Republican leaders Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, Ken Paxton, David Dewhurst, John Cornyn, and Ted Cruz will all be in the same room tomorrow, speaking against marriage equality at the Texas Republican Party's "Defense of Texas Marriage Amendment Rally."
Greg Abbott spent much of this week digging himself into a hole on equal pay, and now Republican Lieutenant Governor candidate Dan Patrick has decided to join him.
On Thursday, Patrick said while he thinks men and women should be paid equally, he does not believe the government should do anything proactive to actually advance pay equity. "Women should be should be paid the same as a man," Patrick said, "but I don't believe government should enforce it." Ever trusting of the laissez faire approach to equal rights, Patrick added, "I just believe in free markets and I believe the market is the best place to do that."
In Texas, the free market has resulted in women making, on average, 79 cents to every dollar a man makes. Or in the case of Greg Abbott's office, only 74 cents to every dollar a man earns.
Republican Consultant and founder of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC, Matt Mackowiak has launched an online campaign called "Drop Out Dew" whose mission is to "Unite Texas Republicans behind Dan Patrick as our next Lt. Gov." According to campaign finance reports Mackowiak is not getting paid by Dan Patrick's campaign, but according to the Texas Tribune elected official directory his wife is a Legislative Aide for Senator Patrick.
When candidates call for their opponents to drop out it's usually elicits an audible yawn from journalists and voters, so it is interesting that no real attempt was made to mask the identity of the creator or the obvious connection. The registrar data for "Drop Out Dew" from Godaddy says the domain was purchased on March 10th, 2014 by "Matthew Mackowiak." The website directs traffic back to the Facebook Page that was created March 9th and the contact email listed is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
See GoDaddy documentation and links below the jump...
Calling for criminal investigations while your own questionable activity goes overlooked? All in a day's work for David Dewhurst.
Battleground Texas, who is celebrating their one-year anniversary today is responding to attacks the far-right is making to undermine the hard work BGT organizers are doing throughout our state.
As reported by the Texas Tribune, in a letter to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, the organization responded to accusations that they broke the law during their voter registration activities, saying the complaints were "entirely without foundation." Attorney General Greg Abbott's office had recused themselves from any investigation of Battleground Texas earlier this week.
The Lieutenant Governor cited a secretly recorded video from deceptive conservative "investigative journalist" James O'Keefe (which includes heavy editing) of Battleground volunteers in Bexar County, and called for a criminal investigation because of allegations that privacy laws had been broken.
An attorney for Battleground Texas reaffirmed that the organization has been working well-within the law, "In short, Battleground Texas is operating in full compliance with the law as set forth in the Attorney General's legal opinions, and with attention paid as appropriate to the Secretary of State's official guidance in this area."
You know you've made it when Republicans attempt to indict you out of existence. Happy Birthday, Battleground Texas!
Republicans' relationship with the Latino community can be described as complicated at best, and abusive at it's core.
Along with efforts of voter suppression, Texas Republicans have a long history of portraying Latinos as "the bogeyman" of Texas, feeding into the xenophobia of many right-wing voters. The Republican Lieutenant Governor primary race has so far been the perfect embodiment of this dilemma. All four major GOP candidates have been desperate to sound the toughest on immigration, often resorting to racially divisive messages in order to pander to conservative Tea Party voters.
Even the Hispanic chairman of the Associated Republicans of Texas, Hector De Leon, believes this type of anti-immigrant rhetoric will only undermine the party's efforts to branch out to different voters, particularly Latinos.
"I understand the need to address the issue of illegal immigration, and I understand the need to secure borders, and I realize that's critically important," said De Leon. "But by the same token, that issue can be addressed by not engaging in rhetoric that sounds like thinly veiled racism."
Read more of the GOP's problem with Hispanic voters, including remarks by Senator Van de Putte, below the jump.
Greg Abbott is afraid of alienating Hispanic voters, while Lt. Gov. hopefuls fear angering the Tea Party.
Attorney General Greb Abbott is finding himself at odds with Republicans running for Lieutenant Governor over repealing the Texas DREAM Act.
Republicans running for lt. gov. are all opposed to the Texas DREAM Act and wish to repeal the law.
Abbott, perhaps wanting to avoid angering Hispanics, had been repeatedly dodging questions over the matter time and again, until his campaign finally spoke on the issue. Sort of.
In a written statement on Thursday, Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch said Abbott believes the law needs reform.
"Greg Abbott believes that the objective of the program is noble," Hirsch said."But, he believes the law as structured is flawed and it must be reformed."
All four Republican Lt. Gov. hopefuls are taking much more extreme stances. Sen. Dan Patrick spotlighted immigration over a 30-second TV ad falsely claiming he's the only GOP candidate for Lt. Gov. who's running "to oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants."
Read more on what challenges the Texas DREAM Act may face in the 2015 Legislative Session below the jump.
Top Texas Republicans continue to court Robbie Cooper, the owner and writer of a racist Texas-based blog called Urban Grounds. As BOR reported last week, Cooper writes deeply racist posts in which he calls black people "animals" and the N-word.
On Monday, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst went to dinner in Austin with Cooper and a "small group" of other conservatives. Cooper, who says he survives "almost entirely on hate & caffeine And sometimes whiskey," appeared thrilled with the dinner:
"Lt. Gov. Dewhurst was very generous with his time - he sat and listened and answered questions from our small group for a couple of hours...I asked Dewhurst what work is still left to be done for him in his current job - what would he like to accomplish that he hasn't already done in 10 years. He talked about our economic and financial successes here in Texas (for which he doesn't get nearly enough credit, and Governor Perry perhaps gets too much credit), and said that there is still a lot of work to be done just to maintain that economic prosperity; we can't rest on our laurels or past accomplishments," Cooper wrote.
Disturbingly, Dewhurst is joined by both Greg Abbott and Rick Perry in courting Cooper's favor. In January, Abbott gave Cooper a 20-minute exclusive interview, and has thanked him for his support on Twitter. Rick Perry took Cooper and a small number of other conservatives shooting in 2010.
Why are Texas' top Republicans openly courting a racist blog?
Thursday evening at a forum in Clear Lake, all four Republican candidates for Lieutenant Governor stated their support for a repeal of the 17th amendment, which allows for direct election of US Senators rather than election by a state's legislature.
Let that sink in: the four Republicans vying for the #2 job in the state don't think Texas voters should select their own US Senators.
What happened at the Clear Lake Tea Party forum, why is it obvious that David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick support this, and how did this become the cool new trend for Tea Party-elected outsider candidates?
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst likes to tout his conservative credentials, but according to Dan Patrick, he is just not conservative enough.
Last week during an extended interview with the Texas Tribune the Senator from Houston made his case to replace Dewhurst and previewed a Texas Senate with himself presiding. Patrick was critical of Dewhurst's handling of the special session agenda and said that the minority party is too powerful under the Senate's current rules and leadership.
Patrick was for Dewhurst before he was against him. He endorsed the Lt. Gov. just over a year ago for US Senate in his epic primary loss to Ted Cruz. Now Patrick has flip-flopped, endorsed Cruz and set his sights on the number 2 spot in Texas politics.
Find out below the jump which two major changes Dan Patrick would make that could drastically increase partisanship in the Senate chamber...