Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

LinkSwarm for January 19, 2018

Friday, January 19th, 2018

This morning starts with Republican house members calling for the release of a deeply disturbing secret memo that evidently relates to the whole FISA/Clinton/Obama misuse of America’s national security assets to spy on Domestic political opponents, including Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. House members who have read the memo say the scandal unveiled is “worse than Watergate.” Those reading this blog should already be broadly familiar with the outlines of the scandal.

However, since that memo hasn’t been released as of this writing, on with a regular Friday LinkSwarm.

Oh, and Democrats are still threatening a government shutdown over illegal alien amnesty for Obama’s “Dreamers.” So you’ve got that to look forward to as well.

  • Speaking of “Dreamers” (which, by the way, is also the name of a porn store in north Austin), illegal aliens of “Dreamer” age have a crime rate double that of American citizens.
  • Including the accused cop killer who says he “wish he killed more of the motherfuckers.”
  • “Analysis: Leftism is a status machine. A very, very successful status machine. Conservatives have lost status battle after status battle, often because they fought it as a policy battle. It rarely is.”

    The media offers people clues about what things are high status within the areas they cover. People notice, and act accordingly. Yet most conservatives still don’t understand Trump’s response:

    If I lower the media’s status, I will wreck their power.

    So The Donald says that the media has “some of the most dishonest people” he has ever seen. Not an arm’s length complaint. A direct and personal status attack, rooted in truth.

    Trump also acts in ways that cause journalists to fulfill his pre-suasion labeling. He makes “outrageous” statements, which many people outside the Beltway Bubble agree with. Those statements receive over-the-top media attacks, which make his enemies look ridiculous. Then events swiftly show that Trump had a point. Trump rubs it in, using the media’s own “Fake News” term against them and pouncing on every sloppy and dishonest mistake. As a final topper, Trump makes the dishonest media a focus during every massive rally. Which strengthens his out-grouping effect among participants and viewers.

    He uses ridicule and lèse majesté, not bended knee and appeals — note that subordinating word — to logical argument.

  • Jim Goad offers a brief essay on comparative shitholes:

    In terms of life expectancy, Norway leads the pack at 81.8 years. Then comes the USA (79.3), with a sudden drop to 63.5 years for Haitians and a mere 55.0 years for Somalians.

    Norway also wins the blue ribbon when it comes to per-capita income, which is a staggering 38 times that of Haitians and 173 times that of Somalians.

    The noble Norsemen also win when it comes to their nation’s mean IQ, which is 100 compared to the USA’s 98. Somalia (68) and Haiti (67) both suffer a mean IQ that is below the commonly accepted cutoff line for “retarded.”

    The only category where the USA comes out on top is the percentage of the population with access to improved sanitation facilities—one index claims that 100% of Americans can find a functional toilet if they try. Next comes Norway at 98.1%. Haiti (27.6%) and Somalia (23.5%) are far, far worse. According to Wikipedia, “Sewer systems and wastewater treatment are nonexistent” in Haiti, which would mean the country is a literal shithole.

  • Andrew McCarthy goes into great detail about what a nothingburger the entire Trump-Russia conspiracy fantasy is. Though larded up with the requisite National Review distaste for Trump, it does include a few valuable nuggets I hadn’t chanced across heretofore, including that the law firm of BakerHostetler was who was funneling payments from Natalia Veselnitskaya and Prevezon Holdings to Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson. (Hat tip: Ann Althouse.)
  • Is Sweden contemplating sending the army to regain control over no-go zones?
  • Democratic Senator Patty Murray’s office: “We don’t care about anti-Semitism in this office,” Murray’s senior adviser said. “We care about transgenders, we care about blacks, we care about Hispanics, we care about gays, we care about lesbians, we care about the disabled.”
  • Switzerland Rejects Citizenship Bids of Residents Who Have Been on Welfare.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Speaking of which: “Swiss town denies passport to Dutch vegan because she is ‘too annoying.'”
  • Why hasn’t power been restored to Puerto Rico? Maybe because Puerto Rican authorities were hoarding bital electrical equipment?
  • Austin on finalist list for Amazon’s second headquarters.
  • Baltmore’s mayor fires the police commissioner.
  • Dear Millennials: It has been scientifically proven that your music sucks.
  • East Coast Comicon bans Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo because he’s friends with Sean Hannity.
  • Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer for The Cranberries, dead at the untimely age of 46.
  • Former Senator, Republican Majority leader, Presidential candidate and World War II veteran Bob Dole just received the Congressional Gold Medal. Best tweet from the event:

