Friday, February 28, 2014

Ag. Commissioner Candidate Sid Miller discusses Water

Last night, we attended an event where our endorsed candidate for Ag. Commissioner spoke.  Miller spoke in-depth on a variety of issues, but the discussion of water stood out.  We apologize for the rancid quality of the video, but lighting was terrible:


  • Miller would be the first Ag. Commissioner to make water his top priority.
  • Real oversight of the $8 billion voters approved in 2011 and '13; allowing merit, instead of cronyism, to guide allocation decisions.
  • The 83rd Lege reduced the Texas Water Development board membership to 3 from 6; all appointed by the Governor.
If you're interested in Miller's entire presentation, you can view it here, but the video quality isn't any better.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

'Anyone but Cornyn' takes to the Overpasses

Sometimes, God just puts you in the right place at the right time.

Earlier tonight, we were crossing I-35 on the 11th street overpass near Downtown Austin.  As we got closer, we saw that there was a group of folks holding 'Cornyn Funded Obamacare' signs.  They recieved a surprisingly positive reaction from drivers passing underneath.

We also met William Brown from Republic of Texas TV:

It was an awesome and welcome sight to see such an unexpected grassroots uprising in the heart of Downtown Austin.

Matt McCall infiltrates Travis County

Cahnman's Musings has obtained a video recorded in an undisclosed location near Central Austin:


  • Polling company "might be full of manure" but latest poll has race at 48% - 48%, +/- 3.8%
  • "People might not be ready to fight for liberty, but I think they're willing to fight against tyranny."
  • "We don't need your help in six months or for six months, we need your help right now."
  • People at the polls work best.
  • He was wrong on high turnout.

Who is Joe Straus protecting?!?

The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’

Revelation 18:14-17

Tuesday's San Antonio Express-News connects some fascinating, if unsurprising, dots:
AUSTIN — A political action committee led by House Speaker Joe Straus has pumped more than $300,000 into the coffers of incumbent Republicans in an attempt to fend off a wave of ultra-conservative candidates vying for control of the lower chamber.

For the past two legislative sessions, Straus, R-San Antonio, has wielded the Texas House Leadership Fund to bolster the campaign coffers of sitting GOP members who often have been challenged by tea party candidates funded by outside groups with big money.


But this primary season, Straus emptied his officeholder account and shuffled his largest donation to date to the leadership committee: a $500,000 injection. Now, that Straus money, along with donations from a variety of his allies in the House, is being used to assist about a dozen incumbents perceived as vulnerable in the March 4 primary.


Among the recipients of cash from the House Leadership PAC is Rep. Sarah Davis, the sole Republican in the House to vote against a sweeping package of abortion restrictions last session. Davis, R-West University Place, received $35,000 from Straus' leadership PAC in her primary bid against Bonnie Parker.

Several others, including GOP Reps. Angie Chen Button, Bennett Ratliff, J.D. Sheffield and Linda Harper-Brown, have each taken in a total of $50,000, state records show.

Aside from spreading money around, Straus is also hitting the stump with most of those he's trying to protect. That includes a Wednesday campaign pit stop with Sheffield in Gatesville, north of Austin.

This is a bad move on Straus' part.  Even if Straus manages to save his own skin, a number of these incumbents will lose.  With Scott Turner on the horizon, backing losers in the primary makes Straus damaged goods to the ass-kissing wing of the Republican conference.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Matt Beebe Faces the Lions

San Antonio, TX -- In front of a room that was two thirds full, and an establishment leaning crowd, the campaigns for Texas House district 121 made their final pitch.  Matt Beebe spoke to the myriad shortcomings of the Texas House under current Republican leadership.  Standing in for speaker Joe Straus, Representative Lyle Larson (last seen embarrassing himself at the Wallace Hall impeachment hearing) made a number of far-fetched claims.

Larson opened by lauding Straus for "balancing three straight budgets unlike Washington D.C."  In doing so, Larson ignored the fact that the Texas constitution requires a balanced budget.  Larson lauded Straus for not raising taxes, which is a low bar for a Republican in Texas to clear.  In the most telling line, Larson called Straus a "Five decade Republican in Bexar County."  Of course, it was exactly five decades ago that George Bush 41 first ran for the United States Senate.

Beebe opened by quoting the Wall St. Journal about profligacy in the 83rd Texas Legislature.  He disputed Team Straus' ex post facto celebration of last summer's abortion legislation, describing how the law passed in spite of Straus.  Beebe also illustrated how Straus hasn't led on school finance.

In the Q and A section on education, Beebe called for greater local control and a "student centered funding model."  Larson promoted HB 5, a dubious bill the legislature passed in 2013.  Larson also claimed condescendingly that Beebe "doesn't understand local government."

During the section on immigration, Larson cited state level efforts. Beebe discussed recent favorable comments Straus has made regarding Paul Ryan and immigration.  Beebe called for an end to illegal immigration magnets like in-state tuition.

The candidates also discussed transportation.  Beebe called himself "absolutely anti-toll road" and cited an old Larson campaign mailer to prove his point.  Larson was speechless.

Today's forum highlighted the well known differences between Matt Beebe and Joe Straus.  Unlike Joe Straus, Matt Beebe isn't beholden to Democrats.  From the state budget, to school finance, to transportation, the choice for conservative leadership in Texas House district 121 is clear.


