Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

“Greg Abbott Shatters Record, Reports $35.59 Million Cash on Hand for Campaign”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

That’s the title of the press release the Abbott campaign just sent out. Details from that release:

  • $35.59 million cash on hand for the fundraising period ending on June 30th – the highest cash on hand amount ever reported by a Texas candidate.
  • Since January 1st of this year, Texans for Greg Abbott has raised $16.6 million.
  • For the current reporting period running from February 23rd-June 30th, Abbott reported raising $11.1 million.
  • Greg Abbott’s fundraising is coming from Texas: 95 percent of Abbott’s contributions came from within the state.
  • That last line is a direct jab at Wendy Davis’ Hollywood fundraising trips. The farther she goes from Texas, the more they like her…

    The fat lady isn’t just warming up, she’s already striding out on stage in full Valkyrie gear…

    Aftershocks From Eric Cantor’s Defeat

    Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

    Pretty much everyone on both sides of the mediasphere/punditocracy was shocked by last night’s defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor by David Brat.

    Here’s a quick roundup on thoughts and reactions to Cantor’s defeat:

  • If David Dewhurst’s flailing campaigns hadn’t already destroyed consensus wisdom that money is everything in a political race, Brat’s vitory provides further confirmation. “As of mid-May, Brat had raised only about $200,000, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Cantor raised more than $5.4 million for this election cycle.”
  • Indeed, Cantor’s campaign spent almost as much on steakhouses as Brat spent on his entire campaign.
  • Erick Erickson:

    The media will play up Cantor’s loss by claiming it was about immigration. They will be wrong, but it will be useful for the rest of us. Immigration reform is now DOA in the House of Representatives thanks to David Brat.

    But Cantor really did not lose because of immigration alone. Immigration was the surface reason that galvanized the opposition to Cantor, but the opposition could not have been galvanized with this issue had Cantor been a better congressman these past few years.

    He and his staff have repeatedly antagonized conservatives. One conservative recently told me that Cantor’s staff were the “biggest bunch of a**holes on the Hill.” An establishment consultant who backed Cantor actually agreed with this assessment. That attitude moved with Cantor staffers to K Street, the NRSC, and elsewhere generating ill will toward them and Cantor. Many of them were perceived to still be assisting Cantor in other capacities. After Cantor’s loss tonight, I got a high volume of emails from excited conservatives, but also more than a handful of emails from those with establishment Republican leanings all expressing variations on “good riddance.”

    Cantor’s constituent services moved more toward focusing on running the Republican House majority than his congressional district. K Street, the den of Washington lobbyists, became his chief constituency.

    “Cantor lost his race because he was running for Speaker of the House of Representatives while his constituents wanted a congressman.”

  • Erickson also says the race is a good indication of why conservatives should forget about the American Conservative Union congressional rankings:

    The American Conservative Union has long been a mouthpiece of the Republican Establishment and in the past few years has basically been K-Street’s conservatives. Their scorecard reflects the Republican-ness of a member of congress far more than the conservativeness of a member of congress. Just consider that Mitch McConnell was considered more conservative in 2012 than either Jim DeMint or Tom Coburn.

    In contrast to the American Conservative Union, Heritage Action for America takes a more comprehensive approach to its scorecard, it does not try to help Republican leadership look good, and is a better barometer of a congressman’s conservativeness. The ACU had Eric Cantor at a 95%. Heritage Action for America has him at 53%.

  • And as long as I’m quoting Erickson:

  • Constituent: Why we fired Eric Cantor:

    Because [Cantor] didn’t have to worry too much about getting re-elected every two years, his political ambition was channeled into rising through the hierarchy of the House leadership. Rise he did, all the way up to the #2 spot, and he was waiting in the wings to become Speaker of the House.
    The result was that Cantor’s real constituency wasn’t the folks back home. His constituency was the Republican leadership and the Republican establishment. That’s who he really answered to.

    Guess what? Folks in the seventh district figured that out.

    Snip.

    That, ladies and gentlemen, was Eric Cantor: the soul of an establishment machine politician, with the “messaging” of the small-government conservatives grafted uneasily on top of it.

