David spent his first year of college at the University of Texas at San Antonio where he was elected Vice President of the Young Democrats at UTSA. He now attends the University of Texas at Austin where he remains active in local politics.
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."
The Keith Hampton campaign has released a blistering new ad shedding light on Sharon Keller's shady record on the Court of Criminal Appeals. The ad highlights Keller's controversial decision regarding the execution of Michael Richard, where she denied the appeal of Richard's lawyers, because they "close at five." Keller's actions have brought shame to the court, as she was publicly rebuked by the Commission on Judicial Conduct and fined $100,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission.
The Texas Court of Appeals is the highest court of criminal matters in the state, and the consequences of reelecting her are far too costly to the ideals of justice for all. Keith Hampton will restore dignity and honor to the court and to the state.
The John Adams Campaign for HD-45 has launched a new website that highlights incumbent Jason Issac's record of shockingly radical positions on key issues of women's healthcare and education. Additionally, they set the record straight on many of Issac's untruthful campaign talking points.
The Website, entitled "No to Issac", offers cited indictments on Issac such as his vote to "slash the Women's health program by two thirds" and his vote to cut "$23 million from local school districts."
The Adams campaign, citing the Texas State Teachers' Assocation (TSTA), debunks an Issac campaign flyer that boasts that Issac "voted to begin the process of making sure our commitment of a good education is kept by increasing the state's portion by $2 billion." But the TSTA characterizes this claim as simply "misleading and fabricated reelection rhetoric." The TSTA writes, "Issac can tie his toungue in knots trying to explain how he came up with that figure, but in truth he voted for Texas' worst public education budget in more than 60 years..."
Beyond serially defunding education, Jason Issac has joined his Republican colleagues in the attack on Women's healthcare. Issac has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, cut family planning, and slash spending on life-saving services for medical services like breast and cervical cancer screenings. These attacks by Issac and his Republican allies are a shocking regression as a blatant affront to Women's rights and healthcare.
Politicians like Jason Issac are exactly what is wrong with Texas politics today. Clearly certain special interest groups are invested in his reelection, but Texans and voters of HD-45 need John Adams to represent them in Austin.
Adams is a six-year trustee for the Dripping Springs I.S.D. Board of Trustees and understands the importance of strengthening our education system. Jason Issac clearly does not. John Adams will allow Texas women to access all their necessary healthcare needs and will stand against politicians like Issac who wish to defund necessary healthcare programs to score political points.
John Adams needs the support of all Texas Democrats. His voice and experience would be invaluable next session as Republicans plan to double down on extremism.
Senator Juan Chuy Hinojosa has earned the endorsement and trust of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. In their endorsement , the editorial board wrote the following:
The leader of the delegation needs to be someone with a big-picture view of the region's needs, coalition-building skills and clout, which is why incumbent Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen, is the obvious choice. District 34 Rep. Connie Scott, R-Robstown, spent a chunk of her interview with us to extol Hinojosa for mentoring her through a challenging freshman term.
Party labels, obviously, weren't a concern in developing region-first strategies for education, windstorm insurance and other issues. Nor has Hinojosa's minority-party status marginalized him. Republicans like and respect him and the party hierarchy in these parts did not seek an opponent for him. His opponent, Rep. Raul Torres, R-Corpus Christi, did that on his own after being redistricted out of his district by his own party.
The way Hinojosa has championed the Corpus Christi area, McAllen might as well be on Ocean Drive.
There is no doubt that Hinojosa has been a bipartisan leader, unwilling to let his minority status deter his influence. In many cases, including the Republican efforts to slash public education funding, Senator Hinojosa was able to keep the bill from becoming irreversibly devastating.
The Caller-Times chose to focus on Hinojosa's value as a bipartisan and well liked leader. There is no doubt that the respect he has earned in both parties is immensely valuable in such a one-sided and uncompromising legislature. But the record of Hinojosa's opponent, Raul Torres, is perhaps just as important a reason to support Hinojosa's reelection.
On issues of education, Torres has been abysmal , arguing for an additional $4 billion cut from public education funding. On issues affecting Texas Latinos, he has supported the unconstitutional Voter ID Law, the unconstitutional redistricting maps, the raiding of sanctuary cities, and even the controversial Arizona "show me your papers" law.