  • Gonna pass on the expedited shipping, thanks.
  • A little light today, but I want to hit publish on this before that memo drops…

    LinkSwarm for January 13, 2017

    Saturday, January 13th, 2018

    Welcome to an out-of-band Saturday LinkSwarm!

  • Hawaii missile alert is a false alarm. Ooopsie…
  • The Gang of Six floats a terrible DACA deal.
  • Democrats are more worried about the color of immigrant’s skin than the content of their character. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Convicted felon running for Governor of Connecticut. As a Democrat, naturally…
  • Pamela Harris, a Democratic Brooklyn assemblywoman, was indicted on “four counts of making false statements, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of bankruptcy fraud, and a single count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice.”
  • Every county in Wisconsin has unemployment under 4%.
  • Waving an Israeli flag in Austria is now a hate crime. Insert your own “You know who else was from Austria?” joke here.
  • Feminists in a rage over something someone might say. So what else is new? (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Lasers are getting ten times more powerful every 3 years, soon Exawatt lasers will unlock fusion and more.” That’s cool and all, but practical fusion has always been 20 years away the entirety of my life… (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • Houston man combines his two passions. Namely cooking and forensic pathology. By making really cool knives.
  • Ohio bans sale of some 600 brands of alcohol merely because they can. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Does Magic: The Gathering have a pedophile problem?
  • People travel to Waco to see reality-TV foxed-up homes. Problem: They’re still in Waco. “It’s a mansion surrounded by homes that are falling apart.”
  • Conservative author Matt Margolis temporarily banned from Facebook for sharing ads for his book The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama…even though he had already paid for Facebook ads for it. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Outstanding life advice from Will Smith: “Fail early. Fail often. Fail forward.”

  • Important Florida Man safety tip: Do not pick up frozen iguanas and put them in your car intending to sell them for meat, because they will thaw out, revive, and bite you, causing your car to crash.
  • It looks like the mothership has arrived:

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • 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.

    LinkSwarm for December 29, 2017

    Friday, December 29th, 2017

    Welcome to the last LinkSwarm of one wild year!

  • Five Great Ways Trump Shook Up Washington in 2017.” (Hat tip: Mark Tapscott at Instapundit.)
  • “The RNC closed November 2017 with $39.9 million cash on hand, while the DNC closed November 2017 with $2.6 million in debt.”
  • Democratic Party voter registration is down in a number of states. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • Panic at the Washington Post as even they start to realize that the Russia-Trump fantasy is bunk. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Trouble in Texas: “Public Schools Using Taxpayer Resources to Defeat Republicans, Elect Democrats.”
  • Islamic State bombing in Kabul kills 40.
  • Why #NeverTrump should get with the program.
  • This weeks example of liberals bigwigs acting like sexual creeps comes from: Vice. Gee, with a name like that, what are the odds?
  • “Stephen Henderson, the managing director of opinion and commentary at The Detroit Free Press and a Pulitzer Prize Winner, was fired for alleged sexual misconduct.”
  • The link between polygamy and war.
  • Australia ends airstrikes against the Islamic State. That happens when you run out of targets. Thanks for the help, Australia!
  • “Democrat run Baltimore had 343 homicides in 2017, sets record for killings per capita.” A singular achievement for a city that already gave us Homicide: A Year in the Killing Streets, The Corner, and The Wire… (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • Here’s a real sweetheart: An Egyptian lawyer who says its a duty for Muslim men to rape women who wear revealing clothing.
  • How the beloved Charlie Brown Christmas Special almost never happened. Network executives hated the jazzy score and all that Christ stuff in Linus’ speech…
  • John Nolte on how hard Hollywood sucked this year. Though #6 should probably be #1…
  • Happy 2018, everyone!

