Lt. Gov. Dewhurst

Dewhurst’s GOP opponents take criticism to social media

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s opponents are using a controversial phone call in their latest campaign attacks. Earlier this month, Dewhurst placed a call to the Allen, Texas police department in an effort to get an arrested relative out of jail. Police released an audio recording of that call, yesterday.

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples took to Twitter, likening Dewhurst to the fictional anchor Ron Burgundy, from the  film Anchorman. He tweeted “In the words of Ron “Stay Classy,” accompanied by the photo on the right. Another tweet read, “Dew’s call to Allen PD sounds like Anchorman Ron Burgundy: “I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me.”

Sen. Dan Patrick also took to social media to slam Dewhurst’s actions. Overnight, he updated his recently launched “Dewfeed,” to include a new “Dog Days of Dewhurst” GIF.

The other GOP candidate in the lieutenant governor race, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, has yet to weigh in on the controversy.

For his part, a Dewhurst spokesman released this statement:

“David acted as a concerned family member in an attempt to acquire information on how to post bail for his niece while reiterating multiple times in the full conversation that law enforcement follow their normal protocols and procedures.”


Lt. Gov. Dewhurst call to police draws criticism

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is facing criticism after calling the Allen police department in an attempt to help a family member who’d been arrested. As was first reported by the NBC affiliate in Dallas, Dewhurst personally contacted a police sergeant in an effort to assist his nephew’s wife, who’d been jailed for shoplifting from a Kroger’s grocery store.

Police released the audio recording of the call, Wednesday night. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst can be heard identifying himself. “I just got a call from my step-sister, whose daughter in-law, Ellen Beavers, was arrested. I think, this is me, on a mistaken charge,” he said. “If you would explain to me, sergeant, what I need to do, to arrange getting her out of jail this evening and you can proceed with whatever you think is proper.

Dewhurst spokesman Travis Considine released a statement, saying:

“David acted as a concerned family member in an attempt to acquire information on how to post bail for his niece while reiterating multiple times in the full conversation that law enforcement follow their normal protocols and procedures.”

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Dewhurst touts grassroots in new ad

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is promoting his grassroots efforts in a new campaign ad released today. “Spending time with the grassroots only makes me love Texas more,” Dewhurst says in the new 60-second web spot. “Over the years life has taught me, the most important thing I can do, is listen.”

Dewhurst faces a crowded field of Republicans in the GOP primary race. Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples are also vying for the state’s number two spot.

You can watch Dewhurst’s full ad below:


Capital Tonight: Dewhurst campaign kicks off as candidates vie for attention

With lawmakers barely out of town, chatter in the Capital City has shifted almost completely to the 2014 election. Republican candidates have been positioning themselves for political seats for weeks, and now the sitting lieutenant governor is doing the same.

In Wednesday’s Capital Tonight, we look at Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s official entry in to the race. Plus, the Quorum Report‘s Harvey Kronberg joins us to talk another political flare-up in the race for governor.


Texas nursing homes got an extra dose of funding this session, but health officials say it’s less than half of what’s needed. According to the Health and Human Services Commission, nursing homes needed about a 17 percent increase in the Medicaid rate. That’s far more than the six percent they received.

As part of our ongoing look at how this session’s laws impact people outside the Capitol halls, we talked to nursing home professionals and residents to get their perspective.


And they may have headed home for the summer, but the work of the state’s part-time lawmakers isn’t necessarily finished. We spoke to former lawmakers Sherri Greenberg and Aaron Peña about life in the interim.

Dewhurst announces reelection campaign via web ad

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst formally announced his reelection bid Wednesday. The Lieutenant Governor took to Twitter to make official what most already assumed. He is running for a fourth term as the state’s number-two office holder.





In an email statement, Dewhurst touted what he called “the most conservative and productive legislative session in recent memory.” He also formally introduced his campaign staff. Dewhurst tapped former FreedomWorks COO Ryan Hecker as campaign manager. He has also brought on Travis Considine as the Communications Director, and Eliza Vielma will be Director of Digital and Social Strategy. 

Dewhurst’s campaign released this web ad to accompany his announcement.

Dewhurst is part of a crowded field of well-known Republicans vying for the Lieutenant Governor’s seat. He will face Sen. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the GOP primary.


Dewhurst campaign releases ‘defender of the pre-born’ video

The lieutenant governor hasn’t held any official reelection campaign events, but a new video released by his campaign team appears to get it started for him.

Posted by the TeamDewhurst account Tuesday, the video shows Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the days leading up to the passage of House Bill 2, which imposes tough, new restrictions on abortion providers. The bill was forced into a second special session after Dewhurst failed to get it passed before a midnight deadline at the end of June. The second time around, thousands of demonstrators, both for and against the bill, gathered at the Capitol. Over dramatic music, the video shows Dewhurst promising to respect the opposition’s First Amendment rights while guaranteeing to supporters that the bill would pass.

The video is titled “Dewhurst: Defender of the Pre-Born.”

The ad was paid for by the David Dewhurst Committee, which campaign finance reports show has just over $1.7 million in cash on hand. That puts Dewhurst in third place in the field of declared candidates for lieutenant governor. The numbers show Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples with a strong head start at $3 million. Sen. Dan Patrick, who has strongly criticized Dewhurst for his handling of the bill during the first special session, holds $2.1 milllion. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson’s campaign has $1.3 million.

Capital Tonight: More political fallout after abortion bill filibuster

Perry vs. Wendy

Gov. Rick Perry is giving his take on Tuesday’s failed bid to pass three bills before the special session deadline.

Speaking at the National Right to Life convention in Dallas, Perry talked about Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster, which effectively killed abortion restrictions he’d been pushing for. He referred to the night’s events as the “hijacking of the democratic process,” then made a comment about Senator Davis herself that some say went too far.

Going after Dewhurst

Sen. Dan Patrick is looking to move up the political ladder. He announced his bid Thursday as the “authentic conservative” candidate for lieutenant governor. It’s a move that could be seen as part of a bigger backlash against the current lieutenant governor.

After the Filibuster

Plus, immigration reform got a long-awaited vote in Congress, but despite the claims of both U.S. Senators from Texas, some local activists say the border security measures go too far.

Capital Tonight: Adding up changes to education law

Back to School

The state’s school finance problems were back before a court Wednesday, this time over changes both sides agree need to be included as evidence.

That evidence includes the $3.4 billion in funding restored this session, on top of numerous changes to testing and graduation requirements. District Judge John Dietz has set a new date to take state lawmakers’ changes into account. In Wednesday’s episode, we looked at what to expect from the trial.

Abortion Bills

Abortion law in Texas could be changed drastically if a new Senate bill makes it to the governor’s desk. We spoke to Whole Woman’s Health, a licensed abortion clinic in Austin, to find out what the changes mean.

Immigration Backtrack

Plus, a key player on immigration reform in Washington says he’s thinking of backing out.

Click the image below to see why Congressman John Carter says he has serious concerns with an immigration reform bill he helped draft.

Lt. Gov. Dewhurst abortion tweet angers critics

For hours on the Senate floor last night, Texas Republicans insisted new restrictions on abortion clinics were designed to protect women, not to shut down facilities. But a Tweet from Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst today seems to indicate otherwise.

The Tweet from Dewhurst’s account reads, “We fought to pass SB5 thru the Senate last night, & this is why! #StandWithTexasChildren”





It links to a map from an abortion rights group showing clinic locations that would be forced to close under the new legislation.

The legislation passed last night requires that abortions be performed in ambulatory surgical centers and that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Critics say very few abortion clinics could meet those requirements and that all but five would have to close.

The bill also includes stricter rules regarding the abortion pill RU-486. A provision to ban abortion after 20 weeks was dropped from the bill before debate began.

Capital Tonight: Comptroller Combs endorses Dewhurst, talks post-political plans

Life after Politics

Just hours after announcing her intent not to run for office in 2014, Comptroller Susan Combs came on Capital Tonight to talk about what’s next.

She talked about her reasons for stepping down, her plans for life after statewide office, and her endorsement of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for re-election.

Revisiting Redistricting

Redistricting was back before a federal panel of judges Wednesday. The state is facing off against minority and civil rights groups who sued over redrawn political lines almost two years ago. Capital Tonight’s Karina Kling was in San Antonio for the hearing.

Special Session Secrets

Former Democratic State Rep. Sherri Greenberg and former Republican State Rep. Aaron Peña joined us to talk about the rules of the special session.