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Username: Joseph Vogas
PersonId: 8135
Created: Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:29 PM CDT
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Web Page: https://twitter.com/trowaman
Email: joseph@burntorangereport.com

Elections are what matters. They're logical, numbers driven, & get to the point; & so does Joseph. A graduate of UNT, Joseph is always thinking about where the next opportunity to elect more & better Democrats will be. He also loves zoos & Apple products

Criminal Complaint Filed Against Sen. Ken Paxton

by: Joseph Vogas

Tue Jul 29, 2014 at 03:00 PM CDT

Republican Sen. Ken Paxton: Do not pass go, do not collect $200
At the beginning of the month, it was becoming clear Republican State Senator and nominee for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton could become toxic to the entire Texas Republican slate. Paxton admitted to violating the Texas Securities Act when he failed to register as an investment advisor when soliciting clients and paid a fine as a result of his violation. However, Paxton's actions may have also been criminal. To find out, an investigation would need to be held by Texas' Public Integrity Unit.

It is rare for Texas' Public Integrity Unit, led by the incumbent District Attorney of Travis County, to open an investigation on their own. Often, formal criminal complaints must be filed for an investigation to begin. Recently, such a criminal complaint was filed against Senator Paxton by the watchdog group Texans for Public Justice.

The criminal complaint lays out a direct case of what it is believed Paxton did and how the law was violated. The complaint is now expected to be reviewed by a staff lawyer for the Public Integrity Unit to determine if the Public Integrity Unit has jurisdiction and if a formal investigation is warranted should the Public Integrity Unit have jurisdiction.

Should Ken Paxton be convicted of committing a felony, he will be unqualified and ineligible to serve as Texas Attorney General.

The official criminal complaint which is a direct and stinging indictment on Sen. Paxton's potentially criminal past can be read in full after the jump.

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House Fundraising Roundup: Many Democratic Challengers Preparing for Wins in Competitive Districts

by: Joseph Vogas

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

Forty-five of the one hundred and fifty house seats in Texas will feature a Republican and a Democrat squaring off against each other in November. Thirty-six of the challengers are Democrats, while nine are Republicans.

From the beginning of January thru the end of June, three Democratic challengers out-raised their Republican opponents: Kim Gonzalez in District 43, Susan Motley in District 105, and John Bucy in District 136. Motley is running for an open seat. Wayne Faircloth is a Republican running for the only open Democratic seat and out raised his opponent, but spent most of his funds during the primary.

Cash on Hand (COH) is how much money a candidate has left in their bank account to spend in the election. Five Democratic challengers have more cash to spend than their Republican opponents: Tina Penney in District 92, Cole Ballweg in District 94, George Clayton in District 102, Leigh Bailey in District 108, and Paul Stafford in District 115. Ballweg, Clayton, Bailey, and Stafford are running in open seats. Two Republican challengers have more than their Democratic opponents: David Hamilton in District 27 and Albert McDaniel in District 95. Both are reporting under $1,000 as are the incumbent Democrats: Ron Reynolds and Nicole Collier. These are heavily Democratic districts, and Collier did report raising a strong amount for the year.

Overall, Democrats did a great job in the competitive districts. Check out the complete fundraising results for contested seats after the jump.

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Senate Fundraising Roundup: Libby Willis in Strong Position to Retain Wendy Davis' Seat

by: Joseph Vogas

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

Republican Konni Burton is going to have to try harder if she wants to take SD-10 away from Democrats
The most competitive race in the Texas State Senate is District 10, currently held by Sen. Wendy Davis. Sen. Davis decided to forgo a run for re-election to run for Governor of Texas instead. Luckily for Texas Democrats, a surprisingly strong candidate has emerged to run tin her stead.

From the beginning of the year until June 30, the fairest way to measure fundraising strength for Texas State races due to a lack of quarterly reporting and only candidates in contested races must file reports before primaries and runoffs, Democrat Libby Willis has raised $293,982.93. Her Republican opponent, anti-abortion activist Konni Burton, who needed cash for her crowded primary and a competitive runoff, raised $279,122.01 in the same time period. In the category that matters most, cash on hand (COH), Democrat Libby Willis' bank account is over twice that of Burton's: Willis has $102,389.29 compared to Burton's $45,364.00.

