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Posts by kkling
Aug 19th - 4:42 pm
Donald Trump will take the stage in Austin next week. His campaign announced Friday morning that he’ll hold a rally at the Travis County Expo Center following a fundraising event in town earlier that day. It’s Trump’s first public event in Texas since becoming his party’s nominee. The rally is schedule for 7:30 Tuesday night.
We reached out to top Texas Republican leaders to see who plans to join him. Governor Greg Abbott’s team said he won’t be able to attend the events because he has a previously scheduled treatment visit at the San Antonio burn unit.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is a yes. So is Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, who’s team said he’s been coordinating with the Trump campaign and will possibly speak at one of the events.
We haven’t heard of Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s plans yet.
Former Governor Rick Perry has been a big Trump backer and will attend the fundraising event prior to the rally. A spokesman said he won’t be able to attend the rally due to a previously scheduled out-of-town commitment.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign, not surprisingly, told us he will not be in attendance.
Meanwhile, Texas Democrats were quick to question who would welcome Trump to the state. Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle said in a news release:
“The biggest question for Texas voters: Will Texas Republican leaders show up? Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, George P. Bush, Sid Miller and indicted AG Ken Paxton have all endorsed the divisive and destructive GOP nominee—will they welcome Trump to Texas and take the stage with him on Tuesday? Will Republicans who have been “waiting” on Trump – like Will Hurd in Congressional District 23 – finally guts up and join Trump, or keep hiding behind weak, passive and dishonest excuses?”
Aug 17th - 11:39 am
A new poll released Wednesday suggests Texas voters would pick former Governor Rick Perry over Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018. The democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling survey shows Perry would beat Cruz by nine percentage points in the race for US Senate. The poll found Perry would get 46 percent of the vote, Cruz 37 percent and 18 were not sure who they would pick.
Speculation has been growing about who might challenge Cruz in 2018 after a failed presidential bid and frustration from some supporters after he refused to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump at their party’s convention last month. Of those surveyed, 39 percent said they approved of the job Cruz was doing, while 48 percent disapprove. Still, 50 percent of Texas Republican voters surveyed said they want Cruz as the Republican candidate for Senate in 2018. Forty-three percent said they would like someone else.
The poll also matched Cruz up against two other potential challengers, Republican Congressman Michael McCaul and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Cruz beat McCaul 51 to 19 percent. The state’s junior senator is also ahead of Patrick 49 to 27 percent.
When put up against a Democrat, Cruz also wins. He beats both US Housing Secretary Julian Castro and former state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis by 12 points.
PPP surveyed 944 likely Texas voters from August 12-14. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percent.
Aug 16th - 11:57 am
Donald Trump has a relatively narrow lead over rival Hillary Clinton in a new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday. In a head-to-head matchup, Trump leads by just six points, 50 to 44 percent. In 2016, Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama by 16 points.
When you include minor party candidates, the margin remains the same with Trump at 44 percent to Clinton’s 38 percent. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson received 6 percent and Green Party nominee Jill Stein got 2 percent.
PPP is a democratic-leaning firm based in North Carolina. It points out that a Democratic victory in Texas this year is still a stretch but the numbers show “there are signs of Democrats being positioned to become seriously competitive in the years ahead.”
The poll shows that Trump’s advantage is “based entirely” on a wide lead over Clinton among seniors, 63 to 33 percent. Clinton leads Trump with voters under 65, 49 to 45 percent.
The poll of 944 likely voters was conducted Friday through Sunday. It has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.
Aug 16th - 11:31 am
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has tapped several Texans to advise him on agriculture policy as he campaigns for the White House. He announced his new Agriculture Advisory Committee Tuesday. Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller had already made public his position with Trump’s agriculture team. But this is the first time we’ve heard former Governor Rick Perry will be part of it. The 64-member team also includes several other prominent Texans.
In a news release, the Trump campaign said the committee “will provide pioneering new ideas to strengthen our nation’s agricultural industry as well as provide support to our rural communities.”
“The members of my agricultural advisory committee represent the best that America can offer to help serve agricultural communities,” Trump said in a statement. “Many of these officials have been elected by their communities to solve the issues that impact our rural areas every day. I’m very proud to stand with these men and women, and look forward to serving those who serve all Americans from the White House.”
