Castro confirmed by the US Senate

The San Antonio Express-News reports that Julian Castro, the Mayor of San Antonio, has been confirmed by the US Senate to serve as the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. The Senate vote was overwhelming, 71-26, and Castro will take office upon his resignation from the Mayorship, which he has held since 2009. I wrote extensively on this topic back in May when President Barack Obama first nominated Castro for the post, and suffice it to say I was not really a fan of the move. But more on this later.

First things first, the obvious question is who will be the next Mayor of San Antonio? The City Charter holds that the Mayor Pro Tem, currently Councilmember Cris Medina, would immediately become Acting Mayor in the case of the Mayor’s death, resignation or removal from office. However, in San Antonio, the Council would then choose a new permanent Mayor from amongst its ranks until the next regularly scheduled election, which is in May 2015. A number of Councilmembers have expressed interest in the appointment, and a couple outside actors –namely State Representative Mike Villarreal (D-Bexar County)– have also announced their tentative candidacies. I am not very well-versed in any of the inside politics of San Antonio, so I cannot offer any truly educated predictions about what will happen. Just expect fireworks.

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Civil Affairs: Senate

CIVIL AFFAIRS

AMID all the talk of the gubernatorial and the lieutenant governor campaigns, as well as the competitive local primaries, it is easy to lose track of the many other important positions Texans will be voting on at the polls this year.

Perhaps the most underrated of these contests is the race for the U.S. Senate. With fiercely competitive primaries for both the Democratic and Republican candidates, the two primaries thus far have nearly descended into a theater of the absurd. Particularly in the case of the Democratic primary, the major candidates have taken to attacking one another and focusing on unrelated issues such as endorsements from state senators rather than debating policy or zeroing in on the incumbent. The three major candidates, David AlameelMichael Fjetland and Maxey Scherr, are doing this at the expense of productive campaigning against Senator Cornyn.

Please read the full column at THE DAILY TEXAN.

Cornyn leads in poll

Politico reports that US Senator John Cornyn, who recently drew a far-right Republican primary challenger in Steve Stockman, may have very little to worry about come next March. WPA Opinion Research recently conducted a limited poll among over 750 likely Republican primary voters, finding that 50% of voters supported Cornyn, 39% remained undecided and only 6% supported Stockman (a further 5% supported other candidates, such as Dwayne Stovall).

I cannot get my hands on the actual poll itself, so I cannot do much analysis regarding the methodology or selection criteria, nor the crosstabs. However, I do think that these results beg two invaluable questions moving forward with this primary. First, it is odd that nearly 2/5 voters are still undecided about a race featuring a two-term incumbent who no one may accuse of straying away from the spotlight. He is the Minority Whip of the Senate, meaning that in the (exceedingly rare, though still possible) scenario where Republicans regain control of the Senate despite McConnell being defeated for re-election (or, of course, primaried), he would become the most powerful person the upper chamber. Despite all of this publicity, he still is unable to maintain majority support from his own party in his own state.

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More attack ads in District D

I received this lovely message in my inbox at 11:53 this morning, from an organization labeled “Say No To Dwight Boykins“, complete with the email address of “SayNoToDwightBoykins@politician.com” The email contained another poorly created advertisement and went as follows:

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“Say No To Dwight Boykins

Fellow Democrats:

District D will be destroyed if Dwight Boykins is elected. Dwight Boykins and his City Hall Insider friends are only in it for themselves. Ask anyone who has talked with Republican Dwight and they will tell you that he is implying that once elected he will GIVE THEM CONTRACTS.  That sounds like a page out of the Book of Rick Perry and Tom Delay! J.R. “Bob” Jones donated THOUSANDS of Dollars to his fellow Republican. You remember Bob Jones don’t you?

Bob Jones’ disrespectful email to Council member Adams when she refused to support Double Taxing our community.

Now Republican Dwight is taking money from the same man who disrespected our Council member and Boykins was SILENT when this woman was attacked.TYPICAL REPUBLICAN!
 

District D can’t afford to elect a REPUBLICAN Insider. Dwight Boykins is BAD FOR OUR COMMUNITY BAD FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS Say No To Dwight Boykins!”

Notice the link about “Bob Jones’ disrespectful email” goes to a note by Jolanda Jones. It is about something the megadonor sent to Councilmember Wanda Adams in the aftermath of the Prop 1 kerfuffle. The astute will remember the previous attack ad against Dwight Boykins, which I wrote about at that time. Unlike this ad, the previous one was created on Facebook by an individual named “Dennis Glenn” and shared by another candidate, Larry McKinzie. This ad has not been connected with any individual, nonetheless any candidate, although they are remarkably similar in format and message.

Previously, Glenn had gone after Boykins for donating to the GOP and voting in a single Republican primary. These attacks were much less substance-based, although the previous advertisement contained mostly half-truths as far as substance goes.

I immediately noticed the difference in the token Republicans juxtaposed alongside Boykins in the advertisement, and how they differed from two weeks ago.  Originally, the photo included serious posed photos of Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, George W. Bush and Mitch McConnell, alongside a silly photo of Boykins that could easily have been photoshopped. This photo, however, includes a more serious photo of Boykins that I have seen before, along with sillier photos of the Republicans. This time it is Ronald Reagan, John Boehner, Rick Perry, Eric Cantor, Mitt Romney and Clarence Thomas. The presence of an African-American Republican in this ad immediately caught my eye.

The photo on the bottom, of course, in that infamous image from Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. An interesting jab against Republicans since the State of Alabama was run by the other party at that time. Yes, yes, I know they were Conservative Democrats and shortly thereafter they fled en masse to the GOP, but it would not have been my first suggestion for an image of why Republican politicians are bad.

No idea who is behind these, I will be conducting an investigation shortly if anyone has filed a d/b/a for “Say No to Dwight Boykins.” My hunch is that it is someone from the junior varsity squad (i.e., the fringe candidates).