Posts Tagged ‘2018 Election’

Inter-Blue Fratricide for Texas 7th U.S. Congressional District

Saturday, February 24th, 2018

I haven’t done a roundup on the Texas 7th U.S. Congressional District race because Republican incumbent John Culberson is not retiring, and he won his two most recent races by 56.2% to 43.8% in 2016, and 63.3% to 34.5% in 2014. That’s not exactly swing district territory, but Clinton carried the district in 2016.

Because of that, Democrats seem to be taking a real run at the seat with four different Democrats pulling in between half a million and a million in fundraising for the race. That’s some pretty serious cheese.

Even more surprising: One of the Democratic candidates is Laura Moser, a pro-abortion woman and part of #TheResistance, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s list have both come out hard in the race.

Against Moser:

EMILY’s List is dumping big money into an upcoming Democratic primary in Texas’s 7th Congressional District, pitting the women’s group against a pro-choice woman who was, in the months after the election of Donald Trump, a face of the resistance.

Laura Moser, as creator of the popular text-messaging program Daily Action, gave hundreds of thousands of despondent progressives a single political action to take each day. Her project was emblematic of the new energy forming around the movement against Trump, led primarily by women and often by moms. (Moser is both.)

It was those types of activists EMILY’s List spent 2017 encouraging to make first-time bids for office. But that doesn’t mean EMILY’s List will get behind them. Also running is Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, a corporate lawyer who is backed by Houston mega-donor Sherry Merfish. EMILY’s List endorsed her in November.

The 7th District includes parts of Houston and its wealthy western suburbs, and Merfish and her husband, Gerald Merfish, are among the city’s leading philanthropists. Gerald Merfish owns and runs a steel pipe company in the oil-rich region and Sherry Merfish, who worked for decades for EMILY’s List, is a major donor to the Democratic Party and to EMILY’s List.

Actor Alyssa Milano, another face of the Trump resistance, is backing Moser, and plans to drive voters to the polls as a campaign volunteer. “I like EMILY’s List a lot but I feel like they missed the boat on this one,” Milano told The Intercept. “Laura is a proud progressive Democrat and her values are the values of the majority of the country, which is evident by the success of her grassroots campaign and her broad base of support.”

The Houston district is one of scores where crosscurrents of the Democratic Party are colliding. Democrats, who in the past have had difficulty fielding a single credible candidate even in winnable districts, have at least four serious contenders in the race to replace Republican John Culberson. Moser, who has more than 10,000 donors — more than 90 percent of whom are small givers — and cancer researcher Jason Westin make up the progressive flank, while Fletcher and Alex Triantaphyllis are running more moderate campaigns. Triantaphyllis, a former Goldman Sachs analyst who doesn’t live in the district, has the backing of some establishment elements of the party.

“Alex T has been open about being the chosen candidate of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee],” said Daniel Cohen, president of Indivisible Houston, who is not endorsing any particular candidate.

For “more moderate” and “establishment” read “Clinton-approved.”

Indeed, until 2017, Moser was living in Washington, where she worked as a writer, and only recently relocated back home to Houston. Her husband, Arun Chaudhary, a partner at Revolution Messaging, which did media and email work for the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, hasn’t gotten around to updating his bio, which still suggests that he “lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, son and daughter.”

And that seems to be the real reason the Democratic establishment has come down on her in the primary like a ton of bricks:

Indeed, the Democratic Party seems more than willing to block and purge candidates that don’t toe the line.

It seems it doesn’t matter how pure your progressive credentials or positions are, if you’re the wrong kind of people. Those not already approved by mega-donors and the Clinton machine need not apply…

Gun-Grabbing Democrats Get High On Their Own Supply Again

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

Having learned nothing from the failure of polling in 2016, Democrats are once again mistaking their inordinate domination of major news outlets with a groundswell of support for gun control.

