Texas Land Commissioner and open carry advocate Jerry Patterson was compelled to issue an official response to a conspiracy theorist he shared the stage with at a gun rally at the Alamo in late October. Alex Jones' website infowars.com claimed that the, "blue UN flag may fly above the historic shrine of liberty once it falls under UN control," and the rumor quickly made its way across the right-wing blogosphere.
Despite spectacular and erroneous reports to the contrary, the Alamo is not being turned over to the United Nations - or anyone else for that matter. - Jerry Patterson
It's unfortunate that Patterson, also a candidate for Lt. Governor, has found himself catering and answer to the conspiracy wing of his party, but it's a good example of why you should not exploit fear for politics. Patterson tried to distance himself from Jones by saying, "I'm not one of these people that thinks someone's gonna come knocking on my door and take my guns," but ultimately as Land Commissioner he was responsible for the event, and the perpetuation of the gun-grabbing govern-myth.
The Constitution gives Americans "the right to bear arms," but if you are going to walk around like a part of the militia, it also gives the government the right to ensure it is, "well-regulated."
See below the jump for what Alex Jones had to say about Jerry Patterson and why this is a bad strategy for the GOP to reach Hispanics...
Greg Abbott is afraid of alienating Hispanic voters, while Lt. Gov. hopefuls fear angering the Tea Party.
Attorney General Greb Abbott, GOP candidate for governor, is finding himself at odds with would-be No. 2s over repealing the Texas DREAM Act.
Republicans running for Texas lieutenant governor are practically tripping over themselves to oppose the 2001 law that affirms in-state college tuition rates to young undocumented immigrants living in Texas.
Abbott, increasingly weary of alienating Latinos, 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 goal of the law is laudable but needs revamping.
"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 definitive 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.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is currently running in the Republican primary for Lieutenant Governor, expressed a deeply anti-American view to the Associated Press recently.
Trying to show he's the most conservative candidate in the race, Patterson told the AP that New York, California, Massachusetts and Connecticut should be expelled from the United States.
"I get lots of questions all the time, `Well, we should secede.' I say, `No, I've got a better idea. Instead of secession, I'm a proponent of expulsion,"' he said. "I want to kick about four states out of this union."
"I'm in favor of expulsion. New York, California, and there's some good people in New York and California, but their legislatures aren't representing them."
So the Americans killed in 9/11 weren't American enough for Patterson? Tens of millions of Americans should be thrown out of the country? Read more below the jump.
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?
On July 15, financial reports for candidates, PACs, and political parties were due to the Texas Ethics Commission. For the state of Texas, any candidate running for a state office has to report biennially, every six months, while those who are running for a federal office must report quarterly, meaning every three months. Further, incumbent state-level candidates can not raise funds while the legislature is in session; meaning fundraising reports for all statewide offices, except US Senate, only reflects funds raised for a few days out of the last six months in addition to funds left over from previous campaigns. While the reports were due on July 15, the fundraising deadline reflected in these reports was on June 30.
This roundup will only include candidates who have announced for statewide office or have publicly sent signs they will announce within the next few weeks. Many of the candidates listed had not announced publicly they were running for a statewide office before the June 30 deadline.
Click below the jump to see a complete fundraising report that shows the total cash raised and cash on hand for announced statewide candidates.
It's time for the Friday Wrap, where your Burnt Orange Reporters comment on all the news that fits in a blockquote.
It was a great week for consumers as Senator Elizabeth Warren attended her first Senate Banking Committee hearing. The gentlewoman from Massachusetts had a few questions for regulators that were long overdue. Upworthy has the video:
Senator Elizabeth Warren, y'all!
Below the jump, get caught up on Ted Cruz, Jerry Patterson, Annise Parker, Steve Munisteri, and religious fervor in Texas.
Lord have mercy. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson thinks we can prevent tragedies like today's school shooting in Connecticut if we place armed guards in schools:
"The common denominator for the school shootings in Aurora, Columbine and Virginia Tech is that we have a target-rich environment," said Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. "You have a shooter that is completely free to go about his sick fantasy. We need to do what it takes to change that."
One game changer, Patterson said, would be to arm more police officers, security guards and responsible citizens on campuses to confront a mass shooter.
"Had there been (armed security guard and citizens) in Colorado, at Virginia Tech or now in Connecticut - someone that could have changed the dynamic and to do so by having a firearm - there would be fewer lives lost."
As a state senator from 1993-99, Patterson discussed the idea of armed schools, but to date, the idea has not gained statewide traction.
Conversely we could pursue policies to prevent people from going on shooting rampages in the first place, from pragmatic gun control laws to expanded access to mental health services.
Patterson seemingly pays no mind to the Virginia Tech Review Panel Report that recommended more gun control measures including background checks, and supported banning guns on campus.
In related and horrific news, a man in China brought a knife into a school and stabbed 22 children today. Because he used a knife and not a gun, all 22 children are expected to survive.
