Tag Archives: Ted Cruz

‘Missing’ Ted Cruz Ignores Constituents

Sure, it’s a popular mantra among Democrats since his failed run for President, but for everyday Texans on both sides of the political spectrum “You Cruz You Lose” is suddenly sounding with a much deeper resonance.

As Katherine Blunt of the Houston Chronicle reports, Ted Cruz may be well known in Washington, but in his home state of Texas,  the distinguished Senator is essentially M.I.A…

Ted Cruz is still missing.

The U.S. senator from Texas didn’t appear at a town hall meeting Saturday, much to the dismay of several organizations that have for months tried to corner him during his trips to Houston. Hundreds of constituents appeared in the hope of peppering him with questions before he returns to Washington, D.C., but they were forced instead to address a panel of speakers assembled in his absence.

Cruz isn’t really missing, of course. His spokesman noted that the senator took questions from 200 employees at a NASA subcontractor in Stafford last week.

But he has for months declined requests from left-leaning groups including Indivisible Houston, Pantsuit Republic Houston and others to attend town hall meetings with local voters concerned about education, health care, immigration and other issues that became particularly contentious when President Donald Trump took office. With Congress in recess until Friday, the groups raised $5,000 to host the event in a Texas Southern University auditorium regardless of whether Cruz showed up.

“We are legitimately concerned about things happening in Texas,” said Lauren Summerville, an organizer with Pantsuit Republic. “The people have a lot of questions.”

If you’re struggling to keep track, this now marks the Second Congressional Recess in a row that Senator Cruz has REFUSED to hold an official public Town Hall.  This being the case while several of Cruz’s colleagues are doing their civic duty as elected officials, even if it isn’t always easy.

So what could be the reason that the Texas Senator can’t seem to muster the courage to meet his own constituents face to face?? I suppose Texans could understand if the expense of having to fly back and forth from Washington placed an undue burden on Cruz’s paltry salary of $174,000 per year (multiply that by 6 years in office, and you’ve hit over $1 million that Cruz has been compensated by the very Taxpayers he seems to ignore), but luckily for Senators, flights to and from the Capitol are are covered by… well, us.

Granted, this has been Cruz’s first term in office.  Hosting Constituent questions in a Town Hall can be of great challenge to even the most experienced elected official.  I guess that could be an excuse, if not for all of those Town Halls, Teleconference Sessions, Open Forum Debates that Cruz seemed to master during his 2015-2016 Presidential Campaign.  From the looks of it, Senator Cruz seems to have spent more time listening to the concerns of Iowa and New Hampshire residents than those who sent him to Congress in the first place.  Not a good statistic for a politician rapidly approaching reelection.

And in case you’re wondering… at least one opponent for Ted Cruz’s seat is having no problem facing the public.  Just last week, Congressman Beto O’Rourke held another Town Hall in El Paso, facing tough questions from his constituents concerned his bid to challenge Cruz would detract from important work for the people of his district.  O’Rourke is now 4 for 4 on his promise to host monthly Town Halls, even after the launch of an ambitious Senate campaign.

Sounds like the current Senator could take a couple of cues from his rival.  In any event, he better do something.  Like the warming temperatures, this campaign won’t stay cool much longer.  Let’s hope Texas finds its Senator soon.

 

Beto O’Rourke Jumps Into 2018 Senate Race. Can He Win??

If you’re a Texas Democrat, it’s easy to say “we’ve been here before.”

Remember when Bill White was going to roll Rick Perry in 2010?  How about when Wendy Davis was going to sail into the Governor’s Office and “transform Texas” in 2014?  A polished, politically savvy Democrat is once again deciding to take a stab at the “red firewall” of Texas, and this time that politician is Beto O’Rourke, Congressman from El Paso who is challenging Ted Cruz for the United States Senate.

As Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune reminds us, the odds O’Rourke aren’t just long, but may seem astronomical…

No Texas Democrat has won a U.S. Senate seat in nearly thirty years or any statewide office since 1994. It is hard to find a political operative in Washington or back in Texas who would bet money – or professional credibility – on O’Rourke winning this race. 

But the El Paso Democrat is earnestly bullish that he will go to the Senate through a strategy of bringing retail politics to a state of 27 million people. 

He has no pollster and no consultants at this point, and said he has no interest in hiring operatives of that ilk. 

“Since 1988, when Lloyd Bentsen won re-election to the Senate, Democrats have spent close to a billion dollars on consultants and pollsters and experts and campaign wizards and have performed terribly,” he said.

