally
Livingston Park, Pool Parking Lot
14 Red Coat Lane (off Hooksett Road)
Manchester, NH 03104

1:35 pm ET – Manchester
Sen. Cruz to hold media availability
The Executive Court
Media Room
1199 South Mammoth Road
Manchester, NH 03109

2:15 pm ET – Manchester
Sen. Cruz to speak at Americans for Prosperity “Freedom Summit”
The Executive Court
1199 South Mammoth Road
Manchester, NH 03109

He’s also been to Iowa this year:

Tuesday, March 18

1:40 pm CT – Des Moines, IA
Sen. Cruz speaks at the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators (NICHE) Homeschool Day at the Capitol
Marriott Hotel Downtown
Iowa Ballroom
700 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

7:40 pm CT – Mason City, IA
Sen. Cruz speaks at the Cerro Gordo County GOP Dinner
The Music Man Square
308 South Pennsylvania Avenue
Mason City, IA 50401

There were a significant number of events in Iowa and new Hampshire last year as well:

Friday, October 25

7:00 pm – Des Moines, IA
Sen. Cruz keynotes 2013 Iowa GOP Ronald Reagan Dinner
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
Iowa Events Center
730 3rd Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

NOTE: Sen. Cruz speaks at ~7:30 pm; he will take questions from the press following the program in room 402.

Saturday, October 26

12:00 pm – Les Mars, IA
Sen. Cruz Speaks at Defenders of Freedom Banquet
Le Mars Convention Center
Banquet Hall
275 12th Street, SE
Le Mars, IA 51031

NOTE: Sen. Cruz speaks at ~1:05 pm; he will take questions from the press following the program.

Friday, August 23 – Dublin, New Hampshire

4:45 p.m. ET
Media Availability
Knollwood Farm
4 Windmill Hill Road
Dublin, NH 03444

6:30 p.m. ET
New Hampshire GOP Summer Backyard Party
Knollwood Farm
4 Windmill Hill Road
Dublin, NH 03444

On Saturday, August 10, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.

Saturday, August 10

3:50 p.m. – Ames, IA
Iowa State University
Stephens Auditorium
400 Beach Avenue
Ames, IA 50011

*NOTE: Sen. Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, will speak prior to the Senator at 3:35 p.m.

If Cruz isn’t running, he’s sure spending an awful lot of time in Iowa and New Hampshire for a Senator from Texas.

For an additional data point, note that there’s already a Draft Ted Cruz Super PAC that just happens to be run by Cruz regional director Raz Shafer (and a rare kudo for David Weigel for doing the leg, er, Google and WHOIS work).

Finally, this video on the Ted Cruz for Senate YouTube channel sure sounds like a campaign ad:

If I had to bet money, I’d say Cruz is running for the Presidency in 2016, and I think he’ll make a formidable candidate.

Texas Statewide Race Updates for April 4, 2014

Friday, April 4th, 2014

My taxes and family health issues have curtailed blogging somewhat, so here are some statewide race updates, some of which stretch back to just after the primary:

  • The Weekly Standard covers the Abbott campaign.

    One Abbott supporter in Edinburg, former state representative Aaron Peña, is a Democrat-turned-Republican with strong ties to the valley. He says his fellow Hispanic Texans may vote Democratic, but they are traditionalists on cultural issues, including abortion. Davis may be popular with the liberal set in Austin, but she doesn’t offer much to Peña’s constituents, he says.

    Also this:

    Davis herself doesn’t appear to be making much effort to court the Valley vote, or any vote for that matter. She’s noticeably inconspicuous on the trail, and even friendly media have a hard time finding her.