    So yes, you can now tear up all those articles pronouncing the death of the Tea Party movement, because this is the essence of what the Tea Party is about: letting the establishment know that they have to do more than offer lip service to a small-government agenda, that we expect them to actually mean it. Or as Dave Brat put it in one of his frenzied post-victory interviews, “the problem with the Republican principles is that nobody follows them.”

  • Mickey Kaus, who probably did more than any other pundit to defeat Cantor, points to the importance of illegal alien amnesty as the decisive issue in the race:

    I would have settled for his challenger, Dave Brat, getting more than 40%. I was all ready to (legitimately) spin that as a warning shot across Cantor’s bow. Instead, Brat went and actually beat Cantor–decisively, by 10 points, 55% to 45%. He and his campaign manager Zachary Werrell obviously ran a very effective race with minimal resources–against Cantor’s millions. Independent anti-Cantor actors like the We Deserve Better group — and various local conspiracies we don’t even know about — probably played a role as well.

    But the main issue in the race was immigration. It’s what Brat emphasized, and what his supporters in the right wing media (Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin) emphasized. It’s the charge Cantor defended against—by conceding the issue and posing as a staunch amnesty opponent. But Cantor had signed onto the GOP’s pro-amnesty “principles” and endorsed a poll-tested but irresponsibly sweeping amnesty for children (a “founding principle” of the country, he said). Brat opposed all this, even as illegal immigrant children were surging across the border in search of a Cantor-style deal.

    Brat won this immigration debate. Cantor lost. It’s basically that simple.

    Kaus also notes that it puts a stake in the heart of MSM “Republicans are really OK with amnesty” BS.

  • What does it mean for House leadership?

    Those conservatives, suddenly smelling blood in the water, might now be emboldened to push for a wholesale change in leadership—ousting Boehner and McCarthy in this November’s conference elections, and entering the next Congress with a new top three.

    “It should frighten everyone in leadership,” one conservative House Republican, who exchanged text messages on condition of anonymity, said shortly after Cantor’s defeat was official. “They haven’t been conservative enough. We’ve told them that for 3 years. They wouldn’t listen.”

    The GOP lawmaker added: “Maybe they will listen now.”

  • Cantor’s internal polling (conducting by the McLaughlin Group) showed him up by 34%, when he actually lost by 10 points. I guess McLaughlin failed to note the results were +/-44 points. That’s some mighty fine polling methodology you have going on there, John…
  • Debunking myths about Cantor’s defeat. It wasn’t a low-turnout election, and Democrats didn’t provide the margin of victory.
  • Brat on his victory: “Dollars do not vote. You do!”

  • Brat offers Washington insiders a lesson in humility. Bonus: “The 10th Amendment is the big one; the Constitution has enumerated powers belonging to the federal government. All the rest of the powers belong to the states and the people.”
  • A look at David Brat’s theological writings, which cover Christian Libertarian ground. Warning: Hitler (but not in a Godwin’s Law sense).
  • Eric Cantor Goes Down in Flames; Will He Take Amnesty With Him?

    Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

    Tonight is primary night in Virginia, and in Virginia’s 7th congressional district, and with 75% of districts reporting, House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor is losing to underfunded tea Party challenger David Brat by about 56% to 44%.

    Cantor used to be a reliable conservative, but the overwhelming issue in this race was Cantor’s support for the thin “Dream Act” wedge of illegal alien amnesty. Republican voters, blue collar workers and Americans in general have stated over and over again they’re opposed to illegal alien amnesty, but Democrats, big business lobbyists, certain Hispanic groups and squishy establishment GOP moderates keep pushing it.

    Attention all Republican office holders everywhere: Supporting illegal alien amnesty is a career-ending move.

    Also, it appears that reports of the Tea Party’s death have been greatly exaggerated…

    Ted Cruz Addresses the 2014 Texas Republican Convention

    Saturday, June 7th, 2014

    Ted Cruz spoke to the Texas Republican Convention yesterday. Since I suspect most of you didn’t have a chance to catch the livestream, here it is in handy YouTube form. Includes considerable criticism of Obama’s foreign policy (or lack thereof).

    Consider this a “Hey, it’s the weekend, here’s something vaguely resembling content” post.

    Why Won’t Zombie Amnesty Die?