Here’s the complete list of Trump’s agriculture team (* indicates Texans on panel):
Charles Herbster – National Chairman of the Agricultural and Rural Advisory Committee for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President
Sam Clovis – National Chief Policy Advisor for the Donald J. Trump Campaign for President
Rebeckah Adcock –CropLife, Senior Director, Government Affairs
Robert Aderholt – Congressman from Alabama; Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture
Jay Armstrong – Kansas Wheat Commission; Chairman, Farm Foundation
Gary Black – Commissioner Agriculture, Georgia
John Block – Former Sec. of USDA
*Mike Brandenburg – State Legislator, North Dakota
Terry Branstad – Governor of Iowa
Sam Brownback – Governor of Kansas
Chuck Conner – CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Mike Conaway – House Agriculture Chairman
Jack Dalrymple – Governor of North Dakota
Dennis Daugaard – Governor of South Dakota
Rodney Davis – Congressman from Illinois; House Agriculture committee and Subcommittee Chair of Bio Tech
Mary Fallin – Governor of Oklahoma
Eddie Fields – Senator, Oklahoma; Chair Senate Ag and Rural Development
Steve Foglesong – Former President National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Jim Gilmore – Former Governor Virginia; Chairman of Report on Terrorism and Agro-Terrorism
Bob Goodale – Former CEO of Harris Teeter
Bob Goodlatte – Congressman, Virginia; Former Chairman House Agriculture Committee
Mike Green – State Senator, Michigan; Appropriations Agriculture Chair; Senate Agriculture Committee Vice Chair
*Helen Groves – Rancher; daughter of Robert Kleberg (King Ranch); Well known in TX/ranching world
Ron Heck – Iowa farmer and Past President of the American Soybean Assoc.
Dave Heineman – Former Gov. Nebraska
Hans Hunts – State Legislator, Wyoming; Wyoming House Ag Committee; Rancher
Cindy Hyde – Smith – Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, Mississippi
Brent Jackson – State Senator, North Carolina
A.G. Kawamura – Former Sec. Food & Agriculture, California
John Kautz – California wine producer; CEO Ironstone Vineyards
Charlotte Kelly – Tennessee cotton grower along with her husband (14,000 acres) plus operating a cotton gin processing 30,000 plus bales and a leader in the cotton industry
Mark Killian – Commissioner of Agriculture, Arizona; Farmer and rancher AZ
Brian Klippenstein – Protect the Harvest
Tsosie Lewis – Former CEO of Navaho Nation’s Agricultural Products Industries
Forrest Lucas – CEO Lucas Oil; Protect the Harvest
Mike McCloskey – CEO Fair Oaks Farms- one of largest dairies in U.S.
Beau McCoy – State Senator; Nebraska Nat. Chr. Council State Govts
Ted McKinney – Former Director of Global Corp. Affairs for Elanco Animal Health
*Sid Miller – Commissioner of Agriculture, Texas
Jim Moseley – Former consultant on agriculture at EPA; Former Deputy Secretary of USDA
Brian Munzlinger – Chairman Missouri Senate Ag Committee
Casey Murdock – State Senator, Oklahoma
Tom Nassif – President Western Growers; Former Ambassador
Garry Niemeyer – Former President National Corn Growers
Bill Northy – Secretary of Ag, Iowa
Sonny Perdue – Former Gov. Georgia
*Rick Perry – Former Gov. Texas
Ryan Quarles – Commissioner of Agriculture, Kentucky
Bruce Rastetter – Summit Ag Group of Alden, Iowa; Hosted first Republican Presidential debate
Jim Reese – Secretary of Agriculture for Gov. Mary Fallin of OK
Larry Rhoden – Senator South Dakota; House Majority Leader and Sen Majority Whip; Chair Senate Ag Committee
Pete Ricketts –Governor of Nebraska
Pat Roberts – U.S. Senator Kansas
Marcus Rust – CEO Rose Acre Farms- second largest egg producer in U.S.
Leslie Rutledge – Attorney General, Arkansas; Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorney General Agriculture Committee and is married to a soybean producer
David Spears – Commodity Futures Trading Commission; Dole Ag Advisor; Senior Vice President, Mid-Kansas Cooperative, Inc.
Dr. Mike Strain – Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana
*Red Steagall – Official Cowboy Poet of Texas
Annette Sweeney – Former Iowa House Agriculture, Chair; Farmer; Agriculture Advocate
Kip Tom – CEO, Tom Farms LLC-Largest Agri-Business farm operator in Indiana; Operates farms in South America
*Johnny Trotter – CEO of BarG- 125,000 feedlot operation and farms 10,0000 acres in TX
Steve Wellman – Former President of the American Soybean Association
Walt Whitcomb – Ag Commissioner, Maine
John Wilkinson – Chairman, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee Georgia State Senate
Aug 12th - 1:32 pm
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn says he’s concerned about what the top of the ticket could mean for down ballot races.
The Texas senior senator was in Austin Friday pushing for police protection. He highlighted his Police Act legislation that was signed into law last month. It would allow local law enforcement and first responders to use federal grant funding for active shooter response training.
But Cornyn was also asked about his party’s nominee Donald Trump. While Cornyn says he supports him, he told reporters the rhetoric on both sides needs to change.
