Archive for July, 2013

Other campaign finance reports:

US Senate:

  • Sen. John Cornyn: Raised $2.3 million since January, $5.9 million cash on hand

Land Commissioner:

  • George P. Bush: Raised $2 million since January, $2.6 million cash on hand

Attorney General:

  • Dan Branch: Raised $1.5 million since January, $4 million cash on hand
  • Barry Smitherman: Raised $698,770 since January, $1 million cash on hand
  • Ken Paxton: Raised $278,620 since January, $1.6 million cash on hand

Railroad Commissioner:

  • Stefani Carter: $3,301 cash on hand
  • Malachi Boyuls $329,572 cash on hand
  • Becky Berger: $ 339.81 cash on hand

Comptroller:

  • Harvey Hilderbran: Raised $394,372 since January, $1 million cash on hand
  • Debora Medina: Raised $55,569 since January, $55,005 cash on hand
  • Glenn Hegar: Raised $221,461 since Januaryr, $1.8 million cash on hand
  • Raul Torres: Raised $2,350 since January, $2,531.17 cash on hand

Updated: First campaign finance figures released in crowded lieutenant governor race

Updated to add Sen. Dan Patrick’s campaign announcement

Sen. Dan Patrick is reporting his campaign raised $100,000 in the days following his announcement for lieutenant governor, giving him $2.1 million in cash on hand. Patrick, who is the chair of the Senate Education Committee, announced his intention to run for the state’s number two office on June 27.

“I am humbled by the support my campaign has generated among Texans since announcing for Lieutenant Governor on June 27th, though my primary focus in the last few weeks has been on the special session and passing important pro-life legislation,” Patrick said.

Original story:

We’re getting our first glimpse into the financial standing of the candidates running for lieutenant governor. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced Monday his campaign raised $417,000 in the last two weeks. That brings his total cash on hand to $1.3 million.

Patterson is part of a crowded field of Republican candidates vying for the state’s number-two spot. He faces Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Senator Dan Patrick. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told Capital Tonight he was also planning to run again, although he has not formally launched a reelection campaign.

The crowded field sets the stage for a 2014 runoff election. Patterson says he’ll likely need $3 million more to make it that far.

Under Texas law, elected officials are not allowed to fundraise until 20 days after the end of the regular legislative session, essentially giving them two weeks to raise cash ahead of today’s reporting deadline. Patterson called his haul between June 17-30 “pretty strong for 13 days of work”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Davis campaign benefits from national attention

Sen. Wendy Davis’ high profile abortion filibuster is translating into campaign finance funds. Davis’ campaign announced Monday that the Democrat raised nearly $1 million in the last two weeks of June.

Most of that money came from individual contributions. The campaign says more than 15,000 different people donated to the Davis campaign and almost half money came from contributors outside the state.

Davis is contemplating a run for governor, but has not made any official announcement yet. The Dallas Democrat  would have to give up her Senate seat, should she decide to run for the state’s top office.

She would also face a formidable financial foe in Attorney Greg Abbott. Abbott, who announced his candidacy yesterday, has almost $23 million in his campaign war chest. Nearly $5 million of that was raised after the end of the June 17 fundraising moratorium.

Battleground Texas raised $1.1 million in effort to turn Texas blue

Battleground Texas announced Monday it raised $1.1 million dollars in its effort to to shift the state’s political landscape. The organization, whose mission is to make Texas competitive in state and national politics, launched in February. Its staff includes some of the architects of President Obama’s presidential campaigns.

Officials say they’ve received donations from more than 3,500 individuals. Most of the money was raised in small amounts, with an average contribution of about $45. Organizers say the numbers underscore the strong grassroots showing. “It’s really remarkable the kind of grassroots energy we’re witnessing in Texas – and it’s humbling that so many Texans have contributed their hard-earned dollars to support our plan to turn the state into a battleground by treating it like one,” said Executive Director Jenn Brown.

Battleground Texas also held its first fundraiser in Washington, DC last week.

