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BOR Elections Weekly Round Up, September 12 - 22: Sen. Davis Sets a Date, Rep. Lewis Retires

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT

Welcome to our first weekly round up of election news in the state of Texas! It has been a big week, with the launch of our candidate trackers. Burnt Orange Report is currently watching 223 of the partisan races that will appear on the November 2014 general election ballots throughout the state of Texas. Every Monday morning, this column will recap all the changes made to our elections charts and other significant elections news we covered in the previous week.

The big news last week: Sen. Wendy Davis announced October 3rd will be the date when we find out what office she will seek in 2014. Previously, Sen. Davis had said she had limited her options to Governor or re-election to the Texas Senate. In ten short days, we will finally know!

On Friday afternoon, State Rep. Tryon Lewis (R-Odessa) announced he would retire from the Texas House at the end of his current term. Rep. Lewis will have only served three terms in the Texas House and currently serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence. Before his election in 2008, Rep. Lewis was a State District Judge for over twenty years. This means, House District 81, where President Obama got 24.18% in 2014, will be open in next year's general election.

Click after the jump to see the 44 other changes made on the ratings charts this week, including the 23 lawmakers Burnt Orange Report confirmed are seeking re-election in 2014.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 773 words in story)

CD-32: Congressman Pete Sessions (R) Draws Freedomworks Endorsed TEA Party Primary Challenger

by: Joseph Vogas

Fri Sep 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT

In 2010 and 2012, Congressman Pete Sessions ran the National Republican Campaign Committee (NRCC), the official arm of the Republican Party designed to elect more Republicans to the US House of Representatives. He now serves as Chairman of the House Rules Committee and is a member of the right-wing Republican Study Caucus and TEA Party Caucus. With his right-wing committee credentials and financial connections from the NRCC, one would think Pete Sessions would be safely indoctrinated from a right-wing TEA Party challenge.

However, anyone applying logic to this situation would be wrong.

Yesterday, Katrina Pierson declared herself a candidate for the Republican Party's nomination for Texas' 32nd congressional district. She is the founder of the Garland TEA Party, is a Steering Committee Member for the Dallas TEA Party, and a member of the Texas TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee. She also hosts an online right-wing radio talk show.

Texas' 32nd Congressional District, anchored in Northeast Dallas County, gave President Obama 41.46% of the vote in 2012; President Obama's best performance in a congressional district currently held by a Republican in Texas. Rep. Sessions was first elected to congress in 1996 and has represented the 32nd district since 2003.

Click below the jump to read about the amazing "cat fud" flying between Republicans in North Dallas as well as how Ms. Pierson is politicizing the tragedy of 9/11.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 472 words in story)

Pete Sessions to Face Formidable Foe in 2010

by: Eric Roberson

Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 01:32 PM CDT

( - promoted by Phillip Martin)

As the prior Democratic nominee for Congressional District 32, I am happy to let you all know that Grier Raggio is forming an Exploratory Committee to run for Congress against Pete Sessions.
There's More... :: (4 Comments, 292 words in story)

Pete Sessions: Hypocrisy, Bill Keffer, Dirty Money, and a Week of Scandal

by: Matt Glazer

Sun Aug 03, 2008 at 10:58 AM CDT

Pete Session has had a bad week.  After attending a Las Vegas strip club earlier this week (and paying for it with campaign donations), citizen journalist across the country cried foul.  As Americablog points out, "Sessions was publicly livid over Janet Jackson's 'liberal values' when she bared her covered boobs during the SuperBowl a few years back".

Apparently the outrage began and ended with the Janet, Justin peep show.

Sessions spent more than $5,000 at Kane's club that night in March, according to federal disclosures. Those reports show Sessions spent another $2,100 on his hotel.

Outrage, decency, hypocrisy, and fourty deuce aside, who attended the Session's fun-draiser?  According to D Magazine, the major donors for session weren't Texans.  They weren't citizens groups.  No, instead it was a series of professional poker players.  

For example, there's self-described "professional poker player" Howard Lederer and his wife Susan with a combined donation of $10,000. Andrew Bloch, another "professional poker player," gave $4,000. Doyle Brunson tossed some more chips on the table with another $4,000. Barry Shulman was in for $2,000, and Linda Johnson matched up to $500.

Now I'm sure all these Las Vegas residents are perfectly respectable citizens, and I for one am glad to see them engaged in the political process. But why did they choose a Dallas congressman as the vessel of their civic participation? Simple. Go to the congressman's statement on proposed UIGEA regulations issued on April 2, 2008. Then note that this year's Vegas cash started flowing on April 7, 2008. Seems like Nevada has bought itself an extra congressman.

This isn't just a Democrat vs. Republican issue.  In fact, the conservative Texas Eagle Forum told Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News, "What's the difference?' asked Cathie Adams, president of the Texas Eagle Forum. 'I don't think that it's representative of the constituents of the district. I'm in shock.'"

The focus on Congressional District 32 is clearly spilling over into local elections.

Dallas County Democratic Chairwoman Darlene Ewing called upon Bill Keffer, a candidate for the Texas House, to return campaign monies received from Congressman Pete Sessions.  

Bill Keffer is running again for the State House Seat 107, won by Allen Vaught in 2006.  Keffer has made shutting down local strip clubs one of the centerpiece issues of his 2008 campaign.  In his local campaign mailings, he rails against local clubs calling them "immoral and exploitative operations" (June 10, 2008).  Yet, he is happy to take Sessions' strip club money.

"It is hypocritical for Bill Keffer, who claims to be the champion of morality, to continue accepting Pete Sessions' political patronage and strip club money.  He should denounce Congressman Sessions for using a strip club venue to raise money, and he should return the monies given to him by Sessions or that Sessions helped him raise for use in his own campaign," said Ewing.

Pete Sessions has played a major role in Keffer's fundraising and political efforts since his 2006 defeat.  Keffer frequently touts Sessions' endorsement and Sessions has been making phone calls, sending letters, and hosting fund raisers on behalf of Keffer since the middle of the 2007 legislative session.

This is another example of the Republican Party wanting to dictate to Texans and American how they should live their lives, but not head their own advice. It is time for us to vote against hypocrisy and vote for leadership.  Sessions needs to go and Bill Keffer should never return to elected office.

You can read more on the Sessions situation at TexasKaos, and TPM.   In addition, if you know of any other candidate who has received a donation from Pete Sessions, let us know in the comments.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Stimulate the Economy - Give your Tax Rebate to a Democratic Candidate

by: Eric Roberson

Mon Apr 28, 2008 at 11:08 AM CDT

Today the U.S. Treasury starts mailing out tax rebates to stimulate the economy.  see http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/tax...

For many families and taxpayers, this raises an important question - "What to do with this Check."

May I suggest one way might be to donate part of it to a Democratic Candidate, your local Democratic Party, or to a worthy charity of your choice.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 216 words in story)

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