So that’s where we are.  But eventually, the Lone Star State have to suspend disbelief and focus on where we are going.

Texas Democrats are caught in a chicken vs. egg scenario. If we don’t run strong candidates, we’ll never build the infrastructure needed to win a statewide office. If a good candidate is out there, we would rather see them run now than us continue to wait for the “right moment”.

A Ted Cruz victory isn’t as sure as we may think.  Many folks in his own party would like to see the Senator lose his seat, and he may soon be facing some primary challengers.  When it comes to his actual job of representing 27 million Texans, the esteemed Senator doesn’t have much of a record on which to run.  Heck, citizens are lucky just to see the person they’ve paid over 1 million dollars in salary host a town hall meeting where they can express their concerns.  If O’Rourke can improve on these two paltry statistics, he’s off to a good start.

But the Congressman from Texas’ 16th District has an impressive record and some policy goals that will grab the attention of many young voters. His vocal support for the legalization of marijuana has already proven positive among Millennials. His record in local government proves the ability to work across the aisle and actually earn results for the people of his district.

With such depressing results, it’s easy to write Texas off as a wasteland for Democrats. But the potential of this State to surprise should also not be underestimated. Thanks to Bernie Sanders, and (ironically) the election of Donald Trump, Texas Democrats are energized and ready for change in 2018.  If that same coalition were to unite, reignite and stay energized around a statewide Democratic candidate, it’s more than possible that they could win. Indeed, Mr. O’Rourke has a Herculean task ahead of him, but with an early start and unconventional campaign, he might just take Texas by storm.

 

 

 

Texoblogosphere: Week of January 25th

The Texas Progressive Alliance hopes everyone stays safe in the snow as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff interviewed Harris County Sheriff candidates Ed Gonzalez and Jeff Stauber.

SocraticGadfly questions the mainstream media narrative that the GOP presidential race is down to a Trump-Cruz two person event with this analysis and has a follow-up skewering of the Trump-Palin fun coming.

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, state Rep. Garnet Coleman, three current and one former Houston city councilmen all want to take the place of the recently-departed Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee on the November ballot. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the latest on the most highly contested 2016 race that you won’t be eligible to vote for.

Of course the frackers are big GOP donors. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme knows that the Texas Republicans don’t work for you. They work for their rich buddies.

Neil at All People Have Value took a Martin Luther King Day picture of two different types of birds sharing space in peace. We could learn from these birds. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

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

Keep Austin Wonky interviews Texas House candidate Huey Rey Fischer.

The Current advertises a movie screening to raise money for the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Texans for Public Justice filed a complaint with the FEC against Ted Cruz for his failure to report those Goldman Sachs and Citibank loans from 2012.

Anastasia Hansen tells you things you may not have known about Houston’s bus system.

Progress Texas documents four decades of Texas abortion laws.

 

These Boots were made for Walkin??  Only if you’re tall enough to touch the Texas skies.

For 36 years, ‘The Giant Justins’, a sculpture by Bob “Daddy-O” Wade have greeted shoppers, tourists and fans at San Antonio’s North Star Mall.  The 40 foot tall twins have been certified as the tallest pair of boots in the world by the Guinness Book of Records.  So there you go folks.  Everything may not be bigger in Texas, but at least when it comes to boots, we’re walkin’ all over the competition.

Big Boots SA

Photo credit:  The Travel Nurse Blog

Texoblogosphere: Week of November 24th

The Texas Progressive Alliance knows that even in a bad political year it has plenty to be thankful for as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff highlights Texas for Marriage, a new grassroots group whose goal is to bring marriage equality to our state.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos as well as for Daily Kos is not surprised to know Greg Abbott has jumped on the Obama bashing bandwagon on immigration. Funny how the actual lawless ones try to pin their sins on the POTUS. Greg Abbott’s Reaction to Immigration? The usual. TX Dems are not giving up.

Even as the United States Senate in the 114th Congress looks to be one of the most freakishly conservative in almost a hundred years, PDiddie at Brains and Eggs reminds everyone that — two years from now — nearly half of that Republican majority has to be defended, and many of those seats are in blue states. So maybe Democrats can work on building turnout then…?

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme is furious over Abbott’s plan to take money away from projects that promote the general welfare. What does Abbott want to do with our money? Harass Mexicans and hurt the image of the Rio Grande Valley.

