A few more candidates

First off all, I would like to apologize for the two day absence. I was up in Washington for a conference, and my nighttime schedule unexpectedly filled up. Further, the 3 hours I was planning to dedicate to writing, on the plane, was a non-starter because I got booked on the one Southwest flight still without WiFi. Oh well.

These past few days have seen three major contenders enter the fray for the 2014 Republican Primary for statewide elections, as well as one more candidate for the 2013 City Council election in District D.

As expected, Dan Branch made an official announcement to enter the Attorney General’s race. As The Dallas Morning News reports, the State Representative announced his candidacy, surrounded by family, at the SMU Law School. Branch, like Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman and Senator Ken Paxton, had been running a pseudo-official campaign for Attorney General in the past weeks. However, after Abbott’s big announcement last week, Branch quickly began making his way towards a formal announcement.

Next, I got a press release (THANK YOU) announcing the candidacy of a man named Ray Keller for Railroad Commission. I’ve never heard of Keller, a former State Representative from the Dallas area, and I soon learned the reason. Keller served in the Legislature from 1979 to 1987, well before I was born.

The Legislature was heavily Democratic during that time, and half of the years included a Democratic Governor, so I take the claim he made of being a “Conservative Republican” in his press release with a grain of salt. He is a bit of an unknown, I guess you could say. It would not surprise me in the least. I will leave the diagnostics on this new candidate to one of my older contemporaries, perhaps old enough to remember the 80s.

Finally, in State news, Representative Brandon Creighton, the Conservative Republican who has an odd love-affair with guns, has announced his intention to make an announcement at some point in the future. Creighton, long rumored to be eyeing the spot of Agriculture Commissioner, announced on his Facebook that big day will come on August 9th. No word if it will be in San Antonio like all the other big announcements.

Back to municipal elections, there is yet another candidate in District D: Christina Sanders. She is the State Director of the League of Young Voters. She doesn’t really have a website or social media set up, but does have this shell of a donation page. I am always overjoyed when a fellow young person gets involved with politics, especially when they have experience as well. Sanders will be a good addition to an already interesting race.

If you are following my previous article on District D, you will note that one such candidate has decided to go out of his way to call me a liar. I don’t have any ill-will towards this individual, but the malice and untruthfulness on his part are somewhat important to note as one weights candidates’ integrity come election day.

Dos Centavos has more on Sanders.

Playing dirty in District D

I logged onto my Facebook today to find this interesting ad on my newsfeed:

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First of all, this is a hilarious photo of Boykins. I cannot find it on his account, for the life of me. While the ad itself did not appear to be the work of any other candidate in the race, one such contended, Larry McKinzie, wasted no time in sharing the ad to his Facebook (which is how I stumbled across it).

The ad raises some serious allegations about Boykins. First, I would like to know how many Republican primaries we’re talking about. I can’t think of many people more yellow dog Democrat than my father, and he voted in GOP primaries prior to 2006, back when absolutely 0 Democrats ever had a chance in Harris County. I would not be surprised if Boykins was doing the same thing. I know some people affiliated with the HCDP have some special Obamaesque spying technique that allows them to figure out exactly which primaries Boykins voted in. I’d like to see how that goes.

But his campaign donations are public knowledge, so I decided to investigate that angle. Boykins donated a lot of money to Democrats; the GOP money is dwarfed in comparison. Further, when that money is examined, a pattern appears. Boykins donated to incumbents like Ted Poe, Kay Granger and Pete Olson, who faced only token opposition. Boykins donated to David Dewhurst, which I can’t blame him for considering who he was up against. Boykins donated $500 to Randy Weber, but he donated three times that amount to the Democratic opponent, Nick Lampson.

Fellow “blogger o’ the left” Erik Vidor also posted his two cents on the two entire issues. Vidor commented:

Dude has only voted in one Republican Primary (2010) going back to 2000. Every other time it was for the D’s. The contributions are interesting fodder but it’s important to recognize that Mr. Boykins line of work requires working from both sides of the aisle. And upon further examination of campaign reports, he’s been pretty even in his giving to both parties.

