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The Leadership Race

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To the extent that there was competition among the state’s top leadership this session, the clear winner was Governor Abbott. He achieved most of his objectives: tax cuts, pre-kindergarten, an expansion of gun rights. And he avoided a direct confrontation with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. He appears to intend to wield a targeted veto pen (SB 359 and HB 225, for example), which will further remind legislators that he’s in charge. His only shortcoming was his comments on Jade Helm and an ill-chosen confrontation with cities over local control. Why he took umbrance at municipal ordinances concerning bag bans is hard to fathom, but it no doubt has something to do with his pre-session blast about Texas becoming “California-ized” which, as far as I’m concerned, is a silly concept.

Patrick was successful as lieutenant governor, as the Senate got through the session without the major blowup most observers (myself included) expected. Speaker Straus too was successful, as his center-right coalition held firm for most of the session and for the most part brushed off tea party opposition. What happens next is anybody’s guess, but Abbott appears to be firmly on the path to winning a second term as governor. There were storm clouds in the distance with a potential challenge from in 2018, but that has evaporatedPatrick has now said that he being lieutentant govenror will be the last job he has in Texas. Straus has already filed to run for speaker in 2017, but after that it would not surprise me if he was ready to move on.

(AP PHOTO/ERIC GAY)

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  • Texas Publius

    Huh? In order to lead, you have to be very visible, out in front of others, and decisive. Abbott was almost always hiding, almost always behind Patrick or Straus or both, and congenitally waffles. The only issue he led on was pre-K, hardly a passionate issue for his political base.

    And isn’t there another legislative session before the next Governor’s race?? Patrick was Dewhurst’s buddy in 2011 and his opponent by the end of 2013.

    • Indiana Pearl

      More sightings of Elvis than of Abbott . . .

    • “Huh? In order to lead, you have to be very visible, out in front of others, and decisive.” like the prez?

      • Gunslinger

        Me&Dan like to go try on new clothes at Nordstrom after neglecting to bathe for a week. We try on all the expensive pants and shirts. We make sure we’ve sullied them well and hang them back on the rack. After a week we return to see if those same items were purchased. If they’re gone, we know someone out there is wearing our scent…and it’s thrilling. So thrilling.

  • The taxpayers won, for the first time in our history we did not grow government.
    Good leaders like Guv Abbott know that in order to lead you must empower, equip then get out of the way so it can get down.
    Gov Abbott is a leader.

    • WUSRPH

      The biggest budget in Texas history. Up $9 Billion over the current. A massive expansion of the DPS, a bigger pre-K program, $5 billion more in highways……$1.5 billion over inflation for schools..7.5% increase for higher ed…He could not even cut the Racing Commission. Where are all the Me&Dan cuts? Looks more like a “RINO BUDGET” than a “conservative” one.

      http://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/02/look-final-2016-17-budget/

      • I suspect it looks that way to you, but seriously when have you even gotten it right? cut…cut…cut.

        • WUSRPH

          Dream, dream, dream…….you can run from reality all you like. The Govt. is bigger, the budget is bigger, not much changed from Me&Dan’s leadership. The best SPIN you can put on it is that it did not grow as much as it could have….but who can measure “could haves”….all we have is the reality that it is BIGGER after Dan than it was before him.

          http://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/02/look-final-2016-17-budget/

          P.S. There were actually a couple of cuts–of a few million—maybe if you read something than the party-line e-mails you would be able to cite them as examples of what MeNDAN accomplished. If you’d like a hint…You might look at the Texas Film Commission (film incentives) and the Governor’s office (ETF). Both of which were “give away” programs that added businesses.

          • I know there were cuts….I’m neither a dummy or a dem something you cannot claim.

          • Gunslinger

            Me&Dan like to go dress up as ladies of Downton Abbey, go to high class social clubs and trick unsuspecting men into kissing us. That’s what Me&Dan like to do.

          • yes you do like to kiss the boys……hahaha….yes you do.

          • Gunslinger

            Me&Dan like to go attend fundraisers for widows of WWII soldiers. We like to establish friendships with the widows and invite them to lunch. Then we don’t show up at the agreed upon time and place. But we watch from a distance. We like to see her frustration. We call and apologize and reschedule. We stand them up again. And so on and so on. Some women show up four times before not responding. It’s a power thing for us.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Didn’t Aaron Schock, R (IL), do that?

          • Indiana Pearl

            You got the dummy part right, Skippy.

        • Gunslinger

          In the month of August, Me&Dan like to defecate into Ziploc baggies, seal them except for one small opening, swap them and then place them under the passenger seats in our cars. Then when we drive around Texas pretending we’re driving through a fetid swamp…a hot, dirty, smelly swamp.

          • hahaha…you are fond of boys

          • Indiana Pearl

            Heigh ho, heigh ho! It’s off to the TM editor you go!

          • Indiana Pearl

            You lose the moral high ground with a post like this.

          • Indiana Pearl

            But now I’ve changed my mind . . . ladies’ choice.

