Tag Archives: GOP runoff

Paxton not using his name? How come?

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the indicted statewide elected official seeking re-election to a third term, has decided to go after his Republican Party primary runoff opponent using what I consider to be an odd tactic.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush is too “liberal” to be elected AG, the pro-Paxton TV ad says. A Texas pol named “Bush” — the nephew and grandson of two presidents of the United States — is too liberal? What a joke!

What’s curious is that the ad doesn’t mention Ken Paxton’s name. The ad is paid for by some political action committee that is supporting Paxton. But one doesn’t know the AG’s name if one relies only on the ad to make a determination on to whom to vote in the GOP runoff.

Hmm. It spurred my thought process. Why won’t the group divulge the name of the guy it is supporting?

I figure it’s because Ken Paxton’s “brand” is so sullied by the indictment, handed down in 2015 right after Paxton took office that it doesn’t want to remind Texas Republicans that they have an alleged crook running the state’s AG office.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton on a charge of securities fraud. Through a series of delays and legal mumbo-jumbo the case still hasn’t gone to trial. Last I heard Paxton’s now supposed to stand trial in Collin County. The case has been tossed back and forth between Harris and Collin counties. What’s more, the FBI is investigation allegations of illegal activity in his office.

The guy actually should resign from the AG’s office. Now that he’s still running for re-election, I am left to wonder why the stern ad blasting George P.  Bush makes no mention of the guy the buyers of the ad are supporting.

I believe something is seriously wrong the Paxton brand.


Rep. Taylor issues stunning admission … then quits

Well … I’ll be deep fried and rolled in oats. I had just urged U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, a Plano Republican, to “get busy” and start working to get his supporters to the polls for a May runoff with former Collin County Judge Keith Self. Then the word came out.

It seems that Taylor had been busier than I ever imagined. He admitted to having an affair with a Plano woman — and then he dropped out of his re-election bid. The withdrawal hands the GOP nomination to Self, who now is slated to be the prohibitive favorite to be elected from Texas’s Third Congressional District.

Oh … boy! What a revelation!

Taylor and a woman called an “ISIS bride,” as she was married to an Islamic State fighter, reportedly had a months-long fling. News of the affair reportedly got into the hands of Suzanne Harp, another GOP candidate for Congress who, I guess, was about to spill the beans.

Taylor issued a statement via e-mail to his supporters, which stated, in part: “About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life. I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters.”

Taylor said he has spoken with Self and wished him well as he seeks to win the election to Congress.


I hate to be the predictor of terrible news, but it appears to me — and to anyone with half a brain — that Self is going to be elected in a rejiggered congressional district that is even more GOP-friendly than it was before reapportionment. Self is a member of The Big Lie cabal of cultists who insist that the 2020 election was stolen from The Donald. Self managed to parlay his view into forcing Taylor into a runoff, denying the incumbent the 50% vote he needed to win the nomination outright.

Self now is going to run against Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivistava, who doesn’t have a prayer of defeating Self. Not in this climate. Not in this district.

I don’t know what in the world to say about Van Taylor’s mistake. It likely will doom any thought he might have had about further public service.

There are so many astonishing factors about this development. One of them happens to be this fact: Taylor enjoyed strong endorsements from fervent conservative organizations, such as the National Rifle Association and the Heritage Foundation. Yet he drew the wrath of The Donald’s cultists simply because he voted (a) to certify President Biden’s election in 2020 and (b) to establish a bipartisan independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection. Never mind that Taylor then opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to appoint a select committee to look at 1/6. He committed — in the eyes of the Trump cultists — a mortal sin by voting to accept Joe Biden’s election and seeking an independent panel to examine the insurrection.

I am stunned to the max.


Congressman faces runoff … holy crap!

Can it be even remotely possible that the North Texas Republican Party is actually going to fall for the trash being spewed by the far-right wing cabal of kooks who say a staunch GOP member of Congress has “betrayed” the party simply because he favored creation of an independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection on the nation’s Capitol?

