Tag Archives: Texas Lieutenant Governor’s race

Leticia Van de Putte: Earning Every Vote

If State Senator and Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor Leticia Van de Putte really is behind by double digits in the polls, you wouldn’t know it if you see her in person.

In the final days up to what is sure to be an historic election, the candidate spent her time racing across the state on a grueling, 30-city Bus Tour.  Van de Putte hit virtually every corner of this state, including many places where she knew she wouldn’t be winning everybody’s vote.  Here’s more from Alexa Ura of the Texas Tribune who joined her for the Bus Tour…

LUFKIN- When state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s campaign bus drove up to the Goodwill Baptist Church here on Wednesday, she was greeted by an unusual sight in this Republican region: a lively group of Democrats.

“As Democrats here, we just try to keep the lights on and the flag up and say, ‘Yeah, we’re still here,’” said Glenn Donnahoe, a retired veteran active in Lufkin’s small Democratic community. But he added that the group gets energized when candidates like Van de Putte campaign here.

Van de Putte’s Lufkin appearance, attended by more than 50 people, was one of four East Texas campaign stops Wednesday for the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate’s statewide bus tour.

It could seem unusual for Van de Putte, a decided underdog against Republican state Sen.Dan Patrick, to be here the week before Election Day. But she said splitting the homestretch of her campaign between Democratic strongholds like the Rio Grande Valley and conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas is key to increasing voter turnout to give her a chance to propel Texas Democrats to their first statewide win in 20 years.

“We’re different in regions, but we’re no different in the way we dream big,” Van de Putte told the Lufkin crowd, as she attempted to forge a last-minute connection with voters many miles from her Senate district in San Antonio.

This type of “shoe leather campaign” is exactly what people expect from the political underdog. All year, Van de Putte has run an open, honest campaign, well-evidenced by her impressive slate of endorsements.  Her willingness to talk to voters, even in places like East Texas where she’s unlikely to win.  Have you seen Dan Patrick campaigning and holding press events… well anywhere lately??

The campaign bus rolled through Houston last week, and Texas Leftist was there to take pictures and even grab a short video of the candidate’s speech.  Check them out here…

LVdP Tour Bus

LVdP Hou2

LVdP Hou3

LVdP Hou1

 

Through the course of this campaign, Leticia has proven why she is the smart choice for Texas.  As great as glitzy TV ads may make a candidate look, they are very little on substance, and far inferior to the type of personal interactions that truly good politicians strive for.  Van de Putte made it her mission to greet voters across the state, and sit with every media outlet possible, whether they are titans like the Texas Tribune and Dallas Morning News, or simple bloggers like Texas Leftist. This level of commitment and dedication used to count for something in politics, and I for one sincerely hope it pays off for Van de Putte tonight.  Sure Dan Patrick can buy a lot of votes, but Leticia Van de Putte has done the true work of earning Texas votes, and she should be commended.

If you haven’t voted yet, be sure to get in line at your polling place before 7pm tonight. And hopefully when you get there, you will support smart, savvy candidates like Leticia Van de Putte.

 

 

TLCQ 2014: Leticia Van de Putte

In the Ninth installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Leticia Van de Putte, Texas State Senator and candidate for Lieutenant Governor.  She is a Democrat.

Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.

 

TL:  What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?

LVdP:  Leticia Van de Putte

 

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

LVdP:

1999 – Present     Texas State Senate District 26

1991 – 1999        Texas House of Representatives District 115

 

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

LVdP:  Our state government is responsible for public safety, public education, and building the infrastructure for a strong economy. These are critical services to our communities that can no longer be ignored.

Sadly, we have politicians who are more interested in political score cards than our student’s report cards, numerous school districts have been left without basic resources. Rich and poor alike, fast-growing, suburban, and rural, school districts across Texas have had no other option but to sue the state because our neighborhood schools remain underfunded and our school finance system is broken.

As Lieutenant Governor, I will ensure that government works for the people. That it is meeting the needs of our growing Texas population and fulfilling our responsibility of prioritizing public education.

