Must Read Texas – September 21, 2013

Politico on Perry’s Plan to Stay Relevant for 2016;
Cruz on House-Passed CR & Filibuster; Cruz on Fox News Sunday;
AP on TX GOP Missteps; MRT on TV in Dallas & Houston Tomorrow.

Here’s the brief:


Politico’s Anna Palmer reports:

Rick Perry doesn’t want to be forgotten.

The Texas governor, whose 2012 presidential bid famously flamed out after a series of verbal blunders, is making moves to try to keep his name on the radar for a potential national comeback.

His strategy: Curry favor with influential party stalwarts, demonstrate to voters in key Democratic strongholds that he has the answers for how to jumpstart the economy and even show a little political leg with a pit stop in Iowa this November.

All this activity comes as Perry is weighing whether he should take another shot at the White House.

It isn’t a simple calculation. Not only would Perry have to win back the support of those who abandoned his disastrously unsuccessful 2012 run, he would also have to contend with a new crop of party favorites like Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Marco Rubio (Fla.) and fellow Texan Sen. Ted Cruz that are gaining a national following.

Republican strategists say a Perry presidential bid would be uphill, but not insurmountable.

“I think expectations would be low on his debate performances and if he was able to get himself into a position where he was studied and ready to go that would surprise a lot of people and enhance his chances,” said Matt Schlapp of Cove Strategies, who served as political director to President George W. Bush “I think he would also benefit from the fact that there is no obvious front runner in 2016, that he’s not a creature of Washington and obviously he benefits from the fact that he’s from one of the most important fundraising states that you need to conquer to get the nomination.”

Veteran Republican party operative Fred Malek agreed.

“Certainly he could recover from the debate gaffe as we’ve seen Bill Clinton recover from the lengthy speech that he gave as a keynoter of the national convention to become the nominee,” Malek said, referencing Clinton’s 1988 speech that went so long that he had to go on “The Tonight Show” to try to staunch the bleeding.

Malek cautioned, however, that inviting people to Austin and traveling around the country doesn’t mean Perry will seek the presidency.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean he is running for anything other than he is thinking through where his future lies,” Malek said.

Still, Perry certainly appears to be laying the groundwork to make a potential run possible.

Texas Republican State Chairman Steve Munisteri said it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Perry gets in the race.

“I don’t think he’s been shy about that he has another interest in running for president, he’s been upfront with people about that,” Munisteri said.”Most people have to run two or three times before they get the nomination.”

One of the strongest signs that Perry is looking beyond Texas for his post-governor life is the invites he has quietly been sending to influential businessmen, veteran political operatives and big-moneyed fundraisers to Austin for a series of dinners.

Long-time Perry confidant Jim Lee, a major donor and bundler for the governor, has been emailing potential attendees, according to a copy of an email obtained by POLITICO.

“We would like to invite you and your spouse to dinner the Governor’s Mansion,” Lee wrote in the note. He further described a similar mansion dinner he and his wife Amy attended as a “warm and special experience.” He added that “there will be no ‘asks’ or agenda” and promised “just quality time with the Governor and Mrs. Perry.”

Lee did not respond to an email request for comment.

The invitations to attend dinners began in mid-July and have continued with dates into October, according to one source familiar with the requests.

Not everyone is looking to reconnect with Perry as he weighs a 2016 push. Multiple sources said they have waived off attending so as to not already be committed to Perry for the next cycle.

“At this point, I’m not about to go down to Texas and get roped in,” one former Perry supporter said. “It’s nothing personal, God bless the guy for trying, but he embarrassed the hell out of himself and the people who stood up and supported him.”

Perry spokesman Mark Miner downplayed any issues with dinner attendance.

“The response to sit down and talk with the governor has been tremendous, but it’s not involved in any presidential race. It’s involved in talking about the issues facing this country,” Miner said. “He’ll make a decision next year but he’s going to continue talking about issues important to this country and at the top of that list are the economy and job creation.”

There is no fundraising involved in the effort, according to Miner.

