A very brief look at last night’s primary results:
Posts Tagged ‘David Dewhurst’
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…
Friday night, I was finally able to get an interview with Texas Land Commissioner and Lt. Governor candidate Jerry Patterson, which I’d been meaning to do for quite a while. Below is a pretty close transcription of the interview (or as close as I could make it with my 45 words-a-minute fingers).
Lawrence Person: What do you see as current Lt. Governor David Dewhurst’s biggest mistakes in office?
Jerry Patterson: His biggest mistake is not a mistake but a shortcoming, that being having no ability to lead and motivate both voters and members of the senate. We all make mistakes, but shortcomings are more serious than mistakes.
Lawrence Person: Likewise, what qualities or policies do you think separate you from Dan Patrick and Todd Staples?
Jerry Patterson: Policy-wise, there’s very little difference. Between me and Dan, my story is not going to change from day to day and venue to venue. I feel no compulsion to tell you what I think you want to hear to like me.
As for Todd, I’m a little more of a risk-taker, I’m bolder, and I’m less consultant-driven.
Lawrence Person: What, if any, procedural changes would you make in running the Texas state senate?
Jerry Patterson: The first thing I’m going to do is roll the tape of the evening Wendy Davis carried out her filibuster, and make sure all the Democrats who helped encourage that riot are not in charge of committees.
I will also make it easier for the Lt. Governor to recommit bills from one committee to another.
Lawrence Person: The Lt. Governor has tremendous influence over the composition of the Legislative Budget Board. What specific background and qualities would you seek in those you would appoint to the board?
Jerry Patterson: They need to be fiscal conservatives, and they need to be resistant to those who blow smoke into places you don’t usually see it, and they need to have those qualities on a consistent basis.
Lawrence Person: How did the Concealed Handgun bill come about, and how hard was getting that passed?
Jerry Patterson: It had been attempted several times before. I sponsored it in 1993, passed it, and Gov. [Ann] Richards vetoed it. But it wasn’t a real CHL bill, it was just a referendum on whether to pass a CHL bill. In 1995, we have a new Governor, George W. Bush, who won in part because he promised to sign a CHL bill if it came to his desk. In 1995, I was sole author of SB 60, the CHL bill. It was a difficult task. We had a lot of Democratic support, and a lot of Republican opposition. It was made more difficult when Selena [the Tejano signer] was shot and killed by a deranged woman in Corpus Christi. But I told wavering legislators I would campaign against them if they did not live up to their commitment. Then I had to deal with hostile points-of-order to kill the bill. I was the chair of the conference committee, and I hired parliamentarians with a meticulous knowledge of the rules to make sure I didn’t make any mistake that would allow opponents to overturn the bill with a point-of-order. I think the final vote in the senate was about 22-8. And that included five yeas who wanted to vote no, but knew their district wouldn’t be happy.
Lawrence Person: What do you think are the most essential actions Texas needs to take to secure the border?
Jerry Patterson: There are several. We have to first realize that this is a three-legged stool: border security, assimilation, and immigration reform. You cannot have border security without immigration reform, and you cannot have immigration reform without border security. We have to stop birthright citizenship, we have to stop this bilingual ballot nonsense. You know what my name is on the Spanish-language ballot?
Lawrence Person: No, what?
Jerry Patterson: It’s Jerry Patterson. We need to do what the GOP platform calls for: biometric ID card for non-residents, no amnesty, a guest worker program with no path to citizenship. We need to focus on coyotes, narcotraffickers, terrorists, felons. That’s where our resources should be used, not chasing kitchen help.
Lawrence Person: Any final thought or message for BattleSwarm Blog readers?
Jerry Patterson: I’ll always be honest with you, and I won’t change what I say to get your vote.
Thanks to Jerry Patterson and his staff for taking the time to do the interview.
I have another interview with Lt. Governor candidate Dan Patrick which, do to technical difficulties on my part, I’m still trying to complete. Once that’s done I’ll put that up as well.
The Lt. Governor’s race presents plenty of irony, namely in that it features incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, whose lost the 2012 Senate race to Ted Cruz, and three statewide office holders, all running as staunch conservatives, who endorsed Dewhurst over Cruz in that race.
