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Username: Joseph Vogas
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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

Wendy Davis' Second TV Ad Focuses on Greg Abbott's Lack of Oversight of Cancer Research Center

by: Joseph Vogas

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

Manuel Alvarado, pictured above with his two children, narrates his cancer survival story in Wendy Davis' new ad
Wendy Davis has launched her second tv ad in the 2014 race for governor of Texas. In the ad, Manuel Alvarado, a cancer survivor from Fort Worth, narrates his struggles of surviving and overcoming the deadly disease. He quickly pivots to Greg Abbott who was in charge of overseeing the state cancer research fund. Readers will recall the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has been under investigation for favoring services from those who were political donors to Governor Rick Perry. Many of those donors who had allegedly not been completely screened are now major donors to Greg Abbott.

The ad accuses Greg Abbott's donors of using their favorable political standing with the Attorney General to profit with funds which were meant to help find a cure for cancer. The ad further promotes the message that Greg Abbott has used his elected position to act as another powerful insider, only working to serve those who can afford access to him.

See Wendy Davis' latest hit against Greg Abbott after the jump.

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Battleground Texas' Blue Star Project Works to Promote Down-Ballot Democrats

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 04:00 PM CDT

Many Texas Democrats know Battleground Texas came to Texas for the long-term goal of making the state competitive at the statewide level. This year, the organization has been working closely with gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis to try and achieve that goal this year, but Battleground Texas is not stopping with the statewide goal. They are also working to promote Texas Democrats in several lower-profile races hidden further down Texan's ballots.

From their blog announcing The Blue Star Project, Battleground Texas writes:

"Through this effort, we will work with candidates in key legislative races to help build the strongest, most effective campaigns possible - including a coordinated field program and a full arsenal of data, digital and organizing expertise to help candidates with the kind of one-on-one outreach that motivates people to get to the polls and vote."

Erica Sackin, Communications Director of Battleground Texas, was kind enough to answer some questions about the Blue Star Project with me over the phone and thru email. Read more about the Blue Star Project and how it will be implemented to elect as many Democrats as possible after the jump.

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Who Indicted Rick Perry? (Hint: Not Democrats)

by: Joseph Vogas

Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 02:00 PM CDT

On Friday, Governor Rick Perry was indicted on two counts: abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. Perry came out on Saturday to defend himself and his veto, which is not related to the indictments. Some have claimed this indictment is political and Democrats are out to get Perry, however, Democrats can not take credit for this indictment.

Before the investigation ever started, every Democrat in Travis County, including District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, recused themselves from the case. No matter how much Rick Perry and other Republicans want to claim this is an indictment from liberal Austin Democrats, the facts say otherwise.

Find out who actually indicted Governor Rick Perry after the jump.

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FOX News National Generic Ballot Poll: Democrats Open 7 Point Lead, BUT …

by: Joseph Vogas

Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

The critical 7 point spread, last seen in October, has returned.
On Thursday afternoon, FOX News released a national poll on President Obama, the economy, foreign policy, and more. The most important part of this poll is question 18 which asks respondents on if they plan to support a Democratic candidate or Republican candidate for US Congress this fall. In this poll of registered voters, with leaners included, 46% of respondents said they planned to vote Democratic this fall and 39% planned to vote Republican; a 7 point lead for Democrats.

FOX News commissioned Democratic firm Anderson Robbins Research and Republican firm Shaw & Company Research to conduct the poll. It is important to note, while FOX News has a reputation as an outlet for conservative commentary, their polling research has always been scientific and follows the same standards as the polls done by NBC News, ABC News, CNN, The New York Times, and more. This poll is not suspect because FOX News commissioned it.

This poll came up with a new term, labeling some as "interested" voters and does create some pause for optimistic Democrats. Check after the fold to see what I mean.

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Rick Perry Indicted on Two Counts: Abuse of Office, Coercion

by: Joseph Vogas

Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:02 PM CDT

On Friday evening, the special prosecutor and grand jury looking into whether Governor Rick Perry acted inappropriately when he withheld $7.5 million owed to the public integrity unit of the Travis County District Attorney's office completed their investigation. Perry stated he would veto the funding if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign after being convicted of drunk driving. When she refused, Perry followed through with his veto which drew an ethics complaint.