    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.

    LinkSwarm for December 15, 2017

    Friday, December 15th, 2017

    Another week, another abbreviated LinkSwarm. I’m running out of year and a variety of tasks (including work) keep crowding more extensive blogging out.

  • Gallup poll shows support for decreasing immigration holding steady. (Hat tip: Mickey Kaus’ Twitter feed.)
  • More on that same poll (also via Kaus):

    An overwhelming majority of Hispanics opposes increasing immigration, but their position is entirely unrepresented in the Democratic party. It seems possible that the Democrats will throw away a winnable Senate seat in Alabama because they have nominated a pro-abortion extremist against a Republican who has been credibly accused of sexual assault and ephebophilia (probably better that you don’t look that up).

    Even ten years ago, Democrats were willing to nominate candidates who were culturally conservative (or at least willing to pretend to be culturally conservative) in order to replace conservative Republicans with somewhat-more-liberal Democrats. What changed?

    The first thing was the alleged coming of the “emerging Democratic majority,” which was supposed to be brought about by demographic change and a larger nonwhite share of the electorate. This Democratic majority has been a little late in arriving, but that isn’t the only important part of the story.

    Many liberal whites wanted to be rid of the culturally conservative, economically liberal, working-class white voters whom Democrats had courted in the previous decade. Upper-middle-class whites were embarrassed by these people. After all these centuries of white privilege, they never managed to get into a good school—or even a state college—and now they were making demands about trade and immigration.

    One of the themes that emerges from Shattered (a chronicle of the Clinton campaign) is that the Clinton operation didn’t want to make a strong play for working-class white voters in swing states. The Clintonites thought these voters were disposable. It was left to Barack Obama to point out that he had done better than Clinton in many heavily working-class white areas, because he had done those voters the courtesy of treating them as though they were as important as any other American.

  • Paul Ryan to retire?
  • Little appreciated is the fact that Ryan is also an expert fundraiser.
  • Former Massachusetts Democratic state senator Brian A. Joyce arrested on 113 counts, including “mail fraud, theft of federal funds, money laundering, scheme to defraud the IRS, 20 counts of extortion, seven counts of money laundering, and conspiracy to impair the functions of the IRS.” How did he do all that? He’s a coffee achiever! (Seriously. Read the story.)
  • The hard-left sorts over at Counterpunch are not at all impressed with the myriad serial flavors of liberal Trump Derangement Syndrome:

    This initial post-election propaganda was understandably somewhat awkward, as the plan had been to be able to celebrate the “Triumph of Love over the Forces of Hate,” and the demise of the latest Hitlerian bogeyman. But this was the risk the ruling classes took when they chose to go ahead and Hitlerize Trump, which they wouldn’t have done if they’d thought for a moment that he had a chance of actually winning the election. That’s the tricky thing about Hitlerizing people. You need to be able to kill them, eventually. If you don’t, when they turn out not to be Hitler, your narrative kind of falls apart, and the people you’ve fear-mongered into a frenzy of frothing, self-righteous fake-Hitler-hatred end up feeling like a bunch of dupes who’ll believe anything the government tells them. This is why, normally, you only Hitlerize foreign despots you can kill with impunity. This is Hitlerization 101 stuff, which the ruling classes ignored in this case, which the left poor liberals terrified that Trump was actually going to start building Trump-branded death camps and rounding up the Jews.

    Fortunately, just in the nick of time, the ruling classes and their media mouthpieces rolled out the Russian Propaganda story. The Washington Post (whose owner’s multimillion dollar deal with the CIA, of course, has absolutely no effect on the quality of its professional journalism) led the charge with this McCarthyite smear job, legitimizing the baseless allegations of some random website and a think tank staffed by charlatans like this “Russia expert,”who appears not to speak a word of Russian or have any other “Russia expert” credentials, but is available both for television and Senate Intelligence Committee appearances. Numerous similar smear piecesfollowed. Liberals breathed a big sigh of relief … that Hitler business had been getting kind of scary. How long can you go, after all, with Hitler stumbling around the White House before somebody has to go in there and shoot him?

