Tags: Greg Abbott

Can This Really Be Wendy Davis’s True Goal?


Every once in a while, when a celebrity within the conservative movement hints at a presidential campaign, cynics will chuckle, “He’s really running for a Fox News gig.” In late 2011, four names mentioned as potential GOP presidential candidates were under contract with Fox News: Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich. Santorum and Gingrich ran, and won several primaries.

Down in Texas, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis is concluding her doomed campaign with increasingly embarrassing over-the-top attacks on Republican Greg Abbott — as NRO Cruise guest Guy Benson summarizes her argument, “He’s confined to a wheelchair, but cares not about people with disabilities. He’s married to a Latina, but may oppose interracial marriage.” Why the last minute, ultra-low mudslinging?

And now the Democrats begin to live with candidates who appear to want to win a cable-news contract more than they want to win actual votes. If this is true . . . how do all of her donors feel? How do Texas Democrats feel about her using their gubernatorial nomination as an $11 million audition tape for MSNBC?

We hear a lot of voices lamenting our nasty political environment, and uglier, harsher public discourse. If this campaign, with this tone, gets Wendy Davis an MSNBC gig, who is really responsible for the tone of our debate?

Was she playing a different game all along?

Tags: Wendy Davis , Texas , Greg Abbott

After Wheelchair Ad, Wendy Davis Polls at 32 Percent


Wendy Davis, defending her infamous “wheelchair” ad, a week ago:

The important thing about this ad is that voters now see Greg Abbott for who he is and of course in an election that’s entirely the point.

She was right! A new poll out this morning:

As early voters head to the polls for a landmark election in Texas, a new survey conducted for KHOU-TV and Houston Public Media shows Republican Greg Abbott with a commanding lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the race for governor.

Abbott’s supported by 47 percent of likely voters surveyed for the poll, compared to Davis’ 32 percent. Another 15 percent were undecided.

The 32 percent in that poll is tied for her lowest total in a poll in 2014. Good work, ma’am.

Tags: Greg Abbott , Wendy Davis , Texas

Wendy Davis Ad: ‘A Tree Fell on Greg Abbott . . . He Sued and Got Millions . . .’


Heck of a closing message, Wendy Davis:

Tags: Wendy Davis , Greg Abbott , Texas

No, No! Wendy Davis Can’t Collapse Yet!


On Twitter, there’s quite a bit of conservative chuckling about national Democrats’ writing off their gubernatorial candidate, Wendy Davis:

Wendy Davis dissed her own party for ditching her campaign for Texas Governor.

The feisty Democratic candidate called the head of the Democratic Governors Association “uninformed” and a “Washington, D.C., desk jockey,” after he admitted the party was unlikely to win against Republican Greg Abbott in Texas. DGA Chairman and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin failed to include the Texas gubernatorial race in the group’s list of priority races.

But there’s one big problem for Republicans if indeed Davis is getting the scent of “disaster” around her: it’s way too early! Republicans needed her to be sucking up Democratic donors’ dollars all year long. If the perception grows that she was always a serious underdog, and is losing ground because of an unfocused campaign with implausible messages . . . donors may turn their attention to other races where Democrats have better odds and their donation might make a difference.

Don’t give up hope, Wendy Davis supporters! Keep writing those checks!

Don’t pay attention to the above numbers, Democrats! Wendy Davis is doing fine!

Tags: Wendy Davis , Peter Shumlin , Greg Abbott

Nice Work if You Can Get It, Huh, Wendy Davis?


From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Nice Work if You Can Get It, Huh, Wendy Davis?

Good morning. An epic addition to my collection of jaw-dropping hypocrisy: anti-gun California Democratic state senator Leland Yee was indicted for conspiring to commit wire fraud and traffic firearms. Oh, and the mayor of Charlotte was charged with bribery, and the FBI raided the office of a New York state legislator.

That’s direct and straightforward bribery. But have you ever noticed how many elected officials have private law practices? Particularly those at the local or state levels, with jobs that aren’t necessarily year-round or full-time?

