Saturday, October 31, 2009
The new leader of the Texas Republican Party wants Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to clarify if and when she plans to resign to concentrate on her bid for governor.
Cathie Adams, who was elected party chair Oct. 24, prefers that Hutchison's plans be known by Jan. 4, the candidate filing deadline for the March 2 primary.
The Jan. 4 date is noteworthy because some Republican officeholders on 2010 ballots might want to run for Hutchison's seat in a special Senate election that her resignation would spawn. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst presently is running for re-election, but he's seen as a potential candidate for Hutchison's seat.
"It would help the people of the state of Texas to know more clearly, especially by Jan. 4, because if she resigns after that, we're going to throw things into quite an unknown," Adams said, according to the Austin American Stateman.
Under Texas law, the special Senate election would be held on May 8, though Gov. Rick Perry, could invoke emergency powers to schedule it for a different date.
Hutchison said this summer that she planned to resign in October or November, though she's backed away from that schedule, saying that she wants to participate in the Senate's consideration of health care policy. In running for governor she is not required to resign from the Senate, to which she was elected in a 1993 special election and re-elected in 1994, 2000 and 2006.
At least five Republicans are presently seeking the seat: state railroad commissioners Michael Williams and Elizabeth Ames Jones; Roger Williams, a former Texas secretary of state; state Sen.Florence Shapiro; and Andrew "Cas" Castanuela, an Air Force veteran.
Republican Rep. Joe L. Barton, who represents Texas' 6th District, might also seek the seat.
Adams is supporting Perry over Hutchison in the anticipated primary.
Hunt skeptical about Leppert Senate buzz
Friday, October 30, 2009
DOBBS: You have five patrolled ports of entry into the state, as you know. Do you think homeland security Janet Napolitano is doing enough to secure the borders? And we'll limit that just to the state of Texas.
PERRY: And neither did the previous homeland security director.
DOBBS: Michael Chertoff.
PERRY: Neither one are doing enough. We've asked this administration for 1,000 National Guard troops to come, put boots on the ground. We haven't gotten an answer. There's a conflict between the department of defense and homeland security about who's going to pay for it. I don't care who's going to pay for it, just get the troops on the ground. Let's use the technology available. Why not fly predator drones up and down that border region. They're training drones anyway. They're practicing for the real deal. Let's use them, take that data, use it to help on our homeland security.
Hutchison isn’t picking a candidate in the New York race. “She’s focused on Texas,” spokesman Joe Pounder said.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
It didn't take long after Gov. Rick Perry gathered on the south lawn of the state Capitol for a photograph with Texas Rangers that a video appeared on the Internet. And not in a good way.
About 120 of the state's 144 Texas Rangers - all wearing those customary light colored rancher or cattleman's hats - posed for photographs with the governor.
"The Rangers wanted a picture, so we managed to find some time," one of Perry's high-ranking aides explained.
The Rangers always organize a group photograph with the governor but none apparently has been made with Perry since he took office nearly nine years ago.
So they spent about 30 minutes for the picture taking.
Someone from the Kay Bailey Hutchison camp showed up with a video camera and put the event on YouTube.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
A New York Special Election? Why would Texans care about that?
The special election in New York's 23rd Congressional district next Tuesday could send a message to the Washington, D.C. establishment that conservatives must stand for our principles: limited government, lower taxes, and free enterprise.
I am supporting Doug Hoffman, the only real conservative in the race. I urge you to join me in supporting Doug by contributing generously to him at his website today!
Doug Hoffman is the true conservative candidate in NY-23, and he needs your help today to put him over the top! He wins if he can afford to turn out his voters next Tuesday.
There is a reason that our party lost power in Washington, D.C. A lot of folks went to Congress wearing the Republican jersey, but far too many played the game like Democrats. People all around Texas— and frankly, all around this country— are fed up with the federal government running up trillion-dollar deficits and mortgaging our kids' future. From Obamacare to cap-and-trade, there are simply too many critical issues at stake right now to send yet another rubber stamp for this administration to Washington.
Electing Doug Hoffman will send a clear message that cannot be denied: conservatives must stand on principle.
I hope you will contribute to Doug online right now. He is in a great position to win this election. He just needs the resources to get his conservative message out and turn out his conservative voters.
Paid for by Rick Perry, 1010 Colorado St., Austin, TX 78701, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Very interesting for any sitting Texas Republican governor to buck the party and endorse the Conservative Party candidate in another state... but we live in interesting times...