Easter Lemming Liberal News noted a Pants on Fire ruling from PolitiFact, not their rating over an Obama statement on the XL pipeline but Easter Lemming‘s rating of PolitiFact’s lie.

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

The Texas Election Law Blog gently criticizes three less-than-stellar arguments from the week’s news.

The Rivard Report highlights Texas’ achievements in renewable energy.

The TSTA Blog reminds us that vouchers are a bad answer for education.

Newsdesk reviews Ted Cruz’s “politics as prop comedy” act on net neutrality and other Internet issues.

Grits for Breakfast is busy analyzing pre-filed criminal justice bills.

Texas Clean Air Matters calls out ERCOT for missing the big picture on clean energy.

Better Texas Blog reminds us that immigrants drive Texas’ economic success.

Concerned Citizens surveys the now much more interesting San Antonio Mayoral landscape.

(photo:  The Beer Can House– Houston, Texas) 

Texoblogosphere: Week of November 17th

The Texas Progressive Alliance continues to look forward as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at some pro- and anti-equality bills that were pre-filed for the 2015 Legislature.

Libby Shaw writing for Texas Kaos and for Daily Kos notes that although the Republican voter suppression efforts had its intended effect of keeping so many of us away from the polls, Texas Democrats share some of the blame for voter apathy. Voter Suppression did the Trick in Texas.

Evidence from around the country emerged in the wake of the 2014 election drubbing that change is going to have to come to the Democratic Party from both within and without. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs understood early on that if they cannot regain relevance in midterm elections, then we are all destined to ride the partisan see-saw every two years… and let gridlock reign.

Social Media has been great at blowing up narratives generated from republican think tanks and published in mainstream newspapers, magazines and TV Shows. CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants to help: No, the new set of Republicans in Congress aren’t less crazy and more pragmatic than Todd Akin or Sharron Angle.

From WCNews at Eye on Williamson. One more time on some post-election commentary, Williamson Democrats, Battleground Texas, And The Way Forward.

Neil at All People Have Value said that there is not very much to say. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Texas Leftist offers an insider’s view of Battleground Texas… What went right, what went wrong and how the organization moves forward from here. Square one?? Get to know Texas, and don’t mess with what already works.

Easter Lemming, in one of his rare and even popular posts outside of Facebook, covers a Republican blogger who shows how the Republican victories of 2014 set them up for defeat in 2016. There is a Democratic state firewall that would be almost impossible for Republicans to breach to get the presidency and the only question is how many seats will the GOP lose in the Senate and House. Easter Lemming now mainly posts on his Easter Lemming News Facebook page.

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

Concerned Citizens scouts out the San Antonio Mayoral race.

Lone Star Q has a surprising report about Westboro Baptist’s involvement in the recent Houston anti-gay protests.

Nonsequiteuse examines the cult of Mommy and the cult of the fetus.

Unfair Park wants to know why Ted Cruz wants to slow down their Netxflix streaming.

Texas Watch is hiring.

Juanita relates the worst Veterans’ Day story ever.

Scott Braddock documents a teabagger slap fight in North Texas.

Fred Lewis sums up the evidence that wasn’t presented at the San Jacinto waste pits trial.

 

(Photo of the Old Red Museum, the former Dallas County Courthouse in Dallas, Texas.  Credit:  Masonry Systems)

Time to Saddle Up for Paul Sadler

Ok Texas Democrats… we’ve got some work to do.

If you haven’t noticed, there is an election for the United States Senate going on, and the GOP candidates are in hot pursuit. Texans can’t go 5 minutes without seeing mud-slinging against Ted Cruz or David Dewhurts on their TV and computer screens. Forget the national election… in Texas, their primary is the battle royale. The good news is, most of those ads will stop after the July 31st Primary Runoff is over.

But the Democratic Primary is also going on. Though it may lack the constant bludgening of the GOP side, a very important race is being held between Paul Sadler and Grady Yarbrough. Here’s my take.

Texas Leftist wouold like to formally endorse Paul Sadler as the Democratic Candidate for US Senate. He is the only candidate with the experience and acumen to be able to represent Texans, having held elected office as a State Senator from 1993-2001. During his time in the State Legislature, Mr. Sadler worked tirelessly to improve the State’s education system, passing 3 teacher pay-raises and public-school employee health insurance. He also has a record of strong bi-partisan leadership having worked with then Governor George W. Bush (Republican) and Lt. Governor Bob Bullock (Democrat) to improve the lives of all Texans. On some of our nation’s most pressing issues, Sadler supports the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and investment in America’s children and infrastructure. He supports the Affordable Care Act as law and thinks that Texas should allow the expansion of medicaid so more Texans can recieve quality care. Mr. Sadler also supports full marriage equality, saying that government issuance of marriage should be separate from the rights of religious organizations. “Interfaith marriages, second marriages,” he said. “Some religions don’t approve of those. We shouldn’t be assigning a religious litmus test.”