I do not know if Vidor is getting his information from the fancy Obama spying software I previously mentioned, but if he did only vote in the GOP Primary in 2010, I cannot really blame him. Except for a few delusional liberals, everyone knew the Democratic Party was going down in flames that year. It made much more sense to nominate less-evil Republicans who would be sure to win in the general election.

All in all, I do not see much in the way of substantial attacks against Boykins. While nothing in the ad is untrue, it is somewhat misleading. I will be doing a somewhat more thorough investigation on this in the coming days. Otherwise, there is no real scandal here. Larry McKinzie has officially lobbed the first stone, and campaign season has begun.

TPA Roundup (July 22, 2013)

NOTE: The opinions and viewpoints expressed by other blogs are not necessarily the opinions and viewpoints of Noah M. Horwitz or Texpatriate.

The Texas Progressive Alliance supports the call for justice for Trayvon as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff discusses the status of abortion litigation as pro-choice forces in Texas prepare to file suit over Texas’ harmful new law.

Horwitz at Texpatriate discusses the State of Municipal Elections in the City of Houston.

Can Texas Democrats win in 2014 if they focus on turning out women of all demographics to the polls? PDiddie at Brains and Eggs says ‘no, but’

WCNews at Eye on Williamson makes the case for Wendy Davis to run for governor, Why Wendy Davis must run for Governor of Texas in 2014.

Texas Leftist observes that campaign season has swung into high gear for Houston, as City Council debates the true cost of 380 deals.

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

TFN Insider challenges us to remember all of the nasty things abortion opponents have been saying about us lately.

Jason Stanford compares Rick Perry to Jerry Jones, but doesn’t say who should be more offended by the comparison.

Mark Bennett contends that the Zimmerman verdict didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already believe.

Juanita expresses her pride in a recent award won by Rick Perry.

The TSTA Blog gives an update on the state of CSCOPE.

BOR wants to know what Greg Abbott was thinking when he asked people to ask him anything.

Marty Hajovsky mourns a piece of history damaged by fire in Houston.

And for folks in the Austin area, I Love Beer announces a food drive benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas.

Annise Parker is not running for Governor

In case you were wondering. The question has been coming up, first in January and later in July, after her name popped up –along with that of Julian Castro, Wendy Davis and Bill White– in PPP polls for upcoming Statewide elections.

Somehow, amidst the rancor over HB2 and the drama over Campaign finance reports, I missed a tweet by the Mayor stating:

“LOL. I appreciate the encouragement to run for Governor, but I have the best job already and hope to keep it for 2 more years.-A.”

This does not come as a surprise to me, nor should it to really anyone. Parker is very obviously running for re-election, a race that will last until the middle of December if there is a runoff. If she were to run Statewide, it would require filing the signatures for the primary ballot about the same day as her third inauguration. There are some pretty outlandish politicians in Houston who would have the unmitigated temerity to do something like that, but Parker is not one of them.

I would feel like a bit of a schmuck if I wrote an entire post on how Parker isn’t running for Governor, because it is sort of like those headlines which triumphantly state that rain causes flooding: this shouldn’t be news to anyone. Instead, I’d like to read the tea leaves for what Parker’s future will look like.

I tend to think there is a very good chance (+90%) Parker will be re-elected, so this occupies her through January of 2016. She will be 59 at that point, and in no hurry to retire. The timing gives her a variety of options going forwards. First, as I predicted long ago, I think there could be a chance Parker will run for the House of Representatives, specifically Sheila Jackson Lee’s seat (though I doubt the two would actually run against each other). SJL will have been serving for 20 years by that point, though she will still be comparatively young.

The Congress option would probably be the only option where Parker would go straight into something else, politically speaking. Otherwise, she would most likely spend at least a year on a private company’s payroll, doing consulting or what not. She will have been on a civil servant’s salary for 18 years by 2016, she may want a change of pace.

Second, if Hillary Clinton runs (which I think she will) and wins (which I also think she will), Parker could easily get a job in the new Administration doing something. Again, this would be a good end-path for the Mayor.

