No Texas candidate for Congress wrapped themselves in the groping arms of Donald Trump more than Republican Kathaleen Wall in her race for the Second Congressional District. Wall spent over $6 million of her own money in an effort to pander to the lowest common denominator as shown by ads such as this one. Wall liked to paint herself as having pulled herself up out of poverty by her own bootstraps. She also wore her version of Christianity on her sleeve as if somehow Jesus was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and against any government welfare programs. Red doesn’t know much about Wall’s background other than she is married to a rich older man. What Red does know is that she blew $6 million on a losing campaign. Alas, she will have to travel to DC on her own dime in order to feel the warm embrace of the real Donald. There is some light at the end of the tunnel.
A Republican candidate for the Third Court of Appeals in Austin is stretching what are traditionally considered the limits for appropriate campaigning. Mike Toth a card carrying Tea Party member and protégé of embattled AG Ken Paxton is embracing Donald Trump and conservative identity politics in his campaign for a seat on the influential Austin Court of Appeals. Despite being in Austin, the Court is firmly in Republican hands because it covers a 28 county area stretching all the way to San Angelo. Toth is also accepting contributions in excess of the standard $5000 limit. Judicial candidates in Texas typically pledge to not accept contributions over $5000 as anything more than that gives the appearance of buying justice. Toth is apparently blowing through that limit and accepting gifts of money for the education of his children from a Florida lawyer, as well as embracing our Realty TV Show President. The Texas Tribune has more.
Candidate Michael Toth, a special counsel in the office of Attorney General Ken Paxton, has pulled in $151,000 so far in the 3rd Court of Appeals GOP primary contest, and more than a third of it comes from out of state, records show.
[O]ne of Toth’s major non-Texas donors, former hedge fund manager John Thaler of Greenwich, Connecticut, has notified the Texas Ethics Commission that he plans to exceed a $5,000 expenditure cap the candidates agreed to; that allows Toth’s opponents to ignore donation and expenditure limits.
Toth isn’t shy about touting his Tea Party bonafides and running on the same issues that non-judicial candidates use to attract Republican primary voters. In one mailer, Toth brags that he fought for “tougher border security, defended President Trump’s travel ban, sued to crack down on sanctuary cities” and “supported extreme vetting of refugees.”
Former Texas Supreme Court Justice Tom Phillips, a Republican, said he’d “never seen anything quite like” the mailer Toth sent out.
“I’m concerned anytime a judicial candidate suggests, even indirectly, that his or her election will lead to a particular policy outcome,” Phillips said. “To conduct a campaign based on your view of hot-button political issues confuses rather than than enlightens the electorate.”
The Greenwich Time reports that last week the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops formally cut ties with the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life. The TCCB is the church authority that sets policy for parishes which serve approximately 8.3 million Texas Catholics.
Texas Right to Life is the oldest and probably most influential anti-abortion group in Texas and is primarily funded by big time GOP donors. TRL largely functions as a wing of the Texas GOP and its endorsements carry a lot of weight in the Republican primary.
The bishops’ directive stated that Texas Right to Life has engaged in misleading attacks against political candidates, lied about the Catholic church’s position on state legislation and argued that church-supported bills don’t do enough to limit abortions.
“We’ve asked our pastors, parishes and Catholic schools to refrain from asking (Texas Right to Life representatives) to come onto our premises because their teachings don’t always align with what the Catholic Church teaches regarding certain life issues,” said Bishop Joe Vasquez, head of the 25-county Austin Diocese.
It’s a bad sign when you are so radical in promoting the anti-abortion agenda that the Catholic Church gets fed up with you.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that a mountain lion was captured in a Laredo subdivision on February 25. The secretive cats are rarely seen in the wild – much less observed in urban areas. The lion was tranquilized after being located in the Santa Rita subdivision. The cat has been turned over to the State Game Warden who will assess its condition and likely release it back into the wild in a more remote location.
Photo from the Laredo PD’s facebook page. Nice of them to cover the lion’s head to protect its privacy rights.
Texas Central Partners – the outfit that is attempting to bring high-speed rail to Texas – has identified the site Northwest Mall in Houston as the likely location for its Houston station. Northwest Mall is about eight miles from downtown Houston and sits near the intersection of the 610 West Loop and US 290. That location is one of three sites that TCP was considering for its Houston terminus. One major problem is that Houston Metro Rail has no plans for lines in that area and it would seem that a hook up to the local rail system would be an essential ingredient for success.
TCP plans to run high-speed trains (up to 205 mph) between Dallas and Houston with an average travel time of about 90 minutes. The project is expected to cost about $15 billion and is to be completed without state or federal funding.
Red can’t really imagine how the economics of this work but he sure would love to take the train instead of heading to the airport to spend 3 plus hours for a 40 minute flight.
The Washington Post reports that Donald Trump has withdrawn its rather controversial nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality after even Senate Republicans began questioning her expertise regarding environmental matters. This was seen as good news by most concerned scientists.
Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, called her a “remarkably poor choice” for such a consequential environmental post.“A while ago, I wrote that many Trump appointees to science-based positions could be considered to either have deep conflicts of interest, to be fundamentally opposed to the mission of the agency they were to lead or totally unqualified. Hartnett-White was all three — a trifecta,” he said.
The bad news is that Kathleen Hartnett White will be staying in Texas. KHW has proved to be a useful tool of science deniers and enamored with carbon in all its forms. With respect to concerns about increasing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, Hartnett has suggested that:
“Carbon dioxide has none of the characteristics of a pollutant that could harm human health. Our flesh, blood and bones are built of carbon. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the gas of life on this planet, an essential nutrient for plant growth on which human life depends.”
That’s a special kind of stupid. She should volunteer to sit in an enclosed chamber with about a 95% concentration of CO2 to demonstrate the beneficial effects on her flesh, blood and bones. Where does he find these people?
Keurig Green Mountain – a privately-held coffee behemoth – is reportedly purchase Dr. Pepper – aka the National Drink of Texas.
Actually, JAB Holding Company – the parent of Keurig Green Mountain is orchestrating the takeover of Dr Pepper Snapple Group for $18.7 billion. The bid is one of the largest ever in the beverage industry and will include not only Dr. Pepper but other brands such as 7Up and Snapple. JAB has been rolling up beverage companies for a while – using its the huge war chest of its founding family, the wealthy Reimann clan of Germany.
So the Germans are going to own Dr. Pepper. Why did we even bother fighting? Let’s hope they like hot Dr. Pepper with a slice of lemon as much as Red does.