March 4, 2014 Texas Republican Primary Election Voter Guide

I’ve put in around a dozen or more hours on this guide, as usual.  What I haven’t done is polish the presentation.  The following are my notes so far, pretty much in the same form as I wrote them for myself.  Copy-and-paste the links if you want to follow them.  My picks for this election are in green text


US Senator
Dwayne Stovall – This guy, and this guy by a mile.  Read this – if he means what is on that page, he’s my guy.  Not a lawyer, a working man.  Not a politician, not a party guy, but he knows what’s what.
Linda Vega – campaigning against Obama and the NSA, apparently.  No.  How about saying what you intend to do?  If I founded a “Whites Ready to Vote” organization you would call me a racist and rightly so.  She founded “Latinos Ready to Vote” so what does that mean about her.  Strike two.  Two strikes was enough to get me to stop looking in such a crowded race.
John Cornyn – no.  He’s a republican and a moderate conservative one at that, but he’s also a squishy wobbly.  If there are better alternatives (and there are) he needs to go.  Don’t let his high-dollar “I’m just like you, vote for me” ad campaign fool you.
Reid Reasor – watch this he looks good.  His introduction of himself is almost enough to recommend him by itself. He sounds like an Oath Keeper which means a lot to me.  Then I read his Big Ideas and he sounds like some sort of quasi-socialist (or else he is a terrible communicator).  Plus he talks about pre-emptive strikes (=war) on Iran.  He’s not the worst possible candidate for *national* office, but that is not saying much.
Steve Stockman – I’m not quite sure what his game is but it apparently is NOT hard-core campaigning.  P.S. if you want to impress people with your endorsements for the office you seek, you might not want to lie about the endorsements you got in previous races applying to the current effort.    He had to REMOVE his endorsements page, it was so bad!  Next.
Curt Cleaver – running for a Good Guy contest?  I like that he’s out there pushing the gospel of Christ, but he’s doing it in an election where 5% of the electorate will vote and maybe 3% is paying attention.  Double-plus sad points for begging for 10 likes on his facebook a few times and not even getting that many.
Chris Mapp – No.  Tell things the way you see them, that’s fine.  But when you use the word “wetback” in public and you are not a Mexican talking to your friends in front of only friends, you lose about 99.999% of the rest of us.  Wetback is like Nigger.  You can’t say these words, because they are pretty much universally offensive except to the people they deride, who sometimes feel entitled to use them privately amongst themselves.  This single lack of tact and discretion alone was enough to scratch him from consideration for all future public office.  Yes, I know, regular readers may be clearing their throats and giving me meaningful looks just now – I’m not running for office, this other gringo is.
Ken Cope – naive, not accepting campaign funds for the purity of it all.  Sorry charlie, no funds no wins.  Plus, promising not to serve “more than two term limits” on your campaign website is hardly the way to

District 17 US Representative
Bill Flores – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Greg Abbott – this guy.   I find it difficult to fault anything I’ve seen from him recently aside from an emphasis on college training vs. going into detail about trades training as well.  Maybe he likes state-standard tests for schoolchildren too much.  That’s about all.  Another plus in his column: the people that don’t like him, don’t like him for the reasons I do like him.  There is lots of criticism of Abbott out there, but most of it is for doing things that I would like to see done, so he wins even in the enemies column.
Miriam Martinez – Anyone gets a pass at marriage going bad once.  Two divorces is a trend.  This is *almost* a disqualifier by itself.  Also almost a disqualifier is allowing your main campaign website picture to be of you in a shirt that lets your feminine undergarments show through for all the world to see.  She wants illegals to become citizens (Fritsch talks about guest workers instead of citizens).  And her campaign website “issues” section lists all of three: amnesty for illegals, guns for the people, and more words than the whole rest of the website combined are dedicated to legalizing medical marijuana.  Maybe in the next go-round she will have had time to generate some position papers.  This election we can excuse her from being a little light on website material because she’s only been a U.S. Citizen for three years!  It is hardly a surprise that she also has a slight racist/sexist tone to her questionnaire answers (be better to the brown people, affirmative action for women type stuff)
Lisa Fritsch – coming into this process (of researching my candidates) I had a large bias in favor of Mrs. Fritsch.  I’ve heard her stick her political neck waaaay out there on the radio and make big, bold statements.  No pale pastels here, people.  No, that’s not a pun about her being a dark brown woman, either.  From what she’s said that I’ve heard on the air in lively, spontaneous debate, she’s about 93% my kind of conservative and that’s rare in somebody willing to run for this high an office anymore.  Unfortunately, that other 7% wants the government to be giving a ‘hand up’ and get involved in private enterprise.  Plus she talks about putting more diverse folks in high places, where Abbott talks about putting the best qualified people in high places.  She’s second, and it’s close for me, but still she’s second.
SECEDE Kilgore – not surprisingly, based on his name on the ballot, he is running on a secessionist agenda.  also not surprisingly, he will get few votes in this primary.  We are not a State ready to become a Nation again, and I am fairly certain we won’t be setting off down that trail by voting in a regularly scheduled election.

