Archive for January, 2012

Paul watching Florida from a distance

Ron Paul campaigning in Fort Collins, Colorado on Tuesday, January 31, 2011.

Congressman Ron Paul, like all of his GOP opponents, is spending time with supporters tonight as he watches results from the Florida primary. But, Paul won’t be in Florida. Instead he’ll be watching in Nevada. In a press email, Paul’s campaign writes he will be in Henderson, Nevada for a "Florida Election Night Party & Nevada Caucus Kickoff." He spent the earlier part of Tuesday in Colorado.

The Nevada Caucus is this Saturday, and Paul’s been focused on that race since campaigning ended in South Carolina. He will spend the rest of the week there too, with events in Las Vegas tomorrow to campaign and to celebrate his 55th wedding anniversary with his wife Carol. The anniversary celebration isn’t open to the public.

Paul is scheduled to hold rallies in Elko, Reno, Pahrump and Las Vegas on Thursday and Friday.

Leppert follows up with tax returns

Former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert is the latest U.S Senate Candidate to release his tax returns.

Leppert released his financial statements for 2008, 2009 and 2010, today. According to a campaign release, Leppert took home $3,227,195 and donated about half a million dollars to charity over those three years. In 2010, he paid 21.62 percent in taxes.

Leppert also pointed out, Tuesday, that he "divested individual stock holdings as he assumed the position of Dallas mayor to avoid any possible appearance of financial impropriety or conflicts of interest in that role."

Last week, the other big name candidates released their returns after a challenge from former ESPN analyst and newcomer to the race, Craig James.

You can see Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s, here ; Ted Cruz’s here ; and Craig James’, here.

Cruz responds with 5 years of tax returns

U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz released a summary of his tax returns over the past five years, tonight. The disclosure came a few hours after Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst made his financial records public.

The Cruz campaign tells Capital Tonight that the former Solicitor General’s Adjusted Gross Income was roughly $5.1 between 2006 and 2010. According to the summary, Cruz’s tax rate in 2010 was 35%.

So far, Cruz and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst have been the only other U.S. Senate candidates to respond to a challenge issued by Craig James earlier this week. Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert’s campaign told Capital Tonight earlier this week that he planned to disclose his returns, as well.

Here’s an updated summary of Cruz’s returns:

Adjusted Gross Income: $347,716
Taxes Paid: $78,086
Effective Tax Rate: 22%

Adjusted Gross Income: $395,494
Taxes Paid: $94,705
Effective Tax Rate: 24%

Adjusted Gross Income: $780,198
Taxes Paid: $223,982
Effective Tax Rate: 29%

Adjusted Gross Income: $1,500,487
Taxes Paid: $507,226
Effective Tax Rate: 34%

Adjusted Gross Income: $2,040,840
Taxes Paid: $674,703
Effective Tax Rate: 33%

Settlements looming in redistricting debate

The fight over newly drawn political maps in Texas is shifting back to San Antonio to see if a statewide April 3 primary can be salvaged.

Both the state and minority groups suing over the Republican-drawn maps were back in a San Antonio federal courtroom Friday. At issue again is when Texas will hold its primary after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but the latest proposed date is in doubt.

The uncertainty has revived the potential of a split primary, in which Texas would still hold its presidential primary as early as possible to maintain influence in the Republican nomination.

Elections officials, however, have warned that doing so would double the taxpayer costs.

Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s re-election campaign has been affected by the map. The boundaries of his own District 25 are still not set in stone.

"Certainly, I think that one primary as soon as possible is in everyone’s interests, but the primary concern is to protect the principles of the Voting Rights Act," he said.

Everyone in the courtroom Friday agreed with Doggett, and for the first time, top state officials began initiating settlement talks.

"The attorney general started calling last night. Greg Abbott personally called some of the plaintiffs to see if it was possible to settle. They’re going to get nailed pretty hard and they’re going to lose most of the state," Luis Roberto Vera Jr. with the LULAC National General Counsel said.

The judges’ panel issued a Feb. 6 deadline Friday for the state and list of plaintiffs to agree on a shorter list of districts in dispute.

"I think the message that everyone got here was that the courts are moving as quickly as possible and they really tried to make that clear today,” Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said. “I got the impression that they were running in place today."

The San Antonio panel reached out to the DC court during Friday’s hearing to see when it might have its decision on the maps.