With various polls and liberal-packed CNN town halls theoretically showing gun control to display an overwhelming popularity that it’s never evidenced at the ballot box, Democrats are poised to make the same mistake they have every previous time this topic came up: They’re getting high on their own supply.

Let’s remember what senate seats are up for reelection in 2018:

Which of those Republican seats do you think are going to be enthused for gun bans? Tennessee? Mississippi? Texas?

Conversely, which Democrat-held senate seats in states Trump won are more likely to remain blue thanks to gun control? Montana? North Dakota? Missouri? Michigan?

I’m sure Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the state that gave all of 26% of it’s vote to Hillary Clinton in 2016, is just dying to run on gun control.

Months after the click-bait articles and breathless “blood on your hands” accusations have faded, gun owners will be going to the polls, and they’ll remember the politicians who promised to disarm them if ever given the chance…

DNC: “Broke, Stupid and Racist is No Way To Go Through Life, Son”

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Judging from all the fanatical Trump-hatred on the left, you’d think the Democratic National Committee would be swimming in donations.

You’d be wrong:

The Democratic National Committee had a rough 2017, plagued by leadership troubles, internal squabbling, and unflattering reports. To top it off, the party ended the year “dead broke,” says The Intercept’s Ryan Grim.

The Democratic Party is carrying more than $6 million in debt, according to year-end filings — and has just $6.5 million in the bank. Do the math, and the party is working with just over $400,000 overall. Meanwhile, the Republicans are swimming in pools of money. The Republican National Committee had raised $132 million by the end of 2017 — about twice as much as the DNC — and entered 2018 with almost $40 million to spare, with not a penny of debt.

DNC Chair Tom Perez can make all the noises about “off-year” money all he wants, but the party’s screw-job of favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders seems to be keeping money away. Well, that and the fact that he ruthlessly purged Sanders supporters from the DNC, leaving it staffed pretty much entirely with Clinton supporters.

So too have the Democrats let Social justice Warriors have full run of the party, letting victimhood identity politics dominate discourse. Take, for example, this Linda Sarsour rant denouncing America as racist, fascist, etc., while DNC deputy chair Keith Ellison sits and applauds.

The iverwhelming majority of average Americans aren’t racists, so having Democratic activists accuse them of racism, while practicing it themselves, is not exactly a recipe for electoral success.

Quick Impressions: Texas Sixth Congressional District

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

After Joe Barton’s naked selfies leaked, he announced his retirement, leading to yet another hotly contest U.S. congressional race. The Sixth district runs from Arlington down through Ellis and Navarro Counties. It used to be Phil Gramm’s seat, but in a very different geographic configuration, and is solidly Republican.

Unlike several of the other U.S. congressional races I’ve covered this year, this one has a clear favorite.

Republicans

  • Ken Cope: Plus: Ex-military background. Minus: Finished fifth against John Cornyn in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary, which suggests he’s not a serious candidate.
  • Shawn Dandridge: A black Republican with a military background who hates Obama, Dandridge is Cisco-certified and getting an MBA; an interesting background. “Shawn also has been a small business owner and real estate investor since 2008. He has rental properties in three states that have a value of close to $1 million.” That suggests he may have State Rep race money, but not U.S. congressional race money (he’s raised $5,126.)
  • Thomas Dillingham: Not in the district yet. Though he has an interesting Facebook story…
  • Shannon Dubberly: Another guy with ex-military background (counterterrorism, even), who has raised $51,465. Potential dark horse.
  • Jake Ellzey: Another ex-military guy, one who stands out a bit due to one notable endorsement: Rick Perry. That’s a good endorsement, and he’s raised $71,943. Potential dark horse, and right now probably the favorite to make the runoff with Ron Wright.
  • Deborah Gagliardi: Owns her own engineering and architecture firm in a year it’s good to be a woman running for office. “When the City of Arlington spent taxpayer dollars courting a contractor with a history of over-budget, poorly constructed projects, Deborah fought to expose them. If elected, her first priorities will be not only to fix the existing infrastructure in District 6, but to overhaul how infrastructure is built and maintained. High-cost, low-quality vanity projects will be a thing of the past.” Running for U.S. Congress to fix local infrastructure indicates a fairly imperfect grasp of federalism. Plus her campaign news page is blank, suggesting a certain lack of attention to the race.
  • Kevin Harrison: “Founder & President of West Coast Bible College & Seminary.” Maybe he has some ability to self-fund and an in with religious conservatives (though not reflected in the FEC reports, which shows no money raised). Potential dark horse.
  • Mel Hassell: A cipher with no website.
  • Mark Mitchell: A perennial candidate that’s lost a number of state rep races, there’s no reason to believe he’ll be competitive in a heavier weight class.
  • Troy Ratterree: Using a Facebook page as your campaign website is not generally conducive to victory.
  • Ron Wright: Current Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector who has earned the endorsements of State Senator Konni Burton and several others, and right now is the favorite for the seat, despite the bow ties and not having raised any money as of the last FEC reporting period, presumably because of how late Barton dropped out.
  • Democrats

