Category Archives: Kay Stuff

Hutchison rips union’s arrogance

Unions, you guys.  When will they learn?

According to The Hill, United Transportation Union (UTU) released a statement after President Obama nominated UTU General Counsel Daniel Elliot to the Surface Transportaiton Board that said:

The selection by President Obama of Dan Elliot and [former UTU official] Joe Szabo to head major transportation regulatory agencies is tribute to the political influence of the UTU, which flows from the UTU [political action committee (PAC)]. We have good reason to expect President Obama to reach into the UTU ranks for other appointments in the near future.

Oops.  Someone forgot to tell the UTU public relations team that you don’t publicly talk about being in bed with liberal presidents.  Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller and our own Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (who is the ranking Republican member of the committee) ripped into the UTU during the confirmation panel meeting.

Highlights include the following terms describing the UTU’s actions:  embarrassing, ridiculous, troubling, self-aggrandizing, inappropriate and harmful. ZING!

So glad this is a right to work state.  You can read the UTU’s side of things in their press release here.  The Senate blog SENATUS also covered the flap.

Rick Perry’s fundraising follies

Today’s Dallas Morning News throws egg all over the faces of Rick Perry and his spokesman Mark Miner.  Miner asserted a few weeks ago that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison “looked into the camera and lied to the people” when she said that she and Perry had the same amount of time to raise funds during the January to June fundraising period.

It turns out that Hutchison was right. Christy Hoppe reported this morning that Perry made no less than 11 cross-state trips to gently remind his biggest donors, known as the Century Council, that he’s running for governor again in 2010.  Further enforcing Perry’s “pay to play” style politics, Hoppe also reported that in 2009 Perry gave $300,000 in contracts and $11,000 in steaks to past supporters.

Hutchison’s claim (now bolstered by facts) was something everyone knew, but that Perry and his team tried to gloss over.  The Texas Ethics Commission campaign report showed that Perry met with 30-60 supporters in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and several other cities across the state.  As Hutchison announced she outraised Perry by more than $2 million in the same period, Perry’s team focused on Hutchison’s claim that both candidates were playing by essentially the same rules.  Because of Perry’s weak fundraising, his team tried to shift the focus from Hutchison’s $6.7 million raised.

This news has to blister bloggers like the Perry-supporting “Rick vs. Kay,” who wrote, “Kay was lobbing accusations of serious felony campaign finance violations at Rick and not being challenged by the msm on it.”  Today’s DMN story not only gives MSM attention to the accusation, but supports the very candidate “Rick vs. Kay” is trying to tear down (“Advice to Kay… just shut up” …sounds balanced to me!)

I have no guesses what Perry’s next step will be, but this Miner quote from the DMN story might give us a clue:

“I’m not saying politics didn’t come up,” Miner said. “He’s sitting around in a group, and so politics is bound to come up.”

Hutchison’s campaign slogan recently has been “Results. Not Politics.”  Apparently Rick Perry’s new slogan is simply “Politics.” He’s currently in California–the land of Nancy Pelosi and like-minded liberals–raising money there.  Has Perry run out of people in Texas willing to join his “pay to play” games?

Will Rick Perry disrupt Senate election process?

Today’s Statesman has a commentary by Gardner Selby that might pop some eyes regarding statewide elections in the coming months.  According to his column, if Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison steps down from her senate seat to allow another Republican to gain experience until the special election, Rick Perry may declare an emergency and hold the special election whenever he chooses.

This runs contrary to what most other political reporters have said. They claim that if Hutchison resigns early enough, the special election will be in November.  But if it’s after a certain deadline, the special election won’t beheld until May.  In essence, this Selby piece throws that logic out the window.

As stated above, the law requires to the governor to claim that this election must be held for emergency reasons.  Selby seems to think Perry will certainly invoke this rule.  I‘m just curious what the “emergency” will be? Obviously with a Perry-picked replacement, he has who he wants serving the citizens of Texas in (that God-forsaken place) Washington.  What would spur the need for an immediate, long-term replacement?

Obviously this is all detail stuff, but it’s fascinating nevertheless.

Kay and Cornyn defend 2nd Amendment

The NRA can’t be happy about this one.  The Senate voted today to not allow American citizens the right to carry a concealed handgun across state lines, if they have a permit to do so in their own state.  Our Texas senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn, voted to defend the rights of gun owners I’m proud to say. The Houston Chronicle writes:

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a co-sponsor of the proposal, blamed Senate Democrats and President Obama for the defeat. He said the proposal “would allow law-abiding” citizens with concealed-weapons permits “to protect themselves while traveling to other states.”

“I’m disappointed with this move and certainly hope it is not a sign of things to come,” Cornyn said. “The Second Amendment guarantees law-abiding citizens the fundamental right to bear arms, and Congress should be working to defend, not weaken, these constitutional rights.”

Key defectors were Republican Sens. Richard Lugar (Ind.) and George Voinovich (Ohio).  Seems a little odd to me, since those are pretty strong NRA states, based on deer hunting alone.  Formerly NRA-backed Democrats who voted against it include Sens. Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.).  The Democrats are facing loose cannon liberals in upcoming primary battles.