Abbott announces run for governor

Speaking to a crowd of nearly a hundred people in San Antonio, Attorney General Greg Abbott announced his candidacy for governor of Texas.

The move came as little surprise, following Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement earlier in the week that he would not seek reelection. Instead, the day was designed around Abbott’s experiences as a lifelong Texan, a narrative that included his childhood in Longview, his work as a lawyer and the accident that left him unable to walk.

“Some politicians talk about having a spine of steel. I actually have one. I will use my steel spine to fight for you and Texas families every single day,” Abbott said.

As for his political platform, the man known for suing the Obama administration more than 20 times promised to continue his conservative record.

“Together, we will help all Texans climb the ladder of success,” Abbott said. “Not with Obama-style mandates & handouts, but with a level playing field that gets government out of the business of picking winners & losers, and by reducing taxes on employers.”

Abbott enters the race as a strongly favored candidate, with nearly $22 million in campaign funds raised so far. His only well known Republican challenger is former Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken.

Capital Tonight: Alamo City announcements and Capitol contraband

Big Announcement

In Sunday’s show, we check in from San Antonio ahead of Attorney General Greg Abbott’s announcement. Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry appeared on CNN to reflect on his 13 years in office.

Reporter Roundtable

Between Gov. Perry’s speech Monday and Friday’s passage of a controversial abortion bill, it’s been another memorable week in state politics. Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune and Scott Braddock with the Quorum Report joined us to look back.

Political Future

There’s been a lot of talk about Senator Wendy Davis’ political future in light of the attention she gained from her abortion filibuster. Democrats are energized by the attention they’ve received, but can they carry that momentum through an election? Jim Henson from the Texas Politics Project joined us to share his analysis.

Senate passes abortion bill minutes before midnight

Following hours of debate Friday, the Texas Senate passed a controversial abortion bill just minutes before midnight.

The final vote was 19-11, with Democratic Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr. voting in favor of the bill. Republican Sen. Tommy Williams was absent.

Gov. Rick Perry issued a statement shortly after the final vote, calling it part of a larger effort.

“This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women’s health,” Perry said. “I am proud of our lawmakers, and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans.”

The bill requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, allows abortions only at surgical centers and bans abortions after 20 weeks.

It now heads to Gov. Perry’s desk to be signed into law.


DPS confiscates suspected urine, feces, other items from Capitol visitors

The Texas Department of Public Safety has confirmed that officers have been confiscating items from Capitol visitors who intend to observe the abortion bill debate on the Senate floor.

DPS says it received information that demonstrators intended to use props to disrupt the debate. Officers increased security and took the extra step to search bags before people were allowed to enter the gallery.

Officers said in the course of their inspections, they discovered “one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint.” They also confiscated feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti.

Outbursts during last month’s filibuster prompted the stricter security measures. DPS says it will continue inspections until the close of Senate business.

 

Protesters fill Senate gallery, rotunda

Click to see the slideshow:

Senate convenes to take up abortion bill

The Texas Senate is poised to take up some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws. Lawmakers convened just after 2 p.m., as hundreds of demonstrators on both sides of the issue filled the Capitol rotunda and filed into the Senate gallery.

The omnibus bill bans abortions after 20 weeks and requires upgrades to existing abortion clinics. Opponents to the bill say the new regulations will force all but five clinics in the state to close.

Debate on the bill could last well into the night. Democrats have conceded there is little they can do to stop the bill’s passage. Nonetheless, they intend to speak against the legislature and to offer amendments.

Of course, this is the second time the abortion legislation has reached the full Senate floor. The bill died in the final moments of the first special session after  a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis and protests from abortion-rights activists in the gallery pushed the vote past the midnight deadline.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst opened up the proceedings by reminding observers of the rules of decorum. This time around, state police are lining the gallery to stop any disruptions. There are also reports that the Department of Public Safety is asking women to throw away any feminine products they might be carrying, before being allowed in the gallery.