Tag Archives: RGV Debate

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.


Texoblogosphere: Week of September 22nd

The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes it had as much vacation time as Congress does as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff highlights the wit and hateful wisdom of Dr. Steven Hotze, one of the leading blights of the anti-gay movement in Texas.

Libby Shaw writing at Daily Kos believes there is a simple way to stop the controversial Tea Party candidate Dan Patrick from becoming the next Lt. Governor. Vote for Leticia. When Democrats vote Democrats win. How are we going to stop Dan Patrick? Easily. Vote for Leticia.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. While Texas has been prosperous in recent years, the prosperity is not being enjoyed by everyone. Abbott’s Message Is Good News For Corporations, Scraps For The Rest Of US.

The only constitutional amendment on the November ballot commits over a billion dollars a year to state highway maintenance from the Rainy Day Fund. Some think that’s a good idea, and some don’t. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks — with the help of Sen. Kirk Watson — that you should decide for yourself.

Neil at All People Have Value wrote that the recent terrible ambush shooting of Pennsylvania state troopers is believed to be the deed of an extreme anti-government individual. Neil says that police would be better served focusing on real threats than pepper-spraying Occupy Wall Street types or sending tanks to Ferguson, Missouri. APHV is one of many pages worthy of viewing at NeilAquino.com.

With the first General Election Gubernatorial Debate in 8 years, everyone can agree that it was an exciting week in Texas politics. Texas Leftist has a full review of the contest. Who knew Greg Abbott was such a compelling liar??


And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Better Texas Blog presents a report showing the large impact that medical bills resulting from a visit to the emergency room can have.

The Texas Election Law Blog catches Greg Abbott playing the race card in the followup to the Houston Votes story.

Nonsequiteuse pushes back on sexist tropes in the latest iteration of the Wendy Davis divorce story.

Newsdesk reminds us that the allegations Wendy Davis is making about Greg Abbott in the Texas Youth Commission sexual assault scandal go way back, and the questions she’s raising have been raised before without being answered.

Grits puts the privately-run Bartlett State Jail on the list of facilities the Legislature might consider shuttering if they decide to close more prisons.

The TSTA Blog takes Texas Monthly‘s Erica Greider to task for buying into Republican flimflammery about funding cuts to public schools.

Stephanie Stradley tackles the complex question of what a sensible discipline policy for NFL players might look like.

Unfair Park highlights a video expose of crisis pregnancy centers, including one in Dallas.

Project Q Houston interviews Mel Gonzales, a transgender student who was named Homecoming King at his high school in Sugar Land.


(photo credit:  The dome of the Cameron County Courthouse in Brownsville, Texas.  From 254TexasCourthouses.net

Texas Gubernatorial Debate 1: Review

In some ways, the result of the first Gubernatorial Debate was predetermined.  Even if nothing else had happened, the mere fact that State Senator Wendy Davis and Attorney General Greg Abbott met on the debate stage for this year’s Governor’s race was a clear win. A win for the state of Texas.

In truth, that is the most important occurrence from the first Davis and Abbott contest.

The candidates had very different goals for the evening. Davis played the role of underdog, going after her opponent’s policies, positions and former actions every chance she had. Abbott, on the other hand, tried to keep focused on his goal of running against President Obama more so than his actual Democratic opponent. Given these disparate objectives, it’s fair to say that both candidates achieved their desired outcomes.  Davis landed a bunch of good one-liners that manage to question Abbott’s policies.  Abbott was able to respond to Davis and then successfully pivot away from giving a more substantive answer.

On style points, I thought Abbott did a better job, as Davis came off at times over-rehearsed and a bit distant. But that’s just mainly a personality preference, as other voters may have preferred Davis’ approach.

On substance, I think both squared off pretty evenly. Davis had more one-liner attacks, but she also managed to not make the whole debate about attacking Abbott. She offered solutions of what she would do differently in several instances.  Here are two of Wendy Davis’ most epic moments…

On the $5.4 Billion dollars in cuts to education…

“These [education] cuts that you are defending… they are not Conservative, not Liberal, just dumb.”

On Medicaid Expansion…

“Mr. Abbott is California’s best friend in Texas because he wants to continue sending our tax dollars to them.  California already has one Governor… they do not need two.”

For all of the fast and furious accusations being thrown at him, at least Abbott did have something to say, regardless of whether one liked his answer. Being caught off guard is actually the worst thing that can happen during a live debate, and Abbott, to his credit, was very successful at avoiding that trap.  That being said, he was still quite short substance, and instead managed to play some careful slight of hand with his responses to several questions.  Take this direct exchange between Davis and Abbott, once again over the devastating cuts to Texas school districts…

Davis:  Mr. Abbott, Judge Dietz has recently ruled against you and in favor of the schoolchildren of Texas, ruling that our schools are unconstitutionally under-funded.  The only thing right now coming between our children and appropriate funding of our schools today is you.  On behalf of the 5 million children of this state, will you agree that you will drop your appeals, and allow our schools to be appropriately funded?

Abbott:  Senator Davis, there is actually another thing coming between me and settling that lawsuit… that is a law that you voted on and passed in 2011 that removes from the Attorney General the ability to settle lawsuits just like this…

Did you catch the careful distinction there??  Abbott did NOT answer Davis’ question.  He has the ability to drop the appeals, even if the 2011 law removed the ability for him to settle the lawsuits.  Davis did not ask him settling anything.  Abbott’s careful pivot here is key.

To be fair, Abbott’s direct question to Davis was to ask if she regrets voting for Barack Obama.  Davis simply avoided the question (in a less artful manner than Abbott) and spoke about why she is running for Governor.

Those two exchanges get to the heart of how this debate went.  Though Davis felt distant throughout, she did at least save her best points of audience connection for her closing remarks. Overall, my assessment is a slight win for Abbott, just because the situation felt more natural for him.  But Davis met her objectives for the debate, and now has given her base, and all of Texas, a firm representation of what the Democratic party stands for.  When performances are as close as these two candidates gave last night, the overall effect may simply come down to what sticks with the audience the most.  Davis’ one-liners?  Abbott’s demeanor??  Only time will tell.

If you missed last night’s debate, here’s the full video from KGBT Action News.  Check it out, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.


(photo credit:  Gabe Hernandez of the McAllen Monitor)