Category Archives: Elections

GOP Explains Dan Patrick’s No-Show to Univision Debate

Funny stuff on why Patrick didn’t show to Univision debate:

“Sometimes candidates that aren’t fluent in Spanish maybe are concerned about the way that it’s translated, the way that it comes out,” [Bexar Co. GOP Chair Robert] Stovall said. “So it’s probably a good thing he didn’t show up in this case.”

Because there’s only one way to say that immigrants come to the US with “Tuberculosis, Malaria, Polio and Leprosy” or with “third-world diseases,” right, Dan?

Republican Latino outreach – You’re doing it wrong!

On the other hand…”The people need get out and vote because if they don’t vote, we will return to the past.”

letivotar

 

 

 

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Dan Patrick’s Record on Latinos

Thanks to the good folks at the Texas Democratic Party, there’s a list of comments made by Dan Patrick about Latinos and immigrants. Let’s not forget that this would be representative of an Abbott-Patrick administration if Latinos don’t show up at the polls. Is it any surprise that Patrick has refused a debate with Democrat for Lt. Governor Leticia Van de Putte at tonight’s Univision Town Hall?

Another reminder:  Watch a frank discussion about the future of Texas featuring State Senator Leticia Van de Putte on Friday, 9/12 at 6PM. Watch it online here.

Background On Dan Patrick’s History of Disrespect Towards Hispanic Community

Patrick Said Number One Problem We Are Facing Is “Silent Invasion Of The Border.” At a campaign speech in October 2006, Patrick said, “The number one problem we are facing is the silent invasion of the border. We are being overrun.” [The Texas Observer, 2/24/2006]

Patrick Said Texas Faces “Hardened Criminals, Not Illegals Here For A Job…They Threaten Your Family. They Threaten Your Life. They Threaten Your Business. They Threaten Our State.” At a January 2014 forum, Sen. Dan Patrick said the question of border security was tied to violent crimes in the U.S. He said an improved immigration policy was necessary because the state had been facing “hardened criminals we arrested from 2008 to 2012—not illegals who were here for a job … but hardened criminals—141,000 we put in our jails just in four years in Texas. They threaten your family. They threaten your life. They threaten your business. They threaten our state,” he said. [Off the Kuff, 1/21/14]

  • Chairman of Associated Republicans of Texas Said Patrick’s Rhetoric “Sounds Like Thinly Veiled Racism.” In February 2014, New York Times reported Hector De Leon, Chairman of the Associated Republicans of Texas, stated that the issue of illegal immigration “can be addressed by not engaging in rhetoric that sounds like thinly veiled racism.” [New York Times, 2/7/2014]

Patrick Said Immigrants Are Bringing Third World Diseases With Them Such As “Tuberculosis, Malaria, Polio and Leprosy.” In February 2013, The Monitor reported Dan Patrick said of unauthorized immigrants, “‘They are bringing Third World diseases with them.’ Although Patrick cited ‘tuberculosis, malaria, polio and leprosy,’ a state epidemiologist later rebutted his statement and said there was no evidence of that.” [McAllen Monitor, 2/19/2014]

Patrick Painted Immigration In Dire Terms, ‘There Are Terrorists and Drug Runners Coming Into Texas And Sheriffs Are Being Asked To Stop Them With Only .45 On Their Hip And A Shotgun In The Trunk.’ In February 2013, The Monitor reported, “At times in his political career, Patrick has painted illegal immigration in dire terms. ‘There are terrorists and drug runners coming into Texas and the sheriffs in 15 border counties are being asked to stop them with only a .45 on their hip and a shotgun in the trunk,’ he told a Houston business group in 2006, according to the Texas Observer.” [McAllen Monitor, 2/19/2014]

Patrick Said We Are Going To Be Overrun By People Who Have No Sense Of Our History, Our Culture, Or Our Language. Dan Patrick said, “We are going to be overrun by the masses coming here. By 2050 we could have over one hundred million people with no sense of our history, no sense of our culture, no sense of our language…Your property taxes will never go down as long as a fourteen-year-old can show up at the schoolhouse and we pay…And that student is destined to drop out anyway.” [TEXAS MONTHLY, 1/2007]

 

6PM: Watch Leticia Van de Putte Town Hall Online

From the Inbox:

Catch the Live Stream 9/12 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. at http://univision41.univision.com/noticias/en-vivo/

letidcSan Antonio, TX — Tonight, Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor will keep her commitment to earn every vote and participate in a town hall with a live studio audience in San Antonio. The town hall will be hosted by Univision and Mi Familia Vota with the participation of the San Antonio Express-News, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

During the town hall, Leticia will take questions from journalists and voters, and will share her vision for the future with Texas’ spanish-speaking Latino community. Dan Patrick chose not to address the priorities of the statewide Latino community.

Univision Town Hall & Press Availability with Leticia Van de Putte
Who: Leticia Van de Putte
What: Town Hall – Cara a Cara con Leticia Van de Putte
Host: Antonio Guillén, Univision 41 Reporter
Panelists: Ricardo Pimentel, San Antonio Express News; Dr. Katsuo Nishikawa, Trinity University Assistant Professor; and Jesse Degollado, KSAT News Reporter
When: September 12 at 6PM – Livestreamed on http://univision41.univision.com/noticias/en-vivo/
Online: We encourage Texans to follow on Twitter using the hashtags: #caraacara #vivaleticia
 

 

Kuff Features David Rosen for County Treasurer

Kuff is back at it with interviews of some of our November candidates. Today, he featured my friend David Rosen, Democrat for County Treasurer.

David is young, energetic, and wants to bring some transparency to the way business is conducted in Harris County. Give his interview a listen and then vote for him in November.

Abbott to Students: You’re Not Invited!

Christina Ayala at the Trib reported today that UT-Dallas students were not invited to Greg Abbott’s press event where he unveiled a lackluster and flawed higher education plan.

UT-Dallas junior Jacob Loehr, a public affairs major, was studying in the Eugene McDermott Library on Tuesday when he saw Abbott and his entourage heading to a small suite in the library.

“Nobody was told that he was going to be on campus,” Loehr said. “Once people noticed he was there, I, along with other students, tried to get in to see the press conference, but we were rejected. They told us it was a private event and we couldn’t get in without an invitation.”

One would figure that he would have hired the Young Conservatives to do an affirmative action bake sale in support of his campaign, right?

Meanwhile, Democrat Wendy Davis has been on a tour of Texas universities this week in which she has openly spoken before student crowds about her higher education plan, as well as other issues, such as Medicaid expansion and a phased-in minimum wage raise to $10.10 per hour (which Abbott does not support and Republicans want abolished).

At UTSA, Davis spoke about Abbott’s work ethic.

“The problem with my opponent, Greg Abbott, isn’t that he doesn’t work hard. It’s that he’s working hard against you.”

Greg Abbott is all about avoiding a political reality–that Republicans have failed Texas and have continually dug a deeper grave for it. It is evident in his record as attorney general and his ads.

Leticia Van de Putte Launches Two Ads

Here is Twice, an ad on K-12 Education Cuts which were supported by Dan Patrick.

And here’s Respeto–in Spanish. Even if you don’t understand it, it still lights a fire under you.

Quick translation:  When I speak of the respect we deserve, I speak for my grandmothers who were born in Musquiz and Guadajara; for the service of my family–my mom as a teacher, my father a veteran. I speak as a mother, as a grandmother, as a pharmacist. I speak as a Senator who keeps fighting to protect the future of our children. And I speak as a Democratic candidate because our community never gives up.

 

Wendy Davis Launches Education Ad

Feel free to share.

Abbott Lays Out Lackluster College Plan

The Republican running for Governor, Greg Abbott, released a lackluster college plan today. Instead of providing much needed resources for universities who must help students catch up and become “college-ready,” Abbott proposed to fund our institutions based on outcomes. On top of this, Abbott proposed a plan to expand high-enrollment online college courses for college students.

If one wants to attempt to read the plan, here it is.

Basically, Abbott’s plan holds much-needed resources hostage, while his online college plan only hurts the brick-and-mortar institutions that have put Texas on the higher education map.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott will call for students to receive college credit for taking massive open online courses — often referred to as “MOOCs” — as part of the higher education plan he unveils on Tuesday, sources with knowledge of his plans say.

[...]

MOOCs are online courses with unlimited enrollment that anyone — regardless of whether they are enrolled at a university — can sign up for and take for free. Right now, the courses rarely earn students college credit.

