Tag Archives: border security

Abbott is swimming in campaign cash

Greg Abbott has become a fundraising dynamo in his campaign for governor, which a lot of observers think he’s going to win next month.

He’s got an estimated $30 million in the bank. He won’t spend it all, according to the Texas Tribune.

What’s the deal?


It appears he’s saving it up for the next campaign in 2018, which could get serious if another Republican — state Sen. Dan Patrick — is elected lieutenant governor.

Patrick might be so darn full of himself that he’ll want to challenge Abbott for governor in four years. I’m worried far less about Patrick’s challenge of Abbott than I worry about what kind of governor Abbott would become.

Here’s the deal.

If Abbott wants to fend off a challenge from the right wing of his party, he’ll have to govern from the far right. That means he’ll let loose with fiery rhetoric about border security, working with Texas congressional Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, appointing right-wing ideologues to all those boards and commissions and perhaps even raising the specter of secession when the moment presents itself.

There might be a formidable Democrat out there who’ll challenge a Gov. Abbott in 2018. Let’s not kid ourselves, though, about where the stiffest challenge might present itself.

It’ll come from within the Republican Party.

As the Tribune reports: “The target of this cash juggernaut, of course, may not be a Democrat at all, but rather GOP lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick, who as (Austin American-Statesman reporter Jonathan) Tilove writes, ‘would like to be governor someday.'”

Therein lies the concern of where an Abbott governorship will take the state in the meantime.

Divide over border crisis? Shocking!

Imagine my fake surprise at news that Republicans and Democrats are divided over how to solve the immigration/refugee crisis on our nation’s southern border.


Republicans who control the House of Representatives are trying to slash President Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency spending request to deal with the flood of young people fleeing Central America.

Democrats who control the Senate are trying to preserve most of what Obama has asked.

My take? If Republicans think the immigration crisis has reached some sort of critical mass, why are they scaling back so much of what the president is asking?

They want more border security? They want speedier repatriation of the immigrants? They want to hold the families and governments sending these young people to the United States accountable for their actions?

I believe the request does all of that. What in the world am I missing?

Yes, this crisis of serious national concern. There once was a time when leaders of the two major parties would lock arms and hammer out solutions — together. Those days appear to have vanished in the dust bin of recrimination that has become a way of life on Capitol Hill.

This is a disgraceful example of representative democracy failing to do what the people it represents want it to do.

Fix the problem.

Elect a ‘prosecutor’ for Texas AG?

“I have sued Obama 7X and am the only candidate 4 attorney general who’s a proven prosecutor! Help me secure our Texas border.”

That is a tweet from Barry Smitherman, one of the Republican candidates for Texas attorney general who’s seeking to succeed Greg Abbott, the presumptive GOP favorite for the party’s gubernatorial nomination.

I have been awaiting this kind of chest-thumping, which if you consider the nature of the office, is quite irrelevant.

Smitherman is a smart guy who happens to serve on the Texas Railroad Commission, the agency that regulates the state’s oil-and-natural-gas industry. He also appears to be running for attorney general in the Jim Mattox mold of Texas grandstander.

The attorney general essentially is the state’s top lawyer, representing the state’s interest in litigation. Say, the state is taken to court. The AG’s office represents the state in the courtroom. The state does not “prosecute” bad guys. That task is left to district attorneys who are elected by county voters.

Why the Mattox comparison? Well, Mattox was the former Democratic attorney general who traipsed around a crime scene in Mexico vowing to capture and prosecute the individuals responsible for murdering a University of Texas student in the late 1980s.

Mattox had no business making the that pledge, just as Smitherman’s prosecutorial experience really doesn’t matter in the race for attorney general.