Monday, March 05, 2018

Election Eve Wrangle

Massive turnout in early voting across Texas is the news everyone is talking about as campaigns, candidates, and volunteers make the final push for Election Day.  The Texas Progressive Alliance wishes to congratulate tomorrow night's winners and console those who don't, offering encouragment to refocus (in some way of their choosing) for November.
As one of the perceived front-runners in the Texas Democratic primary for governor, Stephen Young at the Dallas Observer says that it's impossible to determine Lupe Valdez's chances of winning.

Grits for Breakfast posts his collation of criminal justice news that includes the growing movement on the part of some Republicans (!) to end the partisan election of judges in Texas.  A GOP 3rd Court of Appeals prospect is evidence of the problem that needs fixing.

In his compilation of Harris County judicial candidates on both primary ballots, attorney Murray Newman makes an inside joke -- see comments; since corrected -- about Brian Warren, the Democrat running against the vile GOP incumbent Michael McSpadden, about whom you may have read something recently.  Congrats to Murray, by the way, for ten years of blogging.  And Mark Bennett (a Libertarian statewide judicial candidate in recent years) demonstrates what disrespect for the justice system really looks like.

From Lewisville, the Texan Journal reports that the conservative extremists at Empower Texans have taken a few swipes at the mayor and the school board in that city.  In last week's Wrangle, you'll recall that Texas Monthly called out MQS, et. al. for similar tactics in HD-99 (Fort Worth).

Also from last week, you'll remember that OpenSecrets mentioned a retired Texan who gave $500,000 to a GOP org.  The TexTrib followed up on that.

The super PAC, #ProjectRedTX, has quietly raised a half a million dollars — from a single donor — as it looks to ensure Republican dominance in Texas through the next round of redistricting. Those efforts are ramping up as the state prepares to defend its current congressional and state House district maps before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The group is being helmed by Wayne Hamilton, (Gov. Greg) Abbott's 2014 campaign manager, according to a person familiar with the effort. Hamilton, a former longtime executive director of the Texas GOP, has been involved in politics for the past three redistricting cycles.

The Texas Observer sees a blue wave that won't have much green (as in cash) behind it.  Is that a good thing for progressive populism or a bad thing from a pragmatic POV?  Tell me in the comments.

Chris Ladd at Political Orphans sees 'something happening' in Texas.  Excerpt:

What we’ve never seen in Texas is a surge in primary turnout from the party out of power in an off-year election. Even in the watershed year of ’94, the only hint we saw of the coming wave was Republicans closing the gap in voter participation slightly. In statewide elections, serious Democratic candidates generally lose to Republicans by about a 9-point swing. That sounds daunting until you look at the raw numbers and the structure of the (one party, for almost 25 years) system. Turnout among eligible voters in Texas off-year elections ranges between about a quarter and a third. Eligible voter turnout hasn’t approached half in the fifty years that Texas has published the statistic. Texans don’t vote ... until one day they do.

Bonddad's thoughts for Sunday contains some empirical data that supports a similar premise.

Put this all together and the basic fact is that the 2018 voting population is going to be considerably more liberal and Democratic than the 2014 population, even if millennials turn out only in percentages consistent with younger voters in other midterm elections.

Off the Kuff wrapped up his look at Beto O'Rourke's visit-everywhere campaign strategy with hope and a sense that it's worth doing this way regardless of the outcome.

SocraticGadfly takes note of the DNC fraud lawsuit appeal, and while he still thinks something is there, is glad Jared Beck ain't his lawyer.

Scott Braddock documents Greg Abbott's contempt for Republican legislators.

Better Texas Blog explains why Medicaid work requirements are a lousy idea.

Millard Fillmore's Bathtub points out that spring comes about a month earlier than it did for our grandparents.  It's just another marker in the looming cataclysm that is climate change.

The Lunch Tray highlights some bad food research.

Neil at All People Have Value made note of the weekly John Cornyn Houston office protest.

Chris Conde at the SA Current asks if we really need a shopping bag with Selena's likeness on it to celebrate her legacy.

And Harry Hamid's latest post has a little bit of everything: Captain Beefheart, paranoia, snow in Houston ...

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