I intend to do a comprehensive roundup of why Ted Cruz won the Senate race, and why David Dewhurst lost, but it’s such a big subject I’m having trouble getting started. There’s entirely too much to talk about, and I’m still digesting all the ramifications.
So instead, here are a few other random observations from last night’s runoff:
Republicans now have two Hispanic candidates running for statewide office: Ted Cruz at the top of the ballot (just below President) for United States Senate, and Elsa Alcala for Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Place 8. Number of Democrats nominated for statewide office in Texas in 2012: Zero. (Even the Libertarians have more statewide Hispanic candidates than the Democrats this year, which is to say they have one.)
Donna Campbell stomped Jeff Wentworth, taking two-thirds of the vote against a long-time incumbent which (absent a serious scandal) is almost unheard of. However, the result isn’t the “upset” some newspapers are proclaiming it, since Elizabeth Ames Jones split the anti-Wentworth vote in the primary, indicating deep dissatisfaction with the very establishment incumbent.
As expected, Paul Sadler beat Grady Yarbrough for the Democratic Senate nomination. Sadler is about to find out that when members of the national Democratic Party promised him adequate funding if he won the primary, they were engaged in what is commonly known as “lying.”
Republican U.S. Congressional Race runoffs: Ron Paul-endorsed Randy Weber beat Felicia Harris in CD14, Roger Williams beats Wes Riddle in CD25 (Last Williams Standing, and I think the only Senate race dropout to win their new race), once and future congressman Steve Stockman (part of the Gingrich wave in 1994) beat Stephen Takach in CD36. Plus longshots in two heavily Democratic districts: Dale A. Brueggemann over Eddie Zamora in CD15 to face incumbent Ruben Hinojosa, and Jessica Puente Bradshaw over Adela Garza to take on Filemon Vela in new “minority opportunity” CD34.
Pete Gallego beat former congressman Ciro B. Rodriguez for the chance to take on Republican incumbent Francisco “Quico” Canseco in CD23. Canseco took the seat away from Rodriguez in 2010, and CD23 is essentially the only realistic opportunity Democrats have to flip a Texas U.S. congressional seat this election.
The Tea Party is alive and well not only in Texas, but also in Georgia, where voters rejected a consultant pocket-lining mass transportation tax hike supported by the Republican governor.
On reason I’ve kept on this story is that once I uncovered the Ron Paul connection, it was obvious the MSM would run with Chi as a “Right Wing Extremist.” Which is already happening in the comments for various stories. But, as I showed, it’s not that simple. Chi is also on record as supporting organic food and opposing religion, corporations and genetically modified food, all of which are hardly typical Ron Paul positions. I wanted to get the facts out there before the MSM clouded the issue.
Yesterday I noticed a large number of search hits for Anson Chi Plano Bomber, and various combinations thereof. And today a little bird told me that Chi is indeed the hospitalized bombing suspect. So let me post a little bit more about him.
I’ve been following up on this story because I had initially guessed that the then-unknown bombing suspect might be part of Occupy Wall Street. When news outlets have revealed enough information to deduce that Anson Chi was the likely suspect, and it turned out he’s a Ron Paul supporter, then it seemed only fair to post that, since one of the guiding rules of blogging is to correct your own errors, even if it may temporarily hurt your “side.” The first side you should be on is the truth.
Now that I’ve been able to round up more information about Chi, my initial guess that he might be part of Occupy is, if not right, somewhat less wrong than it appeared at first. Indeed, he’s posted some pictures from various Occupy encampments around the world. While he’s not a fan of Obama or the IRS, he’s also not a fan of Christianity, genetically modified food or corporations. Chi seems one of those people both deeply interested in, and deeply disenchanted with, contemporary politics:
That, along with the other images in this post, are taken from Anson Chi’s Facebook page. If Chi is indeed the Plano bomber, he deserves to go to prison from a long time. But his web pages don’t give off the screaming capital letter fanaticism of some nuts; Chi actually comes across as a normal, intelligent, and ironic guy with issues about his own Asian heritage and a disenchantment with politics that, were it not for the bombing angle, would seem pretty normal.
So here are a few pieces of information on Anson Chi, gleaned from his various web pages (and some of which are NSFW).
He’s the author of the novel Yellow on the Outside, Shame on the Inside: Asian Culture Revealed, which you can download for free.
He’s not an Obama fan:
He has an online resume that doesn’t seem geared toward seriously finding another job, subtitled “Crap that I’ve done” with sections labeled “Paid Slavery” and “Miseducation,” which reads “Postgraduate Work in Music 2002/University of Texas at Dallas – B.S. (Bullshit) in Business MIS 2000.”