“This is nothing different than what he has done in the past. He meets with people regularly and he’s been traveling frequently both in Texas and around the country,” Miner said.

In addition to breaking bread with Republican party stalwarts, Perry is also crisscrossing the country talking about economic issues and trying to woo big businesses in Democratic strongholds to the Lone Star State.

Recent Perry trips include: Maryland, Missouri, California, Connecticut and New York.

Perry is in Maryland this week in his continued quest to bring business to Texas. Perry’s visit is drawing attention since he’ll be appearing in the Democratic stronghold and on the home turf of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley, another possible 2016 presidential candidate.

Paired with his visit is a nearly $500,000 radio and TV advertising campaign, hammering Maryland’s business environment.

One Republican strategist, who supported Perry’s 2012 presidential bid, described it as a smart move and also noted it “also gets his voice on the air in D.C. during drive time.”

Republican fundraiser and lobbyist Matt Keelen, who was a Perry supporter, said he would be open to another run if Perry can articulate how he is going to be different in another race.

“One of the things we were unable to talk about is governing with solid examples. Texas is the biggest one we control and it’s doing a heck of a lot better in terms of economic activity and future opportunities than the country is,” Keelen said.


Late Friday night Sean Rushton, Communications Director for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), released the following statement: “Our goal is to protect the bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House, which will defund Obamacare while fully funding government. Anticipating the likelihood that Senator Reid will strip the crucial defunding language, it may be necessary to oppose cloture to block him from changing the bill. We’ll use any procedural means necessary to protect the House bill and keep debate open, standing guard against any attempt to reduce this opportunity to another show vote. Americans want Congress to pass a bill that funds government but defunds Obamacare, and the House worked hard to pass one. Senator Reid must not be allowed to add Obamacare funding back into the House-passed bill.”

Here’s the press statement that Sen. Cruz issued after the House passed the Defund Obamacare continuing resolution yesterday.Sen. Cruz will lead off tomorrow’s Fox News Sunday.


AP’s Paul Weber reports:

For Republicans eager to lead Texas after Gov. Rick Perry finally steps aside in 2014, there’s one easy way to describe their campaign blunders so far: Oops.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the early favorite to replace Perry, thanked a supporter who tweeted that likely Democratic challenger Wendy Davis was a “retard Barbie.” Top Abbott strategist Dave Carney, who ran Perry’s failed White House bid in 2012, himself tweeted the headline of an article that said Davis was “too stupid” to be governor.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, facing a fierce GOP primary challenge for his seat, was trying to show his conservative mettle at a debate this week when he said he doesn’t put Democrats in charge of “critical committees.” Among his Senate panels helmed by Democrats: Veteran Affairs.

All are unforced errors by GOP front-runners that any political opponent would relish – especially Texas Democrats, who need all the help they can get to lessen the long odds next year of the party winning a statewide office for the first time in 20 years.

But as they wait for Davis’ expected Oct. 3 announcement that she will run, they’re left without a candidate to pounce on their rivals’ missteps.

“When Todd Akin made a misstep, at least there was Claire McCaskill to take an opportunity,” said Democratic strategist Matt Glazer of the Austin-based Glazer Group. He was referring to the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Missouri when Akin, a Republican, doomed his candidacy by saying that women’s bodies have a way of shutting down during “legitimate” rape.

“If there were a candidate already announced, you can fundraise off it. You can get endorsements off of it,” Glazer said. “But to do that, you have to be the counterpoint to the Republican alternative.”

Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, is not seeking re-election after 14 years in office. But a trip this week to Maryland, which included a stop at a gun manufacturer, continues fueling speculation that he may again run for president in 2016. Doing so would mean shaking off the gaffe that sunk his candidacy in 2011, when Perry forgot the name of the third federal agency he would abolish during a debate and simply muttered “oops.”

Backlash over the retweets from Abbott’s camp and Dewhurst’s choice of words was mostly led by Democratic activists. Both Republicans, however, still responded this week. Asked about Carney’s “too stupid” tweet during a campaign stop in suburban Austin, Abbott distanced himself.

“I disagree with that statement and we’re going to make sure that this campaign focuses on the real issues that matter to Texans,” Abbott said.

In August, Abbott wrote “thanks for your support” to a backer who tweeted that Davis was a “retard Barbie.” Abbott has said he did not see the comment while firing of gratitude to supporters and rebuked the language in the tweet.

Democratic Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who is rumored to be weighing a run for lieutenant governor and chairs the Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs, sent Dewhurst a letter this week criticizing his characterization of the panels he leaves in the hands of Democrats.

“As a Democrat in the state of Texas, I would understand if you attacked me personally at a Republican political debate. However, I take great exception with dismissing the work of the committee which I chair,” Van de Putte wrote.

A spokesman for Dewhurst responded with a statement asserting his support for veterans and their families.

Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University, said the tweets will only haunt Abbott if it becomes a pattern. Davis shot to national fame this summer during an 11-hour filibuster that temporarily delayed the passage of tighter abortion restrictions in Texas, and Democrats have accused Republicans of waging a war on women with the new laws.

Jones said the issue is a delicate one for the Texas GOP. Barring a female Republican candidate getting in a race, Jones said the party will go into 2014 without at least one female candidate running for one of the state’s top six executive posts for the first time since 1986.

But being so early in the campaign season, hardly all rank-and-file voters are noticing the slip-ups, anyway.

Lisa Sneed, a Republican who said she owned a cupcake bakery near Dallas that was frequented by Perry, was not even aware of the miscues by Abbott and Dewhurst. She is a strong supporter of Abbott, but said she hoped he was careful with Davis in the months ahead.

“I love Gov. Perry. I love him. But he is not a good public speaker. He does not have a gauge, a filter, between the brain and the mouth,” Sneed said. “Abbott can improvise when he’s speaking. He’s a whole lot more natural than Perry.

“But I don’t think you ever count anybody out.”


> TiVo alert: MRT co-founder Jason Stanford and I will appear on WFAA ABC Dallas’ “Inside Texas Politics” with host Jason Whitely on Sunday morning.
> Tomorrow I will appear on the roundtable on “Red White and Blue,” the politics show which airs in Houston on channel 8 (the PBS affiliate) at 12:30pm CT.—

– State Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson (R-Waco) has an op ed (behind paywall) in he SAEN calling for the state to protect the ‘historically valuable’ Longhorn herd at Big Bend State Park, which the state has been selling off.
– State Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston), in a Chron op ed, shines a light of the scourge of human trafficking in Houston.
– The Chron reports that UT System chancellor Francisco Ciguerroa has responded to criticism from the conservative group Empower Texans.

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– AP’s Tom Beaumont reports on how the defund Obamacare fight on Capitol Hill is splitting several potential GOP contenders for president in 2016.
– Texas Comptroller candidate and State Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) appeared on YNN Austin’s “Capital Tonight” on Thursday.
– State Rep. Tryon Lewis (R-Odessa) will not seek reelection, sticking to his three term pledge.
– The Chron’s Kiah Collier reports (behind paywall) on the many “no” votes of incumbent City Councilwoman (District A) Helena Brown.

Other stories of interest:
– DMN’s Todd Gilman reports that two members of the House working group on immigration group, U.S. Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and John Carter (R-TX), quit working as part of the group.
– The Chron editorial board weighs in on the legacy of Tom Delay.  The FWST did too (behind paywall).

Lighter Clicks:
– Apparently the LA Dodgers celebrated a pennant victory by jumping in the outfield pool in Arizona.  John McCain was offended.  Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson responded.
– Oh good, a fist fight broke out at an Apple store over the new iPhone.
– Sales of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ have passed $1 billion in three days.
– 14 players have been banned for life from the El Salvadoran national team for “fixing” games.
– A fictional news anchor wrote a letter to the editor in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
– The TV ratings from the Eagles-Chiefs game last Thursday were the highest ever for an NFL ThursdayNight game.

