Posts Tagged ‘Greg Abbott’

Update on Certain Hidalgo County Democrats

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

You may remember back in 2012 when I reported on Democratic Party candidate for Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Constable Robert “Bobby” Maldonado being caught with over $1 million cash in his car’s trunk. Well, I now have a Hidalgo County guilty plea update.

But not on Maldonado. Last time I checked, he was out on a $200,000 bond.

No, I have an update on a completely different Hidalgo County Democratic Party law enforcement officer charged with money laundering.

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño, a nine-year veteran of the office and a fixture of the region’s Democratic Party, pleaded guilty on Monday to federal charges of money laundering. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas said the former lawman “received cash contributions for his election campaign from alleged drug trafficker Tomas ‘El Gallo’ Gonzalez.”

Trevino’s former chief of staff, Maria P. Medina, also plead guilty.

Also keep in mind that this was after Trevino prepared termination papers for his second in command, Jose Padilla after the feds arrested him for “marijuana smuggling and money laundering,” also reportedly in the pay of Gonzalez.

I wonder how many other shoes might drop.

Texas Attorney General (and 2014 Gubernatorial favorite) Greg Abbott penned this editorial on the topic, containing this great quote (albeit it one only tangentially related to the question of border corruption):

Conservative is not a color, it is not a race, it is not an ethnicity. It is a commitment to the idea that every American has a chance to succeed; that faith and family are foremost; that jobs and education are the best pathway to a better future; and that secure communities are a part of all that.

Wendy Davis Getting Slaughtered…Among Female Voters

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Well, this can’t be good news for Team Wendy:

Texas women prefer Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott to self-styled feminist Democratic hopeful Wendy Davis, according to a new survey from a left-leaning polling firm.

According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, Davis’ favorability rating is upside down with women, while Abbott is right side up.

Thirty-two percent of women view Davis favorably, while 46 percent view her unfavorably, and 22 percent were not sure. But 35 percent of women viewed Abbott favorably, and only 27 percent said they viewed him unfavorably. Thirty-eight percent weren’t sure.

Abbott also took 49 percent of the female vote in a head-to-head matchup, compared to 41 percent for Davis, with 11 percent unsure.

Also this:

“Women get exhausted with women candidates who say they are pro-woman and then run on issues that real women don’t say are most important to them,” Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway told The Daily Caller.

She added that this is another indication that the Democrats’ “war on women” narrative has run its course.

Let’s hope so.

Poor Wendy. She didn’t start out alienating her supposed base, but she got there as fast as possible…

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.
  • Cost Per Vote for the Texas Primary

    Thursday, March 6th, 2014

    The Texas Tribune has a fascinating chart up showing the cost per vote for Texas races.

    A few highlight:

  • Wendy Davis spent $4,172,161.26 to garner 432,056 votes, or $9.66 a vote.
  • Greg Abbott spent $8,109,379.17 to garner 1,219,831 votes, or $6.65 a vote.
  • David Dewhurst spent $4,093,809.73 for 376,164 votes, or $10.88 a vote.
  • Dan Patrick spent $4,891,374.86 for 550,742 votes, or $8.88 a vote.
  • The highest amount per vote was spent by Republican Chart Westcott for state House District 108, spending an eye-popping $1,197,762.24 for a measly 3,709 votes, or $322.9 per vote (which did get him into the runoff). Second biggest amount spent for vote? House Speaker (and Tea Party foe) Joe Straus House District 121 (R) spent $2,578,942.72 to get 9,224 votes, or $279.59 a vote. I guess Straus’ special interest backers consider it money well-spent.

    Most effective use of money? The two sitting Supreme Court incumbents who didn’t spend anything:

  • Jeff Brown received 820,558 votes for zero spent.
  • Phil Johnson received 731,247 votes for zero spent.
  • Incumbency + Ted Cruz Endorsement = millions, evidently (at least in judicial races).

    Now I’m going to post this just to get myself to stop playing with those figures…

    WILLisms Breaks Down Democratic Turnout Failure

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    Will Franklin has an interesting piece up detailing just how poorly Democrats did in primary turnout on Tuesday, noting that both the Democratic Party total, and Wendy Davis’ numbers compared to Bill White, were down significantly from 2010. By contrast, “Abbott received 1,219,831 votes, or 91.50% in a four-way primary race. 1,333,010 Republicans voted in the 2014 primary.”

    For all the money BattleGround Texas is pouring into the state, Democrats are doing worse than they did in 2010.

    Although Franklin doesn’t go into the 2012 numbers, I’d also like to note that overall Democratic votes are down from 590,164 in 2012 to 546,480. Normally a presidential election year will have higher numbers, but there were no big-money, hotly contested races at the top of the Democratic ticket that year. Turnout should have been up this year. It wasn’t.

    More Will Franklin:

    In short, there is a partisan enthusiasm gap in Texas, and Republicans are winning it. Democrats have years of soul searching and retooling to do before they’ll even sniff winning their first statewide race since the early 90s. Anointing someone known almost exclusively for filibustering on behalf of elective late-term abortion post 5 months of pregnancy may have set the Democrats’ plan back at least one full election cycle, if not more.”