 

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

LVdP:

Education: Getting kids to and through a quality education – My Texas First plan will adequately fund our local neighborhood schools. Overcrowded classrooms in grades Kindergarten through 4th grade tripled after the education cuts of 2011. 11,000 teacher jobs were gone just like that. Parents should no longer have to wonder if their child’s class will be overcrowded, students should no longer have to wonder whether one test will determine whether they graduate, and teachers should no longer have to pull money from their pockets just so that their students have basic supplies.

And I will make higher education within the reach of every hard-working high school graduate. Not every high school graduate will go to college but every one of them deserves the opportunity to go. That’s why I am proposing we create the Texas Promise Scholarship Program. It would offer all qualifying high school graduates two years of free community college or advanced technical training. Higher education is getting further and further out of reach for everyday Texans – but we can change that. A one time investment of capital that is sitting in state budget coffers today can change the lives of an entire generation of Texans. I want Texas voters to have the final say, so when it passes the legislature next session, it would be put before voters as a constitutional amendment.

Improved quality of life for veterans, service members and their families – As the daughter of a veteran, I know that it takes a family to serve and that to truly honor those who protect us, we must improve the quality of life for military members, veterans, and their families and support our military bases.

My Texas First Plan will ensure that our veterans receive the health care they need and have earned; have access to higher education and training opportunities; and get college credit for their military service. I will continue the work I have done as Chair of the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs and Military Installations to fulfill the promise to our military members, veterans and their families that Texas is the number one state for them to return, prosper, raise their families, and retire.

Building roads for the 21st century – I have a plan to invest in good public roads and a sustainable future water supply. These two ingredients that are essential for a prosperous economic future have been neglected for too long. I will lead with courage to move our state towards making smart investments in roads and bridges that keep Texas moving forward. And I will ensure that our families and communities have the water they need to grow. With Texas being one of the most rapidly growing states and having just suffered one of the worst droughts in its history, we can no longer afford for basic needs such as roads and water to be neglected.

 

TL:  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 Lieutenant Governor, 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.  

LVdP:  As a practicing pharmacist for over thirty years, I have seen the successes and shortcomings of the healthcare system firsthand. After decades of experience serving my community, I know that access to healthcare is a right that all Texans deserve, not just the ones who can afford it.

I understand that healthcare is a costly and complex system in our state, but also realize that Texas simply cannot thrive when 1 out of every 4 Texans has no health insurance coverage. With the highest rate of uninsured in the country, Texas hospitals struggle to provide over $4 billion per year in uncompensated care, while county and local governments spend roughly $2.5 billion in local tax dollars on indigent care. We need a solution that will better utilize our resources and increase access to effective services, so that millions of hard-working Texans can have the opportunity to care for themselves and their families.

I’m committed to work with all stakeholders to develop a plan that will incorporate personal responsibility without sacrificing care. I will put politics aside and encourage collaboration to expand Medicaid eligibility to up to 138% of the federal poverty line through a customized solution designed to meet the unique needs of our state. I will facilitate negotiations between the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and the federal government to reach reasonable compromises and obtain approval of a Texas Solution.

I will ensure that Texas maintains the flexibility to make significant reforms to the Medicaid program. A Texas solution could include cost-sharing provisions found in plans already negotiated by other conservative states, such as manageable co-pays and premiums based on income, contributions to health savings accounts, healthy lifestyle incentives, and even using federal funds to buy private insurance.

 

TL:  What makes you the best candidate for this office?

LVdP:  I’m a sixth generation Texan, a pharmacist for over 30 years, and a proven effective legislator for over 20 years. I’m a mother and a grandmother, and I’m a Texan first. I bring my experience as a pharmacist and a small business owner to this race and I have a prescription for Texas. From ending high stakes testing for our students to ensuring all qualified high school graduates have the opportunity to continue their education, I have a prescription to build roads and highways so we can continue to support our businesses and create high paying jobs in Texas. My prescription will ensure veterans and their families have access to the resources they need and have earned, and we will secure the border and hold Washington accountable to fix our broken immigration system.