It’s a shame that responsible Texans who live near border states aren’t able to have their Second Amendment rights protected.  I’m just glad that I live in a state where both senators obvioulsy “get it.”

I’ve checked, and I see no word yet on the guys over at “A Keyboard and a .45“–a Texas-based blog that addresses gun owner rights.  I’ll keep you posted if I see anything.

We can’t exactly say this is shocking though.  The NRA knew what was coming when Obama got elected.

Cell phone jamming and Broadband proposed by KBH

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been in the news lately for announcing her $6.7 million raised for the governor’s race.  But she’s also been busy getting legislation through the U.S. Senate.

Today’s Wall Street Journal is reporting on the cell phone jamming technology that Hutchison is pushing for jails.  Jails from across the country have reported that cell phones are being snuck in to inmates and used to continue illicit activity.  Dogs are brought in to cells to sniff out such technology, but the inmates are able to break them down and distribute the parts all over their cell, which throws the dogs off the scent.

Hutchison proposed that jamming technology be used to cut down on inmate cell phone use:

“When a single call can result in someone’s death, we have an obligation to exhaust every technology at our disposal,” said the committee’s ranking Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas at a Wednesday hearing.

A guard was killed recently because of an inmates cell phone call.

Hutchison also recently proposed expanding broadband Internet access to rural areas.  You can read her commentary at The Hill.  An excerpt:

More than any other technology this century, broadband has the potential to truly transform our lives. We cannot leave half of America behind in the process.

Texas shaping the future of the GOP

While the Republican party, both nationally and in Texas, is not in the disarray that the media might have you believe, it’s certainly in a soul-searching period.  It’s nothing to be alarmed about–it’s a natural evolution that’s happened to Republicans and Democrats alike in the past, and will happen again in the future.

The race for governor in Texas has become, for some, a potential early indicator of what’s to come for the GOP nationally.  The race pits Gov. Rick Perry of the conservative purist ideology against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of the big tent, broad party philosophy.  His tactics appeal to a narrower brand of conservatism, whereas Hutchison’s appeal is broadly embraced.  If you need any evidence of this, compare the approval ratings of the two.

As an example of what Hutchison has been saying, The Dallas Morning News’ Gromer Jeffers quotes Hutchison from her Monday press conference:

“If you disagree on some issue here or there, come in, let’s talk about it,” she said. “Let us try to make our position your position. That’s how you grow a party. That’s how you reach out and rejuvenate the grass roots.”

I think few would argue with the statements above.  But that’s not the game Perry is playing.  In the time Perry has been governor, the Texas House went from a commanding Republican majority to having one more Republican than Democrat.  His goal has never been to grow the party and there’s tangible evidence that shows this.  The Texas GOP is on a train headed straight for disaster, and the engineer is too busy whistling Dixie to pay attention.

But Texas isn’t the only place this discussion is popping up.  Although it’s a Texas-based blog, the Lone Star Times has a blog post up today about RNC Chairman Michael Steele and growing the party.

Writer David Jennings hits on an important point:  we are the party of Reagan, but Reagan is gone.  We must find a way to adapt his message and the core GOP principles to our current situation.  Once that has been established, we must evaluate who the Republican party has in its ranks to serve as spokesman and leader of the march back to majority status.  Every Republican should be focused on this task–not personal ambition or self-serving politics.  Says Jennings:

I think that Mr. Steele’s message is exactly what the Republicans need to stress. We are the party of freedom. We are the party of limited government. We are the party of fiscal conservatism. We are the party of opportunity. We are the party that is open and welcoming to all who share those simple principles.

If you want to see video of Steele’ statement, click here.

Change is, of course, difficult.  But it’s also necessary for suvival.  In politics, change is necessary for relevance. An irrelevant Republican party accomplishes none of its goals, and sees none of its core principles enacted as policy.

So the spotlight is again on Texas.  The race is obviously not a simple choice between black and white.  But distinct messages are beginning to form and Texans again will take the lead in this country to determine the future path it takes.

Senators get tough on Sotomayor

The Sonia Sotomayor hearings got underway yesterday.  While many believe she’s largely awaiting a rubber stamp from Congress, many are still taking a hard line on the judge, who’s publicly advocated for judicial activism in the past.

Sen. John Cornyn released a tough statement yesterday detailing the lingering questions he has for Sotomayor:

Judge Sotomayor: some of your opinions suggest that you would limit some of our basic constitutional rights – and some of your public statements suggest that you would invent rights that do not exist in our written Constitution.

Later, the remarks become more pointed:

[M]any more wonder whether you are the kind of judge who will uphold the written Constitution – or the kind of judge who will veer us even further off course -and towards new rights invented by judges rather than ratified by the people.

Yesterday, at her press conference, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said she had concerns about Sotomayor, as well:

“I’m looking to the hearings to clarify some of the questions I have,” Hutchison said. In particular, she raised concerns about whether Sotomayor believes Second Amendment gun rights apply to individuals.

Stay tuned, Texans.  It may be a bumpy  road to confirmation.