Sen. John Cornyn (TP-Texas) is not the most likeable guy under normal circumstances. He has largely benefited from have the “R” next to his name on the ballot and being tall, distinguished looking and silver-haired. Red is hard pressed to point to any real accomplishments of the senior senator that have actually helped any average Texans. All of this seems to be catching up with Big John as the nation spirals into recession and pandemic and he steadfastly stands by the primary agent of doom (that would be Trump for those of you not paying attention). Current polling has him underwater on job approval. The poll from the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project poll shows Big John as being vulnerable less than four months out from election day. His less than stellar approval rating and the Trump effect could pull him down. In short, there is a chance – maybe a small one – that Cornyn will be the former senator from Texas come January. That would be a glorious day.
The Texas Democratic Party is coming off of a successful (for it anyway) fund raising effort during its annual convention held in early June. The TDP raised nearly $2 million during its week-long virtual convention, breaking the party’s digital daily and monthly fundraising record during the event. The majority of the funds came from almost 39,000 individual donors with about $600,000 coming from corporate sponsorships. The record haul pales in comparison to Texas GOP efforts, but with polls showing that Biden is within striking distance of the Reality TV Show Joke of a President expect the TDP to redouble its efforts between now and November.
If you are of a mind to make a difference Red suggests that you send some money to the Democratic candidates running for the Texas House in districts that could be flipped. If the Democrats gain just 9 seats they will control the House and be able to keep the Texas Senate from continuing its incredibly successful and anti-democratic partisan gerrymandering of both State House and Senate districts and Congressional districts.
The GOP’s gerrymandering is so severe that even with 51% of the total congressional vote, it is estimated that Democrats would win only 13 of Texas’ 36 congressional seats. This still gives Tom Delay a hard-on. The Texas GOP has two main strategies – try to make as hard as legally possible to vote and gerrymander the Democrats into permanent minority status. This has to stop.
You can find the targeted districts here. Even a small donation to the Democratic candidate in a state house race will be appreciated.
Sen. John Cornyn’s utter spinelessness in the face of another Trumpian stunt was on full display today. Cornyn defended the use of tear gas and truncheons to clear the peaceful protesters in front of the White House yesterday so that Donald “Bunker Boy” Trump could have his photo op with “a Bible” in front of a church whose priest and bishop later denounced his actions.
Claiming that it was “for security purposes” Cornyn argued that BBT had the right to order tear gassing and forcible removal of protesters. Cornyn claims that the protesters were asked to clear “but refused to do so.” Notably, the 7 pm curfew was to kick in just a few minutes after Bunker Boy unleashed his shock troops on American citizens exercising their right to peaceably assemble. But Trump is too important to wait a couple of minutes.
Cornyn then played the ultimate Trump card – going after the press. According to Cornyn, the media is “never going to find any good or any positive development in anything.” Well Sen. Cornyn (Scumbag – TX), Red is looking hard to find the positive in using violent methods against peaceful protesters so that Bunker Boy can try to shed his cowardly image by walking across the street under an absurd amount of security to waive “a Bible” in front of the cameras. A Bible that he probably could not quote a single word from and surely has never read unless forced to.
It is painfully obvious that Bunker Boy prefers groveling bootlicks and Cornyn is willing to lick long and hard. How is the taste of leather John? Please vote this embarrassment out of office in November.
Red was a bit perplexed by the utter dominance of the female judicial candidates in the Democratic primary earlier this month. If you were a male running for judge in one of the major urban counties and faced a female opponent, you were very likely out of luck and not going to be on the ballot in November cruising to victory. That women were winning was not a particular surprise, but the margins of victory in many of these races were astounding. In your typical judicial race (where maybe 1% of the voters have some clue about the qualifications of the candidates) some of the female candidates were winning by up to 40 points. Red can understand the woman candidate winning based on demographics and turnout but a 40 point margin in a race between two unknowns is almost bizarre.
