January 31, 2014

#WendyDavis has pretty much lost me

First, there was the pandering to "moderates" in Waxahachie. Now, via P. Diddie, she's officially endorsed for election the most Republican-like "Democrat" to run for statewide Democratic office since Tony Sanchez ran for guv way back in 2002.

Per the Snooze, in another piece, on his background:
Alameel describes himself as “not your typical Democrat. I’m conservative in many ways and have worked with both parties. I’m very pro military, very pro national security.” ...

Today, Alameel said Republicans show a “lack of compassion for their fellow man,” and on health care and other issues, they’re far more eager to fight President Obama and deprive him of victories than to solve problems facing most Americans.

In Democrats, he sees too much fondness for big government and deficit spending. “Democrats love to help people but they go about it wrong. … Too small is not good. Too big is not good. We need smart government.”
At best, he's from the conservative wing of neoliberalism, and I'm not willing to go that far. 

Update, Jan. 30: Lite Guv Democratic candidate Leticia Van de Putte has also lost me.

As P. Diddie put it, this is about the money. Eric Nicholson at the Dallas Observer is among others raising eyebrows at the money issue.

Since David Alameel is another self-financing Daddy Warbucks, like Sanchez was, there's less competition for Texas donor money if he gets the Democratic nomination.

Davis touters will say, "But she outraised Abbott, and so she doesn't need Alameel running for the Senate to give her a fundraising pipeline."

Not so fast. Here's the fine print on that:
The senator's campaign finance totals include funds raised by the Texas Victory Committee, a joint effort that splits money between the Davis campaign and Battleground Texas, a group trying to turn Texas blue.
So, how much money did SHE raise?

And, as P. Diddie notes, this just isn't done relatively early in the primary season, by a primary candidate, rather than an incumbent running for re-election to the same office.

And, Alameel's been even more a Johnny-come-lately to distancing himself from the GOP than has one of his primary opponents, Michael Fjetland. Perry's right that Fjetland is some sort of step above Alameel. Of course, the real step above is Maxey Scherr. 

Reinforcing this concern, this apparent hypocrisy, even more?

Davis catapulted to fame after her pro-choice filibuster on the Senate floor.

I can't even figure out what Alameel's position on abortion IS! He refused to answer campaign questions from Project Vote Smart, per its page on him. His Congressional campaign website from two years ago is dead, and he doesn't have a Senate campaign website.

Update: He now has a Senate campaign website. Perry wonders if it didn't show up on Google before due to some indexing issue. And, he's right, not me, thinking it was new. A Whois says it was created Nov. 2011. So, he was either going to challenge Ted Cruz, Craig James and David Dewhurst, or else run Democratic against Paul Sadler and Grady Yarbrough.

Whois shows last updated this Jan. 8 ... just in time for the Davis endorsement, and presumably brought out of mothballs at that time.

His campaign contributions page on the Federal Election Committee website doesn't show donations to explicitly right-to-life organizations. It does, though, show that outside Texas as well as inside, he's given as much money to Republicans as Democrats in the past, including conservative bastions like the Utah Republican Party, Orrin Hatch, Mike Pence, George Allen.

The flip side of this is that his campaign contribution record also doesn't show any donations to pro-choice organizations. And, I'll make the assumption that he didn't have a pro-choice stance in his 2012 Congressional primary race. Conservative, and Catholic? He may be quietly pro-life on the personal side while trying to hedge his political bets through silence.

Trust me, if I find, or someone sends me, more damning evidence about him, especially on the pro-choice/pro-life issue, I will get it in here. 

On the other hand, Ted McLaughlin, proprietor of Jobsanger, notes this related fact. He says Davis' own website mentions nothing about her stance on reproductive choice. In turn, that would square with my latest speculation as to why she endorsed him.

Meanwhile, all the Davis spinmeisters, while trying to spin every which way but loose the news about Davis' and Abbott's campaign contributions, don't seem to want to talk about this issue.

And, it's more than Alameel's money. On the campaign donations, spinning like this is sophomoric. People who know a lot about politics see through it right away, and call you out on it. Then you have people like Michael Li doubling down on spinning.

But, it's more than that, too. It's politics as usual. Greens might not be any better if they got in power, but, if you pass public campaign financing, we might all be better.

Anyway, Davis was already losing me a bit in other ways. I agree with wanting to beef up Texas education. I agree that the gas tax should be a transportation-specific dedicated revenue source. But, since part of it now goes to education, how are you going to make up that shortfall? The final version of the Texas school districts lawsuit isn't guaranteed to fill the gas tax loophole, let alone provide additional money.

The Tribune joins in on the head-scratching on her education proposals, funding questions and the funding lawsuit. Analysts say she should have focused on the lawsuit's resolution if she didn't have, or wasn't going to present, funding numbers for her proposal.

At some point, running a good government campaign involves things like pointing out how little the state has gotten for government on the cheap, how "fee increases" are hidden tax increases anyway, and more.

True, Greg Abbott has even more fuzzy math on the issue; maybe that's why conservatives oppose critical thinking skills in public schools. But, that doesn't let Davis off the hook. Because Abbott isn't, already.

Perry tackles this cost of government issue here, with a post about water issues in a small South Texas town, noting the cost of infrastructure.

Fortunately, even if, per Kuff, major papers in the state are only profiling contested primaries, we have a Green alternative. And, given that Davis' and Abbott's opposition is just pro forma, I have to disagree with him on giving the Chron a pass for not at least talking a bit about Greens' (and the Libertarians') candidate.

As for Wendy Davis? Right now? Possibly facing the "competence" issue of the likes of President Obama, with whom she seemingly compares in another way: Just.Another.Politician.™ 

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