February 20, 2014

#Immigration — Count #DanPatrick out of GOP Lite Guv race

Given that all four candidates for the GOP nomination for Texas' lieutenant governor — David Dewhurst, Todd Staples, Jerry Patterson and Dan Patrick — have been ready to say, at about any moment, that they would exile their own granny if she had ever visited Mexico ....

The news that Danny Boy had willingly and knowingly hired illegal immigrants has surely torpedoed his campaign:
State Sen. Dan Patrick, who says Texas leaders must “stop the invasion” from Mexico, went along with a decision to hire at least four unauthorized immigrants as cooks and dishwashers at his sports bar in the mid-1980s, according to a Houston-area man who says he was one of them.
The story gets better from there.

First, Patrick tries to claim fuzzy memory, but that doesn't fly:
Patrick, one of four Republicans running for lieutenant governor in the March 4 primary, said Tuesday he only “vaguely” remembers Andrade at one of his establishments. He said he had nothing to do with the hiring and that managers at each location handled employment decisions.

“We had literally hundreds of full-time and part-time employees. It’s a transient business and many young people come and go,” Patrick said in a statement.

Andrade agreed that a manager under Patrick hired him and the other three men, but said that after a few months Patrick knew that the four workers didn't have permission to be in the country – because he told Patrick.
Well, that takes care of that. But it gets better.

First, Patrick wrote Andrade a recommendation letter for housing, Andrade said. 

But, that's still small beans.

Per Perry, who says we have to call Patrick a coyote, Andrade says Patrick allegedly offered to help him cross the border to family, then come back:
Andrade also said that while he was a kitchen worker for the sports bar, Patrick offered to help him visit his ailing mother in Guanajuato.

“He said [is there] anything I can do so you can go and see your mom? I don’t want to see you suffer,” Andrade said.

Patrick then said, “I can go and bring you to here,” according to Andrade, who said he believed that meant Patrick could drive him to Houston past U.S. inland border checkpoints.
Yep, that's the normal definition of "coyote" in the world of illegal immigration.

Patrick is right about one thing. This story being released at the start of early voting in a four-way primary which is likely a battle for one of the three challengers to join incumbent Dewhurst in a runoff didn't just happen out of nowhere:
Patrick said the sudden appearance of his former employee less than two weeks before the primary smacks of dirty politics by his opponents.

The “tactic is centuries old, and the allegations they now use are decades old,” he said.
Ahh, boo-hoo, Dan. Don't tell me that your shock talk radio show has never, ever ambushed anybody.

But, he is right. This was a targeted political attack, and well done.

The reader (and a certain Matt Angle and others of Battleground Texas) should all note one first fact: Señor Andrade, despite his Hispanic heritage, did not vote Democrat in 2012. Nor, contra many a Hispanic, did he sit out. He voted Republican.

I'm venturing he's a regular Republican voter. Probably known to at least a few people at least one level up the Republican organizational food chain. And, he and his story have surely been known for a couple of weeks, if not a couple of months.

Andrade's been kept on ice during that time, while various handlers have sharpened and refined his story, so he could present it by himself, smoothly, with no coaches present.

Houston's KTRK has more, including noting that it couldn't verify Andrade's story, because it couldn't find two of the other three workers and the last one was dead.

That leads us to the most important rhetorical question in politics: "Cui bono?"

Given that the Dew is likely to make that runoff himself, I'll tentatively rule him out.

I was going to finger that Boy Scout-like Todd Staples, as he seemed the type to shiv someone while maintaining his eighth-grade cherubic face.

But, maybe not.

Given that Patterson was first out of the box to comment, with this at KTRK:
Hypocrisy, double dealing, different stories at different times," said Patterson.  
Preceded two grafs by this:
Andrade claims he was willing to speak out (in 2006), but didn't know how and didn't find a way until Patterson's private eye found him. 
I guess I've misread Patterson. I didn't think he would be the one that would put on the brass knuckles himself, but apparently he did. And, so, Mr. "Guns for Christmas" has ruled himself in.

Whether this is enough to propel him and his low-money campaign past the Ag Secretary Boy Scout into No. 2 on the ballot, I don't know. I'm not sure, but damme, we need some decent polling to come up. Staples will want to keep a careful balance of bringing up this story without piling on, working hard for defecting Patrick supporters, and chiding Patterson for this tactic without seeming holier than thou. If he pulls it off well enough, he deserves to beat Dewhurst in the runoff anyway.

Speaking of, if you want to venture your thoughts, among the polls at right is one asking who (besides the presumative Dudley Dewless) will make it to the runoff.

Anyway, we have our perpetrator and our cui bono, right there. (The Snooze confirms this was a Patterson hit, albeit one that Staples and Dewhurst might also applaud.)

And, since we know now that Patterson's oppo research includes hiring (at least one?) private eye, if I'm Dudley Dewless or Junior Boy Scout, I don't sleep very easily. Lt. Gov. "Do You Know Who I Am," especially, may have skeletons in his closet.

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