Bob Perry, 1932-2013

The Texas Tribune reports that GOP super donor Bob Perry died this morning in his sleep. He was 80.

Bob Perry had amassed a large fortune over the years from his large development company, Perry Homes. Eventually, the focus turned to philanthropy of a political nature. Perry was one of the biggest donors to politicians in the State, mainly giving to the GOP. Among his recipients were George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Sylvester Turner, Mario Gallegos, George P. Bush and Carol Alvarado. A Houston resident, he worked tirelessly to support candidates, both left and right (but mainly right), from his hometown.

Additionally, Perry was invaluable in silencing the far-right from dominating the Republican Party’s immigration policy. He was one of the key reasons the cruel Sanctuary City bill did not pass, and for that, liberals like me will always be grateful.

I do not believe I ever had the pleasure of meeting Mr Perry in person, but I wish I did. He will be missed and I was saddened to hear of his passing.

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George P. Bush, officially offficially

The Texas Tribune is reporting that George P. Bush, who had been unofficially leaning towards a bid for Land Commissioner in 2014, has officially announced his intention to run for that office.

Christopher Ewing, erg…I mean, George P. Bush, is seen as first of the fourth generation of the Bush family in politics, and the third generation in Texas politics. The incumbent Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson, who is running for Lieutenant Governor (after those sharks smelled blood in the water), had kind words for Bush, and seemed like he would be wholeheartedly supporting him. For what it’s worth, I’m really happy that Bush did not seek something like the Governor’s office or AG. The Republicans already have an advantage in prominent Hispanic officeholders, but most of them (including Cruz) are of Cuban ancestry. Bush is of Mexican ancestry, like most Hispanics in Texas. But he will probably be the gubernatorial candidate in 2018, so the Democrats must stand ready.

Hopefully, Mike Villarreal can run for Governor on the Democratic side next year, meaning that the Democrats hold the advantage 2-0 in nominating Hispanic candidates for Governor. And then there’s Castro, but now I’m getting off-topic.

UPDATE: Bush was a website –> here. The Chronicle picked up the story, and reports that he has about $1.3M in campaign cash and is being helped by Karl Rove.

Rejected Letter to the Editor, Houston Chronicle

To the Editor,

In a February 26th article, “Today’s the day: Democrats launch ‘Battleground Texas’ project to end GOP dominance,” this Newspaper forgot to inquire about one perplexity of the new project among Texas Democrats: the lack of feasible candidates for office. Indeed, even if the Texas Democratic Party receives coveted funds and organizational skills from national institutions, it will not help the state party’s dreadful inability to attract and recruit an abundance of strong candidates for statewide or otherwise higher office.

Battleground Texas does not mention any specific dates on its website for the foreseen Democratic victories at the statewide level. However, if they wish to make the 2014 statewide elections competitive, they have been woefully unsuccessful thus far in finding suitable candidates to challenge Governor Perry, among others. Other incumbents such as Greg Abbott, and political newcomers such as George P. Bush, will not be easy opponents for even a well-funded Texas Democratic Party, as long as Texas Democrats are not presenting viable alternative candidates.

Why has this Newspaper not questioned the feasibility of this project, given the current lack of Democratic candidates capable of winning elections? While it is true that state fundamentals are becoming increasingly friendly to Democrats, as we have seen in recent polling which shows Governor Perry losing in a theoretical matchup against former Democratic candidate Bill White, such gains will be squandered if poor Democratic candidates are chosen which, unfortunately, looks to be the case leading into the 2014 elections.

Thank You,

N.M. Horwitz
Boston, Massachusetts

Empty seats

It’s a slow day in the news, so I am going to talk about something that really isn’t current or even especially relevant. In next year’s statewide GOP primaries, we have a plethora of politicians running for a minuscule number of positions. Worst case scenario, we have Abbott & Perry vying for Governor, and Dewhurst, Staples, Patterson & Combs running for Lieutenant Governor. That leaves Attorney General, Land Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, and Comptroller as empty seats.

Now, it seems that, if our Governor isn’t talking out of his butt again, Abbott will not run for Governor, but that could very easily mean he would run for Lieutenant Governor. Either way, we are (most likely) looking at 4 open positions. Only one of those offices, Land Commissioner, has seen any movement among prospective candidates (George P. Bush).