Raul Torres has shown himself to be an unacceptable candidate to represent the people of Corpus Christi. He has spent much of his campaign distorting Hinojsa's record while blatantly misconstruing his own. His campaign of deception is the only way he knows to defeat a candidate as influential and popular as Senator Hinojosa, and the voters in SD-20 should not stand for it.
The importance of Hinojosa's return to Austin cannot be overstated. His voice will be essential in the upcoming battles on the environment, school vouchers, and women's rights. Texans will be well served having a legislator like Senator Hinojosa back and fighting for them.
In the race to replace Senator Jeff Wentworth in SD-25, the San Antonio Express-News has enthusiastically endorsed Democrat John Courage over Tea Party Darling Donna Campbell. In their endorsement, the editorial board cited Courage's commitment to improving public education and superior grasp of the issues facing Texans.
"We recommend that voters cast their ballots for Courage, an Air Force veteran and a teacher. Courage has deep roots in the district and demonstrates a more comprehensive knowledge of the issues facing Texas", the board wrote. They go on to assert, "Courage is a strong advocate of public education, who is critical of education funding cuts enacted by lawmakers in 2011. Courage said he would work to restore adequate education funding."
Props to the Express-News for throwing their hat behind the underdog in this race. They clearly grasp the importance in electing pro education lawmakers to Austin this session. Tea Party lawmakers are plotting radical changes to education that include school vouchers. Vouchers will do nothing but serve as a discount for wealthy families that can already afford to send their children to private schools, while doing nothing to help struggling families. The Express-News understands that vouchers are surrendering to the dream of equal opportunity and Courage's victory is essential in assuring that doesn't happen.
What also could have influenced the board's decision was her cowardly media strategy to ignore any opinion media, including The Express News' own, Brian Chasnoff. Campbell refused to talk with Chasnoff because her campaign elected to hide her from any media that might ask her tough questions that the campaign hasn't screened. In addition, she has hidden from Courage, refusing to participate in a single debate in spite of his repeated requests. Even Ted Cruz agreed to two debates with Paul Sadler. When Ted Cruz shows more courage than you, Dr. Campbell, it is time to look in the mirror and make some changes. Campbell owes the he people of San Antonio a discussion on the future of the state, and she has refused to do that.
The San Antonio Express-News has chosen principle over name recognition. They have chosen progress over regression. They have chosen a candidate that understands the problems of his community, who is fighting for equal opportunity and a better education system for all Texans. They rejected a candidate who believes that party ID alone can bring her to Austin, and hopefully the Express-News has reminded Dr. Campbell that she has not been appointed. Hopefully their endorsement of Courage pushes her to face the voters of San Antonio and tell them why she deserves to be their senator, unless she still has not answered that question herself.
Media pundits from around the country agree, Mitt Romney crushed President Obama in the first Presidential debate. Romney was poised, robust, and energetic, while the President too often seemed professorial and disengaged. Romney's hair was perfectly swooped to the side, his complexion was absolutely immaculate, and his hand gestures were positively authoritative. Mitt Romney swept the pundit class off their feet. By the standard that perception is reality; the press seems to have forgotten they have a role in reporting on truth beyond perceptions. By the standard that style beats substance, the press seems to have concluded that a Presidential debate should be covered more like a Mr. Universe contest than a discourse between the two possible leaders of this country. Mitt Romney did win Wednesday's debate. Not because he won on the issues, but because he is attempting to steal this election by unleashing a string of complete fabrications and campaign reversals, while the media drives the getaway car.
In his sudden effort to sprint to the center before Election Day, Romney made perhaps his most audacious assertion when he turned to the President and said: "My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. I'm not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high-income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They'll do fine whether you're president or I am." However, independent analysts assert Romney is being untruthful here, and anyone who has even remotely followed his campaign could perceive this complete reversal. Analysts at the Brookings Institution reported that households with incomes over $1 million would receive average tax cuts of $87,117 under Romney's plan, while those earning $200,000 or less would pay higher taxes. The Brookings Institution explained, "even when we assume that tax breaks -- like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance -- are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality, the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households." So Mitt Romney is lying about his tax plan, and completing a campaign 180 when he claims he does not want to lower taxes for the wealthy. Still waiting for the conservative cries of "class warfare."
