Another month down! here’s one final LinkSwarm to finish off July:
Posts Tagged ‘Kay Bailey Hutchison’
Democrats won’t be able to launch partisan witch hunts against statewide Republican officeholders from the Travis County Prosecutor’s Office anymore, as Governor Greg Abbott has signed the bill stripping oversight of the statewide Public Integrity Unit from the Travis County prosecutor’s office
“Under House Bill 1690, the Public Integrity Unit would be shifted from Travis County to the Texas Rangers – part of the Department of Public Safety – which would take charge of investigating alleged corruption among public officials. District attorneys from the home county of the accused would prosecute the cases.”
Travis County Democrats in general, and District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg in particular, have only themselves to blame. Both Lehmberg and equally partisan predecessor Ronnie Earle have pursued vindictive and flat-out-fraudulent cases against Republican officeholders, from Rep. Tom Delay (accused of violating a law that hadn’t been enacted at the time, and whose conviction was overturned and converted into an outright acquittal) to Kay Bailey Hutchison.
But it was Rosemary Lehmberg’s actions that pretty much sealed the fate of the Public Integrity Unit. The video of following her DUI arrest (when she decided that rolling around Austin with an open bottle of vodka in the car and a blood alcohol level of .239 would just be a swell idea) lead to Governor Rick Perry demand for her to resign. When she refused, Perry carried through with his threat to veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit, at which point the Travis County prosecutor’s office indicted Perry for using his constitutionally enumerated veto powers.
If it hadn’t been for Lehmberg’s poor judgment and criminal activity, and and the grossly partisan overreach of herself and Earle, the legislature would never have felt compelled to act.
Given the sterling reputation of the Texas Rangers, the unit is now in far better hands, and the move to their oversight takes effects September 1.
In addition to both Texas Senators (John Cornyn, who should have known better, and the retiring Kay Baily Hutchison, who came in like a lion and is going out like a RINO; thank God Ted Cruz is replacing her), four Republican Texas congressmen voted for the “Fiscal Cliff” tax hike deal:
All should have known better than to vote for a bill that contained $41 dollars in new taxes for every $1 in spending cuts, but the name Lamar Smith certainly sticks out thanks to such previous hits as “Hi, I’m a SOPA/PIPA Recording Industry Whore.” It’s no surprise, given the bill includes big tax breaks for Hollywood. I guess Smith is one of those politicians that stays bought.
All should expect primary challenges.
I’m happy to say that my own Representative, John Carter, voted against the bill.
I haven’t had time to read the entire bill yet, so I can’t tell you whether it’s merely bad or actively horrific…
I expect Ted Cruz to beat Paul Sadler handily (and here’s my endorsement of Cruz). Later today I hope to have a prediction up on just how well I expect him to do.
Proving that she’s become part of the problem, Kay Bailey Hutchison took Planned Parenthood’s side in the current funding dispute. It’s an object lesson in why, even if she hadn’t retired, Hutchison was no longer going to be a Senator after January 3, 2013. As Texas has gotten more conservative, Hutchison has gotten more liberal. And her argument that Planned Parenthood is vital to the Texas’ Women’s Health Program is bunk.
Not only should the U.S. government not be providing taxpayer funded abortions, they shouldn’t be subsidizing family planning services period, because it’s not the proper function of the federal government. The idea that Uncle Sam should dispense abortions and condoms is a recent one, and panders not only to big government feminism, but also (speaking of debunked) neo-Malthusian thinking and religious environmentalism. Defunding Planned Parenthood and its ilk should be an easy decision for both economic and religious conservatives. The fact that Hutchison is far more concerned with hoovering up federal dollars just goes to prove Rick Perry’s assertion in the 2010 gubernatorial race that “Washington changed Kay.”
There has long been grumbling about Hutchison not being conservative enough, but only in her last term did it become loud enough to ensure that somebody would launch a primary challenge against her; her suicidal attempt to bring down Perry in 2010 just hastened the process. (Why both she and another moderate Republican woman, Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn, both felt such burning animus toward Perry that each destroyed their careers in futile attempts to take him out is an interesting topic I don’t have enough insight on to address.)
Both Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann have proven that it’s possible to be elected as a strong conservative woman. It’s just a shame that Texas doesn’t have one as a U.S. senator.
Ace of Spades makes his case for Rick Perry here.
Since that piece came out December 19, it’s hardly cutting edge news. But I’ve been ruminating on it for a while to try and figure out if I have anything more to add. I think I do. And with the Iowa Caucuses looming, I probably should.
