Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Hegar’

85th Texas Legislative Session Begins Today

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Lock up your women and liquor, the legislature is back in town!

The 85th Texas Legislative Session started today, and one of the biggest concerns is a smaller budget, as detailed by the comptroller:

For 2018-19, the state can expect to have $104.9 billion in funds available for general-purpose spending, a 2.7 percent decrease from the corresponding amount of funds available for the 2016-17 biennium. If not for the new constitutional provision dedicating up to $5 billion in biennial sales tax revenue to the State Highway Fund (SHF) starting in fiscal 2018-19, projected funds available for general-purpose spending for 2018-19 would be $109.6 billion, 1.7 percent greater than in 2016-17.

The $104.9 billion available for general-purpose spending represents 2018-19 total revenue collections of $106.5 billion in General Revenue-related (GR-R) funds, plus $1.5 billion in balances from 2016-17, less $3.1 billion reserved from oil and natural gas taxes for 2018-19 transfers to the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) and the SHF.

Tax revenues account for approximately 87 percent of the estimated $106.5 billion in total GR-R revenue in 2018-19. Sixty-two percent of GR-R tax revenue will come from net collections of sales taxes, after more than $4.7 billion is allocated to the SHF. Other significant sources of General Revenue include motor vehicle sales and rental taxes; oil and natural gas production taxes; franchise tax; insurance taxes; collections from licenses, fees, fines and penalties; interest and investment income; and net lottery proceeds.

In addition to the GR-R funds, the state is expected to collect $74.9 billion in federal income as well as other revenues dedicated for specific purposes and therefore unavailable for general-purpose spending. Revenue collections from all sources and for all purposes should total $224.8 billion.

Absent any appropriations by the Legislature, the ESF balance is expected to be $11.9 billion at the end of the 2018-19 biennium, below the ESF constitutional limit of an estimated $16.9 billion.

Following a strong 5.9 percent increase in real gross state product in fiscal 2015, the Texas economy is estimated to have grown by only 0.2 percent in 2016, well below the average growth rate of 3.8 percent per year over the past 20 years. Contraction in activity related to oil and natural gas production has been a drag on state economic growth. Still, the diversity of the Texas economy has allowed for continued growth in employment over the past two years and we expect sustained growth over the coming biennium. Texas stands in contrast to other states with large energy industries, many of which have suffered through declines in employment and economic output.

Here’s an eyechart visual summary. Click for a bigger version.

The budget is the meat-and potatoes of the legislature, but we’ll get to some hot-button issues (like sanctuary cities and tranny bathrooms) at a later date.

Hilderbran Withdraws, Hegar Advances

Friday, March 7th, 2014

When last we checked, Glenn Hegar was on the edge of winning the Republican nomination for Comptroller outright, but he ended up garnering a frustrating 49.99% of the vote.

Thankfully, primary opponent Harvey Hilderbran has aceeded to reality and announced he’s withdrawing from the race, saving everyone a lot of money and effort for contesting a race that was already a foregone conclusion.

Hegar will face (and most likely obliterate) Democrat Mike Collier in November.

A Quick Overview of Primary Results

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

A very brief look at last night’s primary results:

  • John Cornyn won, but couldn’t break 60% against a field of underfunded challengers.
  • The Democratic Senate runoff is going to be between the big-spender David Alameel and the LaRouche candidate Kesha Rogers.
  • As expected, both Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis won their gubernatorial primaries. But Abbott garnered 91% and over 1.2 million votes, the most of any candidate for any office. By contrast, Davis got 432,000 votes and won 79% of the vote against underfunded challenger Ray Madrigal, indicating a distinct enthusiasm gap despite Davis’ nationwide MSM cheer-leading corps.
  • Dan Patrick’s early lead over incumbent David Dewhurst in the Lt. Governor’s race held up. Patrick pulled in 550,742 votes for 41.5% of the vote, while Dewhurst got 376,164 votes for 28.3%. Maybe Dewhurst can carpet-bomb the runoff with money, but that’s an awful big gap to make up. We knew that Dewhurst losing to Cruz in 2012 hurt him; now we know how much.
  • Ken Paxton takes the lead into the runoff with 566,080 votes over Dan Branch’s 426,561.
  • Glenn Hegar is hovering right at the threshold of beating Harvey Hildebran outright in the Comptroller race.
  • George P. Bush garnered 934,501 to win the Land Commissioner primary…or over twice as many votes as Wendy Davis.
  • Sid Miller (410,273) and Tommy Merritt (248,568) are heading for a runoff for Agricultural Commissioner, leaving Joe Straus ally Eric Opiela out in the cold.
  • All the Ted Cruz-endorsed Supreme Court incumbents won their races.
  • Super-tight runoff in U.S. House District 23 between Francisco “Quico” Canseco and Will Hurd to face Democratic incumbent Pete Gallego. Canseco held the seat before Gallego, and whoever wins the runoff has a good chance of taking the swing seat back.
  • Katrina Pierson was unable to unseat Pete Sessions in U.S. House District 32, garnering 36.4% of the vote. As I feared, Sarah Palin’s endorsement came to late to truly capitalize on it in fundraising.
  • Matt McCall did even better, where he and another challenger kept Lamar Smith at 60.4% in U.S. House District 21. Though they won their primaries, Sessions and Smith might be vulnerable to further challenges in 2016.
  • As far as I can tell, every U.S. or statewide incumbent Republican either won or is leading their race. Except David Dewhurst.
  • A Random Assortment of Texas Statewide Race News