Third, there is certainly still a chance Parker would run Statewide in 2018. Governor is probably not the most likely possibility, as I would put my money on Comptroller. The only problem with this, as I wrote back in August, is that Parker is liberal and lesbian, not the old, White, moderate man that Democrats in this State love to nominate. The African-American Democratic political community in this State has an unfortunate homophobic streak, which could complicate primary efforts. It would be a stretch, to say the least, to find Parker doing well on a Statewide ballot any time soon.

But the biggest priority right now is 2013.

John Cook for Land Commissioner

The El Paso Times reports that John Cook, the former Mayor of El Paso, will seek the Democratic nomination for Land Commissioner next year. The news comes as a good sign for Democrats in the State, who are still without a single Statewide Democratic candidate for 2014.

In a video procured by the Times, Cook expressed his disdain for fellow El Paso Democrats, reminding everyone that the city, which is the Sixth largest in the State (and 19th largest in the Nation), has never elected a Statewide officeholder. “”I think it’s an embarrassment to the city of El Paso, being one of the largest cities in the United States, that we’ve never had a candidate elected to a statewide office,” Cook said.

Cook was first elected to the El Paso City Council in 1999, serving until 2005, when he defeated incumbent Mayor Joe Wardy in the municipal election. Cook was then re-elected in 2009, and left office last month due to term limits. Perhaps most famous for Mayor Cook’s tenure is his zealous support for gay rights.

There was a great Huffington Post article about all this. Long story short, in 2009 Cook pushed through domestic partnership benefits for the municipality. However, in 2010 a ballot measure overturned these benefits. Thereafter, Cook pushed through yet another round of the domestic partnership ordinance. This was the straw that broke the ignoramuses’ backs.

Cook fired back, saying “To me this was always about bigotry. Intolerance is bigotry.” This is when the recall effort began, immediately before the Special Municipal election in 2012. Social conservatives, livid over Cook’s support of gay rights, began circulating petitions and collecting signatures. However, from what I could find in an article from the Times, tax-exempt churches illegally participated in the recall effort and the Eighth Court of Appeals declared the recall effort null and void.

Recently, Cook has been in the news for two new issues. First, pertaining to the failed recall effort, Cook has filed a claim for the City to reimburse him for the $700k used defending himself against the recall, stating both the recall and the initial referendum on domestic partnerships to be illegal.

Doing research on this actually opened up a whole new can of worms I was not familiar with. Evidently, one of the more controversial things Cook did as Mayor was help to usher through a new deal demolishing El Paso’s City Hall and putting up a Baseball Stadium in its place. Evidently, this ticked off a lot of people. And the deal allegedly involved some shady business.

So John Cook may have a few skeletons in the closet. But he is unabashedly progressive, and surely will not equivocate his position on “being a liberal” when some Tea Party crazy confronts him. While he would be like Bill White in the being an old, White Mayor part, he could be oh so different in other ways. We’ll see how he does against George P. Bush.

Lege update 7/18

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Shortly after 9:30 this morning, Governor Perry signed HB2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill, into law. The law is a death warrant for thousands of poor, rural women who will now be denied access to abortion clinics. Democrats had promised a same-day lawsuit to be filed the date of signature, but it looks like they did not follow through on the threat.

At his signing statement, Perry surrounded himself with fellow Conservatives. The Texas Tribune reports that Perry doubled down on the lie that HB2 is about the 20 week ban. ““This is a bill that protects unborn babies after the fifth month of a pregnancy,” Perry said. Once again, that is not the point of the bill. In addition to the 20 week ban, it requires abortion doctors to administer all drugs in person, have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and –& this is the big one– require the clinics convert into ambulatory surgical centers.

Per the above photographs, there were protesters at the capital today. They donned black clothing, carried wire coathangers and chanted “SHAME!” over and over again.

In other news, the House voted to advance HJR2, a transportation funding measure not identical to the one the Senate passed last week. The Senate bill had originally drawn Transportation funding from the Rainy Day Fund. This bill siphons the 25% of the Gas Tax earmarked for education to TXDOT. In order to make up for this, the Rainy Day Fund would be withdrawn for education funding.

