Posts Tagged ‘Elections’

Have Democrats Found Their 2018 Paul Sadler?

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

After having gay leather bar owner Jeffrey Payne and perennial candidate Grady Yarborough as their ostensible gubernatorial frontrunners, Democrats finally seem to have lured someone who’s won at the county level to the race in the form of Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. Valdez was elected to her current post four times, so she has as much electoral experience as Wendy Davis had in 2014. However, she lacks Davis’ celebrity status outside the state, so she’s unlikely to draw anywhere near Davis’ fundraising dollars, surefire donations from Emily’s and Annie’s Lists notwithstanding. Valdez is also a lesbian, so she might split the gay vote (small as it is) with Payne.

Also, Mark White’s son Andrew has thrown his hat into the ring as well. His myriad political experience includes…being Mark White’s son. That’s it. He’s also making all sorts of bipartisan noises, but when you read his positions, they’re thinly disguised Democratic Party boilerplate, such as supporting the DREAM Act and boosting “sanctuary cities.” He also trots out the “personally pro-life” and “safe, legal and rare” canards, which always amount to “bring on the partial birth abortions!”

The Texas Tribune has a modestly irksome roundup of the race up. I couldn’t help noticing that one candidate the Texas Tribune omitted a picture for was the only candidate who had previously made it to a statewide ballot in November: Grady Yarborough, who in his 2016 Railroad Commissioner run did not do any worse (38.3% of the vote) than most statewide Democrats did in 2014. And he, like fellow gubernatorial candidate Cedrick Davis Sr., former Mayor of Balch Springs (in Dallas County south of Mesquite), who’s photo is also omitted, is black, while they included the picture of another longshot, distinctly pale former congressional candidate Tom Wakely. Another longshot mentioned in the piece, Dallas investment adviser Adrian Ocegueda (who I’m fairly sure is the only candidate whose webpage talks about contracts in virtual reality), also had his picture omitted.

Other 2018 Texas Democratic Gubernatorial candidates not even mentioned:

  • Garry Brown, an assistant for Williamson County commissioner Terry Cook (and formerly for Rep. Lloyd Doggett)
  • Joe Mumbach
  • Lee Weaver
  • The press seems to want to this to come down to a White/Valdez race. My guess is they’re half right. I’m betting White does get into the runoff due to the electorate’s lamentable but demonstrated tendency to support political dynasties. However, right now I’d guess that, despite hostile press gatekeepers to the contrary, Grady Yarborough is more likely to make the runoff than Valdez…

    Dear Jason Villalba: Enjoy This Festive Holiday Primary Challenge

    Monday, November 27th, 2017

    With the retirements of Joe Straus and Byron Cook, Jason Villalba might be the least popular Republican in the Texas House. Which explains why Santa (in this case Texas conservatives) delivered a primary challenge as an early Christmas present.

    With a disastrous record in the Texas House and recent calls for gun control, Texans won’t be surprised to learn that State Rep. Jason Villalba (R—Dallas) could face a tough reelection.

    On Monday, Dallas business owner Lisa Luby Ryan, who operates an interior design firm and the antique home furnishings store Vintage Living in Dallas, validated earlier rumors she was considering a run and announced her campaign against Villalba in the Republican primary.

    “I’m simply overwhelmed at the initial support we have already earned and grateful for the caliber of individuals joining this campaign,” said Ryan in a news release. “Today’s announcement sends a loud and clear message that this district believes that we can do better than our current representation. I am running to provide voters a clear choice, and with this great support I intend to win.”

    In her campaign announcement, Ryan also released an impressive list of supporters who are already endorsing her campaign. The list includes a bevy of conservative mainstays and a substantial number of prominent community business owners including Brint Ryan (no relation), a prominent tax consultant and chairman of the University of North Texas Board of Regents, who will serve as Lisa Luby Ryan’s campaign treasurer.

    While Ryan’s background certainly plays into the amount of support she’s receiving in the district, and it’s also true that Villalba’s record has declined even further this session compared to his last, it’s likely that the donor community is supporting his opponent because Villalba has exhausted his usefulness.

