Posts Tagged ‘Rick Perry’

UT Scandal May Pull Down President Bill Powers

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Evidently the slow-burning University of Texas admissions scandal will finally cost President Bill Powers his job. “UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa has told Powers, 68, to resign before Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Regents or be fired during it.”

I doubt Powers counteroffer to step down in 2015 will be accepted. (I do wonder what makes Houston Chronicle writer Benjamin Wermund proclaim that Powers is “widely supported by students”? Has he seen polls on Powers popularity on students? (Online petitions don’t count) I would think they would be more concerned with lowering tuition costs than support a President resisting calls to lower them.)

Which is not to say that Powers backers are giving up. Instead, they’re lashing out at the board of regents:

The more angry and indignant among the petition signers seem to think some organized debate about UT and its president is going forth, and that their champion is, unfairly, of course, getting the worst of it. It would be an odd thing to think. There isn’t anything like a public debate about Bill Powers going forward. There’s rancor and division — nearly all of it coming from the side that professes to despise rancor and division, the Powers side.

The admissions scandal has been building for some time on Powers’ watch. (Nor is it the only problem under Powers.) Instead of investigating it and fixing the problem, Powers decided the best move was to have his political friends attempt to impeach regent Wallace Hall in order to quash his investigation while Powers’ supporters launched an Astroturf campaign on his behalf that’s included no end of MSM editorials praising Powers while attacking Hall and Governor Perry for daring to hold him accountable.

The university academic complex evidently believe that they’re a special kind of hothouse flower that should be immune to all political pressure, with a right to public funding but not to public accountability. Powers has constantly resisted calls to make college more affordable, and to be more accountable to the Board of Regents who oversee his work and the state government that pays his bills.

It seems that Powers will be the latest official to learn that pride goeth before a fall.

Final Statewide Race Runoff Update

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Tomorrow is the Texas primary runoff, so now would be a good time to find your voting card and confirm your polling place.

A final roundup of runoff tidbits:

  • The Dallas Morning News says that Dan Patrick is poised to win due to his staunch opposition to illegal immigration. Oversimplified, but not entirely wrong. They also say Patrick has done a good job connecting with Ted Cruz supporters.
  • The end for Dewhurst draws nigh.
  • Dan Branch would have raised more money for the Attorney General race than Ken Paxton…were it not for the $1 million loan from Midland oilman Tim Dunn via Empower Texans PAC. Now you see why so many liberal reporters call Michael Quinn Sullivan the most powerful figure in Texas politics.
  • Talk show host Dana Loesch endorses Paxton. Less a move-the-needle endorsement than a reminder that conservatives are united on Paxton’s side.
  • Hey, that union Branch lobbied for totally wasn’t a member of the AFL-CIO…at least when he lobbied for it.
  • Governor Rick Perry took the unusual step of endorsing Sid Miller for Agriculture Commissioner over Tommy Merritt.
  • Some controversy over Miller’s campaign loan repayments.
  • On the Democrat side of the Ag Commissioner runoff, Kinky Friedman is running against an invisible opponent. “In the May 27 runoff the choice for the party’s faithful is either Friedman or Jim Hogan, a former dairy farmer who hasn’t campaigned for the office or even has a campaign website…Hogan could not be reached for comment because a phone number listed under his name was out of service and the Democratic Party of Texas did not respond to a request for other contact information.” Also, win or lose, Kinky said this is his last race.
  • Hogan seems to be taking a very Zen approach to campaigning.
  • One website has tried to fill the Jim Hogan void.
  • Here’s a Texas Tribune piece on the runoff between rich guy David Alameel and Larouchite Kesha Rogers for the Democratic Senate nomination. Fun as it would be to see Rogers upset Alameel, I don’t see it in the cards.
  • Finally, just in case you were unclear, Texas Monthly‘s Paul Burka is very upset that Republican primary voters continue to prefer actual Republicans over Republicans who act like Democrats once in office.
  • Here is who I will be voting for tomorrow (all of whom I expect to win):

  • Dan Patrick for Lt. Governor
  • Ken Paxton for Attorney General
  • Sid Miller for Agriculture Commissioner
  • Wayne Christian for Railroad Commissioner
  • Texas vs. California Update for March 24, 2014

    Monday, March 24th, 2014

    In California, I would say that March Madness is ignoring the looming pension crisis, except that madness extends to every other month as well…

  • Where is income inequality worst in the U.S.? Well, for one thing, in California:

    Perhaps no place is inequality more evident than in the rural reaches of California, the nation’s richest agricultural state. The Golden State is now home to 111 billionaires, by far the most of any state; California billionaires personally hold assets worth $485 billion, more than the entire GDP of all but 24 countries in the world. Yet the state also suffers the highest poverty rate in the country (adjusted for housing costs), above 23%, and a leviathan welfare state. As of 2012, with roughly 12% of the population, California accounted for roughly one-third of the nation’s welfare recipients.