“Instead it’s been a battle of personalities which I don’t think has served the American people very well,” Cornyn said. “I would like to hear both from Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump on how they would govern if elected and we’ve been given more of a personality clashing contest than a real policy discussion, which I’d like to see.”
Meanwhile, Cornyn is also asking the US Attorney General for answers on why the Department of Justice didn’t open a case on the Clinton Foundation.
Cornyn sent a letter to AG Loretta Lynch Friday with a series of questions stemming from a CNN report this week.
That report showed FBI officers approached the DOJ about opening a case on the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department.
“This kind of conduct is unacceptable, and reflects the worst concerns harbored by the public about the abuse of government office to benefit the powerful at the expense of the American people,” Sen. Cornyn wrote. “It violates the commitment Secretary Clinton made to Congress and the Executive Branch following her nomination to be Secretary of State. That and her proven record of extreme carelessness with national security warrant a careful examination of Secretary Clinton’s other conduct, and that of her staff.”
Below is Sen. Cornyn’s full letter:
The Honorable Loretta Lynch
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20530
Dear Attorney General Lynch:
Last month, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) James B. Comey publicly announced his recommendation to the Department of Justice (the Department) that it not pursue a criminal indictment of former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, for her decision to conduct her email while in office on a private, unsecured and secret server. Mr. Comey described Secretary Clinton’s extreme carelessness and the fact that she put our national security at risk. You followed the FBI’s recommendation and decided not to press charges.
On August 9th, CNN reported that, earlier this year, the FBI asked the Department to open a case and support a criminal investigation into the Clinton Foundation and its related entities. As the press have reported widely and emails released over the past few days confirmed, representatives of the Foundation repeatedly sought special treatment for its donors and associates from senior officials at the State Department. These matters were attended to by Secretary Clinton’s inner circle of advisors, including Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin. (Ms. Abedin was reportedly also paid simultaneously by the State Department and an entity closely linked to the Foundation.)
This kind of conduct is unacceptable, and reflects the worst concerns harbored by the public about the abuse of government office to benefit the powerful at the expense of the American people. It violates the commitment Secretary Clinton made to Congress and the Executive Branch following her nomination to be Secretary of State. That and her proven record of extreme carelessness with national security warrant a careful examination of Secretary Clinton’s other conduct, and that of her staff.
When the FBI recommended that you not pursue a criminal indictment of Secretary Clinton for her emails, you followed their recommendation. Yet, according to the CNN report, the Department’s Public Integrity Unit refused to open a case and pursue criminal charges regarding the Clinton Foundation when the FBI recommended doing so. The practice is not clear, but the outcome in both cases favors Secretary Clinton.
This contrast does little to instill faith in the Department, part of why I called for an appointment of the Special Counsel in the email matter. But greater clarity for the public on the basis for your decision may. With that in mind, please respond to the following questions by August 25, 2016:
Is the CNN report accurate?
When did the FBI recommend that the Department open a case and pursue criminal charges related to the Clinton Foundation?
Why did the FBI recommend that the Department open a case on the Clinton Foundation?
Which Department employees, in the Public Integrity Unit or elsewhere, were involved in the decision not to open a case on the Clinton Foundation?
In the earlier reported investigation by the Department, which violations of criminal law were considered? And why did the Department decide not to open a case?
In your recent private meeting with former President Bill Clinton, did you discuss anything regarding the Clinton Foundation? If so, please indicate what was discussed.
Jul 28th - 11:54 am
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro will take the main stage on the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. First, he spoke to Texas delegates at their morning breakfast.
Castro made headlines earlier this week when he more definitively said he was looking into running for US Senate in 2018 against Sen. Ted Cruz. Thursday morning he told reporters Cruz has made Washington worse.
“Ted Cruz said he’d go to Washington and change Washington and he has. He’s made it worse, much worse,” Castro said.
Cruz sent out a fundraising email earlier this week after Castro mentioned he’s looking at running against him. Castro responded, “He freaked out. He freaked out when he read that. That’s what I would expect from someone who hasn’t spent any time working for the people of Texas.”
In that email to supporters Cruz said the Castro brothers have the support of the mainstream media and Washington establishment.
“This November, it is critical we elect conservatives up and down the ballot in order to prevent a liberal takeover of Washington, DC,” Cruz said.
Castro said he’d make a decision on running for Senate in the next several months.
The Texas Congressman also gave some insight into his speech tonight. He told reporters he’s going to talk about the difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and the fact that she will build opportunity in America and if he’s elected, he’s going to tear down opportunity.
Joaquin’s brother Julian also made headlines this week. His name had been thrown around about taking over as DNC chair. On Capital Tonight’s Wednesday show he told anchor Karina Kling, he’s not interested.
Watch the interview here.