A leader listens first and then works with the brightest minds, regardless of political affiliation, to put Texas first. I am determined to leave a Texas with more opportunity for my grandchildren than was given to my generation. That means fighting for our neighborhood schools, ensuring affordable health care, building a smart economy, and investing in a strong infrastructure.

As Lieutenant Governor, I’ll make sure Texas is a better place to live, learn, and start a business.

 

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

LVdP:  I love to cook for my large family. My husband Pete and I will usually have our kids and grandkids come over on Sunday nights and I make my speciality which they call ‘The Holy Trinity’. It is frijoles (beans), fideo (vermicelli), and picadillo (meat).

 

Thanks to Senator Van de Putte for her participation.

 

(photo credit:  Kathleen Kamphausen) 

Leticia Van de Putte Launches TV Campaign

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte continues with another huge step in her historic campaign to be Texas’ first Female, Hispanic Lieutenant Governor. Today the Democratic candidate released her first major statewide TV ads.  Here’s more from the Van de Putte campaign via press release…

San Antonio, TX — This weekend, Leticia Van de Putte is releasing her first two television ads, one in English and a separate ad in Spanish. The 30-second spots are a significant buy in multiple major media markets, as well as markets with a dominant Latino population.

In “Twice,” Leticia Van de Putte directly calls out Dan Patrick, who voted twice against our kids. Patrick’s cuts to our neighborhood schools in 2011 resulted in the loss of 11,000 teacher jobs. In 2013, Leticia worked across the aisle with many Republicans to put Texas first and support our students. Despite bipartisan support for our neighborhood schools, Dan Patrick voted against our kids — again.

http://youtu.be/nfJSeVnBTyU

In “Respeto,” Leticia Van de Putte shares about the respect that every Texan deserves. Leticia introduces her immigrant grandmothers; as well as the service of her mother, a teacher, and that of her father, a veteran. Texans never give up, and Leticia — a mother of six, grandmother of six, pharmacist and a State Senator — commits to continue the fight to protect the future of our kids.

http://youtu.be/x5CbyT1qsg0

The aspirational nature of “Respeto”  speaks deeply to a community whose voice has long been lacking in Texas statewide politics.  “Twice” does a great job of straddling the lines of presenting negative information on the opponent, while managing to be a net positive ad. Touting her strong bipartisan record and unique family story, these ads seem to have all the right ingredients for success.

With six weeks to go before the first votes are cast, it’s impossible to predict just what kind of impact will be had from these spots.  But by getting out ahead of her opponent Dan Patrick with strong ads, Leticia has assured that the first “big move” is hers.

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.

Debate Grate: Is Dan Patrick Afraid of Leticia Van de Putte??

In this year’s race for Texas Lieutenant Governor, one candidate is ready to rumble, while the other is scared to even get in the ring.  Do you know which is which?  If not, Here’s the story from the Houston Chronicle

Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Leticia Van de Putte said Thursday that her Republican opponent, Dan Patrick, has yet to respond to a series of debates she has proposed ahead of the Nov. 4 election.

Van de Putte and Patrick spoke separately at the Texas Association of Broadcasters annual convention, in what amounted to a rare opportunity to see the two candidates address the same audience back to back.

A state senator from San Antonio, Van de Putte used the speaking opportunity in front of TV and radio industry folk to reiterate her call for a robust schedule of debates.

She has challenged Patrick to five in all — part of an aggressive plan to pit the candidates head-to-head in the state’s four largest markets and in the Rio Grande Valley — and has left the door open to three more.

But since she laid out the proposal more than a week ago, Van de Putte said Patrick, a senator from Houston who is a tea party favorite, and his team have yet to get back with a solid answer — or any answer, for that matter.

“He’s not responded to our request for debates,” Van de Putte said, adding that she’s not sure if Patrick is dodging the debate issue or just can’t make up his mind. “This is a race where there’s a big difference in candidates … and the people of the state need to hear the candidates.”