This bill, HJR2, was approved 108-25, with only Tea Party Republicans voting against the measure. Debbie Riddle, Jodie Laudenberg, David Simpson, Bryan Hughes: all those people.

The House also approved a companion bill, HB16, by a 124-11 vote. The entire Transportation funding plan will only come into effect if the Senate approves HJR2 with at least 21 votes and the constitutional amendment is approved by a majority of voters.

The Legislature then adjourned until next Thursday, July 25th. At that point, the Legislature will have about one week left.

TPA Roundup (July 15, 2013)

NOTE: The opinions and viewpoints expressed by other blogs are not necessarily the opinions and viewpoints of Noah M. Horwitz or the Texpatriate Editorial Board.

 

The Texas Progressive Alliance stands with Texas women as it brings you this week’s roundup.

Off the Kuff gives some advice on what to do now that the anti-abortion bill has passed.

Horwitz at Texpatriate explains why he is a Democrat.

WCNews at Eye on Williamson says the dream that once made America great has become a nightmare for too many, We must “make morality possible again”, and bring back “The American Dream”.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme can hardly wait to see the results of the republican War on Women in 2014Some Blue Dogs like Eddie Lucio Jr. are already feeling a pinch.

Dr. Mark Jones of Rice University tried to take down Wendy Davis’ political prospects, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs had to take down Jones. Conservatives drinking “librul” whine still smell like vinegar.

At TexasKaoslightseeker foresees the coming crackup of the Texas Republicans. Check it out:Texas Republicans – The Coming Crackup??

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

Juanita eulogizes Bev Carter, Fort Bend political journalist and rabble-rouser.

Lone Star Ma deplores the gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

Jason Stanford has a personal story about why the omnibus anti-abortion bill is such a miscarriage of justice.

Equality Texas reports from the Texas GSA Network Activist Camp.

Greg Wythe shreds a recent story that claims Sen. Wendy Davis is “too liberal” to win in Texas.

Texas Vox looks at a series of new studies that focus on the destructive effects of pollution.

The Texas Green Report explains why you should care about the cost of tap water.

Concerned Citizens reminds us once again that elections have consequences.

BOR analyzes the litigation that is likely to arise from the passage of the omnibus anti-abortion bill.

State of the Municipal Races

Daily Commentary has a somewhat exhaustive list of municipal candidates, but I felt like I needed to do the due diligence myself. Accordingly, this morning, after I left the Federal Courthouse for the day, I walked across the street to City Hall and visited Anna Russell’s office to see the Campaign Treasurer files for myself. Luckily I got out of both buildings before things went to hell. But you can watch the 6 o’clock news about all that. Anyways, I want to list the candidates and discuss each of the candidates’ financial records.

Mayor
First up, the two new candidates for Mayor. Keryl Douglas, the homophobic, bigoted unsuccessful candidate in last year’s campaign for Harris County Democratic Party Chair, has thrown her hat into the ring.  Douglas’ website is still a shell, containing nothing about the infamous Douglas Plan or her supporters. Like Eric Dick’s entrance into this race, I do not think this is really going to affect Parker’s chances. Douglas is just going to turn votes away from Ben Hall, because none of the Parker’s voters would go for the homophobe. Pardon my tone, but I will be pulling no punches against candidates for Mayor on this issue.

The other new candidate for Mayor is Victoria Lane. I found a telephone number on her from the treasurer form, but no website and no hits from I Googled her name.

The self-proclaimed Green Party candidate, Don Cook. Cook raised a little more than $10k, of which a negligible amount is still on hand. The self-proclaimed Socialist Worker, Michael Fitzsimmons, did not submit a form. I guess private campaign donations are sort of anathema to the glorious proletariat revolution, or what not. The self-proclaimed Republican, Eric Dick, did not file a form delineating his donations. He did, however, have about $11k in expenses. Victoria Lane raised about $4k.