Your Daily Source of Inspiration:
– Good people, good fortune — this may help restore your faith in humanity.
– Congrats to the West High School football team, for winning its first homecoming game since the tragedy.
– The most important image captured by the Hubble Telescope reveals a stunning fact: we are part of a system of 100 billion galaxies.


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:

POLITICO: Rick Perry’s bid to stay relevant for 2016 (9/21/13 4:52pm)

AP: Texas Republicans Face Early Stumbles In Races For Post-Rick Perry Era (9/21/13 4:50pm)

AP: Health Law Separates Potential GOP 2016 Contenders (9/21/13 4:49pm)

THE HILL: Ted Cruz’s defining moment (9/21/13 4:48pm)

AP: Cruz, Lee plan on ‘Obamacare’ unnerves some in GOP (9/21/13 4:48pm)

AP: Ex-Lubbock hospital exec gets prison for fraud (9/21/13 4:47pm)

AP: Suspended judge in Galveston pleads guilty, quits (9/21/13 4:46pm)

DMN ($): Texas electric grid getting greener even before EPA crackdown (9/21/13 4:44pm)

DMN: Rep. Barton is Fired Up About Obama’s “War on Coal” (9/21/13 4:43pm)

DMN: House immigration group crumbles as Reps. Sam Johnson and John Carter quit, pressured by hardliners (9/21/13 4:42pm)

DMN: Ending Obamacare? What Republicans really want is the Senate (9/21/13 4:41pm)

FWST ($): Texas loses 6,400 jobs in August, but jobless rate dips to 6.4% (9/21/13 4:34pm)

CHRON ($): Brown faces many challengers, but defends her ‘nays’ (9/21/13 4:28pm)

CHRON ($): House Obamacare vote puts issue in lap of Cruz (9/21/13 4:27pm)

CHRON ($): EPA proposal could block new coal plants (9/21/13 4:27pm)

CHRON ($): Local economy still strong but slowing (9/21/13 4:27pm)

CHRON: UT chancellor responds to Empower Texans (9/21/13 4:18pm)

CHRON: On the Move: Worldwide ERC conference is coming to Texas (9/21/13 4:18pm)

SAEN ($): S.A. jobless rate dips, but experts aren’t celebrating (9/21/13 4:12pm)

SAEN ($): Local bases keep security in mind (9/21/13 4:11pm)

SAEN ($): State trips up in rush to find Medicaid fraud (9/21/13 4:11pm)

AAS ($): Nestande release from jail (9/21/13 3:29pm)

AAS ($): Cornyn unveils law to ban ‘murderabilia’ (9/21/13 3:28pm)

AAS ($): UT’s Ransom Center gets $200 million donation of Magnum photographs (9/21/13 3:24pm)

YNN AUSTIN: Capital Tonight: Glenn Hegar talks about run for comptroller (9/21/13 2:38pm)

NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: Peter King: ‘Ted Cruz Is a Fraud’ (9/21/13 1:24pm)

THE WEEK: The 10 best insults Republicans hurled at Ted Cruz this week (9/21/13 1:23pm)

FOX NEWS: Castigating Cruz: The GOP’s anonymous civil war over ObamaCare (9/21/13 1:23pm)

POLITIFACT: Since 2007, “Texas has gained 440,000 people” while “Maryland has lost 20,000.” (9/21/13 1:22pm)

NYT: Distant Violence Shatters a Texas Buddhist Group’s Quiet (9/21/13 1:06pm)

AL JAZEERA AMERICA: Cattle rustling makes comeback in Texas (9/21/13 1:04pm)

VIDEO: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Fox News’ “Cavuto” (9/21/13 1:03pm)

BALTIMORE SUN: Small tune-in for O’Malley and Perry on CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ (9/21/13 1:02pm)

POLITICO: Eric Cantor on defunding: I support Ted Cruz (9/21/13 1:01pm)

MCCLATCHY: Texas Republicans vote to defund health care law (9/21/13 1:01pm)

AMERICAN PROSPECT: Ted Cruz Is Not Well-Liked (9/21/13 1:01pm)

TT: West Texas State Rep. Tryon Lewis Won’t Seek Fourth Term, by Alexa Ura (9/21/13 1pm)

POLITIFACT: Rick Perry says every engine maker is in Texas (9/21/13 12:58pm)

POLITIFACT: Perry claim about Texas workers makes assumption about wages paid to non-hourly workers (9/21/13 12:58pm)

POLITICO: Ted Cruz’s block-the-vote strategy (9/21/13 12:58pm)


DMN: North Texas needs Lake Ralph Hall (9/21/13 4:46pm)

FWST ($): Special day of fund raising shows North Texans’ generosity (9/21/13 4:37pm)

FWST ($): Appeals court sees no dirt on DeLay money (9/21/13 4:36pm)

CHRON: Tom DeLay’s legacy (9/21/13 4:21pm)

CHRON: Chief McClelland, smile (9/21/13 4:21pm)

SAEN: United Way is worthy of support (9/21/13 4:06pm)

SAEN: Take the pledge on texting and driving (9/21/13 4:05pm)

SAEN: Action this time on Alamo Plaza (9/21/13 4:04pm)

AAS ($): To resolve problems, give fire chief control of hiring cadets (9/21/13 3:26pm)


R. JONES ($): Incarceration rates tell a bleak story (9/21/13 4:46pm)

M. JACKSON ($): Lake Ralph Hall: First reservoir in 30 years? (9/21/13 4:38pm)

KENNEDY ($): In Navy Yard shooting, memories of Wedgwood and a boy from White Settlement (9/21/13 4:35pm)

SHERIFF GARCIA ($): New legislation will offer boost to our public safety (9/21/13 4:32pm)

TROWBRIDGE ($): Community colleges offer affordable education options (9/21/13 4:31pm)

STATE SEN. HUFFMAN: Houston still a hotbed for human trafficking (9/21/13 4:23pm)

TOM SMITH: Pipeline project would hasten climate change in Texas (9/21/13 4:23pm)

STATE REP. ANDERSON ($): Protect Big Bend Longhorn herd (9/21/13 4:14pm)

TREMPER ($): Release Senate panel’s torture report (9/21/13 4:14pm)

HENDRICKS ($): New job-creation chief weighs strategy (9/21/13 4:13pm)

CHASNOFF ($): Media not allowed at ‘strategy meeting’ (9/21/13 4:12pm)

G. GARCIA ($): Aesthetics vs. economics at stake in Alamo Plaza (9/21/13 4:12pm)

DUERLER: Lack of animal control a public crisis (9/21/13 4:06pm)

PADILLA: Uniform truancy policy in works for Bexar (9/21/13 4:05pm)

HERMAN ($): Vietnam monument approved; controversy lingers (9/21/13 3:23pm)

CILLIZZA: Who had the worst week in Washington? Sen. Ted Cruz (9/21/13 1:24pm)

S. PARKER: It’s Washington, Not Ted Cruz that’s Abnormal (9/21/13 12:57am)

LOWRY: In Ted Cruz’s defense, he never said it would work (9/20/13 11:18am)

BLOGS (from the left)

FORWARD PROGRESSIVES: Republican Congressman From Texas Refuses to Say Obama Was Legitimately Elected President (9/21/13 1:05pm)

SALON: Ted Cruz’s origins continue to haunt him (9/21/13 1:02pm)

BFL: Can abortion elect Wendy Davis? (9/20/13 2:13pm)

BLOGS (from the right)

OFFICE OF SEN. CRUZ: Cruz: Fight to Save America from Obamacare is Only Just Beginning (9/21/13 2:45pm)

POWERLINE: Cruz’s surrender caucus language boomerangs (9/21/13 1:26pm)

WND: Democrat official: ‘May your children die’ (9/21/13 1:25pm)

PJ TATLER: Texas Tribune Is Publishing Wendy Davis Fan Fiction Now (9/21/13 1:02pm)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford @MustReadTexas