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Politics & Policy |
June 18, 2012

Dewhurst’s new consultant

It’s Rick Perry. Well, not exactly. What has happened is that Team Perry has taken over the Dewhurst campaign. Dave Carney is in charge. Mark Miner has joined the communications team. Rob Johnson is heading up the Super PAC. Everyone understands what that means. It means that the Perry playbook

Politics & Policy |
June 13, 2012

Takeaways From the GOP Convention

In reading the last couple of days of convention coverage, I found two key takeaways that have been overlooked: (1) Rick Perry is still very strong with the base of his party. He still connects with the rank and file when he makes a rousing speech, as he did at the

Eat My Words |
June 11, 2012

Want to “Hangout” with Tre Wilcox?

In a previous post, we highlighted an opportunity to virtually hangout with Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko in Austin. Today, Google+ and Zagat join forces again to present yet another virtual culinary gathering. But this time, the

Politics & Policy |
June 7, 2012

Perry plugs Dewhurst for Senate, boos ring out

Here is a tweet from today’s Republican convention: When Perry mentioned Dewhurst at #rptcon, the whole convention booed. We want proven conservative Ted Cruz fighting for us! Well, I guess that settles the issue of whether an endorsement by Rick Perry is good or bad. I said “good”

Politics & Policy |
June 7, 2012

Dewhurst camp buoyed by jury verdict

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the original $26 million jury verdict in favor of Jordan Fishman, an American businessman who contended that his intellectual property had been stolen by a Chinese company represented by Ted Cruz. In a statement issued earlier today, the Dewhurst

Politics & Policy |
June 6, 2012

The office that Bullock made

There has been a lot of criticism, much of it justified, directed at Comptroller Susan Combs, and some observers would say that it is too much for her to move up to higher office. What her critics may not realize, however, is that the comptroller’s office has become something of

Politics & Policy |
June 6, 2012

Tax revenue up, but what about spending?

There is good news on all fronts about state revenue. The Statesman reported today that the franchise tax, the weakling among state revenue producers, is performing above expectations. Overall, tax collections have been robust, up 12.56%, year to date, over 2011 levels. Sales taxes are up 11.71%. Oil

Politics & Policy |
June 5, 2012

Bryan Hughes, MQS, on the Hughes speakership

UPDATE: Earlier this afternoon, Representative Hughes called me to say that his statements during the conference call last night “bore no resemblance” to the summary I posted below from another blog. After I wrote about Mr. Hughes, Empower Texans posted the audio of the conversation, which I subsequently listened to.

Politics & Policy |
June 4, 2012

Biggest headlines from the primary

Boiling down the primary results to the ten most important events: 1. Three Straus chairs lose; two others face runoffs 2. It’s Dewhurst vs. Cruz in U.S. Senate runoff 3. TLR’s candidate finishes third in SD-25 brouhaha 4. Wayne Christian defeated for reelection 5. Jana Duty defeats John Bradley for

Politics & Policy |
June 2, 2012

Representative Ken Legler, R.I.P.

It is always sad when someone passes before his time. Ken Legler was a member to be reckoned with in the Legislature. It was Legler who sounded the alarm to his colleagues that redistricting was taking a turn that could cost Republicans seats.  His involvement in the redistricting battle spurred

Politics & Policy |
June 1, 2012

A fellow blogger’s perspective on MQS

Robert Miller published this on his blog yesterday. I agree with everything he says. Michael Quinn Sullivan is trumpeting the fact that three Republican Texas House Committee Chairs were defeated in Tuesday’s primary, and two others are in runoffs.  He states that primary “race after race was

Politics & Policy |
June 1, 2012

Dewhurst’s fatal mistake

Dewhurst has no business being behind the eight-ball in this race. His campaign should have wiped the floor with Ted Cruz. In late January, Cruz’s name ID was 40%. All Dewhurst had to do was stay with his message–that is, touting his record as a conservative light guv and basically