    Read the whole thing.

    A Quick Overview of Primary Results

    Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

    A very brief look at last night’s primary results:

  • John Cornyn won, but couldn’t break 60% against a field of underfunded challengers.
  • The Democratic Senate runoff is going to be between the big-spender David Alameel and the LaRouche candidate Kesha Rogers.
  • As expected, both Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis won their gubernatorial primaries. But Abbott garnered 91% and over 1.2 million votes, the most of any candidate for any office. By contrast, Davis got 432,000 votes and won 79% of the vote against underfunded challenger Ray Madrigal, indicating a distinct enthusiasm gap despite Davis’ nationwide MSM cheer-leading corps.
  • Dan Patrick’s early lead over incumbent David Dewhurst in the Lt. Governor’s race held up. Patrick pulled in 550,742 votes for 41.5% of the vote, while Dewhurst got 376,164 votes for 28.3%. Maybe Dewhurst can carpet-bomb the runoff with money, but that’s an awful big gap to make up. We knew that Dewhurst losing to Cruz in 2012 hurt him; now we know how much.
  • Ken Paxton takes the lead into the runoff with 566,080 votes over Dan Branch’s 426,561.
  • Glenn Hegar is hovering right at the threshold of beating Harvey Hildebran outright in the Comptroller race.
  • George P. Bush garnered 934,501 to win the Land Commissioner primary…or over twice as many votes as Wendy Davis.
  • Sid Miller (410,273) and Tommy Merritt (248,568) are heading for a runoff for Agricultural Commissioner, leaving Joe Straus ally Eric Opiela out in the cold.
  • All the Ted Cruz-endorsed Supreme Court incumbents won their races.
  • Super-tight runoff in U.S. House District 23 between Francisco “Quico” Canseco and Will Hurd to face Democratic incumbent Pete Gallego. Canseco held the suit before Gallego, and whoever wins the runoff has a good chance of taking the swing seat back.
  • Katrina Pierson was unable to unseat Pete Sessions in U.S. House District 32, garnering 36.4% of the vote. As I feared, Sarah Palin’s endorsement came to late to truly capitalize on it in fundraising.
  • Matt McCall did even better, where he and another challenger kept Lamar Smith at 60.4% in U.S. House District 21. Though they won their primaries, Sessions and Smith might be vulnerable to further challenges in 2016.
  • As far as I can tell, every U.S. or statewide incumbent Republican either won or is leading their race. Except David Dewhurst.
  • 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.
  • Texas Attorney General’s Race: State of Play and Updates

    Monday, March 3rd, 2014

    In comparison to the Lt. Governor’s race, the Attorney General’s race is relatively straightforward: There’s a conservative favorite (State Senator Ken Paxton), the well-funded big business republican (State Senator Dan Branch), and a longshot (Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman). A recent poll shows Branch at 42%, Paxton at 38%, and Smitherman a distant third at 20%. But the further down the ballot you get, the less accurate polls tend to be, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Ken Paxton is a solid conservative that the majority of movement conservatives in the state have gotten behind (I’d guess that support is running about 85% among state conservatives compared to 15% for Smitherman). He’s also racked up an impressive list of conservative endorsements, including Texans for Fiscal Responsibility,

    And while Paxton hasn’t been formally endorsed by Ted Cruz, he is getting a lot of mileage out of the Cruz quote that he’s “a tireless conservative warrior.”

    By contrast, I haven’t heard a single conservative say they’re supporting state Representative Dan Branch, who is perceived as a RINO in the David Dewhurst mold (without the record of achievement) and an ally of Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. The representative of tony Highland Park, “his main support base appears to be establishment Republicans.” He’s a business favorite and has tapped extensive fundraising resources in the Metroplex. His attempt to rebrand himself as a Tea Party conservative is pretty laughable: Says the Houston Chronicle editorial board:

    a respected GOP state representative from Dallas whose moderate positions and pragmatic approaches to governance frequently align with those of Speaker Joe Straus. Running for attorney general, Branch is portraying himself as the most conservative candidate in the race (a laughable claim), a raging anti-Obaman, a tea-party firebrand and an anti-abortion crusader. We haven’t seen such an extreme re-branding effort since the late Phyllis Diller’s plastic surgeries.

    And that’s from the MSM. Most conservative activists I’ve talked too are considerably less kind…

    A Branch ad:

    A lot of conservatives supported Barry Smitherman‘s run for Railroad Commissioner, but support for his Attorney General run is pretty thin on the ground (David Bellow and some pro-life endorsements being notable exceptions). Red State’s Erick Erickson goes so far as to call Smitherman “an establishment tool.” I think that rather overstates things, but there’s a lot of sentiment that Smitherman has overstated his resume as a Harris County prosecutor, and has tried to move up the statewide ladder too far, too fast, with too thin a resume.

    A Smitherman ad:

    Whoever wins the Republican nomination will face (I kid you not) Sam Houston (a trial lawyer unrelated to the hero of San Jacinto, who lost a 2008 Supreme Court race) in the general election.

