Tag Archives: Texas politics

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.

Rick Perry Wants BOOTS On The Border, Not Humanitarian Aid

Long gone are the days when Rick Perry showed any semblance of compassion for the plight of undocumented children and families.  Instead of working to find a solution to his state’s most recent border crisis, the Texas Governor and 2016 Presidential hopeful is doubling down on photo ops and party politics.  Here’s more from CNN

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he won’t encourage his state’s congressional delegation to approve President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to mitigate the border crisis.

“The President doesn’t have to have this big amount of money,” Perry told Fox News Channel’s Brit Hume. “He could pick up the phone today, call the (Defense Department) and direct them to have the 1,000 National Guard troops on the border.”

[…]

Perry said the physical presence of the National Guard would send a clear, visual message to potential immigrants that U.S. borders are not wide open.

“They need to be right on the river,” he said. “They need to be there as a show of force, because that’s the message that gets sent back very quickly to Central America.”

It doesn’t take a thousand National Guardsmen and Guardswomen to decipher the message that the Governor is trying to send here.  The only thing Perry cares about now is using the current border crisis as a meal ticket to 2016.  Don’t forget… he is not someone that is unconnected to the realities of these issues, as he has dealt with them consistently since Barack Obama was a State Senator in Illinois.  For Perry to come out now and say that the only thing needed on the border is more troops is nothing short of lunacy.  He’s well aware of the detrimental need for more immigration lawyers and judges to process these children the correct way.  He’s well aware of the critical need for more humanitarian aid, including shelters, food and other supplies.

It’s a sad day for the people of Texas when our Governor can become so obsessed with his political aspirations that he completely ignores the needs of his state.  But in fairness, President Obama also needs to stop playing politics here.  It’s time for the Commander-in-Chief to come to the border… not for a photo op like Perry, but to assess the situation at a personal level.  Asking for aid from Congress is in part a political move, given the current brokenness of the institution.  We need some leadership on this issue Mr. President, and with the total ineptitude coming from our state’s top official and from Congress, that job (once again) falls to you.

Julian Castro Breezes Through Senate Confirmation

The Executive Branch of the United States government will soon be embodied with the with a new, uniquely Texan perspective.  San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has now cleared the last hurdle to joining the Cabinet of the United States.  Here’s more from the Washington Post

Julian Castro, President Obama’s pick to lead the Housing and Urban Development Department, sailed through his Senate confirmation  Wednesday with a bipartisan vote of 71-26.

His twin brother Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and other members of the Texas congressional delegation watched the vote from the gallery.

“I’m proud of Julian and excited for our country,” Rep. Castro said in a statement after the vote.

Castro, the Latino mayor of San Antonio, had met with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in his DC office on Monday to discuss the housing market in Nevada, and on Tuesday Reid announced the Senate would vote to confirm him the next day.

It was not expected to be contentious. And it wasn’t.

Several Republicans offered Castro their blessing from the start, and his home state U.S. senator, John Cornyn, a Republican, gave him a warm introduction at his nomination hearing, saying Castro is an “example that the American dream is still very much alive.” Cornyn voted yes, while fellow Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, voted no.

With Senate confirmation behind him, Castro again lands on the national stage, becoming one of the most high-profile Hispanic Americans in all of government.  Besides racial diversity, the geographic diversity that the South Texas Mayor brings to Obama’s cabinet may prove just as beneficial.  One look at the President’s closest confidants reveals a group largely devoid of perspectives from the Southwest of the country.

Castro’s appointment has already caused a flurry of activity in San Antonio, as various City Council members and local elected officials vie to be his successor.  As for Julian himself, some time in Washington will definitely raise his national profile, but many also fear that it could extinguish any chances of a statewide candidacy back home.  I’m not so convinced of this.  For starters, the Texas that would vote Castro into office is not the same one that is voting today.  If he were to win statewide, it’s going to take a much more expanded and engaged electorate than exists now, so he’s depending on the 2014 Democrats to help with that.  Secondly, though it seems the Lone Star State will never warm to Obama now, memories are quite short once a politician leaves office, and someone else is in their place.  As long as Castro does good work in his endeavors, the future is wide open.

Off the Kuff has more.

 

No More Perrystan!! But what’s next?

At least come early 2015.

Yesterday, the longest-serving Governor in Texas history, made his big announcement… Rick Perry will not seek re-election. Here’s more from the Texas Tribune…

Perry announced Monday that he will not run for re-election next year, creating the first open race for Texas governor since 1990 and making Attorney General Greg Abbott the instant favorite to replace him.

“I remain excited about the future and the challenges ahead, but the time has come to pass on the mantle of leadership,” Perry said. “Today I am announcing I will not seek re-election as governor of Texas. I will spend the next 18 months working to create more jobs, opportunity and innovation. I will actively lead this great state.”

This is an historic announcement for the state of Texas. For the first time in the 21st Century, Rick Perry will not hold an elected office in Texas State Government. And as for having an open field for Texas Governor, it’s going to be a welcomed change. And hopefully, for the first time since 2006, Texans will get to observe a General Election debate. In case you forgot, Rick Perry was re-elected in 2010 without even debating Democratic candidate Bill White.

Sure… some people may think of debates as more show than substance, but it’s been an important tool in recent American politics. Debates offer a chance for voters to (potentially) hear both sides of an argument presented on equal footing. Our country couldn’t have had better evidence of this than the debate series between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It’s arguable Romney’s performance in the first debate was the only time in his campaign that he felt like a credible candidate for the Presidency, and it was the time that Obama’s re-election hopes were in the most danger. The simple course of 90 minutes and two candidates having to interact had a profound impact on months… years of work.

Is anyone surprised that Rick Perry chose to chicken out of debating a very viable opponent. Why expose voters to the truth?

But thankfully, the time of Perrystan now has a definitive closing date. We can all look forward to seeing honesty and transparency return to the Governor’s office, right?

Hardly.

Though he lacks the showmanship of Governor Perry, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is just as shrewd and potentially dangerous. Don’t let the disability fool you. He’s at constant war with the Obama administration on virtually every major federal law. He’s an adamant Anti- Choice proponent. And if you thought that maybe his brand of Conservatism allows for the freedom to marry or be respected as same-sex partners? Think again. He’s already vigorously preparing to fight every aspect of the latest SCOTUS rulings striking down the Defense of Marriage Act. If you were looking forward to escaping the horrors of Perrystan, Abbottstan would probably be worse.

But here’s the good news… it’s not election day yet. Democrats still have more than a year to get their stuff together. Again it all comes down to doing the hard work of uniting behind the right candidates. The recent protests at the Capitol have proven that progressivism still has a place in Texas. But these protests have to turn into real political action. They cannot fade into the night once the legislature closes. And regardless of the outcome of candidates, all Texans should demand a series of General Election debates. Let’s face it folks… a well-televised debate is the single most important event that can occur for voters whom are less politically engaged. One has to wonder that if Bill White got 42% of a low vote election, how much more could he have gotten with a more informed public?? In the 2014 battle, this cannot be allowed.

Texas Democrats, say hello to your new Public Enemy number 1. No More Abbottstan