SocraticGadfly: Greg Abbott, Pat Fallon, Drew Springer: partners in sleaze

August 25, 2020

Greg Abbott, Pat Fallon, Drew Springer: partners in sleaze

OK, the bread crumb trail starts with SD 30 state Sen. Pat Fallon, per the Trib's story.  See update below.

(Additional, Sept. 10: Read about the candidate forum for GOPers running to replace Fallon.)

Fallon, known as a venue-hopping ladder climber (surprised he didn't interject himself into the CD13 primary to replace Mac Throneberry) got himself nominated to replace John Ratcliffe as the GOP nominee for the 4th Congressional District after Ratcliffe got himself named Trump's head snoop. (Sidebar two: What's Ratcliffe gonna do if he's out of a job with a Trump loss? Lobbyist for a private sector portion of the Deep State!)

CD 4 is as safely GOP as Fallon's SD 30. So, Fallon's gonna resign his state Senate seat, right?

Not so fast.

Fallon dithered for two weeks, and then decided on a Dale Hanson verson of a Solomonic decision.

Here's Dale on that:

OK, so Patsy said he was resigning on Aug. 22. But, his resignation isn't effective until Jan. 4.

No matter. The Jesuitical Greg Abbott, per C.D. Hooks' take on him, essentially said, "He said he's resigning now, so I can call a special election now" is doing so for Sept. 29. And, calling it for now, rather than the Nov. 3 regular ballot? Wasted money by county clerks, and no, you lying sack of shit Abbott, there's no coronavirus-related reason to necessitate this date. (As if you really cared THAT much about coronavirus-related public safety issues, as we know you don't.)

It's only your fear of a deadlocked House at 75-75 temporarily being undeadlocked if a Springer ran for a special election held AFTER Nov. 3 and Fallon officially winning his Congresscritter race.

Drew Springer, best buds with Fallon, and in some ways even MORE ethically challenged, as noted by the Observer in 2017 as a tax law grifter, but just like Fallon as a quasi-Opus Dei type Catholic equivalent of a fundamentalist Protestant bigot, and state Rep. for HD 68, announced he was running within a day of Abbott's call. He announced that all other state legiscritters whose districts are at least partially within SD 30, as well as some solons outside the bounds, like Phil King, were all in his corner. Per the first link above, Springer has already said he hopes that being in the Senate will let him eliminate Maintenance and Operations property tax.
Being your Senator means you have a better chance of eliminating M and O property tax, a bill I filed in the Texas House but didn't even receive a vote by the House Chamber.
And replace it with what? Nothing? Untrustworthy state funding?

Smells to high heaven. Smells like something two lawyers and a big biz grifter would cook up on a hot stove well in advance of going public with anything.

Abbott could have of course saved money (never stopped him before) with a Nov. 3 special election, but then Little Boy Drew couldn't have run, unless he wanted to risk being neither a state representative or a state senator. Drew (and Fallon) are Abbott type wingnuts. Nice, polite wingnuts who aren't Dan Patrick butt-kissers.

(And, yes, these concerns are real. A Dem-oriented poll has Dems outpolling Rethugs in what are listed as "competitive" state House seats. See page 3 of PDF.)

And, there's someone who's NOT part of the GOP Capitol world, AND nuttier than Fallon, who might just raise a stink about it as part of her campaign.

I am of course talking about known criminal Shelley Luther, who also jumped in the race immediately. Wingnut media was pushing her as soon as Fallon got the Congressional tip. Big wingnut media like Luke Macias and Mark Davis.

Your prognosticator says that, unless another unelected populist wingnut enters the race, Luther takes a plurality in the first round for sure, and an outright majority wouldn't surprise me.


Update from the Trib, Aug. 29; Denton Mayor Chris Watts has entered on the GOP side, along with two lesser Republicans and the first Democrat. I don't know if Jacob Minter can make it to the likely runoff or not; with the additional Republicans, I would give him a slim chance rather than none. Neither Nocona small biz owner Craig Carter nor Decatur engineer and 2018 Fallon challenger Andy Hopper is likely to figure heavily in the race. The district certainly is very Republican, but not quite as much so as Springer's House seat.

Watts is certainly going to take some of Springer's votes. To the degree there's, if not "moderate" Republicans in the area, then at least non-wingnut conservatives, Watts is their man. He describes himself as a "fiscal conservative," which is good coding for what he omits: He runs neither Trump nor the Religious Right up the flagpole for a salute.

Minter is from Anna, and with northern Collin County continuing to grow, and all of it and Denton County becoming more Dem-friendly, it's possible, but again, not likely, he cracks the runoff.

Among the five, and three main, GOP candidates, Watts' entry in the race surely ensures none of them gets a majority. Per my original post, I think Luther as a true Trumpist type draws support from people who think neither Springer nor Watts is hardcore enough. BUT! Special elections like this have short timetables. Her name recognition is surely higher in the Metroplex its than in Metroplex-edge Denton, northern Collin and the more rural areas, and she doesn't have a lot of time to boost that, if she needs to. And, if Drew tries to go further right to fend off Luther, that leaves the door open for Watts to scoop up all non-wingnut GOP voters. Watts has resigned as mayor of Denton to run.

Two other points, which could determine who gets to the runoff, and then, what happens from there.

One is how many more knowledgable Democrats decide that Minter isn't going to make the runoff anyway and do strategic voting for Watts from the start? Some people are expecting Minter to advance but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The second is: If it's a Watts-Luther runoff, does Springer officially endorse anybody?


Update from CD Hooks  at the Monthly, Sept. 11: He notes that Strangebbott's hokey "Back the Blue" push, with no Dems of note biting, is bullshit, hypocrisy, and probably unconstitutional. He also thinks that while it may be of marginal to modest effect in state House races, it wil be no more than that.

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