          • Gunslinger

            Me&Dan like to change our minds too. Me&Dan are good friends and do all kinds of stuff.

          • WUSRPH

            I recognize that you are just treating him as he treats all others…but it will do no good. He is incapable of doing anything else.

  • John Johnson

    My take is that Abbott has no solid political foundation of his own. I don’t think he ever has. He appears to simply be a mouthpiece for his main special interest supporter base. Strauss appears to be the only one of the three who has any statesman like qualities.

    • JJ I give up on you…Straus showed no leadership this sessions. He simply muddied up the waters making it one of the least productive in history. Instead of acting like a grownup and partnering with the Guv and Lt Guv he preferred to obstruct ever opportunity available. Will go down as a weak speaker.

      • John Johnson

        Got to disagree. Strauss and the center right group held strong. Dark, concealed money giving is wrong; open giving is great. A vast majority of the country agrees. Abbott/Patrick are simply shills for big money. Everyone knows that. I know you do, too. Tell me why anyone would want to keep from being named as a giver.

        • JJ acquaint yourself with open secrets .org. Do unions list their contributors? Unions are the top givers to democrats leading the republicans by far.

          https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

          • Indiana Pearl

            Do the numbers, Skippy. Both Dems and Repubs receive donations. The GOP gets lots more.

          • John Johnson

            Hey, I don’t agree with that either. Dark, secret money is just wrong. Speech is speech. You make a statement through a speech, newspaper column or from a dias, your name is on it. Not so with slimy dark money. Unions and corporations are not “individuals” and SCOTUS simply got it wrong.

          • Indiana Pearl

            Praise you!

          • JJ what happened was SCOTUS leveled the playing field. Dems have historically benefited by mandating money be taken from pay checks without recourse and unions faithfully give to dems. The top 25 donors are mostly unions or Act Blue(Soros).
            SCOTUS simply said corporations can do what unions are doing. Is that not fair?
            Isn’t that what dems are all about fairness and equality?
            SCOTUS made it fair for all parties.
            As I’ve always said I think it is fair for republicans to do what dems have been doing for years.

          • John Johnson

            I don’t care who is doing it to whom. It just ain’t right.

          • I respect the republican’s entitlement to do anythings dems do.

          • John Johnson

            Yes, I understand that this is the basis for your argument. I see everyone doing it; it is wrong. It needs changing.

          • WUSRPH

            P.S. Union dues deductions from pay checks CAN NOT be used for political contributions. As usual the Troll is stretching things a bit. Funds for contributions are raised separately.

          • John Johnson

            Thanks. Did not know that. Never been a union member. I will just say that based on revelations over the years about AFL-CIO, and my perception of the longshoremens’ and hospitality industry’s unions, I’m not sure I believe funds are not, or have not, been co-mingled over the years. Who’s watching? Who, in fact is monitoring anything, or anyone, in DC these days? The GSA, the IRS, National Archives, NSA, SEC, and, and, and..

          • WUSRPH

            The Dept. of Labor, the IRS, the Department of Justice and every GOP operative in the country. That’s why the Teamsters have been under federal “supervision” for many years and are only now getting free of all kinds of restrictions.

          • Just like tax payers dollars cannot be used for abortions by planned parent hood. Take away the forced deductions from paychecks and watch donations to the dems go down. Take away the tax dollars and watch planned parenthood fold.

      • Gunslinger

        Me&Dan like to take a bunch of Ambien and call each other on the phone right before bed. We fight to stay awake while trading fantasies of how we’d love to be a staffer for Ted Cruz and seduce him into a having a torrid love affair. The best fantasies usually involve being backstage at CPAC.

        • hahaha…I suspect the crush on Cruz is right. I know your mom loves him.

        • Indiana Pearl

          Ambien? Wussies . . .

      • WUSRPH
  • WUSRPH

    JJ should be happy to hear that one of is favorite senators Troy Fraser is not running for re-election…..Of course, most think his truly favorite Senator Eltife will also not run again.

    • Blue Dogs

      Burka thinks Straus maybe moving on in 2018 ? We’ll see!

      On Abbott: while he’ll be favored for reelection in 2018, it’s not guaranteed because of the possibility of Patrick running against him in the GOP primary!

      If Patrick does run for the Governor’s Mansion in 2018, who’s going to run for LG ?

      • This was Straus’ last stand, he did as much damage as he could before moving on.org. He will be greeted with open arms by liberals in San Antonio and elected to replace Lamar Smith the most liberal republican from Texas.

      • WUSRPH

        At this point it is hard not to accept Patrick’s word that he is not running against Abbott. As for Straus, the constant bile that the Troll and others spread on him plus his faith would make it hard for him to make a successful statewide race in the GOP Primary. He could probably do well if he could get by the Primary, but that is doubtful. That means, if he wants to do something else, it would have to be Congress…But why step down to become a freshman in Congress when you have held one of the three most powerful posts in Texas? At this point, Abbott looks like he is in a good position for re-election in 2018. If Patrick was to run for something else or retire, the whole world would run for lt. governor.