In explaining why he would seek a repeal of the financial regulation bill "Dodd-Frank", Romney asserted that the law designated five banks as too big to fail, and gave them "a blank check," contributing to the collapse of smaller banks. "We need to get rid of that provision because it's killing regional and small banks", Romney claimed. But Bloomberg News explains that this understanding is inaccurate. They explain "there is no connection between the failure of community banks and the provision in Dodd-Frank designed to contain the harm from the failure of a big bank." In addition, "FDIC statistics show that 37 banks, not five, have enough assets to come under that provision." Romney wants to frame Dodd-Frank as another big government regulator inhibiting growth and crushing the little guy, but the facts are not on his side. In fact, the opposite is true. Bloomberg News reports that "The trend (of small banks closing) is down since Dodd-Frank. After peaking in 2010 at 136, the small-bank failures declined last year to 86 and are down to 42 through the first nine months of this year."
According to FactCheck.Org , Romney "made numerous bogus claims" about the $90 billion in grants, guaranteed loans, and tax breaks for energy companies found in the stimulus package. For example, Romney falsely claimed "about half" of the clean-energy companies that received U.S.-backed loans have filed for bankruptcy. But 26 companies received loan guarantees under a loan program cited by Romney, and only three of those have filed for bankruptcy and the three firms were "approved for about 6 percent of the loan guarantees." But in Romney's defense, "about half" certainly sounds better. Romney's energy lies would not stop there. FactCheck.Org explains, "He stated at one point that Obama put $90 billion into solar and wind. But only $21 billion went for renewable energy projects, such as the installation of wind turbines and solar panels, according to a White House document cited by the Romney campaign. The spending also included $18 billion for transit projects and $10 billion to upgrade the nation's electrical grid." So does Governor Romney truly have a problem with investing in an all of the above energy plan and upgrading America's infrastructure? Probably not. But hey, it sure sounds good when you say he spent $90 billion on windmills.
Mitt Romney made a number of dubious, misleading, and hypocritical claims about Obamacare and Medicare. Romney 10 times, including in his closing statement, stated that the President was taking $716 billion from Medicare patients' pockets to pay for Obamacare. Romney and VP candidate Paul Ryan have been spouting this lie for a long time now. CBS News backed up the Obama campaign, reporting that the Congressional Budget Office reports that "it's not the patients who would lose money. It's the providers." Beyond the inaccuracy is the hypocrisy. CBS News points out that Paul Ryan's plan that Romney has described as "bold and exciting" and "very consistent" with his own plan makes the very same deductions.
These are just a few of the many lies that permeated Romney's entire performance Wednesday night in Denver and indeed his entire campaign. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have lived by the motto set by the Romney pollster who asserted that "Our campaign won't be dictated by fact checkers." They have lied from the starting gun and the media has decided to let them get away with it. To them, it's about performance. Romney sounded like a candidate should sound, and President Obama did not. He looked like a candidate should look, and President Obama did not. But as mediocre of a rhetorical performance as the President put on and as puzzling as his pacifist strategy was, he won in the most important score: he told the truth. He treated the American people like adults. He laid out a vision of equal opportunity and shared prosperity. As the President put it the next day, "Governor Romney may dance around his positions, but if you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth." It is due time the media does its job and let the American people hear the facts, not an evaluation of the performance. But hey, Mr. President, you have two more chances to wipe the smirk off that smug, tax dodging two-face and show the media and the American people that you still have some fight left in you. Please?
Senator Wendy Davis has added to her impressive endorsement list with the enthusiastic support of local and statewide business leaders. The Davis campaign made the announcement yesterday:
Local and statewide business leaders today announced their support for Senator Wendy Davis' re-election. Endorsing Davis, they praised her work to create and protect local jobs and her leadership role in state and local economic development.
"Senator Davis knows how to set partisanship aside, roll up her sleeves and work to create jobs and build a strong business climate here in North Texas. We're proud to support her for re-election to the Texas Senate," said Rick Kubes, co-owner of Kubes Jewelers on West Berry Street. "Downtown, 7th Street, Lancaster, Berry - none of that new development would have been possible if it weren't for Wendy Davis."
Dan Dipert, owner of Dan Dipert Coaches, said he supports Davis, not only for her record on economic development, but also for her support of public education. "We need a leader like Senator Davis who stands up for businesses," said Dipert. "And part of supporting business means supporting education, too. We have to have an educated workforce if Texas is going to compete for jobs."
