Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

Republican Leadership’s Zombie Amnesty Crawls Out of Grave

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Like a dog returning to its sick, Republican leadership just can’t keep away from illegal alien amnesty.

First we hear that “Speaker John Boehner and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they aim to pass immigration legislation this year.”

Illegal alien amnesty is unpopular with American workers, American voters, and Republicans, and yet the GOP leadership can’t seem to give up its suicidal longing for it.

Now comes word that Republicans are trying to slip an amnesty provision into a defense appropriations bill. Though the bill is narrowly tailored, amnesty opponent Mickey Kaus lays out its real purpose:

[Rep. Jeff] Denham’s amendment isn’t about helping a few patriotic DREAMers. It’s about getting an immigration bill–any immigration bill–to the Senate where Democrats led by Senators Reid and Schumer can expand it by adding as much of the massive Gang of 8 amnesty as possible.

Also, don’t be fooled by Rep. Eric Cantor’s protestations that Obama’s actions have put him off amnesty; all insider reports have him as pushing for some form of “down payment” on illegal aalien amnesty this year, be it Denham’s amendment or some other camel’s nose under the tent.

I urge you to contact your Representatives and Senators a remind them that no form of illegal alien amnesty is acceptable, and that no immigration-related bills should be passed at all until the federal government starts enforcing existing immigration law and securing the border.

I also urge you to print this out and send it back to the RNC or RHCC they next time they ask you for campaign contributions.

Ben Carson for President: Save Your Money

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I’ve been getting a lot of political solicitations this year, one of which came from the Draft Ben Carson for President campaign.

Since this is now a real thing (run by a John Philip Sousa IV) collecting real money, I would like to do my part to quash it.

Ben Carson is an impressive person with a compelling life story, but giving money to this particular cause is a bad idea, for numerous reasons:

  • Carson himself has said he’s not running.
  • As impressive as Carson is, he’s never held or run for political office. The Presidency of the United States of America is not an entry-level position. Potential Presidential candidates should run for and win at least one high profile office before running for President*. Carson has not done that, though I’d love to see him run for Governor of Maryland.
  • There are no shortage of potential first-tier conservative Republican candidates for 2016: Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Rick Perry are all far more credible and experienced candidates than Carson.
  • The idea that MSM would “go easy” on Carson because he’s black is bunk. Were he to somehow become the nominee, he would instantly become a threat to their narrative, and I suspect the attacks we’d see on his history, character, etc., would probably make those against Sarah Palin in 2008 look mild by comparison.
  • Money is fungible. Every dollar you give to Draft Ben Carson is a dollar that could be spent defeating Democratic Senators or Congressmen this year.
  • The only thing donating to the Draft Ben Carson campaign will accomplish is to pad the bank accounts of political consultants and direct mail specialists.

    Though I think we can all agree that Ben Carson would be a dynamite choice for Surgeon General…


    *This requirement is optional for any candidate that kicked Adolf Hitler into the dustbin of history.

    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.
  • Reports of the Tea Party’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

    Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

    There have been a lot of wishful thinking thumbsucker pieces from liberal media outlets proclaiming that the Tea Party is done, finished, a spent force. (Here’s an example.)

    And indeed, those looking only at some top-line races in Texas (like Katrina Pierson’s failed attempt to take down Pete Sessions) might find tend to agree.

    However, a look at all the races (including many down-ballot) shows that the Tea Party is alive and well.

    Start at Lt. Governor. Dan Patrick says he followed the Ted Cruz blueprint and leaned heavily on the Tea Party. “If you have a candidate who will work and at least enough resources to fund a statewide race then and you have the credentials, the tea party will bring you to victory.”

    Texans for Fiscal Responsibility’s Michael Quinn Sullivan sees conservative victories up and down the ballot:

  • The most liberal Republican in the Texas Senate lost.
  • Conservative ranks in the Senate are swelling.
  • Every House conservative won re-election (with re-enforcements coming from the open-seat races).
  • House incumbents affiliated with Speaker Joe Straus lost big.
  • Statewide races saw the TFR-backed candidates earning commanding leads going into run-offs.
  • Sullivan goes on to cite Don Huffines defeating John Carona, Brooks Landgraf defeating Austin Keith, and the defeats of Straus allies Bennett Ratliff, Ralph Sheffield, Linda Harper-Brown, Diane Patrick and Lance Gooden.

    This AP piece touts Tea Party success in Texas, but is lamentably short on details.

    Even liberal fossil Paul Burka says that “If there was a clear winner in last night’s election, it was the tea party,” noting the defeats of Joe Straus allies Harper-Brown and Ratliff.

    So too at the national level. The enthusiastic response to Sarah Palin’s speech and other Tea Party favorites shows that the movement is far from dead.

    Which is not to say huge obstacles don’t remain. The Tea Party still hasn’t built up their financial networks enough to reliably take on big-money incumbents, and even in Texas, previous Tea Party gains were insufficient to wrest the Speakership from Straus (who just spent $2,578,942.72 to retain a job that pays $7,200 a year). But the Tea Party movement is still very much alive and kicking, much to the chagrin of RINOS, democrats and the media…

    Hilderbran Withdraws, Hegar Advances

    Friday, March 7th, 2014

    When last we checked, Glenn Hegar was on the edge of winning the Republican nomination for Comptroller outright, but he ended up garnering a frustrating 49.99% of the vote.

    Thankfully, primary opponent Harvey Hilderbran has aceeded to reality and announced he’s withdrawing from the race, saving everyone a lot of money and effort for contesting a race that was already a foregone conclusion.

    Hegar will face (and most likely obliterate) Democrat Mike Collier in November.

    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.
  • Dan Patrick Beating David Dewhurst Soundly

    Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

    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…

    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.
  • Pete Sessions vs. Katrina Pierson: Super-Brief Race Update

    Monday, March 3rd, 2014

    I haven’t been covering the primary race between incumbent Pete Sessions and Tea Party favorite Katrina Pierson for a couple of reasons. First, it’s not my district. Second, when it comes to incumbent Republicans drifting too far left, Sessions (with an ACU rating of 97%) doesn’t even rank among the top 100. Even though I was on the other side of the battle over defunding ObamaCare. I didn’t regard inter-party tactical disagreement as a reason for excommunication.

    However, a lot of news has been popping up on the race:

  • First, Sarah Palin endorsed Pierson, which is a huge, huge boost for her. Unfortunately, it came fairly late in the primary season, making it difficult for Pierson to capitalize on it for fundraising. The fact that Pierson has also been endorsed by Freedomworks, Rafael Cruz and Instapundit Glenn Reynolds won’t hurt either.
  • Pierson rasied over $68,000 this year, which is not chicken feed, but is pretty low to take out an incumbent with over $1 million cash on hand.
  • Then it came to light that Sessions doesn’t actually live in the district:

  • But in the weirdest twist, Sheriff Joe Arpaio endorsed Pierson, then unendorsed her later the same day and endorsed Sessions, saying Pierson has misled him about Sessions being a supporter of illegal alien amnesty. (You would think Sheriff Joe would do a bit of research before offering an endorsement.)
  • Will the Arpaio kerfuffle blunt her momentum? Maybe, but Sessions more than 10-1 fundraising advantage will be a much steeper obstacle to overcome against an entrenched incumbent…

    Interview With Texas Lt. Governor Candidate Jerry Patterson

    Saturday, March 1st, 2014

    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.