Tag Archives: Dan Patrick

Where’s the fraud … Dan?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So help me, I cannot get my noggin past that idiotic offer Texas Lt. Gov.  Dan Patrick made some months ago to his fellow Texans.

He offered to pay anyone a million bucks if they produced evidence of widespread vote fraud in Texas during the 2020 presidential election. The offer has become part of the Republican legislative mantra as legislators seek to make it more difficult for Texans to vote.

The link between the offer and the GOP legislative effort is clear: Republicans insist there was fraud; no one has produced a shred of proof of fraud in Texas or anywhere else for that matter.

Patrick — who came into this world with the name of Dannie Scott Goeb (and I don’t know why I mentioned that, other than perhaps to illustrate this clown’s phoniness) — has made vote fraud an issue as he pushes the Texas Senate over which he presides to enact these restrictions.

Why, though, hasn’t Patrick produced proof? Why is he relying on some unknown Texan to provide the Legislature with proof — where none exists — of vote fraud?

The reason the lieutenant governor hasn’t delivered the goods is because there are no goods to deliver. It’s also why he hasn’t been forced to shell out the dough to anyone else who has proof of vote fraud.

It is another version of The Big Lie.

Lt. Gov. Patrick’s offer remains on the table. I do not expect anyone to come forward with proof of vote fraud. Which begs the question: Has the Texas lieutenant governor committed an act of treason — along with the former Nitwit in Chief — by challenging a free and fair election?

What’s the rush, Lt. Gov. Patrick?

(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Dan Patrick continues to exhibit traits that just pi** me off royally.

The Texas lieutenant governor is trying to pressure another fairly loathsome politician — Gov. Greg Abbott — into calling a special legislative session in June. Why? Because the lieutenant governor wants the Legislature to enact some conservative bills that aren’t going to make it to Abbott’s desk when the regular session ends in a few days.

Dan Patrick calls for special session of the Texas Legislature | The Texas Tribune

Left undone are bills, for instance, that would ban transgender students from competing in high school sports activities, would prohibit local governments from using taxpayer funds to pay for lobbyists and punish social media companies for “censoring” Texans based on their political viewpoints.

Abbott calls Patrick’s demand “premature” and has urged legislators to get “conservative legislation to my desk” before the regular session adjourns.

Good grief! The Legislature is coming back to work later in the fall to work on redistricting and reapportionment — which is required under the U.S. Constitution. Special legislative sessions happen to cost a lot of money. That doesn’t bother Patrick in the least or so it would appear. It does bother me, given that they do all this work on my dime, as well as on yours.

I suppose if the Legislature is intent on getting this “conservative” agenda enacted, it could wait until after it finishes the redistricting work it is required to do. Although if I had my druthers, I would hope the Legislature would leave these issues alone.

Listen to us, legislators!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What gives with our elected representation in Austin?

They are charting legislative courses that, according to public opinion surveys, go directly against the wishes of the people for whom they work. That us, folks! You and me! And perhaps even our neighbors and family members.

Here’s a case in point.

The Texas Legislature is moving toward enacting a law that allows Texans to pack heat on their hips — a pistol in the open — without having to undergo a simple course and exam to prove they know how to handle the shootin’ iron.

Legislators, led by the Republican majority, call it “constitutional carry.” So, what do rank-and-file Texans think of it? They are opposed to letting our neighbors pack heat into the grocery store, or to park, or the gasoline service station.

The latest poll from the Texas Tribune/University of Texas says that 59 percent of Texans oppose “constitutional carry” of firearms. According to the Tribune: A solid majority of Texas voters don’t think adults should be allowed to carry handguns in public places without permits or licenses, though the idea is popular with a 56% majority of Republicans. Overall, 59% oppose unlicensed carry — a number driven up by the 85% of Democrats who oppose it. On the Republican side, the gun questions revealed a gender gap. Among Republican men, 70% said they support unlicensed carry; 49% of Republican women oppose that position.

So, my question is this: Who in the hell are the 181 state senators and House members, plus Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who runs the Senate — listening to?

Texas voters on “constitutional carry,” abortion bans and more in UT/TT Poll | The Texas Tribune

If we are to believe the Tribune/UT poll, they ain’t listening to their bosses, those of us who have to live with the laws they approve.

Shameful. Just shameful.

Nut jobs winning the gun debate

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well, I’ll be deep fried and dipped in corn meal.

The nut job cabal within the Texas Legislature appears to be winning the debate over whether to allow Texans to pack heat without requiring a state-issued permit to do so.

What in the world is happening to us? Do we really believe — as most Republicans in the Legislature believe — that more guns on the streets make us safer? Eek, man!

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who once expressed concern about such a notion, now appears set to push it through. He needs 18 state senators to get it to the floor for consideration and, presumably, enactment. Eighteen Republicans are serving in the Texas Senate. One of them, Kel Seliger of Amarillo, had balked at endorsing the permit-less carry bill. Not to worry, though, Democratic Sen. Eddie Lucio might be the 18th senator to sign on to the bill and send it to the floor.

