Lt. Gov. Dewhurst

‘Big 3′ extend border surge

Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus have signed an agreement to extend the border surge through the end of August 2015.

Perry and other state officials said in a statement Tuesday that the’ll now await the approval of the Legislative Budget Board, which meets next month.

If members give the $86 million plan the go ahead, the move allows enhanced patrols by the Department of Public Safety, the Texas National Guard and other personnel to continue their response to a surge in immigrants entering illegally into the U.S. through the Rio Grande Valley.

Officials want to divert nearly $48 million in general revenue bonds and other monies to help cover the cost.

“Texas has proven beyond any doubt that this border can be secured, even if the federal government refuses to take the steps necessary to do so as required by the Constitution,” Perry said in a press release. “This agreement will ensure the hardworking men and women from DPS, the Texas National Guard and Texas Parks and Wildlife, who have been working with local and federal partners, have the resources they need to maintain a robust law enforcement presence along the border until the Legislature can act.”

According to the Governor’s Office, funds for DPS would include the addition of new shallow-water boats and other technological capabilities, “which would be used to extend tactical capabilities as well as the surge footprint beyond the Rio Grande Valley Sector.”

 

Capital Tonight: Dewhurst Explains Details of National Guard Deployment

Gov. Rick Perry is calling for military backup to deal with the border crisis. The governor joined other state leaders Monday in announcing the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border.

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we sat down with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to learn more about what role the troops will play, how the operation will be funded and the legal basis for the deployment.

IMMIGRATION ANSWERS

While state Republicans are praising the move, others are calling it a “militarization” of the border and an unnecessary step. We spoke to Denise Gilman of the UT Law School’s Immigration Clinic, who says legal — not military — resources are needed more.

ON THE AGENDA

Plus, a high-profile activist gets reprimanded by the Texas Ethics Commission. The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg gave us the background on that story and more.

Capital Tonight: One-on-one with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst

It’s been six weeks since Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst lost his bid to be re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term, but the longtime incumbent is not sitting idly by after his primary runoff loss. He is now focused on the current border crisis.

In Thursday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke with the Lt. Gov. Dewhurst about the state’s response to the border crisis, new appointments to key committee positions and his plans for the rest of his time in office.

CAPITAL COMMENTATORS

Political strategists Ted Delisi and Harold Cook weighed in on the border crisis and reflected on some of the campaign spin surrounding Sen. Wendy Davis’ fundraising totals.

MALAYSIAN PLANE

A Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people was shot down over Eastern Ukraine Thursday.
Both the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia rebels are denying any responsibility, but the current conflict in the region is prompting questions about how and why the plane went down. We checked in on the latest on that story.

Patterson appears in new ad supporting Dewhurst

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is taking his recent endorsement of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst a step further, by appearing in a new campaign ad.

Entitled “Dan is Not the Man,” the ad features Patterson sitting at a table, cleaning his guns and telling the stories behind them. It’s not until halfway through the ad that Patterson introduces himself and talks about his former opponent in the Republican primary race for lieutenant governor, Sen. Dan Patrick.

“It’s pretty clear to me that Dan Patrick is not the right choice for Texas, and that David Dewhurst is,” Patterson says.

Patterson initially declined to endorse anyone after coming in fourth in the primary race, but got behind Dewhurst last week. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, who was also a candidate for lieutenant governor, has so far decided not to back either candidate.

 

 

Capital Tonight: Reporters break down a bizarre week in Texas politics

A House committee could soon decide whether to recommend the impeachment of a UT regent. But what exactly does that process look like?

In Friday’s Capital Tonight, we spoke with Rep. Senfronia Thompson, who was there the last time a state official was impeached — nearly four decades ago.

REPORTER ROUNDTABLE

From a contentious debate in Dallas over trusworthiness to an an online video put out by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst called the “Ballad of Dannie Goeb,” it’s fair to say this was an odd week in Texas politics. We sat down with Wayne Slater of The Dallas Morning News and Jay Root of the Texas Tribune to put it all in context.

CAMPAIGN FACTS

The governor’s race has seen its share of serious accusations as well. Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas and the Austin American-Statesman joined us to sort out whether they’re true.

Update: Ron Paul endorses David Dewhurst

Updated to include Dewhurst statement.

Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul has endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his GOP primary runoff re-election bid. Dewhurst faces State Sen. Dan Patrick, who came in first in the four-candidate field back in March.

According to a story by Brietbart Texas, Paul’s support of Dewhurst comes following Thursday’s endorsement of Dewhurst by former lieutenant governor candidate, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.

Paul, a former presidential candidate with a huge following from both Tea Party faithful and Libertarians, had endorsed Patterson during the primary. Patterson ended in fourth place in the initial field of candidates that also included Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, who came in third. Staples has said he will not endorse anyone in the runoff.

