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King Greg's Runoff Primary Wars: The Texas Taliban


photo-shopped Greg Abbott crowned King of Texas
King Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to hold runoff primaries on the heels of the May city elections* and just after Memorial Day (May 28) was no accident. It all but guaranteed confusion and low turnout.

The $8.8 million money bomb delivered by the Governor along with his political allies that we like to call the Texas Taliban – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton – is blowing up the GOP from within. The cash from billionaire brutes Tim Dunn of West Texas, and Pennsylvania-based TikTok investor, voucher king and largest contributor in the U.S., Jeff Yass, to promote made-up “BS” (the term Abbott’s mastermind consultant, Dave Carney used) effectively started a cleansing operation by the going-crazy Texas GOP.


What’s crazy is the GOP stalwarts are being led to believe that millions of Texans, who are Democrats or independents, should have no power in the Texas Legislature. Their chosen nemesis, business Republican Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan was forced to spend 12 times that spent by the Texas Taliban behind their approved opponent to hold on to his seat by 366 votes. Of course, Ken Paxton predictably cried wolf that Phelan "stole the election".


Meanwhile, Quorum Report's Scott Braddock just published this article behind their paywall explaining how all of the Texas Taliban's bloodletting and money "laundering" could lead to a swift kick in the pants for guess who? King Greg himself and by plenty of Republicans.

Small turnout elections, like King Greg's runoff primaries, are easier to influence. However, that dynamic works both ways.

 

* Please note that some cities moved their May elections to November where nonpartisan city council and mayoral candidates get lost in the hyper-partisan bloodbath known as the Presidential election. Austin is one such city thanks to a wayward Democratic cabal that turned the city over to the downtown big real estate lobby in the early 2000s.


What’s Next in the Texas Taliban’s Cleansing Operation? 

 

The much gnashing of teeth about those dastardly “Democrats who crossed over” to vote in GOP runoffs, might seal the deal with a compliant and captured GOP to close their primary in the 2025 Legislative Session. On that note, Texas voters of all stripes, including Republicans, have been “crossing over” to some extent forever. Why? Because a free and thinking electorate likes to shop. Duh!

 

The Texas primary has always been open. Every two years voters can choose in which primary to vote. The Texas Taliban also intends to prevent any Democrats from leading committees in the Texas House, no matter how qualified they are. That's what 46 members of the GOP Caucus signed this letter to support. Way to go wingnuts! (Thanks to the 40 Republican legislators who did not sign. For the current Texas House party identification, visit this Ballotpedia page.)

We also thank Jeremy Kitchen who did an initial rough analysis of the spending per voter in the Texas Taliban’s bought-and-paid-for election. We are watching for his update that will come after the July 15th campaign finance filings.  See Kitchen's spreadsheet here and webpage here.

At What Cost to Governance is Hyper-Partisanship?

The right to representative government.

 

The cost of hyper-partisanship to the Governor and his birds of a feather has yet to be fully realized, but they have rolled their own dice. For now, the heaviest cost is to every Texans’ right to representation embodied in Article 1, Section 2 of the Texas and US constitutions. It’s about real, small “r” republican values!

 

Here's what the Texas Constitution pledges to the people of Texas (and notice it doesn’t mention the Governor or anyone else in government choosing those for whom we may vote or those who may emerge as leaders ): 

ARTICLE 1. BILL OF RIGHTS, Sec. 2. INHERENT POLITICAL POWER; REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient. (Feb. 15, 1876.)


Get involved, y'all. Be sure to join us on Zoom at our next Event on July 17th. Visit our Event calendar. And, please become a dues-paying member of LIV today!

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