Actually, the reason for Dan Patrick’s reluctance seems simple enough… he’s scared.  As the presumed front-runner in the Lieutenant Governor’s race, Patrick knows very well that to share the stage with Leticia Van de Putte puts him at risk to get OWNED by Leticia Van de Putte.  Time after time in public forum, the Democrat has proven herself an incredibly effective communicator for her ideas.  He also knows that giving voters the chance to hear their views side-by-side puts him at risk of sounding like a far-right extremist.  Of course he sounds like an extremist because he IS an extremist, but that is beside the point.

On debates, Patrick is playing from an old playbook.  Texas Governor Rick Perry won re-election without a single debate against then-Democratic challenger Bill White in 2010, choosing instead to demand White’s tax returns in exchange for meeting him mano a mano.  The “no debates” strategy is now a time-tested method for the Texas GOP… keep Texans in the dark about Government by not allowing them to hear opposing viewpoints.

But 2013, and its massive jump in national exposure for Texas Democrats, brought new hope that more Republicans will have to cave in to pressure to face their electoral adversaries.  GOP Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has already promised to face Wendy Davis in at least two meetings, and Democratic Comptroller candidate Mike Collier seems intent to not give up on a head-to-head with his GOP rival Glenn Hegar.

As Senator Van de Putte made clear last week, Dan Patrick can run but he can’t hide.  Texas has learned from the past, and will demand a campaign for Lieutenant Governor worthy of the great state that eventual office-holder hopes to represent.

Leticia Van de Putte Releases ‘Texas First’ Jobs Plan

Unlike her Republican counterpart, the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor is actually talking about jobs.
This week, State Senator and statewide office hopeful Leticia Van de Putte unveiled the Texas First jobs plan— a comprehensive plan to ensure that Texas not only continues the growth of today, but builds a better economic future for tomorrow. As the Burnt Orange Report noted, she also unveiled the plan in her own special way… at Houston’s St. Arnold’s brewery.  Here’s an excerpt from the plan…
Leticia understands that Texas needs to invest in roads, water, and public education to ensure a prosperous future for Texas businesses and workers. She sees the possibilities that our state’s lush natural resources provide and knows that our economy will remain strong if we foster trade with our neighbors. Leticia understands that with a strong business climate and a quality workforce, businesses will continue to bring jobs to Texas.
Over the past year, every major industry expanded in Texas. These industries created 371,000 jobsbetween June 2013 and June 2014. Leticia is committed to placing Texas in the best position to keep industries like “mining and logging” and “transportation and utilities” strong, while also attracting the industries of the future. Leticia knows that under her leadership, the state has great potential to expand jobs in the biomedical and technology industries of Texas.
Leticia believes that an educated and skilled workforce is crucial to attracting new jobs and ensuring they are filled by Texans. Leticia knows that in order for Texas to prosper, it must prepare students for jobs that may not yet exist, as well as those that have a long history in this state. Currently, there is agrowing need in Texas for healthcare professionals and teachers, as well as mechanics and computersupport specialist. No matter what the industry, Leticia is committed to prepare Texans to take on any job of the future.
Leticia believes that growing a smart economy requires a pro-business environment that stimulates rather than stifles business growth. She understands that Texas needs to balance keeping taxes low and fair while also investing in job creation. She recognizes that Texas needs a system of predictable regulations so that we can continue to attract businesses from across the country and the world.
Even as the current border situation has dominated the news cycle, Van de Putte has managed to not only give clear, reasoned strategy of how to best handle that situation, but to also move her campaign forward with plans such as this one.  While Dan Patrick mires himself in harmful anti-immigrant, anti-Texan rhetoric, Van de Putte is proving that it is possible to lead by example in the Lieutenant Governor’s race.  As a champion of the booming craft beer industry and other small businesses, Van de Putte has shown that she has a firm and relevant understanding of how today’s Texas economy works.

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.