Annise Parker’s campaign, meanwhile, raised a total of $2.2M, and only spent a fraction of that amount. But the real story is Ben Hall’s farce of a campaign. Hall raised a measly $300k or so, going significantly in the red, including a $1.5M loan. This is a far cry from his claims to be raising so much money. Oh well.

Controller
No new candidates for this race. Still a classic one-on-one fight between Green and Frazer. In this race, Green has raised about $70k, with most of it still on hand. Frazer, a Republican CPA, raised about $50k and spent close to 80% of the total.

AL1
Costello is still unopposed, as of now. The Councilmember raised a whopping $156k. Perhaps he has higher ambitions. Speaking of Costello, what the heck is his political affiliation nowadays? Once upon a time, I remember thinking he was a Republican, but between his common alignment with the Mayor and liberal takes on social issues (pro-choice and pro-gay marriage), I do not think the GOP would ever support his candidacy in this State.

AL2
Councilmember Burks has three opponents: David Robinson, Trebor Gordon and Carolyn Evans-Shabazz. Burks, for his part, raised $41K and only spent a fraction of it. Robinson raised over $80k, but, as Dos Centavos points out, he probably has to retire some old campaign debt. Accordingly, he only has about $50k fit for spending. Still more than the incumbent.

Trebor Gordon is not a name I had heard in connection with this race before. He has a website as http://www.treborgordon.com/ and is an avowed Republican. It will be interesting to see what he does. The other name is Carolyn Evans-Shabbaz. A cursory Facebook search reveals a deep dissatisfaction with the Trayvon Martin case and close frienship with Assata-Nicole Richards, both tell-tale signs of a Democrat. Gordon raised about $1500, while Evans-Shabbaz did not submit a return.

AL3
Here comes the mess.

First up is Michael Kubosh, who raised over $100k ($108k, to be exact). Right next to this total is Rogene Calvert, who raised $84k and retained most the cash.

Roland Chavez raised about $27k, and only spent a couple thousand. Chris Carmona is completely destitute. Roy Morales raised $37k and spent $35k of that. This is surprising, and not just because Dos Centavos originally called him broke as well. Morales did not run for anything in 2011 or 2012. That’s like a new record for him or something.

Jenifer Pool, who seemed to have filed late, raised $34k and spent most of the total. Al Edwards, who still in unofficially officially in the AL3, did not file a return.

AL4
Bradford, presumably running for re-election, raised $54k with most of it still in the bank.

AL5
Jack Christie raised a whopping $95k, with over 2/3 still on hand. Even worse, he has not a single opponent. Personally, I think Robinson should run against Christie. Sure, Burks is a little odd and sometimes frustrates progressives, but Christie is legitimately a Conservative Republican who goes on anti-vaccine rants.

Once upon a time, I had heard of quite a few possible candidates for this race, from former State Reps, former City Councilmembers, activists to lawyers. I think I even read my father’s name mentioned for this one. Alas, no one will step up. I’d put my own name on the ballot if push comes to shove, but I feel there will be at least token opposition.

District A
This race really boils down to a third-person race between the incumbent, Helena Brown, the former one-term Councilmember, Brenda Stardig, and Amy Peck.  Ron Hale, Mike Knox and Catarina Cron are the other candidates I have hard from in this race. This is still no Democrat in the race.

Brown raised about $67k, spending a little under half of the total. Stardig, meanwhile, did not report raising any money. Peck  raised a pitiful $4k. In this regard, it looks like the incumbent may not have that hard of a time after all.

Ron Hale picked up $2.5k, while Knox took in a whopping $41k. Cron did not submit a report.

District B
The incumbent, Jerry Davis, will be facing some opposition next year within his own party. For his part, he raised about $53k and spent a negligible amount.

He has two declared opponents: Joe Joseph & Katherine Blueford-Daniels. I can’t really find anything on the former candidate, but Blueford-Daniels does come up with a few searches. She is being supported predominantly by Carol Mims Galloway, the former Councilmember and School Board member in that district and NAACP leader. This, of course, begs the question of how much other support Blueford-Daniels has.

Joseph did not file a return, but Blueford-Daniels did. However, she only raised $5k.

