This year has flown by, hasn’t it? I cannot believe Christmas is right around the corner. As we all know, the end of the holiday season ushers in the kickoff to the campaign season. For those who haven’t already been feasting on all the political silliness and maneuvering leading up to the main event, I have highlighted some items that deserve recognition as we head into the new year.
Contracting Cookie Jar and the Race for Governor
Don’t look now, but Lt. Gov. Patrick might have found an opening in the race against Abbott in 2018 that he claims will never happen.
While he was Attorney General, Gov. Abbott was apparently a very bad boy with his contracting habits. The reports are that he blew a multi-million-dollar wad of taxpayer cash on a program that never worked. How’s that for fiscal conservatism? Current AG Ken Paxton has actually done a decent job trying to dig out of the hole left by his predecessor, but his office detailed during a recent House committee hearing what a horrible mess Abbott left Paxton.
Look for Patrick to use his Senate lieutenants to hold similar hearings and ask hard questions about Abbott’s job as AG. Watch for subtle tactics like this as Patrick tries to soften up Abbott while plotting his run at him in 2018.
Don’t believe Patrick will run? How long did it take Abbott to figure out a way to be seen with Senator Cruz after Patrick held a public press conference endorsing him for president? Abbott is doing everything he can to avoid getting outflanked by Patrick. Keep watching.
The Garish Gala
Timmy Dunn’s annual exercise in egomania gala—you know the one that features the presentation of gilded phallic symbols?—was another opportunity for his political machine to gather its small circle of like-minded radicals and give awards to each other for saying and doing what he paid them to.
For this year’s grand finale, guests were treated to a command performance by Lt. Gov. Patrick, who spouted out the required script for the audience. Remember, Timmy Dunn paid a pretty penny in hopes of buying himself another statewide elected official. However, it is reported that tensions are increasing between the two.
Apparently Patrick almost cancelled his appearance, and on-lookers commented that the lite-guv didn’t seem to enjoy the forced topic or the company. Has Dunn still got him under his thumb? Will be very interesting to see how this plays out as Patrick continues to take money from all kinds of other sources. Patrick will need Dunn’s war chest when he finally takes on Abbott, but it seems like his newfound power is making him harder to control.
A Sticky Filing Deadline
We were all treated this last week to the usual end of filing period surprises. RRC Commissioner David Porter shocked everyone by dropping out, but it was probably a wise move given that Gary Gates, a formidable and seasoned campaigner decided to get in. The Porter announcement also led to the wild speculation that Rep. Jonathan Stickland, would get into the race.
I don’t see it happening. Stickland knows he cannot win and Dunn wouldn’t let Stickland waste his money going up against a strong candidate like Gates. Or Wayne Christian. Or Rep. Jim Keffer for that matter… Keffer spanked Dunn hard last time around. And while Dunn would love to put his employee on the commission, he would have to take him off his payroll. Stickland is talking it up because he loves the attention. Stickland will be back in the House in 2017 – hovering over the back mic, being very loud and very ineffective all over again.
That’s enough silliness for today.
Merry Christmas to you all.