He seems to have moved a lot. His Facebook location reads “Lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico [a joke?]. From New York, New York.” His resume shows a variety of jobs all over the country:
IBM – Dallas, Texas 2005 – 2006
Web Middleware Engineer
Ameriquest Mortgage Company – Orange, California 2005
System Engineer II
Atos Origin – Hsinchu Science Park, Taiwan 2004 – 2005
Heartland Payment Systems – Frisco, TX 2002 – 2003
UNIX System Operator
Loudcloud – Sunnyvale, CA 2001
Alcatel – Plano, TX 2000 – 2001
UNIX System Administrator
The political section of that resume shows “Travis County District 149 Precinct Chairman” and “Ron Paul 2008 Grassroots Campaign – Austin, TX 2007-2008 Campaign Director.”
He posted this image to his Facebook page February 6:
He put up several anti-SOPA posts.
The thing that strikes me most about spending an hour wading through Chi’s Facebook page (which was last updated June 16) is how perfectly normal everything he put there was, except for the fact that, as far as I can tell, there’s no description of personal interactions at all (maybe they’re there but set to private so his only friends can see them). But Chi strikes me as someone believing in some ideas on the middle of the far left and the middle of the far right, but not as someone who would blow up a gas pipeline.
It would appear that the Plano bombing suspect is one Anson Chi, based on the following:
The house raided by the bomb squad is reported belonging to Swia and Fai Chi, both in their 60s. “A neighbor described them as ‘hard-working people, blue-collar people’ who shared the home with at least one adult son.”
His MySpace page would suggest that, far from being an Occupy Wall Street supporter, that Chi is in fact a Ron Paul fan.
More details when I have them…
Added: More details Here. While Chi is not a fan of Obama or the IRS, he’s also not a fan of Christianity, genetically modified food or corporations, which makes him a very atypical Ron Paul supporter.
It’s been a few days since I went down to the south capitol steps to watch the Tea Party Express featuring Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Ron Paul. It’s a bit late for me to do a comprehensive write-up of the speeches there. I caught all of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz’s speech, but could only stay for about ten minutes of Ron Paul’s, because I had to get back home to write my review of the Avengers. The crowd was friendly, enthusiastic, and about 75% Ron Paul supporters, with the other 25% there either for Ted Cruz or various other candidates, including Richard Mack and the Libertarian candidate for the U.S. 25th congressional district Betsy Dewey, who was running around in one of those Firefly cunning hats and has the virtue of being quite cute.
Rather than a blow-by-blow description of what was said, or an attempt to construct a coherent Venn diagram depicting conservatives, Libertarians, Republicans, the Tea Party, and Ron Paul supporters, I’m going to just put up some pictures:
Also, former Democratic state Rep. Jim Solis has been debarred for professional misconduct. “Solis pleaded guilty in April 2011 after admitting to involvement in the extortion scheme of former state District Judge Abel C. Limas, who pleaded guilty to racketeering in March. Solis’ sentencing is scheduled for August.”
Warren is playing an important role in our political discourse: she is the ghost of liberalism future. Warren’s alleged use of affirmative action, if true, would have to be the most egregious abuse of the system at the expense of minorities we’ve seen yet. Elizabeth Warren is, as a white woman, statistically speaking very much a member of this country’s majority. The only category in which she is a true minority is wealth: Elizabeth Warren is very, very rich… If Warren, a rich, white, Harvard professor, is a victim, everyone is.
Why does this matter? Because it reveals that the left thinks affirmative action is a joke, another cudgel with which to attack political opponents at the expense of minorities who might, thanks to liberalism’s insistence on keeping students in failed school districts, actually put the policy to some good use. And because if Elizabeth Warren is unable to advance coherent liberal policy arguments, then there may be none to advance.
Former Sheriff Richard Mack is launching a Republican primary challenge against Lamar Smith. He cites SOPA as his primary reason for running against Smith. (He has a website, but it’s currently 404.)
Mr. Mack seems to be a Ron Paul enthusiast, which is not my favorite flavor of conservatism, but even knowing nothing else about him, I would still regard him as a significant improvement over Lamar Smith at this point. His bio suggests he supports the Second Amendment, legalization of drugs, and the Tea Party, all of which I approve of. He has a personal website, and I sent him a query asking about his campaign. I’ll let you know more about when I hear back. As Matt Drudge is wont to say: Developing…
I’ve been busy hosting a family even this weekend, so I haven’t been able to do a post on Thursday’s debate. But I wanted to point out the results of the straw poll at Saddle Up Houston (which, with 3,321 voters, had a lot more attendees than I suspected).
