Tag Archives: Greg Abbott cons

Vote For $10.10: Wendy Davis Pledges To Raise Texas Minimum Wage

Texas is often heralded for being the most prolific job creator in the United States.  One look at the basic employment rolls reveals that in itself, that is a true statement.

What is often missed in that purely quantitative assessment of the roaring Texas job factory?  Too many Texans are forced to work in low-wage jobs that have no benefits, and are living paycheck to paycheck with little ability to meet their most basic needs, much less plan for their future.  This is the painful reality that occurs in a state that has encouraged corporations to put profits over people for far too long.  As revealed in a recent study by The Economic Policy Institute (via Fortune Magazine), it turns out that Texas needs an increase of the minimum wage more than any other state…

Which state needs a minimum wage increase the most?

The Economic Policy Institute tried to answer this question by examining how many state residents would be directly affected by a minimum wage hike to $10.10 and what sort of state stimulus such a raise would produce.

After crunching the numbers, there was a clear winner: Texas, where the current minimum wage is the federally mandated $7.25 an hour.

Out of an estimated total workforce of nearly 11 million in Texas, a $10.10 minimum wage would directly affect 1.95 million people – in other words, that many Texans would get a raise because a $10.10 wage would surpass what they currently make. (Another 920,000 Texans would be indirectly affected since they make just above $10.10 and a minimum wage hike would likely adjust pay scales overall.)

With so many Texans struggling to make ends meet, one would think that calls to raise the state’s minimum wage would be growing louder. In recent months, there have been several prominent protests from national sources, but not as much organizing done exclusively at the state level.

The grand irony here?  Raising Texas’ minimum wage wouldn’t just benefit low-wage workers, but would likely be a huge boon to business across the state as well.  Here’s more on that, again from Fortune Magazine…

What outpaces other states even more is the economic benefit that Texas would receive from a $10.10 minimum wage. The EPI estimates that the state would see a gross domestic product impact of $3.1 billion, that’s nearly $2 billion more than the potential stimulus in Florida — again the runner-up.

It’s not just the total number of workers in Texas – the second most populous state in the U.S. – that puts the state in this position. It’s also the state’s incredibly large low-wage workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 400,000 workers in Texas whose hourly wage is at or below the federal standard of $7.25 – more than double that of any other state. While that’s a lot in absolute terms, it also represents a large portion of the state’s overall workforce: 6.4% — the fifth highest percentage in the country, behind Tennessee, Idaho, Arkansas and Alabama.

Many business leaders have figured out that raising wages is good for them.  Take for example Buc-ee’s… the gas station and knick-knack chain that is quickly becoming a Lone Star institution.  Key to their undeniable success?  The fact all workers are paid wages starting at $11.50 per hour.   Contrary to all the horror stories people tell about stores collapsing if they’re forced to pay employees more, and prices of goods surging out of control, Buc-ee’s is doing just fine.

Right now, people in every corner of the Lone Star State are making critical decisions in the voting booth about education, health care, and future government priorities.  Though the actual minimum wage may not be up for a vote in 2014, you can be sure that this issue is on the ballot.  If you support raising the minimum wage for the state of Texas, then you should also support Wendy Davis… the only candidate that has pledged to do just that.  As a former minimum wage worker and single mom, she knows that even if politicians and news media aren’t always talking about it, establishing a living wage for Texas will have a drastic effects on millions of people’s lives.

Here’s what Davis said last month, via the Victoria Advocate

Raising the minimum wage suddenly became a hot issue in the Texas governor’s race just after Labor Day, with Democrat Wendy Davis endorsing it, and Republican Greg Abbott opposing it.

The national campaign by fast-food workers calling for raising the minimum wage helped spark the discussion.

“I’ll fight to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 because this is a family issue,” Davis declared Thursday at a rally at the University of Texas-San Antonio, during her multicity tour of universities.

“Half of the 2.8 million people in Texas who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage are supporting families,” Davis said.

“$7.25 an hour is $15,000 a year, and I know from experience that is not enough to support a family,” Davis said.

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, also supports raising the state’s minimum wage.  As the state’s highest elected officials, Davis and Van de Putte would truly have the ability to bring this need to light and commit the legislature to a wage increase.

On the other hand, Davis’ opponent Greg Abbott remains a vigorous defender low-wages for the Lone Star state.

A lot of people think that elections don’t matter, or that their vote isn’t going to make a difference in an election.  But in 2014 for the state of Texas, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  If Texans show up to the polls during Early Voting and on Election Day, they will have Wendy Davis as Governor.  And that decision could result in a living wage for literally millions of people.  This time, it’s just too important to sit out.