    While Villalba was, admittedly, a clownish and useless member of House Speaker Joe Straus’ team, he was a part of the team. But now, that team won’t be taking the field.

    Given Straus’ announcement that he will not seek re-election and conservative efforts to amend the Republican caucus bylaws to ensure a more conservative Speaker is elected, Villalba is likely to be left on the outside looking in regardless of who is elected to be the next Speaker of the Texas House.

    And it’s not just Dallas donors who have made that observation.

    Indeed, at a recent lobby meeting hosted by Straus’ chief strategist, Gordon Johnson, Villalba didn’t even make the list of lawmakers that the group would try to “protect” in the upcoming Republican primary elections.

    Given that Straus’ allies in the lobby were forced to spend more than $500,000 to protect Villalba in the 2016 primary, Villalba will be in serious trouble if the Austin political establishment hangs him out to dry.

    Or if his constituents take a look at his record.

    You may remember Villalba from such hits as I’m A Thin-Skinned Twitter Blockhead, Let’s Make It illegal For Gun Owners and Bloggers To Photograph the Police and I Have A Whole Lot of Stupid Ideas.

    Let’s hope Lisa Luby Ryan succeeds in retiring him in 2018.

    Texas News Roundup for November 9, 2017

    Thursday, November 9th, 2017

    Bunch of Texas news, none of which I feel like doing a separate post on. Ready? Go!

  • The state of Texas, withe the assistance of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, has successfully thwarted the Obama Administration’s Bureau of Land Management land grab along the Red River. Good job for TPPF, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush successfully getting BLM to give up.
  • All Texas constitutional amendments pass.
  • U.S. Rep. Ted Poe announces retirement.
  • I also missed that Lamar Smith announced his retirement a few days ago as well. With Jeb Hensarling, that’s three incumbent Texas Republican Reps who have announced their retirement.
  • Ranger College: Want to pay higher taxes to support our corrupt community college? Brown, Erath and Comanche County: Get stuffed! Not often you see a proposition defeated 97% to 3%…
  • Reminder: Election Tomorrow for 2017 Texas Ballot Propositions

    Monday, November 6th, 2017

    Once again, an off-year election is sneaking up on us on tomorrow.

    There are a number of Texas constitutional amendments on the ballot. Here’s my quick “one-eyed man in the land of the blind” summary:

  • Proposition 1: “Authorizes tax exemption for property of partially disabled veterans received as donations.” Yes.
  • Proposition 2: “Makes changes to home equity loan provision of constitution.” This is a tricky one. Libertarian in me says “Yeah, sure, do whatever you want. Your funeral.” The other part of me thinks that, after 2008, having too stringent rules on tricky types of home equity borrowing isn’t exactly at the top of my list of problems. The fact that realtors and bankers have poured money into supporting this tip the balance to me recommending No.
  • Proposition 3: “Provides for how long an appointed officer may serve after his or her term expires.” Yes. Think of this as the “Texas Racing Commission” rule.
  • Proposition 4: “Requires a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to a statute.” Yes. Evidently a judge got chuffed in 2013 that mere legislators passed a law stating this, so now we have a constitutional amendment to do the same thing…
  • Proposition 5: “Defines professional sports team in charitable raffles.” Yes. Basically clarifies the terms of a previous constitutional amendment.
  • Proposition 6: “Authorizes property tax exemption for surviving spouses of first responders killed in line of duty.” Yes.
  • Proposition 7: “Authorizes financial institutions to offer prizes to promote savings.” Tentative No, since this is a carve-out for a particular industry.
  • Travis County also has some bond issues.

    Also, Williamson County voters will get a chance to eliminate the position of County Surveyor, and pretty much any time you can eliminate a government position, you should go for it…

    Jeb Hensarling To Retire

    Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

    Texas U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling announced he’s retiring at the end of his term.

    Here’s his retirement statement in full.

    Hensarling, head of the House Financial Services Committee, is a solid conservative, earning a 96% rating from the American Conservative Union, and a 93% rating from the NRA.