Something to think about as our so-called leaders call for more guns in schools.
Feeling beloved today after getting a standing ovation from the Texas delegation at the RNC, David Dewhurst made a big announcement: he's running for re-election in 2014. This ends months of speculation about Dewhurst's future that was amplified when he lost what seemed to be a locked-in primary for the GOP Senate nomination.
Watch Dewhurst very close-up:
Is this an ego trip? Does Dewhurst really think he's "serving Texans" by selling out state government to massive corporations? Doesn't matter. He's running again.
And so are a bunch of other big-name Texas Republicans. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has already said he's running whether Dewhurst is in or out. Today, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said he's still planning to run for the seat. State Comptroller Susan Combs has also said she will run in 2014.
Looks like a brawl is brewing in 2014. Dewhurst has a lot of ground to gain back after the Perry-Dewhurst machine failed epically last month to persuade Texas Republicans. If Dewhurst loses out in another primary and exits government a twice-loser, it would be a great embarrassment for him. At least he has potential company in Rick Perry, who may himself be heading for his second, and final, primary loss in 2014.
Land Commissioner Wants To Steal Money From Children To Fund His Nifty New Desal Plant
Though Texas schools lost over $4 billion from their budgets over the last legislative session, Texas Land Commissioner, Jerry Patterson, has come up with a devious plan to take even more money from them. His plan is to use funds from the Permanent School Fund to build a desalinization plant on General Land Office land somewhere between Austin and San Antonio. “Desal” (as those in the know like to call it) is the talk of Texas these days, with supporters imagining it to be a sort of silver bullet to end all our water woes. While Texas has a huge supply of brackish water stored deep in aquifers, the process of turning it into drinkable, lawn water-able water is hugely expensive. If similar Texas plants are any guide, this plant would cost around $100 million, and would produce water at 3-6 times the price of water gained thorugh conservation efforts.
Enron Apparently Still Exists, And Its Trying To Poison North Texans
Everyone’s favorite disgraced energy giant, Enron Oil and Gas (EOG) is up to its neck in complaints from residents living near a proposed sand mine in Cooke County, along the Oklahoma border. Residents expressed concerns about respiratory diseases and cancer to a TCEQ hearing on the subject in Gainesville. “The real problems begin when they start operating. We’re gonna have air pollution, that’s our major concern, we’re gonna have water problems, that’s another major concern, we’re gonna have truck traffic, emissions from those trucks,” said a concerned citizen, Ozlem Altiok. A TCEQ contested case hearing will begin on Thursday to determine who will be affected by the mine, and whether construction can continue.
Remember To Visit The Beach While It’s Still There
Climate Central released this nifty map which allows you to see exactly where flooding will occur as sea levels begin to rise due to global climate change. The map coincides with a recent Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report which predicts that by 2070 sea level changes will effect 120 million people and cost around $35 trillion in damages. Galveston, for instance, sees little flooding from a moderate 2 foot flood surge, but is nearly wiped off the map in the event of a 6 foot surge.
Tar Sands Spill The Result Of Sloppy Management And Regulation
Federal investigators reported on Tuesday that the 2010 spill of 843,000 gallons of toxic tar sands diluted bitumen oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan was the result preventable safety measures. The report faults both Enbridge, the Canadian operator of the pipeline, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal agency tasked with regulating pipeline operators. Enbridge (which is currently building a tar sands pipeline to the Texas coast from Oklahoma) was blamed for not incorporating readily available knowledge in its safety evaluations, and the PHMSA was blamed for “weak and ambiguous regulations.”
Though Texas has more than enough pollution to go around, we’ve got nothing on Guandong province, China.
China Daily Newspaper reported that about 9.5 billion tons of raw sewage (or about 3/4s of the province of 104 million people’s annual waste) is discharged, untreated into the Pearl River which supplies Hong Kong. That news of this sort is even reported is a sign that China’s government is beginning to get serious about the rampant air and water pollution that has followed China’s remarkable economic growth since 1976.
Always one of the more humorous elected Republican officials in Texas, Jerry Patterson has issued a request for opponents.
CANDIDATE SEEKING CANDIDATE
DWM, DIVORCED WHITE MALE WITH KIDS, 63, REPUBLICAN LAND COMMISSIONER SEEKS DEMOCRAT OPPONENT FOR 11 MONTH RELATIONSHIP. MUST ENJOY TRAVELING AROUND TEXAS, LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH DISCUSSING COASTAL EROSION AND PUBLIC EDUCATION FUNDING, AND SHARING STORIES WITH VETERANS. MUST BE EMOTIONALLY PREPARED FOR DEFEAT. MILLIONAIRES NEED NOT APPLY.
"There's a lot of democrat office-seekers jumping races out there," said Patterson, "I wanted to let them know I'm available."
This week humorist and former candidate Kinky Friedman announced he would have an announcement about his political future soon. Many speculate he may end his campaign for Governor to seek another unspecified office.