What Abbott’s plan does is negatively affect student-faculty relationships as these courses have unlimited enrollment. Perhaps they might work for some survey course in which students just regurgitate information, but the effect a faculty member has on a course in expanding critical thinking through course discussion will certainly be evident. For sure, these unlimited enrollment courses will not work for courses in ones major course of study. And since he is so supportive of outcomes-based funding, the fact is that these high-enrollment college courses have a high-flunk-out rate–students just leave the courses and never complete them.

Above all, and unlike Wendy Davis, Abbott has ignored the fact that 1/2 of community college and 1/3 of university students enter unprepared, thanks to funding cuts and lack of investment in K-12. Abbott should know a little about this as he has supported K-12 funding cuts and recently lost a lawsuit brought by hundreds of Texas school districts regarding school finance. But, I digress. If students are entering our institutions unprepared after learning in brick and mortar K-12 classrooms, how does he expect these students to be successful in online courses?

Greg Abbott isn’t offering anything regarding college affordability and tuition controls or student financial aid. In short, the Greg Abbott plan does nothing to improve graduation and retention rates. What it does do is bring Texas a step closer to privatizing public higher education.

I wouldn’t even credit Greg Abbott with supporting the status quo, as it seems he is more in tune with digging a deeper grave for state institutions of higher education.

Stick with Wendy Davis’ higher education plan. It works for all Texans.

National Guard Goes Hungry on the Border?

At least that’s what was first reported at Harlingen’s, Action News 4 last night, and has now made national news.

“We were contacted that 50 troops that are in the Valley don’t have any money for food and gas and they need our assistance,” said Food Bank RGV Executive Director Terri Drefke.

They’ve turned to the Food Bank RGV for help since they won’t get paid until September 5th and have been in the Valley since August 11th.

Drefke told Action 4 News they are more than ready and willing to assist the military personnel.

“We have fresh, boxed, and frozen food available” Drefke said.

Let’s face it, Rick Perry and the Republicans put on a show for their right-wing followers with this call-up of the Guard, ratcheting up fear and hate on account of Central American children escaping violence in their home countries. Perry, though, finally did respond.

First, the suggestion that Guardsmen aren’t getting paid is false. They are getting paid on a regular schedule with their first pay day on Sept. 5, then every two weeks after that.

And here I thought a military exercise came with government-provided rations. Hell, at least some Texas IOU’s with Rick Perry’s mugshot, right?

And frankly,  one has to wonder what exactly the millions of dollars that Rick Perry and the Republicans are willing to waste is actually being spent on. That Perry’s attempted boondoggle didn’t include GOP-leaning taco joints to feed the men has left me thinking that he just can’t execute a military plan. That doesn’t look good for a Presidential candidate.

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democrat running for Lt. Gov., had the best response.

The Perry – Patrick deployment of the Guard has been nothing but a political ploy: there is no request from local leaders for this mission, no exit strategy, or even a plan to pay for it. Today, we learn that our men and women of the Guard have been forced to contact food banks to feed themselves because they haven’t been paid in weeks. This is unacceptable.

This whole debacle reminds me of when my family would go on full-day shopping excursions to Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley. Mom and Dad would pack sandwiches, boiled eggs, tacos, sodas, thermoses of coffee–it was definitely a money-saver. One would think since Rick Perry and the Republicans say we should run government like parents run their family budgets that he would have packed some food for the troops.

UPDATE:  The National Guard Responds

According to spokeswoman Lt. Col. Joanne MacGregor, a “proactive” family assistance coordinator “contacted the Rio Grande Valley food bank to see what resources were potentially available.”

The Guard said it had identified 50 service members who, because of their early August start date, weren’t going to be paid until Sept. 5.

None of those 50 troops have notified leaders that they had used the food bank, officials said.

According to the Guard, troops receive one meal while on duty, plus a $32 per diem food reimbursement that is included in their paychecks.

According to Omar Ramirez, Food Bank RGV’s manager of communications and advocacy, the food bank made extra preparations after being contacted by someone from the Texas National Guard Support Foundation, but that he wasn’t aware of any troops being served.

“Maybe they come in and they just don’t tell us they’re National Guard,” he said.

So, someone not affiliated with Rick Perry or the Guard was thinking ahead?