Keep in mind all the usual caveats that apply to straw polls: They don’t tend to mean a lot when it comes to real voting.
Ron Paul: 54.4%
Rick Santorum: 15.6%
Rick Perry: 13.3%
Newt Gingrich: 11.9%
Mitt Romney: 4.2%
Jon Huntsman: 0.5%
Charles “Buddy” Roemer: 0.0% (Jeeze, how do you not manage to snag even .1% of the vote?)
That’s an excellent showing for Ron Paul, but Paul has consistently proven himself much more adept at winning straw polls than primaries. Caveats aside, it’s a bad showing for Rick Perry (if you can’t win a straw poll in your own state, where can you win it?) and Mitt Romney (the frontrunner should get more than 4.2% of the vote, even against two favorite sons).
Ted Cruz: 49.1%
Craig James: 12.9%
Glenn Addison: 12.0%
Tom Leppert: 9.1%
Lela Pittenger: 9.1%
David Dewhurst: 7.1%
Charles Holcomb: 0.3%
“Doc Joe” Agris: 0.3%
Curt Cleaver: 0.0%
Ben Gambini: 0.0%
That’s good news for Ted Cruz, Craig James and Glenn Addison, and bad news for David Dewhurst. And even though Tom Leppert outpointed Dewhurst, he can’t feel good at merely tying Lela Pittenger, who has neither campaigned as much as him, nor spent 1/1000th of what he has. (Also, Doc Agris can’t feel good about putting up such a paltry total in his own back yard.) Gambini getting 0% isn’t a surprise, since he’s been the invisible man. Cleaver getting 0% is a bit more surprising, since he’s had at least the semblance of a campaign.
But again, these results don’t mean much, as I seriously doubt we’re going to see Craig James battle Glenn Addison for a spot in the runoff against Cruz. They do highlight an enthusiasm gap between Cruz and Dewhurst, but just how much of that gap will translate into votes remains to be seen. I don’t think we’ll get a glimpse of how the race is shaping up in the minds of actual primary voters until we see polls from some of the established polling companies like Gallup, Zogby and Rasmussen.
Since that piece came out December 19, it’s hardly cutting edge news. But I’ve been ruminating on it for a while to try and figure out if I have anything more to add. I think I do. And with the Iowa Caucuses looming, I probably should.
I haven’t covered much of the 2012 Presidential race, mainly because I’ve been focusing on the Texas Senate Race and everyone and their dog was blogging every twist in the POTUSA race.
OMG! Ron Paul is up 3 points!
Plus I don’t have cable, so I wouldn’t be able to watch the interminable numerous debates.
Finally, a baseball team the Astros can beat
Which is why I didn’t see Perry commit his brain freezes, of which there were many. (My theory is that he was still hopped up on goofballs from his back operation.)
Percocet makes me see tiny little Jim Hightowers, and I have to grab and crush each and every one of them
Having lived in Texas for the entirety of Rick Perry’s tenure as governor, I can attest that he is not a perfect candidate. There have been times (Gardasil, the Trans-Texas Corridor) when he’s strayed from conservative principles. And he’s not as polished as Mitt Romney or as articulate as Newt Gingrich.
But Perry isn’t running against the second coming of Ronald Reagan, or even Sarah Palin. Every other major Republican contender is not only at least as flawed, they’re considerably more so.
Despite cheer-leading from the likes of Kathryn Jean Lopez and Jennifer Rubin, Mitt Romney has always struck me as a phony without any real core convictions except that he should be in charge; sort of the Republican answer to Bill Clinton, without the charm or adultery. Pick an issue and Romney’s been on both sides of it at one time or another. He seems the most likely of all the major candidates to be praised by The New York Times and The Washington Post for “growing” in office. Romney is most likely to disappoint me in caving in to D.C.’s usual free-spending, pork-barrel log-rolling.
I could get behind voting for the Newt Gingrich of 1994, the one whose laser-like focus on the holding the Democrats accountable for their misdeed and promoting the Contract With America helped Republicans take the House and Senate, set the stage for a welfare reform and helped (temporarily) balance the budget. Sadly, that Gingrich is not up on offer. We have to deal with the idea-a-minute-and-many-of-them-bad, ex-lobbyist, “Big Government Conservative” Newt Gingrich of 2012, the one so devastatingly and accurately skewered by Mark Steyn in this week’s National Review. (As Bruce Sterling once said at a Turkey City Writer’s Workshop, “Cruel, but fair!”) No matter how many times he tries to sound like Reagan, there are all those other times when he sounds like everyone from Al Gore to Faith Popcorn. I imagine that I would be disappointed many times in a Gingrich Presidency. Unlike Romney, I’m sure Gingrich would find entirely new and innovative ways to disappoint me.
