By the Numbers…

It’s usually fun and informative to attend Texas Public Policy Foundation events as they extol the virtues of fiscal responsibility and transparency. I guess they don’t mean to practice what they preach when it comes to their over budget and behind schedule monument to themselves on Congress. Go figure.

Anyway, as I was there this week listening to the various speakers and panelists discuss policy and debate issues, I also got reports of some very interesting conservations involving the numbers on the Speaker’s race.

Tim Dunn cronies from Empower Texans were overheard discussing the number of votes for their Speaker candidate, Scott Turner, next Tuesday. They apparently sounded encouraged as they agreed that Turner has a firm 53 votes. (This matches up with the prediction given a few weeks ago by Rep. Jonathan Stickland at a Tea Party legislative preview hosted by the Texas Tribune.)

These Dunn employees went on to explain the reasoning behind purchasing the expensive statewide robocalls from Glen Beck on behalf of Rep. Turner that hit the streets over the past few days. Why go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars for such a stellar celebrity caller?

According to Dunn’s men, they’re excited about holding firm with these 53 votes and they think the Speaker’s chair is well within reach for Turner. There was even talk that Turner may have been able to flip 7 Democrats into his camp after heavily courting them these past few weeks. The logic follows that if these robocalls can get candidate Turner the extra 15 or so votes that his team believes they need to close the deal, it’s money well spent by Team Dunn and Rep. Turner. Anything less, and they’ve lost ground on Tuesday.

We will have to wait a few days to see if the plan works, but suffice to say that the millions spent by Tim Dunn on his own, with nearly million reported on Turner’s speaker disclosure forms, have made this the most expensive effort in the history of Texas to depose a Speaker. The numbers on Tuesday will tell whether it was money well spent.


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