  • John W. Duncan: Gay guy who works for “he largest local non-profit HIV/AIDS service organization in North Texas” and is married to a gay Christian minister. Raised $21,143.05.
  • Jana Lynne Sanchez: A former journalist, so naturally she’s a Democrat. She’s endorsed by the Dallas AFL-CIO, so she’s the establishment candidate in the race, to which she’s raised $137,832.08, the most of any candidate thus far.
  • Levii Shocklee: Navy veteran. No bio on his website.
  • Justin Snider: Locksmith and Bernie Bro.
  • Ruby Faye Woolridge: Lost the race to Barton in 2016. She has a lot of party experience and has raised $92,121.60. Woolridge is black, and the district is just under 21% black, and just over 22% Hispanic, which sets up a black/Hispanic interparty brawl between Woolridge and Sanchez.
  • Expect Wright to be the favorite, but if he doesn’t get his fundraising in gear, Ellzey or another dark horse could lap him. I expect whoever comes out on top in the GOP primary to easily handle Sanchez or Woolridge in the general.

    LinkSwarm for January 26, 2018

    Friday, January 26th, 2018

    President Donald Trump is pitching America at Davos (and evidently doing well). Meanwhile, a lot of this week’s news has focused on the still-developing FBI scandal, which will probably wait until the next Clinton Corruption update.

  • Trump vs. the mainstream media:

    The country’s top news organizations have targeted Trump with an unprecedented barrage of negative stories, with some no longer making much attempt to hide their contempt. Some stories are legitimate, some are not, and others are generated by the president’s own falsehoods and exaggerations. But the mainstream media, subconsciously at first, has lurched into the opposition camp and is appealing to an anti-Trump base of viewers and readers, failing to grasp how deeply it is distrusted by a wide swath of the country.

    (Hat tip: Chuck Glasser at Instapundit.)

  • Liberals on shutdown fight: “Our leaders betrayed us!” Stephen Green: “Welcome to our world.”
  • Why Schumer’s shutdown gambit failed: “Seeing the media commit itself to plainly stating the facts and resisting its usual role as the Democrats’ built-in spin machine was genuinely refreshing.” More:

    Democrats love to pretend that the media doesn’t routinely shield them from inconvenient truths. But the freak-out that ensured the second that shield was removed exposed just how badly they rely on positive press coverage to accomplish their political goals.

  • West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (who recently filed for re-election): “We do need a wall.”
  • “NFL Ratings Plunge As 23 Million Fewer Viewers Watch Divisional Playoffs.” How’s that anthem protest working out for you? (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • 5 Great Floor Finds at SHOT Show 2018.” Including this mainly so Dwight sees the bit on the 1400 round full-auto BB gun, which I know scratches an itch of his… (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Minnesota Public Radio releases statement that no, actually, Garrison Keillor is a complete perv. (Hat tip: The Other McCain.)
  • The lights are going out in Europe:

  • Andrew Sullivan commits heresy by noting the obvious: sex is not a social construct.

