Posts Tagged ‘RINO’

Dear Jason Villalba: Enjoy This Festive Holiday Primary Challenge

Monday, November 27th, 2017

With the retirements of Joe Straus and Byron Cook, Jason Villalba might be the least popular Republican in the Texas House. Which explains why Santa (in this case Texas conservatives) delivered a primary challenge as an early Christmas present.

With a disastrous record in the Texas House and recent calls for gun control, Texans won’t be surprised to learn that State Rep. Jason Villalba (R—Dallas) could face a tough reelection.

On Monday, Dallas business owner Lisa Luby Ryan, who operates an interior design firm and the antique home furnishings store Vintage Living in Dallas, validated earlier rumors she was considering a run and announced her campaign against Villalba in the Republican primary.

“I’m simply overwhelmed at the initial support we have already earned and grateful for the caliber of individuals joining this campaign,” said Ryan in a news release. “Today’s announcement sends a loud and clear message that this district believes that we can do better than our current representation. I am running to provide voters a clear choice, and with this great support I intend to win.”

In her campaign announcement, Ryan also released an impressive list of supporters who are already endorsing her campaign. The list includes a bevy of conservative mainstays and a substantial number of prominent community business owners including Brint Ryan (no relation), a prominent tax consultant and chairman of the University of North Texas Board of Regents, who will serve as Lisa Luby Ryan’s campaign treasurer.

While Ryan’s background certainly plays into the amount of support she’s receiving in the district, and it’s also true that Villalba’s record has declined even further this session compared to his last, it’s likely that the donor community is supporting his opponent because Villalba has exhausted his usefulness.

While Villalba was, admittedly, a clownish and useless member of House Speaker Joe Straus’ team, he was a part of the team. But now, that team won’t be taking the field.

Given Straus’ announcement that he will not seek re-election and conservative efforts to amend the Republican caucus bylaws to ensure a more conservative Speaker is elected, Villalba is likely to be left on the outside looking in regardless of who is elected to be the next Speaker of the Texas House.

And it’s not just Dallas donors who have made that observation.

Indeed, at a recent lobby meeting hosted by Straus’ chief strategist, Gordon Johnson, Villalba didn’t even make the list of lawmakers that the group would try to “protect” in the upcoming Republican primary elections.

Given that Straus’ allies in the lobby were forced to spend more than $500,000 to protect Villalba in the 2016 primary, Villalba will be in serious trouble if the Austin political establishment hangs him out to dry.

Or if his constituents take a look at his record.

You may remember Villalba from such hits as I’m A Thin-Skinned Twitter Blockhead, Let’s Make It illegal For Gun Owners and Bloggers To Photograph the Police and I Have A Whole Lot of Stupid Ideas.

Let’s hope Lisa Luby Ryan succeeds in retiring him in 2018.

Texas Senate Race Update for May 28, 2012

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Since tomorrow is election day, here’s a final Senate race roundup. You might want to take time today to find your voter registration card, locate your polling place, and figure out who you want to vote for.

Since it’s possible people who haven’t been following the race until now are tuning into this blog, you might want to take a look at:

  • My endorsement of Ted Cruz.
  • Previous senate race posts.
  • Websites of the 2012 Texas Senate Candidates, which is a pretty comprehensive list.
  • Now today’s update:

  • Ted Cruz gets some love over at Big Government.
  • Cruz says he’ll beat David Dewhurst decisively in a runoff.
  • Cruz on Memorial Day.
  • Dewhurst on his father and Memorial Day.
  • Ramparts 360 calls the amnesty smear Dewhurst’s Lowest Attack.
  • More on the Amnesty charge.
  • Peggy Fikac’s roundup of the race. Including this: “Retired teacher Addie Ratliff tossed a verbal grenade at Dewhurst. ‘He’s trash,’ said Ratliff, 74. ‘I just don’t like him. I think he’s a RINO,’ a Republican-in-name-only.”
  • Cruz has picked up six times as much money in donations from Midland as Dewhurst has.
  • Somehow I missed the fact that Dewhurst picked up the endorsement of Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma back on May 18. I think they would have trumpeted that more, since it brings the total of sitting Senators who have endorsed Dewhurst to [long pause while Your Humble Narrator counts on his fingers for dramatic effect] one.
  • Dewhurst squeezing potential donors?