With just over four months left to fundraise, Burton is going need much more to keep up with her Democratic opponent. An unanswered internal poll from the Willis campaign shows the race is a toss up, and this is before the heavy campaigning has begun. Today, with her bank account, Willis can tell her story to twice as many people as Burton.

The full Texas Senate fundraising report after the jump, including a look at the strong efforts by Democrat Rita Lucido in District 17.

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Federal Fundraising Roundup: Pete Gallego Out-Raises Will Hurd and has over 5:1 COH Advantage

by: Joseph Vogas

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 03:30 PM CDT

For federal races, candidates must report on their fundraising every quarter, meaning every three months. The most competitive race in Texas remains the 23rd district which runs from southern San Antonio, west to El Paso and south along the Mexican border. If this is the Republican's best, and likely only, chance of flipping a seat in Texas, incumbent Democratic Congressman Pete Gallego is making that task as hard as possible.

Since the last quarter, the Republican runoff has concluded and Will Hurd is now the nominee. While Hurd has been hailed by conservatives as a dynamic person, he is not a good fundraiser. Hurd is reporting $272,044.22 raised from April 1 to June 30th; which is approximately the mean, if not slightly below the average, for competitive US House candidates. Worse for Hurd, he was running in an active Republican runoff at the time and had an immediate need for cash. Pete Gallego finished with a strong $408,057.02 raised in Q2.

Better yet is the cash on hand (COH) remaining in each candidate's bank account. Pete Gallego has $814,283.82 left to spend, while Will Hurd has a paltry $150,189.15 remaining. It's no wonder why Hurd has been relying on the Koch Brothers to run ads for him, Hurd can't sufficiently fund his own campaign. To date, Gallego has raised over $1,000,000 more than Hurd and Hurd has loaned himself an additional $70,000.

See how all other federal candidates did in our complete federal fundraising roundup after the jump.

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Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte Out-Raise Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick

by: Joseph Vogas

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 07:24 PM CDT

Fundraising reports were due Tuesday at midnight. For the third reporting deadline in a row, Sen. Wendy Davis has out-raised Attorney General Greg Abbott. Since the March primary, Wendy Davis is reporting approximately $11.2 million raised compared to Abbott's $11.0 million raised since winning their nominations.

Sen. Davis is not the only statewide Democrat in Texas who is outpacing her Republican opponent. Once the runoff ended and Sen. Dan Patrick was nominated as the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Sen. Van de Putte has outpaced Patrick by approximately $1.2 million to $1 million. Further, in the most important fundraising category, cash on hand, or cash remaining in a candidate's bank account, Sen. Van de Putte leads Patrick with $1,247,530.42 compared to $946,982.47.

The fundraising reports for all statewide Democratic and Republican candidates, including complete numbers for Sen. Wendy Davis and Sen. Van de Putte, are available after the jump.

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Ted Cruz Suspends Work to Help Elect Republican Senators, Inadvertently Helps Democrats

by: Joseph Vogas

Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

Look who's helping the Democrats keep control of the US Senate
Texans know Ted Cruz has a tendency to not play nice with others. There was a hope among establishment Republicans the Junior Senator form Texas was going to start acting as more of a team player in Washington and with the larger Republican Party when he accepted the role of vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). The NRSC is the official arm of Senate Republicans designed to elect Republicans to the US Senate.

Cruz served without controversy in his leadership position for several months until incumbent Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi was pushed into a runoff with TEA Party fueled challenger, State Sen. Chris McDaniel. Cruz, who is a product of a TEA Party uprising in Texas, had a natural inclination to make sure McDaniel was at least on equal footing with the long-time incumbent.

But after Cochran's victory with an assist from the NRSC, Ted Cruz is causing problems with his fellow Senators; problems which may, again, cost Republicans a chance at control of the US Senate in November. After the jump, learn what new problems Ted Cruz is causing for the Republican Party in the name "true conservatism" now.