It would be tough to ban these practices entirely, but it always seems like a potential back door for bribery, or at least relationship-building. If you want to get a lawmaker or local official on your side, hire him as your lawyer. There are limits on campaign donations in most places, but the only limit to the number of billable hours is the number of hours in the day.

Some states notice the potential for trouble here. The Montana Bar Association, for example, issued an official opinion that “an attorney elected to full time state-wide public office must dissolve an existing law partnership.” By contrast, in Texas, a city attorney is not considered an officer for purposes of constitutional dual-office-holding limitations, and thus an attorney working for one portion of the government can hold an office in another part of the government.

That’s good news for Wendy Davis, who is doing legal work for various Texas public agencies and entities while being a state legislator. Davis and her law partner, Brian Newby, at Newby Davis, a two-person firm, work as bond counsel, most recently on a $109 million bond issue for Dallas–Fort Worth International Airport, and on a nearly $319 million bond sale for the Tarrant Regional Water District.

If you’re sniffing a whiff of potential conflict of interest for local-government entities to be paying a state legislator to do legal work for them . . . well, you’re not the only one:

Only last month, Davis’ firm worked on two deals that were brought to market: a $201.5 million bond issue for the airport and a nearly $319 million bond sale for the Tarrant Regional Water District.

The bond issues Newby Davis worked on for the water district had this twist: the agency’s financial director is Sandra “Sandy” Newby, Brian Newby’s wife.

In total, the various transactions for which Newby Davis served as co-bond counsel on have represented at least $6.3 billion in new securities and refinancings.

Convenient, huh? “Hey, we need a lot of highly compensated legal work done? Good news, my husband’s a lawyer!”

You are probably unsurprised that Greg Abbott, the current Texas attorney general and Republican nominee for governor, is deeply troubled by this, contending, “When legislators, through their private work, become intimately involved in the financial process of local entities, ethically problematic situations develop wherein legislators find themselves with a personal incentive to increase local debt.”

He wants to ban these sorts of cozy arrangements:

The recommendation would prohibit legislators, including the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House, from serving as bond counsel for any public entity. Violation of this requirement would be a Class A Misdemeanor.

“Elected officials shouldn’t profit off of their positions and line their own pockets at the taxpayers’ expense,” said Greg Abbott. “They are supposed to represent the interests of their constituents rather than their own self-interest. It is particularly reprehensible for lawmakers to profit from taxpayers as bond counsel for public entities that add more to the public debt of taxpayers. My ethics reform plan puts an end to this unethical practice.”

Is she gunning for more legal work with local government entities?

Tags: Wendy Davis , Greg Abbott

A Republican Tied Statewide in Connecticut? Ahead in Hawaii?


It’s not that everything’s coming up roses for the Republican Governors Association . . . but they’re getting some encouraging numbers.

Quinnipiac polls Connecticut and finds Republican Tom Foley tied with the incumbent . . . 

Tom Foley dominates the crowded Republican primary field in the Connecticut governor’s race and is locked in a 42 – 42 percent dead heat with Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

There is a large gender gap as women back the Democrat 45 – 37 percent while men go Republican 48 – 39 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University poll finds. Foley leads 83 – 9 percent among Republicans and 45 – 33 percent among independent voters while Gov. Malloy takes Democrats 79 – 10 percent.

Last month Quinnipiac found Ohio governor John Kasich ahead by 5 over Democrat Ed Fitzgerald, an encouraging start considering where Kasich’s numbers have been in previous years.

In Iowa, Republican Terry Branstad is well ahead in his bid for reelection. In Arizona, where Jan Brewer is retiring, Secretary of State Ken Bennett is the front-runner, at least for now, and has led steadily. In Texas, the first poll of the year put Republican Greg Abbott ahead of Wendy Davis, 47 percent to 36 percent.

Perhaps most surprisingly, out in the Aloha State, the Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser poll found Republican Duke Aiona leading incumbent governor Neil Abercrombie in a head-to-head matchup 48 to 40 percent, a result that even Aiona found “surprising.”

Tags: Tom Foley , Duke Aiona , John Kasich , Terry Branstad , Greg Abbott

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