Politics & Policy |
May 30, 2012

When in doubt, produce an internal poll

I can’t believe the Dewhurst campaign resorted to the old internal poll gimmick. Accrording to the Statesman, Mike Baselice has written a memo indicating why Dewhurst will defeat Ted Cruz in the runoff for U.S. senator: Recent internal campaign polling found that Dewhurst has a 65 percent favorable

Politics & Policy |
May 30, 2012

Dewhurst falls short of the magic number

If there was one refrain I heard from the Dewhurst camp, it was that they wanted to win without a runoff. But they didn’t make it. From the start of the evening, it was pretty clear that Dewhurst was going to fall short. The closest he got was 47.3%. Hours

Politics & Policy |
May 30, 2012

Straus posts solid win but chairs struggle

Straus’s margin of victory was of landslide proportions. Despite having more than $100,000 spent against him, and a blizzard of negative mailers, he cruised to a decisive victory over Matt Beebe. But the big story of the election is the carnage that befell Straus’s chairs. Vicki Truitt, Tuffy Hamilton, and

Politics & Policy |
May 30, 2012

Ames Jones misses runoff

Now what? Texans for Lawsuit Reform invested a ton of money in Elizabeth Ames Jones, their handpicked candidate to defeat state senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio. But Ames Jones failed to make the runoff, leaving physician Donna Campbell to oppose Wentworth. Jones is well known in San Antonio, in

Eat My Words |
May 30, 2012

P. Terry’s Unveils Two New Menu Items

Calling all bacon-burger lovers: P. Terry’s is about to make your dreams come true. The megapopular Austin burger joint is introducing applewood-smoked bacon on its menu at its new location in The Village at Westlake shopping center. This new location

Politics & Policy |
May 29, 2012

Quorum Report: Bryan Hughes will run for speaker

Couldn’t Hughes wait until the election was over before the speaker’s race began? The July 31 runoffs now loom large, as they will be battles between the Straus- and anti-Straus factions of the Republican party in the House. The party is undergoing a purification, driven by Perry’s endorsements and alliances,

Politics & Policy |
May 29, 2012

Endangered species list

These are the House incumbents whom I believe are in trouble as election day approaches: Sid Miller — He blew a huge lead and now appears to be headed for a runoff. Incumbents seldom fare well in runoffs. Jim Landtroop — Same story, second verse. An incumbent in a runoff.

Politics & Policy |
May 28, 2012

Expect close races

Close races are the norm in redistricting years because candidates must communicate with large numbers of people they have never represented before. They don’t know their constituents and vice versa. The most effective campaign tool is direct mail, and candidates may not know what their opponents are saying about them

Politics & Policy |
May 25, 2012

Public Policy Polling on the Senate race

The Tribune has the numbers: Dewhurst 46% Cruz 29% Leppert 15% James 3% I was not a believer in the recent UT/Tribune poll that showed Dewhurst’s lead down to single digits (40% to 31%). I don’t believe that the race has ever been this close. The PPP numbers seem much

Politics & Policy |
May 24, 2012

Turnout could reach 1.4-1.5 million

This number comes from pollster Mike Baselice, based on high turnouts in Harris County. I’m surprised, because I thought there would be a lot of apathy in the absence of a presidential race. This level of participation would be good for David Dewhurst, because it would indicate that a lot

Eat My Words |
May 24, 2012

East Side King & Jarro Cafe

Yesterday, we introduced you to John T. Edge’s newest book, The Truck Food Cookbook. The culinary author traveled across the country to dine at some of the nation’s most beloved mobile food establishments, including East Side King of Austin and Jarro Cafe in Houston, to

Eat My Words |
May 23, 2012

Eat St. Filming in Houston

Listen up Houston foodies: Eat St. will be filming at a number of mobile food trailers, trucks, and carts in the city from May 24-29. Some of the trucks and trailers involved include The Modular,

Politics & Policy |
May 23, 2012

UT regents post notice for meeting tomorrow

Patricia Kilday Hart reported the development in the Houston Chronicle blog about two hours ago. She writes: Remember those rumors that the University of Texas Board of Regents were considering firing UT-Austin President Bill Powers for “insubordination” after he mildly complained that they rejected a proposed tuition

Eat My Words |
May 23, 2012

The Truck Food Cookbook

For the past few years, food trailers, trucks, and carts have rivaled the traditional brick-and-mortar building as primary sources of delicious, affordable modern cuisine. In fact, take a look around the state of Texas and you’ll see cities like Houston, Austin, and even Dallas jumping on the mobile food wagon

Politics & Policy |
May 22, 2012

Perry goes on TV to tout Dewhurst

Here’s what he has to say: Texas Republicans have an important election on May the 29th.  We have a lot to be proud of.  That’s why I’m proud to endorse David Dewhurst,” Perry says in the 30-second TV spot. “David Dewhurst repeatedly cut spending. David strongly opposes a

Politics & Policy |
May 21, 2012

White fires back at Hamilton

Allegations against Hamilton, posted on  the Web site “Texas Conservative Republican News” include: * Tax liens of $601.92 and $2,657.91 against Hamilton * A $2000 civil penalty levied against Hamilton for ethics violations * Sexual harassment allegations against Hamilton The latter was an incident that took place on the floor

Politics & Policy |
May 20, 2012

Counties with high % turnouts

This is a correction of an earlier post concerning the counties with the highest percentage of registered voters who have cast ballots. The corrected numbers: Montgomery 3.01% Galveston 2.68% Williamson 2.33% Fort Bend 2.23% I am somewhat surprised by the result. I don’t think Montgomery has a lot of hot

Politics & Policy |
May 19, 2012

Implications of the James White revelations

The first obvious point to make is that somebody failed to vet White. The question that should be asked of every candidate for office is, “Have you ever done something that could cause you a problem if it becomes public?” In the White campaign, who did the vetting? Some consultant’s

Politics & Policy |
May 19, 2012

Wall Street Journal reports on UT tuition battle

Here is the lead from the Journal’s story: The national debate over the cost of a college degree is roiling the University of Texas’s flagship campus, where the school’s president has been at odds with board members and with Gov. Rick Perry over the wisdom of raising tuition. The

Politics & Policy |
May 18, 2012

The Perry non-endorsement

I don’t know why the Statesman has made an issue of Governor Perry’s failure to endorse Joe Straus. No one with political savvy should have expected otherwise. The speaker does not need Perry’s endorsement to buttress his conservative bona fides; his record of budget cuts and conservative legislation in the

Politics & Policy |
May 13, 2012

GOP pollster warns R’s on gay marriage issue

From politicalwire.com: Former Bush pollster Jan van Lohuizen warns Republicans in a new memo they are increasingly on the wrong side of the gay marriage issue: “The increase in support is taking place among all partisan groups. While more Democrats support gay marriage than Republicans, support levels

Politics & Policy |
May 13, 2012

Does Leppert have a political future?

The race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the United States Senate has not produced any stars. Some national conservative publications ballyhooed Ted Cruz, but ultimately his boomlet was a ripple, not a wave. The only candidate who advanced himself politically (other than Dewhurst, the likely winner) is Tom Leppert.

Eat My Words |
May 13, 2012

Cooks Who Draw Inspiration from Their Mothers

Numerous Texas chefs credit their profound talents to years of hard work in culinary school, rigorous training alongside great chefs, or hours of sweat equity in restaurant kitchens. Great cooking, however, is not a subject that can be summed up in the span of a few short years in the kitchen; lessons usually begin

Politics & Policy |
May 10, 2012

Dewhurst poll: winnable without a runoff

The Texas Conservatives Fund PAC, an independent expenditure group, polled in the Senate race recently. May 1-7, 800 Republican primary voters, MOE +/- 3.5%. Here were the results: Dewhurst 57% Cruz 16% Leppert 12% James 4% Undecided 11% Positive/Negative Cruz 30/22 Leppert 30/7 James 25/18 The Indiana Senate race is