Must Read Texas – September 20, 2013

Cruz Under Pressure as House Votes on his Defund Strategy Today; 
Perry: ‘Important’ Political Announcement Before Israel Trip Later This Year;
Leonard Funeral Mass at 11am; MRT on TV; Item of Personal Privilege


Here’s the brief:


The House of Representatives is set to vote on a continuing resolution later this morning, outlined by the strategy led by U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), that would fund the government but defund Obamacare, to force the U.S. Senate to take it up.

Politico has a juicy story an what’s really going on, which you should read in full.
The ‘civil war’ meme is overdone, but clearly there is a mix of intramural anger and envy towards Cruz by more senior Republicans.

From the piece:

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX): “I think the biggest concern I’ve had all along is that to answer the question how does this end?  And I think that people are now beginning to realize that by being divided over this approach, that we’ve actually made the job harder for the House Republicans. That’s something I would hope we would try to avoid.”

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX): “We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for his (Cruz’s) vision and his leadership.”

Sen. Cruz has implied that he might filibuster a spending bill that funds Obamacare, but the Washington Examiner’s Byron York points out that such a filibuster may be a procedural impossibility.

Sen. Cruz appeared at a press conference yesterday on Capitol Hill.  Here’s the video.

My view: The real action is in the U.S. Senate next week, where I expect the bill will, if it stays the same, receive 42-48 votes and fail, or, if it has the defund language stripped, meet the 60 vote threshold and then pass with 51-53 votes, likely next Friday.  Meanwhile, the petition to defund Obamacare is now over 1.5 million people.

Question: Will Sen. Cruz appear on a Sunday show this weekend?  He will dominate the shows regardless.


While in the DC-area during his trip to Maryland, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) sat for an interview with the Washington Times.
We’ve pasted an excerpt below but you can read the full piece here:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday accused Democrats in his state of punishing Republican opponents by misusing prosecution power and the courts because Democrats “can’t get what they want at the polls.”

In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. Perry hailed a court ruling Thursday that threw out the felony conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, putting an end to the eight-year legal travail for the congressman from Texas on charges of laundering illegal political contributions.

Mr. Perry, himself under investigation by a special prosecutor in an ethics case, declined to say whether he will create a judicial review board to determine whether — and to what extent — prosecutions in his state are politically driven.

He said he was immensely pleased that a Texas appeals court threw out the conviction of Mr. DeLay.
“I always thought the Democrats had a witch hunt against Tom, and I said so from the beginning,” Mr. Perry, a probable 2016 Republican presidential nomination candidate, said in a Newsmaker interview with The Washington Times.

“Democrats can’t get what they want at the polls, so they use prosecutors and the courts to gain their ends,” the three-term governor said.


Mr. Perry, in Maryland to recruit businesses to relocate to Texas, visited the Beretta USA gun factory in Accokeek. He said he met with the two top executives who told him he was the first and only governor of any state to visit the factory since it was founded in 1975. Mr. Perry wouldn’t say whether he got a commitment from them to move their facilities to Texas, saying only, “Let’s say the visit went well.”

In what political observers regard as one of several signs he is preparing for a 2016 run, the governor, whose stumble during a presidential nomination debate is thought to have been a prime factor in his dropping out of the 2012 GOP presidential nomination contest, has been visiting a number of states to sell them on the tax-and-regulation advantages of moving to Texas.

He said he will lead a business delegation this year to Israel, which presidential aspirants of both parties regard as a must-visit destination. What a Texas Republican described as an “important” announcement will be made just before the Perry trip.

Mr. Perry seemed eager to discuss the judicial reforms he would seek as president but checked himself, declining to talk about a proposal to appoint a judicial review board in Texas to look into the partisan politics that many say is behind some prosecutions of Republican officeholders in the state.

He said it would be inappropriate to discuss such things while he is being investigated.

He said the investigation resulted from incidents that began with the drunken-driving arrest and imprisonment of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who oversees the integrity unit and whose function is to prosecute corruption and malfeasance.

She was an assistant to Ronnie Earle, who as district attorney sought and won a grand jury indictment of Mr. DeLay for campaign money laundering. Mr. DeLay and other Republicans called it an act of vengeful partisanship.

When stopped by police, Ms. Lehmberg had registered a high level of intoxication and was exceptionally abusive to police when arrested, reports at the time said. Mr. Perry said he would withhold money from the integrity unit until she stepped down as its head. The unit had been investigating the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas on charges of favoritism and mismanagement of public funding. The governor was a major supporter of the center.

A Democratic-leaning citizens group, Texans for Public Justice, then sued him for abusing the power of his office. That lawsuit triggered the appointment of a special prosecutor.

Here is the full obituary for James A. Leonard.

James A. Leonard

James A. Leonard, the quintessential intrepid Texan, passed on September 12, 2013, from complications of Dementia, a month short of his eighty-third birthday and following a life rich with stunning achievement in oil, cattle, horses, and politics. Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Jay and Florence Leonard, Jim was raised in Fort Worth, graduated from the University of Texas in 1951 after working summers on oil rigs, and served in the Air Force during the Korean War. When he completed his service, he resumed work on rigs in order to learn the business and to earn a stake to begin his own exploration. In doing so, he discovered that the risks inherent in the business were compounded by government policy, especially that policy guided by the New Deal philosophy of the Democratic Party that then dominated Texas.

To deal with the matter head-on, and despite the Republican Party in Texas at that time being no more than an agency for Post Office patronage, in 1960, Jim announced for the Texas Senate as a Republican. He lost. In fact, Texas sent no Republican to any office in Austin that year, but James Aloysius Leonard had only just begun to pursue his farfetched dream of a Republican Texas that honored individual liberty and respected individual enterprise. In early 1961, while continuing to build his fledgling oil business. Jim agreed to serve as the first Executive Director of the Republican Party of Texas. To emphasize the Party’s new intention to become a force in state government, he moved the headquarters from Houston to Austin. Then, he immediately mobilized the Party’s meager resources to support the candidacy of a thirty-six-year-old Associate Professor of Government, John Tower, to fill Lyndon Johnson’s vacant US Senate seat. Tower’s improbable victory inaugurated a four decade process in which Jim played a key role in making the Texas Republican Party the ultimate and dominant political manifestation of the unique idea that is Texas. He steered Jack Cox’s 1962 campaign against the popular John Connally, garnering an astonishing 46% of the vote. In 1964, he managed young George H. W. Bush’s unsuccessful US Senate bid. Then, in 1966, in the wake of the Goldwater debacle, Senator Tower prevailed on Jim to take charge of his doubtful re-election bid against a popular Connally-backed, Democratic Attorney-General. Employing the signal wit and charm for which Jim was famous, he convinced the Senator and the small, but growing Party organization under Peter O’Donnell to support innovative computer technology in implementing one of the most creative and effective grassroots campaigns in American political history. Jim’s success that year not only returned Tower to the Senate but also spearheaded three Congressional victories, including that of the future President Bush, and Texas’s first Republicans elected to the State Senate and House since Reconstruction.

Then, after nearly a decade of personal sacrifice to build the new Party, Jim turned his full attention to his oil business, concentrated on his family, bought a ranch, entered the cattle business, and took up quarter-horse and thoroughbred racing, all successfully. But, as ancient Rome did Cincinnatus, the Party would again summon Jim. In 1980, Senator Tower prevailed on him to Chair the Associated Republicans of Texas’ project to win Republican majorities in both houses of the Texas legislature. Thus, in each election over the next two decades, with Jim’s leadership, judgment, and influence buttressing the genius of Executive Director, Norman Newton, ART successfully increased Republican representation in the legislature until in 2002 it presented the Party with majorities in both houses. James A. Leonard had made his unlikely forty-year dream a reality.

James is survived by Jackie Leonard, his wife of 44 years, daughters Mary Dean Smith of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dr. Elizabeth Nelson and her husband David of Sacramento, California; sons, James A. Leonard, III and his wife Blanca Estela Escalante , John Leonard and his wife Dr. Lauren Webb, and Patrick Leonard, all of Austin; two grandchildren, Sean and Emma Nelson; sister Dr. Barbara Carr of Nacogdoches, Texas, niece Anne Carr of Austin, nephews Robert Hedeen of Clifton, New York, Michael Hedeen of Rockford, Illinois, and Scott Hedeen of Atlanta, Georgia. He was preceded in death by his sister Peggy Hedeen.

A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 19 at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 411 Ranch Road 620 South, Lakeway, TX. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 20 at Emmaus Catholic Church, 1718 Lohman’s Crossing, Lakeway, TX. The family wishes to give special thanks to caregivers Denise Castaneda and Hospice Compassus. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to Emmaus Catholic Church, 1718 Lohman’s Crossing, Lakeway, Texas. 78734.


> Last night I appeared on KTBC Fox Austin opposite Democratic strategist Matt Glazer to debate the the effort to Defund Obamacare as part of the continuing resolution.  You can watch the segment here.
> Tonight I will appear on the roundtable on “Red White and Blue,” the politics show which airs in Houston on the PBS affiliate at 7:30pm CT.
> TiVo alert: MRT cofounder Jason Stanford and I will appear on WFAA ABC Dallas’ “Inside Texas Politics” on Sunday morning.


