Tag Archives: Leticia Van de Putte cons

Leticia Van de Putte: Earning Every Vote

If State Senator and Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor Leticia Van de Putte really is behind by double digits in the polls, you wouldn’t know it if you see her in person.

In the final days up to what is sure to be an historic election, the candidate spent her time racing across the state on a grueling, 30-city Bus Tour.  Van de Putte hit virtually every corner of this state, including many places where she knew she wouldn’t be winning everybody’s vote.  Here’s more from Alexa Ura of the Texas Tribune who joined her for the Bus Tour…

LUFKIN- When state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s campaign bus drove up to the Goodwill Baptist Church here on Wednesday, she was greeted by an unusual sight in this Republican region: a lively group of Democrats.

“As Democrats here, we just try to keep the lights on and the flag up and say, ‘Yeah, we’re still here,’” said Glenn Donnahoe, a retired veteran active in Lufkin’s small Democratic community. But he added that the group gets energized when candidates like Van de Putte campaign here.

Van de Putte’s Lufkin appearance, attended by more than 50 people, was one of four East Texas campaign stops Wednesday for the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate’s statewide bus tour.

It could seem unusual for Van de Putte, a decided underdog against Republican state Sen.Dan Patrick, to be here the week before Election Day. But she said splitting the homestretch of her campaign between Democratic strongholds like the Rio Grande Valley and conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas is key to increasing voter turnout to give her a chance to propel Texas Democrats to their first statewide win in 20 years.

“We’re different in regions, but we’re no different in the way we dream big,” Van de Putte told the Lufkin crowd, as she attempted to forge a last-minute connection with voters many miles from her Senate district in San Antonio.

This type of “shoe leather campaign” is exactly what people expect from the political underdog. All year, Van de Putte has run an open, honest campaign, well-evidenced by her impressive slate of endorsements.  Her willingness to talk to voters, even in places like East Texas where she’s unlikely to win.  Have you seen Dan Patrick campaigning and holding press events… well anywhere lately??

The campaign bus rolled through Houston last week, and Texas Leftist was there to take pictures and even grab a short video of the candidate’s speech.  Check them out here…

LVdP Tour Bus

LVdP Hou2

LVdP Hou3

LVdP Hou1

 

Through the course of this campaign, Leticia has proven why she is the smart choice for Texas.  As great as glitzy TV ads may make a candidate look, they are very little on substance, and far inferior to the type of personal interactions that truly good politicians strive for.  Van de Putte made it her mission to greet voters across the state, and sit with every media outlet possible, whether they are titans like the Texas Tribune and Dallas Morning News, or simple bloggers like Texas Leftist. This level of commitment and dedication used to count for something in politics, and I for one sincerely hope it pays off for Van de Putte tonight.  Sure Dan Patrick can buy a lot of votes, but Leticia Van de Putte has done the true work of earning Texas votes, and she should be commended.

If you haven’t voted yet, be sure to get in line at your polling place before 7pm tonight. And hopefully when you get there, you will support smart, savvy candidates like Leticia Van de Putte.

 

 

Texas Lt. Gubernatorial Debate: Review

Well Dan Patrick said it best…

In the race for Lieutenant Governor, there has never been such a clear difference between two candidates.

Which is indeed a true statement… one of a precious few the Houston-area Senator and Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor told during his debate with San Antonio Democrat Leticia Van de Putte, who is vying for the same office also with her party’s nomination.  Patrick was even given a Pants on Fire rating for one of his responses, as according to the Politifact scoring of the contest.  This was a running theme for the evening with Patrick, who insisted issue after issue that his plans were sound, even when there was a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Take the tax plan that Dan Patrick is proposing, where he wants to lower property taxes for all Texas home and business owners, yet still manage to fund all of the government’s responsibilities.  How does he propose doing this?  By raising sales taxes.  Leticia Van de Putte was quick to rebut this plan, correcting Patrick that property taxes aren’t even controlled by the state, but by local governments and school districts.  Patrick is correct that the state can set lower caps on property tax, but that decreases funds for all of these essential services.

The subject of Education brought the most fiery point of the evening.  Van de Putte stated that when faced with budget short falls in 2011, the state Legislature had a choice to cut, or to invest.  Here’s what Van de Putte said to her opponent…

You need a Math lesson. The fact is that 11,000 teachers lost their jobs.  8,000 class waivers.  A judge has said that our system is inefficient, inequitable and not working.

Patrick’s response was not deny the cuts, but simply double down and try to justify them

Those 11,000 teachers [that’s] a lot of jobs. But by the way we have 332,000 teachers. And those 11,000 teachers were a lot who just retired.  And those 11,000 slots were for the replaced by, like the Math Department head, or various people.  So your children weren’t shorted.