    For today’s progressives, humans are the sole species on this planet where gender differentiation has no clear basis in nature, science, evolution, or biology. This is where they are as hostile to Darwin as any creationist.

    And this is stupid. The alternative explanation — that these core natural differences between men and women have been supplemented by centuries of conscious oppression — is staring us in the face. The fascinating conundrum is where one ends and the other begins. How much of this difference is natural and how much is social? That is the question. And the answer is a tricky one. Is the fact that the vast majority of construction workers are male and the huge majority of nurses are female a function of sexism or nature? Is male sexual aggression and horniness a function of patriarchy or testosterone? Is the fact that women now outnumber men among college graduates a function of reverse sexism or nature?

  • You might want to scratch Vang Vieng, Laos off your tourist destination list. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “I love you…you love me…very, very slow-ow-ly…”
  • Did Charlie Geren Operative File a False CPS Report Against Primary Opponent?

    Thursday, January 4th, 2018

    This lawsuit alleges that an operative of Joe Straus ally Rep. Charlie Geren carried out one of the nastiest dirty campaign tricks of recent memory against primary opponent Bo French:

    Today Bo and Sheridan French filed suit against Charlie’s campaign staffer and well known democrat, David Sorensen, in a story that is very disturbing and challenges our sense of decency.

    On Friday February 26, 2016, 4 Days before the primary, CPS, along with a FTW police officer, showed up at the French residence with a complaint that their son had suffered a broken rib and allegations of physical abuse from Bo against the children. This was followed by repeat visits to the home on Saturday and Sunday. Oddly, once the election was over on that Tuesday, they never showed back up.

    The Frenches have filed a civil suit against Sorensen, claiming he filed the report with CPS, with the intent to gain an unfair advantage for the Charlie Geren campaign in the final days of the primary. The suit claims: Defamation/Libel; Business Disparagement; Intrusion of Seclusion; Invasion of Privacy; and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.

    According to the filing, Sorensen put his scheme into effect by supplying a false report to CPS claiming Mr. French’s youngest son had suffered broken ribs and that the son was not provided adequate medical care. It was further falsely reported that the police had responded to domestic abuse calls at the French residence in the past. CPS’s internal investigation found that the Frenches’ son never had any broken ribs and that the police had never at any time been called to the French residence. After nearly a year the CPS proceeding was closed without any further investigation of the Frenches, but not until after Mr. French lost to Sorensen’s employer in the primary election.

    Geren vehemently denies the charges:

    The Forth Worth Star-Telegram has more on the story, including that Sorensen worked for the political consulting firm Murphy Nasica.

    Geren has also criticized a Facebook page French put up mocking former Dalworthington Gardens Police Chief Bill Waybourn.

    French and Geren are fighting a rematch in this year’s District 99 Republican Primary.

    Quick Impressions: Texas Fifth Congressional District Race

    Thursday, December 28th, 2017

    This is the seat Jeb Hensarling announced he was retiring from a couple of months ago, meaning most of the candidates have had to scramble to get campaigns off the ground. The Fifth Congressional District runs from southeast Dallas all the way down to Nacogdoches, and is so safely Republican that Democrats didn’t even bother to field candidates in 2014 and 2016. This race features both a former and a current State Representative, neither of which is likely to be the favorite.

    Republican U.S.