Update:

Dewhurst released this statement in response to Paul’s endorsement:

“I am humbled to earn the support of a straight-talking Texan like Ron Paul. As well as anyone, he shares my deep and abiding concern that an out-of-control federal government is one of the greatest threats to individual liberties in our time. That concern has driven my successful efforts to stop the expansion of Medicaid, keep Texas out of the Obamacare exchanges and secure funding to secure the Texas border in the face of Washington’s abject failure. As his supporters get a closer look at my track record of cutting taxes, limiting spending and keeping government out of people’s way. I look forward celebrating a victory with them after the runoff vote on May 27th and again in November.”

 

Jerry Patterson lists Top 10 reasons he is not endorsing Dan Patrick

Land Commissioner and former lieutenant governor candidate Jerry Patterson made his endorsement of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst official, today. He did it in true Patterson form, with a Late Show style Top 10 reasons he is not supporting Sen. Dan Patrick.

Listed among the reasons is an accusation that Sen. Patrick dodged the draft during the Vietnam war. “I’m a retired Marine with 24 years of service. I’m a Vietnam veteran. My son is a Marine, currently on active duty. Military service is a big deal to me,” Patterson said. ”It’s my view that Dan Patrick needs to explain how he failed to be drafted in 1970, 1971 or 1972.” 

According to Patterson, based on the draft lottery system and Patrick’s date of birth, he would have been called into service, unless he had a deferment. We have reached out to the Patrick campaign about the accusation. They said Patrick was drafted but was excused for medical reasons. We are expecting more details in a press release, later today.

 

 

 

 

Capital Tonight: Does Dewhurst have new momentum heading into runoff?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has picked up a last-minute endorsement in the runoff race against Sen. Dan Patrick, but is a former rival’s approval enough to overcome the double-digit deficit we saw in March?

In Monday’s Capital Tonight, we checked in on the latest in the lieutenant governor’s race, including new reports about Sen. Patrick’s financial history.

ON THE AGENDA

Gov. Rick Perry was back in the national spotlight this weekend with an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he shared more of his thoughts on a possible presidential run. The Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joined us to give his impression on that and more.

FARM TO CAPITOL

And it’s a been a big year for agricultural issues, from a dispute over land ownership to a sharp rise in beef prices. Gene Hall of the Texas Farm Bureau stopped by to explain things from a food producers perspective.

Patrick not surprised by Patterson’s endorsement of Dewhurst

Sen. Dan Patrick isn’t putting much stock in Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s new endorsement. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced yesterday that he would campaign for Dewhurst ahead of the May 27 runoff election. Patterson placed fourth in the Republican primary and has been one of Patrick’s more outspoken critics.

In a statement today, Patrick campaign manager Logan Spence said:

“Since his fourth place finish in the primary, Jerry Patterson has been helping Dewhurst, so this really come as no surprise to anyone.  Dewhurst and Patterson share the same Private Investigator and the same penchant for dishonesty and vicious personal attacks.  Republican Primary voters soundly rejected that in favor of Dan Patrick who offers conservative public policy solutions; and we expect the Republican Runoff voters to do the same.”

Patrick placed first in the GOP primary, ahead of Dewhurst by about 13 percent of the vote. It wasn’t enough, however, to win outright.

During the primary, Patterson hired a private investigator to look into Patrick’s previous business ventures. He discovered Patrick employed four undocumented workers at one of his Houston-area sports bars in the 1980s. Patrick has denied that he knew the workers were in the country illegally and maintained that he never offered to help the employees travel back and forth to Mexico.

Patrick refutes new Dewhurst ad

Sen. Dan Patrick was quick with a response to a new negative campaign ad released by Republican opponent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Patrick posted clarification online and in a media email blast, just hours after the ad hit airwaves. Patrick’s campaign refutes claims that he pocketed money by filing for bankruptcy and that he changed his name to hide from his debts.

Last week, PolitiFact Texas declared a claim made in a previous Dewhurst ad that Patrick changed his name from Danny Goeb in an effort to cover up bankruptcy, “Pants on Fire.” 

To be fair, the latest ad doesn’t claim that Patrick changed his name to hide his debts, only that he changed his name to run for public office.

Sen. Dan Patrick is also highly critical of unflattering photos that appear in the Dewhurst ad. One picture shows Patrick in an unbuttoned shirt and tie. In a statement, his campaign said:

“Seeking to portray Dan Patrick in an unflattering light, Dewhurst uses photos of Patrick taken while raising money for children with multiple disabilities, literally giving them the shirt off his back as a charity auction item. Patrick has helped raise over $16,000,000 to benefit the Be An Angel Foundation since 1988.”