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- You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts;
- An educated electorate is a prerequisite for a democracy.
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” ~ John F. Kennedy, March 13, 1962.
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- Registration for the primaries ended today, Feb. 5, 2018. You can still register for general elections.
- Early Voting Hours of Operation
- Tues February 20 – Fri February 23: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- Saturday February 24: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Sunday February 25: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
- Mon February 26 – Fri March 2: 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Primaries will take place on Tuesday March 6, 2018
- Make sure you are registered:
- Registration for the primaries ended today, Feb. 5, 2018. You can still register for general elections.
Texas Republicans getting almost 90 percent of money flowing into state elections – Donors pumped a total of $67 million into state-level campaigns from the beginning of 2017 through Jan. 25, and a whopping $57 million of it, or about 86 percent, went to GOP candidates, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. Gov. Greg Abbott got nearly a third of all the political money raised since the start of last year, by Ryan Murphy and Jay Root Feb. 19, 2018 3 hours ago
Political money follows political power, and in Texas that means it’s mostly going to Republicans, who scooped up almost 90 cents of every dollar that’s gone into state campaign coffers so far in the 2018 election cycle.
- Put another way: Donors pumped a total of $67 million into state-level campaigns from the beginning of 2017 through Jan. 25, and a whopping $57 million of it, or about 86 percent, went to GOP candidates, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. The top 20 recipients of state campaign largesse in Texas were all Republicans.
- Greg Abbott dominates Texas fundraising like no other candidate, pulling in an astonishing $20 million during that period, or nearly a third of all the political money raised in state races since the beginning of last year. Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick came in a distant second with $6.8 million raised over the last 13 months.
- … a handful of Democratic candidates — including U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is running to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz— have turned in some strong fundraising totals and in some cases have out-raised their GOP counterparts.
- …The Democrat who raised the most money for the period was CPA Mike Collier of Houston, a candidate for lieutenant governor, with $388,701, the analysis shows. …
- One Texas Democrat can claim bragging rights to the state’s third biggest campaign bank account: state Sen. John Whitmire of Houston, the longest serving member of the Texas Senate, had $8.6 million, but that was a far cry from Abbott’s $43.4 million or Patrick’s $12.6 million in cash on hand.
- Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, said the numbers underscore the degree to which “the Democratic Party barely exists” as an organization with resources. Democrats haven’t won a statewide race in Texas since 1994.
- “To the extent that there are some indications out there that at the national level there is a Democratic wave coming … it shows that there are also factors in Texas that make for a pretty good breakwater if you’re a Republican,” Henson added.
- House races pull in big money – Texas donors spent heavily on candidates for the state House of Representatives, where retirements and highly spirited Republican primary contests are driving donors to open their wallets to the tune of more than $21 million — almost a third of the total contributions.
- The most expensive House race so far … District 99’s GOP primary, where state Rep. Charlie Geren of Fort Worth and … primary challenger, Bo French, brought in nearly $700,000 combined.
- In the Texas Senate, where not every incumbent is up for re-election in 2018, donors have given a little under $10 million so far. The most expensive Senate race at this point is the open GOP primary in District 8, where two candidates with family members already in high office — Phillip Huffines, brother of Sen. Don Huffines; and Angela Paxton, wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton — are duking it out for the seat held by outgoing state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano.
- Out-of-state donations pour into Texas – Out-of-state donors have pumped more than $4.5 million into state campaigns so far, and Abbott unsurprisingly scooped up the lion’s share — 29 percent, or about $1.3 million.
- Abbott received $100,000 from California billionaire Ed Roski — who also donated $50,000 to Patrick — and a combined $75,000 from Charles and Elizabeth Koch and Koch Industries PAC. Republican Jewish Coalition Florida Chair Jeffrey Feingold and Washington lawyer and former White House aide C. Boyden Gray each contributed $50,000 to Abbott.