    Some race tidbits:

  • Wrangling over an unsuccessful Ken Paxton investment.
  • Here’s Smitherman’s attack site against Paxton. While it’s not quite as weak tea as the Chinese lawsuit bit Dewhurst tried to use against Cruz, the bag has still been seeped two or three times…
  • The man Smitherman wants to succeed as Attorney General is less than thrilled at his criticism of the way the state child support division is run. “As attorney general, I’ve elevated the Texas Child Support Division to number one in the entire nation. Under my leadership we’ve collected more than $28 billion in child support, but we also have achieved one the highest rankings in the nation for efficiency.”
  • Back in 2010, Smitherman was a big fan of smart meters.
  • Smitherman pays a blogger covering the race for consulting services. (Just for the record, I ain’t been paid nothin by nobody for political blogging, unless you count free soda at pizza at Ted Cruz headquarters after I endorsed him…)
  • Evidently Smitherman’s position on the death penalty isn’t quite as unwavering as he would lead you to believe.
  • Branch gets endorsed by the Houston Chronicle.
  • Texas Governor’s Race: State of Play and Update

    Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

    It’s a mere six days before the March 4 primary, and I haven’t covered the various statewide races nearly as well as I would have liked. (Maybe Ukraine will refrain from blowing up this week.) So I’ll try to catch up with some statewide race update, including a summary of the current state of play for those just tuning in, as well as some race tidbits (some of which are, alas, fairly musty). First up: The Governor’s Race.

    Gregg Abbott is a better, more focused candidate with a better organization in a deep red state. Abbott has both experience running successful, high-profile statewide races, has a solid record of achievement as Attorney General, and unquestioned conservative credentials. I’ve seen Abbott work a room in person, and he’s very good at it. He has all Rick Perry’s strengths and none of his weaknesses. He came into the campaign with a hfty warchest and continues to raise money at a record pace.

    Wendy Davis, by contrast, is a photogenic white woman whose main claim to fame is her filibuster in support of unlimited late-term abortions. Davis had a fairly indifferent record as a State Senator, and called herself a Republican back in the 1990s. She has been fundraising at a more-than-respectable clip, and pulling in impressive amounts of out-of-state liberal special interest money. She probably has more enthusiasm at the liberal grassroots level than any statewide top-of-the-ticket candidate since Ann Richards. Her campaign has frequently seemed very poorly organized, and indifferent or hostile to potentially friendly reporters. Her fibs about her life story and unconvincing flip-flops on guns and late-term abortions may have hurt here with swing voters, but don’t appear to have dampened the enthusiasm of her liberal base. She’s aided in her campaign by Battleground Texas, a well-funded attempt to “turn Texas blue” by registering more Democrats.

    Obviously, Abbott is going to win the Republican nomination, and, despite her many stumbles, Davis is going to win the Democratic nomination. Abbott is going to cream her in November.

    Now some race tidbits:

  • Abbott holds an 11 point leader over Davis in the latest polls.
  • Gregg Abbott raised $2.5 million in the latest filing period, and has $30 million cash on hand.
  • In case you missed it before: Abbott outraised Davis 3-1 in January. Davis’ claimed advantage comes from counting Battleground Texas totals as her own.
  • Speaking of BattleGround Texas, did they break the law?

  • Abbott and the Texas Republican Party aren’t taking Battleground Texas efforts lying down. “Abbott…has 50 paid staff members doing grass-roots outreach.”
  • Davis’ actual campaign finance report
  • Greg Abbott on ObamaCare.
  • Ted Nugent apologizes.
  • For all her walkback on late-term abortions, it’s still the pro-abortion crowd who is giving Wendy Davis the big bucks.
  • “Wendy Davis is no Ann Richards.” To be fair, Ann Richards wasn’t really Ann Richards either, but she was a whole lot better at faking it
  • Davis gets a New York Times Magazine profile
  • …which the hard left complains is insufficiently sensitive to radical feminist language demands.
  • Pull The Other One, Wendy

    Thursday, February 6th, 2014

    Normally I would applaud a member of the Democratic Party supporting Second Amendment rights. But Wendy Davis supporting open carry?

    Right. Pull the other one.

    After all, this is the same Wendy Davis who voted against concealed carry by authorized CHL holders on college campuses, keeping Texas campuses fictive “gun free zones.” She also tried to do what Austin is trying to do: force gun shows to impose additional background checks on private citizens.

    The fact that Davis hasn’t been universally opposed to gun rights may be explained by the fact that she’s a state senator in Texas, one with significant suburban and rural constituents and who only won her last election with 51% of the vote and thus one for which a hard-left gun control position would be a career-ending exercise. It’s also possible that, like Arlen Specter, another former Republican, she may have no fixed political positions whatsoever beyond the belief she should hold political office (or perhaps none beyond support for unlimited abortion).

    Davis’ open carry pander is the worst kind of pander for a politician: a ham-handed, ineffective and incompetent one. Since Davis is already running as a liberal darling, and Abbott has already embraced open carry, there’s no chance this move will win her real converts among single-issue Second Amendment supporters, but a very real chance it will alienate her national liberal fundraising base.

    Wendy Davis is a credible leader on Second Amendment rights the way Danny DeVito is a credible NBA center.