    In any event, by January, the media were playing down the Hitler stuff and going balls-out on the “Russiagate” story. According to The Washington Post (which, let’s remember, is a serious newspaper, as opposed to a propaganda organ of the so-called US “Intelligence Community”), not only had the Russians “hacked” the election, but they had hacked the Vermont power grid! Editorialists at The New York Times were declaring that Trump “had been appointed by Putin,” and that the USA was now “at war” with Russia. This was also around the time when liberals first learned of the Trump-Russia Dossier, which detailed how Putin was blackmailing Trump with a video the FSB had shot of Trump and a bunch of Russian hookers peeing on a bed in a Moscow hotel in which Obama had allegedly slept.

    This nonsense was reported completely straight-faced, and thus liberals were forced to take it seriously. Imagine the cognitive dissonance they suffered. It was like that scene in 1984 when the Party abruptly switches enemies, and the war with Eurasia becomes the war with Eastasia. Suddenly, Trump wasn’t Hitler anymore. Now he was a Russian sleeper agent who Putin had been blackmailing into destroying democracy with this incriminating “golden showers” video. Putin had presumably been “running” Trump since Trump’s visit to Russia in 2013 to hobnob with “Russia-linked” Russian businessmen and attend the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. During the ensuing partying, Trump must have gotten loaded on Diet Coke and gotten carried away with those Russian hookers. Now, Putin had him by the short hairs and was forcing him to staff his Manchurian cabinet with corporate CEOs and Goldman Sachs guys, who probably had also been videotaped by the FSB in Moscow hotels paying hookers to pee on furniture, or performing whatever other type of seditious, perverted kink they were into.

    Before the poor liberals had time to process this, the ruling classes launched “the Resistance.” You remember the Pussyhat People, don’t you? And the global corporate PR campaign which accompanied their historic “Womens’ March” on Washington? Do you remember liberals like Michael Moore shrieking for the feds to arrest Donald Trump? Or publications like The New York Times, Salon, and many others, and even State Satirist Stephen Colbertaccusing Trump and anyone who supported him of treason … a crime, let’s recall, that is punishable by death? Do you remember folks like William Kristol and Rob “the Meathead” Reiner demanding that the “deep state” launch a coup against Trump to rescue America from the Russian infiltrators?

    Ironically, the roll-out of this “Russiagate” hysteria was so successful that it peaked too soon, and prematurely backlashed all over itself. By March, when Trump had not been arrested, nor otherwise removed from office, liberals, who by that time the corporate media had teased into an incoherent, throbbing state of anticipation were … well, rather disappointed. By April, they were exhibiting all the hallmark symptoms of clinical psychosis. This mental breakdown was due to the fact that the media pundits and government spooks who had been telling them that Trump was Hitler, and then a Russian sleeper agent, were now telling them that he wasn’t so bad, because he’d pointlessly bombed a Syrian airstrip, and dropped a $314 million Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb on some alleged “terrorist caves” in Afghanistan.

