Tag Archives: Kay Bailey Hutchison

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.

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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.

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.

Kay announces big haul, Perry deflects

Well in case you missed it yesterday (and how could you, honestly?) Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced that she’s opening her bid to be next governor of Texas in August.  She also announced, in a press conference in Dallas, that she raised more than $6.7 million in the last reporting cycle.  As you might imagine, the reaction has been quite entertaining.

The Hutchison camp is understandably excited about these numbers, and well they should be.  Shockingly, they weren’t the $20+ million the Perry campaign was claiming they ought to be.  To most people I’ve talked to, these numbers are impressive, particularly since it comes from more than 6,500 donors.  Perry’s $4.2 million came from just over 1,000 donors, meaning there are likely some big checks in his kitty.

But instead of engaging at all with the numbers, the Perry campaign has chosen a different course of action:  rumors.  Now, don’t get me wrong–I love a good Fleetwood Mac album, but this is just silly.  With the hope that this story will go viral, Perry told reporters today that it’s “always a possibility” that Sen. Hutchison would drop out of the race.  He may have been lucky enough to escape a challenge from her in 2006, but it certainly looks like “game on” from her end.

Even the most casual political observer can see right through Perry’s actions here–he got trounced in fundraising, so let’s try and change the story.  A politically survivalistic move?  You betcha, to quote his favorite Alaska governor-turned Democratic candidate campaigner.  But his maneuvering is also painfully transparent.

Think it’s not that bad?  Look at all the places Perry has planted this story:  One, Two, Three, Four…  I declare a dumb war…  Honestly, how dumb does he think Texans are?  Pretty dumb, apparently.

Twitter Campaigning

So, I’m going a little atypical today.  Normally, I cover what’s happening in the news, but some privileged informaton came my way, and I thought I’d pass it along to the blogosphere at large.  For those of you who are on Twitter, I hope this post will be particularly useful.

As I’m sure you already know, both major candidates for governor have set up Twitter accounts.  Governor Rick Perry’s 2010 feed is here, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s feed is here.  They’re both using them to connect with voters in new and exciting ways.  Both camps have been releasing finance information on there all week.  As I mentioned yesterday, Hutchison has released several videos that detail various aspects of their finance numbers, but no solid number yet.  I should also add that Perry’s interns put together a video that says how many cheeseburgers you could buy with his fundraising money.  Solid.

Anyway, what’s interesting are the characters that pop up on Twitter.  Kay supporters have told me they get berated for applauding things Kay is doing. Even a few Perry supporters have told me they’ve seen this, too.  Two trolls in particular, known as “freeusfromthem” (whose moniker is Alex Hamilton…  ironic, considering Hamilton pushed hard for a strong Federal bank, whereas Thomas Jefferson wished to leave banks in the power of the individual states…  but that’s a nerd conversation for another day) and “TexanAgainstDC” pounce at anything related to Kay.  They must have a constant search running for mentions…  and an impressive amount of free time.

Regardless, someone who has spent time in the Perry campaign has informed me that these are almost certainly Perry campaign staffers.  The source says the only way that it’s not them is if they’re sending text that’s being repeated verbatim.  Until the campaign’s over, I have to keep these sources confidential, but believe me, they’re trustworthy.

Anyway, just something to keep your eye on, if you’re on Twitter.  These guys can be pretty rough, I’ve heard.  Keep me posted if you see anything else worth writing about in this arena…