Senator Davis said she is honored by the overwhelming support she has received from the local business community and credited her years of working with businesses in her role as Fort Worth City Council's Economic Development Chair, and her role with the Regional Transportation Council, including a year as the RTC Chair.
"I'm extremely proud of the work we've done with the local business community, and I look forward to creating more jobs and continuing to strengthen our workforce for years to come," said Davis "Senator Davis has been a partner in the business community for years and is well known for her leadership on economic development and job creation," said Johnny Bennett, President of the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors. "As Realtors, we're in Tarrant County communities every day, talking to families, and the first thing they ask us about is schools. Our clients want to know their children are going to go to good schools."
During her tenure on Fort Worth City Council, Wendy Davis played an integral role in the redevelopment of 7th Street, Montgomery Plaza, Lancaster Avenue and Berry Street. As State Senator for Senate District 10, she has championed numerous job creation measures, including her "Texas Jobs First" bill, which would prioritize Texas businesses in awarding state contracts; helped start and protect the Veteran's Cash lottery scratch-off game, which directly funds jobs that support veterans who are in need; and, co-authored legislation with Republican Senator Mike Jackson, ensuring job creation goals are met by companies receiving incentives funded by employers through the Texas Enterprise Fund.
Business leaders admire Davis's independence and commitment to strengthening Texas businesses and schools, and they are not the only ones. On Monday, a local group of first responders rallied behind Davis's reelection and offered her their endorsement. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram caught up with David Dodson , who was representing the Fort Worth Fire Fighters Association. Dodson told reporters the Fort Worth Fire Fighters Association was supporting Davis because "During her first term representing the citizens of Tarrant County, Sen. Davis worked side by side with first responders, making sure that we had all the tools that we needed to provide a safe environment and neighborhoods, for our citizens."
So for those keeping score, Davis has earned the endorsements of small business leaders, Texas education leaders , Police officers , and first responders. In contrast, her opponent, Mark Shelton has earned the support of Republican politicians, the National Rifle Association, and Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Texas public servants and entrepreneurs are eager to see Davis return to Austin. Their endorsements in this race speak volumes about Senator Davis's record and the urgency of her reelection.
Senator Wendy Davis has released her first television commercial of her reelection campaign entitled, "Doors." The ad focuses on Davis' compelling life story and how education gave her a door of opportunity to excel in life. "Education made all the difference for me," Davis says in the ad. "I'll never stop fighting until every child in Texas has those same opportunities."
Davis, who married young and was a single mom by 19, understands that education is the silver bullet for struggling Americans to rise up in life. Education is how those facing hard times can see their dreams met, and Senator Davis understands that plight. She understands that assault on public education is an assault on equal opportunity, and that is why her presence in the Capitol is essential in stopping the Perry/Dewhurst plans to defund education. They believe that by defunding public education, they are defunding the Texas left. In reality, they are making classes overcrowded and less productive, and firing good and hardworking educators.
Senator Davis is in the midst of a tough race, and she needs the full support and aid of Texas progressives to keep doing great work in Austin.
Wendy Davis has earned the endorsements of every police and firefighter association in Tarrant County. The campaign released their response today:
On Tuesday, first responders from around Tarrant County and the state endorsed Senator Wendy Davis for re-election to Senate District 10. Those endorsing Senator Davis included the Fort Worth Professional Firefighters Association, Arlington Professional Firefighters Association, Texas State Association of Firefighters, Fort Worth Police Officers Association, Arlington Police Association, the Tarrant County Law Enforcement Association, and the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, known as CLEAT.
Every major police and firefighters association in Tarrant County has now endorsed Davis.
Jim Tate, President of the Fort Worth Professional Firefighters Association was unequivocal in expressing his organization's support. "First responders are out there every day, putting their lives on the line. We want someone in Austin fighting for us with that same level of commitment, and we know Senator Davis does that."
Davis expressed her appreciation of all first responders for their devotion to the communities they serve. "To have the support of the men and women who keep our neighborhoods safe, day in and day out, is just incredibly humbling," said Davis. "I can't think of a bigger honor."
During her first term representing the citizens of Senate District 10, Senator Davis has worked side-by-side with first responders to ensure they have the resources needed to make our neighborhoods safe.
In 2011, Davis wrote legislation referred to as the Rape Kit Bill, which will clear thousands of backlogged DNA evidence kits collected after victims report being sexually assaulted. "Senator Davis' work on the Rape Kit Bill shows how much she cares about protecting sexual assault survivors and keeping our neighborhoods safe," said Randle Meadows, President of the Arlington Police Association.
Davis also supported legislation that expedites first responders' worker compensation claims when they are critically injured in the line of duty.
"When one of our folks is injured in the line of duty, that's one of the rare instances when a first responder is the one asking for help," said Charley Wilkison, of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT). "Like everyone else, we just want to know we're going to have the support we need to get healthy and back to work. We're grateful that Senator Davis has always stood beside us on that."
In addition to today's endorsement, Davis has received several awards and recognitions for her work in support of first responders and crime prevention, including CLEAT's Best of Senate Legislative Award and a Certificate of Appreciation by Texans Against Crime.
The enthusiastic support she has received from the firefighters and police officers of Tarrant County echo Davis' strong support for Texas public servants. In August, statewide education leaders also offered their endorsements for Davis' reelection. Texas Firefighters, police officers, and teachers agree that Wendy Davis has their back. Their consensus serves as a reminder of the prominence and respect Davis has earned in her short time in the legislature.
In his efforts to replace Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, State Rep. Raul Torres is in an uphill battle to convince the huge population of Hispanic voters in Senate District 20 that he has their best interests at heart. On Torres' website, he outlines his story of how he came to leave the Democratic Party and why "Republicans and Hispanics need each other." Torres explains, "Being a Republican came naturally to me. Because the Hispanic community in America appreciates God, families, freedom, free enterprise and small business opportunities. The Republican Party was just a natural fit." Torres concludes his piece, like any true Republican would, by quoting Ronald Reagan. "Latinos are Republican and they are just starting to realize it."
It is truly remarkable that Raul Torres finds the audacity to claim that he and the Texas Republican Party have had the best interests of the Latino community in their plans. Sure, Torres and the GOP can talk a good game. They can talk about faith, family, and freedom until sundown, and they can pray that fluffy slogans mask their despicable legislative agenda. But instead of fighting for greater economic opportunity for the Hispanic community, they plan to belittle them with bumper sticker arguments. Instead of standing up for a community being disenfranchised and treated as outsiders in their own home, they have led the charge of disenfranchisement, and Raul Torres's hands are far from clean.
Torres' voting record is consistently against the rights of the Texas Hispanic Community. In 2011, Torres voted to approve the infamous redistricting maps. These maps were so corruptly drawn, the Department of Justice declared that "discriminatory intent permeated the congressional redistricting process, based on a broad array of circumstantial evidence." Additionally, Torres voted for the equally controversial Voter ID bill that was struck down by a federal court for imposing "strict, unforgiving burdens" on poor minority voters. His crusade against the Latino community's rights and freedoms doesn't stop there. Torres has applauded Rick Perry's assault on sanctuary cities (areas that provide a safe area for non-criminal immigrants that helps build important bridges between immigrant communities). Of course, Raul Torres does not only support oppressive immigration policies within Texas' borders. In a newsletter to supporters, Torres writes about his "pleasure" in spreading the "truth" about the controversial Arizona Immigration Law, SB 1070. This was a bill that would turn police officers into border agents, asking for the immigration status of anyone "suspected" of being an illegal immigrant. To summarize, Torres has been a leading supporter in all of the most notorious pieces of legislation involving the Latino community in recent memory. He will try to pander his way to victory, but this man's voting record speaks volumes about how he views immigrants and the Latino community at large.
It must be noted that not all Hispanics are against Voter ID, the struck down redistricting maps, the raiding of sanctuary cities, and the Arizona Immigration Law. Political commentators on both sides should not group all Hispanics in one block. Like any group, each individual has their own policy priorities and beliefs. But what must be acknowledged is that pieces of legislation voted for by Raul Torres and Texas Republicans amount to more than controversial political issues. Voter ID and the GOP redistricting efforts harken back to poll taxes and the grandfather clause. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed to defend the voting rights of all Americans, and these pieces of legislation unashamedly stomp on those guaranteed rights.
So if Raul Torres and Republicans are so confident that "Latinos are Republican and they are just starting to realize it", why do they feel the need to blatantly disenfranchise such a large segment of the Latino community? If they are so confident they can win on the arguments, why do they feel the need to draw up maps with "discriminatory intent"? Because they don't have the arguments, they don't have the record, and they don't have the intent of strengthening the status of Texas Latinos.