Lt. Governor  – Here is an hour-long ‘debate’ with all four of them, if you have the time
Dan Patrick – I keep seeing him described as a ‘solid conservative’ which I like, and (possibly formerly) a hothead which I also like in my Solid Conservative leadership.  He is talking the talk of a partisan who insists his party should hold all the power.  Well, have I not been wishing for this?  Is it scary to see a Lt. Governor candidate who says he won’t put half of his appointments to Democrats?  Will it turn the State against the Republicans like the partisan Obama has turned the nation against Democrats?  We may yet see.  The only campaign issue against him seems to be that he, personally, intentionally, willfully hired illegal immigrants to work as dishwashers in his restaurants.  Except that they presented false papers to somebody else, and Patrick didn’t hire them himself.  Staples is running ads intentionally casting Patrick in the worst light possible as if all his opponents are taken at face value and Patrick is assumed to be acting contrary to law.  This is not quite a pants-on-fire moment for Staples, but it is disingenuous at best.  That, my friends, is no way to START as our Lt. Gov.  I don’t like how he Patrick walks away from the question of paying debts cleared in bankruptcy.  He has a funny-looking body and head, but you can’t really hold that against a guy.
Jerry Patterson – I have yet to hear anything bad about him as our current Commissioner of the General Land Office, which I helped vote him into in 2010.  Let’s have him keep that job, but he’s a decent 2nd choice for Lt. Gov. in my opinion.  Not only is he less-bad than the other two, I like him better than the other two.  I like that he is a Marine also.
David Dewhurst – this Battleswarm blog from the last big election still says why you should vote against Dewhurst in this PRIMARY unless you wish those pesky Conservative Movement types would just go away again .  In the general election I would probably still vote for him over some leftist democrat cook but he’s third choice in the primary.  Plus he has a touch of the crazy eyes.
Todd Staples – for Agriculture Commissioner maybe, but for Lt. Governor, not so much.  Let me fisk his 10-point “contract” real quick here
*Secure the Texas border – this is not a State issue.  This is a Federal issue and the feds aren’t interested.  Strike one for bringing up something that’s not your job.
*Cut taxes, grow jobs, limit size & scope of government – Cutting taxes is kinda the Lt. Gov’s job, but as for growing jobs, all he really could do is get out of the way.  Limiting the size & scope of government is also only in part his responsibility.  This one’s a Ball.
*Get state spending under control, lower debt, increase transparency – buzzwords all, but Texas doesn’t have so much of a spending problem compared to other Satates.  If he were running for US Senate this would be great.  Maybe he won’t have to re-write his “contract” when he runs for U.S. Senator?  Ball two
*Strengthen 2nd Amendment rights, defend our State’s rights – 2nd Amendment is a federal thing.  Strengthen GUN rights?  How about just saying “GUNS?”  Too scary for you?  States’s rights – buzzwords again, with no meaning.
*Defend the sanctity of life, improve women’s health, uphold traditional family values – come on Stapey, say the words!  “I don’t like Abortion.  I don’t like the gays marriage.”  Focus group terms may play well to some people but not to me.  Strike two for lacking courage even at this late stage in the campaign.
*Demand student-focused, parent-driven, transparent and quality education system – Okay, I demand student-focused also.  We got it to work by homeschooling until we found a student-focused school with a quality educational system.  Parent-driven is a bit of a problem when the parents don’t give a damn, and I’m not sure what Transparent means but I’m sure focus groups love it.
*Improve healthcare, reject obamacare, demand welfare reform – The Lt. Governor is going to improve health care?  Is he a doctor?  Reject obamacare, demand welfare reform, I do these also, and I’m not running for Liutenant Governor.  Ball three for not saying anything
*Defend private property owners’ rights – sure, you can do that from the Lt. Gov. chair, by not crushing people out of their land.  I expect this from my politicians.
*Uphold and Expand tort reforms – uphold is sort-of your job.  Expand is not.  Strike three.
*Apply conservative leadership on transportation & water priorities – Leadership, oh wow.  As Agriculture Commissioner this is bang-on what you should be doing now!
*ooh, and he signed the “contract”, how novel!
If he runs for Senate come ask me again and I’ll think about it some more.  For now, in this Lt. Governorship primary, Staples goes down.