From listening to this, it’s that Senator Patrick needs more than just a Math lesson.  He apparently doesn’t understand the concept of forced retirement, where a teacher is let go long before their choosing.  Nor does he understand that when schools lost teachers, each of those “various people” had to take on extra classes and students to meet the desperate of growing schools that were making substantial cuts.  Patrick can say certainly claim that the school children of Texas “weren’t shorted” from disastrous decisions waged by the GOP, but if that were the case, then why are 600 school districts suing the state due to under-funding? If the “children weren’t shorted” then why decide to restore some of the funding cuts during the 2013 legislative session, and why did your campaign team boast that you “led the charge” to do so??  Say whatever you want Dan… it’s still not true.

One other very clear distinction was on the issue of marriage equality.  Dan Patrick confirmed that under no circumstances would he support a movement for marriage equality in the state of Texas.  Van de Putte had a different view…

I think people’s attitudes are changing.  What we know is that our Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters are in our work force, and in our families.  They deserve full equality.  As Lieutenant Governor, I would make sure that this discussion on equality would continue.  That’s why I sponsored a bill last Legislative session to make sure our Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters are not discriminated against [in the workplace].

An historic position for a major party, statewide candidate in Texas, and yet another indicator of just how clear of a choice voters have this fall.  In performance, Leticia Van de Putte struck a good balance between consistency, and sincerity.  She forcefully rebutted Patrick when needed, but was also able to stay on track.  Patrick’s style was not bad by any measure, but at times, he lost control, and even became angry when answering Van de Putte.  I guess that’s what happens when you have to work so hard to distort the truth.

In any case, Leticia Van de Putte was the clear winner of this debate. The entire event is linked below, so watch, share with friends and decide for yourself…

 

TLCQ 2014: Leticia Van de Putte

In the Ninth installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Leticia Van de Putte, Texas State Senator and candidate for Lieutenant Governor.  She is a Democrat.

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.

 

TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

LVdP:  Leticia Van de Putte

 

TL:  Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?

LVdP:

1999 – Present     Texas State Senate District 26

1991 – 1999        Texas House of Representatives District 115

 

TL:  As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?

LVdP:  Our state government is responsible for public safety, public education, and building the infrastructure for a strong economy. These are critical services to our communities that can no longer be ignored.

Sadly, we have politicians who are more interested in political score cards than our student’s report cards, numerous school districts have been left without basic resources. Rich and poor alike, fast-growing, suburban, and rural, school districts across Texas have had no other option but to sue the state because our neighborhood schools remain underfunded and our school finance system is broken.

As Lieutenant Governor, I will ensure that government works for the people. That it is meeting the needs of our growing Texas population and fulfilling our responsibility of prioritizing public education.

 

TL:  If elected, name 3 top priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session.  Describe how you plan to accomplish them.

LVdP:

Education: Getting kids to and through a quality education – My Texas First plan will adequately fund our local neighborhood schools. Overcrowded classrooms in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade tripled after the education cuts of 2011. 11,000 teacher jobs were gone just like that. Parents should no longer have to wonder if their child’s class will be overcrowded, students should no longer have to wonder whether one test will determine whether they graduate, and teachers should no longer have to pull money from their pockets just so that their students have basic supplies.

And I will make higher education within the reach of every hard-working high school graduate. Not every high school graduate will go to college but every one of them deserves the opportunity to go. That’s why I am proposing we create the Texas Promise Scholarship Program. It would offer all qualifying high school graduates two years of free community college or advanced technical training. Higher education is getting further and further out of reach for everyday Texans – but we can change that. A one time investment of capital that is sitting in state budget coffers today can change the lives of an entire generation of Texans. I want Texas voters to have the final say, so when it passes the legislature next session, it would be put before voters as a constitutional amendment.

Improved quality of life for veterans, service members and their families – As the daughter of a veteran, I know that it takes a family to serve and that to truly honor those who protect us, we must improve the quality of life for military members, veterans, and their families and support our military bases.

My Texas First Plan will ensure that our veterans receive the health care they need and have earned; have access to higher education and training opportunities; and get college credit for their military service. I will continue the work I have done as Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations to fulfill the promise to our military members, veterans and their families that Texas is the number one state for them to return, prosper, raise their families, and retire.

Building roads for the 21st century – I have a plan to invest in good public roads and a sustainable future water supply. These two ingredients that are essential for a prosperous economic future have been neglected for too long. I will lead with courage to move our state towards making smart investments in roads and bridges that keep Texas moving forward. And I will ensure that our families and communities have the water they need to grow. With Texas being one of the most rapidly growing states and having just suffered one of the worst droughts in its history, we can no longer afford for basic needs such as roads and water to be neglected.

 

TL:  A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.  Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association.  Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance.  This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded healthcare benefits in other states. If elected Lieutenant Governor, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong?  If not, please explain why.  If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure.  

LVdP:  As a practicing pharmacist for over thirty years, I have seen the successes and shortcomings of the healthcare system firsthand. After decades of experience serving my community, I know that access to healthcare is a right that all Texans deserve, not just the ones who can afford it.

I understand that healthcare is a costly and complex system in our state, but also realize that Texas simply cannot thrive when 1 out of every 4 Texans has no health insurance coverage. With the highest rate of uninsured in the country, Texas hospitals struggle to provide over $4 billion per year in uncompensated care, while county and local governments spend roughly $2.5 billion in local tax dollars on indigent care. We need a solution that will better utilize our resources and increase access to effective services, so that millions of hard-working Texans can have the opportunity to care for themselves and their families.

I’m committed to work with all stakeholders to develop a plan that will incorporate personal responsibility without sacrificing care. I will put politics aside and encourage collaboration to expand Medicaid eligibility to up to 138% of the federal poverty line through a customized solution designed to meet the unique needs of our state. I will facilitate negotiations between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the federal government to reach reasonable compromises and obtain approval of a Texas Solution.

I will ensure that Texas maintains the flexibility to make significant reforms to the Medicaid program. A Texas solution could include cost-sharing provisions found in plans already negotiated by other conservative states, such as manageable co-pays and premiums based on income, contributions to health savings accounts, healthy lifestyle incentives, and even using federal funds to buy private insurance.

 

TL:  What makes you the best candidate for this office?

LVdP:  I’m a sixth generation Texan, a pharmacist for over 30 years, and a proven effective legislator for over 20 years. I’m a mother and a grandmother, and I’m a Texan first. I bring my experience as a pharmacist and a small business owner to this race and I have a prescription for Texas. From ending high stakes testing for our students to ensuring all qualified high school graduates have the opportunity to continue their education, I have a prescription to build roads and highways so we can continue to support our businesses and create high paying jobs in Texas. My prescription will ensure veterans and their families have access to the resources they need and have earned, and we will secure the border and hold Washington accountable to fix our broken immigration system.

A leader listens first and then works with the brightest minds, regardless of political affiliation, to put Texas first. I am determined to leave a Texas with more opportunity for my grandchildren than was given to my generation. That means fighting for our neighborhood schools, ensuring affordable health care, building a smart economy, and investing in a strong infrastructure.

As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll make sure Texas is a better place to live, learn, and start a business.

 

TL:  When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?

LVdP:  I love to cook for my large family. My husband Pete and I will usually have our kids and grandkids come over on Sunday nights and I make my speciality which they call ‘The Holy Trinity’. It is frijoles (beans), fideo (vermicelli), and picadillo (meat).

 

Thanks to Senator Van de Putte for her participation.

 

(photo credit:  Kathleen Kamphausen) 

Leticia Van de Putte Launches TV Campaign

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte continues with another huge step in her historic campaign to be Texas’ first Female, Hispanic Lieutenant Governor. Today the Democratic candidate released her first major statewide TV ads.  Here’s more from the Van de Putte campaign via press release…

San Antonio, TX — This weekend, Leticia Van de Putte is releasing her first two television ads, one in English and a separate ad in Spanish. The 30-second spots are a significant buy in multiple major media markets, as well as markets with a dominant Latino population.

In “Twice,” Leticia Van de Putte directly calls out Dan Patrick, who voted twice against our kids. Patrick’s cuts to our neighborhood schools in 2011 resulted in the loss of 11,000 teacher jobs. In 2013, Leticia worked across the aisle with many Republicans to put Texas first and support our students. Despite bipartisan support for our neighborhood schools, Dan Patrick voted against our kids — again.

http://youtu.be/nfJSeVnBTyU

In “Respeto,” Leticia Van de Putte shares about the respect that every Texan deserves. Leticia introduces her immigrant grandmothers; as well as the service of her mother, a teacher, and that of her father, a veteran. Texans never give up, and Leticia — a mother of six, grandmother of six, pharmacist and a State Senator — commits to continue the fight to protect the future of our kids.

http://youtu.be/x5CbyT1qsg0

The aspirational nature of “Respeto”  speaks deeply to a community whose voice has long been lacking in Texas statewide politics.  “Twice” does a great job of straddling the lines of presenting negative information on the opponent, while managing to be a net positive ad. Touting her strong bipartisan record and unique family story, these ads seem to have all the right ingredients for success.

With six weeks to go before the first votes are cast, it’s impossible to predict just what kind of impact will be had from these spots.  But by getting out ahead of her opponent Dan Patrick with strong ads, Leticia has assured that the first “big move” is hers.