    LinkSwarm for October 20, 2017

    Friday, October 20th, 2017

    Enjoy another complimentary Friday LinkSwarm:

  • The Imran Awan scandal could result in hundreds of federal charges. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Remember Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that came up with the ludicrously fake Trump Dossier? They were called to testify before congress…and plead the fifth. “So you have what seems to be the Democrats, and Fusion GPS and these officials — intelligence agency bureaucrats — all blocking every single attempt we’re making to get the most basic information about this document, which … may have been the single document that sparked the entire Russia investigation in the first place.”
  • Bonus: That fake dossier may have been the basis of the FISA warrants used in the Trump unmasking scandal.
  • Kurt Schlichter is unimpressed with Salon’s list of Fredocons:

    The media only hires nominal conservatives who already agree with liberals, liberals have no idea what real conservatives think or why. This is the reason they end up baffled when they lose and lose and lose again – sure, Felonia von Pantsuit was also stupid and drunk, but you get the point. As Sun Tzu observed, and I believe this is a verbatim translation from the original Chinese text, a wise general must seek to know and understand the true nature and schemes of his enemy lest he end up as forlorn and humiliated as a foxy fern in the Miramax head office.

  • DNC Chair Tom Perez purges supporters of one-time rival Keith Ellison while filling key positions with Clinton supporters.
  • Speaking of which: Heh.
  • “Ralph Northam, Virginia’s Democratic nominee for governor, deleted his black running mate from his campaign fliers. His campaign says that’s not a big deal.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Plurality of Americans believe the media fabricate stories. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Try to protest by blocking roads? Welcome to a jail cell.
  • This piece on how Facebook changed the 2016 election is peppered with the usual left-wing slant (has any liberal media outlet ever been labeled “hyperpartican”?), but is also filled with nuggets of insight on how liberal complacency and conservative mastery of social media blind-sided Democrats.
  • Republicans gain in voter registration:

    In short, among the truly contested states in 2016, the only ray of hope for the Democrats is Colorado, and even there, the trends have flattened some. They have stabilized New Jersey and Delaware, but Republicans continue to gain significant ground in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Nevada, and above all, Pennsylvania. If these trends continue through 2020, Florida would be have a slight Republican registration edge, North Carolina would be nearly even, and New Mexico would be close enough that it could never be taken for granted. Moreover, Pennsylvania and Iowa would be solid Trump states.

    The remarkable thing about the Republican trending states is that they have moved steadily ever since last November, in almost every case without a single break. Democrats continue to lose voters, and they are not becoming independents. All of this appears to be due to Trump and Trump alone, as the Republican Party has not offered any reasons to embrace it.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

  • One of Obama’s “Dreamers” murders high school girl. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Denison Whataburger fires employee for refusing to serve police officers. Good.
  • Kobe Steel, Japan’s third largest steel manufacturer, falsified quality reports, affecting over 500 manufacturers. Enjoy your flight.
  • Heh 2. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Corker Retires, Instapundit Demurs

    Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

    Setup:

    “The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., announced Tuesday that he will leave the Senate when his term expires next year, and will not seek re-election.”

    Shot:

    Chaser:

    “Sure, fine, but what if I won? Do you hate me so much?”

    Someone has to take a bullet for the team. Besides, think of all the blogging opportunities! You’d finally be able to report on the graft from the inside!

    Roy Moore Wins in Alabama

    Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

    “Alabama Republicans on Tuesday voted decisively to nominate Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court judge, for a U.S. Senate seat, delivering a rebuke to President Donald Trump and the GOP establishment that supported his rival. ”

    I wasn’t following this race closely, so enjoy some brief Takes of Elevated Temperature:

  • All politics is local.
  • Alabama remains a very conservative state, and Moore was widely seen as more conservative than his opponent Luther Strange.
  • Score one for the Senate conservative fund.
  • Mitch McConnell and the Washington Republican establishment’s endorsement is so toxic not even Trump’s endorsement can remove the taint for Republican primary voters.
  • Edited to add: Gracious (verily, even Presidential) tweet from President Trump following Moore’s win:

    ZeroHedge suggests that this actually strengthens Trump’s hand against congressional Republicans.

