With Rick Perry's move into the GOP Presidential contest in a big way, the next significant race in 2012 is for Kay Bailey Hutchison's Senate seat.
First, it is almost a given the next Senator from Texas will be a Republican, but who? Here is TCR's current handicap of the race.
The GOP field at this point is Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz. State Senator Dan Patrick has been exploring a race, but has not announced a final decision.
Let's review each candidate:
David Dewhurst has a significant past history as a successful businessman, service at the Texas Land Office as Land Commissioner and service as Lt. Governor. Dewhurst has significant resources to put into a Senate race should he wish. He probably has the best name ID and for years has been a big supporter of many GOP affiliate groups. At this point he is the big dog in the race but has not really begun the active, grassroots part of the campaign. Perry's entry into the Presidential race also throws a curve toward Dewhurst - if Perry is the GOP nominee and is elected President he can walk into the Governor's office. This decision could be easier if Perry would resign upon clinching the GOP nomination. TCR believes that this possibility is a very difficult question to ponder. Clearly at some point prior to the primary he needs to be clear he wants the U.S. Senate seat and nothing else. He has always been a formidable statewide candidate.
Elizabeth Ames Jones - Starts with a number of positives and she is a statewide official, she has independent resources and she is the only woman in the race (which did a lot for Kay Bailey Hutchison when she won against an all male field in 1993), she is also the only San Antonio-based candidate. Can she create magic similar to Kay's 18 years ago? If so, she gets in the runoff.
Tom Leppert - Former well-regarded Dallas Mayor and the only major candidate from North Texas, which is an important GOP base. He has been out on the hustlings for quite awhile and is in position to battle for a runoff spot if he secures his Metroplex base.
Ted Cruz - Tremendous background academically and as a lawyer. U.S. Supreme Court clerk and quite simply is thought of as a legal star. Reminds many of Florida Senator Marco Rubio. The Tea Party groups around the country are uniting behind him as they did with Rubio. The big question is, can his hard work and endorsements translate into the funds needed so he can get voters to overcome his lack of name ID? One thing for sure, do not count him out.
What Conservative Voters Should Look For In Judicial Candidates
TCR for every GOP primary evaluates and recommends to the voters the best candidates. What does TCR look for in the candidates?
- Experience in the area of the law (for example, criminal, family, civil, or probate) that one seeks to be a judge.
- A judicial philosophy of following the law, not making it.
- One needs a judicial temperament and to be fundamentally fair and courteous to all who appear in court.
- Understanding you are a referee and not an advocate for either side.
- Someone who shares the core GOP philosophy of limited government, free markets and freedom.
- Someone who is a Republican based on philosophy and not opportunism.
- Someone who supports a private sector based defense system as one that provides the best representation for the most reasonable cost to the taxpayers.
- A commitment to be part of the Republican Party's joint campaign.
Houston's Red Light Debacle
We are now full circle on this issue. A few facts; Mayor White is responsible for red light cameras without a vote of the people. Mayor Parker did the right thing to allow it to be voted on, but it was backwards.
While TCR believes there is a case to be made for the cameras, they should never be put on without an affirmative vote of the people. What a mess.
Focus Folks, It's Obama
By Bruce Bialosky
As the field of Republican Presidential candidates becomes clear, the media continues to incite controversy among them. This became obvious with the back and forth at the Iowa debate. For the most part, the candidates kept their focus throughout - the problem is Obama and come November 2012 he must be defeated.
A friend of mine who is a major talk-radio host ended his show recently saying that he would rather lose the election than elect a RINO. Stunned by what this normally highly rational person had stated, I pulled over and emailed the show's producer asking if the host had lost his marbles. Maybe Ron Paul would not be a rational choice, but, just because you do not agree with all the policies of a particular candidate, that is not justification for giving Obama another four years to destroy our country. I might sympathize a little if Arnold Schwarzenegger (a real RINO) or Michael Bloomberg (who never really was a Republican) were running, but none of the candidates approach either of those gentlemen in political philosophy or temperament.
So let's focus on why this fine fellow (Obama) needs to be retired:
Lawless Attitude: The opposition can cite examples where prior Presidents have attempted to pick and choose laws to follow, but Obama and his cronies have raised this to a new level:
1. Ignoring a judicial ruling regarding Gulf drilling because of his desire to eliminate carbon-based fuels in favor of his delusional plan for green energy.
2. Refusing to defend a law, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was passed by Congress and signed by a prior President of his own party, because he thinks it's unconstitutional. Maybe Obama, who supposedly taught Constitutional law, forgot that the third part of our government - the courts - determine whether a law is constitutional or not.
3. Card Check, the attempt by organized labor to circumvent union elections, was defeated. So Obama and his union cronies on the National Labor Relations Board decide to enact Card Check-like procedures to provide unions with unfair advantages in order to screw private businesses.
EPA: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Obama has become the single most destructive force in the American economy. The destruction of farming in California to protect the delta smelt is one example among many.
For clarity, no one wants dirty air or water. But there is proportionality in everything, and Obama's EPA is run by a team of far-left zealots. Under Lisa Jackson, a career environmental regulator, any sense of balance has been lost. Another four years of Obama could turn America into a prison under EPA control.
Foreign Policy: Being the President when bin Laden was killed is not enough to overcome Obama's totally inept foreign policy. His practice of slapping down our friends and kissing up to our enemies is without a doubt the worst foreign policy in my lifetime - except perhaps for Jimmy Carter. (Talk about low standards!)
Dodd-Frank: Without a new President and a Congress willing to defund and/or repeal this law, our credit markets will be significantly impaired in the name of "consumer protection." Elizabeth Warren and her horde of "we know better" Harvard elites will "protect" people completely out of the credit markets, thereby eliminating any hope of moving up the economic ladder.
Warren and her gang never learned from the overreaction of Sarbanes-Oxley, which in the name of "protecting" us drove capital formation markets to foreign countries. Sarbox has destroyed thousands of jobs, so why should we allow another omnibus bill - that doesn't even consider the damaging effect on our economy - to take full force and effect? Give Obama four more years and you will see how destructive this law becomes.
And the granddaddy of them all:
ObamaCare: Need I say more? Yes, I do. All the controls and panels and invasive elements of the law go into effect during Obama's second term. Unless we overturn this monstrosity and replace it with reasonable laws to reform our medical system, God help us.
(You probably have your own laundry list of Obama plunders. Send them in at Bruce@Bialosky.biz so another column can be written emphasizing the reasons why Obama must be replaced.)
There are policy differences among the Republican candidates, and certainly every one of us may disagree with some policy aspect of each of the candidates. But the irrefutable fact is that any GOP candidate is more experienced, better prepared, and a far better choice for the next four years than the incumbent and his crew of Harvard elitists and Chicago political thugs. Candidates do not have to spend their time attacking each other to build themselves up. Rick Perry does not need to rip down Mr. Romney (nor anyone else) to promote his achievements. They need to focus on why you decided to run - to replace the incumbent who is leading America in the wrong direction at almost every turn. Focus folks, it's Obama.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former appointee of President Bush.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones, Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and replaying Sundays at 5:00 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8 and on the web at www.houstonpbs.org.
8/26/11: "2012 Election - GOP Presidential Candidates" with Jim Granato, PhD. Director of Hobby Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston and Mark Jones, PhD. Rice University's Chair of Political Science.
9/02/11: "Reforming County Government" with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan.
9/09/11: Texas Senator John Whitmire, District 15.
For a fun feature go to www.houstonpbs.org and under Red White and Blue, you can see commentary about the show and its guests by Gary and David each week. The current show as well as past shows are also available on YouTube.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his thirteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last nine years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.