The State Senate has resembled a middle school dance more than a legislative body as of late, as two senior Republicans sent snotty emails about each other to the rest of the Senate about the hypothetical race to be interim Lieutenant Governor.
Here's the deal. Lt. Gov David Dewhurst is running for US Senate, in case you've been in a coma or under a rock for the last few months and were unaware of this bone-chilling fact that he might soon head to DC to try to do to America what he's done to Texas. Should he win, the Senate will elect one of their own members to serve out the rest of his term. The position would be on the ballot in 2014, and has already drawn interest from a softball team worth of Republicans who want the job. (That's assuming, of course, that The Dew manages to dispatch Ted Cruz in the US Senate primary.)
Senators John Carona and Dan Patrick are both potentially interested in the job — Carona apparently wants the interim gig, and Patrick may run for the office in the 2014 election. I guess tensions are high in the Republican caucus, since Patrick sent a snotty email about Carona to the entire State Senate, to which Carona replied in kind. The Texas Tribune and Dallas Morning News published parts of the emails:
“I was in Dallas last week and learned that Senator Carona has told people outside the Senate that Jan and I are separated and may get divorced,. He added in a few other negative comments about me in an obvious attempt by him to discredit me for some reason. He can say anything he wants to about me, but saying that Jan and I are separated and may get a divorce is not fair to her or my family.” — Sen. Dan Patrick
“Though I have heard rumors regarding your marital status and sexual preferences for a while now, at no time have I told anyone that you are either separated, divorced or gay. As you know, if you truly believed I had said something unflattering, you could have simply asked. I've never been shy about sharing my dislike and distrust of you. Put bluntly, I believe you are a snake oil salesman; a narcissist that would say anything to draw attention to himself.” — Sen. John Carona
According to the DMN, Patrick got the last word, describing Carona's conduct as “repulsive and unbecoming of a senator.” And when Dan friggin' Patrick says your behavior is unbecoming, wow. That's a high bar. Apparently Patrick demanded an apology from Carona to him and his wife. It was unknown at press time whether Patrick then threw a glove at Carona and challenged him to a dual.
In completely and totally unrelated news, recent scientific research has demonstrated that homophobia can result from the suppression of same-sex desire. No wonder Republicans keep trying to de-fund research universities.
Meanwhile, though nobody asked Harold Cook for comment, he freely supplied one on his Twitter feed yesterday:
Dear TX Senate: I herein categorically deny Dan Patrick's email claims that my epidermis is showing or that thespians are in my family.
— Harold Cook (@HCookAustin) May 7, 2012