Sarah Grady

Sarah has been with the YNN family since 2004. She is a native New Yorker and graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications with a BS in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. Sarah joined YNN Austin in August of 2009 and helped launch YNN's nightly political show, Capital Tonight, in 2011. When she’s not in the control room or updating the website, Sarah enjoys being in the field. Some highlights included producing the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and the Presidential Inauguration, as well as YNN’s “9/11 Ten Years Later” special one hour show from New York City.

Posts by Sarah Grady

Cuomo on Perry debate: “I don’t think so”

Political watchers hoping for a debate between two of the biggest states in the nation will have to contain their disappointment. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declined an invitation from Texas Gov. Rick Perry to face off in a forum on jobs, the economy and education.

Perry issued the challenge during an interview with a New York talk radio program. “It was just something that jumped into my head, and I pitched it out and it sounded like a good idea,” Perry told reporters Tuesday. “And I really hope he accepts.”

When asked about the challenge shortly after, Cuomo told reporters, “I don’t think so.” He continued, “I think I’m going to let the numbers speak for the state of New York. We have start up zones that are zero tax zones — zero taxes for 10 years. I believe it makes it the least expensive state to site a business.”


Perry pushes Texas economy, promotes ‘healthy competition’

Gov. Rick Perry might be on a mission to lure New York businesses to Texas, but he is also sounding very much like a potential presidential candidate while he does it. Gov. Perry is meeting with business leaders in an attempt to convince them to relocate to Texas.

While Perry spent plenty of time touting Texas’ low taxes and business-friendly climate, he made a point to say his mission is more about healthy competition among states.

“There’s more to this than just me pitching Texas,” he said. “It’s for this country to have a conversation about competition between the states.”

Gov. Perry was also quick to criticize the current White House administration. He said, “When we look at Washington, and we see this absolutely stalemated corrosive process up there, and we see the economy of this country somewhat dead in its tracks, then a good thoughtful conversation about states putting programs into place and competing against each other.” 

Perry did not shy away from a few backhanded compliments. He congratulated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his new tax incentive plan, while at the same time calling it ‘small ball.’ He also was not shy about taking some of the credit for a new New York ad campaign encouraging businesses to move to New York.



Sen. Dan Patrick releases new Lt. Gov. Dewhurst attack ad

The campaign ad war is intensifying in the Republican lieutenant governor’s race in the form of another 30-second statewide ad. This time, Sen. Dan Patrick is on the offensive, pointing out that his opponent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst worked with Democrats in the legislature to pass the budget.

“The only thing you have to know about the current budget is every Democrat praised, and voted for it,” Patrick said. “As a conservative Republican, I didn’t.”

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst released his own scathing statewide ad last week, criticizing Patrick’s troubled financial past.

Dewhurst to Patrick: Release your tax returns

In the latest jab in the Republican race for lieutenant governor, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is formally asking opponent Sen. Dan Patrick to release his tax returns. “Dan Patrick has refused to release his tax returns despite numerous requests from the press, as well as public challenges from Todd Staples and Jerry Patterson in the primary,” the campaign said Tuesday.

The request is the latest in a string of attacks on Patrick’s financial past. Last week, Dewhurst came out swinging with a new TV ad, highlighting Patrick’s failed business dealings and bankruptcy filing back in the 1980s. Patrick walked away from about $800,000 in debt after a chain of sports bars he co-owned failed.

Tuesday, Dewhurst campaign spokesman Ryan Hecker said,

“After admitting to pocketing his employees payroll tax withholding and leaving a string of unpaid creditors chasing after assets held in a dizzying number of financial entities, voters are beginning to see the truth about Dan Patrick. David Dewhurst has released full tax returns from 2009-2012, and he is calling on Dan Patrick to provide the same transparency.”

Patrick has defended his financial past, saying he’s never tried to cover up his hardships. “I learned from that. It made me the fiscal conservative that I am because I am 63 today, I was 35 then,” he said in an online interview. 



Perry challenges NY governor Cuomo to a debate

Updated to include Democratic response.

Gov. Rick Perry is inviting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to an economic debate. He issued the challenge during his latest trip to the Empire State. Speaking on Fred Dicker’s talk radio program, Perry said he would welcome a “thoughtful conversation” with Cuomo about jobs, taxes and education. He said,

“A debate between the governors of two of the largest states in the country on policy issues such as taxes, government spending, education, regulations and legal reform would be beneficial to our states and our country as a whole. 

In regard to new economic policies aimed at making New York a more business friendly place, Perry was dismissive of the steps taken so far under Cuomo’s leadership. Some of those programs include START-UP NY; which offers tax free status for certain kinds of businesses. Perry said,

“I will say in New York’s credit, they’ve moved in the right direction. According to the tax foundation, they were the number 50. Last place when it came to total tax burden And now they’ve but some changes into place that moved them up to 48. I mean, that’s small ball, but of course there was only one direction you could go in New York.”

Perry is in New York City until Thursday. It’s another visit to lure jobs to Texas. Perry’s office says the governor will meet privately with business leaders and will attend a reception hosted by the group TexasOne.