The Republican elites have their own road map, of course, the same one that detoured us over that cliff a few years back. Their plan goes roughly like this. Vote for Charlie Crist in Florida over conservative Mario Rubio. Unseat the conservative governor in Texas in favor of someone more moderate like Kay Bailey Hutchison. Raise money and campaign for a Congressional candidate in New York State who is more liberal than the Democrat in the race.
Let John "the media is my base" McCain redefine the Republican Party in his image (how many electoral votes did he win again, against a relative novice?). Oh, and turn the other way while Senator Lindsey Graham, who told us he was "Mr. Conservative" to get elected, works on a climate change bill with John Kerry (D-France). We need to do these things, our strategists tell us, in order to win an election. Then once we're back in power, we'll be conservatives again, they promise. Where have we heard that before?
The Republican Party may indeed be making some gains against the Obama Democrats, but that's not because we suddenly became geniuses. And it's not because we are hiding our conservative lights under bushels. If we are pulling ahead it's because the Democrats are in charge now, and their failings - currently at least - are more pronounced than our own.
I listened in fascination as the caller argued that conservative voters should support Hoffman instead of Scozzafava. It was the same purifying instinct that you see from folks here like Michael Quinn Sullivan and Cathie Adams, the new Republican party chairman.
As long as conservatives believe that moderates in their own party are the enemy, Republicans will continue to lose ground nationally (if they have any ground left to lose). And Texas is not immune. There is a very real danger that Rick Perry’s attacks on Kay Bailey Hutchison, if successful, will continue to drive the moderate R’s out of the party into the independent column, accelerating the possibility that a Democrat could win the general election. Oh, wait. The D’s would have to field a credible candidate. Never mind.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Is Bill White going to jump into the race against Rick if Kay doesn't actually go through with this?
There's a lot of talk that if Kay doesn't leave her seat, you'll switch to the governor's race. Is that a consideration? Have you ruled it out?
I think that Senator Hutchison is going to do what she said she's going to do. You don't have marriages with contingency plans. You don't plan on somebody not showing up for the wedding. We're on course, and I believe that she's going to do what she said she's going to do. She's running for governor, and I think to win for governor, she needs to campaign full time. I think she believes that too. That's what she's told her donors, and that's what she's told people who've urged her not to quit.
But let's say she doesn't quit and you have to make a decision at the filing deadline.
Honestly, it's not something I think about at all. I just think about how we win this race. That's an honest answer.
You honestly haven't thought at all about it? There has to be people who've talked to you about it.
Oh, yeah. People talk to me about it every day. The way I was able to run marathons is just, you're training everyday. The way that we're able to build up a grassroots organization is focus on task. The reason I was able to do a good job as mayor is we concentrated on job growth, cutting traffic congestion, cutting crime, improving the neighborhoods and running the government efficiently -- those five things.
Perry made a couple of claims that are worth revisiting.
As Perry and host Larry Kudlow were discussing the state’s lack of a personal income tax, Kudlow asked him about taxes on business. Kudlow said, “You do have corporate revenue taxes as far as I know and they have been raised.”
Perry said, “They have not been raised. As a matter of fact, we lowered them in 2006, it was a 4 and a half percent rate on our franchise tax, we moved it down to 1 percent. So I hate to disagree with you there. You know for a fact that Texas is a low-tax state.”
When Perry and the Legislature came up with a new franchise tax in 2006 to offset cuts in school property taxes, sure, the rate lowered. But that rate was assessed on something entirely different under the new tax. The old franchise tax captured 4.5 percent of earned surplus (also known as profit). The new tax captures 1 percent of total revenue minus the cost of goods sold or minus total compensation.
The point of all that was that the Legislature didn’t simply lower the rate of the tax, which is a conclusion one could draw from Perry’s comments.
Perhaps the more significant change in 2006 was that the new franchise tax was applied to many more businesses than the old loophole-ridden franchise tax. Using the projections that were in play at the time, the new tax was created so that businesses would pay, in total, $3.39 billion more per year in franchise taxes, because many businesses had been paying nothing under the old one.
That’s a large number, but it can’t be looked at in a vacuum. Because while franchise taxes went up by $3.39 billion (according to the projections at the time), property taxes on businesses went down $3.04 billion, leaving a relatively small net tax increase on businesses. And here’s the most important piece — it was passed in order to give homeowners an annual property-tax savings of $2.79 billion per year.
Here’s one other statement from Perry’s interview Thursday that’s worth revisiting: He said that in 2006, “we cut our property taxes by one-third.” He then repeated it a few seconds later.