  • Danny Campbell has a military background (a plus), but no evident political experience or a proven ability to self-fund.
  • Sam Deen is another veteran, and as a serial entrepreneur, he might be able to self-fund, but it’s unclear he has U.S. Congressional race money at his disposal.
  • Lance Gooden currently represents the 5th state House district. Gooden and Stuart Spitzer have spent turns knocked each other off the Republican primary, with Gooden winning in 2012 and 2016, and Spitzer winning in 2014. His Empower Texans ratings have been all over the map (29% in 2011, 89% in 2013, 42% in 2017), and they’re not fans. Irritatingly, Gooden’s webpage currently features a donation form you can’t bypass to find out such trivia as his stand on issues…
  • Charles Lingerfelt doesn’t have a web page, only a Facebook page, where he’s been endorsed by former Dallas Cowboys Lineman John Niland. Well, that’s something…
  • Bunni Pounds is Hensarling’s former fundraiser, and he’s endorsed her, so she should be a serious contender.
  • Kenneth Sheets is the former state rep in the race. Another impressive military resume, having served as a marine in Fallujah in 2007. He used to represent the 107 state congressional district, where he racked up a reasonably conservative record until he lost to Victoria Neave by less than 900 votes in 2016. A law partner, Sheets should be able to self-fund, and he got endorsed by Empower Texans in 2012.
  • There’s a candidate named David Williams…with no webpage. Sorry, got nothing.
  • Jason Wright was Ted Cruz’s eastern regional director and Cruz endorsed him. A serious contender.
  • Democrat

    The only Democrat running is Dan Wood, a former DA for Kaufman County and a former city councilmen for Terrell (population around 15,000). Wood has raised $27,737 so far in the election cycle, getting a jump on Republicans who came in after Hensarling’s announcement. Except a competent but losing campaign.

    I expect this race to come down to come down to Pounds and Wright, with the two state reps on the outside looking in, though if I were to pick one of them to edge into the runoff, it would be Sheets.

    Quick Impressions: Texas Third Congressional District

    Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

    Republican incumbent Sam Johnson announced he was retiring way back in January, so the field for this open seat has had a lot more time to develop than the Second or the Twenty Seventh. The district, made up of suburbs and exurbs Northeast of the Metroplex (including a good chunk of Plano) is heavily Republican; Johnson garnered over 60% of the vote in 2016, and Democrats didn’t even bother to run anyone against him in 2012 or 2014.

    Republicans

  • State Senator Van Taylor is probably a heavy favorite. He’s raised more than $1 million for the race and racked up a number of conservative endorsements, including Texans for Fiscal Responsibility and Texas Right To Life.
  • Roger Barone seems to be running as the “More Trump Than Thou” true believer, and has over 14,000 Twitter followers. Hedge fund guy, so he could theoretically self-fund, but I see no evidence of that yet. A quick look through his website suggests a lack of polish.
  • The same website concern (and then some) applies to Cyrus Sajna. While it’s good to see more African Americans involved in the Republican Party, Sajna’s website is a weird mishmash of fringe tax proposals (“NFL Concussion Tax”) with, at most, a one line descriptions. And “Plano School Bond Reform” does suggest a lack of focus on national issues…
  • Democrats

  • Since incumbent Republican Sam Johnson is retiring, would you believe that a different Sam Johnson is running as a Democrat? (You do if you remember the days of the perennial Texas statewide Democratic candidate named Gene Kelly.) A strong runoff contender based on (mistaken) name recognition.
  • Adam Bell was the Democratic candidate the last time around. He lost to Original Recipe Sam Johnson by about 85,000 votes.
  • Medrick Yhap is going to have trouble getting past his name.
  • Lorie Burch is “currently, the only North Texas attorney certified as an LGBT Business Enterprise by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.” Thus far she’s raised the most money among Democrats in this race with $30,274. Right now she’s probably the favorite to make the runoff against New Coke Sam Johnson.
  • Bottom line: Strong Republican hold.

    Blake Farenthold Withdraws From Primary

    Thursday, December 14th, 2017

    Breaking news:

    U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, under fire over a sexual harassment lawsuit, will withdraw from the March 6 Republican primary.

    Mike Bergsma, chairman of the Nueces County Republican Party, told the Caller-Times he was told this morning by Farenthold’s campaign team he will not seek re-election next year.