Oh, and that he believes Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States and voted to certify the Electoral College result affirming that fact?

Well, the young man who represents my family and me in Congress is headed to a runoff in May. Van Taylor of Plano will face off against a former three-term Collin County judge, Keith Self. By all rights and whatever is left of political reason, Taylor should have breezed to his party’s nomination in Tuesday’s Republican Party primary. He didn’t make the 50%-plus one vote majority he needed to avoid the runoff. Self, a fellow who contends there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and implies the presidency was stolen from The Donald, now gets a chance to defeat Taylor head to head.

What a freakin’ joke!

Now, I want to be clear. I do not support Van Taylor’s re-election. However, given the choice between Taylor and the wingnut who is challenging him, I would prefer the GOP nominate Taylor for a third term in the House. What frightens me about Self is that he appeals to that fanatic cult that still adheres to The Big Lie about the 2020 election. The cultists are more likely to vote in a runoff than some of the more, um, lackadaisical members of the GOP.

Then there’s the prospect of a loon such as Self being nominated by the GOP and carrying that whack-job message with him into the general election … and winning that race, too!

I will be unable to vote in the runoff, as I voted Tuesday in the Democratic Party primary.

This all puts me in an awkward position. To be crystal clear, my preference would be for Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivastava to be elected to Congress. I just shutter at the prospect of the Democratic nominee having less of a chance against The Donald Cultist than the incumbent, who at times has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats … which his GOP primary foes have used as a strike against him.

This is a dangerous political moment, my friends.


This GOP contest is a mind-boggler

BLOGGER’S NOTE — This item was published originally on KETR-FM’s website, www.ketr.org

It’s fair to wonder about the upcoming runoff election for a Northeast Texas legislative district seat: How does someone as conservative as state Rep. Dan Flynn face a primary challenge from the right?

Flynn, a Van Republican, is running against Bryan Slaton, a businessman from Royse City. The two are running for the House District 2 seat that Flynn has occupied since 2003.

Let’s be clear about this point: Flynn is about as conservative a legislator as there is among the 150 men and women who serve in the Texas House of Representatives. He touts his conservative credentials with pride. That hasn’t dissuaded Slaton from challenging Flynn twice already. He lost narrowly to Flynn in the 2016 and 2018 Republican primaries. He’s back at it again, having forced a runoff with Flynn, by denying the incumbent – along with a third GOP contender – the outright majority he needed to win the GOP nomination outright on Super Tuesday.

The word is that Flynn, despite his conservative voting record in the Texas House, allegedly has compromised himself by being too close to the Austin political “establishment.” Well, to those of us who’ve been watching state politics for some time, the Austin “establishment” usually comprises those on the left and far-left end of the political spectrum. I mean, they don’t call it “The People’s Republic of Austin” for no reason, if you get my drift.

How conservative is Rep. Flynn? Consider that he once proposed legislation that would have required that all public documents be published in English only as a way to get all Texans to speak English. He aimed the legislation at non-English-speaking Texas residents, who comprise an ever-increasing percentage of the state’s total population.

Then came a bit of controversy surrounding a bill he proposed during the 2017 Legislature. Flynn wanted to allow members of the Texas State Guard – which is not a military organization – access to veteran benefits. Flynn, by the way, happens to belong to the State Guard. Legislators who are veterans rose up to defeat the bill by the largest margin of any bill defeated during the 2017 session.

After defeating Slaton in the 2018 GOP primary, Flynn promoted the idea of allowing public school teachers to display the Ten Commandments in their classrooms. Progressives argue that such displays violate the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment ban on mixing government institutions with religion. Flynn doesn’t see it that way, arguing that teachers should be allowed to espouse the “values” contained in the Ten Commandments.

This is a bit of a curious runoff contest, given that intraparty challenges usually pit challengers against incumbents who tilt in opposite directions. Flynn and Slaton look to me as if they’re far more alike than otherwise.

The runoff is set for May 28.

