This post is long, but important for anyone who wants a better look at the conventional wisdom out there in the Texas House. The three topics of this post are:
- Paul Burka
- Bob Perry
- Karen Hughes
Without further ado…
- Despite what Burka wrote, Republican Party runoffs are not indicators for Democratic performance in November
I'm not a huge fan of Burka's analysis of House races. He often misses the ball, as he himself admitted Tuesday night after results from the primary runoffs started to come in. From his post, titled, “Better Luck Next Time”:
I made a lot of calls yesterday about these races and got a lot of information. Most of it turned out to be wrong.
Gracious, humble. I appreciated it. But then, just twelve hours later, we get a post called “Storm Warnings for Democrats” and this nonsense:
The message sent by voters in the Republican primary is that they have little use for establishment politicians…All of the energy right now is being supplied by angry Republican voters who can’t wait to get to the polls and kick out incumbents.
Democrats should be very worried about this political climate.
Now, Paul has a pretty strong history of Democratic doom-and-gloom. He's predicted Democrats would lose House races in the '06 cycle. (Wrong.) He predicted Democrats would lose House races in the '08 cycle. (Wrong.) He predicted Craddick would reatin his Speakership in 2009. (Wrong). So I'm not really shocked or surprised about his doom-and-gloom predictions. But I do have to ask this question:
How are Republican Party primary runoffs any indication of how Democrats are going to perform in November? Especially when you consider the following runoff…
“Tea Party” Republican Charles Perry Received $20,000 from Millionaire Republican Donor, Bob Perry
One of the races Burka pointed to was the Delwin Jones race, where Charles Perry won handily. Jason Embry and Tim Eaton with the Statesman, in writing about the Tea Party in yesterday's paper (“A year later, Tea Party has evolved into a political force”), also pointed to the Delwin Jones race as an example of conservative anger taking hold. Ross Ramsey, writing in the Texas Tribune this morning, did the same.
Charles Perry — a Tea Party activist candidate? Really? Did they see this from page 20 of his April 5 Runoff Report? (Link is to PDF):
No Democrat would ever get away with claiming they are a “grassroots activist” candidate if they took tens of thousands of dollars from a prominent trial lawyer. But that's basically what the conventional wisdom is right now — somehow Charles Perry is a Tea Party guy. Go figure.
- Karen Hughes Comments on House Republicans Pledging Against Joe Straus
Karen Hughes, who is the communications advisor for Speaker Joe Straus, commented on the idea that State Senator Dan Patrick group and 44 House Republicans are attempting to start an anti-Straus group with their Independent Conservative Republicans of Texas. Hughes, saying she read BOR, comments below:
Here's the post she was commenting on: Speaker's Race: 44 Texas House Republicans (Basically) Pledge Against Joe Straus
In the video, Karen Hughes mentions the following:
[Speaker Straus] was not aware, however, that there was going to be a process that would invite some and not invite others. And I think a lot of some of the other mebmers of the House, who feel they are very conservative as well, who weren't invited were a little distressed to find out. It sort of seems a little undemocratic that — who decides this? One person decides if you're conservative or you're not…
I think it, understandably, has caused some consternation in the House. I think as a legislative strategy, though in the room who worked in the Legislature, will know that not including members of the Calendars Committee or the Appropriations Committee is probably not a smart legislative strategy if you're interested in getting your legislation heard in the House of Representatives.
Perhaps a not-too-subtle pushback on Senator Patrick and the 44 House Republicans. There is absolutely division among House Republiacns — Hughes acknowledges that in her own remarks — and anyone who thinks that the division will go away soon is absolutely going to miss the point.
Those are my takeaways from this week's Republican Party primary runoffs. Please share any thoughts, additional observations, and other inisights in the comments below.