    With the farm economy increasingly mechanized and industrial growth stifled largely by regulation, many rural Californians particularly Latinos, are downwardly mobile, and doing worse than their parents; native-born Latinos actually have shorter lifespans than their parents, according to a 2011 report. Although unemployment remains high in many of the state’s largest urban counties, the highest unemployment is concentrated in the rural counties of the interior. Fresno was found in one study to have the least well-off Congressional district.

    The vast expanse of economic decline in the midst of unprecedented, but very narrow urban luxury has been characterized as “liberal apartheid.” The well-heeled, largely white and Asian coastal denizens live in an economically inaccessible bubble insulated from the largely poor, working-class, heavily Latino communities in the eastern interior of the state.

  • The Myth of the California Renaissance:

    California also has the nation’s highest poverty rate and the most food stamp recipients, and policymakers have done little to address profligate spending, unfunded pensions, and ever-growing retiree health-care obligations.”

    Inland California, from Imperial in the south to Modoc in the north, remains one of the poorest regions in the nation. Though the state unemployment rate fell in February to 8.1 percent, inland unemployment ranges from 9.5 percent in Riverside to 25.9 percent in Colusa. Of the 20 counties in the United States with the largest unemployment rates, 11 are in California.

  • California only has the second highest taxes in the nation! Thank God for New York!
  • Unfavorable ballot language stymies a California pension reform effort
  • …but pension reform advocates are regrouping to make another push in 2016.
  • Indeed, pension reform will be the biggest issue for southern California voters this fall.
  • More on how government at the state and national level is destroying California agriculture in the name of protecting the Delta Smelt.
  • There’s speculation that California Governor Jerry Brown actually wants to see the illegal, underfunded, and ill-fated “bullet train to nowhere” die, he just doesn’t want to get the blame for killing it.
  • How Texas job growth has outpaced both the nation and California.
  • Occidental Petroleum is moving its headquarters to Houston and spinning off its California operations as a separate company.
  • Rick Perry raids again.
  • Telecom company Channell Commercial is relocating from Temecula, California to Rockwell, Texas. “Blaming California for an oppressive business climate for manufacturing growth, Channell said the costs to do business here have made expansion in this state no longer feasible.”
  • And I missed this story from last year on Chevron building a 50 story office building in Houston. That could mean the days of their California headquarters are numbered…
  • In Which Ace of Spades HQ Declares War on your 23″ Monitor to Show Why Wendy Davis Can’t Win

    Saturday, March 8th, 2014

    Ace of Spades, showing considerable time, effort, and a somewhat shaky grasp of MS Paint, has produced a single, superginormous .PNG that will annoy everyone without a 30″ Apple Cinema Display that shows, in great detail, why Wendy Davis is doomed.

    It’s essentially a color-coded county-by-county breakdown map of Texas that shows negligible voter growth in the most heavily Democratic counties since the Ann Richards—Clayton Williams gubernatorial election of 1990, while East Texas has flipped Republican and the big suburban Republican counties have grown tremendously as of the 2010 Rick Perry-Bill White gubernatorial election.

    “The GOP margin out of Montgomery Co ALONE almost completely negates that of the D’s in Harris, Travis, and Bexar Cos combined, falling just 1300 votes short!” [all sic from the PNG]

    For those outside the state who may not immediately twig to what that sentence is saying: A single suburban county north of Houston has enough of a Republican margin to negate the Democratic advantage in Houston, Austin and San Antonio combined.

    Red areas have gotten redder, blue areas have flipped red or gotten pink, even deep urban areas are less Democratic than they were two decades ago, and the few counties in the Rio Grande Valley who have stayed deep blue have barely added new voters.

    All that adds up to Wendy Davis being slaughtered in November.

    And Ace’s map only goes up to 2010. Since then, things have gotten even worse for Democrats.

    Hey Ace: Is there any reason you couldn’t have stacked the two Texas images vertically? Are you in the pay of the Big Monitor Lobby? Inquiring minds want to know!