Dewhurst’s strengths and weaknesses are the same he displayed in that race. On the plus side, he’s run and won high-profile statewide races, he’s Independently wealthy and thus can self-fund to an extent others can’t, and he helped govern Texas during a time our prosperity, job creation and fiscal discipline have been the envy of most states. On the negative side, conservatives have long had numerous gripes about Dewhurst, complaining that he gives too much senate power to minority Democrats and gives them too many committee chairs, and that he thwarts conservatives in many ways great and small. As I wrote at the time, “Dewhurst occupies that vast gray area between a RINO (think Arlen Specter before he went The Full Benedict) and a real movement conservative.” The 2012 Senate race also showed that Dewhurst is a remarkably poor debater and off-the-cuff speaker who does not seem to think well on his feet, and losing to Cruz damaged his political reputation. His social media outreach was poor during the Senate run, but seems to have improved for this race. As in the Senate race, Dewhurst has garnered the lion’s share of business group endorsements (with Staples second), and the clear majority of newspaper endorsements (hardly a plus for most conservatives).
State Senator Dan Patrick has a solid conservative record, but also a bit of a reputation as both a hothead and (as a former sportscaster) a something of an intellectual lightweight who has been dinged by some for poor debate performances. (I did a phone interview with Patrick that may or may not see the light of day due to a technical malfunction; in my brief interview he seemed bright, articulate, and knowledgeable about the Lt. Governor’s role in managing the senate and staffing the Legislative Budget Board.) Patrick was widely seen as a foe of Dewhurst during the 2012 Senate race, but ended up endorsing him at the last minute. Patrick is widely perceived as the primary choice of many social conservatives, and was prominent in the fight for the anti-TSA groping bill (which he sponsored) and the anti-sanctuary cities bill. The fact that both Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples have been attacking him in ads suggests he is indeed in second place behind Dewhurst. He has has been endorsed by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Young Conservatives of Texas, several evangelical ministers, and the late Bum Philips (Patrick was a sportscaster during the Luv Ya Blue heyday of the Houston Oilers in the late 1970s and early 1980s).
Jerry Patterson, the incumbent Land Commissioner, came into the race with the most buzz among and support among Texas conservative insiders, but that doesn’t seem to have translated into sufficient polling popularity with voters, with Patterson sitting in fourth place in the latest poll. Patterson gets a lot of credit for having written the bill that became the Concealed Handgun License law, and received an A+ rating from the NRA (Dewhurst, Patrick and Staples all received As). Several Texas conservatives I respect are firmly in the Patterson camp. Patterson has been endorsed by Dick Armey and Ron Paul.
Todd Staples, the incumbent Agricultural Commissioner, comes in at third place in the most recent poll, well behind Dewhurst and Patrick, despite having raised the second most money in the race behind Dewhurst. Staples also has a reputation as a solid conservative, and as a state senator penned the state defense of marriage clause. At 50 he’s the youngest of the four candidates by a decade. He’s been stressing border security, on which he did some work from the Agriculture Department. Staples has been endorsed by Nolan Ryan. and some property rights groups.
Are the polls accurate? Hard to say. At this point in the 2012 Senate race, people were predicting a runoff between Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard on the Democratic side, and Hubbard ended up coming in fourth behind Addie Allen and the Grady Yarbrough juggernaut.
Whoever wins the Republican runoff (which looks very likely at this point) will face Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte in the general.
Here is a debate between all four candidates:
Now some video ads from all four candidates. Dewhurst:
Now some race tidbits:
Remember the accusations that campaign consultant Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield embezzled over $1 million from David Dewhurst’s Lt. Governor and Senate campaigns over a number of years?
Well, the estimated total he’s accused of embezzling is now over $2 million, plus
Barfield has agreed to turn over his lavish West Austin home and various business assets to Dewhurst to settle a civil lawsuit filed by Dewhurst last year to recover the funds. A final judgment executing the settlement was signed by a state judge in November.
Sale proceeds from Barfield’s home, which has been listed at $2.8 million, will be pooled with the assets of Barfield’s businesses to repay Dewhurst’s campaign accounts for lieutenant governor and his 2012 U.S. Senate race. The home was valued at $1.37 million by the Travis County Appraisal District in 2013.
In all, the judgment states that the David Dewhurst Committee and Dewhurst for Texas campaign accounts should receive $3,750,000 from the Barfield properties. It lists seven Barfield companies, including Alexander Group Consulting, which conducted campaign work for Dewhurst and other candidates.