I haven’t covered much of the 2012 Presidential race, mainly because I’ve been focusing on the Texas Senate Race and everyone and their dog was blogging every twist in the POTUSA race.
Plus I don’t have cable, so I wouldn’t be able to watch the
interminable numerous debates.
Which is why I didn’t see Perry commit his brain freezes, of which there were many. (My theory is that he was still hopped up on goofballs from his back operation.)
Having lived in Texas for the entirety of Rick Perry’s tenure as governor, I can attest that he is not a perfect candidate. There have been times (Gardasil, the Trans-Texas Corridor) when he’s strayed from conservative principles. And he’s not as polished as Mitt Romney or as articulate as Newt Gingrich.
But Perry isn’t running against the second coming of Ronald Reagan, or even Sarah Palin. Every other major Republican contender is not only at least as flawed, they’re considerably more so.
By process of elimination, that leaves Perry. As I said before, Perry isn’t perfect, but he has a record on holding the line on government spending and enabling job creation that puts Romney to shame. One again, let’s go to the charts that the indispensable Will Franklin of Willisms has provided on Texas job creation:
And the case for Perry over Romney (again thanks to WILLisms) is even more stark:
More on the Texas job success story here.
While I have criticized Perry’s campaign budget proposals for being too timid, Perry insisted on balancing the Texas budget without tax hikes. I assure you that California would love to have Texas’ budget. Indeed, adjusted for inflation, population growth, and federally-mandated spending, the Texas state budget has actually gone down under Perry. His guiding principle has been “don’t spend all the money,” and it’s one that Washington desperately needs.
One final, very big reason to support Perry: He can win. Perry’s never lost a race, because he’s a tough and tenacious campaigner who’s not afraid to hit his opponents hard. Everyone thought Kay Bailey Hutchison was going to cream Perry in the 2010 governor’s race, and he beat her like a rented mule.
In the general election against Bill White, he ran an ad featuring a police widow talking about how her husband had been killed by a multi-arrested illegal alien while White was touting Houston as a “sanctuary city.”
Even professional MSM Perry hater Paul Burka says that Perry is a hard man. “He is the kind of politician who would rather be feared than loved.” Perry will have absolutely no fear of taking the fight to Obama and going negative early and often, and he won’t let political correctness cow him into treating Obama with kid gloves.
Will the media savage Rick Perry for his flubs? Of course they will. But, as Ace noted, they’ll always find a way to crucify any Republican candidate to make Obama look better. They’ll use the same “he’s an idiot” line of attack they used on Reagan and Bush43…and you so how far that got them.
If you’re still undecided on Perry, this video should at least give you a more rounded picture of him:
For those who think Perry is already out of the race, remember that at this point in 2004, the consensus was that Howard Dean was going to be the nominee. There’s a reason Americans actually get to vote, and they frequently prove the pundits wrong.
One final reason to vote for Perry: he’s a pretty good shot.
Trailing in polls, fundraising, name recognition, and stage presence, Elizabeth Ames Jones announced she’s dropping out of the Senate race to run for the Texas Senate District 25 against incumbent Sen. Jeff Wentworth.
Setting aside of the question of why you would want to move from the Railroad Commission to the State Senate (which seems like a slight downgrade to me), the Senate District 25 race already had one Tea Party challenger to Wentworth in Donna Campbell, who may find herself financially outgunned if Jones transfers her U.S. Senate race money. (Naturally, Wenworth wants Jones to return the money.) There have been mutterings in some quarters (at least stretching back to last decade’s redistricting fight) that Wentworth is too liberal for his district. Should all three stay in, this should prove to be a very interesting primary fight.
Clearly Jones was overdue to get out of the Senate race, and had been for some time. Not only were David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz firmly established as the top two candidates, but they and Tom Leppert were all clearly outperforming Jones in every phase of the campaign. From all that I could see, Jones performed poorly at the the various candidate debates and forums and fell woefully behind in the fundraising race. I think there was a much greater possibility that Jones could have come in behind long-shot Glenn Addison in the March primary than that she could overtake Cruz or Dewhurst.
Jones was the very first candidate to declare for the U.S. Senate race, filing her paperwork way back on November 3, 2008, but never seemed to gain any traction once additional candidates jumped in after Kay Baily Hutchison announced she was retiring.
This is good news for the Ted Cruz campaign, and bad news for David Dewhurst, since it gives Cruz a clearer shot at him. Dewhurst clearly has no desire to debate Cruz one-on-one, and the more candidates in the race, the less likely it is for conservative voters to coalesce around Cruz as the anti-Dewhurst campaign.