However … and this is another factor worth considering, but the coronavirus pandemic might forestall the runoff from occurring if the Texas secretary of state determines there is too heavy a risk to voters and election judges who will be mingling at polling places.

I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see how this medical emergency plays out. It might give us all more time to make sense of a curious Republican Party contest.

Medical history becomes slime target

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst just might have established himself as the worst attack politician in modern Texas political history.

Exhibit A? The slimy release of Republican runoff opponent Dan Patrick’s medical records.

What has this campaign for lieutenant governor come to?


The actual deed was done by Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who’s now backing Dewhurst after finishing last in the four-man race for the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor. Dewhurst is trying to put distance between himself and Patterson over the release of the records. Whatever, it’s got Dewhurst’s fingerprints on it, too. The tactic stinks to high heaven.

Patrick, for whom I have little positive regard, is understandably outraged.

He checked into a hospital in the 1980s suffering from exhaustion and depression. He was being treated for depression with medication. The drugs apparently got to him, so he sought psychiatric care. He got it and was cured of what ailed him.

This is what Patrick, a fiery state senator from Houston, said in a news release: “I voluntarily entered the hospital twice in the 1980’s for exhaustion and to seek treatment for depression. Some of prescribed medications exacerbated my condition and created more serious problems. Through prayer and with the help of my family and physician, like millions of other American, I was able to defeat depression. I have not seen a doctor or taken any medication to treat depression in nearly 30 years. Two weeks ago I released a medical report indicating I am in excellent physical and mental health; I am ready to serve.”

Dewhurst appears to be fading in the race to keep his office. The revelations about the records release — even if it was done by a surrogate — reflect badly on a once-respected statewide officeholder.

Dewhurst said this in a statement Friday: “Commissioner Jerry Patterson operates completely independently of my Campaign, and over my objections he chose to release information from (former Houston Post reporter) Mr. Paul Harasim’s files, which are all part of the public domain.”

Nice try, governor.

I kind of like Dallas Morning News blogger Rudolph Bush’s take on this matter.


The end of this Republican runoff campaign cannot get here soon enough.

Is Seliger going to endorse?

The thought occurred to me recently that the Texas lieutenant governor Republican runoff has a direct impact on every one of the 31 men and women serving in the Texas Senate.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is running against state Sen. Dan Patrick in the GOP runoff set for May 27. The winner will face state Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte this fall.

So, here’s the question: Who will Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo endorse in the Republican runoff? Maybe there’s another question: Should the Republican endorse anyone?

Here’s what I know — or think I know — about the principals involved.

Dewhurst and Seliger work well together. Dewhurst, as the presiding officer of the Senate, has given Seliger a key committee chairmanship, Higher Education. Seliger would like to chair the Education Committee when the 2015 Legislature convenes. Dewhurst would seem willing to grant Seliger his wish — if he is re-elected this fall.

Seliger and Patrick have a so-so relationship. I don’t think they’re enemies, although I believe Patrick is being pushed along and counseled by individuals and groups who aren’t particularly friendly to Seliger. Patrick would do away with the two-thirds rule in the Senate that requires two-thirds of senators to support a bill before it goes to a full vote; Seliger has told me he supports the two-thirds rule as it helps build a semblance of bipartisanship in the Senate.

The situation gets sticky, though.

Patrick is now considered a near-prohibitive favorite to win the runoff. A lot of pols and political watchers are writing Dewhurst off. He’s toast, they say. Key staffers have left his office, many of whom have returned to the private sector. It’s getting harder to remember that Dewhurst once was considered a shoo-in to be elected to the U.S. Senate seat when Kay Bailey Hutchison announced her retirement; then along came Ted Cruz to burst that bubble.

To whom should Seliger throw his support? Does he back the guy with whom he’s worked in the Senate, but who now looks like the loser in this runoff? Does he swallow hard and back the other guy with whom he’s had an OK relationship?

Or does he just remain silent until the smoke clears on May 27 and endorse whoever finishes first?

I’m thinking Seliger is going to wait this one out.