  • Davis gives a speech in Midland to sparse attendance. “Davis showed up to an almost empty room but despite the crickets, she told me she felt comfortable.” Ouch!
  • How Davis benefited from her law firm doing government bond work while she was a state senator.
  • At least she’s changed her logo from the sinking ship, even if the new logo looks a little familiar…

  • Two Dewhurst aides quit amid campaign feuding about tactics.” This is not exactly the sign of a well-oiled campaign machine…
  • Paul Burka even goes so far as to say that Dewhurst is toast: “The reality is that Dewhurst has been politically dead since the night of the Wendy Davis filibuster, and he has no hope to retain his office. Unless something very strange happens, Dan Patrick is a lock to be the state’s next lieutenant governor.” I’d say he’s been politically dead since losing to Ted Cruz in 2012…
  • Rick Casey not only thinks Dan Patrick will win, he thinks “Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will be more powerful than Gov. Greg Abbott.” Agree on the first, disagree on the second, mainly because Greg Abbott is a lot more formidable than Dewhurst. It’s an interesting piece, despite making (I believe) some subtly wrong assumptions about Tea Party politics.
  • State of play piece by Ross Ramsey.

    Movement conservatives in Texas — a label that includes fiscal and social conservatives, Tea Partyers and the religious right — seem to be forming up behind Dan Patrick, a state senator running for lieutenant governor; Ken Paxton, a state senator running for attorney general; and Wayne Christian, a former state representative running for railroad commissioner. Each finished ahead of the establishment candidate in his race — in Patrick’s case, the incumbent lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst.

    Ramsey also notes money switching to conservative challengers. Plus this: “Every Republican senator has probably given some private thought to state Sen. John Carona’s loss to Donald Huffines, and that kind of private thinking often leads to changed voting patterns.”

  • Dan Patrick endorsed by Buc-ees. If they throw in free fudge, this race is so over…
  • Mike Huckabee endorses Ken Paxton. That probably means more to Huckabee than Paxton…

  • 14 Texas state house republicans ask Dan Branch to withdraw.
  • Democratic Agricultural Commissioner candidate Kinky Friedman calls marijuana farms the future of Texas.
  • Reports of the Tea Party’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

    Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

    There have been a lot of wishful thinking thumbsucker pieces from liberal media outlets proclaiming that the Tea Party is done, finished, a spent force. (Here’s an example.)

    And indeed, those looking only at some top-line races in Texas (like Katrina Pierson’s failed attempt to take down Pete Sessions) might find tend to agree.

    However, a look at all the races (including many down-ballot) shows that the Tea Party is alive and well.

    Start at Lt. Governor. Dan Patrick says he followed the Ted Cruz blueprint and leaned heavily on the Tea Party. “If you have a candidate who will work and at least enough resources to fund a statewide race then and you have the credentials, the tea party will bring you to victory.”

    Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s Michael Quinn Sullivan sees conservative victories up and down the ballot:

  • The most liberal Republican in the Texas Senate lost.
  • Conservative ranks in the Senate are swelling.
  • Every House conservative won re-election (with re-enforcements coming from the open-seat races).
  • House incumbents affiliated with Speaker Joe Straus lost big.
  • Statewide races saw the TFR-backed candidates earning commanding leads going into run-offs.
  • Sullivan goes on to cite Don Huffines defeating John Carona, Brooks Landgraf defeating Austin Keith, and the defeats of Straus allies Bennett Ratliff, Ralph Sheffield, Linda Harper-Brown, Diane Patrick and Lance Gooden.

    This AP piece touts Tea Party success in Texas, but is lamentably short on details.

    Even liberal fossil Paul Burka says that “If there was a clear winner in last night’s election, it was the tea party,” noting the defeats of Joe Straus allies Harper-Brown and Ratliff.

    So too at the national level. The enthusiastic response to Sarah Palin’s speech and other Tea Party favorites shows that the movement is far from dead.

