TCR can report to you about interesting developments in the SD 17 (Janek) open primary seat for November. For the GOP, there are possible pluses and minuses. So let's review what we know, first the good news:
- Key GOP interest groups, according to reliable sources, called the Republican candidates teams together recently to warn them "no mudslinging attacks!" They recognize what TCR verbalized last May about what it could do to the GOP's hopes here. The threat: if you bust the deal, we weigh in heavily against you. TCR hopes the campaigns get the point.
- Sarah Palin: The GOP Vice Presidential nominee is a breath of fresh air that has revitalized the enthusiasm of the GOP base, which was lacking.
- Another Democrat has entered the race: Stephanie Simmons filed and the African American Democrat could draw votes from Bell ensuring a run-off.
Now the bad news:
- The ballot for the special election will be first in most, if not all counties, dashing hopes that straight ticket voting Democrats will ignore the race.
- There are now 4 GOP candidates with Fort Bend's Ken Sherman the latest entry.
- The latest polls TCR is aware of show Bell with a huge lead, needing 2 out of every 10 undecided voters to win without a run-off. All GOP candidate poll under 10%.
- Reliable sources inform TCR that one of the GOP candidates consultants has been gathering disposition history on prior criminal cases handled by former State District Judge and SD 17 candidate Joan Huffman. This is not an inexpensive effort and TCR wondered if the peace brokered is soon to be busted, TCR hopes the peace holds.
- It has been reported that the Houston Police Patrolmen's Union is researching all criminal judges in response to threats by Austen Furse's consultant to take Judge Joan Huffman down over her record as a Judge. It seems the police feel Joan is getting treated unfairly and their research will show she was a tough on crime judge and better than most. Other judges up for re-election, some represented by the same consultant, are upset at potentially getting labeled as soft on crime, handing a strong issue to their Democratic opponents.
The race is still in play, but with less than 60 days to go there is a lot of work to be done.
Scandal or Incompetence in D.C.?
The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was necessary, but avoidable. It will end up costing taxpayers $1 trillion plus!
The fact is the creation of these two quasi-government entities by Congress, who used it as a placement location for the politically connected, spent $100 million plus on lobbyists and required the agency to insure high risk mortgages and now it failed, big surprise.
As some have written, this was an example of socialized risk and private gain, a bad idea.
And finally, two outrages about the proposed bailout. 1) A $24 million (combined) severance package to the deposed heads of both companies! I say instead, sue to get back the unearned bonuses they got. 2) A $15 billion bailout of the subordinated debt holders, many who bought at distress prices and now get a windfall.
It's time someone cleaned up the cesspool in Washington.
The Palin Surge
John McCain has now correctly instigated two surges, first in Iraq, and now with his running mate Sarah Palin, and both are successes so far.
The GOP is now in position to win the White House with reform Mavericks leading the way. It's time the rest of the GOP line up and salute. The old ways of doing things as in 2000-2007 are over.
Ike and 2008
The hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast on September 12th has thrown the political scene into chaos. The good news is the situation freezes for 2+ weeks, some stars shine bright like County Judge Ed Emmett and challengers, whether they like it or not, have campaigns in a state of suspension. How long for power and water restoration is a question and who gets blamed for the slowness is another imponderable. Overall, this should help down ballot GOP candidates but, in SD 17 this helps the candidate with the most name id, Bell. One unanswered question is, how many of the homeless in Galveston, Brazoria and Jefferson will miss voting and who gets hurt the most? TCR will guess it hurts Bell. Obviously the Ike ramifications are a developing story.
Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones. Airing weekly on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8. Next broadcast on September 26, 2008, the League of Women Voters. Coming Soon: PBS' Red, White, & Blue Campaign 2008 Great Debate series featuring every major Harris County race and featuring the first debate for the U.S. Senate on October 3, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. live.
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 twelfth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last seven years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.