Jul 27th - 10:17 am
Sen. Bernie Sanders stopped by the Texas delegate breakfast Wednesday morning. His visit came the day after a tense exchange between his Texas backers and Hillary Clinton supporters. During Tuesday’s breakfast, a call for unity from Sanders’ camp quickly turned ugly when one of the delegates said he condemned Clinton as the nominee. While he later apologized, that scene has been the norm during the Democratic National Convention.
Sanders has tried to calm his followers down, and continued that work during the Texas breakfast.
He walked in to loud applause and a standing ovation. He then told the crowd that the movement continues.
“The function of an election is not just to win,” Sanders said. “The function of an election is to transform this country.”
Sanders then went on to warn the delegates of Donald Trump and why they must vote for Clinton in November.
“Donald Trump is the worst candidate in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said.
He added, “The cornerstone of his campaign is not economics. The cornerstone of his campaign is bigotry.”
Sanders also touted how he has teamed up with Clinton to make the Democratic Party more progressive.
He lost Texas to Clinton by more than 30 points and acknowledged that in his remarks saying, “I know we didn’t do great in Texas.”
But he listed off some fond memories of his time campaigning there and thanked the delegates who worked so hard to get him elected and who continued the movement.
Photos by Karina Kling
(Youngest delegate in the nation, Clarissa Rodriguez, gives Sanders a sign with his Texas supporters signatures)
Jul 26th - 11:00 am
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders delegates clashed over their candidates at their breakfast Tuesday morning. Sanders supporters got up on stage to try to unite in moving forward and spoke hopefully of dialogue with Clinton supporters. But then one of the Sanders delegates took a turn against the presumptive nominee.
“We want to be clear,” Russel Lytle said. “We are currently condemning our current presumptive nominee.”
Clinton backers quickly started shouting “shame” and “get off the stage.”
The two chairs of Clinton and Sanders Texas campaigns tried to calm the crowd down and urged unity.
Lytle apologized in a statement and also voluntarily withdrew his credentials.
The divide was evident on day one of the convention when Sanders supporters constantly booed while speakers took the main stage. Sanders told the audience in his primetime speech Monday night they needed to unite behind Clinton to beat Donald Trump. Sanders will speak at the Texas delegate breakfast Wednesday morning.
Join us on Capital Tonight at 7 for more reaction to the day’s events.
Jul 26th - 10:41 am
Day one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia kicked off with quite a bit of chaos. But it ended with a call for unity.
That call came from Bernie Sanders, who’s supporters had been booing and shouting throughout the day on the convention floor.
Sanders spoke during primetime Monday night and walked out to loud applause. He said no one is more disappointed than he is that he’s not the nominee. He then listed off a number of his proposals that have been pushed front and center – because he says he was in the race. But while many remain disappointed he’s not the nominee, Sanders urged his supporters to unite behind Clinton.
“In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths,” Sanders said.
First Lady Michelle Obama also took the stage on the first day of the convention. She took a jab at the Republican nominee saying she wants a president who knows issues “cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.”
She also praised Clinton saying she’s advancing the cause for women.
“And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States,” Obama said.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren urged Democrats to unite behind Clinton to beat Donald Trump. She said Trump only cares about himself, and democrats are stronger together.
“When we turn on each other we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system. Well, I’ve got news for Donald Trump, the American people are not falling for it,” Warren said.
Jul 21st - 12:43 pm
Ted Cruz took some heat from his home state delegates Thursday morning. The night before, he was booed during his primetime speech on the floor of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. The convention crowd erupting in chants of “endorse Trump.” Cruz never made it official but congratulated Trump at the beginning of his speech. Trump walked into the hall at the end of Cruz’s speech to applause so loud, it drowned out the Texas senator’s final comments.
On the final morning of the RNC, Cruz spoke at the Texas delegate breakfast. He was greeted with a standing ovation, but some in the crowd quickly started calling him out. Cruz took questions from the audience. One delegate spoke out saying when she first met Cruz, she asked if he was a man of his word? She noted that Cruz and Trump had some bad blood between them and Cruz acknowledged he didn’t want to endorse someone who attacked his wife and father. The delegate then added, “It’s not about Heidi, Rafael, it’s about the United State of America.”
Cruz said, “I wasn’t elected to do the convenient thing, I was elected to do what’s right and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”
Another delegate shouted out, “Get over it, it’s politics.” Cruz responded, “This is not a game. This is not politics.”
Cruz also told the supporters in the crowd that he’s not encouraging any of them to write his name in.
When asked if Cruz was going to vote for Donald Trump, one delegate shouted out, “His vote is private.”
A delegate from Houston talked about Cruz’s speech last night. “It was horrible to the end where he didn’t endorse. Thought it was tasteless and disrespectful,” he said.
Photos by Karina Kling