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Moderates vs. Conservatives: Which Republican PACs Came Out On Top in the 2014 Primary?

by: Katie Singh

Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:00 PM CDT

After John Cornyn's and Greg Abbott's victories in the Texas Republican primary on March 4, the New York Times proclaimed that here in Texas, the Republican establishment had soundly beat back the Tea Party.

While that may have been true in Cornyn's and Abbott's specific races, the reality of the election was much more complex. Social conservatives prevailed over moderates in many legislative primary races. Several moderate Republican legislative incumbents lost, as extreme social conservatives took the lead in most races for statewide offices.

The Texas Legislature was the main battleground for social conservatives battling moderate Republicans. Several large Republican PACs, both moderate and conservative, had stakes in legislative races. BOR examined the endorsement records of four of them--the moderate, education-focused Texas Parent PAC, the more conservative Texans for Lawsuit Reform, and two extremely conservative PACS, the Young Conservatives of Texas and Michael Quinn Sullivan's Empower Texans PAC.

We looked at which candidates each PAC endorsed and how those candidates fared in the primary.

See which Republican PACs were winners and losers after the jump.

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DNC Project Highlights Republicans are the "Same Old Party" who Refuse to Accept Change

by: Katie Singh

Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

Yesterday was one-year anniversary of the Republican Party's "autopsy report" that dissected the party's status after Mitt Romney's overwhelming loss to President Obama in 2012. Among the autopsy report's highlights were that the Republican Party was "driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac" and had to pass immigration reform otherwise "our Party's appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only."

Despite these conclusions, one year later, the GOP's attempts to appeal more to young people, immigrants, women, LGBT individuals, and minorities appear to be minimal at best. Nowhere is this more evident than here in Texas, where it seems that each week brings another instance of the Republican Party proving itself out of touch with Texans on many major issues. Whether it's Greg Abbott calling the Rio Grande Valley a "third-world country" or Texas Republican leaders saying that women are bad negotiators who are "too busy" for equal pay, it's clear that today's Republican party is no better at outreach than it was a year ago.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of the GOP autopsy, the DNC has launched a new project highlighting how Republicans are the "Same Old Party" as they were a year ago.  The site shows how Republicans continue to hold antiquated and exclusionary views toward minorities, women, poor people, and many others. And the section focusing on Texas has some of the most egregious offenses of the bunch.

See examples of how Texas Republicans are the "Same Old Party" after the jump.

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Texas Judge Switches to Democratic Party: "The Republican Party Left Me"

by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 02:00 PM CDT

The Republican Party continues to push moderate voters away, but now even it's own elected officials are giving up on the fight with the extremist in their ranks. Today Bexar County Court at Law Judge Carlo Key switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party emphasizing that the, "Republican party has been at war with itself," and that ultimately, "I have not left the Republican Party, it left me."

His life experience of being born into poverty and pulling himself up by the bootstraps is a true Texas success story. Republicans love this narrative, but often leave out the details which make it all possible. Judge Key had to start working hard at an early age due to the circumstance of his father's disability, but because of public assistance, and a strong public education he was able to rise above those natural hardships to become a small business owner and Judge.

Among his reasons for the switch he pointed to the government shutdown led by Congressional Republicans that hurt furloughed workers and their families, and the, "vain attempt to repeal [the Affordable Care Act] a law that would provide healthcare to millions of people throughout our country."

This is bad news for Republicans on a number of fronts. They lose a promising young politician and a prominent Hispanic from their ranks in one felled swoop. It also signals to other moderates that the tide is turning and the time is now.
Incase they need more encouragement Judge Key extended an open invitation, "I can only hope that more people of principle will follow."

Click below the jump to see Judge Key's video and who is welcoming him to the Party...

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Chuck Maricle for State Representative, Texas House District 129

by: cmaricle

Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:56 AM CDT

Prominent community leader, business owner and entrepreneur, Chuck Maricle, formally announced this past summer that he would be seeking the office of State Representative in District 129. This announcement preceded Rep. John Davis' proclamation that he would not be seeking re-election.

Chuck owns and operates several successful businesses within House District 129 and will bring his entreprenurial and leadership knowledge to Austin. In these trying and sometimes difficult economic times, it is necessary to have someone with common conservative sense to lead the citizens of our area. Chuck is conservative, a supporter of pro-life and self defense issues, in tune with pro-business agendas, anchored with a strong foundation in leadership, team building and outreach to the community and knows how to build consensus and create positive action.

Born in Buffalo, New York in 1960, he attended St. Josephs Collegiate Institute (college prepratory high school) and then received a Bachelor of Science in 1982 from Canisius College. While working for GM Hughes Aircraft Corporation he completed doctoral studies in 1999 with a published dissertation in the Journal of Supercomputing (Dec. 22 1999). He considers his Jesuit education and training a key factor in his well rounded leadership ability. For 26 years he has lived in the Sagemont area of Harris County as a dedicated and participating member of the community.

Chuck has served our nation for 34 years. He joined the Army Reserve in 1979 while in college and was commissioned a US Army officer 1981. He then entered active duty where he graduated from the US Army Engineer Officer School and was also certified as a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical warfare specialist. He served as a US Army Combat Engineer Officer until 1988 having held a number of leadership positions.  Today he continues to serve in the uniform of the US  Department of Homeland Security as a US Coast Guard  (Auxiliary) District Captain - central region, directly responsible for 1000 personnel and surface / air operations in Texas and Louisiana. In this role he has been fully trained in advanced Incident Command and Emergency Response in addition to his successful completion of advanced upper leadership certifications.

Professionally, Chuck has literally worked around the world in both engineering and executive level positions in companies such as McDonnell Douglas, General Motors and a number of technology start-ups. He holds several laser technology patents which earned him fellow status with the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery as well as the IEEE Photonics Society. He also serves with the American Society of Military Engineers, the International Association of Emergency Managers and the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors.

Within the Texas government community, Chuck has served on the National Government Affairs committee as legislative liasion for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, heavily involved with federal and Texas state agencies on waterway related law. He also serves as a consultant to the Harris County Commissioner, Precicnt 2 for Homeland Security related issues. In 2012 he was selected as a board member of the Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee (successor to the Houston-Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee) for the Port of Houston, giving him key connection to our regions largest asset, the maritime industry.

Being pro 2nd amendment and dedicated to the Texas citizens' right to keep and bear arms, he is a National Rifle Association instructor and a Texas Department of Public Safety certified Concealed Handgun Instructor for eight years, specializing in training our local military personnel and families, he will always keep a vigilent eye towards protecting our citizens' firearms rights.

Chuck is a member of the American Legion Post No. 490 and attends St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church. He is also a member the South Belt - Ellington Chamber of Commerce and American MENSA along with being a commercial multi-engine rated airplane pilot and extra class ham radio operator.

He and his wife Xia have a daughter currently serving as a officer in the US Navy and a 10 year old son.

District 129 includes all or part of Houston, Pearland, Friendswood, Pasadena, La Porte, Shoreacres, Seabrook, Taylor Lake Village, El Lago, Nassau Bay and Webster. 

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More Audio of Dan Patrick Attacking Ted Cruz: "He Takes All The Credit"

by: Joe Deshotel

Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 03:48 PM CDT

More audio of Dan Patrick attacking Ted Cruz during the 2012 primary on his radio program has surfaced -- this time over Cruz's "record" at the Attorney General's office, siding with the Obama Administration on China policy, and his representation of a Chinese company accused of stealing U.S. blueprints.

Senator Patrick has come under fire from his Republican Primary opponents in the race for Lt. Gov. for changing his tune on Cruz having recently endorsed the Junior Senator for President. Last week Patrick released a statement to Quorum Report giving full support to Ted Cruz and tried to temper accusations that he is more of a political weathervane than a consistent conservative.