That’s a little too simple a way of putting it. The state cut tax rates on school district operations by one-third, but that didn’t affect other aspects of property-tax bills, such as county and city taxes and taxes levied (with voter approval) to build more schools. And the one-third cut hasn’t fully held up because school districts have had to increase their tax rates to pay for operations. Plus there is the issue of rising appraisals, which Perry said the Legislature needs to address.
The Hutchison campaign put out information last night saying how much state tax collections have increased over the last couple of years. But what the campaign didn’t point out is those state taxes have gone up in order to make possible a larger cut in local property taxes.
I realize it probably seems like we’re a little too fixated on that 2006 special session here at FR World Headquarters. But it’s clear that in this Republican primary, we’re going to continue to return to the question of whether the Legislature cut taxes or raised them in 2006. The overall answer is that, taken on the whole, taxes were cut. It’s why we have a structural deficit. But obviously the debate can be sliced any number of ways.
Wow. Gotta see the reasons for this one. Cheney rarely makes the wrong call when it comes to conservatives versus moderates, so this is a head-scratcher.
96% of Rick's appointees are filled and not lapsed... 4% are serving beyond their expiration dates...
Branch Pilot, Brazos-Santiago Pass Bar and Tributaries
Dental Hygiene Advisory Committee
Branch Pilot, Sabine Bar, Pass & Tributaries
Branch Pilot, Galveston Bar & Houston Ship Channel
On-Site Wastewater Treatment Research Council
Teacher Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees
Arts, Texas Commission on the
The surviving victim in the Willingham case: "This man murdered my daughters and I am sick of people defending him."
But ex-wife Stacy Kuykendall said Tuesday in an e-mail that she stands by her statements over the weekend: "I wrote nothing but the truth. This man murdered my daughters and I am sick of people defending him."
He told me repeatedly in obscenity-laced language that he hoped I would "rot in hell" and attempted to maneuver his hand, strapped at the wrist, into an obscene gesture.
No report has decisively said the fire was not arson. Recent expert reports say arson cannot be proven. The Forensic Science Commission's investigation could help resolve that question. Perry had the right to replace the commission members whose terms were expired, but it's also true that he could have allowed them to continue serving until their work was done in order to expedite the investigation.
Governors historically hand out spots on key boards and commissions to like-minded men and women who have found great success in the private sector. It usually helps if the prospective appointees have helped governors campaign or raise money.
But Gov. Rick Perry, in a departure from at least his two most recent predecessors, has added a new wrinkle by repeatedly turning to members of his own staff to sit on the small panels that lead agencies such as the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Public Utility Commission.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Some would have you believe that Perry's 2007 veto of House Bill 2006 should result in the defeat of this measure because it fails to include everything that was in that doomed bill. Even the Farm Bureau isn't buying that logic. That veto might have cost the governor the Farm Bureau's endorsement this campaign cycle, but the Farm Bureau is strongly in support of this constitutional measure. It recognizes that this does not give it everything they it like, but it certainly advances private property rights protection.
Here is how Proposition 11 would amend the Constitution in four primary ways:
\• It would define the term "public use," rather than leaving the definition of that term up to court interpretation.
\• It would specify that the taking of property for the purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenue purposes is not a public use.
\• It would provide that property taken to eliminate urban blight must be done on a parcel-by-parcel basis.
\• It would require that any future power of eminent domain granted requires a two-thirds vote of the Texas Legislature.
So, why a constitutional amendment instead of statutory reform? The U.S. Supreme Court, in rendering the Kelo case, overturned years of precedent and changed the definition of public use now found in both the Texas and U.S. Constitution. To prevent further erosion of property rights in Texas, there had to be a constitutional fix to the definition of "public use."
The definition used in Proposition 11 defines both what public use is and reiterates what it is not.
Public use does not include the taking of property for the primary purpose of economic development or enhancement of tax revenue purposes. That's protection we don't have if the proposal fails.
But, the proposed amendment goes even further to prevent the taking of property to eliminate urban blight except on a parcel-by-parcel basis. This will stop local governments from declaring a few pieces of property as blighted and then taking all the property in an area for a development project.
Passage of private property protection has been a long time coming in Texas. Passage of Prop. 11 will send a clear message to legislators that the issue is of utmost concern to the voters.
Failure to pass the measure will let them know there is no need to continue to work on the issue because the people making the most noise will not even be content with a victory.
While other states struggle with overwhelming deficits, Texas has created a model for the rest of the nation to follow that is based on living within its available revenue. The state cut taxes a net $4 billion per year in 2007 while fostering a predictable regulatory environment that allows business to thrive and continue to make Texas the No. 1 job creator in the U.S. over the past two years.