    Rick Perry Comes Out For Marijuana Decriminalization

    Friday, January 24th, 2014

    Rick Perry has come out for marijuana decriminalization and for states rights on legalization (though he still opposes legalization himself).

    This makes Perry objectively more pro-legalization that former frequent choom-abuser Barack Obama.

    This will be a great surprise to people who know Perry only from the liberal caricature of him in their head, or who haven’t been following the intellectual debate among conservatives, which has leaned toward the “legalize it, regulate it and tax it” position for almost a quarter century now.

    Perry has been a staunch supporter of the Tenth Amendment and States Rights. To reiterate what I’ve said before, I oppose the War on Drugs for reasons of general principles (it’s not the purpose of government to save people from themselves), the specific application of constitutional federalism (the Commerce Clause should not apply to the regulation of drugs manufactured and sold within the confines of a single state), and for reasons of budgetary philosophy (making drugs illegal has expanded the size and power of the federal government while increasing the budget deficit; legalizing, regulating and taxing drugs would reduce both the deficit and the harm to individuals and society). My position is not uncommon among conservatives, Republicans, or members of the Tea Party.

    So liberals: Stop acting shocked when conservatives come out for decriminalization and legalization. The only reason it is a shock is that you refuse to listen.

    Magpul Moving Headquarters to Texas

    Friday, January 3rd, 2014

    When firearm magazine manufacturer Magpul announced they were leaving Colorado over knee-jerk magazine capacity legislation (funny how outlawing their perfectly legal product will sour a company on a state), most thought that Texas was a long-shot for them to relocate to, with Wyoming being a more likely destination.

    They were half right.

    Magpul is indeed relocating it’s manufacturing and distribution to Cheyenne, Wyoming, but they’re relocating their headquarters to Texas.

    According to the official press release:

    Magpul is moving its corporate headquarters to Texas. Three North Central Texas sites are under final consideration, and the transition to the Texas headquarters will begin as soon as the facility is selected. The Texas relocation is being accomplished with support from Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Economic Development Corporation.

    Man, what an idiot Rick Perry is! All he does is keep bringing jobs to the state!

    Perry has earned the right to crow a bit:

    “In Texas, we understand that freedom breeds prosperity, which is why we’ve built our economy around principles that allow employers to innovate, keep more of what they earn and create jobs,” Gov. Perry said. “I’m proud that Magpul is the latest employer to join the ranks of companies that call Texas home.”

    “Excessive government regulation undermines a culture based on personal responsibility and creates a detrimental business environment,” Magpul CEO Richard Fitzpatrick said. “Texas supports personal freedoms and our company will thrive in that environment.”

    Gov. Perry has reached out to more than 30 firearm manufacturers in states across the country that are considering restricting sales and manufacturing in the industry. Magpul cited the Lone Star State’s business-friendly environment, predictable regulations and consistent respect for the Second Amendment as key elements in its decision to relocate.

    Ted Cruz offers up a friendly Texas welcome as well:

    This follows Bold Ideas/Colt Competition moving moving to Texas from Oregon,

    All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

    As Little As I Can Possibly Write on Texas Constitutional Amendments

    Thursday, October 31st, 2013

    OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, since the least I could possibly write is nothing. But instead of trying to cover every bill, I’m going to point you at Blue Dot Blues, where the indefatigable MJ Samuelson is covering each amendment, so at least I don’t have to write much. Go over there and keep scrolling. Empower Texas also has a handy scorecard. I may disagree on an amendment or two, but not strongly.

    I do want to go ahead and urge a No vote on Proposition 6, which authorizes taking money out of the rainy day fund for various ill-defined water projects. This one is getting a big direct mail push from realtor and business PACs and is favored by Rick Perry, Joe Straus, Gregg Abbott and Wendy Davis. Opposing it is an odd coalition of fiscal conservatives and green party types, including Save Our Springs Austin. Some of what is covered is probably needed, but the rest has the smell of a construction boondoggle/slush fund. And what is needed should be allocated from the general fund, not raiding the rainy day fund.

    Arlene Wohlgemuth at TPPF has a bit more.

    The election is Tuesday, November 5th.