    Monday, March 3rd, 2014

    With primary voting upon us tomorrow, it looks like I’ve run out of campaign to cover. Here then is a quick, scatter-shot batch of snippets on various races:

  • Wendy Davis is super popular…just not in Texas. “27 percent of the money Davis raised in the last filing quarter came from donors outside Texas, compared to just 2 percent of Abbott’s total.”
  • In the Comptroller race, Glenn Hegar seems to have have racked up the lion’s share of conservative endorsements, and is also winning the money race over Harvey Hilderbran (who has mostly racked up the endorsements of business groups, newspapers, and “shill” groups like Steve Holtz’s “Conservative Republicans of Texas“). 2010 Gubernatorial hopeful Debra Medina is also polling strongly despite having raised relatively little money, I didn’t think she was ready for primetime in 2010, but Comptroller is probably a great spot for a Libertarian. I’d vote Hegar over Medina, but I’d vote both over Hilderbran.
  • The Agricultural Commissioner’s race is easier to narrow down with who not to vote for, namely J. Allen Carnes, who voted Democratic until 2012, and “donated to Texas Democrats Pete Gallego, Henry Cuellar, and Ciro Rodriguez.” Also who to vote against: Eric Opiela, AKA Joe Straus’ lawyer. By contrast, Sid Miller seems to have racked up an impressive list of endorsements.
  • In the Land Commissioner race, George P. Bush does have a primary opponent in David Watts, who has actually racked up a fair number of endorsements. Plus Paul Burka isn’t impressed with George P. Bush’s campaign (and Burka may even be right for a change).
  • Lt. Governor race roundup. if the Chronicle paywall won’t let you in, search for the first sentence on Google news. Here’s some damning-with-faint-praise for Todd Staples: “‘Staples becomes a plausible alternative if you don’t have Dewhurst in the race,’ Henson said. ‘My impression is that he is well-liked in the Capitol special-interest community.'” Ouch!
  • Here’s your biannual reminder that Texas mainstream media outlets almost always endorse the most liberal candidate.
  • Statewide Race Update for December 31, 2013

    Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

    I thought I would do a better job of keeping tabs on Texas statewide races, but there are just too many for me to do a good job tracking all of them. Going into next year, I’ll try to do a decent job of keeping track of the Governor’s Race (Spoiler: Greg Abbot wallops Wendy Davis), the Lt. Governor’s race, and the Attorney General’s race, and tidbits on any other races will just be a bonus. (If you know of any sites doing extensive coverage of the Ag Commissioner or Comptroller races, let me know.)

    Here’s a roundup that will include some oldish news.

  • The most hilarious liberal initiative in the Texas governor’s race has to be Lady Parts Justice PAC. No, this is not an Instapundit parody. Liberals have actually reduced half American citizens to their genitalia. “Ladies! Why think with your brain when you can think with your vagina?”
  • Wendy Davis hires out-of-state consultant to run her campaign. This is my shocked face.
  • On the Democratic side, Wendy Davis and a Reynaldo “Ray” Madŕigal have filed for governor (I’m assuming it’s the same Madrigal who pulled in 5.7% in a run for Corpus Christi Mayor in 2012) and outgoing El Paso Mayor John F. Cook is running for Land Commissioner.
  • Interview with Madrigal:

  • Greg Abbott pledges to keep Texas budgets small.
  • Abbot and Davis wrangle over redistricting lawyers fees.
  • Davis is not ready for prime time. “All this leaves me seriously wondering whether Davis’ campaign has any chance of winning in 2014. Or worse: whether Davis didn’t take the Valley seriously enough to come here polished and ready and with her A-team. Surely this type of poor venue and repetitive shallow non-statements and unprofessional media handling wouldn’t play, in say, a Dallas crowd.” And that’s from a liberal Democrat.
  • There was a Lt. Governor’s debate: – KCEN HD – Waco, Temple, and Killeen

  • Todd Staples releases a good list of heavy hitting donors.
  • David Dewhurst releases a better one. Harlan Crow, Jerry Jones, Red McCombs and Drayton MacLane all stick out as particularly heavy hitters. (Another name, Kevin Eltife, is probably best know as a Republican state senator who wants to raise taxes.)
  • David Dewhurst has a campaign video out:

  • Jerry Patterson touts his 2nd Amendment credentials:

  • Dan Patrick touts the endorsement of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.
  • A closer look at how Michael Quinn Sullivan and TFR do endorsements.
  • Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio makes her Lt. Governor’s run official.
  • Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton racks up over 220 East Texas endorsements for his Attorney General bid.
  • Paxton also campaigned in East Texas.
  • He also announced the endorsement of Ted Cruz for Senate chairman Kelly Shackelford:

  • As well as state senator Brian Birdwell

  • The Texas Tribune does a roundup of the AG race, noting Paxton had won 6 out of 6 straw polls, while Dan Branch raised the most money (including a check from George W. Bush).
  • Meanwhile, AG candidate Barry Smitherman touts his right to life endorsements.
  • AG candidate Dan Branch vowed to defend Texas Voter ID Laws. I doubt that’s a differentiator among GOP candidate…
  • Branch also picked up a lot of business endorsements, including Texas Association of Builders’ HOMEPAC, the Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND, and the Texas Apartment Association. It was always pretty clear Branch was going to get the lion’s share of “moneybags PACs” endorsements…
  • Susan Combs endorses Glenn Hegar for Comptroller.
  • Sid Miller is running for Agricultural Commissioner, and he’s already wrapped up endorsements from Young Conservatives of Texas, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and Ted Nugent.
  • 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:


    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?)


    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…