Tag Archives: Greg Abbott

Davis a go for Texas governor?

The Texas political media are full of smart folks who know the ins and outs of the state’s raucous political world.

One of the smarter guys, Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News, thinks state Sen. Wendy Davis is likely to run for Texas governor in 2014.


I hope he’s right, if only because the Republicans Party establishment needs a serious challenge from the “other” major party.

Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat, who made such a splash with her spectacular legislative special session filibuster against an anti-abortion bill — which eventually became law during the second special session — is trying to decide whether to run for the state’s top job next year. The winds are hitting her square in the face, as Texas remains a heavily Republican state.

But man, she is charismatic and would enliven the contest like no other Democrat.

Republicans have their own gubernatorial fight brewing between state Attorney General Greg Abbott and Dallas lawyer/businessman and former state GOP chairman Tom Pauken. Abbott has to be considered the odds-on favorite in that primary — and in next fall’s general election.

Davis, though, would be an attention-getter were she to be nominated by Texas Democrats (duh!).

The state needs a white-hot campaign at the top of its political ballot. Wendy Davis would ignite it, no matter who she would face.

Airline merger equals campaign issue

If I understand Tom Pauken correctly, the fact that the state’s attorney general actually supports the federal government’s decision to fight a proposed airline merger makes the AG’s position a non-starter.

Why? Because the AG has been fighting the feds for years and the state simply cannot possibly be on the same side as the enemy — no matter the merits of the case.

Ah … Texas politics. Nothing like it.

Pauken is running for the Republican nomination for Texas governor against AG Greg Abbott, who says he fears a proposed merger between American Airlines and US Airways would result in fare increases and reduced service to rural areas.


The feds say the same thing about the proposed merger. Thus, Abbott and the U.S. Justice Department are on the same page on this very specific issue. Abbott and/or his staff of lawyers presumably have analyzed the specifics of the case and determined that, by golly, maybe the feds have a point.

Isn’t that what lawyers do? Pauken, himself a lawyer as well as a former Texas Republican Party chairman, ought to understand that principle.

Instead, he seems to be suggesting that Abbott — who is fighting on behalf those who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act — simply must remain opposed to President Obama, Eric Holder and the federal government because they’re just so darn unpopular in Texas.

This is where every single policy statement becomes a campaign issue.

Ain’t Texas politics grand?

Let’s debate, GOP contenders

Tom Pauken is pushing Greg Abbott hard for a debate — or a series of debates — leading up to next spring’s Texas Republican gubernatorial primary.

Abbott ought to take up the challenge.


The Texas attorney general has been deemed the prohibitive favorite to win the GOP nomination next spring and with that, the election in the fall against whomever the Democratic Party nominates.

Pauken, a Dallas lawyer and the former chairman of the state Republican Party, is having none of it.

He calls Abbott the “$25 million man,” alluding to the massive war chest the AG has accumulated. Pauken said he believes Abbott thinks of himself as having some kind of “divine right of succession” to the governorship being vacated at the end of next year by Rick Perry.

Actually, Pauken is right to press for debates. I like the idea of two serious candidates for governor arguing in public over policy differences. They can be entertaining to be sure. More than that, they can be educational and informative.

Some critics lampooned the 2012 GOP presidential primary for having too many debates. I wasn’t among them. My only concern about that series of joint appearances became the carnival atmosphere that accompanied so many of them. The candidates would prance out onto debate stages to roaring crowds, waving atĀ audience membersĀ like game-show contestants. It detracted from the serious nature of what was at stake.

Abbott and Pauken seem like studious men to me. They both know the issues. They both have positions — I reckon — on all of them.

So let’s hear them articulate their view of where Texas ought to go in the post-Rick Perry era.