Hear the audio for yourself below the jump.

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Rand Paul wins 2016 Republican Straw Poll, Followed by Ted Cruz...No Rick Perry

by: Joe Deshotel

Tue Aug 13, 2013 at 01:04 PM CDT

On Monday former presidential candidate and Fox News Commentator Mike Huckabee released the results of his online straw poll for the 2016 Republican Primary.

The poll of 43,988 matches well with other more scientific polls as of late. Rand Paul took first place followed by Ted Cruz with Texas Governor Rick Perry finishing in 13th as a "Write-in" candidate just in front of Jon Huntsman.

The state by state results showed Cruz coming first in Texas followed by Huckabee and Rand Paul. Those results back up prior polls that show Texans aren't enthusiastic about a Perry Administration in the White House. Until his famous flub it appeared the rest of the country was willing to give him a look, and most signs suggest he's preparing to ask them to take another.

Cruz and Perry have an interesting relationship when it comes to endorsements,  read below the jump...

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Gov. Perry's Tiff With WSJ Exposes His Major Weakness: National Press

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 09:42 AM CDT

Summers of odd numbered years are typical slow news days in Texas, but right now the Perry spin machine seems to have its hands full; adding controversial issues to an already prolonged legislative session, running commercials in other states to lure their jobs to Texas, threatening to veto the investigative body that could implicate some of his largest donors for receiving poorly-vetted funds from CPRIT, and FEMA's rejection of his aid request for West, Texas, but despite his teflon-like ability to avoid sustained controversy in Texas, he has not been in control of his national image or message. While Perry would much rather the Wall Street Journal hail him as an early contender for the Republican Primary in 2016, they instead chose to directly attack him over the Texas budget for the "biggest spending spree in memory".  

Now that might not be a line of attack for Democrats, but be certain it will come up in the Republican Primary should he choose to declare his candidacy for President. Inadvertently, the WSJ exposed a big flaw in Gov. Perry's version of the "Texas Model". With one line, "Republicans spend their energy gusher, and then some.", the WSJ acknowledges what I have said over and over again -- Led by Gov. Perry, Texas Republicans have used the oil industry as a crutch to avoid fixing our state's structural deficit, or having to responsibly and sustainably pay for programs like education and transportation that are important to Texans and businesses.

Now the Gov. is facing tough, yet inevitable, questions about Medicaid expansion and this time its coming from the heart of the oil industry...  

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Poll: GOP in Texas Faces Major Hurdles In Recruiting Hispanics

by: Joe Deshotel

Thu May 16, 2013 at 02:35 PM CDT

The original post said Adriana Maestas wrote for National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health, she is a writer for Politics365. The post has been corrected.

Ronald Reagan said, "Hispanics are already Republican. They just don't know it yet.", and apparently they still haven't learned in Texas. For Republicans trying to connect with Hispanics there seems to be only bad news, and now a new poll suggests it's reflective of an actual disconnect Hispanics feel with the GOP. For the survey PAC+ interviewed 2,685 randomly selected registered Hispanic voters in Texas counties with the highest number of Latino eligible voters: Bexar, Dallas, Tarrant, El Paso and Harris. The findings give support to a major part of Democrats plan to take back Texas -- register and turnout Latino voters. According to pollster Dr. Julie Martinez Ortega, "Latino voters make up 43% of the 'Texas Blue' vote,".

Republicans most straightforward pitch to Hispanics has been to try and co-identify as "conservative" and play up shared family values. It appears that whatever assumptions about shared values Republicans made were incorrect. When asked, "When it comes to social issues -- such as religion, abortion and same-sex marriage -- which party do you generally think does the best job of representing your views? Democrats or Republicans?", 58% said Democrats and only 24% identified with Republicans. This backs up other recent polls that show Hispanics by large margins support a woman's right to end her pregnancy. Adriana Maestas, Latina writer for Politics365, gave an early warning to Republicans over their "conventional wisdom" on Hispanics and social issues prior to the 2012 election when she said, "...if the GOP continues to reach out to Latino voters based on the perceived social agenda. These kinds of messages may not be well received this election year." She was correct as 58% of those survey by PAC+ supported Obama and only 24% supported Romney.