    “It’s a damn shame,” he said. “He’s been an excellent congressman, and I’m sorry this has happened.

    “One wonders whether anyone could have survived scrutiny that intense.”

    A statement from Farenthold’s camp was expected later this morning.

    News of Farenthold’s decision comes as two prominent Texas Republicans, one a sitting member of Congress and the other a former congressman and presidential hopeful, are supporting challengers to Farenthold in the primary.

    Former Congressman Ron Paul, who retired after seeking the 2012 presidential nomination, said he is backing longtime Victoria Republican activist Michael Cloud.

    “I know him to be a man of his word, principled, trustworthy and hardworking,” Paul said in a statement distributed by the Cloud campaign. “I hope my former supporters will get behind him because our country desperately needs leaders with integrity, courage and moral character. Michael Cloud is that kind of leader.”

    U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, meanwhile, announced his support for Bech Bruun, the Corpus Christi native who last week resigned as chairman of the Texas Water Development Board to challenge Farenthold. Williams is the first member of the Texas GOP delegation in Washington to publicly break with the incumbent.

    “Bech is exactly the kind of person I would be proud to call a colleague in the United States Congress,” Williams, R-Weatherford, said in a news release distributed by Bruun. “Bech knows what it means to be a good steward of your hard-earned tax dollars.”

    Farenthold, who is seeking a fifth term representing the Coastal Bend, has been under intense fire since it was disclosed that he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former aide with $84,000 in taxpayers’ money. He has said the settlement was a strategic decision to put the matter to rest even though he insists the charges are untrue.

    It would have been better had Farenthold resigned ahead of the primary filing deadline, but since there were already six Republicans and three Democrats gunning for his seat, voters will not lack for choices…

    Quick Impressions: Texas U.S. Second Congressional District Race

    Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

    I was going to do one big roundup of competitive Texas U.S. Congressional races, but the more I started digging in, the more I thought each race deserved its own entry. So let’s start with the Second Congressional District.

    Republican

    This is the retiring Ted Poe’s seat in northern Harris County. It looks like an interesting race, because there appear to be several potentially credible candidates:

  • Houston businessman David Balat looks like he has the money to compete (he’s already raised $155,965) and has been lining up endorsements.
  • Ex-Navy SEAL Daniel Crenshaw is drawing some attention in his first race with a compelling personal story. Losing his right eye to an IED in Afghanistan, Crenshaw also has that Moshe Dyan visage thing going for him:

  • Another U.S. veteran is Jonny Havens, who’s also a lawyer, formerly with Baker Botts, one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in Texas. He might have enough money and pull to run a competitive race,
  • State representative Kevin Roberts has experience and name recognition. (Empower Texans is not impressed with his legislative record.)
  • Kingwood businessman Rick Walker. I actually received an email from his social media team touting his candidacy, so he has more campaign infrastructure than many candidates at this point.
  • Kathaleen Wall doesn’t seem to have a website up yet, but she’s well-heeled and well-connected, always a good combination, and was active into trying to take down Joe Straus lieutenant Charlies Geren. Plus I suspect 2018 will be a pretty good year for women running for office.
  • Just missing the cut: Justin Lurie. Venture capital background, so he could potentially raise the money necessary, but he’s a bit young and has more issues than endorsements or events at this stage.

    Not a leading candidates: the guy who thinks he’s already running for President

    Democrats

    The clear Democratic favorite here is Todd Litton, because as a lawyer whose worked in investments he can scrape up the money for a competitive race, to which end he’s already raised over $200,000.

    The candidate that ran against Poe in 2016 was Pat Bryan. He raised a whopping $4,465 in 2016. (Way to support your candidate, Democrats!)

    It’s a heavily Republican district and none of the Democrats running look capable of flipping it. Keep in mind that the early fundraising totals may be misleading, since Poe only announced his retirement November 7. We won’t get a real bead on race finances until Q4 results are released in January 2018.