Attorney General
Barry Smitherman – this guy by a mile.  Just listen to him in this interview and ask yourself if you don’t want a fighter-sounding cat like him at the bar for Texas
Ken Paxton – I never heard of him but the people who have swear up down and sideways that he’s a “movement conservative” like Cruz is supposed to be.  And BOY HOWDY is he trying as hard as he can to get you to think he’s Ted Cruz 2.0.  But he was also swindled out of $100,000 in a scam just a few years ago (bad judgement, anyone?) and doesn’t think it would be his job to fight to keep Common Core and CSCOPE out of Texas schools! but as a legislator it was his job Smitherman says he’d fight this fight before the fight hits him in the face, which I like.   Plus, shady dealings?  and his face doesn’t look right.  Call him 2nd place.
Dan Branch – I don’t want someone who is described as having a pragmatic approach to governance.  I want my politicians as hardcore conservative and all the time as I can get.  Plus he advertises that he belongs to the “Church of Christ” which is a borderline cult.

Comptroller of Public Accounts – I can’t take any exception to the writeup here so I won’t try.
Glenn Hegar – this guy
Harvey Hilderbran – a distant second
Raul Torres – It’s nice that you’re an accountant, but better luck next time.
Debra Medina – I can’t get past looking at the woman, and not in a good way.  You want to be in charge of the finances of the State, but you are yourself a lardass without enough discipline to do what is right for your very own body?  Sorry, yer disqualified right there.  Oh, plus this campaign is pretty plainly an attempt to get elected wherever you think you might be able to, vs. a run for the actual office for which you are on the ballot.

Commissioner of the General Land OfficeI’m not sure there is a good candidate here.  And by here, I mean not just this primary, but this race.  It seems likely this one well be a toss-up for me, between voting Libertarian so they’ll be more than a blip on the radar during the next election cycle, and voting for the (R) candidate to prevent the (D) from getting the office if it looks close in the polls come November.  I’ll abstain from voting in this primary race.
David Watts – some odd kind of racist?   Okay so the kids of illegals aren’t here legally.  Not educating them is both illegal and a bad idea.  Prosecute their parents and send them all packing, or educate the children already.
George P. Bush – oh jupiter, not another George Bush from Texas, please!  He’s in up to his neck with a racist group hispanic republican group which is enough to disqualify most people for me in most races.
The Democrat John Cook supports benefits for the gays.  I’m against that and him.
Libertarian Steven Childs appears to not be campaigning, as usual for a losertarian.
Green Ulises Cabrera seems to be campaigning slightly less than Childs.  Besides, a Green Party candidate starts out from a position of being a watermelon looney-toon, which is going to prevent them being elected in the forseeable future.

