Mike Toth – a member of embattled Texas AG Ken Paxton’s inner circle – won the GOP primary for a seat on the important Austin Court of Appeals yesterday. Observers wonder about Toth’s impartiality in light of his aggressive out-of-state fundraising that violated the voluntary ethical guidelines that almost every judicial candidate in Texas follows. At one point almost one-third of Toth’s campaign cash came from out of state – something very unusual in a normally somewhat obscure down ballot judicial race.
According to the Texas Observer, Toth soaked up cash from controversial right wing billionaire Peter Thiel and from John Thayer , former hedge fund manager from Greenwich, Connecticut who notified the Texas Ethics Commission that would exceed the $5,000 expenditure cap that all normal judicial candidates agree to. Other questionable funds have flowed to Toth personally and politically. Joel Lumer, a Florida lawyer claiming to be a long-time friend of Toth’s, contributed $10,000 to Toth and also gave Toth’s family $24,000 for their children’s college funds [plus a Canon Ef 200mm lens and a “monetary gift” of $2,268], according to campaign records and personal financial statements on file with the Texas Ethics Commission. Who gives someone else $24,000 for their kids’ college education without expecting something in return?
To top it off, Toth has waged an unconventional campaign as if he were running for Congress – not a judicial post where you are supposed to be impartial. Toth touted his Tea Party and Trumpian bona fides and left little doubt in Red’s mind that he will be a judicial activist of the most pernicious sort – one using the old saw of substantive due process to knock out laws that he personally disagrees with and running roughshod over the legislative process. Toth’s claim to rule impartially on the facts and the law if elected seems especially doubtful in light of his over right-wing campaign designed to push the GOP’s hot buttons.
Former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips appeared appalled by Toth’s right-wing campaign.
Phillips, a Republican said, “he had 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 enlightens the electorate.”
Red is endorsing Gisela Triana – sight unseen – against the unfolding ethical nightmare that Toth seems to embody.
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.
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.
“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.
If Roy Moore wins it will be the most demoralizing blow for the media since
@realDonaldTrump ‘s election—so let’s make it happen.
Dinesh D’Souza on Twitter.
Red’s response – “If Roy Moore wins it will be the most enervating rush for pedophiles since ancient Greece – so let’s make those pedophiles happy.”
Not that the GOP had any real moral footing to begin with, but the swelling chorus of GOP support for Roy Moore has clearly shown that Republicans care about power much more than honor or even common decency. Red thinks that most Americans will be able to see through what is going on here in pushing an accused pedophile into the halls of Congress. Be careful what you wish for DD.
“I think they’re afraid I’m going to take Alabama values to Washington, and I want to tell you, I can’t wait.”
Roy Moore, twice removed Alabama Supreme Court Justice, GOP candidate for U.S. Senate and accused pedophile.
Just what are your Alabama values Roy? Abuse of young girls? Disregard for the Constitution? Failing to follow the supreme law of the land because you know better? Belief that the U.S. should be a Christian theocracy? Hatred of gays and lesbians? Denial of protected rights to Muslims? Love of money? Worship of guns? Bolstering your manhood by waiving a pistol at a public event?
Red hopes that the good people of Alabama – and there certainly are many of those – don’t believe in your warped “Alabama Values.”
And don’t worry – Roy we are not afraid. If you lose, those “Alabama Values” of yours are already on near full display in the White House.
democrats are now 0-3 in Trump Era special elections. Democratic candidate John Ossof wasn’t really close to winning Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. He was handily defeated by Karen Handel after the most expensive congressional race in U.S. history – a contest marred by vicious ads attacking Ossof. Shadowy right wing PAC money painted Ossof as a stooge of the “mouthpiece of terrorists” and attempted to tie him up in the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise.
Ossof could not even match the showing of little-known Archie Parnell in the almost completely under the radar South Carolina special election also held on Tuesday. Ossof lost by 6 points, Parnell only lost by 4 in a much more heavily Republican district.
All this shows that the GOP is holding serve where it needs to and that the Dems are lost in the woods right now. Running basic unknowns against established politicians isn’t going to cut it no matter how much money is thrown at a race. The message of “At least we’re not crazy” doesn’t seem to be resonating in the heartland. Sitting around waiting for the Republicans to shoot themselves in the foot (something they are wont to do) is not working. There is no coherent message as an alternative to a party that has been the party of War and Recession for nearly 40 years. If you can’t beat these guys, maybe just maybe you should think about folding up shop. Red has some ideas for a new party – but that is for another time.
Right now 2018 is looking better and better for Trump. Red thinks Trump has a real shot at securing an even larger working majority in the House and Senate while the GOP retains control at the statehouse level across the country. The U.S. is not headed towards strict one-party rule (like Texas), but it is approaching de facto status in that regard.