Texas Political Update 8-3-15
While we caught wind of the indictments from unnamed sources over the weekend, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton surrendered to authorities in Collin County earlier today, booked on felony securities fraud charges. Paxton faces three counts: two for securities fraud involving more than $100,000, and another for acting as an investment advisor or representative without registering. The indictments were unsealed around 12:00 noon and allege that Paxton committed fraud in July 2011 by offering to sell stock in a tech company to two people without telling them he was an investor in the company. In related news, if you’re wondering how a statewide office vacancy is filled, click here.
The first Republican presidential debate is this Thursday night (8:00 p.m. EST on FOX News) in Cleveland, and it will feature the top ten candidates of the field of 17. The debate participants will be picked on Tuesday evening — the cutoff by which national polls must be released to decide who takes the stage on Thursday night. Based on the most recent polling, the debate will feature: real estate magnate Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. For now, the two remaining spots will probably go to any of three candidates: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
The remaining GOP candidates will appear in an earlier debate (5:00 p.m. EST) on Thursday. That list would likely include: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, former business executive Carly Fiorina, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Recent financial disclosures reveal who is fueling the Super PACs supporting the presidential campaigns of both Gov. Perry and Sen. Cruz.
State Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Lake Dallas) announced last week that she will not seek re-election next year. First elected to the Texas House in 2000, Crownover is the latest in a long list of veteran lawmakers who will not return to the Texas Legislature, including: state Sens. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) and Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler), and state Reps. John Otto (R-Dayton), Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen), Sylvester Turner (D-Houston), Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), Joe Farias (D-San Antonio), Patricia Harless (R-Spring), Allen Fletcher (R-Tomball), and Scott Turner (R-Rockwall).
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has taken on a new role with a national Republican group devoted to electing more GOP candidates to state legislators. Last week, the Republican Legislative Campaign Committee unveiled plans for the 2015-16 election cycle for a $40 million effort to focus on six states where Democrats and Republicans each control one statehouse chamber: Colorado, Kentucky, Washington, Iowa, Minnesota, and New Mexico.
As always, please feel free to call or e-mail with questions, – Shannon & Mike