‘Can’t survive on $7.25?’  Then vote for Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte.  Vote for $10.10.  

 

Wendy Davis’ Closing Argument? Education

After a tough and complex campaign season, there are some tell tale signs that the end is near.  One of them?  In the seemingly endless barrage of negative television ads, you start to get more that look less like pure attacks, and more like closing arguments. These ads finally show the candidate’s face, and try to leave a lasting impression on voters with the issue they care about the most.

On Wednesday morning, Wendy Davis released the ad that she hopes will send her to victory.  Titled “Our Kids”, it is one with a simple message that reaches voters from every part of the political spectrum.  Check out the full text and video below…

Education led me from a life of struggle to one filled with hope. I want every Texas child to have the same opportunity.
But that can’t happen when Greg Abbott goes to court to defend $5 billion dollars in cuts to our schools.

How much learning will your child do in a classroom crammed with 36 kids?

These are our kids, and this is their future.

I’m Wendy Davis. Let’s make Texas stronger for every hard-working Texan.

As campaign pieces go, this is one seems to be very effective.  It reminds Texans that the devastating 2011 cuts to education had real consequences… ones that many Texas school districts are still dealing with today.  There are kids in our state right now sitting in packed classrooms, teachers and school employees that lost their jobs in 2011, 2012 and 2013 because the districts, faced with tough decisions, had to get rid of entire programs like Art and Music, or severely pair back on after school opportunities.

Sure… after seeing this devastation up close, it’s true that the legislature restored some of the funding in 2013.  But the current funding levels are still not enough to meet the needs of a rapidly growing state.  And for the kids who had to suffer from the loss of a teacher or vital program, they will never get that instructional time back.

Let’s not forget that these same cuts have also been passed on to Texas taxpayers in school districts.  If you’re a voter in the Katy ISD tax zone, you probably know very well about the $748 million dollar bond referendum that is being decided at the polls right now.  If state funding sources had been available over the past two and a half years, would Katy ISD officials have to ask for so much money in 2014?  We all know that education dollars are an investment, and it’s quite possible that those disastrous cuts are causing schools to have to make up for lost time and resources now.    Katy ISD is just one of the 600 Texas school districts that are suing Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and all of the irresponsible GOP legislators that enacted those 2011 funding cuts.

In 2011, the state legislature abdicated its promise to invest Texas kids, and in the future of the state.  In her closing argument, Wendy Davis is right to remind voters of that promise, and that with the right leadership, there is a better way forward.  Let’s hope they listen, and vote.

 

Davis Hits Abbott With Controversial New Ad, Addressing “Wheelchair”

Like a lightning bolt, the Wendy Davis campaign released a new ad that struck the state of Texas faster than any tornado, hurricane or haboob.  Here’s what everyone is talking about, along with some immediate coverage from the Huffington Post...

The campaign of state Senator and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis (D) on Friday rushed to defend a controversial ad attacking her opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), after the ad received near-unanimous condemnation from Republicans and members of the media.

The spot attacks Abbott, who is partially paralyzed, for opposing litigation on behalf of disabled victims even though he in 2002 successfully sued for, and won, a large reward due to the accident that led to his paralysis.

“A tree fell on Greg Abbott,” the ad’s narrator says, over an image of an empty wheelchair. “Abbott argued a woman whose leg was amputated was not disabled because she had an artificial limb. He ruled against a rape victim who sued a corporation for failing to do a background check on a sexual predator. He sided with a hospital that failed to stop a dangerous surgeon who paralyzed patients.”

The ad was met with immediate derision from Republicans, who accused the Davis campaign of exploiting Abbott’s paralysis to resuscitate a floundering campaign in Republican-leaning Texas.

Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, called the spot “ridiculous.”

Reached for comment on Friday, a Davis spokesman brushed off the criticism and explained that Texans had a right to know about Abbott’s past history.

“What this ad shows is that after rightly seeking justice for himself, Greg Abbott turned around and spent his entire career denying that same kind of justice to other victims,” Davis communications director Zac Petkanas told The Huffington Post. “Whether they were victims of brutal rape, whether they were disabled individuals, or whether they were patients who were maimed by a surgeon who was under the influence. These are important questions that Texans have a right to know about.”

Petkanas said he wasn’t concerned the ad would backfire for Davis, instead insisting that it raised “legitimate questions” about the attorney general.