So help me, this notion gives me the heebie-jeebies. I was not a fan of concealed carry legislation when it was enacted in the 1990s. I have grown to accept it as sufficient.

Constitutional carry bill advancing in Texas Senate, Dan Patrick says | The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune reports on potential changes to the bill that make it palatable to law enforcement, which so far has stood against its enactment:

Count me as one Texan who remains unconvinced this is a good idea.

One surprise from this session

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If one were to press me for a response to a certain question, I would say that the Texas Legislature’s biggest surprise this session has been the absence of a bathroom bill similar to one that went down in flames in 2017.

For those who might not recall, here’s a brief recap:

The 2017 Legislature considered a bill pushed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that would have required anyone using a public restroom to use the one that comported with their gender at birth. That meant that transgender people could not use restrooms that aligned with their current gender. Yep, transgender men had to use the women’s restroom and vice versa.

Got it? Well, Gov. Greg Abbott called a special session and put the bathroom bill on the call list of issues to ponder.

Then it ran into then-House Speaker Joe Straus’s resistance. Straus said in no way would he allow the bill to advance through the House of Representatives. He declared it discriminated against transgender individuals and had no place in the roster of state laws.

The bill died a deservedly agonizing death.

Given the Legislature’s continued campaign to forge a conservative social agenda, I am surprised that a return of the bathroom bill has failed to materialize.

Straus left the Legislature after the 2017 session. His replacement as speaker, Dennis Bonnen, didn’t bring it back in 2019. Bonnen then left the House and his successor as speaker, Dade Phelan, hasn’t said a word about bringing this bill back.

Which is just fine with me. This goofy notion needed to die. May it stay dead … forever and ever.

New feud brewing in Texas Senate?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Even though I am far removed from state and local politics these days by virtue of my retirement from full-time journalism, I do maintain a fairly high level of interest in the goings-on.

Such as what might be brewing in Austin between Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and a longtime nemesis, Republican state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo.

I’ll stipulate up front that I have declared my pro-Seliger bias. I know the senator quite well and I consider him a friend. He and Patrick have butted noggins already in previous legislative sessions. Patrick has sought to punish Seliger for allegedly “insulting” a key aide of Patrick’s. My reading of Seliger’s response has been it’s rolled off his broad back.

Now, though, comes this nutty legislation that might get stalled in the Senate. It’s the one that would allow any Texan who lives to pack a firearm even without obtaining a state-issued permit under the state’s concealed-carry law. Seliger thinks the current system works just fine and hasn’t signed on to the bill already approved by the House of Representatives.

Patrick, meanwhile, says he’ll move the bill forward once it obtains the required 18-vote majority it requires under Senate rules; Seliger’s holdout leaves the bill one vote short before it can be taken up by the full Senate.

Seliger is leaving open the possibility that he could be persuaded to support the bill. I hope he stands firm. It’s not that I want Patrick to punish him some more. Indeed, there’s little more that Patrick can do to Seliger above what he’s done already, which was to strip him of committee chairmanships and reassign him from some of the higher profile Senate panels on which he served.

I dislike the proposed legislation. No … I hate it!

With that, I will implore my friend to stand firm. Be strong.

Stand firm, Sen. Seliger

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Oh, I do hope a certain state senator reads this blog, as I intend to encourage him to stand firm against a blatantly reckless piece of legislation.

Republican Kel Seliger of Amarillo, a longtime friend of mine, is digging in against a bill that would, if approved, allow any Texan to pack heat even without a permit.

It’s a bit complicated. Texas Senate rules require 18 votes to consider a bill for a floor debate. That means all Republicans need to endorse the legislation. Seliger is balking.

The Texas Tribune reported: On Friday afternoon, one key GOP senator, Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo, suggested he may not be immediately supportive of the proposal. He told The Texas Tribune that his office was still researching the issue and he tends to support “just about all” bills related to gun rights, but the “system that we have now works.” He said it was too early to say whether he would block the bill from coming to the floor or vote against it if it made it to the floor.

Texas constitutional carry lacks the votes in Senate, Dan Patrick says | The Texas Tribune

The system “we have now” requires anyone who takes a brief course on firearm safety and operation and then passes a background check can carry a handgun concealed on his or her person. Yeah, the current system works well. What the Legislature is considering — and which the House already has approved — is a bill to allow anyone to carry a gun.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the Senate, said the legislative body lacks the votes to approve the bill, but added that he intends to work to ensure that it makes the grade. That disappoints me, given that in 2017 he expressed concern about the notion of putting guns in the hands of every Texan who wants to carry one.

In a way, though, Seliger’s apparent resistance doesn’t surprise me. Nor would it surprise me if Patrick punishes Seliger in some fashion if the senator digs in for the length of the legislative session. The two men aren’t fond of each other as it is. Hey, I’ll just have to stand with my friend on this one.

You go, Mr. Former Speaker!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joe Straus describes himself as a “stay-and-fight Republican,” but it’s unclear to me how much fight he has left in his struggle with the party to which he has belonged for decades.

Straus is the former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. He bowed out of office before the start of the 2019 Legislature, only to watch his successor as speaker, Dennis Bonnen, implode over a treacherous act against his former GOP lawmakers; Bonnen got caught promising to sacrifice 10 legislators who had drawn the ire of a far-right-wing political action committee.

Indeed, not long after Straus announced his intention to retire from the Legislature, I implored him to reconsider. He didn’t listen to me.

Speaker Straus, would you reconsider quitting the House? | High Plains Blogger

Now, though, he is telling the Texas Tribune that he might run for public office in 2022. Straus told the Tribune’s Evan Smith that the state GOP no longer is in the same place he occupies. It’s become a cult, he said.

Texas Tribune podcast: Former Texas House Speaker Joe Straus on the GOP | The Texas Tribune

Straus has me wanting to give him a high five, an atta boy, a shout out. I want him back in the arena.

Why do I admire this fellow? Well, during the 2017 Legislature, he had the guts to stand up to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s desire to enact a bathroom bill that sought to discriminate against transgender individuals. Patrick wanted the Legislature to enact a law that required people to use public restrooms in accordance to the gender with which they were born. Transgender individuals? Forget about it. Women had to use the men’s room, and vice versa.

Straus called a halt to it and it died in the House of Representatives.

Joe Straus is a reasonable man who deserves to hold a position of power in this state.

Let me think, what’s available to him. Oh, I know: The lieutenant governor’s office is up in 2022. My hunch is that Patrick will seek re-election, or he might decide to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in the GOP primary.

I loathe Dan Patrick. I admire Joe Straus. He told Evan Smith: “I don’t have a plan right now. I do think that in the future, people in this state are going to be looking for a different type of leadership than we’ve had right now.”

Boy, howdy!

Sing it out loudly?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick got his underwear tied up in knots when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced he wouldn’t allow the playing of the national anthem before NBA games at the American Airlines Center.

Then the NBA intervened and declared that, oh yes you will, Mr. Cuban, play the anthem, because it’s league policy that we hear “The Star Spangled Banner” before pro basketball games.

Patrick, though, was so angry he announced he would push for “The Star Spangled Banner Protection Act” in the Texas Senate, over which he presides.

The act is quite fascinating. The Texas Tribune reports about the bill: It hasn’t been filed yet, but it would require the playing of the anthem at all events that receive public funding. Presumably, that would include sessions of the House and Senate, which start with prayers, and pledges to the U.S. and Texas flags, but no anthem.

Analysis: A Star-Spangled culture war in Texas | The Texas Tribune

Let’s play this out. Do we play the anthem before we commence, oh, city council or school board meetings, or before counties’ commissioners courts meeting? They’re all open to the public. They receive public money, too.

I have the pleasure of attending Farmersville City Council and school board of trustees meetings as a freelance reporter for the Farmersville Times. I do not believe we are going to sing the anthem before the governing bodies start their meetings.

This, I submit, is a typical example of government overreaction that offers a so-called solution to an alleged problem.

Patrick strikes back at Mavs owner

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Maybe I should have seen this coming.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has declared a form of political “war” against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. You need to know why. He is angry that Cuban no longer allows the National Anthem to be played before NBA games at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Patrick won’t have it. He wants to make playing the Anthem mandatory at all sporting events.

Ayyye!

I’m tellin’ ya, the measures some folks take to insert government into matters where it really doesn’t belong. This appears to be one of those matters.

“It is hard to believe this could happen in Texas, but Mark Cuban’s actions of yesterday made it clear that we must specify that in Texas we play the national anthem before all major events,” Patrick said in a statement. “In this time when so many things divide us, sports are one thing that bring us together — right, left, black, white and brown. This legislation already enjoys broad support. I am certain it will pass, and the Star Spangled Banner will not be threatened in the Lone Star State again.”

Dan Patrick introduces “Star Spangled Banner Act” after Mavericks stopped playing national anthem | The Texas Tribune

I’ve already stated my tepid view on this matter. It remains so.

Cuban doesn’t want the Mavs to be inserted into political statements, such as when players “take a knee” during the Anthem to protest police brutality chiefly against African-American citizens. Given that the NBA comprises an overwhelmingly African-American roster of athletes, this form of peaceful protest has become standard among players.

Now we have the Legislature getting involved?

Give me a break. Please.

Patrick tweeted this: “Sell the franchise & some Texas Patriots will buy it. We ARE the land of free & the home of the brave.”

The land “of free”? Yes, we are. We are free to run our businesses as we see fit. Which is what Mark Cuban is doing. He isn’t making a choice I would make, but he’s the owner of the team. The lieutenant governor ought to butt out.