Read our endorsement for Matt here; donate to his campaign here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

History Lesson: Lamar Smith disarms our Veterans

From Gun Owners of America, January 2008:
As most Americans were preparing for the Christmas holidays last month, the U.S. Congress pulled another fast one when only few people were watching.

It was December 19. Most Congressmen had left town and were either at the airport or in the air returning home. They weren't in Washington, DC, because their party leadership had told them that all the major votes were over... that the only legislative business left related to non-controversial issues, such as when Congress would return from Christmas break, etc.

But it was then, with most of the Congress gone, that the House and Senate passed the Veterans Disarmament Act without a recorded vote. It was a huge deja vu, as this was the method that a previous Democratic Congress used -- together with compliant Republicans -- to pass the original Brady Law in 1993.


But there were a few key Republicans who helped cosponsor the legislation: Representatives Michael Castle (DE), Christopher Shays (CT) and Lamar Smith (TX). And dishonorable mention goes to Tom Price of Georgia who was physically present on the House floor on December 19. It was Rep. Price who asked for the Unanimous Consent agreement to pass the Veterans Disarmament Act without a vote.

[Emphasis added]


On the other hand, GOA was able to secure a few modest concessions which should provide some protection to gun owners -- though NOT NEARLY ENOUGH PROTECTION TO JUSTIFY SUPPORT of this bill.

So having said that, what are the implications of this legislation for Americans with psychiatric diagnoses?

Although we succeeded in forcing the deletion of the ratification of the BATF regulations, per se, section 101 (c) (1) (C) contains new language which could make you a "prohibited person" (unable to own a gun) based solely on a medical finding (by a psychiatrist or psychologist), provided:

* That you had "an opportunity for a hearing by a court, board, commission or other lawful authority"; and

* In the future, that you had notice that you would be made a "prohibited person" as a result of the agency action (section 101 (c) (3)). [NOTE: This was added pursuant to negotiations over GOA's objections to the bill.]

However, even these modest gains have severe limitations. Up to 140,000 veterans had their gun rights taken away as a result of a diagnosis of a mental disorder such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But this new law does not require two important things for those 140,000 people:

1. The new law does not require that a veteran needed to have any knowledge of the ramifications of the "diagnosis" in the past -- and the fact that this diagnosis could disarm him or her for life. How many veterans suffering from PTSD simply went to Veterans Affairs, hoping to get treatment, but now face a lifetime gun ban because of the new law?

2. Also, the act does not require that the disarmed vets even knew they had a right to appeal their diagnosis. Many of the 140,000 Americans who have now lost their Second Amendment rights first received a letter from Veterans Affairs telling them that, due to their diagnosis, a "guardian" was being appointed for them to handle their affairs. As stated above, how many vets realized that this action would deem them as "mental defective" under the 1968 Gun Control Act and strip them of their gun rights?

Moreover, how many vets realized they could challenge this action by appealing the diagnosis? If they didn't realize the significance of this VA letter, most likely, the vets did nothing, as they were more concerned with getting the monetary benefits that such a diagnosis would bring. But, whether they knew these things or not, this new law would still validate the removal of their Second Amendment rights.
 Read the whole thing here.

History Lesson: Pete Sessions' Subprime Mortgage Bribe

"And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
Matthew 7:3-5

Team Sessions' is now attacking Katrina's personal finances, how cute:
Texas Rep. Pete Sessions, a top member of the House GOP leadership, received a VIP mortgage from defunct lender Countrywide Financial Corp., making him the fourth current member of the House who has acknowledged getting a sweetheart deal.

Sessions’ office would not comment on the amount of the loan or when it was issued, although press reports state that it was a 2007 transaction worth as much as $1 million. The loan does not appear on any of Sessions’ annual financial disclosure reports on file with the House Clerk’s office. Lawmakers and senior aides must file such reports each year, but they are allowed to leave off information regarding personal homes or property that do not generate any income.


House ethics rules require that lawmakers and staff may only accept “loans from banks and other financial institutions on terms generally available to the public.”

Sessions, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, joins Reps. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.), Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.) and Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) in acknowledging being notified that they received below-market loans from Countrywide’s VIP program. The program was put in place by Angelo Mozilo, former Countrywide CEO, and it was designed to boost the company’s standing with celebrities, athletes, and well-connected business and government officials.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and former Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) also received special loans through Countrywide’s VIP unit. No charges were ever filed against the two senators, but the Senate Ethics Committee said both Conrad and Dodd “should have exercised more vigilance” in their dealings with Countrywide.
But why discuss the favorable terms a sitting Congressman got on a seven figure deal when you can raise lame questions about a single Mom?!?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ted Cruz reads William Barrett Travis' Letter

Today is the anniversary of William Barrett Travis' famous letter, which Ted Cruz commemorated on the floor of the United States' Senate earlier today:

Commandancy of the Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24, 1836
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World

Fellow citizens & compatriots

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country VICTORY OR DEATH.

William Barret Travis,

Lt. Col. comdt.
P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves. Travis

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: Newspaper Endorsements (to vote AGAINST)

An hour ago, we were set to vote.  Reviewing the ballot, we realized there were three open seats on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals about which we were unaware.  To be honest, there doesn't appear to be a lot of difference between the candidates.

Here are the Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, and San Antonio Express-News endorsement slates:

Dallas Morning-News: Barbara Walther, Jani Jo Wood, David Newell.

Houston Chronicle: Bert Richardson, Jani Jo Wood, David Newell.