Whatever, the Guard shouldn’t be there in the first place!

 

Greg Abbott Loses Again, School Finance System Unconstitutional

After continually under-funding public education, and then cutting $5 billion from K-12 in 2011, the Republican-led Texas Government was sued by a lot of school districts. Today, the Republicans were handed a huge loss by a district judge in Austin. The judge ruled that the way the state of Texas finances education is unconstitutional. The Republicans will likely appeal, since they support cutting K-12 funding.

Specifically, as reported by the Trib:

In an almost 400-page opinion released Thursday, District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin said that the state’s school finance system is unconstitutional not only because of inadequate funding and flaws in the way it distributes money to districts, but also because it imposes a de facto state property tax. Certain to be appealed by the state, the lawsuit that arose after lawmakers cut roughly $5.4 billion from state public education funding in 2011 will now continue to the Texas Supreme Court.

Judge Dietz went on to explain the best reasons to support public education.

“We realize that others provided for us when we were children. We realize that children are without means to secure their education. Just as others provided for us when we were in school, now is the time when we provide for others,” he said, going on to describe the societal benefits of a well-educated population: lower crime rates, fewer people who need public assistance and a greater state income.”

The education commissioner Michael Williams, a Republican, spoke against the ruling, stating that judges shouldn’t be deciding school finance. Well, judges wouldn’t be needed if Republicans weren’t hell-bent on violating a child’s right to an education as specified in the Texas Constitution by cutting funding. So, whether it is Rick Perry appointees or other right-wing elected Republicans mouthing off against the ruling, the bottom line is that they voted to cut public education funding and have been starving K-12 (and higher education for that matter) for decades.

After Dan Patrick, a Houston state senator who is running for Lt. Governor, tried to cover up his vote against restoring some of the K-12 funding in the last legislative session by saying he chaired the committee that voted to restore the funding, Democrat Leticia Van de Putte called Patrick out in a “hypocrisy alert.”

In 2013, Senate Finance Chair Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, said, “Patrick was directly responsible for these same education programs not being funded…Such revisionism cannot go unchallenged.” [Texas Tribune, 06/21/13]

Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, released the following statement:

“I echo Senator Williams’ sentiments. Dan Patrick was directly responsible for these education cuts, and his revisionism will not go unchallenged. Dan Patrick has shown time and time again that he does not value our neighborhood schools — he showed that when he voted twice against Texas students.

“It is time to accept responsibility and lead. We do not need another court to tell us how to do our jobs. Texans expect a quality education for their children — no excuses, no delays. It is time to put Texas first. As Lieutenant Governor, I will do exactly that.”

And there’s no doubt in my mind that Leticia Van de Putte will take the lead to protect public education and make it a top priority of the Texas legislature.

Elections matter, just like our public schools matter. If you don’t want public schools closing, or if you don’t want your kid in an overcrowded classroom, then you better make it your business to be registered to vote and show up on November 4.

Other Reaction:

Wendy Davis, Democrat for Governor:  “Today is a victory for our schools, for the future of our state and for the promise of opportunity that’s at the core of who we are as Texans. The reality is clear and indefensible: insiders like Greg Abbott haven’t been working for our schools; they’ve been actively working against them. Abbott has been in court for years, defending overcrowded classrooms, teacher layoffs and public-school closings, and today, Judge John Dietz ruled against him. This ruling underscores the crucial need to invest in education and reminds us of just how much our schools, teachers and students have had to sacrifice over the past three years just to get by.”

State Senator Jose Rodriguez (D) El Paso:  Our state has not lived up to its constitutional obligation to offer equitable and adequate educational opportunities to all Texans. Today’s court ruling is yet another opportunity to do better, especially with the 84thLegislature right around the corner. The state’s attorneys should end their battle against the Texas constitution — and our students, parents, and teachers — and allow us to move forward on a legislative solution to this issue, which is of such vital importance for the future of Texas.

State Senator Sylvia Garcia (D) Houston:  “Today is a victory for the school children of Texas. Judge Dietz simply confirmed what we’ve all known for years; that the state refuses time and time again to do what’s right for our children and the future of our state.”

“Today’s ruling reaffirms that Republican leadership has created an unconstitutional system which values some children more than others, yet short-changes them all.”