Tag Archives: Tea Party

Quote for the Day

“I have a recommendation for Ms. Sylvester and her lips and my backend.”

State Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo).

The relatively moderate Seliger was responding to comments made by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s senior advisor Sherry Sylvester.  Seliger, who had been the longtime chair of the Senate Committee on Higher Education, was upset after Patrick  removed him from that committee and the Senate Finance Committee instead installing him as Chair of the Agriculture Committee.  Sylvester remarked that if Seliger “believes serving as Chair of the Agriculture Committee . . . is beneath him, he should let us know and the lieutenant governor will appoint someone else.”  Seliger’s remarks got him removed from that position and barred from a Republican caucus.  Patrick may not be very smart, but he sure plays hardball.  This is a warning to all Texas Republicans who are not willing to tow the ultra right-wing Tea Party line of Patrick and his ilk.

Mike Toth – Justice for Sale?

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.

Bunni Pounds – Swamp Creature Running to Join the Swamp

The Texas Observer reports on Bunni Pounds’ run to replace retiring Rep. Jeb Hensarling (TP-Flower Mound).  TO takes issue with Pounds’ claims that she is headed to Washington to help clean up the swamp after a full decade of groveling for money for Hensarling and others from well-heeled GOP donors in North Texas.

Pounds set up her own political fundraising and consulting shop in 2015 and within two years had turned it into a half-a-million-dollar business with nine employees, according to her campaign website. The site also boasts that Pounds “is now seen as one of the top fundraisers in North Texas from Fort Worth all the way to Tyler.”

This background raises questions not only about Pounds’ qualifications for office, but about whose debt she’ll be in should she become a member of Congress. Groveling to donors day in and day out is enough to compromise your average politician, to say nothing of someone whose expertise that was before they became a politician.

 

Among the Good News from Primary Night – This Gun Worshipping Gal Lost

GOP Candidate Totes Assault-Style Weapon In Campaign ...

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.

Texas’ Most Endangered Species – Thoughtful Republicans

The Republicans who represent a good chunk of the Texas Panhandle in the Texas House and Senate are facing ultra-right wing challengers in the upcoming GOP primary.  Merely being a somewhat thoughtful conservative or even considering a Democratic proposal is a dangerous game to play in the Tea Party dominated Texas GOP.  If you are unwilling to lick the boots of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, you might just find yourself back home wondering how you aren’t quite conservative enough.  Senator Kel Selinger and Representatives Ken King (Lubbock) and Four Price (Amarillo) may be unseated in March.  The Texas Observer has more on the far right movement to take down any such “Establishment Republicans.”

The challengers are generally following a playbook developed by Empower Texans, a right-wing enforcement group that targets what it considers establishment Republicans: claim that you are unequivocally conservative and that the other guy is basically a Democrat, all the while vilifying bipartisanship and accusing your opponent of being a big-government patsy who’s soft on abortion.

Far-right groups, including Texans for Vaccine Choice, Texas Right to Life and Grassroots America — We The People are working to knock off the incumbents. And while the Panhandle is one of the reddest parts of the whole country (Trump took 90 percent of the vote in some of the counties here), the area continues to elect Republicans with a pragmatic streak. For instance, King has sought to secure funding for struggling rural schools; Price has been a champion for mental health care; and Seliger refused to divert money from public schools for private school vouchers. Wielding accusations of perceived liberalism, challengers have made the region a battleground in the civil war raging within the Texas GOP.

 

Message to Greg Abbott: If you don’t like Austin, why don’t you get the f#(k out

Our Poor Idiot Governor Greg Abbott has made Red long for the days of our previous PIG Rick Perry who seems to have disappeared in DC.  Abbott was recently spotted unleashing a tirade against the city where he has been sucking on the state teat for the last 20 some years while continuing to collect money from the massive personal injury settlement that he has spent the rest of his life ensuring that no one else would ever get.   Speaking to a Tea Party crowd in Bell County, Abbott disparaged the Capital City.

“As I was coming up here from Austin, Texas, tonight, I got to tell you, it’s great to be out of the People’s Republic of Austin. As you leave Austin and start heading north, you start feeling different Once you cross the Travis County line, it starts smelling different. And you know what that fragrance is? Freedom. It’s the smell of freedom that does not exist in Austin, Texas. That said, with your senators and legislators, I can tell you that today, Austin is more free than it was before the legislative session began because the state of Texas passed laws that overrode the liberal agenda of Austin, Texas, that is trying to send Texas down the pathway of California.”

First of all, OPIG Abbott is all about local control until it doesn’t fit within his grand scheme.  After all, this is the guy who wants to blow up the union as it has stood for more than 200 years, so that individual states have more control.  But if a city in his state doesn’t tow OPIG Abbott’s hard Tea Party line – well that’s just undemocratic and must be squashed.  What a complete and total hypocrite.

OPIG Abbott needs to clean up his own house before complaining about Austin.  The state he supposedly leads has the second highest percentage of uninsured children,  ranks number 4 for women living in poverty, number 44 for high school graduation rates, is dead last in percentage of people with at least a high school diploma (that explains a lot right there), dead last in spending on mental health (again explaining a lot), and near the bottom in people with retirement plans and financial net worth of households.  And that’s just a few things.  Texas ranks near the bottom in almost every category involving education, the environment, social welfare and standard of living.

So what can OPIG Abbott brag about?  Where does Texas rank No. 1 among the states? Here’s where.

Highest number of uninsured people

No. 1 emitter of carbon dioxide

No. 1 generator of hazardous waste

No. 1 in executions

No. 1 in percentage of voting age population that doesn’t vote (why bother in Tea Party Republic of Texas)

But you know what, OPIG Abbott is right –  the air is different when you leave Austin.  It’s often filled with the smell of ignorance, bigotry, poverty, pollution, intolerance and untimely death.  Not everywhere – but in way too many places.  So OPIG Abbott, how about this? Why don’t you work on  cleaning up the mess that you and your party have made of Texas over the last 25 years before you start talking trash about one of the most successful, prosperous, vibrant, fun and attractive communities in the entire country.  Red knows you would tackle those issues if you weren’t so busy worrying about who gets to pee where and attempting to upset the constitutional order that has served our country fairly well for about 225 years. So once you have legally cemented LGBT bigotry and have torn apart the basic contract of the union, you might consider getting to work on making things better for the people you supposedly represent.

And one last thing, if you don’t like breathing the air in Austin, please resign and go get a real job.  You won’t be missed.

Texas GOP in Turmoil

The Texas Tribune reports that members of the so-called Freedom Caucus sabotaged more than 100 bills in the Texas House last night in retribution for not getting their way in attempting to restrict abortion rights even more, make sure that everyone has a gun and that good God-fearing white people are not abused.   It’s all too complicated and inside baseball for Red to explain, but it does show that there is no Republican solidarity in Texas and that the ultra rightwing of the party is willing to do anything to inflict punishment on those who will not go along with their attempt to turn Texas into the largest Christian Church in the country where the good ol’ boy whiteys are running the show.