San Antonio Express-News: Bert Richardson, Jani Jo Wood, David Newell.

When major newspapers across the state line up in support of the same candidates, you'll do just fine voting for the other guys.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Joe Straus, Bill Powers, and the Texas Supreme Court: Meet Rusty Hardin

Occasionally, one detail reveals everything.

Over the past few days, Cahnman's Musings has taken an increasingly firm position against shenanigans in Texas Supreme Court races.  Late this morning, we discovered a connection between those shenanigans and the ongoing fiasco called the Wallace Hall impeachment "process."  Meet Rusty Hardin.

Rusty Hardin is a criminal defense attorney from Houston who has previously represented upstanding citizens like Roger Clemens and Joel Osteen's wife.   He's Joe Straus' handpicked choice to cover Bill Powers' backside in various UT corruption scandals.  As the Texas Tribune reported last August:
For help with its ongoing investigation of Regent Wallace Hall, the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations has turned to prominent Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, who'll serve as its special counsel.

At the end of the summer's first special session, Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, expanded the committee's authority to allow it consider articles of impeachment against gubernatorial appointees.


If the committee determines that impeachment is warranted in Hall's case, Hardin will be called upon to help the lawmakers put the articles together and present them to the House. If a majority of that body is convinced and votes in favor of proceeding with the process, the Senate will convene as a court of impeachment.
Which brings us to the Texas Supreme court races.

The fault line in the Texas Supreme court races is trial lawyers vs. Rick Perry.  One of the trial lawyer backed candidates is Sharon McCally.  Earlier today, Cahnman's Musings received a copy of this advertisement on behalf of McCally that appeared in the LINK letter, a pay-to-play endorsement sheet in Houston:

It's difficult to see on the full page, but if you click on the magnifying glass icon with the plus sign, you can see that Rusty Hardin is also Sharon McCally's campaign treasurer.

According to records filed with the Texas Ethics commission Hardin got the Campaign Treasurer gig on October 15:
00054943 JCOH McCally, Sharon S. Supreme Court Justice Pl 08 10/15/2013 Court of Appeals Justice Dist 014 Pl 02
In other words, the people promoting 'challenger' candidates in the Texas Supreme court races are also driving the Wallace Hall impeachment.

There's nothing illegal or unethical about this.  Lawyers can represent any client they choose.  But there are clearly overlapping social circles within the business as usual crowd.

Joe Straus and Bill Powers' designated dirt digger on the Wallace Hall smear campaign is also helping trial lawyers unseat Rick Perry's Texas Supreme court appointees.  While investigating Wallace Hall, Rusty Hardin also got the gig with Sharon McNally.  The fact that Joe Straus, Bill Powers, and the people promoting the Texas Supreme court challenger candidates use the same lawyers is VERY revealing.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Canada Beats U.S. in Olympic Hockey; Ted Cruz silent....

An astonishing development out of Sochi:

SOCHI, Russia -- For the rematch, Canada skipped the overtime and shelved the theatrics.

One slick goal and 60 minutes of stifling defensive hockey kept the Canadians firmly on top of the U.S. and moved them to the brink of gold again.

Jamie Benn scored in the second period, Carey Price made 31 saves, and Canada beat the United States 1-0 Friday night in the semifinals of the Olympic men's hockey tournament.

Ted Cruz may claim he was focusing on Venezulan President Maduro's "taking a page out of the Castro playbook to violently oppress Venezuelans who are demanding an end to his disastrous rule" during today's hockey game, but that's exactly what you'd expect a Secret Manchurian Canadian to say....

Rick Perry on the Texas Supreme Court

Amen, Mr. Governor:

"A few personal injury trial lawyers are funding challengers in the Republican primary for these judges.  Clearly, these trial lawyers want to change the philosophical direction of our state's highest court....Republicans cannot allow liberal personal injury trial lawyers to infiltrate our conservative party."


Breitbart news has the (sordid) details here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Where does Pete Sessions live?!?

Some intrepid Tea Partiers in North Texas snooped around the address Pete Sessions listed on his Congressional filing form, results aren't good:


Read our endorsement post for Katrina here; donate to her campaign here.

Joe Straus insults the Second Amendment...again!!!

A disappointing, though not surprising, release from the National Association for Gun Rights:

Vote Second Amendment; vote Beebe!!!


Read our endorsement of Matt Beebe here, donate to his campaign here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Republican Primary Statewide Endorsement List

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge."
Hosea 4:6

We hadn't intended to post a statewide candidate list.  Enough people have asked us to do so, however, that we humbly oblige.   We are flattered and honored that you value our opinion.

GovernorGreg Abbott

This is the easiest call on the list.  Rick Perry has been, on net, an outstanding Governor.  Greg Abbott has been a critical ally.  Where they differ, the differences favor Abbott.  While we urge Abbott to be much more confrontational with the legislature, maintaining the status quo Rick Perry bequeaths is already a big win.


Attorney GeneralKen Paxton (previously endorsed).

Continuing to nurse hurt feelings over something that happened three years ago, during a different era in Tea Party history, is insane; Vote Ken Paxton.

Comptroller:  Debra Medina

This is the toughest call of the 2014 cycle.  In our view, Debra Medina is the candidate whose natural talents align closest with the duties of comptroller.  As Texas' chief financial officer, the Comptroller deals with money.  A long time Ron Paul confidant, Medina has a knack for fiscal policy we've always admired.  We expect Medina to be a gigantic pain in the ass to a lot of people who deserve one.

