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MAYRA FLORES won a special election for a vacant congressional seat in an ancestrally Democrat area of SOUTH TEXAS. Flores, a Republican is now part of a widely discussed political transformation.
You’ll see many keystrokes spilled about how Flores’ conservative worldview aligned with the district’s values better than woke lunacy. Those takes are mainly correct. In addition, border communities continue to reward candidates who support border security.
How very odd.
This district is likely, under new lines adopted in 2021, to flip back to the D’s this fall. However, with Flores now an incumbent, don’t underestimate her in a good year for her party.
A neighboring district, meanwhile, is virtually guaranteed to flip red. The valley’s third district, while purplish, retains a blueish hue.
The GOP's floor is probably one of the three congressional districts in South Texas. On a good night, they’ll take two. A clean sweep, while unlikely, would indicate a great night.
South Texas political boss George Parr once said he would rather die than vote Republican. While Parr’s home county of Duval is outside the district, the notorious Jim Wells county (which Parr similarly controlled) went Republican by seven points.
Maybe there’s a new political boss in South Texas:
Related: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
Specifically, Phelan has proposed $100 million in funding for vaguely defined “mental health” and “school safety” measures. Of course, Phelan’s proposal aligns with what the Governor wants. As we've previously discussed, boondoggle at best.
Now, the price tag comes into focus. It’s likely to grow.
Of course, the catalyst of this discussion was Patrick’s request of $50 million for “bulletproof shields” for law enforcement. Phelan matched Patrick’s spending initiative and raised one of his own.
Any post-Uvalde spending spree will hinder efforts to abolish property taxes; it’s the excuse lawmakers crave.
While caution remains in order, a couple of conclusions stand out:
DPS (i.e., the State of Texas) believed Uvalde ISD PD was in charge. Uvalde ISD PD, however, did not think themselves to be in order. “Blame” notwithstanding, it’s an apparent communication failure.
Due to a previous round of ‘target-hardening,’ the door to the classroom in question had been reinforced in a way that made it impossible to kick open. Officers had no apparent means of access.
That second point is the most interesting. Our overreaction to the last crisis created a weakness exploited in the current one.
That might be a sign we should stop overreacting.
THE GRID is mainly holding up as the heatwave enters…whatever week we’re in at this point.
This isn’t surprising. The 2021 freeze, and subsequent power outages, always had an element of a fluke.
Post freeze, ERCOT will continue to “over-communicate.” It’s a form of risk aversion for which we can’t blame them. Combined with the public’s 2021 PTSD, each “over-communication” will likely produce headlines. Don’t read too much into those headlines.
Yes, policy challenges still exist. Yes, we should address them. But, no, we shouldn’t overreact.
Don’t get cocky, but widespread power outages remain a low probability event.
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