Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Farenthold (and Barton), Uresti, and why the Texas GOP now controls ALL their seats

"Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit."
John 15:2

[Note: You can read our call for Barton to go here.  You can read our call for Farenthold, Miles, and Uresti to ALL go here.]

By now you've heard:
Republican Pete Flores defeated Democrat Pete Gallego on Tuesday night in the special election runoff for Senate District 19, a major upset in a Democratic-friendly seat with implications for the balance of power in the upper chamber.

With all precincts reporting, Flores beat Gallego by 6 percentage points in the race to replace convicted former state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. Flores had 53 percent of the vote and Gallego 47 percent in unofficial returns.

Gallego conceded to Flores around 9 p.m., according to both campaigns. With the victory, Flores will become the first Hispanic Republican to serve in the Texas Senate.
There's a lot that could be said.  Obviously, Pete Flores ran a flawless campaign.  Obviously, the Texas GOP did as well.

But there's another aspect: For the second time in three months, there was a special election to fill a seat vacated by an elected official amidst a cloud of VERY sketch sexual activity.  The GOP won both.  They're also expected to hold onto the seat being vacated by Joe Barton in November.

Why is that?!?

In late November, the public learned that soon-to-be former Congressman Joe Barton had been sending lewd photos of himself around the internet.  Barton was given a chance to defend himself.  When no defense was forthcoming, the County GOP, Republican elected officials, and prominent grassroots organizations all called for Barton to go.  Then, Barton was gone within 9 days.

Within a week, the Blake Farenthold saga kicked into gear.  Once again, Farenthold was given a chance to defend himself.  Instead, it got worse.  Farenthold announced his retirement within two weeks.  Eventually, in the special election for which Farenthold stuck taxpayers with the bill, the Republican candidate won.

By contrast, the first (recent) report about Carlos Uresti came out in early November (ie. two weeks BEFORE we heard anything about Barton).  The second report came out in early December.  This, of course, is on top of video evidence from 2015:

The Democrats chose to rally around Uresti.  Not a single Senator called on him to resign.  What makes this more astonishing is that Uresti was already up to his eyeballs in financial corruption charges.

So Uresti limped forward into his corruption trial.  During that trial, we learned there was yet another sleazy sexual component to Uresti's activity.  Eventually, Uresti was convicted.  It was only at that point that Democrats called on him to resign.

Uresti still held on until June.  Even then, he only left to lighten his sentence.  For those keeping track at home, that's eight months (or two years and eight months) between the first credible reports of misconduct on Uresti's part and when he left office.

Then the GOP won the special election.  The ironic this is that, had the Democrats cut Uresti loose when the first reports emerged, they wouldn't have been on the hook during his trial.  But they didn't.

The contrast speaks for itself.

This is not to say that the Texas GOP has been fully cleaned out.  More work remains.  But there's a different between persistent rumors and actionable evidence.  And the Texas GOP has the best record of any state level political party in the country of cleaning house once actionable evidence emerges.

While we're on the subject of the party contrast, let's not forget who else is still running around the legislature like nothing ever happened:

Bottom Line: The contrast speaks for itself....

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