In the process, Texas lost some very good male judges. That is not to say that the new judges will not be as good, but booting out those with a proven track record for the unknown is somewhat disturbing. Fortunately Off the Kuff has some analysis that may keep Red from going off the deep end.
One important election result that likely passed under the nose of most observers was the drastic transformation of the Texas Courts of Appeals on Tuesday. There are fourteen Courts of Appeals in Texas varying in size from 3 to 9 judges (technically called justices) with a total of 80 appellate justices statewide. Before Tuesday night these courts were dominated by Republicans with only a handful of Democratic judges on the El Paso and Corpus Christi courts. The Democrats swept through the Dallas (5th) , Austin (3rd) , San Antonio (4th) and both Houston (1st and 14th) courts on Tuesday. Those five courts and the El Paso and Corpus Christi courts will now have Democratic majorities. The only court of appeals based in a major urban county that remains in Republican control is the Fort Worth (2d) court. Even that may change in another couple of years. The remaining courts under Republican control (Amarillo, Beaumont, Eastland, Texarkana, Tyler and Waco) cover the more rural areas of the state and typically do not get as many high profile cases. This is a major shift as the now Democratic controlled courts of appeals are the end of the line for a large number of the most hotly contested cases in Texas. Very few cases reach the still Republican dominated Texas Supreme Court.
Red can hardly wait to see all the great things that Rafael “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (TP- Tex.) is going to do for our fair state over the next six years. When Red considers all of LT’s fantastic legislative achievements he is reminded of – well, Red’s not really sure what he is reminded of – maybe a freshly erased chalkboard, a losing lottery ticket, a fallow field, an empty pistol, erectile disfunction, the Rice Owls football team . . .
Anyhow, Beto O’Rourke gave it a good shot and maybe Texas just isn’t ready for someone who actually wants to represent Texas interests in Congress. Texans apparently want someone who is there for the greater glorification of their own ego and naked ambition. Someone who is willing to sell their soul to the devil on the cheap. Someone who kowtows to the man who insulted their wife and father. Someone proven to be a spineless weasel when his political life was on the line. Someone who only spoke the truth once when he called Trump a “pathological liar” and “utterly amoral.” Someone who is so disliked in the Senate that he cannot form a coalition to get anything passed. Well friends, that is exactly what you got in Lyin’ Ted. At least it seems that the servile Canadian immigrant will not challenge the Alpha Dog Trump in 2020. He cannot bite the hand that feeds. So LT will set his sights on 2024 but by then will anyone be paying attention?
“I think he’s got a good shot. If he wins, it will be part of Texas political history, standing beside Lyndon Johnson’s 1937 congressional race in terms of personal effort, and perhaps besides John Tower’s 1960 election to the U.S. Senate, in terms of consequence.”
Lawrence Wright on Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Red wants to believe, yet cannot. Rafael “Lyin’ Ted” Cruz (TP-Texas) will probably win by at least 5 points.
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.
Sen. Ted Cruz (TP – Texas) has put out a pathetic attempt of parody song attempting to smear his opponent Beto O’Rourke with the following line:
“Liberal Robert wanted to fit in, so he changed his name to Beto and hid it with a grin.”
Of course, Rafael Edward Cruz felt no such similar need to fit in. He just used Ted because he was a big fan of Ted Kennedy. Red has to admit that Lyin’ Rafael has a ring to it. What it does show is that Lyin’ Ted learned from the beating he took at the hands of Trump. Go after your opponent no matter what your personal circumstance might happen to be. Trump was the consummate liar and crooked businessman – so he reversed that by calling his opponents liars and crooks. Lyin’ Ted has a name that would not fit in well with his conservative base – so attack your opponent for using a nickname that was given to him and that he has carried since birth it would seem. The only problem for Lyin’ Ted is that such a strategy may work for a once-in-a-lifetime political anomaly like Trump – it probably doesn’t work if you are already an unlikable, stick-up-your-ass narcissist like Lyin’ Ted.