On economic issues, "like jobs, the economy, and immigration", Hispanics still identified most with Democrats at 57%. One of the most successful tools Republicans have used is recruiting Hispanic candidates. A majority of respondents said they were more likely to vote for a candidate because they were "Hispanic", with 44% saying they would be much more likely. Senator Ted Cruz accordingly got 32% of the Hispanic vote, but 21% of those surveyed actually thought he was a Democrat.  Recruits or not, Republicans' hardline positions on issues like immigration and voter ID laws are likely to blunt any gains from individual candidates. A whopping 71% believe that "discrimination against Latinos" is a problem in the United States, with 36% saying it was a "big" problem. When asked about "voter suppression", 59% said if they knew it was happening it would make them more likely to vote.

For full results click the jump...

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Our Economy Still Faces A Cliff: European-Style Austerity-Learn The Facts

by: egberto

Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:44 AM CST

The U.S. Economy shrank for the first time since 2009. There are many technical reasons beyond the scope of this post why the 0.1% drop is not as bad as it may initially seem. That said, this could be a mini-preview of the upcoming cliff. Sequestration, the severe and draconian cuts to both social programs and defense would make the United States, Europe on steroids as our downturn could trigger cataclysmic world financial events only surpassed by that which was inflicted by the doings of the titans of finance, during our most recent financial crisis in 2008. If massive cuts to education, public safety, and high-tech research that occurs automatically under the sequester go into effect then the real cliff is a certainty.

After already forcing trillions in cuts, causing layoffs, and strangling our economic growth, Republicans in Congress want to force European-style austerity on America -- inviting another recession.  Cutting investments in our home front takes work away from companies that do business with our government and money out of the pockets of regular people who keep our stores thriving and hiring. We should cut waste, not jobs. Cut what we don't need like corporate tax loopholes, Pentagon pork, and Big Oil subsidies -- instead of dragging down our economy by cutting the things we do need.

Given that money borrowed under current rates are minimal, now is the time to start massive infrastructure rebuilding which will restart our economy, increase the tax base, and move the country towards the future. America use to be the bastion of modernity. America was the place where its vast technology benefitted the middle class. Why then are foreign cities like Shanghai where one goes to see technological prowess in action?

It is time that America gets a peace dividend. Even disparate defense think tanks, some conservative thinkers, and some Republicans in Congress reached common ground on defense cuts. The process of reducing the military budget needs to happen in a responsible way that supports affected families and communities. There's no shortage of valuable work that our country needs done -- from repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools, to spurring high-tech work like designing and building a smart grid and renewable energy technology. As such, investments in transitioning the workforce to a domestic modal is essential.

Instead of reshaping the Pentagon to fight 21st century threats, Republicans in Congress are insistent on protecting million dollar CEO salaries and millionaire tax loopholes. At the same time they are pushing for draconian cuts in our home front by laying-off more Americans dollar-for-dollar than on Pentagon projects.

The U.S. economy shrunk slightly in the fourth quarter of last year, contracting by 0.1% instead of growing by 1% as analysts expected. It represents the first economic contraction since 2009. Republicans in Congress got us here by pushing for massive spending cuts that threw tens of thousands of Americans out of work, repeatedly threatening default, and strangling job creation efforts ever since President Obama took office. Pentagon spending ranks dead last as a way to create jobs compared to investing the same amount in health care, clean energy, or education. Yet they seem to show more concern for the defense sector than sectors that materially affect most Americans.

During the last debt ceiling hostage taking, congress passed $1.7 trillion in cuts in one bill alone -- about $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 in new tax revenue. Most of this was cuts to our home front investments like our schools, public safety, disaster preparedness, and scientific research.