This morning Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel details an effort I’ve been working on in Virginia.
More information may be found at

– DPS is not checking for arrest warrants when Texans come to get a free Voter ID.
– AAS reports (behind paywall) that State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) is ‘lashing out’ at Gov. Perry for his ‘attempt to restrict health insurance navigators.’
– The SAEN editorial board wants to see (behind paywall) an end to free athletic tickets for legislators.
– Former Texas Capitol staffer Gabrielle Nestande was released from prison this morning after serving a 180-day sentence.

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– SAEN’s Kolten Parker 
reports (behind paywall) on the down-ballot hopes of Democrats resting on the shoulders of State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth).
– DMN 
reports (behind paywall) on the financial challenges that Lt. Gov. candidate and State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) has had in his life.
– TT / KUT’s Ben Philpott 
imagines what the end of State Sen. Davis’ first week on the campaign trail as a candidate for Governor might look like.
– SAEN columnist Josh Brodesky 
details (behind paywall) criticism of Mayor Julian Castro (D-San Antonio) that he is “stardust over substance,” a criticism that was also used against then U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).
– TT’s Aman Batheja 
profiles Texas Comptroller candidate and ‘maverick’ Debra Medina.

Other stories of interest:
– Look at Houston’s growth on this first chart.
– The 5th annual North Texas Giving Day raised (behind paywall) a record $20 million for local non-profits.

Lighter Clicks:
– For Floyd Mayweather, money really does grow on trees.
– This never worked for me when I played first base and I must have tried it 100 times as a kid.

Your Daily Source of Inspiration:
– Warren Buffet called this guy yesterday.
– Hope for little Ellie McGinn.


DMN ($): Born in Canada, Ted Cruz became a citizen of that country, as well as U.S. (8/19/13 1:43am) – See more at:

AP: Texas won’t switch execution drug (9/20/13 9:18am)

POLITICO: Ted Cruz in middle of GOP civil war (9/20/13 9:18am)

WASH TIMES: Gov. Perry: Trounced at the polls, Texas Democrats abuse prosecutor power to punish Republicans (9/20/13 9:17am)

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Ted Cruz Punches Back (9/20/13 9:17am)

DMN ($): Lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick knows struggles of going broke (9/20/13 9:15am)

DMN ($): Fifth annual North Texas Giving Day tops $20 million, breaks last year’s record tally (9/20/13 9:14am)

DMN ($): Cruz looks for allies in Obamacare fight, but only catches flak from House Republicans (9/20/13 9:12am)

DMN ($): Hundreds of thousands of Texans would lose food stamps under House bill, advocates say (9/20/13 9:12am)

DMN: Department of Public Safety not checking voter ID applicants for arrest warrants (9/20/13 9:11am)

DMN: Rick Perry as Atticus Finch: Voters make passes at boys who wear glasses (9/20/13 9:02am)

FWST ($): World’s biggest passenger aircraft lands at DFW Airport (9/20/13 9am)

FWST ($): Drivers overbilled by DFW Airport’s new parking system (9/20/13 8:59am)

FWST ($): Richard O’Neal, former TCU basketball star and Fort Worth school board president, dies (9/20/13 8:59am)

CHRON ($): Down-ballot Democrats’ hopes could depend on Davis (9/20/13 8:40am)

CHRON: New census data: Texas poverty dips, but rate of health insurance is worst in nation (9/20/13 8:39am)

SAEN ($): Eagle Ford future might lie in Mexico’s demand (9/20/13 8:34am)

SAEN ($): Past, present and future of Alamo Plaza debated (9/20/13 8:33am)

SAEN ($): Federal grand jury indicts former San Antonio official Fernando De León (9/20/13 8:33am)

SAEN: Studies show Latinos support climate change legislation, group says (9/20/13 8:32am)

SAEN: Feds blast Perry for ‘bullying’ on health insurance (9/20/13 8:29am)

AAS ($): Austin senator lashes out at Perry over attempt to restrict health insurance navigators (9/20/13 8:20am)

AAS ($): Map-drawing set to start for Austin City Council districts (9/20/13 8:20am)

TIME MAGAZINE: Perry’s Full Time Job: Taking Credit For Jobs He Didn’t Create (9/20/13 8:19am)

VIDEO: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and members of Congress hold a press conference to discuss their effort to defund Obamacare (9/20/13 7:35am)

FOX BUSINESS: A tale of two governors (9/20/13 7:31am)

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Why a Government Shutdown Is Good for Ted Cruz (9/20/13 7:20am)

POLITICO: Ted Cruz opens door to Obamacare filibuster (9/20/13 7:18am)

POLITICO: Peter King to Ted Cruz: ‘Keep quiet’ (9/20/13 7:18am)

TT / KUT: Imagining Wendy Davis’ First Week on the Campaign Trail (9/20/13 7:16am)

THE HILL: McCain: Cruz is free to filibuster but won’t succeed (9/20/13 7:15am)

TT: A Maverick Tries to Stay in the Picture (9/20/13 7:06am)

KTBC FOX AUSTIN: Debating the effort to defund Obamacare (9/20/13 7:01am)

KXAN NBC AUSTIN: Nestande to be released from jail Friday (9/20/13 7am)

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: Why a Texas court overturned Tom DeLay money-laundering conviction (9/20/13 7am)

NYT / TT: Texas, Where Oil Rules, Turns Its Eye to Energy Efficiency (9/20/13 6:48am)

WASH POST (The Fix): Ted Cruz vs. House Republicans (9/19/13 6:01pm)

THE HILL: Cruz seeks to reassure House GOP, vows to fight for defunding (9/19/13 6pm)

POLITICO: Ted Cruz channels Winston Churchill on Hill fight (9/19/13 5:59pm)


DMN: Seeking justice in Syria (9/20/13 9:13am)

DMN: Children’s Adventure Garden another educational gem for Dallas (9/20/13 9:13am)

FWST ($): Starbucks CEO ‘respectfully’ says guns not wanted (9/20/13 9:01am)

FWST ($): Decision by Army Corps of Engineers shortsighted, costly and hurtful (9/20/13 9:01am)

CHRON: A biological imperative (9/20/13 8:37am)

SAEN: Free tickets have no place in Legislature (9/20/13 8:30am)

AAS ($): Recommended death penalty reforms deserve consideration (9/20/13 8:21am)


MORIARTY ($): ‘Raisin in the Sun’s’ message resonates as ‘Dallas Faces Race’ (9/20/13 9:16am)

MATCHES ($): Once-eradicated diseases sadly making return (9/20/13 9:01am)

HAMMOND ($): Flexibility in border security plan will help economy (9/20/13 8:58am)

KING: Media take nose dive on aviation safety reports (9/20/13 8:39am)

FALKENBERG ($): DeLay judges send message that sleaze is good (9/20/13 8:38am)

CLAD: Mexico’s energy market benefits with foreign investment (9/20/13 8:38am)

SCOTT: Foundation for learning starts with liberal arts (9/20/13 8:37am)

G. GARCIA ($): Wendy Davis at the center of 4th Court battle over attorney fees (9/20/13 8:34am)

BOULDIN: What? No left-wing celebrity war protesters? (9/20/13 8:31am)

JIMENEZ: Environmental issues should be priority (9/20/13 8:30am)

TATUM: Informed citizens crucial to protect rights (9/20/13 8:30am)

BRODESKY ($): Castro stardust overshadows substance (9/20/13 8:23am)

TRABULSI ($): Class action claims should be settled promptly, efficiently (9/20/13 8:22am)

RAMSEY: In Texas, a Gender Gap on the 2014 Ballot? (9/20/13 7:07am)

BUDOWSKY: Wendy Davis poised to change history in Texas (9/20/13 7:02am)

ZURAWIK: Sad to see O’Malley ‘debating’ Perry in debased ‘Crossfire’ forum (9/20/13 6:47am)

HEWITT: Bravo Ted Cruz. Bob Corker, sit down (9/20/13 6:46am)

BLOGS (from the left)

BOR: Ted Cruz gives up trying to defund Obamacare (9/20/13 7:19am)

BLOGS (from the right)

HOT AIR: Video: Rick Perry and Martin O’Malley throw down on Texas v. Maryland (9/20/13 7:30am)

RUSH LIMBAUGH: Ted Cruz Did Exactly What He Promised to Do — and the House Leadership Listened (9/20/13 7:02am)

PJ TATLER: House GOP to Cruz: How Dare You Allow Reality to Intrude on Our Defunding Fantasy! (9/20/13 6:47am)

BREITBART: House Republicans Back Cruz After Media, Establishment Attacks (9/19/13 6:07pm)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford @MustReadTexas

1 thought on “Must Read Texas – September 20, 2013”

  1. I read the article in the Dallas Morning News this morning. Page 8A: Cruz looks for allies, catches flak instead. This quote from the article provide more evidence that Senator John Cronyn is not the conservative’s friend: “But Cruz may find himself with few allies. Only about 14 GOP senators embrace the shutdown threat. Most, including Sen. John Cornyn, the deputy GOP leader, shun the tactic.”

    I believe Sen. Cronyn has out lived his principles and has become part of the problem and needs to be retired at the first opportunity. (Misspelling of his name done purposefully)

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