All indications point to a ruling within a week to 10 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dewhurst estimates 2011 income at $5M

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is laying out his finances for all to see. The U.S. Senate candidate made his tax returns public, Friday.

In a statement released today, Dewhurst’s campaign said he expected his Adjusted Gross Income to come in just over the $5 million mark.

According to the returns, Dewhurst lost nearly $1.5 million in 2009 and then earned a little more than $1 million in 2010. The disclosure also shows that Dewhurst and his wife made $4 million in charitable contributions over the last three years.

Dewhurst is currently the frontrunner to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. He released his financial statements one day after his opponent, Craig James, released his.

The former ESPN analyst and SMU running back posted his returns for the last five years on his website. According to the documents, he’s worth just over $9.1 million.

Former Solicitor General Ted Cruz and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert both told Capital Tonight that they plan to release their returns, as well.

Perry’s sets ‘sights’ on something other than the White House

Gov. Rick Perry hasn’t made any public appearances since returning home from the campaign trail. Judging from his Twitter account, he’s been spending some of his new found free time on the range, in Leander.

He tweeted these photos, today:

@GovernorPerry tweet:

@GovernorPerry tweet:

Dewhurst, Leppert to release earnings statements

It seems all four big name Senate candidates plan to release their tax returns ahead of the primary election.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and pledged Thursday to release his earnings statement.

Dewhurst’s campaign tells Capital Tonight that the full returns for 2009 and 2010 will be released tomorrow afternoon. The lieutenant governor will also release a detailed estimate for his 2011 earnings.

Leppert’s campaign said the former mayor would "absolutely be releasing his tax returns in the coming days" and that he "firmly believes that members of Congress should face stronger disclosure requirements."

In a statement, the campaign said :

"We should also increase the transparency of the legislative system by strengthening the disclosure requirements for congressional members, staff and candidates. The current financial disclosure is meaningless. We must have real disclosure."

Former Solicitor General Ted Cruz told Capital Tonight earlier in the day that he would release his returns, if everyone else did. Former ESPN analyst Craig James released his earnings statement during a news conference in Dallas, this afternoon.

Cruz willing to release tax returns

At least one other senate candidate is willing to release his tax returns, as long as the other candidates do so, as well.

A spokesperson for former Solictor General Ted Cruz tells Capital Tonight that Cruz will release his returns if Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert agree to release theirs.

The statement is in response to Craig James’ announcement today that he would release his returns from the last five years.

James also called on his opponents to make their earnings public. We reached out to the Dewhurst and Leppert campaigns for comment, but have not received a response.

James calling on opponents to release tax returns

We’ve been hearing a lot of chatter over presidential candidates and their tax returns. Now, some state Senate candidates are getting into the ‘release your tax return’ game.

Craig James, the newcomer to the race, announced he will release five years worth of returns, today. He’s calling on his opponents to release theirs, as well.

James is a former SMU football player and former ESPN analyst. His name became known in Texas prior to his Senate run because of his connection to the firing of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach in 2010. The college fired Leach after allegations that he mistreated James’ son.

Most recently, some media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, have published stories that Leach made conflicting statements during that investigation.

The other candidates in the race, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former solicitor general Ted Cruz and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert have not said if they will release their tax returns, as well.

Meanwhile, James released this ad on his website, explaining why he is running for Senate:

Gov. Perry losing support in Texas

Gov. Perry forgets the third government agency he would cut as president during the CNBC Republican presidential debate on November 9, 2011 in Rochester, Michigan.

A new poll from several Texas newspapers shows Gov. Rick Perry losing support at home. The poll, from the Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram shows 43 percent of registered voters disapprove of the job Perry is doing as governor, and 42 percent approve. The American-Statesman writes this is Perry’s worst showing ever. The last time his approval rating dipped was 2010, when he received only 44 percent approval.

The poll also found that 41 percent of registered voters say Perry’s run for president made him less favorable.

In addition, 56 percent of registered voters in the poll said Perry should not run for governor again in 2014. When asked how his run impacted Texas’ image nationally, 25 percent said the state’s image is a little worse, 23 percent said a lot worse.

The poll, conducted by Blum & Weprin of New York, surveyed 806 Texans by phone. Of those surveyed, 669 were registered voters.