The grand jury indicted Governor Rick Perry on two counts. Abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. These are first and third degree felonies respectively. If convected on both counts, Governor Perry can face between 5 and 99 years in jail.

Governor Perry is expected to have a mug shot taken following these indictments.

The full indictment can be read here.

The Texas Democratic Party has called for Rick Perry's resignation.

Their statement, video of the Special Prosecutor issuing the indictment, and more can be found after the jump.

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Six File for Senate District 28 Special Election

by: Joseph Vogas

Fri Aug 08, 2014 at 10:30 AM CDT

Texas Senate District 28, above
In May, Sen. Robert Duncan announced he would resign from the Texas Senate to take over as the new Chancellor of Texas Tech. Sen. Duncan followed through with his resignation in early July officially triggering the special election. Friday, August 1 was the deadline to file for the special election and the candidate list became official via Texas' Secretary of State office on Thursday afternoon.

The final candidate list shows six filed for the special election, including four Republicans, one Democrat, and one Libertarian.

These six candidates will face each other in a jungle primary on September 9. Should no candidate receive over 50% of the vote, a runoff election will be held at a future date between the top two finishers, regardless of party affiliation.

Find out who the candidates are after the jump.

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Rep. Brandon Creighton (R) Obliterates Rep. Steve Toth (R) in Senate District 4 Special Election

by: Joseph Vogas

Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:00 AM CDT

Remember when Rep. Creighton was running for Agriculture Commissioner before he settled for Texas Senate? We do.

It's been a long time coming; at the beginning of October Sen. Tommy Williams (R) announced it was intention to resign from the Texas Senate. Within the month, State Rep. Brandon Creighton quit his campaign for Texas Agriculture Commissioner and decided to pursue the lower office. State Rep. Steve Toth followed soon after. Neither Representative filed for re-election to their House seats.

On Tuesday night, after a ten month journey, the special election concluded. State Rep. Brandon Creighton won over State Rep. Steve Toth in the runoff 67% - 33%.

Both runoff candidates were Republicans, no Democrat filed, but one runoff candidate could best be described as a loose canon. Find out after the jump if the less terrible candidate won the runoff.

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Rep. Mike Villarreal to Resign from Texas House, Announces Bid for San Antonio Mayor

by: Joseph Vogas

Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 11:30 AM CDT

On Friday, Democratic State Representative Mike Villarreal became the first candidate to officially declare his intention to run for Mayor of San Antonio in 2015. Mayor Julian Castro resigned last month after he was confirmed by the US Senate to be the new Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

The San Antonio city council elevated Council-member Ivy Taylor to stand in as the interim Mayor until the regularly scheduled election on May 11 of next year. Mayor Taylor, San Antonio's first African American Mayor, is unlikely to run for a full term in the May election.

San Antonio has a history of electing socially-progressive and business friendly Democrats, such as Julian Castro and Henry Cisneros; and Rep. Mike Villarreal feels he could continue that inclusive style of governing in the 2015 open-seat election.

Running for San Antonio Mayor, however, would cause some problems as it relates to his seat in the Texas legislature. Find out why after the jump.

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Twice, Republican Nominee for Attorney General Ken Paxton Voted for Law he Violated

by: Joseph Vogas

Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 00:30 PM CDT

Republican Sen. Ken Paxton: Do not pass go, do not collect $200
Senator Ken Paxton, the Republican nominee for Texas Attorney General, who currently faces a criminal complaint for soliciting clients without registering as an investment advisor, helped bring this entire problem upon himself. Twice, Ken Paxton voted to criminalize the actions he took.

In 2003, as a Freshman Representative, Paxton voted for the statute that made it illegal to solicit clients while failing to register.

In 2011, as a freshman Senator, Paxton voted to clarify that the penalty for violating these statues was a third degree felony.

Ken Paxton is running for the job of enforcing the law over all Texans, however, he seems to think he is special and laws do not apply to him.

Let's connect the dots of Ken Paxton's violations after the jump.

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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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