In the constant back and forth of a heated election season, there’s a lot of focus placed on fundraising totals. Particularly in large races, it seems nearly impossible for a campaign to have true credibility without posting huge numbers.
Thankfully for Texas Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, that hurdle has been cleared. The Democrat has shown that she is not only competitive with Republican opponent Greg Abbott, but has actually been able to out-raise him in the latest reporting periods. Of course there are some that dispute the Davis campaign on their numbers, saying Davis was able to claim “in-kind donations” as a part of her funds formula. As Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News reports, it’s mighty peculiar of the Abbott camp to attack Davis for her $250,000 in-kind donations when his campaign claimed even more than that. Whether one agrees on the exact number or not, no one can deny that Davis has a competitive standing in the money race.
But Last weekend in front of a capacity Houston crowd, The Ft. Worth Senator reminded everyone that money isn’t the only indicator of a successful campaign.
“As of last Wednesday, we placed our 2 millionth phone call, with over 300,000 of those calls in Harris County alone” Davis proclaimed to the exultant crowd. “Thanks to your hard work, we’ve posted historic numbers in this campaign.”
The candidate was in attendance for the grand opening of her 3rd Houston-area campaign office. It’s becoming clear that enthusiasm among Texas Democrats is higher than it’s been in a very long time. No one is doubting Davis’ standing as an underdog in this race. But if this impressive Get-Out-The-Vote effort continues, her campaign will end up triumphant at the finish line.
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.
Greg Abbott is against birth control, and he’s not trying to hide it from anyone.
After yesterday’s SCOTUS decision ruling that Hobby Lobby did not have to sponsor contraception healthcare for its employees, the Republican Gubernatorial candidate immediately rejoiced at the notion of a legal company gaining the right to discriminate against women on “religious grounds”. Per the tweet above, here’s his comment on the decision…
In case you’ve forgot, this guy is running for Governor, with the election to be held on November 4th of this year. If he support this decision that strongly, what does that mean for women’s healthcare in the state of Texas? If Greg Abbott considers denying contraception to women as “protecting life”, then would he be willing to sign a bill banning contraception across the state??
At this point, we just don’t know the answer to that. Abbott has been very careful to never reveal his true thoughts on a range of women’s health services, including contraception and abortion. Here’s more from KHOU…
Abbott — a disciplined, on-message campaigner — dodges questions about just how far his opposition to abortion goes.
Questioned about whether he would support or oppose legislation banning abortions for rape or incest victims, Abbott avoids the question.
“Well, I’m pro-life,” he said during an interview after a campaign appearance in Houston. “And even under the laws that were passed by the Texas Legislature in this session that will be signed by the governor and that I’ll be defending in court, a woman is going to have five months to make a decision about having an abortion regardless of how that child was conceived. We’re working for a day when we’re actually protecting both the lives of the innocent unborn but also to protect the lives of the women who carry those children.”
When pressed again to directly answer the question, he dodges it.
“I support the legislation that was passed by the state Legislature during this special session, that the governor is going to sign into law and that I will be defending in court,” he said. “The battle is moving from the statehouse to the courthouse. And this is a law that is going to do even more to protect life in the state of Texas.”
Abbott’s precise position on abortion has been difficult to pin down. No question he’s very much on the pro-life side of the political spectrum, but it’s hard to determine exactly where on the spectrum his beliefs lie.
On the day after he declared for governor, the Houston Chronicle published a column in which veteran political reporter Peggy Fikac asked Abbott whether he would allow an exception in anti-abortion legislation to save the life of a mother.
“In a way, but you’re in a way kind of mischaracterizing the word,” he said. “It’s not like an exception. What both the medical community needs to do, and the pro-life community supports, is doing everything we can to protect the life of the mother.”
It’s hard to make sense of such vague platitudes, which should serve as a red flag to voters this November. If Greg Abbott supports a SCOTUS decision where Hobby Lobby essentially bans contraception, would he support banning contraception in the state of Texas? Could the use of birth control become a crime in the Lone Star State? These are questions that we are going to need answers to, and we better start asking them before it’s too late. He shouldn’t be allowed to run for Governor and also run away from these issues.
“I have decided to run for governor of the great state of Texas.
As Texans, we believe that with hard work, determination, and a little old-fashioned common sense, we can build a better future for ourselves and our families.
We can make our communities safer, create jobs, and get Texas moving in the right direction.
I realize that we have a challenging road ahead. But after talking with my family, my friends, and my closest supporters — I am convinced this is the right decision.”
And just like that, we have a real Governor’s race in the state of Texas.
Today’s big announcement is certainly no surprise to Texas Leftist, but it’s still a big deal and something to be celebrated. I wrote back in February that Wendy Davis was the best hope for Texas Democrats at the Governor’s office… long before her mid-summer filibuster took the nation by storm. I saw the passion that she inspires in Texas Democrats from hearing her speak at the 2010 Democratic State Convention… I didn’t even know who she was then, but I knew that the person I was seeing and hearing was special. So today’s events may not be a surprise, but they still mean something. They mean that finally, Democrats are coming out of the wilderness, and are on the road to take Texas back.
Sad, but very true. This shocking story came from Patricia Kilday Hart at the Houston Chronicle…
Gov. Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would have let victims of wage discrimination sue in state court after receiving letters against the measure from the Texas Retailers Association and five of its members, mostly grocery stores, according to records obtained by the Houston Chronicle.
Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, who authored HB 950 mirroring the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, said she unaware that the group and the businesses opposed her bill, or that they sought a gubernatorial veto.
Among the businesses advocating for a veto was Kroger Food Stores.
“I shop at Kroger’s for my groceries,” Thompson said. “I shopped there just last week. I’m going to have to go to HEB now. I am really shocked.”
Also writing to seek a veto were representatives of Macy’s, the Houston grocery company Gerland Corp. [Food Town], Brookshire Grocery Company, Market Basket, the Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
HEB is a member of the Texas Retailers Association, but lobbyist Rusty Kelley said the company did not lobby against the bill.
The letters to Perry provide a behind-the-scene glimpse of the legislative process. Entities such as the Texas Retailers Association can seek a gubernatorial veto without the knowledge of sponsors. Thompson and her Senate counterpart, Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, say they were blind-sided by Perry’s veto and the retailers’ opposition.
Veteran Austin lobbyist Bill Miller said seeking a gubernatorial veto is a common lobby tactic. “That’s a smart play. You don’t fade the heat (by publicly opposing a bill) on the front end and you win on the back end.” He said that, except for the Chronicle’s open records request, “no one would be the wiser. You do what you gotta do to protect your client.”
Makes you wonder how many of Perry’s other seemingly ludicrous vetos were done in this manner. But in any case, this is unacceptable. I can’t believe that I have to write sentences like these, but women are equal citizens in every way. Why would anyone support laws that discriminate against a woman’s ability to earn fair wages, and pursue those fair wages if they’ve been stolen from her? It’s because of that reasoning that the bill passed the hyper partisan Texas Legislature with bi-partisan support… it’s the right thing to do!! And yet Governor Perry would rather please his lobbyist friends than stand with Texas women?
Give me a break.
Houstonians may be less familiar with Brookshires, but the grocery store chain is a staple of East Texas. In fact for many small towns north of Houston and East of Dallas in the state, Brookshires may be the only major grocery store for 30 miles. Brookshires also has stores located in Arkansas and Louisiana.
Gerland Corp is a prominent grocer in the Houston area as well, as the owner and proprietor of all Food Town grocery stores. I plan to boycott all of these businesses, because I don’t want my money going to places that don’t support Texas women. Kroger is going to be especially tough, but it will happen. Houston State Senator Sylvia Garcia, who had a scheduled appearance at a Macy’s store earlier this week, cancelled that and all other events for businesses affiliated with blocking the legislation. Progress Texas already has a petition drive for the boycott. As readers, I would urge you to do the same. And to make it even easier, here are some handy maps letting you know where NOT to go.
Fellow blogger Dos Centavos has an excellent post on this as well.
Here in Texas, Republicans are waging an all-out assault on women. After the close of the regular legislative session, Governor Rick Perry called a special session to fast-track severe abortion restrictions that would close 37 of the state’s 42 abortion providers. This comes on the heels of vicious cuts to women’s health and family planning in 2011, which slashed 75% of the budget for what is primarily preventative care and access to birth control. Oh, and Perry also vetoed the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that passed with bipartisan support in 2013.
During the regular legislative session in which female legislators from both parties stood up against further attacks on women’s health — though let’s be honest, there wasn’t much left to dismantle. However, Perry decided to add abortion restrictions to an initial special session that was initially called to pass redistricting maps. (The maps suck and are intentionally discriminatory against minorities, but that’s a topic for another time).
Texas women stood up against the abortion restrictions. Planned Parenthood organized women to stand in the Senate dressed in 1950’s garb, while NARAL sent “tangerine vagilantes” in orange shirts to silently display their opposition. The movement grew when several of the abortion bills were heard in a State Affairs committee — pro-choice groups and the Democratic Party organized hundreds of women to attend to tell their stories about why they oppose the bill. When Committee Chair Byron Cook silenced the women by cutting off testimony, he tossed gasoline on a long-smoldering anger of women who had long ago grown sick and tired of Republicans’ endless chipping away at reproductive rights.
Hundreds of Texans thronged the Capitol for the second reading of the bill on the State House floor, during which Democrats valiantly offered sane amendments and sharp commentary on the bill in an effort to slow its passage. Eventually the bill made it out of the House and back to the Senate, but a mandatory 24-hour waiting period — which Dewhurst tried to out-maneuver due to the absence of Democratic Senator Leticia Van de Putte, who was attending her father’s funeral — put the firm Tuesday, June 25 midnight deadline within reach of a valiant last stand by the Democrats.
The first session ended with the now-famous filibuster by State Senator Wendy Davis, who read testimonies cut off by Cook and others submitted via email and engaged in debate with her colleagues on the Senate floor for over 11 hours, until she was silenced by Republican points of order. Her Democratic colleagues debated those points of order until with less than 15 minutes to go, the Senate Gallery erupted into shouts and screams against the bill and the gross abuse of Senate rules that was facilitating its passage. The clock ran out on the special session, and after it was ascertained that the bill did not pass, Perry called everyone back to do it again.
So that’s where we are: back for a second special session to pass unwanted abortion restrictions that a galvanizing citizen-led effort helped shut down the first time.
The first Stand With Texas Women rally begins at noon in Austin at the state capitol. But other events are also being held for those that cannot make it to Austin, but want to stand in solidarity with the protesters.