- The next highest recipient of out-of-state dough was GOP Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who pulled in more than $600,000, followed by Patrick with $342,000 and KenPaxton with $158,000 — including $100,000 from the Republican Attorneys General Association. Paxton’s Democratic challenger, Justin Nelson, was No. 5 with $81,000 from outside the Lone Star State.
- Central Austin is still donor epicenter – … the most prolific zip code for state fundraising — 78701 — sits in central Austin, home to the state Capitol and… most of the major corporate lobbyists and big special interest political action committees. That zip code accounted for more than $6 million in donations; the next two highest (with less than $2 million each) were 75225, which takes in the wealthy city of University Park near Dallas, and 75201, which straddles uptown and downtown Dallas.
- Next was Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC ($1 million), followed by Texas Right to Life PAC ($508,385), tax consultant Brint Ryan-associated Ryan Texas PAC ($360,000), the Austin lobbyist firm’s Hillco PAC ($339,000) and the Border Health PAC ($306,000).
- Abbott’s campaign dominated the PAC contributions, too, getting $250,000 from Fort Worth investment banker Geoffrey Raynor’s QPAC; $150,000 from the Gulf States Toyota PAC and $100,000 from the Ryan Texas PAC. Patrick didn’t come close to Abbott, but still picked up $125,000 from the Border Health PAC, $100,000 from Ryan Texas PAC and $50,000 from the Texas Dental Association PAC.
- Mega-donors flock to GOP – Of the 20 largest individual donations going to a Republican candidate, Abbott had 15 of them, including a $1 million donation from ranchers Michael and Mary Porter. The governor got 12 donations of $250,000 — two of which (for a total of $500,000) came from Midland oilman and Abbott appointee Javaid Anwar, and two others (also for $500,000) came from Texas road builder James D. Pitcock, CEO of Williams Brothers Construction.
- Other Abbott quarter-million-dollar club members for the cycle so far include pipeline magnate and Texas Parks & Wildlife Commissioner Kelcy Warren, Texas Central (bullet train) chairman and former Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane, and Iranian-American businessman and former diplomat Hushang Ansary.
- Beyond Abbott, House District 99 candidate Bo French, challenging Rep. Charlie Geren, got $200,000 from Empower Texans PAC, as did Sen. Bob Hall. Meanwhile, Lt. Gov Dan Patrick had the last three donations, all for $150,000, on the top 20 list: from Houston billionaire and Gulf States Toyota CEO Dan Friedkin, Drayton McLane and Pitcock of Williams Brothers.
- Democrats lag in big donations – The largest donation going to a Democrat came from the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Native of El Paso, known as the Tiguas, who gave one of their own federally-recognized members, MarySue Femath, $100,000 for her primary race against incumbent Rep. Mary González in House District 75. The amounts drop dramatically from there…
- Donors gave $1 million to candidates for the Texas Supreme Court, 76 percent of which went to Republicans; $170,000 to Texas Court of Criminal Appeals candidates, 89 percent of it to Republicans; and just $51,000 so far to State Board of Education races, where Republicans received 55 percent of the money.Texas Republicans getting almost 90 percent of money flowing into state elections – Donors pumped a total of $67 million into state-level campaigns from the beginning of 2017 through Jan. 25, and a whopping $57 million of it, or about 86 percent, went to GOP candidates, according to a Texas Tribune analysis. Gov. Greg Abbott got nearly a third of all the political money raised since the start of last year, by Ryan Murphy and Jay Root Feb. 19, 2018 3 hours ago
- UT/TT Poll: Texas Republican voters remain high on Trump – With the usual disclaimers about partisan imbalance, President Donald Trump’s job approval ratings are holding steady, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. BY ROSS RAMSEY [Texas Tribune ] 19, 2018 18 HOURS AGO
- Florida school shooting: Trump ‘supportive’ of better gun background checks, 2-19-2018, 2 hours ago [BBC.COM]
- US President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve background checks on gun ownership, the White House says.
