In 2010 Debra Medina, a nurse and the chair of the Wharton County Republican Party, startled the Texas Republican establishment by winning almost nineteen percent of the vote in that year’s gubernatorial primary. It wasn’t enough to win, obviously, but it served notice, especially given that Medina was running against incumbent governor Rick Perry, already the longest-serving governor in Texas history at that point, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.
I take a dim view of Dan Branch's campaign for attorney general. A former member of our Best legislators list, Branch is in the process of ruining himself by running away from who he really is, which is a mainstream Republican. On Sunday, the Houston Chronicle ran story titled "Branch shifts to far right in AG race: once a moderate, Dallas Republican takes up tea party mantle--and cash" (sub req). The first thing Branch ought to do is fire his campaign spokesman, who proclaims that Branch is the most conservative candidate in the race. Of course, this is not the case. There is nothing to be gained by saying something that is demonstrably untrue.
John Cornyn has come a long way since 2002, when he was first elected to Phil Gramm’s old seat in the U.S. Senate. In just two terms the 61-year-old has become the senior senator from Texas and the minority whip, making him the second-highest-ranking Republican in the chamber. But it was his split with freshman senator Ted Cruz over Obamacare this fall that turned heads in conservative circles back home.
How long can the Republican party endure the civil war that is raging between tea party conservatives and mainstream conservatives? It doesn't take a genius to know that when a political party is split between its factions, its chances of winning an election diminish accordingly. Congressional Republicans are expending their energy on internal battles, not the least of which pits Ted Cruz against John Cornyn. In the meantime, much of the infrastructure of the party is atrophying. In particular, the Heritage Foundation, once the intellectual foundation of the Republican party, has diminished in stature. The elevation of Jim DeMint to the leadership of the foundation has had the effect of raising politics to the core concern of the foundation (as opposed to policy, the Heritage Foundation's traditional specialty).
Who’d have thought a tea party freshman who dropped out of high school would become a media sensation?
I seldom find myself in agreement with the tea party, but they are dead right in their skepticism of debt. This is why you can make the argument that Rick Perry is not a true conservative. He won't raise taxes, but he doesn't mind going deep into debt--and retiring debt is about the most expensive thing government can do. His proposal to capitalize $41 billion in debt to build roads is rash. Our grandchildren will be paying to retire the bonds in the 103rd Legislature.
The problem with the tea party is that it doesn't want the government to do anything. Raise taxes? Hell no. Raise vehicle registration fees? No, no, a thousand times no. We might as well go back to 1948 and reprise the campaign to "get the farmer out of the mud." It is disingenuous for tea party leaders to say, “Any vote that adds debt to this state – any vote for any program that’s going to be leveraging debt or adding debt — will be considered by the tea parties of Texas as a vote for a tax increase.” It's the absolutionist attitude of the tea party that drives me crazy. I have to say, though, it is quite delicious to see Rick Perry get a taste of his own medicine.
In an effort to increase Texas's financial security, Governor Rick Perry is backing legislation that would bring the state's stash of 6,643 gold bars home from a vault in New York. "We don't want just the certificates," freshman Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Southlake), author of the bill, told the Texas Tribune. "We want our gold."
This morning Emily Ramshaw of the Texas Tribune posted the startling news that James Ives, president of the Fort Bend County Tea Party and frequent guest on the Dan Patrick radio show, served as the “director of propaganda” for the American Fascist Party as recently as 2003. Last September, Ives hosted Michael Quinn Sullivan as a guest speaker at the group’s monthly meeting.
Former House majority leader Dick Armey has stepped down from the helm of FreedomWorks, a group credited with organizing the tea party.
David Corn and Andy Kroll of Mother Jones had the scoop late Monday afternoon, after obtaining Armey's resignation e-mail, which indicated the parting was not a friendly one.
Is Ted Cruz, buoyed by his rise to the U.S. Senate, now trying to build up his national profile in hopes of running for president in 2016? Here are some of the headlines following Cruz's Thursday night speech at the American Principles Project's $300-a-plate dinner in Washington: