Must Read Texas – September 22, 2013

Cruz Takes the Lead; AP on Wendy’s ‘Long Hello’; MRT on Sunday TV;
Mackowiak / Stanford / Saldana on the Hispanic Vote in Monday’s AAS

Here’s the brief:


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on Fox News Sunday this morning to discuss the effort to defund Obamacare amid the budget showdown.
Here’s the full video.
Below is a full transcript:

WALLACE: Hello, again. The clock is ticking. The government shuts down in just eight days unless congress agrees on a bill to fund federal agencies. On Friday the House passed a bill to keep the government going until mid December but they also cut off funding for Obamacare, and Harry Reid said that is dead in the Senate. Ted Cruz is leading the drive, welcome back to “Fox News Sunday.”

CRUZ: Thank you, Chris, good to be here today.

WALLACE: We just played a clip where you say you will do everything you can to block it with a filibuster, but the problem is you will be blocking a bill you support. So how are you going to get other remember Senators on board to block a bill you support.

CRUZ: Let’s be clear. Last week’s vote was a tremendous victory. A few weeks ago no pundit thought it was possible. They voted to defund Obamacare, and next year as you know the fight moves to the Senate. And I think next week is a time for party immunity. All Senate Republicans I think should come together and support the House bill. They should stop Harry Reid from changing the House bill and for inserting the funding with 51 votes. That will be the fight whether he can use a straight party line vote — and Senate Republicans, if they stand together, we can stop Harry Reid.

WALLACE: Are you going to block consideration of the bill? Will you allow consideration of the bill? You can filibuster that. If you lose that, then a simple majority could take out Obamacare. So are you going to have a consideration of the bill, a vote up or down, or let them vote to block a bill that you support?

CRUZ: First we will ask Harry Reid if had will allow amendments to be subject to 60-vote threshold. In all likelihood will say no because he wanted to force funding through with Democrats. He does that even Senate Republicans have the tool that we always used when the majority leader is abusing his power. We can filibuster and say we will not allow use to add the funding back for Obamacare with just 51 votes.

WALLACE: If I may, you say this is brute political power, it’s Senate rule 22 that has been around for years. It says you say allow debate, that you can pass an amendment by a simple majority, that’s the rule.

CRUZ: What’s good for the rule, it’s good for the gander. And that’s the reason that the Senate, generally on controversial votes, we work out an agreement for it to be subject to a 60 vote threshold. If the majority is going to run the minority over with a train, they have the ability to stop them. So if he says I’m going to run the Republicans other and ignore the bill passed been and I’m going to do this on a 51 vote threshold, in my mind, it should be easy for them to stand and support House Republicans. Any vote to allow Harry Reid to add funding, a vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare. And I think they will stand side by side and listen to the people and stop this train wreck that is Obamacare.

WALLACE: First of all, you need 41 votes, your vote and 40 others to go with you to block consideration of the House bill in the Senate, how many do you have right now, Senator?

CRUZ: We don’t know right now and this week we will determine that. This is a fast moving target. Just a few weeks ago we didn’t have any of the votes we needed in the House or Senate. I knew all along this would be a long journey. Stage was one unify the person people. We have had a petition signed and people calling their Senators saying stop Obamacare.

CRUZ: Stage three is next week why Senate Republicans, it’s now our turn to unify and stand together with House Republicans. This may end up going back to the House. And I fully believe the House will go on. And I believe first it is Republicans, if you’re a democrat running for reelection in Arkansas, and you get calls from your constituents, it changes the calculus entirely. But that will not happen until we unify Republicans.

WALLACE: Here is the question that everyone on both sides is asking which is what’s your end game? Let’s say you block consideration of any bill in the Senate. They take out Obamacare and they send it back to the House. What’s your end game? Because the government will shut down a week from Monday.

CRUZ: I don’t want the government to shut down, the American people don’t, and I don’t think they should shut down the government. If that happens. If Harry Reid kills this bill in it the Senate, I think the House should hold it’s ground and start passing smaller resolutions one department at a time. Fund the military, send it over, and see it Harry Reid is willing to shut down the military because he wants to force Obamacare on the American people. If the House can keep driving this — the House is the only body where the Republicans have a majority. My job is supporting as much support and air cover as we can for the House to stand up and lead.

WALLACE: Senator, I think it’s fair to say that you ticked off a lot of your fellow Republicans who feel you got them into this fight without an end and without a strategy. They have gone on the record. Tim griffin wrote so far Senate Republicans are good at getting Facebook likes and town halls, not much else. Pete king calls you a fraud. If he can deliver on this, fine, if not he should keep quiet from now on. And bob corker of Tennessee said I didn’t go to Harvard or Princeton, but I can count Republicans that say you’re pushing them into a fight you don’t know how to finish. Senator?

CRUZ: Well, look. There is lots of folks in Washington that can choose to throw rocks, and I’m not going to reciprocate or do likewise. We have career politicians in both parties in Washington that are not listening to Americans. The American people are hurting because Obamacare is not working. It’s killing jobs, it’s driving up health insurance rates, it caused them to lose their insurance. People are hearing from their constituents in overwhelming numbers.

WALLACE: The Democrats feel that you have given them the political high ground in all of this. I want to play with president Obama said last night.

OBAMA: You would be willing to shut down the government and potentially default for the first time in United States history because it bothers you so much that we’re going to make sure that everybody has affordable health care.

WALLACE: Senator, you’re completely right. But people also don’t want to shut down the government to have this. There is a new Republican poll out late last week, a Republican group, 71-23, don’t shut down the government for this.

CRUZ: Here is a lot of ways to phrase this. The majority of Republicans want Obamacare defunded. Last week the wall street journal found that Americans trust Democrats more. And let me suggest the reason why is because we’re standing up and leading the fight. Voters learned that there’s enough talk from Washington, stand up and do it. You just have to get out of Washington dc and listen to the American people. Listen to small businesses laying people off. People struggling for jobs. And the people who are hurting, I hear from them every single day. Women with pre-existing conditions losing their coverage because of Obamacare.

WALLACE: We’re almost out of time. You have a lot of valid criticisms about Obamacare. But if it comes down, if the Senate ping-pongs this back to the House, if it is Obamacare or shut down the government, what’s your position? Keep the government going or keep fighting about Obamacare.

CRUZ: I believe we should stand our ground and I don’t think Harry Reid and Barack Obama should shut down the federal government. The House voted to fund the federal government. If he kills that, Harry Reid is responsible for that. Don’t fund Obamacare because it’s hurting the American people. That’s in Senate Democrats want out because it’s not working.

WALLACE: We’ll talk about that with Senator McCaskill of the next segment. We’ll stay on top of the battle of the budget. It should be interesting.

CRUZ: Thank you, Chris.


AP’s Chris Tomlinson reports:

Call it the long hello.

Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis has announced that she will make clear her future plans on Oct. 3. In the meantime, she’s collecting emails, networking with Democratic supporters and will likely send out a number of email blasts over the next 10 days, releasing tidbits of news designed to build momentum before her formal debut as a candidate for Texas governor.

Despite the attempt to build suspense, the roar of the political machine behind her betrays that she’s already started a campaign that could have national implications, whether she wins or loses in 2014.

Davis and other Democrats are well aware of the naysayers who dismiss any attempt to break the Republican hold on Texas. They cite the state’s conservative history, the 20 years since a Democrat has won a statewide election and the 1-101 losing streak since 1994.

Yet anyone who reads the U.S. Census knows the state is undergoing perhaps the most dramatic demographic change since Stephen F. Austin started bringing white immigrants to the Mexican state of Coahulia y Texas. The Anglo majority that controlled Texas politics since the Civil War makes up less than 50 percent of the current population and more than 50 percent of public school students are Hispanic. Texas will be a solidly Hispanic-majority state by 2025.

Democratic officials argue that since their party receives two-thirds of the Hispanic vote, 90 percent of the black vote and a quarter of Anglo ballots, they can win statewide elections and make Texas competitive in the 2016 presidential election. The only problem, they admit, is getting enough of these people to actually cast a ballot.

That’s where Davis and a group called Battleground Texas come in.

Davis’ Tarrant County Senate seat looks a lot like Texas demographics, and she has turned out the Democratic coalition. She has a compelling rags-to-riches story that connects with less affluent voters and her politics appeal to the Democratic base and white suburban women who are more likely to cross party lines.

Battleground Texas, meanwhile, is doing the difficult job of changing the math. They are organizing thousands of volunteers to register Democratic-leaning citizens to vote and then make sure they get to the polls. Hours after Davis announced her Oct. 3 deadline, Battleground Texas asked volunteers to organize watch parties of Davis’ formal proclamation.

Both Davis and Battleground Texas will rely on technology and networking techniques pioneered by President Barack Obama in both of his national campaigns. That’s why Davis called on supporters to sign up for email updates and Battleground Texas is building a database of supporters that Democrats will use not only in 2014, but for years to come.

Republicans also employ these techniques and they have a head start. The Republican front-runner, Greg Abbott, has already won three statewide elections for attorney general, has $20 million in the bank and the support of Gov. Rick Perry. He has a formidable campaign already in motion, while Davis hasn’t formally announced yet.

Yet even if Davis doesn’t defeat Abbott in 2014, she can do something even almost as important: close the gap with Republicans ahead of 2016.

For the past decade, Democrats have struggled to get more than 42 percent of the vote in Texas, and the theories as to why are legion. But the result of the losing streak is a poorly financed party with active chapters in only half of the state’s counties.

Davis’ charisma and ability to attract national financial support will help re-energize Democrats across the state. If she can lose with 48 percent of the vote in a non-presidential year and leave behind a party organization capable of turning out 4 million Democrats, she will have laid the groundwork to make Texas competitive in 2016.

And turning the second most-populous state with 20 media markets into a battleground state for Republicans in 2016 would be quite an accomplishment.


> MRT co-founder Jason Stanford and I appeared on WFAA ABC Dallas’ “Inside Texas Politics” earlier this morning with host Jason Whitely.  Here’s the video.
> Earlier today I also appeared on the roundtable on “Red White and Blue,” the long-running weekly politics show which airs in Houston on channel 8 (the PBS affiliate).  The segment does not appear to be on their website, but I have asked for it and will post if we get it.MACKOWIAK / STANFORD / SALANDA ON THE HISPANIC VOTE

Your two MRT co-founders and Brisa Communications, LLC president Paul Saldaña each have exclusive op eds in Monday’s AAS on the Hispanic vote.
We will include them in tomorrow’s email.

– Elp Times’ Marty Schlaaden reports on Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) efforts to block Obamacare in Texas as the Oct. 1 date for the exchanges nears.
– SAEN’s David Saleh Rauf reports (behind paywall) on the coming media blitz to rally public support for the statewide water infrastructure ballot issue.

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– The Michigan Republican Party held a conference over the weekend, which ended with a 2016 straw poll.  The results, per Politico: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 36%, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) 18%, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) 8%, and tied at 7% were Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) and Sen. Cruz.  Paul, Jindal and Walker spoke at the conference and Christie, Cruz and Bush did not.
– SAEN / Chron’s Patti Kilday Hart reports (behind paywall) on the battle over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s (R-TX) image in the race for Lt. Gov.
– YNN Austin profiles Texas Supreme Court Justice Evan Guzman.

Other stories of interest:
– TT’s Corrie MacLaggan, for Texas editions of the NYT, reports from Corpus Christi on the city’s Mexican heritage and growing Hispanic population.
– Chron’s Mike Tolson profiles (behind paywall) former Harris County District Attorney and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Magidson.
– The new Big Tex, at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, will be unveiled this week.
– Lake Travis (in an around Austin) rose a foot since Friday morning due to a sustained rain.

Lighter Clicks:
– Who are these idiot parents?
– This cat lost 27 pounds.
– Boxer Floyd “Money” Mayweather bet $220,000 on Texas A&M this weekend and won $200,000.
– You may have missed a recent controversy involving ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale.  A previous critic of his tells a story about him you should read.
– A highly unusual (and successful) onside kick.
– LSU coach Les Miles has his own Fonzworth Bentley.
– This is a great catch.

Your Daily Source of Inspiration:
– An unbelievably beautiful photo of Mansfield Dam (outside Austin).
– A touching gesture from an Ohio high school student.


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: Wendy Davis begins the long hello (9/22/13 8:39pm)

AP: Rain welcome, but not deemed drought-buster (9/22/13 8:39pm)

AP: New Big Tex to be unveiled this week (9/22/13 8:38pm)

POLITICO: Rand Paul touts Michigan poll win (9/22/13 8:27pm)

WFAA ABC DALLAS: Inside Texas Politics (9/22/13 8:25pm)

DMN: Ted Cruz, accused of using Obamacare fight to run for president, prods House GOP to stand firm (9/22/13 8:21pm)

DMN: Water amendment opponents coalesce in Bastrop, proponents skip event (9/22/13 8:17pm)

FWST ($): Prop 1 will provide Fort Worth high school students with a laptop or tablet to use at home or school (9/22/13 8:12pm)

CHRON ($): Longtime prosecutor likes avoiding the spotlight (9/22/13 8:09pm)

CHRON ($): City pension woes better than most, but still need work (9/22/13 8:06pm)

CHRON: Future still unknown for Beaumont prosecutor who made Facebook comments about minorities (9/22/13 8:02pm)

SAEN ($): Dewhurst vs. incumbency and ultra-conservatism (9/22/13 7:51pm)

SAEN ($): In Medicaid, docs guilty until proven innocent (9/22/13 7:51pm)

SAEN ($): San Antonio College revamping Scobee Planetarium (9/22/13 7:50pm)

SAEN ($): The million-dollar water campaign (9/22/13 7:47pm)

AAS ($): Central Texas racing to be ready for ‘Obamacare’ (9/22/13 4:55pm)

AAS ($): Austin commission starts drawing city council districts (9/22/13 4:54pm)

YNN AUSTIN: Hispanic political leaders see bright future ahead (9/22/13 4:16pm)

BLOOMBERG NEWS: Cruz Urges Fresh Obamacare Defunding Fight as Shutdown Looms (9/22/13 2:48pm)

ELP TIMES: Texas Gov. Rick Perry keeps up fight against Obamacare (9/22/13 2:40pm)

HUFF POST: Ted Cruz: Republicans Who Vote To Take Up Bill Defunding Obamacare Are Voting For Obamacare (9/22/13 2:39pm)

NYT / TT: Honoring a Heritage That Straddles the South Texas Border (9/22/13 2:35pm)

CALLER-TIMES ($): Perry’s Medicaid reform drive heightens dispute (9/22/13 2:34pm)

NATIONAL JOURNAL: Ted Cruz’s Playbook: Filibuster the House CR (9/22/13 2:33pm)

THE HILL: Palin backs Cruz in ObamaCare fight (9/22/13 2:32pm)

WACO TRIB: McLennan County Republicans raise over $31,700 for West (9/22/13 2:30pm)

BREITBART: Defunding Obamacare: Ted Cruz’s pathway to victory (9/22/13 2:16pm)


SAEN: Costs that never should have been (9/22/13 7:38pm)

SAEN: Lackland shows progress (9/22/13 6:03pm)

AAS ($): Law’s ambiguities cost DeLay money and a career (9/22/13 4:52pm)

BLOGS (from the left)

MMfA: Civil War: Fox Contributor Palin Demands Fox News Sunday Release GOP Names Attacking Cruz (9/22/13 2:49pm)

BOR: Greg Abbott Opposes San Antonio LGBT Protections; Beats Retreat to Safer But Not Higher Ground (9/22/13 2:14pm)

BLOGS (from the right)

THE BLAZE: Chris Wallace: Top Republicans sent me opposition research on Ted Cruz to ‘hammer’ him with (9/22/13 2:42pm)

THE BLAZE: Sarah Palin tells ‘gutless and rudderless’ GOP establishment to ;stop the ridiculous hysterics’ and stand its ground against Obamacare (9/22/13 2:29pm)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford @MustReadTexas