Most of these funding cuts come from our home front programs. These include essentially all federal efforts to keep our air, water, food, prescription drugs, consumer products, workplaces, and borders safe. It also includes funding for medical and scientific research, veterans' health care, nutrition and child care assistance to low-income families, the Smithsonian, and NASA.

Due to those funding cuts, and not counting the new funding cuts that begin in March, home front funding will drop to historic lows, almost 15% lower than its lowest point in the past 50 years. If the automatic spending cuts under sequestration go through in March, we will be cutting $4 in spending for every $1 in revenue. This means 80% of the total money will be paid for by middle-class and low-income families instead of the wealthiest Americans or big corporations.

With all the loopholes and special tax breaks afforded the wealthy and corporations in our tax code, finding the money to avoid the austerity cliff is obvious and easy to find. We must get $1 trillion in new revenue over 10 years by closing special loopholes and tax breaks.

For those who believe that the wealthy is paying their fair share, that they do not have enough income & wealth to close the gap, and that the middle class and poor must absorb a dose of austerity, it is essential that the truth be understood. It is a mathematical impossibility that in a country where  20% of Americans own almost 85% of all the net worth in the country, and where almost 10% of Americans own 90% of all financial wealth that somehow it isn't the resource that must be tapped for solving the entire country's deficit.

It is time for the truth. It is time to stop the pilfer by a sect of the wealthy. It is time to rebalance the countries income/wealth paradigm. It is time for the middle class to assert itself.

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Jon Stewart: GOP Shameless On Immigration-Minorities: GOP a Lost Cause (VIDEO)

by: egberto

Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 11:40 AM CST

Many seem to believe that passing some sort of comprehensive immigration reform will ensure that the drubbing Republicans took by the hands of Latinos specifically, but more broadly, from virtually all minorities will change their fate with these voters going forward. Those in the GOP, who will now allow the passage of comprehensive immigration reform solely under that tenet, may actually make the problem worse as Latinos and minorities will correctly assume that they are perceived as mentally shallow.

Jon Stewart's very funny yet truthful encapsulation of the current Republicans' utterances on immigration illustrates the impossible position the GOP is in. When each of their presidential candidates not only address undocumented immigrants, the ones that built their affordable homes, clean their homes affordably, mow their lawns affordably, and create and serve the meals they love economically, as less than, simply passing comprehensive immigration reform is not the answer. A Republican Congressman verbalizing "anything short of shooting them" when addressing the immigration issue presents a deeper issue than just immigration.

The following sequence is the most telling even though it was the least funny part of the funny monologue.

Why the sudden change Republicans? Perhaps you looked into your heart and realized that people who are willing to risk prison or worst just to do our least glamorous most dangerous work deserve at least a basic level of humanity?

McCain in his straight talk provides likely the biggest caricature.

I will give you a little straight talk. Look a thee last election. We are losing dramatically the Hispanic vote.

To which Stewart responds.

Craving political calculation to squeeze out enough votes to make Nevada competitive again...That's OK too. I am not sure that is the reason you are suppose to say out loud. You've come a long way. Well a way. The arch of history is long but it bends towards shamelessness.


Sometimes the likely conclusion is correct even from mostly false and degrading utterances. Republican Rep Lou Barletta in opposing any form of immigration reform said the following referencing the bipartisan framework.



"I hope politics is not at the root of why we're rushing to pass a bill. Anyone who believes that they're going to win over the Latino vote is grossly mistaken," Barletta said, according to the Morning Call. "The majority that are here illegally are low-skilled or may not even have a high school diploma. The Republican Party is not going to compete over who can give more social programs out. They will become Democrats because of the social programs they'll depend on."

There is nothing the Republican Party in its current form can do to win over minority votes. There is nothing they can do to increase their share of the women's vote. There is nothing they can do to win over the young vote. While many fail to see it immediately, the reason why that is, is that this sect is not much different in their absolutism and recessive-ness than the Taliban in a well-tailored suit, The American Taliban.

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