TUE brief 10.5.21
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REDISTRICTING is moving in the Texas legislature, and incumbent protection is the order of the day (especially in Dallas and Harris counties). To the degree that the proposed maps favor Republicans, it’s only because there are more Republican incumbents to protect.
Last night, the Texas House held hearings till well after midnight, entertaining and alternately adopting or rejecting amendment proposals from members. A vote on the amended bill is likely imminent.
Tarrant County activists correctly called out house leadership for gutting the district of the independent-minded Republican Jeff Cason (Jonathan Stickland’s successor). All this while they shore up the districts to protect junior Democrat incumbents first elected in 2018.
Everything you need to know about how house leadership views redistricting can be discerned from the fact they went after Jeff Cason while redrawing HD-45 in Hays county into a safe Democrat district for leftist zealot Erin Zwiener.
Upset over his new district, Sen. Kel Seliger (R Amarillo) can blame his past confrontations with Lt. Governor Patrick for his predicament. After narrowly winning his last election, perhaps Seliger will make the Carona calculation in 2022.
The congressional redistricting map is a conservative map in that it doesn’t upset the status quo. As the Texas House, Democrat incumbents in the U.S. House first elected in 2018 (i.e., Collin Allred and Lizzie Fletcher) can breathe much easier.
The primary for the new safe Democrat seat in Central Austin is going to be fascinating to watch. In South Texas, the GOP hopes to create a new swing district.
Similarly, the State Board of Education map creates a safe Democrat district around Austin, setting up a potentially uncontested run by Robert Morrow in the GOP primary. This safe Democrat seat is offset by creating a GOP leaning swing district further South.
A complete discussion of the subject requires more space than this already lengthy email provides, but the GOP gambit in South Texas is likely very smart. Unfortunately, their timidity in Dallas and Houston is a missed opportunity (see next item for an example of why).
PUBLIC SCHOOLS are under the microscope, both nationally and in Texas.
Yesterday, Merrick Garland grabbed headlines, rolling out DOJ goons to harass parents engaging in their children’s education. It’s a bad look but on-brand for Biden. When everybody is a so-called “domestic terrorist,” nobody is a domestic terrorist.
Closer to home, it appears and has been reported that a Dallas ISD Teacher promoted transgenderism to students. Katy ISD pulled books and canceled a visit by an author accused of promoting Critical Race Theory. These sorts of stories are becoming increasingly common and suggest the ruling class (both in Texas and nationally) doesn’t understand the forces with which they are messing.
Meanwhile, the political playbook educrats across Texas have been using for 25 years just took a big, fat L. That playbook isn’t dead, but it’s showing cracks.
GEORGE P. BUSH has been endorsed by James Baker.
On the one hand, this is unsurprising. James Baker is a well-known deep state fixer with longstanding ties to the Bushes. There’s a lot that could say, instead here’s the background this, this, and this.
This is an old-fashioned Texas crony play. James Baker III is the current namesake of Baker Botts, one of the oldest law firms in the Western United States. Initially founded by Baker III’s great-grandfather, author Robert Bryce once described Baker Botts as “speacializ[ing] in representing looters, polluters, and plutocrats.” Baker Botts helped build the Austin lobby in the 1880s.
It doesn’t take a genius to see how a Texas Attorney General’s office friend helps Baker Botts’ business interests.
JOE BIDEN’S domestic agenda is in shambles.
Yesterday, the U.S. Chamber announced it supports the standalone $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill but not a broader up to $3.5 trillion reconciliation package.
Support of the $1.2 trillion package is notable because it only represents about $750 billion in new spending since it’s a reappropriation of already appropriated funds.
Banks are opposed to a crucial feature of the 3.5 trillion measure, spying on bank accounts to find un/underreported earnings. To fight the measure, they’re gearing up to call it racist.
Some states are smartly writing legislation to short-circuit spying on Americans by the IRS via banks, Nebraska being one. Why aren’t Greg Abbott and Texas legislators in this third special session doing the same?
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