ThinkProgress revealed yesterday just how much Rep. Mike Conaway of Midland loves government spending when it's for his friends. He's trying to get the Department of the Interior to fund the George W. Bush childhood home as part of the Park Service:
A ThinkProgress review of legislative correspondence with the U.S. Department of the Interior revealed that on September 11, 2012, Conaway wrote Secretary Ken Salazar to request a "reconnaissance Survey" of a potential new national park location. According to the log, Conaway's letter asked that the National Park Service "look at the possibility of adding the George W. Bush childhood home as a unit of the Park Service."
George P. Bush has officially entered the field for statewide office and is giving the Texas Republican establishment a run for its money, literally. The fresh face has raised over $1.35 million from some less than fresh sources, 90% of which come from Texas and Florida. His biggest contributors include homebuilder Bob Perry, his uncle and former President George Bush, his father Jeb Bush and a host of oil and gas interests. At least 10 of his top donors were "Pioneer" fundraising bundlers for either of his uncle's Presidential campaigns and over 10% or $113,300 came directly from Bush family members.
Other than his obvious pedigree his political experience includes Co-founding the Hispanic Republicans of Texas and as National Co-Chair of Maverick PAC. His candidacy could upset the establishment's natural line of succession but it also has many looking at whether he can bring more Hispanic voters into the Republican fold. He has expressed that he is a "mainstream Republican" with Tea Party sympathies and told Wolf Blitzer in a 2012 interview that what he, "love[s] about the [Republican] Party is that its extremely diverse", and is an "advocate of the big tent theory". He has currently expressed interest in running for Texas Land Commissioner but has left the door open to a higher profile office (likely Attorney General or Governor) depending on what signal Rick Perry sends at the end of the session. He told the Texas Tribune this week that, "in the grand scheme of things, this session, in terms of state politics, is really going to dictate what the '14 election cycle looks like."
Texas Republicans have an answer to critics who charge they are ignoring demographic changes and are unwilling to evolve. They have an answer to those who claim that Republicans need a fresh start and a significant re-branding if they hope to survive. They have found the answer of who can be a leader of the Texas Republican Party through this difficult time. Their answer, is George Bush.
No, unfortunately I'm not talking about the "misunderestimated" former President in hiding, but his nephew, George Prescott Bush.
The Washington Post reported last week that George P. Bush had made the necessary campaign filings to run for office in Texas. For a few days speculation of what office that might be circulated around Texas political circles. Unfortunately, it appears, we will not see Bush challenge George Bush impersonator Governor Rick Perry, in what would be an enormously entertaining Republican Civil War. At least not yet.
Reports indicate that Bush is eyeing the job of Texas Land Commissioner, who authorizes exploration and exploitation of public lands. Generally, this includes leasing for gas and oil production, mining, grazing, and monitoring the environmental quality of public lands and waters.
The news was broken by Bush's father, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in a fundraising letter . Governor Bush writes, "The office that George is considering running for is Land Commissioner which overseas the mineral rights, commercial real estate owned and sovereign submerged lands of the State of Texas as well as veterans affairs and historic archives." He goes on to praise George's accomplishments and record and pleads for a donation to his campaign.
The Bush family's reemergence into Texas politics through George P. Bush was inevitable. Bush has been building his brand through his work as the co-founder of Hispanic Republicans of Texas, a group that seeks to elect Hispanic candidates, and in his outreach to college students.
Even Texas Republicans are smart enough to understand that they have a big problem with the increasingly active and vocal Latino population, and this George Bush will play a pivotal role in their plan to compete. It would be wise to view this move by Bush as the start of much bigger plans. Fox News Latino (Yes this actually exists) even wrote that George P. Bush has begun his "road to the White House." This is premature of course, but Texas Democrats need to understand the potential significance and ramifications of the return of the Bush machine.
I would hope our nation is smart enough not to elect a third George Bush to the Presidency. As a wise President once said, "Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again."
It is with sadness that I report to all of you the loss of a real Texas political giant, and Yellow Dog Democrat, Bob Gammage. From KXAN:
Robert Gammage, a reform-minded Texas lawmaker who was part of the renouned "Dirty Thirty" in the early 1970s and then made an ill-fated run for governor in 2006, died Monday at age 74.
