I'm sorry, but I just can't get excited about voting for Proposition 1, which provides a meager amount of funding, around $1.7 billion, for new transportation projects. The amount to be spent is so small that it is hardly worth the effort of putting the proposition on the ballot.
UPDATE: In my original post, I mistakenly referred to previous endorsements by some of the state's major newspapers, and I have corrected the errors.
This election has all the earmarks of being one of the strangest ever. First, as I have opined before, this is the weakest ticket the Republican party has put forward in decades. There is just no appeal to it, from top (Abbott) to bottom (Paxton). Second, the Democrats have better down-ballot candidates than the Republicans. Mike Collier, the Democratic candidate for comptroller, is a CPA. His opponent, Glenn Hegar, knows next to nothing about state government finance, and what he does know he learned from the current comptroller, which is hardly a recommendation. The R's candidate for attorney general, Ken Paxton, has pled guilty to violating state securities laws. His Democratic opponent is Sam Houston, a real lawyer and litigator. The Republicans' candidate for agriculture commissioner is Sid Miller, one of the churliest lawmakers ever to set foot in the Capitol. Jim Hogan, by contrast, the Democratic candidate for ag commissioner, is a salt-of-the-earth fellow.
To the surprise of no one, the Morning News has endorsed Greg Abbott for governor. It is a choice that I won't criticize. But I will raise this red flag: that Wendy Davis has uncovered serious issues about Abbott's character and lack of empathy for Texans who have suffered some of life's misfortunes.
Just before dawn Wednesday morning, more than twelve television cameramen had set up their tripods in front of the yellow police tape cordoning off the Village Bend East apartments, a sprawling complex of brown stucco and redbrick buildings between Greenville Avenue and Skillman Street, just north of Lovers Lane, in Dallas. Two news helicopters did slow circles overhead. City officials and health workers had arrived at the 330-unit complex around 4 a.m.
Since yesterday there's been a flurry of news developments, none of which I'm going to be able to write about today, but all of which are interesting, so I'd encourage you to take them up in the comments:
With the midterm elections fast approaching, it’s hard to imagine that the voting situation in Texas could get any more confusing.
On September 17, in a decisive 7–2 ruling, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the capital murder conviction of a Corpus Christi woman named Hannah Overton. Readers of Texas Monthly may recall Overton’s case, which I examined in an article a few years ago called “Hannah and Andrew,” a lengthy story that questioned the assumptions that had led to her prosecution.
On Friday Wendy Davis released an ad attacking her opponent, Greg Abbott, which elicited an immediate and nearly universal backlash. Sarah Rumpf, over at Breitbart Texas, has a roundup of criticism from across the political spectrum. The entire political spectrum, including left-leaning national outlets such as Mother Jones and MSNBC.
Among the critics quoted is me. My initial reaction was that the ad was “mean-spirited and misleading”. I think most people agree with the first point, at least. The ad is, at best, weird, crass, and glib about the 1984 accident that left Abbott partially paralyzed at age 27; even Davis’s defenders were put off by the tone and framing. Some of her supporters have, however, defended the point that the Davis campaign was presumably trying to make: that after successfully suing for damages himself, Abbott has “spent his career working against other victims.” I still think it’s misleading, for reasons explained after the jump.