Still smarting from the whupping Ted Cruz gave him in the 2012 Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, David Dewhurst kicked off 2013 with the unpleasant news that his longtime adviser Buddy Barfield had allegedly embezzled as much as $2.3 million from his campaign coffers. He made it through the Eighty-third Legislature without incurring much ridicule, but at the end of the first special session, his poor clock management let Wendy Davis filibuster herself onto the national stage, a blunder that earned him harsh Republican criticism. So one can understand why, as the summer drew to a close, the lieutenant governor felt the need to flex his muscles. How else to explain the ill-advised call he placed on August 3 to the Allen Police Department, in a fruitless attempt to spring a relative who’d been jailed on a shoplifting charge? A recording of the call was released several weeks later, giving Texans a cringe-worthy glimpse of their lite guv trying in vain to throw his diminishing weight around.
Many commentators expressed surprise that a veteran politician would make such a boneheaded mistake, but not us. Earlier in the year, Bum Steer News obtained a recording of another instance of the Dew trying awkwardly to use his clout.* Out of respect, we sat on the story. But now the truth can be revealed.
*Disclaimer our lawyer would like us to make even though it should be evident: Not a real phone call.
Domino’s Pizza: Hello, Domino’s Capitol area. May I take your order?
David Dewhurst: This is David Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor of the state of Texas, but you may simply call me Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst.
Domino’s: Mmmkay. Will this be for pickup or delivery?
Dewhurst: No, I want to speak with the top man in charge there.
Domino’s: You got ’im.
Dewhurst: Your name?
Domino’s: Reggie. I’m the shift manager.
Dewhurst: Thank you, Mr. Reggie. Yesterday I spoke with a young lady named Cassandra.
Domino’s: Was there a problem?
Dewhurst: Reggie, you don’t know me, but I am the number one pick every year of the Franchise Restaurant Operators of Texas. So I’m a big supporter of what you all do down there.
Domino’s: Great. So you won’t mind if I put you on hold, then?
Dewhurst: No, do not put me on—
[Two minutes of hold music]
Domino’s: Domino’s Capitol area, this is Reggie. How can I help you?
Dewhurst: Reggie, this is Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. I need you to terminate your employee Cassandra.
Domino’s: You want me to murder my own employee?
Dewhurst: I did not say “murder.” You are taking my words and twisting them. Is this call being recorded?
Domino’s: No! Well, I mean, yes, for customer service purposes.
Dewhurst: That’s fine! Because I’m not asking you to give me, the lieutenant governor of the state of Texas, special treatment.
Domino’s: But why Cassie? She’s one of my best workers.
Dewhurst: Mr. Reggie, are you familiar with the Dominator?
Domino’s: The Dominator? You mean that specialty pie we had back in the nineties?
Dewhurst: That is correct. Yesterday I tried to order one from Cassandra. Do you know what happened?
Domino’s: She said she couldn’t do it?
Dewhurst: I’m going to ask you a question, Reggie. Do you all make your pizzas with dough, sauce, and cheese?
Dewhurst: And the Dominator, it was made from the same ingredients?
Domino’s: Well, yeah, but—
Dewhurst: I want a Dominator, and you are going to make me one.
Domino’s: But it’s not on our menu. I don’t even have a button for it.
Dewhurst: Unbelievable. Reggie, are you familiar with the Republican principles of self-reliance?
Domino’s: Is that a band?
Dewhurst: You have all the basic ingredients of a Dominator. I am simply asking you to put them together—not as one of the most powerful men in Texas but rather as an ordinary citizen who simply wants a thirty-inch-long pizza pie.
Domino’s: Well, I guess I could take the dough from five Crunchy Thin Crusts and mash them together, and then if we lay it on one of the bread pans . . .
Dewhurst: You see? Now you are using the kind of up-by-the-bootstraps initiative that I prize as a very conservative tea party Republican. Or pretend to.
Domino’s: Where would you like it delivered?
Dewhurst: My ranch. Write this down: it’s the Snaffle Bit Ranch.
Domino’s: We don’t serve Snapple, sir. How about a Nestea?
Dewhurst: No, it’s the name of my ranch. The Snaffle Bit Ranch.
Domino’s: Uh, I’m kinda thinking that’s gonna be outside our delivery area.
Dewhurst: Reggie, I’m going to have Colonel Steve McCraw, who is the director of the DPS, call you personally in about ten minutes to discuss the transport of my pizza pie. He has the power to arrest every one of your drivers, impound their cars, suspend their licenses, and even take away their thermal pizza sleeves. But hopefully this will be a friendly call. Will you let Director McCraw help you find your way to the Snaffle Bit Ranch with my Dominator?
Domino’s: Um, yes.
Dewhurst: Good. My Dominator is important, Reggie. And you aren’t just doing this because you’re afraid of what I might do if you don’t, right?
Domino’s: No! Well, I mean, yes.