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LeBron James Potentially Ruins 2016 Republican National Convention Plans

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

We are all witnesses to LeBron James pushing the Republican Party around
LeBron James, the best player in the NBA, is returning to both his home state of Ohio and his original team; the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is a feel good story almost everyone has celebrated over the last week as this move is expected to once again make The Cavs contenders for the NBA championship.

But LeBron's second decision may have a political fallout. Earlier in the week, it was announced Cleveland, Ohio would host the 2016 Republican National Convention instead of Dallas, Texas.

If LeBron James succeeds in making a deep run in 2016 NBA playoffs with The Cleveland Cavaliers, he could send the national Republican Party scrambling with their proposed convention dates.

After the jump, read more about the problems the Republican Party finds itself in now and see what Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the Republicans when asked about sharing their stadium.

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Koch Brothers Ad Against Rep. Pete Gallego Pulled from Television for Falseness

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 10:00 AM CDT

Concerned Veterans for America, a front group funded by the New York City conservative billionaire Koch brothers, took to the television sets of southwest Texas and San Antonio in an attempt to purposefully mislead on incumbent Democratic Congressman Pete Gallego's record on veterans issues. In the television ad, Concerned Veterans for America stated that Rep. Gallego "did nothing to fix" the problems in the Office of Veterans Affairs; a claim that is easily proven false.

Now, after receiving a formal complaint from the Gallego campaign, WOAI, the San Antonio NBC affiliate has agreed to take the ad off the air. 

Rep. Gallego celebrated the decision by saying: "False ads like this are why people hate politics. The discussion of how to fix our broken VA system is a serious one and veterans are too important to be used as pawns in someone's political game. It is unfortunate that Will Hurd lacked the courage to stand up to his friends and denounce an ad designed to mislead our veterans. Thankfully, these TV stations are doing the right thing and taking this deceptive ad off the air."

But the Koch brothers are not done and are continuing to try and mislead Texans on Rep. Gallego's record. Find out how they are responding after being called out for their false, misleading ad, after the jump.

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President Barack Obama Nominates Three Judges to Texas Judiciary, Judicial Emergency Remains

by: Joseph Vogas

Thu Jul 03, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

Robert Pitman, who is openly gay, has been nominated to the Western District Judiciary in Texas
Last week, President Obama nominated three Texans to join the federal judiciary. He has selected U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman of San Antonio to join the judiciary of the Western District of Texas and Texarkana lawyer Robert Schroeder III and Sherman Magistrate Judge Amos Mazzant III to join the judiciary of the Eastern District of Texas. If all three are confirmed, this would fill the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas until three more vacancies occur, as planned, between February and May of next year.

Robert Pitman is a groundbreaking nomination. If confirmed, Pitman would be the first openly gay federal judge in the history of Texas.

All three nominees have been preliminarily cleared by Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, meaning they have currently have their "blue slips" to receive floor votes should they be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

While this should fill three holes in the Texas judiciary, Texas is still in the worst shape of all states when it comes to vacancies on our federal bench. Learn more about our nominees and about the state of the Texas judiciary after the jump.

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Ken Paxton, Republican Nominee for Attorney General, Could Be Stripped of Nomination

by: Joseph Vogas

Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

Republican Sen. Ken Paxton: Do not pass go, do not collect $200
In May, State Senator Ken Paxton, who is the Republican nominee for Attorney General, admitted he violated state securities laws.

Paxton has already paid a fine for acting as the unregistered representative of an investment adviser. In May, when the violations came to light, Sen. Paxton was merely a candidate for Texas Attorney General, however, the Republican runoff is now in the past and Paxton is the nominee. Now, other, establishment Republicans are beginning to get nervous of what Paxton's nomination could mean.

In an e-mail, progressive ally The Lone Star Project has learned Republicans inside the Texas capitol may be urging the Travis County District Attorney, an office that also runs Texas' Public Integrity Unit, to move quickly to prosecute Ken Paxton.

But why would Texas Republicans be working to remove one of their own from the ballot?

Read below the fold to learn why Paxton's continued nomination could be toxic to the entire Republican ticket and lead to their forfeit in the race for Texas Attorney General.

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