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Dan Patrick

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Texas Democrats’ “success?”

Only if you go by numbers, not content. Or Quantity, not Quality.  You know, the same false argument the Dems use to justify President Obama’s Executive Orders and Writs of Memoranda.

There’s a set of “statistics” going around on Facebook (and elsewhere, if you want to see the 10/2013 original), intended to criticize the current leadership in the Texas Legislature :

  Well, nearly HALF of all the bills enacted into law in the great Republican, red state of Texas were authored or co-authored by Democrats.

Actually, the most likely answer is that only the more conservative bills “authored or co-authored” by Dems are passed.  The question is what are the actual Bills we’re talking about?

For a look at what actually happens in the Texas Legislature, let’s go to the resource for following or researching current and past legislation, hearings, even witness lists: Texas Legislature Online.
To look at what sort of Bills coauthored by Dems were passed, look at the record of one of the most liberal Dems, Jessica Farrar.  Go down to the list of Bills authored or list of Bills “co-authored” by her in the 83(R) session.  Look at the ones marked “E” for “Enrolled.”

One of those Bills, HB 3677, was sponsored in the Senate by Lt. Governor-elect Dan Patrick and one, HB 970, was authored jointly with Representative Jonathan Stickland. Another, authored by Representative Harvey Hilderbran, HB 3572,  actually lowered tax rates. (Okay, HB 3572 created a new tax on alcoholic mixed beverages, but at a lower rate than similar taxes.)

Not all Bills are created equal, and certainly not all “statistics.” or “proof” that the Texas Legislature is not conservative. But we can add one more example to the statistics proving Mark Twain’s adage that there are “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

 

Comments on the Cruz-Patrick Debate

An advocate for Ted Cruz has commented on the June 30th WingRight review of the confrontation between Texas State Senator Dan Patrick and Ted Cruz, here.

My reply:

“Cruz is a champion of the advice from the Sun Tsu’s Art of War:   “Call your enemy what you are.” That’s not my favorite lesson from the book, and it’s not an upright, ethical philosophy for life except in life and death struggles.

“Cruz shouldn’t have gone on the offensive right off the bat. He sure shouldn’t have said flat out that Senator Patrick, a respected and respectable radio news commentator, has been fed questions from the Dewhurst campaign. He impugned Patrick’s honor and his journalism. He then claimed to have “seen” the Senator repeatedly acting as a “surrogate” for Governor Dewhurst.

“The occasions in which Patrick said negative things against Dewhurst were said in anger, between May 24 and June 2 – all from a single episode on May 24. As he said, he is not angry at Dewhurst anymore. He’s probably regretting words he said in anger in the presence of a reporter. While “all’s fair in love and war,” Cruz should remember Patrick’s advice: he needs to learn to ask advice and that, come August, we will all have to learn to work together as Republicans.

“Everyone may listen to the interview/confrontation for themselves, so we’ll let them decide whether or not Cruz “handled himself well. I obviously think he showed us a side of himself that he’s been trying to conceal – the angry, conspiracy-weaving side that will not accept any criticism.

“Senator Dan Patrick has said that he won’t endorse in this race, although he could be forgiven after the accusations by Cruz in this interview. Why do you accuse him of not meaning what he says?”

Ted Cruz Debates Dan Patrick (#TxSen)

“Every time I go on the radio, you ask the questions that the Dewhurst campaign want you to ask.”

This, from the guy who got caught red-handed trying to influence debate questions by a fellow candidate in order to team up against Lt. Governor Dewhurst!

Listen to the radio confrontation between Ted Cruz and Texas Senator Dan Patrick on Patrick’s “The Bell and Patrick” radio show, for yourself:

Mr. Cruz argued with Patrick for 30 minutes on the Baker and Patrick Radio Show that airs on KSEV  radio in the Houston area at 4 PM, week days. He unfortunately began with the flat statement that Senator Patrick had endorsed Dewhurst in the Senate race. You would think that a man would know that sort of thing, right? As Patrick said, if he’d done so, it would be public knowledge.

Cruz actually claimed that all Republicans and Democrats play a “game” with legislation they don’t want to pass, by entering into a conspiracy to pass a bill in one chamber in Session, and then in the other the next, but cheat to keep them from passing to law.

Senator Patrick spent quite a bit of time explaining the complicated workings of the Texas Senate, especially the work on the Sanctuary Cities Bills (SB 29 and HB 41) during last Summer’s Special Session of the 82nd Texas Legislature.

The two discussed the “Rose Bush Rule,” which requires 21 members of the Senate to vote in favor of bringing any issue up for a vote. Patrick reminded Cruz that the Senate members, not the Lieutenant Governor, vote on the rules of the Senate. Patrick also explained that the Lieutenant Governor has the authority to suspend that rule in a Special Session, but not in a Regular Session.

Cruz asked Patrick whether Patrick would have been able to pass Sanctuary Cities if he had been Lt. Governor. Patrick said, “No,” because “the only thing you can do is pass it out of the Senate.” Patrick said that Dewhurst had warned the Democrats in the Regular session that if they blocked the bill in the Regular Session, he would suspend the 21 vote rule in the Special Session. Patrick reported that Dewhurst did suspend the rule as he said, in order to pass the Sanctuary Cities Bill with over two weeks left in the SS and spoke of the frustration of having the Bill sit in Committee in the House.

He also told Cruz that all 19 Republican Senators had met on the issue and decided to pass SB29 as a separate Bill, rather than to try to tack HB41 as an amendment to the School Finance Bill. They were concerned that the school funding bill would be held up, preventing schools from knowing their budget until August.

Cruz ignored Patrick’s admonition to campaign on his own merits and plans, returning again and again to statements about what people “intend,” “know,” or ” believe.” Cruz accused Patrick and others of working against him, assigning underhanded motives to them, such as how much “better” for Patrick it will be to get Dewhurst out of Austin.

The creepiest bit of Cruz’ argument was this line, delivered with a strategic lowering of the voice at the last: “You have been acting as a surrogate for Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and I have seen you do it.”

I’ve described Cruz’ reactions to me when I was still a supporter asking him to cut back on the negative campaigning. At our County forum in February and then in New Braunfels. At the New Braunfels meet, he couldn’t walk away so he engaged me in debate. He kept coming at me for twenty minutes although others had questions.

Here’s a news report about another episode of over-reacting to questioning by another woman in Fort Worth at the RPT convention.

Cruz is not a “fighter” in any good sense of the word. Rather than a champion or defender, he’s a bully and a brawler. When faced with even mild opposition, he goes out of his way to prove the other person absolutely wrong. As Patrick said, he can “make numbers lie,” and has no problem with stretching the truth if it has what he calls “a basis in fact.” He sprinkles his speeches with dramatic descriptions of imagined conspiracies such as the ones above, and the notion that “Austin” Republicans had all agreed to make sure that “no one with a ‘z’ in his name is elected to State-wide office.”

For other summaries of the episode, each with their own twist, see the Houston Chronicle and Texas Tribune. But listen to the actual recording if you want the real story.

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