District C
Ellen Cohen could very possibly draw some opponents, including Brian Cweren, her biggest 2011 opponent. However, the only other candidate who has filed a campaign treasurer or campaign report is Pete Sosa. For the life of me, I cannot find a Facebook page or other meaningful internet footprint.

Cohen raised $128k, with most of it still on hand. Sosa did not file any sort of report.

District D
The District D race might actually have more people in it than the AL3 one. Dwight Boykins, who is backed by much of the old guard political establishment including Mayor Brown, raised $150k with over $100k left unspent.

There are a few other well-known candidates, Assata-Nicole Richards and Georgia Provost. The former raised $37k with half on hand, while the latter raised $21k with little on hand.

Onto the new candidates, the first is Kirk White. White has a Facebook page for his campaign, but it doesn’t go into very much detail about anything. I have no idea if he’s a Democrat in the Democratic district, or not. He filed a report of less than $1k in contributions.

Then there is a Keith Caldwell. Caldwell is an activist in the Democratic Party, serving positions at both the Precinct and Senate District Level. He has a website and big social media presence already. His campaign, however, raised a measly $2.75k with full expenses.

Travis McGee, the past Sunnyside Civic Group President, has also been conducting a campaign. He’s raised nearly $5k and spent about all of it.

Not filing reports but registered as candidates anyways are Anthony Robinson, Larry McKinzie and Lana Edwards. Robinson just has a shell of a website. Though his Facebook page is more active and suggests he was involved in the big Trayvon Martin protests yesterday. I guess it is safe to assume he is a Democrat.

McKinzie, who now has a website, previously ran against Adams in 2009. Another Democrat.

Edwards has a little shell thing here, but I can’t figure out much else.

District E
At this point I think Councilmember Martin is just running unopposed. He has raised $53k with $23k on hand.

District F
Likewise, Councilmember Hoang has yet to draw any opposition. He raised just $13k with just $11k on hand.

District G
Councilmember Pennington is not unopposed, however. Pennington raised a very impressive $189k for his campaign, so it will probably not be a credible threat.

I had been wondering if Clyde Bryan would make another run for his seat, again with the bandit signs and such. He is not, Bryan will be working on Dick’s campaign. But a candidate named Brian Taef is running. I could not find any trace of him on Google, but Taef did file a campaign report. He raised $150, for the record.

District H
At this point, it looks like Ed Gonzalez will be unopposed for yet another term. He raised close to $80k with most of it still on hand.

District I
We start things off with the pseudo-favorite, Graci Garces, Councilmember Rodriguez’s Chief of Staff. Garces raised about $19k with most of it still on hand. Her main competitor, Ben Mendez, raised a huge $94k.

Robert Gallegos, yet another Democrat in the race, got about $17k. The lone Republican, Leticia Ablaza, got $27k with about $16k on hand still.

As Dos Centavos points out, until March Garces, and Gallegos were competing with the SD06 race for donors. Accordingly, their numbers may have been retarded in comparison with the Republican candidate. Although that does not explain Mendez.

District J
Councilmember Laster, with $66k in donations and $81 on hand, is unopposed.

District K
Councilmember Green, with $93k raised and most still on hand, is likewise unopposed.

That’s all, folks. Off the KuffDos Centavos and Greg’s Opinion all have a lot more. They’ve been doing this stuff since before my Bar Mitzvah, so I highly suggesting consulting their work too.

Abbott makes it official

The Texas Tribune reports that, as everyone in the world had expected, Greg Abbott announced his campaign for the Governor’s office. Abbott is, of course, the heir-apparent to Perry’s reign of terror. He would be Number 48. The 48th White Person, the 46th man and the 47th Conservative for all intent and purposes.

Abbott pulled no punches in his announced, turning it into a full-fledged campaign speech. He was in Houston today and gave a nearly identical speech. One of the recurring themes was him saying: “Government is supposed to be on your side — not riding your backs.” That is unless, I suppose, you are a woman. Right, Mr Attorney General?

Not a lot to say here, I sort of went over all of this last week. Especially all implications for next year. Off the Kuff has more.