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Texas Senate Race

Texas Senate Showdown: The 1% Republicans

by: Ben Sherman

Wed Feb 01, 2012 at 09:03 AM CST

The 2012 Republican primary for U.S. Senate has begun.

There are four main candidates: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, former Solicitor General Ted Cruz, and ESPN sports analyst Craig James. With the ongoing Texas district maps court battle, there has not been a primary date set yet. This week, however, the four candidates plan to debate at the Texas Association of Business's annual conference. It's not unsurprising that the candidates chose that venue for their first debate. They are all corporate robots with no core conviction other than "profits for my donors."

According to the most recent poll, Dewhurst has the support of 50 percent of Republican primary voters, followed by Leppert at 9 percent, Cruz at 5 percent and James at 3 percent. The race is starting slow, but there is already notable movement.


  • This Tuesday, Tom Leppert announced that he put in another $500,000 of his money on top of the $2.6 million he had previously loaned to his campaign. With the $387,000 he brought in during the last quarter, he now has about $3.5 million to spend.
  • Dewhurst has brought in $6.1 million, a third of which is his own money.
  • Cruz took in $1.1 million in the last quarter, bringing his total to more than $4 million.

Tax Returns
  • On Thursday, Craig James, who entered the race in the last few weeks, released his tax returns and called for the other candidates to do the same. James' showed an adjusted income of $257,000 in 2010 and $1.1 million in 2009.
  • On Friday, David Dewhurst released his returns, which showed that his investments exceeded $225 million in 2010.
  • This week, Leppert released his returns, which showed adjusted gross income of $1.5 million in 2008, $1.28 million in 2009 and $443,194 in 2010. In all three years, he paid effective tax rates of more than 21 percent.
  • Cruz reported an adjusted gross income of more than $2 million in 2010.

This primary is a primary of the 1% doing battle for who gets to represent the 1% in the Senate.

The spectre of Mitt Romney paying less than 14 percent in income taxes has horrified so many Americans that Republicans are trying their hardest to seem less sleazy than their frontrunning presidential standard-bearer. That's good news - and evidence that the Occupy movement is bringing income inequality into the national debate.


This primary race is playing out like every other Republican contest in America: a rhetorical battle for the mantle of "most conservative." Each candidate is advocating against essentials like the environment, strong public education, and reproductive rights, while advocating corporatist government policies. These are not unique candidates; they are four examples of what is so wrong with the Republican Party today. They are not here to represent Texans, they are here to represent the industry interests who pay them.

Hopefully in the general election, a majority of Texas voters will vote against any one of these corporate shills.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Texas Senate Showdown 2012

by: Ben Sherman

Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 09:20 AM CST

This November, Texans must choose someone to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is (finally) retiring.

In the Republican primary, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is running on the myth of a Texas economic miracle. Dewhurst is so dedicated to this strategy, which didn't seem to work with the Perry campaign, that they've put together an ad featuring Gov. Perry's praise for Dewhurst while campaigning in Iowa.

Dewhurst has collected the high-profile endorsements of former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, Michael Reagan, and the Texas Oil and Gas Political Action Committee (shocking).

Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz is running against Dewhurst. Of course, he's angling as the "true conservative" in the race.

Cruz has collected the endorsements of Sen. Jim DeMint (R - SC), the Young Conservatives of Texas, social conservative James Dobson, George P. Bush and former Republican Party of Texas chairwoman Cathie Adams.

Right now, Cruz is slamming Dewhurst for missing several debates and candidate forums. The Cruz campaign has set up a website, www.DuckingDewhurst.com, with a memorable video calling Dewhurst a "political animal." There's even a "Ducking Dewhurst" duck costume that keeps showing up at Dewhurst's events.

The latest poll of the race shows Dewhurst sitting at 36% of the vote with 18% support for Cruz. However, Cruz leads among those who know who he is. Expect a bloody Republican primary...if the hilarious Fake Ted Cruz Twitter account doesn't end it before it even begins.

The Democratic primary has been much more quiet thus far, and is really just starting to get revved up.

There are six Democratic candidates so far, including Jason Gibson, President of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association,
Sean Hubbard, strategy director of Manny Molera's 2002 congressional campaign, and Paul Sadler, former state representative.

Let the race (slowly) begin.  

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

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