That being said, many people we know and respect support Glenn Hegar.  That's fine, Glenn Hegar is a good man who was very helpful behind the scenes.  If he wins, he will perform solidly.

Unlike Debra Medina, there is an actual Joe Straus lieutenant in this race.  Cahnman's Musings would prefer not to help build his name recognition or website traffic.  Empower Texans has everything you need to know here.

Land CommissionerDavid Watts Jr.

The current Land Commissioner has abused his office in a way that makes it impossible to support his campaign for Lt. Gov.  David Watts Jr. is the only candidate to address this abuse.  While we're discussing this race, Cahnman's Musings has also had enough of politicians named George Bush, thank you very much.

Agriculture Commissioner:  Sid Miller

Sid Miller isn't perfect.  Unfortunately, the alternatives are a buffoon, a Democrat, or Tommy Merritt.  We reserve the right to support Kinky Friedman in the general.

Railroad Commissioner: Wayne Christian

Despite the name, the Texas Rail Road Commission is the primary regulator of Texas booming energy sector.  To be honest, we wanted Wayne Christian to run for U.S. Senate, but he's running for Railroad Commission instead.  As commissioner, Wayne Christian will protect fracking and anger the business as usual crowd.

U.S. Senate: Steve Stockman (previously endorsed)

Last week, John Cornyn re-enforced everything we knew.  While good people disagree on the best alternative, the objective this round is only to hold Cornyn under 50%.  Personally, we believe Steve Stockman is a pest similar to (retired NHL star) Esa Tikkannen, which is exactly what the U.S. Senate needs.

Texas Supreme Court: Re-elect ALL incumbents

This is the Jeremiah 17:9 race of this cycle.

Over the past two months, there's been a Democrat-financed whisper campaign against incumbent Texas Supreme Court Justices Nathan Hecht, Phil Johnson, and Jeff Brown.  Cahnman's Musings was offered this story as an exclusive last December.  We were astonished when the person who fed us this story admitted the purpose was to embarrass Rick Perry.

Fortunately, the truth has emerged.  Anyone who supports the challengers is, at best, a useful idiot for Steve Mostyn. It's a shame certain people chose to permanently tarnish thier credibility.


Cahnman's Musings also encourages readers to do their own homework regarding candidates closer to home; off the top of our head, we know readers in Bexar, Dallas, and Tarrant counties have local primaries with statewide implications.


Those are our primary endorsements, take the or leave them.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Stickland channels Cruz

Hurst, TX -- In front of a packed house of 400 people, tonight's HD-92 debate between conservative incumbent Jonathan Stickland and educational bureaucrat Andy Cargile was a one-sided affair similar to the 2012 U.S. Senate race.

Stickland delivered a crisp and energetic performance worthy of Ted Cruz.  Speaking without notes or prepared remarks, Stickland explained how he went to Austin to fight the liberal agenda and "I did exactly what I said I'd do."  It was obvious why the business as usual crowd in Austin hates his guts.

Playing Dewhurst to Stickland's Ted Cruz was the befuddled, ill-prepared, and poorly-informed Andy Cargile.  Cargile opened the debate by drawing a bizarre comparison between Stickland and Barack Obama: "when you get a lot of words and no action, you get Barack Obama."  Cargile's statement ignores the fact that from Obamacare to an illegal and unconstitutional War in Libya to countless other examples, Obama has delivered plenty of action (none of it good).

Cargile's strangest moment in the debate was his assertion, during the discussion of immigration, that there are no sanctuary cities in Texas.  Stickland politely reminded Cargile that both Austin and Lewisville are sanctuary cities (he didn't mention Houston).  That Cargile didn't know such a basic fact speaks volumes.

The most telling contrast was each's description of his view of his role as a legislator.  Cargile called a seat in the Texas House "the next step" in his career.  Speaking second, Stickland pounced: "I don't define myself by my position" as a member of the legislature.

Another illuminating moment was the discussion about a more rational policy towards low-level marijuana offenses.  Cargile embraced prohibition with a Joe Biden-esque level of zeal.  Cargile attacked Stickland for voting against a bill last session that would ban so-called "synthetic" Marijuana.  In his well-informed response, Stickland rejected the premise of the legislation and simultaneously explained that the legislation in question would have criminalized a plant that grows naturally on the grounds of the Texas capitol.

Tonight's debate wasn't close.  Stickland delivered a sharp performance similar to Ted Cruz.  Cargile was fumbling at best.  By the end, a quarter of Cargile's supporters were quietly applauding Stickland.  If this was a Little League game, they would have invoked the mercy rule after ten minutes.

One of these arrests is not like the others....

[Full Disclosure: Your author has been arrested four times for alcohol related misdemeanors, but we never led police on a high speed chase.]

"He pulls a knife, you pull a gun; he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue."
The Untouchables 

It started when John Cornyn and Karl Rove went after Steve Stockman on a 30 year old drug charge:
He has been jailed more than once, and was charged with a felony after one such incident when authorities found valium in his pants.
It continued when Pete Sessions went after Katrina Pierson over a 17 year old petty larceny:
On and off the campaign trail, congressional candidate Katrina Pierson sometimes discusses the hardscrabble background that she says ultimately made her a conservative firebrand.

The troubles in her youth, records show, included an arrest for shoplifting.

In 1997, five days before her 21st birthday, Katrina Pierson, then named Katrina Lanette Shaddix, was arrested on a charge of theft of greater than $50 and less than $500.
Which brings us to Skip Ogle.

Now who, pray tell, is Skip Ogle?!?

Skip Ogle is a cable television lobbyist running against Matt Schaefer in the primary for Texas House District 6 (near Tyler).  He's closely aligned with Joe Straus.  He's also the guy who led Dallas Police on a High Speed Chase:

It should go without saying that a high speed chase in an urban area is a much bigger threat to public safety than petty larceny or a couple Valiums.

The Texas Republican establishment brought this upon itself.  Texans expect our elected representatives to enact conservative public policies or be held accountable.  During accountability season, we'd prefer to stick to the issues.  But if John Cornyn and Pete Sessions want to drag ancient personal history into these campaigns, then Joe Straus' handpicked recruits will have to endure more scrutiny.  For every Valium or petty larceny of ours, we'll just have to expose every reckless, urban, high-speed police chase of yours....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Bill Powers' lawyer soaks taxpayers for 157k

From a Daily Texan article last week
General counsel Rusty Hardin makes more than $150,000 for work in investigation of Wallace Hall


On Feb. 6, the State of Texas authorized the payment of $157,803 to Rusty Hardin — general counsel for the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations — for his work in the committee’s investigation into the actions of UT System Regent Wallace Hall, according to invoices provided from the Texas Legislative Council.

Hardin originally billed the state $163,302 for his work from August to October of last year, but the state contested certain charges, including several for “air flight insurance,” marked at just more than $20. Hardin originally billed $508 for dinner at an Italian restaurant, but later requested to cancel the charge.
Because the only thing better than impeaching a University regent for doing his job is bilking the taxpayers for a small fortune in the process.

Stockman gains 22 points in latest poll; Cornyn well under 50

Human Events commissions a poll in the United States Senate Race:
The No.2 Republican in the Senate is polling below the 50 percent threshold in the party’s March 4 primary that he needs to clear in order to avoid a May 10 runoff, according to a Feb. 10-12 Human Events/Gravis poll of 729 registered Republicans.

Sen. John Cornyn (R.-Texas), the GOP Whip in the upper chamber has the approval 49 percent of those questioned and 43 percent preferred him to main challenger Rep. Stephen E. Stockman (R.-Texas), who polled 28 percent, said Doug Kaplan, the president of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based firm that conducted the poll with both live callers to cell phones and automated calls to landlines. The poll has a margin of error of 3.6 percent.


“These are dangerous numbers for Cornyn, because they show that despite his power in the Senate and his familiarity with the voters, he has not yet made the sale,”


The Cornyn campaign was given the poll results three days before the deadline and asked for comment for this story. Campaign spokesman Drew Brandwie said the campaign would respond, but no response was received.

The other Republicans on primary ballot are: Chris Mapp, Dwayne Stovall, Linda Vega, Curt Cleaver, Reid Reasor and Ken Cope. A run off would between the top two vote getters.

Stockman said he is energized about the primary fight, but he is distressed by the personal attacks from Cornyn’s campaign and an independent political action committee that shares the 45 North Hill Drive address in Warrenton, Va., with a Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super PAC.

“The Cornyn campaign must have inside poll numbers that scare them,” the congressman said. “They are throwing everything at me, including things I did 20 years ago, before I became a Christian.”

Donny Ferguson, a spokesman for the Stockman campaign, said “The buzzards are circling around Cornyn’s campaign office. A runoff election is a death sentence for an incumbent.”

Stockman only started his campaign less than 90 days ago and is growing rapidly, he said.

“This is why Cornyn refuses to release his internal poll numbers,” he said.

“The only thing holding Congressman Steve Stockman back is that 55 percent of Republican primary voters aren’t familiar with him,” he said.

“In fact, this poll shows meteoric growth in support for Congressman Steve Stockman, who only started running less than 90 days ago.” Ferguson said, “Also, this poll was taken before voters learned Cornyn voted to raise Obama’s debt limit. That vote created a new, larger explosion of opposition to Cornyn that he’s struggling to contain.”


If there was a run off, because it is held in May there would be time for Stockman to ramp up a more active campaign and beat Cornyn, he said. “Cornyn really needs to win this primary on the fourth of March.”
These numbers are devastating for Cornyn; read the Human Events piece here, read the details of the poll here.


A few thoughts:
  • Stockman's phenomenal growth -- In the last poll we saw, back in December, Stockman was at 6%.  Gaining 22 points in two months can reasonably be described as Cruz-esque.  Remember, Ted Cruz also required a run-off.
  • Stovall not polled -- Cornyn's numbers are even worse when you realize that the second credible opponent in the race wasn't even included in the poll.  We suspect Stovall takes the overwhelming majority of the 'Undecided' vote in this poll.  That being said, Stovall's dishonest temper tantrum in response to this poll isn't helpful.
  • Cornyn's ineffective advertising -- Since October, it has been impossible to listen to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh's radio shows without constant ads from Cornyn.  He's still stuck at 43.  Personally, we wonder if Cornyn's incessant commercial blitzkrieg has backfired.
  • Money is irrelevant
  • Attorney General's race -- Given that folks incurred the cost to conduct this poll, we wish they'd polled the AG race as well.

Read our endorsement for Stockman here; donate to the campaign here.

Matt Beebe Picks Up Re-enforcements

Encouraging announcement from Team Beebe:
A generous donor has pledged to match ALL donations to our campaign from now till February 25th. With your help, we can raise the funds necessary to get our conservative message out in the final days of the campaign.


Just like in 2012, Joe is once again block-walking the district. In fact, he’s spending significant time and effort trying desperately to connect with ordinary voters in District 121 – something he has failed to do, even though he beat me in 2012. But we've got a secret weapon – the conservative message that mostly sells itself. I have been across the district, and day after day, I personally witness the same positive responses our volunteer walk teams have reported on Saturdays.

Voters in this district ARE keyed into this race much more than they ever were in 2012. Our key issues mailers are hitting mailboxes across the district, and there are more to come. But we still need a little help with fundraising to ensure we finish strong. I never expected to meet Joe Straus dollar for dollar, but we DO need additional help getting our message out.


It is quite clear that the liberals and moderates will need Joe Straus EVEN MORE than he needs them next session. THEY will need to hide behind him to stall and derail the conservative reforms that are coming. Coming only if we can beat him.

The outcome of this race WILL impact each and every Texan.
Read the whole thing here.


Read our endorsement of Matt here; donate (PLEASE!!!) here.

Katrina Pierson wows the public

The Lexington Libertarian details a recent Katrina Pierson appearance:
We, a band of concerned citizens, gathered in a church in a small Texas City, Rowlett, to greet, meet and listen to Katrina Pierson who is challenging Rep. Pete Sessions for the Republican Congressional nomination in the 32nd District of Texas.

After some meet and greet mingling she stood before us to tell her story. My jaw literally dropped, my mouth hung open and my eyes moistened.

She told us that her mother was pregnant with her at the age of 14 years. She was raised on welfare. She herself was pregnant at 19, married and divorced quickly. Her mother succumbed to the drug culture. It was her Grandmother who helped raise Katrina and who helped Katrina raise her son. She was involved in a bad car crash. She had her youthful brush with the law.

It took her ten years to graduate from college but not before her senior paper was destroyed in her computer that literally caught fire. She had to sit down and do it all over with only days left for submission. And in the midst of all that her Grandmother died and she was all alone, a single mother with a son to take care of and school to finish.

She told us she had a good friend who was a single mother like herself who worked at Taco Bell but that just wasn’t enough money to get by. So her friend applied for food stamps but the government said you make too much money to qualify, but if you go on welfare we can give you food stamps, housing assistance and all sorts of help.

Katrina vowed that she would not be trapped in the welfare maze.

She told us, “I clawed my way out of poverty. I did it on my own. I could only have done this in America. I would not have survived anywhere else.”

“I LIVED IT,” she went on to say. “I understand what it’s like to struggle.” And the Democrat redistribution model of government dependency is not the way to go, she said in so many words.

OMG! You could have heard a pin drop. Now here is a real person, one who has fought the good fight, been knocked down, got up, dusted herself off and got knocked down again only to get up again to fight another day. Now here is a woman who has suffered but is stronger as a result. Here is a woman who knows what life is all about. Here is the real, deal who isn’t buying government dependence.

But make it she did. Pierson became a Hospital Level 1 Administrator. She raised her son well, who is today 17 years old. She founded the Garland Tea Party. She has been Neil Cavuto’s Privacy Expert on FOX News for the last 5 years.
Read the whole thing here.


Read our endorsement of Katrina here; donate to her campaign here.

History Lesson: The "Third World Practices" ignored by Barbie (and Battleground)

A couple weeks ago, in a speech on border security, Greg Abbott described how public corruption is a root cause of many undesirable activities in South Texas.  Rather than engage the issue, Team Wendy and Battleground Texas chose to protect sex traffickers.  Thankfully, George Rodriguez chronicles the worst abuses:
The Democrats, particularly the liberal Hispanics, immediately cried out foul, used the race card, and organized a phone bank to call voters in the Valley to spin and fan the controversy. They conveniently ignore the fact that the vast majority of scandals have involved Hispanic Democrats.

If anyone should be offended, it is the people of the Valley and the rest of Texas.

Consider these scandals:

The Hidalgo County Panama Unit - Nine law enforcement officers and three drug traffickers have all been charged in five separate criminal complaints over the past five months. Among those named was Jonathan Treviño, a Mission police officer who is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño.

The Progreso school district and contracts - The "Pay To Play" bribery scandal has so far snared Mayor Omar Vela, his former school board president brother Michael Vela and their former school district transportation director father Jose Guadalupe Vela.

Cameron county DA - Cameron County District Attorney Armando R. Villalobos was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison. Villalobos was one of a number of lawyers involved with a now-convicted former South Texas judge, Abel Limas, who admittedly accepted cash for court favors.

Politiqueras – “Politiqueras” are a tradition is the Valley. They have been accused of various forms of voter fraud over the years — including acquiring and filling out the mail-in ballots of elderly or disabled voters — but the arrests were one of the first times that politiqueras were accused of paying cash directly to voters. Recently, two alleged "politiqueras," were arrested after an FBI investigation determined they were paying voters money, food, and cigarettes for their votes. The investigation alleges that the two worked as "politiqueras" during the 2012 primary election and the general election.

If these four examples, all involving Hispanics and Democrats, aren’t enough to draw comparison to the 3rd World, then we can all deny the sun rises in the east.


South Texas has been dominated by Democrat Party political bosses for decades, and they have controlled the economy and the people. Until state and federal law enforcement moved in, the scandals were ignored or hidden by the locals. Let’s bring this culture of political corruption out into the sunlight and sanitize it… and let’s not fear the phony outrage by liberals who are responsible for the very corruption.
Why discuss a serious issue when you can pursue racial demagoguery and protect sex traffickers?!?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Ted Cruz Bitchslaps Leftist Obama Judicial Nominee


  • "I will note that one criticism that has been leveled at you is that you were highly critical of Executive power when it was administered by a Republican under George W. Bush and very defensive of executive power when it was administered by a Democrat, Barack Obama, and some have suggested it shows less than the consistency we'd like to see from a Federal Judge.
  • When George W. Bush exceeded his authority and ordered the state court to follow the world court, I spoke out loudly and litigated the position against him at the [U.S.] Supreme Court; I'm asking if you have publicly criticized President Obama in your capacity as an academic.

Pete Sessions repeats Dewhurst's mistake

You know it's primary season in Texas by the lame personal attacks on Katrina Pierson:
In 1997, five days before her 21st birthday, Katrina Pierson, then named Katrina Lanette Shaddix, was arrested on a charge of theft of greater than $50 and less than $500.

Pierson, who is running against Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions in the March 4 Republican primary, acknowledges the mistake. She told police then, and repeated recently, that she was talked into shoplifting by a friend.

“Like an idiot, I went along for the ride,” Pierson said in a recent interview.

She and the other woman were accused of trying to lift nine pieces of women’s clothing from a J.C. Penney store in Plano. They stuffed the clothes into shoe boxes in a clumsy, failed heist.

According to a Plano police report, Pierson said she and the woman with her, Laura Elizabeth Nelson, told police they needed the clothes for jobs they were trying to obtain.
Yawn, although (ironically) a lame personal attack on Katrina helped sink David Dewhurst's 2012 campaign:
A conservative activist from Garland who appeared in GOP Senate hopeful Ted Cruz’s first TV spot called a decorated, wounded military veteran “deformed” in a comment on Twitter on Saturday.

Katrina Pierson also protested that Cruz rival David Dewhurst was exploiting medically retired Marine Capt. Daniel P. “Dan” Moran of Cypress, by featuring him in the lieutenant governor’s introductory video at the state Republican convention in Fort Worth.


She said, though, that her grandfather, an Army combat veteran of the Korean war, told her that “any time they use vets in a political situation like that, it was very hurtful.” She said she doesn’t back down from opining that Dewhurst’s video was “in real poor taste.” And Pierson noted that Moran was appointed to the Veterans Commission by Gov. Rick Perry, which required Senate confirmation. Dewhurst presides over the Senate.
Substitute the name Sessions for Dewhurst and Adrian Murray's response from 2012 remains apt:
Is this amateur hour in the Dewhurst campaign bunker?
If Pete Sessions 2014 is determined to repeat Dewhurst's 2012 campaign, at least we'll know for sure if Katrina is a secret red Chinese tire manufacturer....


Read our endorsement of Katrina here; donate to hear campaign here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sleeper U.S. House Race in Northwest Texas

Granbury, TX -- Cahnman's Musings was in town to cover the packed Texas House candidate forum between 9-term incumbent (Joe Straus lieutenant) Jim Keffer and grassroots challenger Cullen Crisp.  It's not a secret that Jim Keffer is in trouble.  The Texas House forum was similar to other events this cycle.  Crisp hit Keffer for increasing spending by 26% and Keffer made the usual excuses.  The real story, however, was the U.S. House forum that took place immediately prior.

5-term incumbent Michael Conaway is a George W. Bush crony from West Texas.  His opponent, Wade Brown, currently serves as an officer in the United States' Marine Corps reserve.  Brown is taking his second shot at Conaway, having waged an unsuccessful campaign in 2012.

Brown hit Conaway for his vote in favor of TARP in 2008 and several other atrocious pieces of legislation in the ensuing years.  Conaway made the same excuses D.C. Republicans always make.  As a point of comparison, Conaway's voting record is very similar to John Cornyn.

Brown, by contrast, offered a detailed plan to force Obama and Harry Reid to negotiate.  Brown's plan begins with across the board spending cuts to every line item of the Federal Budget and increases the political pain on Democrats from there.  In the event that Democrats refuse to negotiate, Wade Brown is willing to shut down the Federal Government indefinitely.

Brown hammered U.S. House Republicans, led by John Bohener, for their failure to stop Obama's illegal and unconstitutional war in Libya.  The Constitution and Federal law make clear that the President DOES NOT have the authority to commit American armed forces to a major conflict absent Congressional authorization.  Unfortunately, Republicans under John Bohener failed to stop Obama's war in Libya, and Benghazi was the result.

The candidates also clashed over John Bohener's "leadership" (or lack thereof).  Conaway said "Bohener's doing a good job."  Brown said Bohener "led the House the wrong way" and that "I'm not going to sacrifice my vote for the home team."

This is an interesting race.  It's not on anyone's radar screen outside the district.  Based on the crowd reaction in the packed room, however, it's obvious where the energy in this race lies.  While Brown's campaign is severely underfunded, Conaway's nervousness was palpable.  Keep an eye on CD-11 March 4th.


We went out to lunch with some local Tea Party leaders after the forum.  We interviewed Wade Brown at lunch.  This is our interview:


Visit Wade's website here; donate to his campaign here.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Texas Surpasses California (yet again!)

From Tuesday's Dallas Morning-News:
WASHINGTON–Texas is tops for tech exports, a new report says.

Companies in Texas making semiconductors, telecommunications devices, computers, and other items shipped more than $45 billion in products to other countries in 2012, according to a report by the TechAmerica Foundation, a lobbying and advocacy firm representing the technology industries. That’s a $3 billion rise from 2011.

Tech from Texas most often goes to Mexico– companies in the state shipped $22 billion south of the border in 2012. All that trade supported 331,000 jobs in Texas, the report said, also the most of any state. Texas has 22 percent of the nation’s technology manufacturing jobs.

“Texas is really happy to have this kind of emphasis put on its tech industry,” said Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, who appeared today at a news conference at the Capitol announcing the report with Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio. “It’s an incredible accomplishment to be the No. 1 state in the country.”

This is the first year that Texas topped California in tech exports. California exports were worth $44.8 billion in 2012, down nearly 3 percent from the previous year.

Matthew Kazmierczak, vice president of the foundation, attributed the shift to rising manufacturing costs in California and Texas’ business-friendly atmosphere.

He said tech companies in California are focusing more on product design, in part because the state’s higher labor costs makes manufacturing less competitive.

“Texas has done a very good job at making themselves an attractive location for manufacturing,” he said. He noted the dynamic isn’t just about interstate competition; Texas is also competitive with other countries that have traditionally attracted manufacturing.

Gov. Rick Perry touts Texas’ business-friendly approach to regulations and taxes, and its relatively low cost of living, in trying to lure companies from California and other states, for which he has taken some flack.
Read the whole thing here.

(h/t Austinist)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bill Powers' allies living large on Taxpayers

The latest in the Wallace Hall impeachment fiasco, via the Dallas Morning News:
Attorneys assisting the University of Texas System and a Legislative committee investigating embattled regent Wallace Hall billed the state upwards of $400,000 for 2013 work, pay stubs indicate.

The legal costs are a portion of the toll of the ongoing debacle, which critics say has sullied UT’s reputation and spurred the resignation of top leaders.

Hall is under investigation for massive record requests he made of UT Austin and his possible mishandling of private student information, among other matters. Many believe Hall sought to remove UT Austin President Bill Powers. The House committee could soon recommend Hall’s impeachment.


Legal costs

Rusty Hardin and company, counsel for the House committee investigating Hall, stayed at an Austin hotel for two nights for about $800 per person. The team also charged $500 for dinner at an Austin Italian restaurant with two individuals named “witness” and “Chief of Staff,” according to expense reports.

Overall, Hardin has billed just over $200,000 for work and expenses from August through October 2013, according to receipts provided by the Texas Legislative Council.

Philip Hilder, and his legal team representing UT System, billed nearly $200,000 for work from September through November of 2013. Hilder’s contract has a pay ceiling of $200,000.

Hilder’s bills are largely blacked out. The Dallas Morning News obtained the receipts through the Texas Public Information Act. Hilder’s team booked several Houston-to-Austin flights and stays at Austin hotels including the Hyatt. The team billed UT a maximum of $200 per night for hotel stays in Austin, though the actual cost exceeded that amount in a few instances, according to records.
The irony, of course, is that lawyers with close ties to Bill Powers living large on other people's money is one of the gems Wallace Hall's investigation turned up in the first place.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Donna Campbell brings her Guns!!!

Yee-haw, go Donna:

Read our endorsement here, donate to Donna's campaign here.

Ken Paxton: Smarter than Ruth Bader Ginsburg

It's a relief to know that, in the race for Attorney General, at least one candidate won't subscribe to the fanciful notions of certain U.S. Supreme Court justices:

Katrina Pierson makes national news

From U.S. News and World Report:
Pierson, who has a complimentary quote from Cruz splashed on the homepage of her website, flexed her insurgent moxie by pledging to oppose John Boehner as House speaker.

“I do support replacing John Boehner as speaker. I think his leadership has gone completely against the grain of what the mainstream Republicans on the ground feel,” she told reporters during a question-and-answer session with the candidates.

Sessions adviser Brad Todd summarily dismissed Pierson's chances, quipping, "She’s so far behind she’d need airfare to catch up."
Read the whole thing, including an enlightening discussion of the U. S. Senate race in Kentucky, here.


Read our endorsement here; donate to Katrina's campaign here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Abortion Barbie Encourages Negotiations with Hostage Takers

The latest from the ongoing fiasco that is Texas school finance:

Revelation, chapter 4

We read chapter 4 of Revelation an hour ago; were still bouncing off the walls:
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Joe Straus Committee Chairs: Worse than Barbie!!!

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord."
Ephesians 5:22

On Friday, Morgan Willamson of Empower Texans made a shrewd observation:
[M]any might be shocked to know that on the Fiscal Responsibility Index for the 83rd Texas Legislative Session, Senator Wendy Davis actually out-performed a number of House Republicans when it came to taxpayer issues.
Which motivated us to cross-check Morgan's list against Joe Straus Committee Chairs.

You guessed it.


Here's the Damage:
That ten eleven Joe Straus committee chairs are to the left of Wendy Davis tells you everything you need to know about Joe Straus' callow, submissive leadership....