Americans for Economic Freedom, which is a PAC formed with money left over from Gov. Perry’s failed presidential run,  released a new ad to coincide with the governor’s visit. It calls New York the “most unfriendly state for business.” You can watch it, below.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not responded to Perry’s request. Danny Kanner with the Democratic Governor’s Association issued this statement, making reference to Perry’s now infamous presidential debate blunder:

“A little free advice for Rick Perry: the fewer debates with anyone, the better. Oops!”

Gov. Rick Perry planning return trip to NY

Gov. Rick Perry is making another trip to the Empire State, in an effort to lure jobs back home to Texas. Perry’s office says the governor will meet privately with business leaders in New York City from April 22-24. Perry will also attend a reception hosted by TexasOne, to tout the state’s business economy.

This is Perry’s second trip to New York in less than a year. He visited in June to urge New Yorkers to relocate to Texas. As in previous job-poaching trips, the group TexasOne will pay for Perry’s travel. The governor says no tax dollars are being used for the initiative.

This is Gov. Perry’s final term as Texas governor. There has been renewed speculation in recent months, however, that he is preparing for another presidential run.

New Dewhurst ad targets Patrick’s troubled financial past

Updated to include Sen. Patrick response.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is out with a new television attack ad today. The new 30-second spot is highly critical of Sen. Dan Patrick’s financial history. Patrick filed for personal bankruptcy in the 1980s, when fallout from the oil bust forced him close a chain of sports bars he co-owned. Many have been critical of the fact that he never paid back more than $800,000 in debts.

Patrick has defended his bankruptcy, saying he never tried to hide his troubled financial past. Patrick has used his history as an example of how Texans can overcome hardship, and attributes his success as a businessman to lessons learned from his past failures. “I learned from that. It made me the fiscal conservative that I am because I am 63 today, I was 35 then,” he said in an online interview. 

You can watch the full Dewhurst ad here:


Patrick was quick to respond to Dewhurst’s attack, calling the negative ad a “string of lies, half truths, and a rehash of events from 30 years ago.” Below is a statement from Patrick campaign strategist Allen Blakemore.

“Six weeks before the Runoff Election and during Holy Week, David Dewhurst takes his campaign straight to the gutter.  Over the next seven days, he is spending over $1,000,000 polluting the airwaves, spewing raw sewage, and personally attacking Dan Patrick.  Mr. Dewhurst’s ad offers no excuse for his own record of failure to secure the border, failure to address property taxes that are driving people from their homes, and a failure to deliver a fiscally responsible budget.

Mr. Dewhurst’s negative campaign of personal attacks will fail.  The voters know David Dewhurst and his record, and over 70% have already rejected his message and are looking for an authentic conservative like Dan Patrick to lead as our next Lieutenant Governor.”



Republicans hold double digit lead in statewide races

Republican Greg Abbott continues to hold a double digit lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the race for Texas Governor, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey.

The poll puts Abbott at 51 percent, to Davis’ 37 percent. Those numbers are similar to the last PPP poll, conducted in November.
In fact, Republicans hold a double digit lead in every statewide 2014 race.

In the race for Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Leticia Van de Putte trails regardless of who her potential Republican opponent might be. Senator Dan Patrick, who came out ahead in the Republican primary, leads Van de Putte by a 16 point margin. A match-up with Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst puts Van de Putte 18 points behind.

Van de Putte’s Republican opponent will be determined in the May 27 runoff election.


Abbott blasts Davis’ private meeting with Obama

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is criticizing his democratic opponent’s private meeting with President Barack Obama today.

As was first reported here on Capital Roundup, Sen. Wendy Davis and President Obama met during his visit to the LBJ Library for the Civil Rights Summit. According to the campaign, “President Obama and Senator Davis briefly discussed the importance of the Voting Rights Act and its legacy in Texas.”

The Abbott campaign was quick to pounce on the closed-press nature of the discussion. Shortly after the President’s departure, the campaign manager Matt Hirsch released this statement:

“Sen. Davis stated last month that she would not shy away from President Obama’s visit to Texas, yet in another flip-flop, she instead decided to meet with him in secret – away from the public and refusing to mention what they discussed. We can only assume President Obama and Sen. Davis bonded over their shared support of ObamaCare and limiting Second Amendment rights. Texans want a governor who shares there values, not someone who wants to bring Obama’s big government agenda and failed liberal values to our great state.”

The White House has not commented on what the two talked about.

Lawmakers respond to Fort Hood shooting

Fourteen people are injured and several are reportedly dead, following a shooting on Fort Hood this afternoon. Details are still coming in, but Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul says four people were killed when a gunman opened fire on post. Officials say the gunman, who has not been identified, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Lawmakers are responding to today’s events. Here is a collection of the statements released so far, tonight:

Gov. Rick Perry

“Today, Ft. Hood was once again stricken by tragedy. As Texans, our first priority must be caring for the victims and their families. Ft. Hood has proven its resilience before, and will again. Texas will support those efforts in any way we can, with any resources necessary. The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Sen. John Cornyn

“Tonight, Texans’ hearts are once again very heavy. The scenes coming from Ft. Hood today are sadly too familiar and still too fresh in our memories.  No community should have to go through this horrific violence once, let alone twice. I ask that all Americans join Sandy and me in praying for the victims, their families and the entire Ft. Hood community.”

Sen. Wendy Davis

“Texans are united in deep sorrow at this terrible tragedy.  Our prayers are with the families and all those who serve at Fort Hood.”