That leaves the question: who is running for all these seats? I’m not going to pontificate over this, making predictions, because (as my friends keep reminding me), they are usually wrong.

Clinton leads in Texas 2016 poll

The third and final segment of that PPP poll involved the 2016 Presidential election. The numbers assumed Hillary Clinton would be the Democrats’ 2016 nominee, and she crushed the opposition–even in the Lone Star State. The poll also showed that same-sex marriage and Jerry Jones are quite unpopular. Also, in my opinion, the best part of the poll: 50% of Texans do not consider themselves Cowboys fans. Between a Democrat winning Texas, and a majority of Texans being Texans fans, this might be the greatest poll to ever be commissioned. Full results below:

Same sex marriage, civil union, or no recognition?: 33% (same sex marriage) to 28% (civil union) to 36% (no recognition)
Dallas Cowboys approval rating: 42% (approve) to 50% (disapprove)
Texas secession approval rating: 20% (approve) to 67% (disapprove)
Ted Cruz approval rating: 36% (approve) to 30% (disapprove)
George P. Bush approval rating: 41% (approve) to 33% (disapprove)
Hillary Clinton approval rating: 50% (approve) to 43% (disapprove)
Lane Armstrong approval rating: 16% (approve) to 59% (disapprove)
Jerry Jones approval rating: 13% (approve) to 50% (disapprove)

GOP Primary: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Susana Martinez, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan: 21% (Rubio), 14% (Huckabee), 13% (Paul), 11% (Bush), 11% (Ryan), Christie (9%), 4% (Jindal), 4% (Perry), 2% (Martinez).
Hillary Clinton vs. Chris Christie: 45% (Clinton) to 43% (Christie)
Hillary Clinton vs. Rick Perry: 50% (Clinton) to 42% (Perry)
Hillary Clinton vs. Marco Rubio: 46% (Clinton) to 45% (Perry)

First, I’d like to say that these numbers are pretty great. Not just because of the Democrat leading, but because of just how unpopular the Governor would be in a Democratic primary. Also, for the record, I’m not sure how one can measure whether they should “approve” George P. Bush, given that he has never held any public office before. Approve what? Him being a lawyer. The gay marriage numbers are disappointing.

 

Stupid musings on the future

We, here at Texpatriate, haven’t decided to play the game of futurology in a while. Since the quintessential cynic in me was wrong about Mitt Romney being elected President, I might have to redo my old timeline.

November/December 2013-Annise Parker is re-elected after defeating, among others, Ben Hall. May or not be the need for a runoff election.

March 2014-Greg Abbott defeats Rick Perry in the primary for Governor. David Dewhurst is squeezed into a runoff with one of his many challengers (he may or may not win the runoff). George P. Bush cruises to victory in his run for Land Commissioner. The Democrats, if they are unsuccessful in drafting a superstar (like Tommy Lee Jones or Cecile Richards), essentially concede defeat by not running competitive candidates against Abbott and Cornyn and the like.

May 2014-Dewhurst may or may not survive his runoff election.

November 2014-Republicans take control of the US Senate, Democrats pick up a few seats in the US House. Democrats picks up a few states in both houses of the State Legislature; GOP maintains control thereof and of all statewide offices.

November 2015-Houston elects first Latino mayor.

November 2016-Hillary Clinton elected President; Democrats retake US Senate, pick up a few seats in the US House (still not control). Democrats pick up a few states in State Legislature, all Statewides stay with the GOP.

November 2017-Latino mayor re-elected.

November 2018-First cracks in the GOP barrier. I still am hoping for the Castro/Davis ticket.

(Gran)Daddy’s money and politics.

The Chronicle is reporting that George P. Bush (yeah, THAT Bush) is raising millions of dollars for his unofficial, official run for Land Commissioner in 2014. He has raised $1.3M so far, and counting. It is interesting, however, to follow the money and see who exactly is bankrolling his campaign.

Daddy and Uncle each gave $50k.

Bob Perry and Harold Simmons each gave truckloads of money. No surprise there.

A full 35% of donations came from outside of Texas, mostly from Florida.

Most intriguingly, Bush received a $25k donation from Clayton Williams. Yeah, the “If rape’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it” guy. The godfather of the Todd Akins, Richard Mourdocks, and what not.

The article also insinuates that Karl Rove will have a heavy hand in Bush’s campaign.