Gammage, who for several years operated a law firm in Austin, represented part of Harris County in the Texas House, the state Senate and in Congress. He also was a state appeals court judge and served on the Texas Supreme for four years in the 1990s.
I'll never forget July 7, 2003 sitting in a little coffee shop in Arlington, Texas near the University of Texas campus. It was at that coffee shop that I arrived not with an intent to learn about former Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark, but convince all the people in attendance why he was the best choice for the Democratic ticket against George W. Bush in 2004. It didn't take much convincing for Bob Gammage to pledge his full support toward drafting General Clark to enter the Democratic primary that season, and subsequently stumping across the country on his behalf either. It was a tireless and selfless act of patriotism--quite rare these days in politics--and something I certainly had never seen before, yet was proud to be part of. Bob didn't hesitate to hand the reins of the Clark effort over to a wet behind the ears political student with a full-time job, full-time college schedule, and a part-time political organizing gig either. When I asked him later why he entrusted so much responsibility and leadership opportunity in me he said, "You got something kid that other kids don't have in being able to work in this field, motivate people, lead and to do it all for a purpose of good! So why not you!?"
I'm not so sure a better statement represents the level of integrity that was reflective of Bob. Mr. Gammage believed in mentoring, training and empowering up-and-coming leaders in the Texas Democratic Party. In fact his biggest passion wasn't politics it was education where he enjoyed being in front of the classroom and helping shape the minds of young Texans. When I asked him one time what he thought his biggest failure in life was he said, "I'm not sure I can think of my biggest failure, but I can name my greatest failure and hands down it is Patrick Swayze!" When I asked him why Patrick Swayze he said, "because he was my student and I asked him one day why he didn't come to class, why he wasn't interested in the subject matter, and what I could do to help him to get more interested in the subject matter. Patrick told me that he was interested in acting and had a passion for it. So I told him well then-- by God--go act!" Vintage Gammage advice.
He and his wife Linda opened so many doors, and blazed so many trails for so many young Texans just like me. I have no doubt in my mind that I'm a better man because I was blessed to be mentored by one of the "dirty 30 bastards!"
Why is it that Texans get stuck with gawd awful lawmakers who are completely out of synch with the majority of sentiments and beliefs held by the American people? Why do they continue to serve as endless sources of shame, ignorance and embarrassment to those they supposedly represent? Why do they continue to bring the scorn of the rest of the nation into our living rooms on an almost daily basis? Tom Delay, Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales and George W. Bush, Harriet Miers and Karen Hughes comprise the short list of Texas jackasses. It will take at least four Presidential Administrations to clean up after them. We will endure very hard times in the process, thanks to the brilliance of the Texas Brigade of Douche Nozzles.
W. & Co. may have left Washington but tragically we have other jackasses who are serving there. One of the biggest, John Cornyn, held up the nomination of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this week. Of course he voted for Clinton when it was all said and done. Cornyn's intentions were merely a typical douche nozzle style political stunt. He and his right wing nutjob buddies are gunning for Hillary just like they went after Bill during his Presidency. While the right wing extremists railed against Clinton over inane silliness, Osama bin Laden busily plotted and schemed against us. Washington was too tied up in knots over Monica to notice.
Obstructing Clinton's confirmation did not satisfy Cornyn. No folks, he is doing another douche nozzle dance that brings us more scorn. The jackass became yet a bigger jackass by throwing a road block into the path of Attorney General Nominee Eric Holder, too. It seems that Cornyn doesn't have a problem with torture. Holder does. So do the majority of the American people.
First step: Stop believing in the myths and the lies. Think of the zealots who embrace faith based free markets as the embodiment of the host of the Who Wants to be a Millionaire show in Slum Dog Millionaire - a complex film that covers the spectrums of fantasy, hope, love, renewal, abject poverty, cruelty, hate, murder, evil, greed, torture, lawlessness, corruption and suffering. Fast forward to the great gambling houses of Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, to name just two of many. Next visualize Sarah Palin who squandered 200K of other folk's money on her personal spending sprees. And the crowning jewel of free market insanity, Bernard Madoff, gets the prize for one of the worst spawned by the Republican voodoo economics ideologues.
Second Step: Stop being stupid.
In a New York Times editorial on Saturday entitled Stop Being Stupid, Bob Herbert reminds us of just how downright brainless and clueless we have become over the last several years.