    Merkel Wins (Sort Of)

    Monday, September 25th, 2017

    Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union once again won the majority of votes in German federal elections. However, it got the smallest share of any of Merkel’s victories, and the “far right” Euroskeptic Alternative for Germany (AfD) entered the Bundestag with 12.7% of the vote, making it the third largest party. The “far right” and “populist” tags don’t take into account that the party was originally formed by economists skeptical of deeper European economic integration. They catch the most heat for a position that’s extremely popular: that Merkel’s inviting millions of Islamic “refugees” to Germany was a big mistake that should be reversed and that border controls should be implemented. They also believe that multiculturalism does not work.

    This, of course, is deeply unacceptable to the European ruling class, which is why they describe AfD in ways that make it sound like they’re about to break out singing the Horst Wessel song.

    The actual AfD manifesto can be read in English here, assuming you’re up for 96 pages of European party positions. It includes a mix of populist, Euroskeptic, conservative and libertarian positions. (Germany’s fourth largest party, the Free Democratic Party, bills itself as a fusions of liberalism and “classical liberalism,” is generally considered center-right, but is markedly more internationalist than AfD, and have frequently played the parliamentary swing-party role the Liberal Democrats have in the UK.)

    As in America, the German ruling class have decided that some issues (in Germany’s case, Greek bailouts and Muslim refugees) are too sensitive to let mere voters have their say in them, with the result that more and more, voters are looking to alternatives, “respectable” or otherwise.

    LinkSwarm for September 22, 2017

    Friday, September 22nd, 2017

    Welcome to the first LinkSwarm of fall! Between a new job, car trouble, dog trouble and iPhone updates, you’re lucky there’s a LinkSwarm at all!

  • Final total for J.J. Watt’s YouCaring campaign: $37,131,967.
  • Death toll in the Mexico City earthquake hits 273.
  • Mexican rescue dog saves over 50 lives.
  • 100% of Puerto Rico is without power following Hurricane Maria.
  • Obama Administration official Samantha Power asked for over 260 unmaskings of American citizens. “She continued to seek identifying information about Americans caught up in incidental surveillance right up to President Trump’s inauguration.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • And Obama’s FBI Director James Comey was apparently eavesdropping on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “House IT Worker At Center Of Scandal Allegedly Abused Three Muslim Women.” “Multiple women in relationships with Imran Awan, the indicted former IT aide for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have recently called Virginia law enforcement and alleged being abused by him, police reports obtained under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act show.”
  • President Trump didn’t forget Poland.
  • “The mainstream media failed to see the rise of Donald Trump in 2016. Now it’s overlooking another grassroots movement that may soon be of equal significance— the growing number of liberals “taking the red pill.” People of all ages and ethnicities are posting YouTube videos describing “red pill moments”—personal awakenings that have caused them to reject leftist narratives imbibed since childhood from friends, teachers, and the news and entertainment media.”
  • “Federal Prosecutors Say Anthony Weiner Convinced [15-year old] Teen To Strip, Touch Herself On Skype.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Evergreen State College has settled a tort claim against it from embattled Professor Bret Weinstein and his wife, Professor Heather Heying, for $500,000, according to an email sent to faculty Friday evening.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Article on the decline of NFL ratings offers and explanation in the comments section: “One after another, cogent, thoughtful comments clearly stating the exact reason that life long NFL fans have turned off the TV, dropped their cable subscription, and moved on.” Sample: “There will be no NFL at my house until the employment of players that disrespect our flag and anthem is terminated.”
  • More signs of NFL’s decline in popularity: Los Angeles Rams can’ even sell out their temporary stadium. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Flashback: Ted Kennedy, drunken serial sexual molester.
  • Wisconsin appeals court dismisses union lawsuit against right-to-work law.
  • Armed citizen stops would-be rapist near downtown Austin. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “Scientists create world’s first ‘molecular robot’ capable of building molecules.” No indication these 150-atom “robots” can contain programming or self-replicate, so we’re still a long way from K. Eric Drexler’s nanotechnology…
  • Valerie Plame steps in it: