Must Read Texas – October 7, 2013

This Week’s 5 Big Qs; AP: The Race to Define the Other as ‘Extreme’
Davis Releases First Ad; Cornyn Releases New Ad;
Patrick’s First Ad Takes on Immigration;
Dem Collier Announces for Comptroller;
Ben Hall Paid $680k in Back Taxes & Penalties Last Year
Good morning/afternoon from Austin.
We hope you had a nice weekend.

Here’s the brief:


1. How much has Wendy Davis raised so far?
2. Will any more House retirement be announced this week?
3. Will State Rep. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) drop down from Agriculture Commissioner to run for State Senate?
4. Will any other Democrats announce for statewide office this week?
5. Who will emerge as the likely Republican challenger to Speaker Straus?


AP’s Chris Tomlinson reports on the overlapping strategic goal of both gubernatorial candidates: define the other as extreme.
Here’s his full story:

The two front-runners in the race for Texas governor have both announced their candidacies, and they share one common strategy: painting the other as a political extremist.

Republican Greg Abbott says Democrat Wendy Davis will push an extreme liberal agenda. Davis counters that Abbott and his tea party allies will bring Washington-style partisanship and austerity to Texas. If the first day of the Davis campaign is any example, there will be plenty of mudslinging in the weeks and months ahead.

One person’s political extremist, of course, is another’s defender of American values. That is certainly the case with the core political supporters that both Davis, a Fort Worth state senator, and Abbott, the Texas attorney general, need to turn out on election day. But in a high turnout election, the middle ground decides the race, presenting both candidates the challenge of motivating their base while not alienating persuadable voters.

The effective way to do that, if sometimes distasteful, is to attack your opponent.

In her announcement speech, Davis didn’t mention Abbott by name, but accused the current leadership in Austin, all of whom are Republican, of representing special, moneyed interests and “turning a deaf ear” to middle and low-income families.

“State leaders in power keep forcing people to opposite corners to prepare for a fight instead of coming together to get things done,” she said. “Texans deserve better than failed leaders who dole out favors to friends and cronies behind closed doors. Texas has waited too long for a governor who knows that quid pro quo shouldn’t be the status quo.”

Hours before Davis even had a chance to speak those words Abbott was calling her “an extremist” who will impose “the kind of spending and regulation that’s reckless for government.”

The next day, Abbott’s campaign used Davis’ candidacy to raise money.

“Senator Wendy Davis has entered the ring, fighting for late-term abortion on demand,” the text read. “The Wendy Davis Agenda will bring California values to our state if we don’t stop her.”

Abortion rights will be a key issue in the campaign. Her filibuster of a law that limits when, where and how a woman may obtain an abortion is what brought Davis to statewide and national attention. She remains opposed to the provision that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, a stage that experts do not define as late term.

Groups that support abortion rights, including Planned Parenthood, were quick to endorse Davis, even if she did not discuss women’s health care in her announcement speech. These groups will work to rally their supporters — the critical white female vote — to side with Davis.

Abbott told reporters in January that he opposes abortions in all circumstances, except when the health of the mother is in danger. He has said he would support a ban on abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, a position abortion rights proponents consider unacceptable.

Texas Right to Life began airing ads over the weekend attacking Davis. Anti-abortion groups across the state have an enormous influence in Republican primaries.

Davis will work hard to avoid letting Abbott define her as a single-issue candidate. She will use her rags-to-riches personal story to talk about the importance of public schools, good health care for all and aid to low-income college students, issues that play well with her progressive and multi-cultural base.

Abbott has worked to define himself as the protector of the Texas economy and the Republican conservatism that has dominated state politics for 20 years. He proudly flies the tea party’s “Come and Take It” flag and features the Bible and firearms in his political ads. Fiscal restraint and the Second Amendment are key issues for conservatives.

What counts as extreme in one state is sometimes considered normal in another, and even in Texas, the same policy position is seen differently whether a voter lives in Longview or Austin. But that won’t keep both campaigns from throwing a lot of labels around, hoping to define their opponent in the worst possible terms.


The campaign of gubernatorial candidate and State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) has released its first TV ad, “A Texas story.”
TT’s Jay Root has the details.


The Chron reports on the first TV ad from Lt. Gov. candidate and State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-TX), which takes on immigration.


U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), who is up for re-election, released a new campaign ad today, stressing his conservative record.


This morning Democrat Mike Collier announced his candidacy for Texas Comptroller.
TT’s Aman Batheja interviewed him.
He also released his first ad.


The Chron’s Mike Morris reports (behind paywall) the Houston Mayoral challenger Ben Hall paid the IRS more than $680,000 in back taxes and penalties last year.

– The SAEN reports (behind paywall) that farmers will not have to cut back on water usage for 2014.

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– The El Paso Times reports on the importance of the border vote for State Sen. Davis in her gubernatorial campaign.
– Meanwhile, Davis campaigns in San Antonio today.
– TT’s Evan Smith, TDP’s Will Hailer and yours truly all appeared in a package by Ed Lavandera on how Texans view U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that aired on Friday night’s “Erin Burnett Outfront.”
– Peggy Fikac’s weekly SAEN/Chron column (behind paywall) makes the case for a policy-based campaign for Governor with no need for mudslinging as the differences are stark.

Other stories of interest:
– A $100 million plan for Victory Park in Dallas has been unveiled.
– Did outgoing Texas A&M president Bowen Loftin 
commit an ‘inadvertent’ NCAA violation on twitter?