Now that Jones is out, will Leppert bow out as well? I doubt it. Though he clearly hasn’t caught fire, Leppert has (thanks to a generous measure of self-funding) stayed on pace with the front-runners in the fundraising derby, and he’s clearly a better campaigner, and has a much better organization, than Jones. My hunch says that he stays in until March, and then comes in a distant third. But there’s still an awful lot of campaign left…
And here’s part two of the Ted Cruz interview. Some interesting thoughts on Victor Carrillo’s loss in 2010, Republican acceptance of Hispanic candidates, and his record studying the Tenth Amendment, among others.
Now that half the fundraising year has passed, I wanted to take a look at how the funds raised this year compare to this point in years past.
Unfortunately, it’s been so long since there’s been a competitive regular Republican Senate primary in Texas (I’m discounting the special election of 1993 because it’s difficult to compare special elections to regular elections) that it’s hard to find a precedent for that side of the race. John Cornyn had no serious competition in 2002. Indeed, you’d have to go back to Beau Boulter vs. Wes Gilbreath in 1988 for a truly competitive regular Texas Republican senatorial primary. And the main FEC page doesn’t go back before 1999.
So let’s look at the Democratic side of the race, where there’s a lot more precedent for an open race. While my initial assessment of Ricardo Snachez’s $160,000 was it was about what you’d expect given his late start, it seems disappointing in light of what previous Democratic senatorial candidates were able to raise.
2008 Senate Race
For the 2008 race against John Cornyn, trail lawyer Mikal C. Watts had already raised over $3 million by July of 2007, mostly through self-funding. What, you never heard of Watts? That might be because, despite his financial firepower, he dropped out of the race before the primary. Why? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that letters came out showing him pressuring litigation targets to settle by bragging about how much money he had contributed to appellate judges who would hear the case:
“This court is comprised of six justices, all of whom are good Democrats,” Watts wrote. “The Chief Justice, Hon. Rogelio Valdez, was recently elected with our firm’s heavy support, and is a man who believes in the sanctity of jury verdicts.”
The letter goes on to name Justices Errlinda Castillo, Nelda Rodriguez, J. Bonner Dorsey, Federico Hinojosa and Linda Yanez, and says his firm also has financially supported them.
Strangely enough, this was seen as injuring his election chances, and he dropped out in October. Sanchez might take comfort in the fact that eventual Democratic nominee Rick Norgiega, didn’t even file his paperwork until July 11 of 2007, and that he eventually raised over $4 million. Or it would be comforting, if not for the fact that Cornyn raised $13 million and beat him by 12 percentage points despite the Obama wave in 2008.
2006 Senate Race
In the 2006 election cycle, eventual Democratic nominee (and yet another trial lawyer) Barbara Ann Radnofsky had already raised $355,218 by April 5, 2005. By July 5, 2005, she would amass a total of just under half a million dollars. By the time the race was done, she would raise just shy of $1.5 million, and, despite it being a Democratic wave election year, Kay Baily Hutchison would raise over $6 million and would wallop her 61.7% to 36%.
2002 Senate Race
Eventual Democratic nominee Ron Kirk didn’t even file his first campaign report until December 7, 2001, and still managed to raise over $9 million for the race. Kirk was part of the Democratic Party’s 2002 “Dream Team” along with Tony Sanchez and John Sharp: One black, one Hispanic, and one white all running serious, well-funded, top of the ticket campaigns in a year in which the party out of the White House usually does well. They all lost. Kirk did better than Sanchez (losing to Rick Perry), but worse than John Sharp (losing to David Dewhurst).
By the way, Tony Sanchez spent $60 million of his own money for the privilege of getting creamed by Rick Perry, who took over 60% of the vote, thus disproving two theories beloved by political consultants (money is everything, and the Hispanic vote will make Democrats in Texas competitive Real Soon Now) in one fell swoop.
Ricardo Sanchez’s military background gives him several distinct advantages other Democratic candidates have not had, but quick access to significant campaign funds is not among them. Certainly the pay for Lieutenant (three star) General in the united States Army isn’t chickenfeed (about $143,000 a year), but it’s far short of what he would need to self-finance his campaign. Financially, Sanchez’s campaign is going to suffer from him not being a trial lawyer, or, well, Ron Kirk, who was (and presumably still is) amazingly well-connected in both business and Democratic political circles.
Ricardo Sanchez is already behind where most recent Texas Democratic senatorial candidates were during this part of the fundraising cycle. And all of them lost.