I could almost get behind Ron Paul, based on his absolute, rock-steady position on the biggest problem facing America: out-of-control government spending and ever-increasing size and power of the federal government. The debt bomb is an existential threat to American prosperity, and If we don’t shrink government and get the deficit under control, none of the other issues really matter. And I lean heavily on the libertarian side of the spectrum. But even given that, there’s just too much weirdness (what Kevin Williamson called “his Ronness”) about the rest of Paul’s policies: the newsletters, the footsie with racism, the conspiracy theories, the weirdness about gays and wishing Israel didn’t exist, the running against Reagan. Being just one of 435 House members was a great place for Paul to be, since he could bring up conservative and Libertarian issues without any chance that his wackier ideas would ever end up in legislation, but the Presidency is a different kettle of fish. Plus there’s the problem of his electability, or rather lack thereof. With all his diverse baggage, I believe that Paul is the GOP candidate Obama would have the best chance of defeating. Ignore all the hard-left liberals talking up Paul as a better choice than Obama; it’s just a smokescreen that would evaporate at the first excuse to jump back on the Obama bandwagon. William F. Buckley always said conservative should support the right-most viable candidate. I don’t think Paul is a viable candidate.
Michelle Bachmann’s star has faded even more than Perry’s, and she doesn’t have Perry’s executive experience or record on job creation. The fact she’s neither dumb nor crazy doesn’t mean the MSM won’t pull the Full Sarah Palin Treatment on her (Andrew Sullivan womb-diving optional) were she to get the nod.
Rick Santorum: Too little, too late, he lost his last election, and his strengths don’t lie in the economy and job creation.
Jon Huntsman: Which part of “Republican” was unclear?
By process of elimination, that leaves Perry. As I said before, Perry isn’t perfect, but he has a record on holding the line on government spending and enabling job creation that puts Romney to shame. One again, let’s go to the charts that the indispensable Will Franklin of Willisms has provided on Texas job creation:
And the case for Perry over Romney (again thanks to WILLisms) is even more stark:
While I have criticized Perry’s campaign budget proposals for being too timid, Perry insisted on balancing the Texas budget without tax hikes. I assure you that California would love to have Texas’ budget. Indeed, adjusted for inflation, population growth, and federally-mandated spending, the Texas state budget has actually gone down under Perry. His guiding principle has been “don’t spend all the money,” and it’s one that Washington desperately needs.
One final, very big reason to support Perry: He can win. Perry’s never lost a race, because he’s a tough and tenacious campaigner who’s not afraid to hit his opponent\s hard. Everyone thought Kay Bailey Hutchison was going to cream Perry in the 2010 governor’s race, and he beat her like a rented mule.
Or maybe a rented donkey.
In the general election against Bill White, he ran an ad featuring a police widow talking about how her husband had been killed by a multi-arrested illegal alien while White was touting Houston as a “sanctuary city.”
Even professional MSM Perry hater Paul Burka says that Perry is a hard man. “He is the kind of politician who would rather be feared than loved.” Perry will have absolutely no fear of taking the fight to Obama and going negative early and often, and he won’t let political correctness cow him into treating Obama with kid gloves.
Will the media savage Rick Perry for his flubs? Of course they will. But, as Ace noted, they’ll always find a way to crucify any Republican candidate to make Obama look better. They’ll use the same “he’s an idiot” line of attack they used on Reagan and Bush43…and you so how far that got them.
If you’re still undecided on Perry, this video should at least give you a more rounded picture of him:
For those who think Perry is already out of the race, remember that at this point in 2004, the consensus was that Howard Dean was going to be the nominee. There’s a reason Americans actually get to vote, and they frequently prove the pundits wrong.
If I’m reading these tea leaves correctly, Gary Johnson is about to give up running as a Republican and run as a Libertarian. Which is a shame, because the Republican Party needs more libertarians. But his campaign never caught fire. Alternately, he’s going to pull out and endorse Ron Paul, which his front page sort of hints at.
To clear the air on Ron Paul: He’s not an Anti-Semite, he just wishes Israel didn’t exist, and he’s not a homophobe, he just refuses to shake gay’s hands or use their bathrooms.
Amy Alkon gets a TSA agent patdown. And by “patdown” I mean “repeatedly stick their fingers in her vulva.”