  • Intelligence Leaks Reveal Erdogan Regime Arming Criminal Turkish Gangs in Germany.” He’s just a barer of light and joy all around… (Hat tip: Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.)
  • Where was that explosion on the “Arab Street” all those “experts” warned us about if President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?
  • Sweden has an antisemitism problem, but refuses to admit it’s a result of its Muslim refugee problem.
  • Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Is it working? Mostly. But it’s not a cure-all. Interesting piece.
  • How Jennifer Rubin turned into Dana Milbank. (Hat tip: Dr. Milton Wolfe’s Twitter feed.)
  • Police: “This man is a rapist!” Judge: “Were you just going to ignore the 40,000 texts from the alleged victim asking for sex?”
  • Senior Hamas leader arrested. Good.
  • Did a Long island woman launder money to the Islamic State using Bitcoin? (Hat tip: Director Blue.) (And let me apologize for ruining your previously Bitcoin-free LinkSwarm…)
  • More on the Wisconsin John Doe Witch Hunt.
  • Everyone’s favorite Tweeter, Texas Supreme Court justice Don Willett, was confirmed to the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Congrats, Justice Willett!
  • As was former Texas Solicitor General James Ho.
  • With Ho’s appointment, President Donald Trump broke broke the all-time record for first year judicial appointments.
  • This week’s winning pervert in the Sexual Harassment Sweepstakes is… senior Disney music executive Jon Heely. Now I feel even more conflicted about Devo 2.0.
  • Seven woman have now accused 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski of sexual harassment.
  • Speaking of sexual abuse, I really hope these horrific “blind” sexual abuse allegations against unnamed Hollywood celebrities are untrue. If not, life in prison for the perpetrators is too good for them…
  • Russia has a new stealth fighter, the Su-57. Too bad for them its engines won’t be ready until 2027… (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • (screamingheadline)RUSSIA TROLLS BOUGHT ADS BEFORE BREXIT!!!! (in small type) All of 97¢ worth. And Slashdot thought this was worth a entire post.
  • “Net Neutrality” scrapped, Slashdot hit hardest:

  • The top-ranked restaurant in London, The Shed at Dulwich, is so exclusive it doesn’t exist. (Hat tip: Sarah Hoyt at Instapundit.)
  • 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.

    Deadline Filing Passes: Quick Impressions on Texas Statewide Races

    Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

    Monday was the deadline to file for the 2018 Texas primaries. You have to give credit to whoever in the Texas Democratic Party was in charge of candidate recruitment: unlike many previous years, “Democrats put up candidates for every statewide elected post, except one open seat on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, an initial tally of filings showed Monday night.”

    Here are my quick impressions of some of the more competitive statewide primary races to be fought between now and March 6.

    Democratic Governor’s Race

    See this post. The press is going to cover this as an Andrew White vs. Lupe Valdez race. I think there’s a 50% chance Grady Yarborough makes the runoff.

    Republican Agricultural Commissioner’s Race

    This race has already turned nasty, with incumbent Sid Miller and challenger Trey Blocker launching nasty Facebook attack ads at each other. One of Blocker’s consultants is Matt Mackowiak, who was just elected to a 2018-2020 term as Travis County GOP chairman unopposed, and whose Twitter feed I follow.

    Republican Land Commissioner’s Race

    Former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has filed to run against incumbent George P. Bush. Patterson is going to have a real uphill fight to unseat Bush, since Patterson lost badly in his last race for Lt. Governor, coming in fourth in a four man race, and the Bush family machine has a legendary fundraising network, having raised more than $3 million in a down-ballot race in 2014. But various Alamo controversies and the fact that Bush has never run in even a slightly competitive race might give Patterson a chance to make the race close. Even so, Bush is still the heavy favorite.

    Tomorrow (hopefully): A look at competitive U.S. congressional district races.

    Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes House

    Monday, December 11th, 2017

    Good news!

    In a resounding show of support for the Second Amendment, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a legislative package that included H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, and H.R. 4477, the Fix NICS Act of 2017. The bipartisan vote of 231 to 198 advanced a measure that would allow law-abiding Americans who are eligible to carry a concealed handgun under the law of a state to do so in all other U.S. states and territories that recognize the right of their own residents to carry concealed. Without a doubt, this is the strongest piece of self-defense legislation to ever come before Congress. It would also help shore up the National Instant Criminal Background Check System used for licensing and retail firearm purchases by adding additional layers of transparency and accountability to the system.

    “Bipartisan” is a bit of a stretch: 225 Republicans voted for the bill along with a measly 6 Democrats. 14 Republicans and 184 Democrats voted against it. All Republicans in the Texas delegation voted for the bill, and two of the Democrat yes votes were from Texas: Vicente Gonzalez of the 15th Congressional District and Henry Cueller of the 28th. Predictably, U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke voted against the bill. O’Rourke was the one setting up a live Facebook feed for the Democrats gun control sit-in stunt last year, so he appears to be all-in on gun control, an issue that is likely to place him strongly at odds with the majority of Texas voters.