Although this year's session took place in the context of significant turmoil in the global marketplace and economic upheaval in Texas and across our country, the Legislature successfully shaped a balanced state budget that meets the needs of Texans and sufficiently funds essential programs and agencies through the next two years.
Working together, we crafted and Gov. Rick Perry signed a balanced budget that has left our state prepared to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. Not only did we balance our budget without raising taxes, we cut taxes for more than 40,000 small businesses and left our Rainy Day Fund untouched so we can once again balance our budget in 2011.
Up is down. Left is right. Black is white.
It applies to Alice once she fell down that hole and walked through the looking glass.
It applies equally to our Republican leadership in Texas.
Watching Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst accept and spend President Barack Obama's stimulus money like drunken sailors then attempt to hide/rationalize/deny/avoid that fact, is getting more and more surreal and humorous — and more and more sad.
First, Perry slammed the stimulus and all its works in the Washington Times last February. However, he neglected to state that he had written a letter to Obama asking for the money just a day after Obama signed the bill. The ink wasn't even dry, and Perry had his hand out.
(Read the letter Perry wrote Obama on Perry's Web site: http://www.rickperry.org/perry-letter-to-obama.)
Next Perry told The Wall Street Journal that Texas wanted nothing to do with Washington and said our balanced budget is proof we can do it without outside help. He omitted the awkward fact that the stimulus money Perry got from Obama is what Texas used to balance its budget.
What do you know? A real, live idea has emerged in the Republican race for governor. Instead of the hourly whack-the-opponent news releases from the Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison campaigns, Perry recently announced plans to double the number of T-STEM academies across the state.
Just 15% of Republicans who plan to vote in 2012 state primaries say the party’s representatives in Congress have done a good job of representing Republican values.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 73% think Republicans in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters from throughout the nation. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.
Republican women are nearly twice as likely as men to say their representatives in Congress have done a good job of representing GOP values. Younger voters tend to be less critical than their elders.
Being a Washington insider right now is political poison. Kay truly has become a creature of Washington after almost 17 years there... she made all kinds of promises on ethics reform and term limits back in the early 1990s... and subsequently broken all of those promises. She criticizes the revolving door of lobbyists but has lobbyists on her staff and many members of her staff become lobbyists...
Kay talks one way in Texas and votes another way in Washington... Republicans are angry at Washington insiders, and I think Rick and his team need to refocus the attention on the fact that she is not just a senator but truly a typical Washington politician just like all the others that are why Republicans fell hard on their face in the past few years.
Texas Democrats watching the state’s top two Republicans fight for their party’s gubernatorial nomination are glad that Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison have apparently abandoned the Republicans’ 11th Commandment, established during Ronald Reagan’s run for California governor in 1966: Thou shall not speak ill of another Republican.
And they hope that the GOP gubernatorial battle creates enough division within the party to help Democrats in the general election and for years to come.
"There probably will be so many bad feelings . . . that it will benefit the Democratic Party," said Steve Maxwell, chairman of the Tarrant County Democratic Party. "For now, we’ll sit back and watch. It’s only going to get better."
Republicans say Democrats shouldn’t get too comfortable, because this gubernatorial race — pitting Perry, governor since 2000, against Hutchison, senator since 1993 — will energize, not divide, their party.
"It’s a spirited race, and sometimes that’s good," said Stephanie Klick, who heads the Tarrant County Republican Party. "One of the things that’s fair game in any campaign are issues."
On April 9, 2000, Carlos Garza was found lying unconscious in his apartment from two gun shot wounds to his face. He died on the way to the hospital. Garza’s door appeared to have been kicked open.
Two days later, following her arrest after an altercation with her boyfriend, Robert Blanton, LaToya Mayberry told the police that she had information about a murder that had occurred a few days before in an apartment complex and that Robert and his twin brother, Reginald Blanton, were involved in the homicide. Mayberry stated that she, Robert, and Reginald went to Garza’s apartment, where she waited in the car. Mayberry said she heard “two loud booms,” which she indicated she knew had to be the two brothers kicking in the door to Garza’s apartment. She then heard “two more booms,” which she said she knew to be gunshots because she had heard gunshots before. She said Robert and Reginald then returned to the car, and they drove away. Reginald had some jewelry in his hand, including two necklaces, which he later pawned for $79.
Mayberry later asked Robert what had happened. Robert told her that the door was kicked in, Garza came around the corner and asked what they were doing, and Reginald shot him. Reginald looked around the apartment for drugs, but found none. He shot Garza again. Reginald said he took one hundred dollars from the apartment.
A Texas jury sentenced Blanton to death for killing Carlos Garza. And on October 27, 2009, Blanton will pay for his deadly crime with his life.