    Friday, May 23rd, 2014

    Pretty much every week brings the same set of stories over and over again:

  • One person says that illegal alien amnesty is dead for the current election cycle.
  • News bubbles up that mainstream Republican leadership is still trying to find a way to shove illegal alien amnesty down conservatives’ throats.
  • This week’s example of the first comes from Pennsylvania congressman Lou Barletta (who I donated to in the 2010 election cycle, when he retired Stupac-block flipper Paul Kanjorski) has an editorial stating that immigration reform is dead for now due to the news that “the Obama administration had released more than 36,000 illegal immigrants who had been convicted of other crimes.”

    The thousands of illegal immigrants released from custody had been found guilty of a total of almost 88,000 crimes, including 116 homicides, 43 counts of voluntary manslaughter and one classified as “homicide-willful kill-public official-gun.” Throw in thousands of drunken driving convictions and other crimes, and the picture is clear that these inmates were not simply in custody for their most basic crime: being illegally present in this country. Yet they were released into the neighborhoods of America, supposedly having paid their debt to our society and sent along their way. This should be appalling to anyone who cares about the rule of law or public safety.

    This week’s example of the second comes in the form of Obama Administration capo Valerie Jarrett claiming that she has a “commitment” from House Republican Speaker John Boehner to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” (that is to say illegal alien amnesty) after the elections.

    Could she be lying? Of course. She is, after all, an Obama Administration official; it seems to be part of their job description. But given that Boehner has previously told his own donors he’s “hellbent” on getting it done this year, and since Majority Leader Eric Cantor still remains vocal in supporting amnesty, I think it’s a lot more likely she’s telling the truth.

    Remember, as Mickey Kaus continues to observe, the trick is to get any piece of immigration reform passed in the House so the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill (including amnesty) can be tacked on in the joint committee and rammed through the House with Democratic votes.

    Amnesty is opposed not only by the majority of Americans, but by the overwhelming majority of blue collar workers, conservatives, and Republicans. Zombie amnesty refuses to die because Republican business supporters have an insatiable hunger for cheap labor and 2012 spooked the establishment into full blown hispanicing.

    As the Barletta piece shows, the Obama Administration refuses to deport convicted murders and rapists when they have an excuse not to. Does anyone even remotely believe they would actually enforce any immigration agreement, much less one promising “amnesty now, enforcement later”? Trusting the Obama Administration to obey an inconvenient law is like trusting Vladamir Putin to obey an inconvenient treaty.

    Everyone should call your U.S. congressional representative to remind them that there can be no immigration reform until we have an Presidential Administration who is actually willing to obey they law, which won’t occur until 2017. And Republicans should never sign off on another “amnesty now, enforcement later” bill ever again.

    Conservatives should refuse to donate a dime to establishment outfits like the NRCC until Boehner and Cantor publicly give up on passing any immigration bill until Obama leaves office.

    Finally, every Democratic “War on Women” ad should be met with one asking “Why is Obama furloughing illegal alien rapists?” This is ready-made attack ad fodder for anyone willing to ignore the tut-tuting and name-calling of MSM liberals, who will inevitably denounce such ads as racist because they know they work. (Just ask Michael Dukakis.)

    Take the fight to the enemy.

    More Signs of “Dewhurst Disgust”

    Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

    More fallout from Jerry Patterson’s release of Dan Patrick’s mental health information from the 1980s to aid David Dewhurst.

    David Jennings of Big Jolly Politics, who was notable for being perhaps the only conservative blogger in Texas to back David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz in 2012, has declared that “the despicable attacks on Sen. Dan Patrick make me sick.”

    I’m sickened by the type of attacks that the guy I support, David Dewhurst, has put out in the last two months. The worst possible thing he could have done was take on Jerry Patterson and let him have control of his campaign, which is why I coined the term “Dewtterson”…. You don’t have to support Dan or vote for him to know that what the Dewtterson campaign, along with one compliant media outlet, has done to Dan is just plain wrong.

    (Hat tip: Push Junction.)

    The Dallas Morning News, also not Dan Patrick fans, have said that Patterson and Dewhurst say the latest developments “scrape moral bottom.”

    The Houston Chronicle joins in: “Dewhurst should be ashamed. This pathetic attempt at attacking a political opponent scrapes the bottom of the barrel.”

    Lynn Woolery is moderating a Dewhurst/Patrick debate in Salado tonight, and has a list of questions that (thankfully) focus entirely on current events, rather than things that happened in the 1980s.