Evidently there is some fire behind all that smoke. (Also, it appears that Betsy Woodruff was right (and I was wrong) to describe Barfield as having embezzled “millions” plural rather than singular.) Also, this evidently doesn’t get him off the hook for possible criminal charges, which I understand are at both the state and federal levels (the latter for violating federal campaign finance laws for Dewhurst’s losing 2012 U.S. Senate race).
Still unanswered is just how bad is David Dewhurst’s oversight that someone managed to steal $2 million from his campaigns and he didn’t notice for years?
(Speaking of disorder in the Dewhurst campaign, according to this story I missed from last year, he evidently still owes vendors over $1 million from the Senate campaign. I sent out some queries Friday to the vendors named in the story to see if Dewhurst has paid those bills in the interim, but have yet to receive a reply from any of them.)
I thought I would do a better job of keeping tabs on Texas statewide races, but there are just too many for me to do a good job tracking all of them. Going into next year, I’ll try to do a decent job of keeping track of the Governor’s Race (Spoiler: Greg Abbot wallops Wendy Davis), the Lt. Governor’s race, and the Attorney General’s race, and tidbits on any other races will just be a bonus. (If you know of any sites doing extensive coverage of the Ag Commissioner or Comptroller races, let me know.)
Here’s a roundup that will include some oldish news.
Time for another (no doubt incomplete) roundup of statewide race news:
It seems that David Dewhurst’s relative Ellen Bevers was arrested for (allegedly) shoplifting in a Kroger in Allen (a Metroplex suburb between Plano and McKinney). That’s not really news. It’s, at most, 3-line wire service filler everyone forgets about the next day.
It’s what happened next that was news.
Lt. Governor Dewhurst called the Allen police to lean on them to let her out of jail.
And, of course, the call was tape-recorded, and released:
Dew, Dew, Dew: A desire to help a relative out is a laudable impulse, but 800-pound gorillas personally throwing their weight around to intimidate police officers (even in the polite manner Dewhurst did) is an abuse of office and incredibly stupid to boot. This is not the way things are done, and I’m surprised the Lt. Governor of Texas hasn’t managed to figure that out after 68 years.
No, what you do is you make a phone call to the sharpest, best connected lawyer in that neck of the woods, one who probably owes you a favor or two anyway (since you’re the Lt. Freaking Governor), you ask him to take care of it, he calls the appropriate judge (the one he probably plays poker or golf with on alternate weekends), the judge calls the police chief (you know, the one whose wife is on the same charity board as the judge’s wife), the Kroger manager receives a call from his regional supervisor (who really doesn’t want a few store opening schedules to be hit with unforeseen permitting snags), and before you know it, it’s all a big misunderstanding, charges are dropped, and Ms. Beavers walks away with a story tell at her next PTA meeting about that silly mistake where she ended up spending a night in jail.
All clean, all quiet, no headlines, no fingerprints, no one gets their dander up, and a nice little state grant for extra training for the Allen police department shows up in the 2014-2015 budget.
This charging in like a bull elephant to throw his weight around is just pure mule-headed stupidity. (It also displays amazing naivete about how technology works in the 21st century. If you’re Joe Cop and the Lt. Governor calls you, of course you’re going to record the call, if only for your own protection. Hell, it may even be department policy to record all calls.)
Dewhurst should have known better.
Time for another quick roundup of statewide race news:
Which strikes me as well-produced, but pretty generic. Can’t see why any reasonable person would find it even remotely objectionable.
Travis McCormick notes that exactly one year ago, Ted Cruz beat David Dewhurst in the 2012 Republican Senate runoff. (He also demolished a number of myths in the process.) And pretty much every day Ted Cruz has been in Washington, he’s confirmed that Texas voters made the right decision.
Can anyone imagine Dewhurst leading the fight against illegal alien amnesty? Or schooling Dianne Feinstein on gun control? (I can imagine Dewhurst voting against gun control, but not leading the fight against it.) Or holding the feet of other Republicans to the fire on conservative principles? (As I said then, “We sent Cruz to Washington to shame Republicans into acting like Republicans.”)
No wonder Cruz is getting buzz as a 2016 Presidential candidate. I don’t see anyone else better on the horizon…