    Which is not to say huge obstacles don’t remain. The Tea Party still hasn’t built up their financial networks enough to reliably take on big-money incumbents, and even in Texas, previous Tea Party gains were insufficient to wrest the Speakership from Straus (who just spent $2,578,942.72 to retain a job that pays $7,200 a year). But the Tea Party movement is still very much alive and kicking, much to the chagrin of RINOS, democrats and the media…

    In Which Ace of Spades HQ Declares War on your 23″ Monitor to Show Why Wendy Davis Can’t Win

    Saturday, March 8th, 2014

    Ace of Spades, showing considerable time, effort, and a somewhat shaky grasp of MS Paint, has produced a single, superginormous .PNG that will annoy everyone without a 30″ Apple Cinema Display that shows, in great detail, why Wendy Davis is doomed.

    It’s essentially a color-coded county-by-county breakdown map of Texas that shows negligible voter growth in the most heavily Democratic counties since the Ann Richards—Clayton Williams gubernatorial election of 1990, while East Texas has flipped Republican and the big suburban Republican counties have grown tremendously as of the 2010 Rick Perry-Bill White gubernatorial election.

    “The GOP margin out of Montgomery Co ALONE almost completely negates that of the D’s in Harris, Travis, and Bexar Cos combined, falling just 1300 votes short!” [all sic from the PNG]

    For those outside the state who may not immediately twig to what that sentence is saying: A single suburban county north of Houston has enough of a Republican margin to negate the Democratic advantage in Houston, Austin and San Antonio combined.

    Red areas have gotten redder, blue areas have flipped red or gotten pink, even deep urban areas are less Democratic than they were two decades ago, and the few counties in the Rio Grande Valley who have stayed deep blue have barely added new voters.

    All that adds up to Wendy Davis being slaughtered in November.

    And Ace’s map only goes up to 2010. Since then, things have gotten even worse for Democrats.

    Hey Ace: Is there any reason you couldn’t have stacked the two Texas images vertically? Are you in the pay of the Big Monitor Lobby? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Hilderbran Withdraws, Hegar Advances

    Friday, March 7th, 2014

    When last we checked, Glenn Hegar was on the edge of winning the Republican nomination for Comptroller outright, but he ended up garnering a frustrating 49.99% of the vote.

    Thankfully, primary opponent Harvey Hilderbran has aceeded to reality and announced he’s withdrawing from the race, saving everyone a lot of money and effort for contesting a race that was already a foregone conclusion.

    Hegar will face (and most likely obliterate) Democrat Mike Collier in November.

    Dan Patrick Beating David Dewhurst Soundly

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

    Most people were expecting to see a David Dewhurst-Dan Patrick runoff for Lt. Governor. however, you’d be hard=pressed to find anyone who would predict that not only would Patrick garner more votes in the primary than Dewhurst, but also do so by a significant margin. Right now, with 59% of the vote in, Patrick is ahead of Dewhurst by over 100,000 votes, garnering 41.8 of the vote, while Dewhurst is getting 28.3%.

    People we’re saying that Patrick was lucky Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples were the race, ensuring a runoff. Now it appears that Dewhurst should be thankful they’re keeping Dan Patrick from winning outright…

    A Ridiculously Brief Williamson County Election Update

    Monday, March 3rd, 2014

    Since I live in Williamson and have received a ton of flyers on local judicial races, I should probably get together some semi-coherent thoughts about the race and post them here.

    Fortunately, Holly Hansen has already done the heavy lifting.

    County Court at Law Judge Doug Arnold has been challenged by GOP newcomer Tallion Taylor (Taylor used to vote Democrat, but recently switched to the Republican party).

    Three candidates have filed to replace retiring Williamson County Treasurer Vivian Wood: Leander City Councilwoman Michell Cantwell, Jerri Jones, and Ralph Pruyn. As I’ve previously written, Jones is an alleged Republican who publicly supported a Democrat for District Attorney in 2012.

    Indeed, I emailed Taylor to see if he wanted to deny reports of formerly being a Democrat. He never replied.

