Posts Tagged ‘Rick Perry’

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.
  • Burka Gets Kinky

    Thursday, July 25th, 2013

    Liberal fossil Paul Burka is peeved that Kinky Friedman might run for office again. “When Friedman ran for governor in 2006, he helped make it impossible for Rick Perry to lose in a four-way race. By helping to divide the vote among four candidates, he enabled Perry to win with a pitiful plurality of 39%. I have no doubt that Friedman’s intention was to help Perry.”

    Burka calls another possible Friedman run “sick comedy.”

    A few points:

    1. When Friedman jumped into the 2006 Governor’s race as an independent in early 2005, it wasn’t a four-way race. It only turned into one when Comptroller Carole Stewart Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn realized that Perry was going to slaughter her in the GOP primary and dropped out to run as an independent.

    2. Watching the race unfold, I didn’t get the impression Friedman was running to ensure Perry’s re-election, but A.) Because he thought it would be fun to run for governor (and maybe even fun to be elected governor), B.) He was dissatisfied with the status quo, and C.) Given Jesse Ventura’s fairly recently election as Minnesota Governor, Friedman thought he could win as an independent. He was wrong, but it didn’t look like an inherently risible proposition when he ran.
    3. If Perry’s 39% was pitiful, what do we call Democrat Chris Bell’s 29%?
    4. By competitiveness standards, have Democrats run any “non-joke” candidates statewide in Texas lately?

    Now, I happen to agree with Burka’s assessment of Friedman’s political chances. But more interesting is the reason he feels the need to opine on them.

    Underlying Burka’s lament, and his obvious bitterness over Kinky’s candidacy, is the idea popular among his fellow liberal journalists that someone could have beaten Perry in 2006 if Kinky hadn’t split the vote. In some ways it’s a defensible position, as that was a “Bush Fatigue” wave year for Democrats and Perry was suffering from a number of self-inflicted wounds (toll roads, the Trans-Texas Corridor proposal, etc.). And maybe a popular, polished, well-funded Democratic candidate just might have had a chance to defeat Perry in 2006. Unfortunately for the Democrats (though fortunately for us), none was apparent on the scene in 2006. Or any time, really, since Bob Bullock and Ann Richards retired. Democrats didn’t come close to sending Perry home in 2006, and they haven’t any time since, letting him retire undefeated in gubernatorial contests.

    And so Burka’s great white whale escaped yet again…

    Perry’s Decision and the State of Play for Texas Statewide Races in 2014

    Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

    With Rick Perry declining to run for reelection as Governor, we finally have the crystallizing event that will set the 2014 field. So here’s an early look at how the next year’s statewide races are shaping up in Texas:

    Governor

    Attorney General Greg Abbott and his $18 million warchest is going to be the overwhelming favorite almost no matter who else jumps into the race; he has all Perry’s strength’s without Perry’s disadvantages. If David Dewhurst jumps into the Governor’s race, Abbott will still be the prohibitive favorite. Tom Pauken will be hard-pressed to match Glenn Addison’s 2012 senate race total of 1.6%. On the Democrats’ side, instant abortion celebrity Wendy Davis might be the favorite, but there’s no reason to expect Abbott won’t cream her by 20 points, and as a politician since 1999, there’s no indication she can self-fund. Neither of the Castro brothers strike me as stupid enough to want to tarnish their national office chances by losing a governor’s race. Beyond that it’s random state senators and reps (reportedly Rep. Mike Villarreal and Sen. Kirk Watson are considering runs), or retreads from the 2012 senate race.

    Lt. Governor

    His humiliating senate race defeat proved that David Dewhurst is vulnerable to a challenge from the right, but I remain unconvinced that any of the three currently declared candidates (Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, Agricultural Commissioner Todd Staples, and State Senator Dan Patrick) are the ones to do it. Dewhurst and Perry both moved up from the Land and Agricultural Commissioner positions (respectively), but neither ran against an incumbent, much less a well-heeled, entrenched one. Patrick tested the waters for the 2012 senate race, but found the groundswell for him non-existent. Moreover, Patrick’s candidacy appeals most to social conservatives, but after the abortion dustup, they would seem among the least likely to desert Dewhurst. Presumably U.S. Rep. Mike McCaul (the only man currently in Texas politics richer than Dewhurst) could defeat Dewhurst were he to get in, but so far he hasn’t made any moves to get into the race. In this, and all lower statewide races, whoever runs for the Democrats is whatever random candidates decided to skip the governor’s race.

    Attorney General

    With Abbott running for governor, this race is wide open. With Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman’s website already touting him as a potential candidate, his entry is pretty much a foregone conclusion. State Rep. Dan Branch is also said to be considering a run. Someone on Abbott’s staff could also get in, or a state legislator with a law degree who has been blessed by Texans for Lawsuit Reform. (Maybe Ken Paxton?)

    Comptroller

    Incumbent Susan Combs has said she’s not running for reelection. Early word was she was eying the Lt. Governor’s race, but I don’t see her getting any traction there. Losing 2010 Tea Party/Ron Paulite gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina is rumored to be considering a run (and the previous link goes to a webpage for an exploratory committee for that race). State Senator Glenn Hegar is also said to be considering a run, as is state Ways and Means chairman Harvey Hilderbran. (State Senator Tommy Williams has preemptively bowed out.)

    Land Commissioner

    With incumbent Jerry Patterson gunning for Dewhurst’s job, George P. Bush, son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, nephew of Bush43, and grandson of Bush 41, is considered a lock for the race. Though nothing about George P. Bush’s limited public appearances suggests he’s invulnerable, it’s doubtful he’ll draw a serious challenger this far down the ballot who’s willing to take on the Bush Machine’s renowned fundraising prowess.

    Agricultural Commissioner

    State Rep. Brandon Creighton is rumored to be interested in a run. Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt is passing on the race

    Railroad Commission

    When Smitherman runs for AG, his position will open up. State Rep. Stefani Carter will be running, along with “Dallas businessman Malachi Boyuls and geologist Becky Berger of Schulenburg.” Greg Parker, who made it into the runoff with Smitherman in 2012, is another possibility.

    And don’t forget all those wildcard Texas millionaires and billionaires who might suddenly decide to run for office…