Commissioner of Agriculture
Eric Opiela – This race is a choice between several good candidates, and I think I would like a runoff . . . but in the primary the slightly-better man for the job seems to be Opiela.  They all may know their stuff but Opiela’s bench seems a little deeper than his opponents’.
J. Allen Carnes – played to both sides, supporting dems and repubs in the past.  Not a great idea if you intend to be on the Republican ticket, mate.
Tommy Merritt
Joe Cotten – not running very hard, which means he deserves to lose very hard.
Sid Miller

Railroad Commissioner (to run Energy stuff, not Railroad stuff, can we get this agency name changed already?)
Becky Berger – a geologist.  Now yer talkin.  Plus her Ten Energy Policy Issues Stances are good stuff.
Ryan Sitton – has a company he will refuse to leave if elected to run the agency that is in charge of what his company does.  Conflict of interest means I’m not interested..
Wayne Christian – Made the Texas Worst Legislators list – twice – for being a jerk when he doesnt have to be.  No.
Malachi Boyuls – again, I don’t want investors running this show

The judge races with incumbent justices are pretty easy for me.  This article has a nice summary of how I feel about them:

One of the biggest challenges that faces our elected Supreme Court is when turnover slows down the docket to the point that people have to wait years for a decision. Voters should grant incumbency a heavy weight not only because of the experience that justices accrue, but also because the disruption to the court has consequences down the line.

Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Nathan Hecht – This guy.  What they said:
Robert Talton – such a dynamic campaigner!  check out this page from his website from last month!  It looks like he’s been planning this for a long, long time – in fruit fly time.  In human time, why even bother to campaign for only two months?

Place 6, Justice, Supreme court, Unexpired Term
Jeff Brown -This guy.
Joe Pool – has some ‘splainin’ to do and

Place 7, Justice, Supreme Court
Jeff Boyd  – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Place 8, Justice, Supreme Court
Phil Johnson – This guy.  What they said
Sharon McCally – maybe if she were running for an open seat.  But to replace an incumbent?  Not this year.

Place 3, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Bert Richardson – him.  He wants judgin’ to keep pace with newfangled technology thingies.
Barbara Walther – specifically not her.  Okay, a splinter from the mormon church may be full of kooks – but when the supreme court of Texas said you abused your discretion taking 400 of their children away, that should be a career-ending decision for you.

Place 4, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Jani Jo Wood – this gal.  We could really, really use on this court someone who has been working for the defense team the whole time.  Yeary is a prosecutor, Wood’s a defender.  Her.
Kevin Patrick yeary – would be a good choice if Wood were not running
Richard Dean Davis – if you don’t want to campaign, you don’t get the office, sorry.

Place 9, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
David Newell – this guy.  We could use someone on the CCA who said that when he worked on appeals in the past he *started* from a place where he assumed the defendant had been done wrong in previous trials.  It is also a plus for me that he has been paying close attention to what the CCA has been doing recently so he will have a shorter transition period when getting to know his case load.
W.C. “Bud” Kirkendall – I’d vote for him, if he weren’t running against his current opponent.

Chief Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Jeff Rose – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

County Judge
Mike McNamara – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Precinct No.2 Justice of the Peace
Glenn Bass – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

County Chairman
James Dickey – every vote shows support for the R party.  Don’t skip checking his box.

Republican Primary Ballot Propositions

Religious Freedom: Texans should be free to express their religious beliefs, including prayer, in public places
Vote YES on this

Second Amendment: Texans should support Second Amendment liberties by expanding locations where concealed handgun license-holders may legally carry
Vote YES on this too

Franchise tax: Texas should abolish the state franchise tax, also known as the margins tax, to encourage business growth
Vote YES on this, too.  This seems like rather a no-brainer.

Welfare Reform: Texas recipients of taxpayer-funded public assistance should be subject to random drug testing as a condition of receiving benefits
Hoo boy, now we’re onto a controversy!  Vote yes on this, and then when the vote comes to disenfranchise them, vote yes on that also.  Also when the vote comes to actually CHECK to see if they needed the benefits.  Oh, don’t get me started!

No Lawmaker Exceptions: All elected officials and their staff should be subject to the same laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances as their constituents
Vote YES on this, for all the good it will do.

Obamacare: The Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” should be repealed.
Duh?  Yes.


One thought on “March 4, 2014 Texas Republican Primary Election Voter Guide

  1. Pingback: March 1, 2016 Travis County Primary Election Voter Guide | Vote for David

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