    One source familiar with Texas politics who supports Cruz says that he knows “a number of significant donors” who also have business interests in the state and have been “told by their lobbyists in Austin, ‘Don’t dare give money to Ted, don’t endorse Ted . . . because if you do you’ll never get anything else through in Austin.’”

  • Rick Perry’s endorsement of David Dewhurst is all about Rick Perry.
  • Dewhurst says Cruz hasn’t met a fighter like him before. Maybe, but when was the last truly competitive race Dewhurst ran? 2002? And his last contested Republican primary fight was against Jerry Patterson for Land Commissioner in 1998.
  • Speaking of candidates with one notable sitting congressman supporting them, here’s Rep. Michael Burgess on Tom Leppert:

  • The Tea Party is anti-Big Government, not anti-incumbent.
  • A hand-wringer piece about all the uncertainty redistricting has wrought in Texas selections, focusing on Sylvia Romo vs. Lloyd Doggett in CD35, as well as the Senate race.
  • National Journal offers up the obligatory what to look for on election night piece.
  • Craig James predicts that he’ll be in the runoff. Also predicts that Rob Schneider will take home next year’s Oscar for Best Actor.
  • Paul Sadler cements his standing as the MSM anointed Democratic candidate, snagging the endorsements of The Austin American Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, The Austin Chronicle, and The San Antonio Express-News.
  • The Democratic Senate race is a much more low-key affair. “Sadler has raised less than $80,000, Hubbard less than half that with $30,000.” Also this: “‘I’ve talked to people who have said, “Get through the primary and we’ll make sure you have money to work with,”‘ Hubbard said.” Psst, Sean, hate to tell you, but those people are lying to you. Chances are good they said the same thing to Ricardo Sanchez, and look where it got him…
  • Sadler and Hubbard also appeared on WFAA:

  • Sen. Olympia Snowe (RINO-Maine) Retiring

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

    Evidently no one saw this coming. Including Snowe’s staff. Or her very active re-election committee.

    Does this mean Maine might actually elect a Republican who actually votes, you know, Republican? I doubt it. Maine is pretty liberal, and even someone like Scott Brown might find it difficult to win there. I think you could still potentially elect a Republican more conservative than Snowe (which is, lets face it, not too hard), but the differences will be more in degree than in kind. But it might be possible to elect someone who wouldn’t vote for Obama’s pork-laden stimulus.

    Will this make it more difficult for the Republicans to take the Senate? Maybe, but I still think a Republican takeover is more likely than not.

    (Hat tip: Ace, who thinks “there’s something we’re not being told yet.” Illness? Obama making her Ambassador to Canada? Who knows?)

    Tom Leppert And ACORN

    Monday, May 9th, 2011

    Matt S. Dowling has a post up up claiming that not only was Tom Leppert playing footsie with the SEIU, but he also sought the endorsement of everyone’s favorite pimp assistance agency, ACORN.

    Unfortunately, he hasn’t actually provided the links to the evidence. When I pressed him on the issue in comments, he said “You ask and you shall receive….on Wednesday.”

    Well, I like things sooner rather than later, and I wonder if he was hinting at this video showing Leppert hobnobbing with ACORN. Here’s the embedded MySpace version of it (I know, in the age of YouTube that’s like asking you to listen to a Victrola, but that’s the format it’s in):

    Tom Leppert Supports ACORN for Dallas Mayor

    bird | Myspace Video

    The video, with a date of June 1, 2007, looks like it was put together an ACORN/Hispanic outreach video for Leppert’s mayoral campaign. (Don’t ask me why they put the sepia-tone wash over everything.) And here’s a screen capture of the pledge it shows Leppert signing:

    Assuming the date is accurate, and there’s no funny stuff in the video editing, it does indeed show that Leppert sought ACORN’s endorsement, and pledged to support some of their initiatives.

