Tag Archives: Texas 2014 elctions

2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire

It’s happening!!

As time gets closer to the November election, it is important that voters have a variety of resources with which to research candidates and make an informed decision when they go to the polls.  One of the best ways to obtain that information is to ask the candidates directly. Not only  do these questions help voters in their decision-making, but they also help inform politicians of what their legislative priorities should be.  Sometimes they even influence policy directly.

For all of these reasons, I am happy to announce the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire.  Questions have already been sent out to several candidates, with a goal of covering even more in the next few days.  As responses are received, they will be published on Texas Leftist.

Here is an example of the TLCQ 2014…

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1. What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

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

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

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

5. 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, 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.

6. In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.

7. What makes you the best candidate for this office?

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

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The above format is going to be used for legislative races, but formats will vary for the other statewide offices.  There are a lot more races to cover than in last year’s municipal elections, but I’ve decided to give it a try.

Leticia Van de Putte Calls for ‘Texas Solution’ To Expand Medicaid

In the just released Texas First health plan, Lt. Governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte made it official, calling for a ‘Texas solution’ to expand Medicaid in the Lone Star State.  Here’s more from the campaign via press release…

San Antonio, TX —Senator Leticia Van de Putte, a pharmacist of over 30 years, was joined by colleagues as she released her Texas First Health Care plan. Leticia’s Texas First plans focus on building a smart economy, strong communities, and secure families.

At Davila Pharmacy in San Antonio, where she works when not on the Senate floor in the Texas Capitol, Leticia called for a Texas solution to our health care challenges. Leticia’s plan increases access to care for Texas women, closes the coverage gap, protects Texas businesses from tax penalties, and promotes economic growth by drawing down billions in federal funds, putting Texas taxpayers dollars back to work for Texans.

Senator Leticia Van de Putte released the following statement:

“All hardworking Texans deserve health care, not just those that can afford it. For over thirty years, I have been listening to Texans across the prescription counter. I know the successes and the tragic shortcomings of the health care system in our state.

“As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll forge a Texas solution to draw down federal funds back to Texas taxpayers, protect Texas businesses, and expand access to affordable health care in our state. One out of every four Texans lacks health insurance, that system is unsustainable, bad for business, and bad for Texas families.”

Texans are losing big time by refusing to take the ACA Medicaid expansion money.  Not only are we forcing hospitals to shoulder the burden of seeing millions of people who don’t have insurance through the Emergency Room, but simultaneously we are paying for better healthcare in other states.  With her release today, Senator Van de Putte ends any and all speculation of where her campaign stands on healthcare issues.  If elected, she is sure to support healthcare expansion during the next legislative session.

Contrast this plan with that of her Republican opponent Dan Patrick, who remains staunchly opposed to any form of increased access to healthcare in the state.

The choice in this election is sure to affect the lives of millions of Texans.  Reading this, you may know someone (or be someone) living in fear of getting sick because you can’t afford to go to the doctor.  But this fall, Texans can choose not to be trapped in a constant cycle of fear from their health.  Gone are the days when Republicans could just demonize the Affordable Care Act and coast to reelection.  The law may be imperfect, but no one can deny that it has made a positive impact on the national healthcare system, especially in those states that haven’t fought ACA implementation to the core.  This November, it’s time to bring some new leadership to Texas and put the state’s people first.

Mike Collier Hammers Glenn Hegar on Education Cuts

Long dismissed as an easy win for the GOP, the Texas Comptroller’s race is starting to heat up faster than August.  Here’s the story from the Dallas Morning News…

Democratic comptroller nominee Mike Collier says GOP rival Glenn Hegar bragged to a tea party interviewer last year that he was proud of the Legislature’s 2011 budget cuts to public schools.

Collier, who released a video Friday to back up his claims, said it’s “embarrassing and unacceptable” that Hegar “takes pride in cutting education.”

“Hegar does not share our values, and he poses a profound threat to something Texans have held dear since our founding, … a great educational system,” said Collier, a Houston businessman.

Hegar spokesman David White called Collier’s 40-second Web video “a distortion.”

Though Hegar, a state senator from Katy, joined other Republicans in approving $5.4 billion in cuts to schools in the 2011 Legislature, he “believes in adequately funding our education system,” White said.

The clash comes less than 90 days before the election as each tries to gain an edge in the race for the low-profile job as comptroller, the state’s chief financial officer.

The Montgomery County Tea Party posted video of its interview with Hegar on its website late last year. At the time, Hegar faced three other Republicans for the party’s nomination to succeed Susan Combs, who is stepping down.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIWVWHxFY6s?rel=0&w=560&h=315]

The new video is the latest move in an aggressive campaign by Collier, evidenced by a slew of television ad buys and an impressive social media presence.  The Houston businessman has attacked Hegar on his plan to explode sales taxes and a lack of qualifications to even be Comptroller.  Collier has also made several calls to debate Hegar, and even started an online petition to rally the cause, but as yet, Hegar has refused to schedule any debates.

Mike Collier is proving that he has what it takes to win the 2014 election, and more Texas Democrats need to follow suit.  Though some candidates may not have a personal fortune to spend on TV ads, there are other ways to run an aggressive campaign and make lots of noise.  Half the battle in this state is just to get enough name ID to voters so they’ll even know to look for you on the ballot.  Mike “the watchdog” Collier is doing a fantastic job at that as well.  For those hoping that a Democrat will break Texas’ “grand ole ceiling” and get elected statewide this year, the Comptroller’s race is one to watch.  If Collier can building momentum and force Hegar on to the debate stage, he may well win in November.

See Bay Area Houston for more.

Davis Campaign Posts Impressive Numbers

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.

Van de Putte Launches First Campaign Video

If you’re a top ticket candidate for an election, it’s pretty easy to grab the spotlight and make your voice heard on the issues.  For that year, your nomination to run for the state’s highest office gets a lot of focus from the press, and is typically accompanied a healthy dose of funding resources.

But for other party candidates, press access and funding can be much harder to come by.  It takes a skilled political team to run any good election, but especially one where your message is often deferred for coverage at the top.

So far though,  State Senator and Lieutenant Governor candidate Leticia Van de Putte is getting her message out there, in part by getting creative.  Since launching her campaign last year, she has excelled at connecting with Texans via social media, and not only has an active website blog, but very active Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.  Make no mistake… Leticia and her team have been on the leading edge of maximizing new tech for her campaign.

Last weekend, Van de Putte took her fight for Lite Gov. to the next level.  Just before a rousing, fiery speech at last weekend’s Texas Democratic Party Convention, she rolled out the campaign’s first major video, meant as an introduction both for her speech in Dallas, but also to introduce Texas voters to her campaign.  Sufficient to say, it’s not your typical campaign video.  Leticia brings us into her home, and we get to meet her whole family (including a gaggle of grandkids), and join them at an old-fashioned Texas dinner table.  And then there’s this thing with chicken and ‘mama ain’t happy’ and… well, you just have to watch.

This video was a huge success at the Convention, and could very well be a huge success with voters.  The genius here?  It’s not a very political video, but meant to show how much Leticia shares in common with other Texans.  In a few minutes, she’s able to escape the political world, and show all of the hard-working women and moms of Texas that she cares about their issues, and that if elected, they will be the ones with a voice in Austin.  If she can get the word out, this video can advance her candidacy much further.

Watch now, see for yourself, and leave a comment below with your first impressions.