Lighter clicks:
– Sen. Cruz was good for C-SPAN’s ratings.
– An astrophysicist uses twitter to troll the new hit film Gravity.
– This will make you laugh out loud.
– TSA misses a 9-year old stowaway.
– Time lapse of what had to happen to enable a stadium to host an MLB playoff game AND an NFL game on the same day.
– This NFL mascot is confused.
– Someone give Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub a hug.

Your Daily Source of Inspiration:
– The shutdown shut down their wedding.  And then this all happened.
– This is 9 minutes.  You should watch it.  A question asked at about the 4:30 mark is particularly compelling.


AP: Statewide candidates roll out campaign ads (10/7/13 12:52pm)

AP: Abbott, Davis accuse each other of extremism (10/7/13 12:47pm)

AP: Exterior portions of Astrodome to be demolished (10/7/13 12:46pm)

TT: Wendy Davis Releases New Ad: “A Texas Story” (10/7/13 12:28pm)

TT: Mike Collier: The TT Interview (10/7/13 12:27pm)

TT: Collier Ad Blasts “The Circus You’ve Been Getting” (10/7/13 12:27pm)

DMN: Do-over of Victory Park expected to cost around $100 million (10/7/13 12:24pm)

DMN: Former UT Southwestern scientist among Nobel winners for cell transport (10/7/13 12:23pm)

DMN: Dallas DA accused of pushing prosecutors to run against judges (10/7/13 12:22pm)

DMN: Sen. Patrick airs first TV spot in campaign for lieutenant governor (10/7/13 12:22pm)

FWST ($): Lockheed Martin reduces number of furloughs to 2,400 (10/7/13 12:21pm)

FWST ($): East Fort Worth residents fight proposed low-income housing complex (10/7/13 12:20pm)

WFAA ABC DALLAS: Cuban continues testimony at insider-trading trial (10/7/13 12:19pm)

WFAA ABC DALLAS: Specifics of $101 million overhaul of Victory Park revealed (10/7/13 12:19pm)

CHRON ($): Hall’s tax woes could spell trouble for campaign (10/7/13 12:03pm)

CHRON ($): Waller councilman can’t savor victory (10/7/13 12:02pm)

CHRON: John Cornyn says President Obama ‘AWOL’ on shutdown and debt ceiling negotiations (10/7/13 12pm)

CHRON: Report: Aggies president commits ‘inadvertent secondary NCAA infraction’ (10/7/13 11:59am)

SAEN ($): Farmers won’t have to cut back on water for 2014 (10/7/13 11:34am)

SAEN ($): More Latinos in Texas’ congressional districts (10/7/13 11:34am)

SAEN ($): Despite unusual rise, Cruz has GOP backers (10/7/13 11:33am)

SAEN ($): Property tax loophole could drive down values, appraiser says (10/7/13 11:32am)

SAEN ($): At Cuero restaurant, Eagle Ford now getting a taste of fine dining (10/7/13 11:29am)

SAEN: Patrick launches border security TV ad (10/7/13 11:02am)

SAEN: Wendy Davis campaigns in S.A. on Monday (10/7/13 10:58am)

AAS ($): Two Texas Mexican Mafia members take pleas in notorious 2010 killing (10/7/13 10:52am)

AAS ($): Neighborhoods react to draft map of Austin council districts (10/7/13 10:52am)

AAS ($): Williamson County seeks voter approval for road, parks projects (10/7/13 10:51am)

TT: Ad: Cornyn Brings “Texas Common Sense” to Washington (10/7/13 10:27am)

TT: Explanations Vary as Tutoring Program Falls Short (10/7/13 10:11am)

THE GUARDIAN: Ted Cruz, a maverick who keeps his heartlands happy (10/7/13 10:05am)

ELP TIMES: Texas Governor’s race: Wendy Davis needs to win border, expert says (10/7/13 10:03am)

WASH TIMES: Love Sen. Ted Cruz or hate him, he stirs unprecedented political passion (10/7/13 9:49am)

CNN: Senate Republicans slam Senator Ted Cruz (10/6/13 11:37pm)

THE HILL: Cruz: Tie debt ceiling to ObamaCare (10/6/13 6:09pm)

DAILY CALLER: CSPAN2 ratings SKYROCKETED during Ted Cruz’s ‘filibuster’ (10/6/13 6:07pm)


DMN: Prop. 7 makes sense for local budgets (10/7/13 12:24pm)

DMN: The droughts will win without passage of Proposition 6 (10/7/13 12:24pm)

CHRON: Jail fail, again (10/7/13 12:01pm)

BLOGS (from the left)

BOR: Endorses Wendy Davis for Governor of Texas (10/7/13 10:04am)

MEDIAITE: Brzezinski Challenges Scarborough: ‘Are You Saying Ted Cruz Loves This Country?’ (10/7/13 10:02am)

LIBERAL AMERICA: Hyper-Partisan East Texas Fuels Tea Party Madness (10/6/13 11:38pm)

BFL: Advice for parents on tantrums (10/6/13 9:21pm)

BFL: Which Texans said the dumbest thing this week? (10/6/13 9:20pm)

BLOGS (from the right)

EMPOWER TEXANS: Proposition 6: Drowning Us In Debt? (10/7/13 12:55pm)

EMPOWER TEXANS: A Plan We Can’t Keep (10/7/13 12:55pm)

ROBERT MILLER: Thirty Pieces of Silver (10/7/13 12:09pm)

NEWSBUSTERS: Ted Cruz Smacks Down Candy Crowley for Saying ‘It’s Blackmail’ to Offer Separate Funding Bills (10/6/13 6:09pm)

NEWSBUSTERS: Dana Milbank: ‘Ted Cruz Is a Complete Phony’ Riding the Tea Party to Get ‘Really Famous’ (10/6/13 6:09pm)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford @MustReadTexas