By contrast, Grady Yarbrough has no legislative experience. Though his work as a life-long teacher is certainly commendable, he remains something of a “great unknown” to most Texas Democratic organizations. Most importantly, he has not shown any indication or ability to compete with Dewhurst or Cruz on the state-wide level. Of course any man that garners over 100,000 votes in the Primary election deserves honorable mention.

For these reasons, my full support is going to Paul Sadler. So Democrats, it’s time to saddle up, vote in this week’s Primary, and get ready for the general election!

(Photo credit by Jana Birchum of the Austin Chronicle)

Texas Senate Debate… Democrats included

Something quite unexpected and welcome occurred during last night’s Texas Senate debate. Titled “Conversation with the Candidates” it was produced and Co-Sponsored by Houston Public Media and the Texas Tribune.

For the first time since 2006, the state of Texas had a major political debate in which both Democrats and Republicans were present. Sure the Democrats were outnumbered 4 to 2, but at least both viewpoints were there and were voiced. This was a huge “win” for Texas Democrats even if one of their candidates doesn’t win the seat.

Now you may be thinking “2006? That can’t possibly be true. We had a Gubernatorial election in 2010… Rick Perry vs. Bill White.” Bill White and Rick Perry only participated in Primary debates, but there was never a debate in the General Election. Had Perry debated White, we may have been spared the abysmal performances he gave us in the 2012 Primary Election cycle. You know what they say… Practice makes perfect, right?

As divided as those viewpoints were at times, last night’s debate was quite respectful among the candidates. The presumed GOP front-runner David Dewhurst spent most of his time attacking The President saying that real economic improvement couldn’t occur until we “send Barack Obama back to Chicago, get a good, conservative Republican in the White House that will follow a stable, predictable course.”

Dewhurst also spent much of his time touting his accomplishments along side Rick Perry. Though, it’s fair to say that Texas is no longer under a surplus and education and health care costs for our state continue to surge out of control. He apparently thought it was a record worth sharing.

Ted Cruz spent most of the evening going after Dewhurst for harsh campaign ads, and name-dropping all of the Washington insight he’s built up as an Attrorney arguing before the Supreme Court. Not a whole host of solutions.

It was clear from the debate that former NFL-player Craig James had no prior political experiences. Between living off of mayo sandwiches, fear of “hurting our lizards” during natural gas fracking, and his invaluable life lessons on the goat ranch, his other pie-in-the-sky answers left this viewer non-plussed. He calls for lowering corporate tax rates to 0 percent, and then somehow jobs and business will simply flood our shores. He’s not ready for Prime Time yet.

Among the GOP contenders, the most capable candidate to handle real problems of everyday Texans was former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert. Even if you don’t agree with his positions, you have to respect him for presenting logical solutions to our state and our nation’s issues. He presented his views with a clarity and poise that wasn’t present in the other Republican candidates. That’s not an endorsement… just a recognition.

The best surprise of the debate was a 31 year-old Dallas business owner named Sean Hubbard. A clear, unapologetic Liberal who stands up for his values, but also presented the logic skills that are so desperately needed in Washington right now. When asked about the future possibility of drought in Texas, he say that “We should be investing now in Deselination plants.” A solution that no other candidate (and most in our state government) have even considered. Though mostly in agreement with his Democratic opponent Paul Sadler, Hubbard maintained a more concise, prominent and straight-forward presence among the group. When discussing Women’s Rights, Hubbard said that it’s “an embarrassment” and stated that “women are more than capable of making their own decisions about their bodies and their health.” He even revealed that for a time his wife used the services of Planned Parenthood “not for abortions, but for cancer screenings”.

After two long hours, my endorsement would have to go to Sean Hubbard for his clarity of thought, innovative solutions and strength of viewpoint. The Honorable Mention would go to Tom Leppert, because even if I didn’t agree with his positions, the willingness to search for real solutions instead of just saying no.

Here’s a link to the full debate. Watch for yourself and form your own opinion.