Wendy Davis Hires National Operative as Campaign Manager;
AP Reports on Divisions over the $2B Water Fund
Good evening from Austin.
The new AP top 25 poll is out:
#12 Texas A&M
#15 Texas Tech
#18 Oklahoma State
(Texas is tied for #28 among “others receiving votes”)
Here’s the short brief:
DAVIS CAMPAIGN HIRES NATIONAL OPERATIVE AS CAMPAIGN MANAGER
Per Quorum Report:
Democratic Heavy Hitter joins Davis Team as Campaign Manager:
Johanson is a veteran of the DCCC and Tammy Baldwin Senate campaign. Some say it speaks volumes that national players are paying attention and Davis could benefit from that infrastructure.
From the Davis Campaign’s release:
“The Wendy R. Davis Campaign for Governor today announced Karin Johanson would join the team as campaign manager. A veteran of political campaigns, Karin managed the historic 2012 campaign of United States Senator Tammy Baldwin.
“Karin has proven that she can win tough races. She has taken on and beaten a full arsenal of failed leadership, despite millions in negative ads,” said Davis Communications Director Bo Delp. “Karin will be an excellent and outstanding addition to this historic and exciting campaign. We are honored that Karin will be joining us as we continue our fight to make the promise of Texas available to all families.”
Karin has more than 25 years of electoral and legislative experience, including: serving as Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to Congressman Steny Hoyer and as the executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2006. Karin comes to the Davis campaign from the Dewey Square Group – where she served as a principal.
As the executive director of the DCCC, Karin designed one of the largest congressional voter turnout operation ever, an effort covering 36 congressional districts. The Washington Post called her one of the key architects of the Democratic takeover of the House.”
AP ON THE SPLIT OVER THE $2B WATER FUND
AP’s Chris Tomlinson reports:
Early voting is underway on whether to tap the state’s rainy day fund to create a $2 billion water infrastructure fund, but while the constitutional amendment enjoys widespread support, there is vocal conservative opposition that could derail it in a low-turnout election.
Listed on the ballot as Proposition 6, the measure would allow the state to use the money to buy down the cost of bond financing for massive water development projects. The Texas Water Development Board says the state’s share of developing new water resources over the next 50 years is $27 billion and Proposition 6 will supply the seed money to meet that need. Local authorities would borrow from the fund and repay it with interest, allowing the fund to be used repeatedly to lower borrowing costs.
Gov. Rick Perry, House Speaker Joe Straus, and dozens of business and environmental groups support creating the State Water Infrastructure. The current drought spurred the Legislature into action after decades of failing to adequately fund water projects needed to keep up with population and business growth.
“The water crisis impacts every part of our great state, from our growing cities and industries to our farming and ranching communities,” Straus said. “By casting a yes vote today for Proposition 6, Texans can help address this crisis and ensure our state has an adequate supply of water for the next 50 years.”
Yet one of the most vocal conservative groups in the state — Empower Texans — oppose the measure because they feel it would “incentivize new local-government debt without providing sufficient protections.” Fiscal conservatives have raised concerns about local governments piling up large amounts of bond debt and this could add to that.
Longview Rep. David Simpson, a top tea party leader in the Legislature, is urging voters to oppose Proposition 6 because he believes the money will be used to distort the bond market.
“Intervention in the market by the state will no doubt favor some at the expense of others, such as East Texans,” he said in a statement. “Because East Texas is blessed with more water resources than other parts of the state, it is likely those resources will be sought after by others and this proposal jeopardizes the ability for East Texas to protect its resources.”
Conservative opposition to tapping the rainy day fund led lawmakers to give voters the choice of whether to withdraw the cash. The Republican-controlled Legislature ignored Democrats and less conservative Republicans who thought the Legislature should have used its authority to spend the money rather than rely on a referendum.
The main concern is the low turnout for constitutional amendment elections. Without candidates campaigning, most people don’t even know there is a vote on Nov. 5. Houston is the one exception, because of the mayoral race and a referendum to turn the Astrodome into a convention center.
In 2011, only 695,052 people cast ballots out of 12.8 million registered voters. That means a small number of activists on one side of an issue can make the difference.
Out of 10 propositions on the 2011 ballot, three failed to pass and all had fiscal implications. Statewide voters denied El Paso County permission to issue bonds for parks and recreation facilities, rejected allowing counties to issue bonds for redevelopment of blighted areas and refused to allow land set aside for water conservation to be taxed at a rate lower than the market value.
That last item dealt a serious blow to water conservation efforts and is one reason both supporters and opponents of Proposition 6 want to turnout voters. Only about 100,000 people, though, had cast early ballots at the end of last week.
If Proposition 6 fails to pass, it will put lawmakers in a difficult position during the 2015 legislative session, forced to decide whether to spend the money themselves or wait for a water crisis to develop that will give them the political cover to spend state revenues.
– AP reports on “name discrepancy hiccups” in early voting as a result of the new Texas Voter ID law.
2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– Fusion, a new Spanish-language cable channel that is a joint venture of ABC News and Univision, will launch on Monday with an exclusive interview with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Other stories of interest:
– If Texas were a country, it would be the world’s 13th largest oil producer.
– The Ohio State marching band does it again.
– I thought this was hilarious.
– NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants teams in London and Los Angeles. (I hope they never play — that’s an 11 hour flight).
– Giants fan dominates Philly fans — an instant classic.
– One explanation of why UT coach Mack Brown played QB Tyrone Swoopes yesterday, ending his redshirt.
Today’s Source of Inspiration:
– This will inspire you.
BLOGS (from the left)
BLOGS (from the right)