    Texas vs. California Update for October 8, 2013

    Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

    With budget issues occupying the nation, now’s time yet again to compare Texas’ successful Red State model with California’s failing Blue State model:

  • Like Detroit’s retirement fund (or Greek public servants), some retired Sacramento government employees were evidently used to receiving thirteen monthly checks a year. Now a federal judge has said enough.
  • People Stockton’s bankruptcy plan screws: creditors and taxpayers. And who won’t be required to take a haircut? CalPERS retirees.
  • Vallejo took much the same tack during their bankruptcy (higher taxes and no pension reform). Well, guess what? They’re broke again.
  • CalPERS isn’t the only underfunded California retirement system. There’s also CalSTRS, the teacher’s retirement system. “CalSTRS’ funding ratio falling to 67% in 2012 from 98% in 2001, well below the 80% considered fiscally sound.”
  • That might have something to do with the fact that 6,609 retirees receive more than $100,000 from CalSTARS annually.
  • CalPERS? 12,1999 receive more than $100,000 annually. Topped by Bruce Malkenhorst, of the corrupt city of Vernon, who pulled in more than a half-million annually, until the pension review board cut it back to a “mere” $115,000.
  • Big problems still loom for CalPERS.
  • “Regardless of what happens in bankruptcy court, California’s local governments, especially cities, are facing years, or even decades, of fiscal distress from rapidly rising pension costs.”
  • Marian County’s pension debt clocks in at a hefty $2.3 billion.
  • The California State Auditor’s own report can be read here:

    We believe the State continues to face eight other significant high-risk issues: the state budget, funding for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, funding retiree health benefits for state employees, funding for deteriorating infrastructure, ensuring a stable supply of electricity, workforce and succession planning, strengthening emergency preparedness, and providing effective oversight of the State’s information technology.

  • California’s new feudalism. “Like medieval serfs, increasing numbers of Californians are downwardly mobile, and doing worse than their parents.”
  • The 10 year anniversary of the Gray Davis recall. “We learned that the problem wasn’t just Davis and that simply changing who is governor wasn’t enough to make California government work. Schwarzenegger wasn’t a bad governor, but he failed to solve the state’s basic budget problems.”
  • With a wave of people signing up for ObamaCare, what is California to do? Why, obviously, cut Medicaid payouts!
  • Attention illegal aliens: Go to California if you want a driver’s license.
  • Al Jazeera headline: Tea party makes California inroads. Actual story: “For the first time, the tea party’s California caucus has a table at the state’s Republican fall convention.” That’s less an “inroad” than an “in-driveway”…
  • Rick Perry to California: “We don’t judge success on the number of people we have on public assistance.”
  • “Texas’ unemployment rate has now been lower than the national average, and California’s, for 80 consecutive months.”
  • Texas now has the best credit rating in the world.
  • “The Rainy Day Funds of Texas and Alaska alone are now larger than the stabilization funds of all other states combined.”
  • USAA is expanding in Plano.
  • 500 Republicans moving to Texas every day?
  • In non-political, Halloween-related California news, it’s tarantula mating season in California. Just in case you needed another reason to leave California…
  • Rick Perry Trounces Maryland Democratic Governor O’Malley on Crossfire

    Thursday, September 19th, 2013

    Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on Crossfire yesterday, and by all reports he got the better of Maryland Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley.

    Though not all of the episode appears to be on YouTube yet, you can judge for yourself based on what is available.

    Some fact checking here.

    Texas vs. California Update for September 18, 2013

    Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

    Time for another Texas vs. California update:

  • CalPERS decides commoners are unworthy of knowing what their betters in the California state retiree system get paid.
  • New California law to shield pedophiles in teacher’s unions in California each year, seven to eight times as much sexual misconduct takes place in public schools as in the Catholic Church.
  • I’ve often thought Texas would consider doing this: Nevada gives mentally ill tickets to California.
  • You know all those pieces on how “California is back?” Yeah, not so much.
  • Because other states just aren’t getting enough businesses fleeing California, they’re moving to hike the minimum wage again.
  • Sacramento Convention Center loses $218 million over 14 years.
  • California bends over backwards to prevent jailed illegal aliens from being deported.
  • What it’s like living in bankrupt Stockton: “Anderson called the police recently after a boy was shot riding his bike down the alley that runs alongside her home. It took them four hours to show up.”
  • Judge rejects CalPERS, allows San Bernardino’s bankruptcy to proceed. Naturally CalPERS is incensed that their golden pension goose could be cooked along with everyone else.
  • California toll road agency misses overly optimistic projections, may have to declare bankruptcy. “The Foothill-Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency, which operates 39 miles (63 kilometers) of toll highways in Orange County, risks default on $2.4 billion in debt.”
  • Rick Perry goes fishing for new businesses to relocate to Texas in Maryland.
  • Also Missouri, where the Democratic governor just vetoed a tax cut.