    How damaging will this be to Leppert’s campaign? I don’t know. So much RINO baggage has tumbled out of Leppert’s closet that I don’t know how much more damage another skeleton can inflict.

    I do look forwarding to checking in with Dowling on Wednesday to see what he’s dug up…

    Texas 2012 Senate Race Update: Final Q1 Fundraising Reports

    Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

    The FEC finally has fundraising totals for all the major declared candidates in the 2012 Texas Senate race. Ranked from most to least, they are:

    1. Tom Leppert: Raised $2,690,081 (including a $1,600,000 loan) and still has $2,592,219 on hand
    2. Ted Cruz: Raised $1,013,060 (including a $70,000 loan) and has $965,153 on hand
    3. Roger Williams: Raised $598,470 (including a $250,000 loan) and has $1,250,300 on hand
    4. Michael Williams: Raised $418,619 (including $132,160 in loans) and has $369,369 on hand
    5. Elizabeth Ames Jones: Raised $122,185 and has $128,541 on hand

    Despite later starts than their opponents, Leppert and Cruz are clearly setting the pace here. Both seem to be raising money and campaigning hard, and Cruz has generated a significant swell of grass-roots enthusiasm. If they can keep this up, both will be serious contenders to make the runoff in March, with or without Lt. Governor David Dewhurst entering the race.

    Roger Williams has raised enough to stay in the game, but despite the endorsement of former President George H. W. Bush (a legendary rainmaker with a well-oiled fundraising machine), there’s no sign that the Bush dynasty has put the full force of their fundraising prowess behind him. He’ll need to knock out Leppert (or Dewhurst, if he runs) to make the runoff, and so far he shows no signs of doing it.

    Michael Williams has also raised enough to stay in the game, and probably has grassroots enthusiasm second only to Cruz, but he needs to pick up the pace if he wants to remain competitive. The current pace isn’t going to get it done, and he can’t make the runoff unless Cruz slips.

    Ever since I posted on Elizabeth Ames Jones’ paltry fundraising efforts, I’ve been trying to figure out a reason for her to stay in the race. I haven’t come up with one. If there’s any significant enthusiasm for her campaign out among Texas Republicans, it takes more sensitive scientific instruments than I possess to measure. I don’t see her candidacy filling any sort of ideological void, and the sort of people who would vote for her solely based on her sex are not the same people who vote in a Republican primary. While there’s a lot of time left in the campaign, unless she can figure out how to make some serious noise (say, launching a series of non-stop attacks on Leppert for being a secret RINO) she should probably get out of the race.

    A few other fundraising tidbits gleaned from the FEC reports:

  • Sean Hubbard, thus far the only declared Democratic candidate, raised $6,511.
  • Among the longshots, Andrew Castanuela ($262) and Lela Pettinger ($150) are hardly setting the world on fire, but Magnolia funeral home-owner Glenn Addison (who’s running on a social conservative platform) managed to pull in $20,432 (even if $6,877 was in loans), or about one sixth what Jones, a statewide office holder who has been running for about a year, pulled in over the same period of time. For someone with no real chance of winning the nomination, that’s pretty impressive. Mr. Addison won’t be the next U.S. Senator from Texas, but he might do very well in a local race should he choose to run for one in 2014.
  • LinkSwarm for Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

    A few quick links:

  • Liberals are racists.
  • Big-spending Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez recalled from office by an almost 9-1 ratio. Alvarez was a RINO that acted like a full-bore Democrat, hiking property taxes and giving big pay raises to unionized public employees. (hat tip: Dwight.)
  • In New York, unions protect state employees who sexually abuse the mentally handicapped, even when they know they’re guilty. “That’s our job.”
  • A word on the media’s amazingly poor understanding of nuclear reactors.
  • My latest update on the Sendai earthquake/tsunami in Japan.