Whatever one’s initial reaction, the ad seems to have already accomplished its primary purpose for the Davis campaign… everyone is talking about it. That fact in itself raises awareness about the election and ups name ID for Davis when the Democratic candidate needs it the most. The more people that talk about it, the more will watch.

Abbott’s response to the TV spot was swift and expected. His campaign immediately condemned Davis for “attacking a guy in a wheelchair”. It’s a reasonable move by the campaign, and at the outset would seem to point to a clear advantage for Abbott.

But that defense can only last for so long before enough people actually see the spot, and join in the questions it raises. If Abbott was able to win a successful lawsuit from his life-altering event, why does he feel that other Texans don’t deserve the same rights to justice that he exercised and received? Given how Abbott himself has often volunteered, even promoted the sensitive information surrounding his accident, is that subject not “fair game” for Davis to discuss, especially when talking about the Attorney General’s clear record of hypocrisy? Soon, Greg Abbott will have to stop taking offense, and start giving substantive answers.

UPDATE: Wendy Davis herself has now defended the new ad via Twitter and Facebook, saying that she has some nothing wrong.

https://www.facebook.com/wendydavistexas/posts/10154745499045094

The reactions to the ad are coming back swiftly, but apparently, some news outlets are beginning to change their mind.  On Monday, Davis held a press conference with Disabled supporters that in part discussed similar stories to those in the ad.  Here’s coverage of that via the Chronicle

Davis set up the press conference, which featured more than a dozen disabled supporters, after her latest campaign ad that centered on Abbott’s own disability proved to be incredibly divisive, netting mostly negative reviews even among liberal media outlets.

The ad discusses Abbott and his support for tort reform, which came years after he received what’s believed to be at least a $10 million settlement when a downed tree branch partially paralyzed him. The ads starts, “A tree fell on Greg Abbott…”

Abbott supporters and conservative news organizations jumped on the incident, saying the staffer “dragged” White across the stage. The Washington Free Beacon, a right-leaning news outlet, called the move ”awkward,” linking to a video entitled, “Poor advance work at Wendy Davis presser.” Townhall.com called the move “absolutely shameless.”

“These critics have obviously never met someone with cerebral palsy before,” added White, who can walk and drive a car independently. “Our movements are awkward. It’s part of the condition.”

White also clashed with Abbott supporters and staffers including campaign advisor Dave Carney, criticizing them to apologize for tweeting out an article that called the disabled Wendy Davis supporters members “props.”

Here are some tweets from Lamar White Jr. following the press conference…

Lamar White Jr

Clearly some in the Right-wing blogosphere may regret their hasty reaction to today’s events.

What do you think of the new ad? Is it offensive? Could it be a game-changer for either candidate? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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Greg Abbott LIED During Debate Over School Funding Lawsuits!

If you can’t tell the truth while everyone is watching, when can you??

Here’s the shocking story from Progress Texas

Greg Abbott’s lie about why he’s defending $5.4 billion in Tea Party cuts for Texas school children is garnering scrutiny from Texas press, calling it “the most controversial exchange” of the entire debate.

We previously wrote about how Abbott was incorrect about the law he cited in the debate, and that he actually has the power to settle the school finance lawsuit. The key is that, contrary to what Abbott said, he can settle any case he wants so long as he notes that any agreement is contingent upon future approval by the Legislature.

Harvey Kronberg, of Quorum Report, took to TV to slam Abbott for his lie:

Kronberg: “I’ve been covering the Legislature for 25 years, and I can tell you that anytime somebody sues the government of the State of Texas successfully over a certain threshold, an Attorney General is empowered and has a great deal of discretion to settle, but over a certain dollar amount, it has to be approved by the Legislature. So he mischaracterized what the law does – it does allow him to settle, it’s simply contingent on legislative approval.”

To add even further issue with Abbott’s debate response, it turns out that he also lied about Wendy Davis voting for the law he referenced.  It was passed by the 2007 legislature, but Davis wasn’t elected until 2008 and therefore didn’t officially serve as Senator until 2009.

Now these are all issues based on Abbott’s actual response, but as written previously, the Republican candidate was careful to slither around Davis’ original question in the first place.  But in any case, this revelation is not going to look good for the “presumed” front-runner.  You can’t tell a lie with hundreds of thousands of people watching and expect it to go unnoticed.

Even if most voters haven’t tuned in to the Education saga, they don’t like it when politicians tell a proven lie.  If Democrats make an issue of this, it could hurt Greg Abbott and other Republicans in the final weeks to E-Day.