    In other Lt. Governor’s race news:

  • Patrick announced he’s raised $4 million between February 23 and last week. Patrick also spent “$3.75 million on statewide media advertising and says he has $400,000 in cash remaining before the May 27 runoff.”
  • Missed this earlier: Ron Paul endorses David Dewhurst. Unlike other recent Dewhurst endorsements, that one might actually give him a point or two, or at least prompt another look from the Paul faithful.
  • Ugly Campaign Against Dan Patrick Gets Uglier

    Monday, May 19th, 2014

    Someone should contact the David Dewhurst campaign and inform them the the calendar doesn’t read 1989 anymore.

    There’s been yet another attack on Dan Patrick dating (like all Dewhurst’s attacks) from the golden age of hair metal. After Jerry Patterson endorsed David Dewhurst, he released documentation to reporters indicating Patrick sought hospitalization for depression.

    It’s impossible for an outsider to determine whether Patterson released the records on his own against Dewhurst’s wishes or whether Dewhurst is using the time-honored method of using surrogates to do his dirty work. However, the revelations obviously fit into the overall Team Dewhurst “stuck in the 1980s” attack strategy.

    So ham-handed and irrelevant are these latest attacks on Patrick that even people who aren’t wild about him are turned off by the tactics. “If anything, David Dew­hurst is only ensuring that Dan Patrick will win by a larger margin than he might have otherwise.”

    Even before the mental health revelations, Evan of Perry vs. World said that David Dewhurst did not deserve re-election This is significant in that he has been very critical of Dan Patrick throughout the campaign.

    In some future political science class, Dewhurst’s 2012 campaign against Ted Cruz and 2014 campaign against Dan Patrick are going to be dissected as outstanding examples of how not do negative advertising…

    Adventures in Painful Advertising: David Dewhurst Edition

    Thursday, May 8th, 2014

    Ah, Team Dewhurst: Find an issue no one cares about, then run it into the ground. Their latest attack ad (or attack viral video) doubles down on all the unsuccessful attacks in his previous ads.

    “Hey, let’s take a popular Disney song and ruin it! That will get people to vote for us!” Buzzfeed wonders if it’s the worst political attack ad of all time.

    Dan Patrick has been a state senator since 2007. If Team Dewhurst has made an ad actually attacking that record, rather than Patrick’s business dealings in the 1980s, I haven’t seen it.

    It’s like no one on the Dewhurst team actually understood why the Cruz team flash ads were so effective in the 2012 race. Hint: They made you chuckle rather than cringe.

    I can’t think of another campaign team that spends so much time and money on ineffective attack ads as Team Dewhurst. It’s becoming more and more obvious that Buddy Barfield wasn’t the biggest problem with Dewhurst’s 2012 campaign…

    A Look at the Dewhurst/Patrick Runoff

    Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

    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:

  • Jerry Patterson tried using it in the primary, and it got him nowhere.
  • The idea that a restaurant or club owner in Houston might have hired illegal alien help shocks absolutely no one these days.
  • While if true, it does show a certain amount of hypocrisy on Patrick’s part, the charge is stale enough, and documentation of it so scanty, that I don’t see it being a successful line of attack for Dewhurst.
  • 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:

  • Patterson endorses David Dewhurst. That’s a good pickup for Dewhurst (certainly a lot better than the Craig James endorsement in the 2012 Senate race), but I don’t think it moves the needle.
  • Dewhurst picks up the endorsements of Battleground Tea Party of Texas (who I don’t know much about, except they’re from the Clear Lake area) and the Pearland Tea Party.
  • 1980s Savings and Loan scandal figure W. Harold Sellers was involved in helping Patrick buy a radio station. Patrick says he didn’t know about Sellers loan issues, which were eventually settled.
  • I’d love to bring you news on this race that doesn’t revolve around business decisions in the 1980s, but I’m not seeing much…
  • Texas Lt. Governor’s Debate Tonight at 7 PM

    Friday, May 2nd, 2014

    Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst will be debating tonight at 7 PM.

    Dewhurst trailed Patrick badly in the Lt. Governor primary, so he has the most to gain from a good showing. Unfortunately for him, his debates with Ted Cruz showed him to be a bad debater. Unless he’s managed to radically improve his debating skills, this could be the final nail in his coffin…