- He spoke with Republican Senator John Cornyn about a bipartisan bill that seeks to improve the checks in place before someone can buy a gun.
- After that shooting, a bipartisan bill was introduced by Mr Cornyn and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy.
- It would require federal agencies to report background information thoroughly and accurately. It also proposed offering states financial incentives to do the same through a penalty and reward system.
- On Monday, Mr Murphy said the president’s support for the bill was “another sign the politics of gun violence are shifting”, but added that “no-one should pretend this bill alone is an adequate response to this epidemic”.
- Pennsylvania’s new congressional map could boost Democrats, by Marc Levy | AP February 19, 2018 [com] at 4:25 PM
- HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s high court issued a new congressional district map for the state’s 2018 elections on its self-imposed deadline on Monday, potentially giving Democrats a boost in their quest to capture control of the U.S. House unless Republicans are able to stop it in federal court.
- The map of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a congressional map widely viewed as among the nation’s most gerrymandered. The map was approved in a 4-3 decision, with four Democratic justices backing it and one Democratic justice siding with two Republicans against it.
- Most significantly, the new map likely gives Democrats a better shot at winning seats in Philadelphia’s heavily populated and moderate suburbs, where Republicans had held seats in bizarrely contorted districts, including one labeled “Goofy Kicking Donald Duck.”
- President Trump Ranks Last in ‘Presidential Greatness,’ According to Historians, By Lisa Marie Segarra [COM] 2-19-2018, 6:11 PM EST
- Just in time for Presidents’ Day, a survey of 170 presidential historians puts Trump in dead last place – behind even James Buchanan, whom many historians blame for failing to stop the Civil War.
- Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness survey, conducted by University of Houston professor Brandon Rottinghaus and Boise State University professor Justin S. Vaughn, polled current and recent members of the Presidents & Executive Politics Section of the American Political Science Association and asked them to grade each president.
- America’s Cultural Revolution, by Catherine Rampell
- Last month in Shanghai, Chinese venture capitalist Eric X. Li made a provocative suggestion. The United States, he said, was going through its own “Cultural Revolution.” …
- Li said he saw several parallels between the violence and chaos in China decades ago and the animosity coursing through the United States today. In both cases, the countries turned inward, focusing more on defining the soul of their nations than on issues beyond their borders.
- He said that both countries were also “torn apart by ideological struggles,” with kinships, friendships and business relationships being severed by political differences.
- “Virtually all types of institutions, be it political, educational, or business, are exhausting their internal energy in dealing with contentious, and seemingly irreconcilable, differences in basic identities and values — what it means to be American,” he said in a subsequent email exchange. “In such an environment, identity trumps reason, ideology overwhelms politics, and moral convictions replace intellectual discourse.”
- 7 Reforms After Trump, by Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) 12/3/17, 19:31
- Repeal Shelby v Holder (LEGISLATE: Renew Voting Rights Act)
- Repeal Citizens United (LEGISLATE/AMENDMENT: Limit Money in Politics, abolish anonymous money in politics)
- Abolish electoral college (or can it be saved?)
- Apply anti-nepotism law to White House (It was WRITTEN for White House [Robert Kennedy serving with JFK])
- POTUS candidates must release tax returns (LEGISLATE/AMENDMENT: for how many years)
- Presidents may not self-pardon (AMENDMENT OR LEGISLATION: or pardon executive appointees?)
- Special counsel has power to indict president
- 2/3 Senate vote to confirm SCOTUS appointment
- Sex and Politics: Where’s the boundary between innocent and inappropriate?
TOPICS FROM PREVIOUS WEEKS:
- What do belts around Proxima Centauri mean for exoplanet research?, By John Wenz | Published: Friday, November 03, 2017 [http://www.astronomy.com]
- TV Talk:
- “The Good Place”
- “The Orville”
- “Adam Ruins Everything”
SOURCES WHICH MAY BE RELEVANT TO OTHER DISCUSSION: