Tag Archives: Leticia Van de Putte vs Dan Patrick

Changing Texas’ TEA- Driven Politics

In government, there is an inextricable, but also uncomfortable link between politics and policy.  Politics is something of a theatrical endeavor… a compelling story, a charismatic candidate, the right thing (or the wrong thing) said at the right moment that motivates voters in one direction or another.  It’s an art form that in many ways seems a natural fit for the most brilliant of performers.

Policy, in so many ways, is the polar opposite… taking the most difficult problems of a community, and trying to make them better. Policy is best structured when people of differing opinions come together, debate each other’s views and forge a compromise that works for everyone.

Recent years in Texas have seen a whole lot of bad politics, and very little policy.  Thanks to regressive TEA party influences, Republicans in the legislature have wasted lots of time and money making harmful cuts to the state budget, while creating massive problems for families across the state.  For evidence of this, look no further than the devastation waged during the 2011 legislature.

Thankfully 2014 has seen the re-emergence of diverse ideas, and a robust policy conversation in Texas.  Even before November votes are cast, the influence of Texas Democrats has done a great deal to counter policies driven by the TEA party.  Take the latest ad released by Republican Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, which promotes his plan to improve state infrastructure.  This is the most recent proposal from the Republican candidate which proposes an increase in investment for public projects… a far cry from the “cut any and everything!”  mantra of 2010.

It’s no surprise that Greg Abbott is suddenly taking such a dramatic shift from the cut-and-kill ideas of the past. He’s being forced to do so because of his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis, who has been discussing infrastructure investment for months now on the campaign trail. Sure, the Republican candidate may have been the first to run an ad on the subject, but he’s doing so after Democrats started the discussion.   In response to Davis, Abbott has also pledged to invest more money in education and healthcare.

This is the power of having opposing arguments in an election… It forces the other side to respond and moderate, which makes better policy for all. If Texas Democrats achieve nothing else in 2014, they can take Abbott’s actions as proof that Republicans can’t just ignore their policy views any longer, and the TEA party’s strangle hold on the state has been greatly diminished.

On infrastructure, Greg Abbott won the Politics… he was the first to bring the issue to the forefront with a big, glossy ad.  But the substance within that ad, investing “billions in new road construction”?  We can thank Democrats for advancing the Policy debate.  Let’s hope voters know the best choice on November 4th.

Texpatriate has a different view on Greg Abbott’s infrastructure plan.

Corpus Christi Caller Times Endorses Leticia Van de Putte

The Coastal Bend region’s lead newspaper has announced its endorsement for the Lieutenant Governor’s race, calling Democratic candidate Leticia Van de Putte a “Democrat that GOP voters should trust.”  Here’s an excerpt from the full-throated endorsement by the Corpus Christi Caller Times

The Democratic Party’s effort has been all about Van de Putte’s Senate colleague, gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, because of the national attention Davis gained from her filibuster against an abortion bill. But if there’s one race the Democrats need to win, it’s the lieutenant governor’s race. And not for the sake of the Democratic Party. She [Van de Putte] deserves the job irrespective of her party affiliation just like U.S. Sen. John Tower was deserving all those years he was Texas’ only Republican elected statewide.

Van de Putte is the most deserving Democrat in any race we’ve examined this cycle. Her colleagues in the majority-Republican Senate respect her and would welcome her leadership. And they’d be unlikely to do to her what has been rumored they would do to Patrick — change Senate rules to make the lieutenant governor less powerful. Lieutenant governor, despite its name which suggests a junior executive-branch role, is really a powerful legislative-branch position. And, as Van de Putte explained to our board, senators like it that way because of the leverage that their lieutenant governor can give them in their dealings with the House.

Van de Putte displays a strong grasp of issues even for someone who has been in the Legislature since 1991. She represents a landlocked district but is as informed about coastal windstorm insurance as acclaimed near-expert Hunter, one of many Republicans of whom she speaks highly.

She correctly identifies education and transportation and water infrastructure as priority issues. We wish we were hearing more from the gubernatorial candidates about those and less about what’s wrong with each other. Van de Putte doesn’t waste time tarring Patrick — enough Republicans are tending to it for her.

Van de Putte is a working pharmacist, which means that she’s informed about health care on more levels than most of her colleagues — and that she completed a tough, choosy STEM program in college. The world — and lawyer-heavy Texas government — needs more STEM professionals. Republicans who are true to their party’s philosophy would agree.

For all of the praise given to Van de Putte, the Caller Times editorial board had no such praise for her Republican TEApublican opponent Dan Patrick. They even admitted that even the prospect of sending Patrick to lead the State Senate could have disastrous results for the Texas legislature.

As if the Senator’s long record of bipartisan leadership wasn’t enough to land the endorsement, it’s clear that the editorial board was equally impressed with her unparalleled understanding of the many contemporary issues facing Texas.  If you’ve taken the time to read any one of Leticia Van de Putte’s Texas First plans on her website, what you encountered was nothing short of astounding.  The amount detail with which Van de Putte conveys her positions on a wide range of issues– veteran’s services, healthcare, human trafficking, immigration, the economy, infrastructure and so much more– would fascinate even the best policy analyst.  Basically, Leticia Van de Putte is the Ezra Klein of the Texas legislature.

Given the complete lack of information on Dan Patrick’s website, expect to see more major endorsements for Leticia Van de Putte.


(photo credit:  Austin MD magazine)

Van de Putte Bests Patrick in Latest Fundraising Haul

It’s been a good month for the Senator from San Antonio, as Alex Ura of the Texas Tribune reports…

Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte and Republican state Sen. Dan Patrick, who are facing off in a fiery race for lieutenant governor, have both raised about $1 million since the end of May — with Van de Putte slightly outraising Patrick, according to fundraising numbers released by both campaigns.

Since defeating incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a May 28 runoff, Patrick has raised $1 million. Van de Putte, who ran unopposed, raised about $1.2 million in the same time period. Four months ahead of the general election, the two candidates are working with similar balances in their respective war chests, with Van de Putte reporting $1.1 million cash on hand while Patrick has $946,982 in the bank.

The two campaigns released some fundraising totals ahead of the Texas Ethics Commission’s Tuesday deadline for reports covering fundraising activity and expenditures through June 30. The reports were not immediately available.

The post goes on to say that Dan Patrick is still far ahead in total campaign resources.  The Republican has $7.8 million in funds compared to a $2.3 million total for Leticia Van de Putte.

Good news here is that Van de Putte has again proven her ability to run a successful campaign for Lieutenant Governor.   Pundits no longer have to debate about whether or not she can raise money, because she is.  It’s not necessary for her to actually win the fundraising race, but she does need to have enough money to be competitive.  Texas Democrats should find much encouragement in these numbers.