With so much Obama Administration scandal, sleaze and general fail, I haven’t devoted as much time to the statwide primary runoffs as they deserve. The Lt. Governor’s race in particular offers up the interesting dynamic of well-funded incumbent David Dewhurst getting trounced in the primary by state senator Dan Patrick. So here’s an update on the latest race news, which is lamentably heavy on who did what while owning a Houston business in the 1980s.
The two debated:
There has also been a lot of back and forth on two Dewhurst attack ads against Patrick:
There’s the little problem of Dewhurst accusing Patrick of having changed his name to “hide from debts.” In fact, Patrick had used the name Dan Patrick as a his working name since 1978, discharged all his debt in bankruptcy filings in 1987, and legally changed his name from Dannie Gobe to Dan Patrick in 2003. This is a case where the Dewhurst campaign connected two dots that simply weren’t connected for the sake of an attack ad. No wonder the claim got rated “Pants on Fire.” (On the other hand, Politifact also dings Patrick for suggesting they rated the entire ad as untrue, rather than just that one part of it.)
Politico also noted that Patrick discharged the payroll taxes debt in 1989. (Consider this your periodic reminder that Politico is considerably more trustworthy when the issue in question features no favored Democrats to protect…) Here are Patrick’s responses to the charges, where he also touches on tax problems Dewhurst’s companies had in the 1980s as well, and his own response ad:
Speaking of that second Dewhurst ad, Dewhurst supporter David Jennings dings Dewhurst for shirtless picture of Dan Patrick taken at a charity event. In fact, all the unflattering photos in that ad strike me as more than a little bush league.
As for the “hiring illegal aliens” charge Dewhurst has leveled:
Dewhurst also spent an additional $600,000 on attack ads. It’s strange to see Dewhurst doubling down on the same tactic that backfired so badly in his race against Cruz. While there’s a bit more meat to the Patrick charges than the Cruz ads, I just don’t see the payoff putting so much money into attacks over business decisions Patrick made a quarter-century ago during the oil bust.
Other race news: