What a difference one week makes….

Rep. Capriglione certainly knows how to make news. Staring down the NETTP, the most vicious and non-sensical tea party group in the state last week, Rep. Capriglione stated what everyone in Austin knew: Scott Turner isn’t going to be Speaker in January, and shouldn’t be. With his “friends”, Reps. Stickland, Tinderholt, Krause and Zedler standing by and throwing him to the pack, Rep. Capriglione upset the crowd by speaking the truth. Several interesting things came out of this announcement:
–Reps. Stickland and Tinderholt were forced to reveal that they support Rep. Turner and always have. These two have been making the rounds to the Austin lobby for several months professing their support of Straus and his leadership team, trying to coax money out of them. Its hard having to rely entirely on Tim Dunn for their financial well being. Only Hillco bought it and very generously came in as the largest lobby donor to Stickland (let’s see how well the chairmen take that in 2015). Now the lobby knows them for what they are and can save their money and remember being lied to.
–Rep. Krause has shown himself to be an educated gentleman, willing to base his support for Turner on something other than vitriol and fabrication. That is unlike the rabid anti-Straus crowd who can only resort to name-calling and made up “facts” to support their agenda. Speaking of which… Rep. Villalba shouldn’t have, and needn’t have, stooped to the name calling level by referring to Mike Sullivan, Cathie Adams and Alice Linahan as “goons”. Mike is a lobbyist for Tim Dunn with multiple ethics violations and no policy credentials. Cathie will always be remembered as the chair who bankrupted to the Republican Party and is anything but fiscally conservative, and Alice…. Well, Alice just likes attention. And only 3 people listening to the WFAA show knew who these three folks are. No need for rudeness Rep. Villalba.
–Speaking of name calling and fabrication, Tim Dunn had his operations start spewing out a totally baseless reconfiguration of legislative history, that at best can be referred to as procedurally and legislatively incorrect. It was clear that he and his employees at ths various subsidiaries were having a complete and total meltdown.
–Other legislators, surprised that anyone thought there was actually a Speakers race in action, publicly validated the truth spoken by Rep. Capriglione and expressed that Rep. Turner, while a fine man, motivational speaker and former NFL player, would not be elected Speaker in January.

Standby for more weirdness as we roll on towards January. It will be a doozie.

Speaker Reports are Interesting Things…

Reports are Interesting Things

From a read of Representative Scott Turner’s speaker campaign report, it appears he has followed the course of numerous other candidates this cycle and is refusing the help of Tim Dunn and the ethical and legal baggage that comes with it. Not to mention the imprint of a long campaign operation that allows Dunn to claim credit for just 3 wins in 22 primary races this cycle. Good choice by Mr. Turner to avoid this group.

The Wallace Hall group, Accountability First, continues its effort to replace Speaker Straus, with its supporters accounting for over 50% of Mr. Turner’s contributions, mainly in the form of a Citation jet. Rep. Turner would do well to avoid those folks as well. Hall is the guy who is receiving plaques from Tim Dunn, being censured by the legislature and a grand jury investigation by the state. Not exactly the type of folks you want to be associated with when you have the clean reputation rightfully enjoyed by Rep. Turner.

But watch for Tim Dunn and Wallace Hall to crank up their attacks on House members in the near future. It has been reported from a recent conversation with chief Dunn lobbyist Mike Sullivan that Dunn and Hall have budgeted $5 million to spend attacking House members in the next 60 days. This is in addition to their attacks on Republican House members in the general election cycle against Democrats and their attacks on the meaningful work of the last session. They have continued to oppose popular infrastructure proposals like Prop 6 on water and Prop 1 on transportation. Everywhere you look, you will find Tim Dunn, Wallace Hall and their operations attacking and tearing down Republican House members. What Republican would want to be associated with this type of group?

November Election Day Predictions

What you have all been waiting for…

At the statewide level, all Republicans will win handily. The margin of victory over the D’s will astonishing. A combination of bad candidates, awful campaigns and a miserable mid-term presidency will launch the R’s to new heights.

In Texas legislative seats, Republicans will do very well. Konny Burton should handily win the SD 10 seat. All Texas Republican House incumbents should win, despite the efforts of Battleground Texas, Tim Dunn and Wallace Hall. These groups, perhaps working together, have been dumping mail and email into races opposing Republican candidates. But as with all their combined efforts in the primaries, the voters aren’t listening to their rants.

The bogus endorsement cards of Tim Dunn and his subsidiaries such as Young Conservatives of Texas will appear to have been successful- because they only weighed in on unopposed or sure thing races. Continuing their joint effort to defeat Republicans, they did nothing that actually helps Republicans like helping Republicans in difficult races. No money, block walking, email, mail… NOTHING.

Wallace Hall is getting his money’s worth for his dark money contributions to Tim Dunn- he is being given an award by Dunn in November. Regent Hall can place this on his wall with his little league trophies and other self-affirmations of importance. Perhaps he will hold a space on the same wall to frame his possible indictment? Really? An award ceremony? Are these guys stuck in 7th grade with their manufactured awards to make them feel good about themselves? Hall’s father must be wishing he’d has a more self-assured son to give all that money to.

I expect to see an uptick in the postcards, petitions, emails and robocalls threatening every Texas House member if they don’t support Scott Turner for Speaker. Dunn, Hall, Sanderfer and company will threaten to fund opponents to members if they don’t vote for Rep. Turner. Setting aside for a moment the questionable legality of such a threat, does Rep. Turner want to be backed by those types of people? Hate to mention the reputation of his supporters: multiple ethics violations, dark money operations, potential pending indictments, censure by the Texas House, mishandling of private student information… just to name a few.