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Jerry Patterson Won’t Let George P. Bush Forget the Alamo

The former land commissioner is challenging Bush in the primary to stop him from changing the Shrine of Texas.

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Jerry Patterson on September 26, 2013.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File

Jerry Patterson, a former state land commissioner who played a soldier of the Texas Revolution in the 2004 Hollywood version of The Alamo, starring Billy Bob Thornton, is launching a Republican primary challenge against George P. Bush. The biggest reason? He claims that Bush has mismanaged the Shrine of Texas.

Bush’s work to “reimagine” the Alamo plaza, such as moving a memorial to fallen defenders, has angered many conservatives, especially in the San Antonio area.

During Patterson’s tenure, the famous Texas battleground was transferred from the Daughters of the Republic of Texas to the land office, but Bush has been widely criticized for handing off restoration plans to private foundations. State legislators have charged that those non-profits have been secretive and have not released records for public scrutiny. Patterson, meanwhile, said that Bush set up these non-profits so that 70 employees wouldn’t show up on the state payroll, and he could continue claiming he’s a small government Republican.

Patterson decided to run only after failing to recruit a candidate to challenge Bush. “If you were to say that, you know, Patterson wants his old job back, you’d be wrong,” Patterson told me. “I don’t need a job. I don’t want a job.”

He explained that he was proud of the General Land Office when he left it, but claimed that Bush has damaged the agency “because of a formulaic Republican belief that ‘I will be a small government Republican, and I’m going to cut the budget.’” For example, he continued, Bush has dismantled the hurricane response team that Patterson created, which has led to delays in the state obtaining housing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for people displace by Hurricane Harvey.

Bush campaign manager Ash Wright issued a broad defense of his boss. “Commissioner Bush is arguably the most conservative Land Commissioner in Texas history. Commissioner Bush has reduced the size of the GLO, implemented zero-based budgeting, improved services and increased benefits for veterans, used his platform to champion school choice and the sanctity of life, and worked to save the Alamo,” Wright said in an email. “He is proud of his conservative record. And he is working hard to produce even more conservative victories at the GLO.”

Patterson joins two other challengers to Bush: amateur Alamo historian Rick Range and a land surveyor named Davey Edwards. Austin-based oil and gas attorney Miguel Suazo is the only Democrat to have filed so far.

Ironically, the primary election will fall on March 6, the 182nd anniversary of the fall of the Alamo, when revolutionary defenders were overtaken by Mexican troops led by Santa Anna.

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  • anonyfool

    Do people really go out of their way to visit the Alamo or is that some weird fetish? I lived in Austin and Houston for 25 years and never had a desire to visit the Alamo. I think our school made us visit the San Jacinto monument but that was within bussing distance when I went to elementary school.

    • Don Baker

      Bet you would jump at the chance to visit the Kremlin

      • anonyfool

        Ha, you have mistaken me for a member of the GOP that has loyalty to mother Russia like most of the Trump adminstration, Jason, Chaffetz, Dana Rohrbacher or Senator to be / Pedophile Roy Moore.

      • Roger Head

        That is rich considering what’s going on in Washington.

    • Kozmo


  • SeeItMyWay

    Patterson was the best Land Commissioner we have ever had. He knows the state and its history well, managed state land and shrines intelligently…especially our gulf coastline and Big Bend area acerage.

    How is it that a young man, not born or raised in this state, who didn’t know Brownfield from Brownwood or Pampa from Palacios get elected to the job of Texas Land Commissioner? We all know the answer…his family name; and with only that going for him, he is simply not getting the job done.

    I want Jerry back. We all should make sure he gets it back.

    • Kozmo

      Exactly. And P and his handlers are only using the GLO as a springboard toward the governorship, any fool can plainly see that. Or a Senate seat. Followed by yet another Bush dynast seeking the White House. The script has already been written and we in Texas need to stop this right now, while we can. Just say No to the Bush monarchy.

  • roadgeek

    I’m looking forward to voting once again for Jerry Patterson. He’ll do a great job, as he has in the past.

  • Don Baker

    I will be voting against Bush because I am fed up with that political dynasty in public office. Besides, Patterson is a good man.

  • Kozmo

    I support Patterson’s campaign if only for his laudable stance on the Alamo and to stop the dynastic pretensions of “Pee” Bush. And I would not normally want to vote for a Republican. But I’ll consider changing my primary affiliation if I’m able, to send this message.

    • St. Anger

      It isn’t hard to change. You just stand in the other line at the primary.

      I have done my share of that in the past. I gave up when I realized that republicans would screw up in November anything I tried to do by voting in their primary.

      I’d rather vote for people I actually support. Which means getting in the Democratic line and voting for progressives.

      • Kozmo

        As long as I can still vote in the general for who I wish, what’s the harm of voting R in the primaries — which the Dems have largely abdicated — and striking a blow against corrupt dynasties?

        • Jed

          well, one possible downside is that the republican you vote for in march actually wins in november, thus leaving you in the position of having helped.

          another (and this is the same thing i tell people who think their presidential vote in texas is wasted), the overall vote count – for each party and for each candidate – is the only thing that is referenced later. there is no asterisk that says “twice as many republicans voted than democrats because democrats voted in the republican primary.” and when outsiders (or other texans) look at those vote totals, then they say things like “well, just look at how many more republican voters than democrats there are in texas primaries, so there is no point in running good democratic candidates or funding democratic campaigns or even contesting races in texas. let’s send our efforts and resources elsewhere.”

          sound familiar? it is, after all, the very reasoning you are using right now. and that reasoning leads to a lack of dnc/dccc/dsc support and a lack of local efforts. and it leads to us having to scramble to find an even halfway attractive candidate for offices like governor.

          ps – democrats have abdicated the primaries? what does that mean? democrats have a primary, usually in the same room as the republican one, and just about every race i am aware of has multiple democratic candidates.

        • John Bernard Books

          and that is exactly how Trump got elected you big dummy…..dems crossing over.

  • John Bernard Books

    Dems can’t win in Texas so they sue. After 7 years of suing the dem party is finished in Texas
    “If there is nothing that says we are trying to advantage white voters … isn’t that proof that there wasn’t discriminatory intent?” Judge Edith Jones, a Reagan appointee, said of the plaintiffs’ lack of a smoking gun to prove purposeful discrimination by lawmakers,
    Nothing you got nothing…
    ““You have nothing,” she later added. “Not one stray word reflecting a racially bias motive appears.””

    pretty much sums up the state of the dem party…..

  • John Bernard Books

    Democrats ignore law and loses….again
    “Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced a victory for Texas homeowners after the Gregg County Court granted all relief requested by the attorney general in the local option homestead exemption case involving Kilgore ISD’s violation of Texas Senate Bill 1. The decision by the Gregg County Court comes nearly two months after the Texarkana Court of Appeals affirmed the right of Attorney General Paxton to continue the lawsuit and pursue compliance with the law.”

    It used to be democrats could buy the judge and win….not anymore…..

    • Ben Figueroa

      Obviously we live in two different countries, from where I sit the republicans have passed the most corrupt tax reform bill in history that unless you are a very rich billionaire, you are going to pay for their profits. Every republican in office has been bought including the judiciary and the working class continues to pay the bill and I am not a liberal, but I’m not rich either.

      • John Bernard Books

        in other words republicans are evil…….how does one become this uninformed?

        • Ben Figueroa

          No, I didn’t say that, but if you are victim of selective perception then it really doesn’t matter.

      • WUSRPH

        He lives in a different universe than the rest of humanity.

      • José

        Save your fancy facts and elitist logic and concerns about truth and honesty. Old Charlie there ain’t interested in them things.

        • Ben Figueroa

          I’m sure, he isn’t, but we are surely in need of a renaissance considering how stagnant we’ve become in mind. I also doubt if all this makes a difference, but the experiment is worth while.

  • Roger Head

    Would think that Texas of all places would not appreciate a bunch of Yankees coming down to take over their state.

    • Kozmo

      Yes, you’d think that, but Texas fell for the same snake oil and flattery as anyone else from those New England carpetbaggers.

      • SpiritofPearl

        Like the Bush dynasty – straight from Connecticut.

        • Kozmo

          Exactly what I had in mind.

          • WUSRPH

            Or Dan Patrick from Baltimore.

    • SpiritofPearl

      This is a very silly statement.

  • John Bernard Books

    We didn’t need a poll….
    “New Poll Finds 92% of Democrats Uninformed, Ignorant and Easily Played”

    who else knew this…..


    There is something about American political families….They seem to have a first generation that accomplishes much but then start downhill.

    This is most obvious with the Adams family which started with John Adams, a Founding Father who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, was our first ambassador to Great Britain after the Revolution, our first Vice President and our Second President…..He was followed by a son, John Quincy who served as Secretary of State and President but never reached the heights of his father who, in turn, was
    succeeded by people who reached as high as Ambassadorships but no higher.

    There were also my distant relatives the Harrison’s who went from the original Benjamin Harrison who signed both the Declaration and the Constitution and was followed by a son who served only 31 days in office and a great-great grandson who had a undistinguished presidency but no one of notice since.

    You might say the same thing about both Roosevelt families, TR’s and FDR’s, where the following generations were just not able to reach thesame heights…

    And, the Kennedy’s who had one generation of three bothers who achieved much but no one who has come close since then.

    And we are now seeing it happen again with the Bush’s who have descended from George H.W. to George W. and now apparently have bottomed out with George P.

    And, last of all, there is my family which lost its political power when the Protestants from Virginia overthrew the Proprietary Governorship of Maryland in 1650.

    • John Bernard Books

      Prez Harrison died from a severe case of bloviating…
      “The pneumonia was thought to be a direct result of a cold the 68-year-old Harrison caught while delivering a numbingly long Inaugural Address (at 8,445 words, the longest in history) in wet, freezing weather without a hat, overcoat or gloves.”

      apparently bloviating runs in the family……

    • BCinBCS

      I have a theory and it seems to account for why businesses frequently fail by the third generation and why political dynasties lose vigor over time. Those in the first generation who are starting a business or beginning a political career must work hard to do so. They must learn how the system works, attract customers or voters and constantly work to get better. Because this is hard, first generations must want to do this in order to be successful. With each succeeding generation, there is an increased probability that they are running the business or seeking the political career because it is relatively easy path to success. By the third or later generation, the odds that an offspring wants to follow in their relatives profession decreases and the fact that hard work is necessary dwindles. Consequentially, failure starts to creep into the picture.

      • WUSRPH

        Add to that, especially for businesses, that by the third generation there are too many in the family for most to be actively involved in the operation and those who are not involved start thinking about getting “their share” so they can do something else.

  • John Bernard Books

    Are dems unhinged….or almost unhinged?
    “Barrasso, a physician in his previous life, denounced Pelosi and other Democrats as power-hungry politicians who benefit from an ever-larger government. “For her it may sound like Armageddon,” he said of the tax plan, “but to me it sounds like freedom.”
    “The statements are almost unhinged. People like Nancy Pelosi run for office so they can basically try to grow the government.”
    He made his comments after Pelosi said the tax overhaul was unequivocally the worst legislation that has ever been considered by Congress.”

    I understand the unhinged part…most dems are. What I don’t understand is their desire to destroy America.


    What ever happened to the Republican promise that they were going to make the income tax fairer and easier? Trump even promised that most people would be able to file on a post card…but the more we learn about their plans the more it appears that that post card will have to be the size of a poster board.

    The latest example of how bad their plan is the fact that it will require two people who make the exact same amount to pay different amounts based on their kind of job. This has the effect of making an employee who makes the same as his employer PAY MORE than his boss. Typical GOP stick it to the working people.


    I see a congresswoman is taking steps to implement my suggestion that the Senate protect the young girl pages from Roy Moore.

  • John Bernard Books

    The democrat party needs a divided America to exist…
    “In almost every area of American life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic Party.”

    democrats drag America down…….with them

  • John Bernard Books

    The republican tax plan will mean tax cuts for almost everyone and pave the way for business expansion….does that make you angry?

    • Ben Figueroa

      Obviously, you are not well read or informed about the new tax plan, but it’s not your fault that you’re not.


    I waited anxiously until the very last minute—when filing had closed—to see if JJ”s fantasy would come true….You know the one in which he predicted:

    “Straus is coming after you; he is not quitting. He will run for Gov, or I hope, Lt Gov, with Big Businesses’ $ and a propaganda campaign to offset the blather ET puts out. Big Businesses’s money up against the Wilkes’ and Dunn’s. That’s a fair fight. Asleep at the Wheel moderate Repub’s, along with Moderate Dem’s ought to prove to be quite a match”.

    “It is fairly obvious to me that big business money in Texas no longer supports business as usual. Straus made a couple of subtle public comments on this right before he announced he would not run again. You think Straus is a quitter? I don’t.”

    Of course, since then he has weaseled his way away from those definite proclamations claiming that he never said WHEN all that would happen.

    Actually, I kind of regret that his fantasy turned out to be like most of his other political fantasies—a total nothing……

    I would have enjoyed watching such a campaign, if only just to see what arguments Straus and “Big Business” would use against Abbott or Patrick…..However I would have regretted to see a man like Joe Straus totally humiliated by the outcome. He deserves better than that.

    Now that we have finished with JJ’s fantasy perhaps he and his other semi-mythical “moderate Republicans” can get serious about actually doing something to make a change—rather than just dreaming about how some miracle man would appear and sweep the Abbott’s and Patrick’s from office for us.

    It took years for the GOP to get itself into its current position. It will take more than just one election to change it. As I said when JJ first proclaimed how Straus would save us all, even if Straus had run, if anything is going to change it is going to take a directed effort to win selected races in the GOP primary of state senate and the Texas House. And that requires real work over at least several election cycles—not dreaming

    If the JJs of the GOP are serious they would have already made contact with Straus and asked him to direct them to races where their contribution or their actual labor can help make a difference…..but it always easier to fantasize and let others do the work.

  • BCinBCS

    I am reluctant to bring up this subject again because, in my mind, it is moot. But…

    Steve Curtis, the former Colorado Republican party chairman was found guilty last Thursday of voter fraud. He forged his ex-wife’s signature on a mail-in ballot and cast it. According to the article he pulled a JBB by stating in an interview in 2006 that:

    “It seems to be, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but virtually every case of voter fraud I can remember in my lifetime was committed by Democrats.”

    Yea, Steve, you’re wrong there.


  • BCinBCS

    The populist Comrade Trump and his quisling congresscritters just passed the most unpopular legislation ever polled in the form of tax reform redistribution…the most unpopular ever, only 32% of Americans support its passage.

    This Thursday, a committee composed of three Republicans and two Democrats will do away with internet neutrality despite 76% of Americans, including 73% of Republicans wanting to keep net neutrality.

    So much for representative government.

  • BCinBCS

    Is the world going mad?!?

    Gavin Wright, Patrick Stein and Curtis Allen have been charged with plotting to bomb a mosque in Kansas. They are pleading not guilty in part because they are claiming that the attempted bombing is their constitutionally protected first amendment right to free speech and their second amendment right to bear arms.


  • Wayworn Wanderer

    Carpetbagger Bush. I’ll vote against him every chance I get. I hope there won’t be too many of them.