    And now the tl;dr recommendation from Holly:

    Let me also state my skepticism of those who still view the Michael Morton case as a universal “get into office free” card. Yes, it was a miscarriage of justice. No, that doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore your past record of supporting Democrats or lack of conservative credentials to vote for you. In fact, from now on I’m going to vote against those using the case in their attack mailers just on general principle. That means you, Ryan Larson.

    A Random Assortment of Texas Statewide Race News

    Monday, March 3rd, 2014

    With primary voting upon us tomorrow, it looks like I’ve run out of campaign to cover. Here then is a quick, scatter-shot batch of snippets on various races:

  • Wendy Davis is super popular…just not in Texas. “27 percent of the money Davis raised in the last filing quarter came from donors outside Texas, compared to just 2 percent of Abbott’s total.”
  • In the Comptroller race, Glenn Hegar seems to have have racked up the lion’s share of conservative endorsements, and is also winning the money race over Harvey Hilderbran (who has mostly racked up the endorsements of business groups, newspapers, and “shill” groups like Steve Holtz’s “Conservative Republicans of Texas“). 2010 Gubernatorial hopeful Debra Medina is also polling strongly despite having raised relatively money, I didn’t think she was ready for primetime in 2010, but Comptroller is probably a great spot for a Libertarian. I’d vote Hegar over Medina, but I’d vote both over Hilderbran.
  • The Agricultural Commissioner’s race is easier to narrow down with who not to vote for, namely J. Allen Carnes, who voted Democratic until 2012, and “donated to Texas Democrats Pete Gallego, Henry Cuellar, and Ciro Rodriguez.” Also who to vote against: Eric Opiela, AKA Joe Straus’ lawyer. By contrast, Sid Miller seems to have racked up an impressive list of endorsements.
  • In the Land Commissioner race, George P. Bush does have a primary opponent in David Watts, who has actually racked up a fair number of endorsements. Plus Paul Burka isn’t impressed with George P. Bush’s campaign (and Burka may even be right for a change).
  • Lt. Governor race roundup. if the Chronicle paywall won’t let you in, search for the first sentence on Google news. Here’s some damning-with-faint-praise for Todd Staples: “‘Staples becomes a plausible alternative if you don’t have Dewhurst in the race,’ Henson said. ‘My impression is that he is well-liked in the Capitol special-interest community.’” Ouch!
  • Here’s your biannual reminder that Texas mainstream media outlets almost always endorse the most liberal candidate.
  • Pete Sessions vs. Katrina Pierson: Super-Brief Race Update

    Monday, March 3rd, 2014

    I haven’t been covering the primary race between incumbent Pete Sessions and Tea Party favorite Katrina Pierson for a couple of reasons. First, it’s not my district. Second, when it comes to incumbent Republicans drifting too far left, Sessions (with an ACU rating of 97%) doesn’t even rank among the top 100. Even though I was on the other side of the battle over defunding ObamaCare. I didn’t regard inter-party tactical disagreement as a reason for excommunication.

    However, a lot of news has been popping up on the race:

  • First, Sarah Palin endorsed Pierson, which is a huge, huge boost for her. Unfortunately, it came fairly late in the primary season, making it difficult for Pierson to capitalize on it for fundraising. The fact that Pierson has also been endorsed by Freedomworks, Rafael Cruz and Instapundit Glenn Reynolds won’t hurt either.
  • Pierson rasied over $68,000 this year, which is not chicken feed, but is pretty low to take out an incumbent with over $1 million cash on hand.
  • Then it came to light that Sessions doesn’t actually live in the district:

  • But in the weirdest twist, Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Pierson, then unendorsed her later the same day and endorsed Sessions, saying Pierson has misled him about Sessions being a supporter of illegal alien amnesty. (You would think Sheriff Joe would do a bit of research before offering an endorsement.)
  • Will the Arpaio kerfuffle blunt her momentum? Maybe, but Sessions more than 10-1 fundraising advantage will be a much steeper obstacle to overcome against an entrenched incumbent…