Archive for November, 2011

Senate Republicans look to move ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline

A group of Senate Republicans is pushing forward legislation that would require the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project in the next 60 days.
The 17-hundred mile pipe would carry oil from Canada to Texas, passing through Nebraska and over an aquifer that provides water to several states.

Earlier this month, the Obama administration announced it would delay a decision on the pipeline until 2013 so the State Department can take more time to study the environmental impact.

Republicans who introduced the new bill said the pipeline is the ultimate shovel ready project that could create 20-thousand jobs. They say it should move forward, unless the president says it’s not in the national interest.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is among the bill’s supporters. “We have spent billions in this country on ‘stimulus’ packages that have not stimulated employment," Hutchison said. " Here we have a non-taxpayer funded entity that will create 100,000 jobs, and produce cheaper energy for families and small businesses in our country.”

You can watch Hutchison’s full statement, here:

Poll shows Ron Paul in third in New Hampshire

A Rasmussen Reports poll Tuesday shows Texas Congressman Ron Paul doing well in New Hampshire.

Paul is in 3rd with 14 percent support of those polled. He’s 20 points behind Mitt Romney at 34 percent. Newt Gingrich is in second with 24 percent.

In a statement, Paul’s campaign says the poll further solidifies his position at the top of the field in the Granite State.

"The latest poll results show Ron Paul as a solid choice in New Hampshire and a refreshing voice against the status quo," writes Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton. "The American people, and the people of New Hampshire, are paying attention and are ready for a candidate with the conviction to bring about real change."

Gov. Perry’s struggles continue. He has only 2 percent support in Tuesday’s poll. He’s ahead of only Rick Santorum who has 1 percent support. Six percent say they are still undecided.

Quorum Report: Dewhurst worth more than $200 million

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has a net worth of at least $200 million according to financial disclosure forms obtained by YNN Political Analyst Harvey Kronberg of the Quorum Report. It is required for all U.S. Senate candidates to file disclosure forms.

According the QR, Dewhurst’s assets have been in a blind trust for years after potential conflicts of interest emerged.

The disclosure was filed with the Secretary of the United States Senate. It shows his assets in a number of different fields including stocks of publicly held companies and real estate.

You can find the disclosures on the Quorum Report website. Subscriptions are required to see the full post.

Perry denies staff shakeup

Governor Rick Perry is denying reports of a major staff shakeup.

Politico that Joe Allbaugh and Tony Fabrizio will take the lead. The moves makes Allbaugh campaign manager, in place of Rob Johnson and Fabrizio will oust longtime Perry staffer Dave Carney as main strategist.

Carney’s focus will now shift to New Hampshire; Carney’s home base. Carney worked on Perry’s previous election campaigns. He was working for GOP rival Newt Gingrich, until a mass staff exodus earlier this year. The campaign has not said what role Johnson will play.

Cain tells staff he is ‘reassessing’

Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain is now ‘reassessing’ his campaign in light of new allegations that he had a 13 year long extramarital affair.
The National Review was on a conference call Cain made this morning to some of his senior staffers. Here’s the National Review’s transcript of the call:

“Obviously, you’re all aware of this recent firestorm that hit the news yesterday. First thing I want to do is say to you what I have said publicly: I deny those charges, unequivocally. Secondly, I have known this lady for a number of years. And thirdly, I have been attempting to help her financially because she was out of work and destitute, desperate. So, thinking that she was a friend — and I have helped many friends — I now know that she wasn’t the friend that I thought she was. But it was a just a friendship relationship.”

"That being said, obviously, this is cause for reassessment. As you know, during the summer we had to make some reassessments based upon our financial situation. We were able to hang in there; we reassessed the situation and kept on going. We also did a reassessment after the Iowa straw poll and we made another reassessment after the Florida straw poll. When the previous two accusations, false accusations, came about, we made another assessment. The way we handled those was, we continued on with our schedule. We made an assessment about what was going to happen to our support. But our supporters, and even some folks that we didn’t have as supporters, they stood with us, and they showed it not only in terms of their verbal support, they showed it in terms of their dollars.”

“Now, with this latest one, we have to do an assessment as to whether or not this is going to create too much of a cloud, in some people’s minds, as to whether or not they would be able to support us going forth,”

“Over the next several days, we are going to continue with the schedule as usual,” he said. “I’ve got a major speech tonight at Hillsdale College on national security and foreign policy, and I will deliver it with vim, vigor, and enthusiasm. And then tomorrow we’ve got some media appearances scheduled. So we’re going to continue until we complete our assessment over the next several days.”

“But if a decision is made, different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” he said. “So until that time, I want to continue to thank you all for your support, thank you for your prayers. It’s taken an emotional toll, but the people in the audience tonight will never know it.”

“It’s also taken a toll on my wife and family, as you would imagine,” he concluded. “Any time you put another cloud of doubt, unfortunately, in the court of public opinion, for some people, you’re guilty until proven innocent. And so, the public will have to decide whether they believe her or whether they believe me. That’s why we’re going to give it time, to see what type of response we get from our supporters.”

Yesterday, Atlanta businesswoman Ginger White came forward, saying she and Cain had a 13 year extramarital affair. She told an Atlanta TV station she knew he was married and they had an off and on relationship. White says the affair ended eight months ago, just before he announced his presidential run.

Cain has denied the allegations, saying White was a friend who he was helping with financial problems. Cain has also steadfastly denied accusations by several women that he sexually harassed them in the 1990s.

Abbott requests emergency stay with SCOTUS for interim state maps

Attorney General Greg Abbott is going through with his efforts to stop state House and Senate redistricting maps from being implemented. And he is taking that fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Abbott filed a request for an emergency stay on Monday.

The Supreme Court is asked by the state to "review the redistricting case on an expedited basis, reverse the federal district court’s unlawful decision and prohibit the district court’s interim map from being implemented."

In a statement Abbott said:

"Today’s appeal emphasizes that no court has, at any time, found anything unlawful about the redistricting maps passed by the Texas Legislature. It is judicial activism at its worst for judges to draw redistricting maps of their own choosing despite no finding of wrongdoing by the State of Texas."

You can find the filings below.

Some familiar faces as candidate filings begin

Now that redistricting maps are set — sort of — candidates are signing up to run. Candidates have until December 15 to throw their hats in the ring.

In Williamson County, State Rep. Larry Gonzalez, R-Round Rock, filed for reelection in House District 52. Cedar Park City Council member Tony Dale filed to run in newly drawn House District 106. He originally had his eye on HD 149.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, filed to run for re-election in Senate District 10. The original maps made that district hard for Davis to win, but now her office wrote in a press release that she expects to win. Davis caused a headache for Republicans on the final day of the legislative session when she spoke for over an hour. The speech caused a filibuster of Senate Bill 1811, a critical part of the state budget regarding school finance.

Some Republicans have said they will not run again after seeing the new state House and Senate maps released by federal judges last week.

Gingrich choice of influential New Hampshire newspaper

So it looks like Newt Gingrich’s recent surge to the top of the polls will last, for a while. Maybe. Other GOP hopefuls have taken their turn as the frontrunner, only to – after a few weeks – fall back into the pack without having garnered any ‘seal of approval’ from a credible figure or, in this case, publication.

Courtesy: Politico

Or so I thought.

Sunday, The Union Leader made it known Gingrich was its choice to secure the Republican presidential nomination. Readers’ comments said otherwise.

Nearly 200 had posted their peace underneath the editorial board’s endorsement just hours after it hit the home page . Many told the paper that by making such a choice The Union Leader had lost ‘any credibility.’ Others called it a ‘let down,’ ‘lame,’ and an ‘endorsement of the status quo.’

More than one endorsed Rep. Ron Paul instead.

During my brief stay in New Hampshire this October, I made a point to pick up a copy of The Union Leader each day knowing its reputation. The paper, based out of Manchester, is the go-to for many New Englanders when it comes to the politics of the region.

Whoever you like, The Union Leader’s endorsement definitely makes a statement. The paper’s reputation coupled with the fact that it’s in the state where the first primary happens (that being January 10), says that after several months of evaluating the field and only six weeks till the first ballots are cast there they’re set on Newt.

Not Mitt Romney, surprisingly.