Sen. Cornyn’s Q & A in the AAS

Posted in US Senate Race, Around The State at 1:28 pm by wcnews

Read the whole thing, Q&A: Cornyn on war, immigration and attorney general. Here’s a little bit to whet your appetite:

Q. Update us on your thinking on the war in Iraq.

A. I think he’s (President Bush) got it about right on the war, as painful as that is. The threat that we are experiencing today is complicated and I think people are confused. But, to me, the core of it is an ideology that justifies the killing of civilians to pursue its goals and it’s manifested in a number of places in a number of ways. … But whether it’s Hamas, al Qaeda, or Hezbollah or the Iranian state sponsors of terrorism, I think it’s a common threat.

About right? Well what which parts doesn’t he have right. As painful as what is? He’s saying that the president has done about as good as can be expected with Iraq. Of course Sen. Cornyn is still standing by his man and the “we went to Iraq to fight Al Qaeda” BS. Stick with that Senator and you’ll be back in Texas for good com January 2009.


Q. Will you ask the president to appear with you on the campaign trail?

A. I will probably ask the president to help me do some fundraising, but probably not on the campaign trail. … We’ve talked about his poll numbers. And the fact of the matter is he’s not going to be on the ballot anymore.

Hell no!! He doesn’t want to be associated with a president with low approval ratings that won’t be on the ballot. But he’ll sure let the president fleece his donors for him in private.


Rick Noriega’s Latest YouTube Video

Posted in US Senate Race, Take Action, Election 2008, 2008 Primary at 4:13 pm by wcnews

Texans deserve better than John Cornyn. Democrat Rick Noriega’s latest YouTube Video shows what an excellent alternative to Cornyn we have.

I you like what you see drop him a few bucks.


Children’s Health Care Will Cause Problems For Cornyn

Posted in US Senate Race, Election 2008, Health Care, Had Enough Yet? at 11:58 pm by wcnews

Children’s health care could be an issue that the GOP hangs themselves with. As this article by Clay Robison shows, CHIP could affect well-being of Cornyn’s re-election campaign, that even Bush back in the days when he was still trying to run as a “uniter”, and fooled many people into believing he was a compassionate conservative, knew that he couldn’t mess with children’s health care if he wanted to be president. It’s a simple issue that everyone except the far-right wing-nuts can agree, we should make sure ALL children have health care.

In the words of Democratic political consultant Kelly Fero, the 1.4 million Texas children without health insurance are “the gift that keeps on giving.”

He wasn’t talking, of course, about the personal suffering that many of the kids endure or the huge economic and social losses they pose, both now and for the future.

He was talking about the politics of health care, and how Texas Democrats have increasingly been putting Texas Republicans on the defensive since state GOP leaders orchestrated deep cuts in the Children’s Health Insurance Program to avoid raising state taxes four years ago.

The cuts were believed to be a factor in the unseating of several incumbent legislators — mostly Republicans but also a couple of conservative Democrats — during the 2004 and 2006 elections.

The bleeding was enough to prompt Speaker Tom Craddick and other Republican lawmakers to support legislation last spring restoring some of the reductions in the CHIP program, which insures children of working parents who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford to buy their own health coverage.

But, with Texas’ rate of uninsured children still the highest in the country, Democrats promise to hammer away at more Republican state legislators next year. They also will use the health care issue — most likely in a double-barreled assault — to try to unseat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.

It’s the right thing to do, even Kay Bailey is for it. But now that Bush will never stand for reelection again, he’s changed his tune, and his rubber stamp John Cornyn is right by his side. Whether is brings about his demise, we’ll just have to wait and see, but Cornyn has definitely ceded a lot of ground for his vote against insuring more children.


TX-Sen: Noriega Already Picking Up Republican Support

Posted in US Senate Race, Election 2008, Congress, Commentary, Around The State at 9:19 am by wcnews

(Also Cornyn tries distancing himself from Al Gonzalez)

First the big story, Top Hispanic Republican backs Noriega for Senate.

One of the top Hispanic Republicans in the nation says he cannot support U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the next election because of the position Texas’ junior senator has taken on immigration reform.

Houston businessman Massey Villarreal told the Guardian he would instead back Democrat Rick Noriega, a state representative from Houston. Noriega is exploring a campaign for the U.S. Senate.

“I have decided to support Rick Noriega for U.S. Senate as a Democrat. I just don’t think John Cornyn hears my community,” Villarreal said.

That’s very good news. Here’s a couple more excerpts:

Asked to elaborate on the “mean-spiritedness” remark, Villarreal said he objected to the way Cornyn and other Republicans tossed the word ‘amnesty’ around.

“With the word amnesty, they paint the Latino community. It’s a nasty word. Every time I saw a picture of John Cornyn speaking with Lou Dobbs or any of those talking heads, they show a picture of Mexicans jumping over the fence,” Villarreal said.

“You know what? The only reason they have to jump the fence is because he (Cornyn) does not have the gall to have a program, or a process, or a legal system to have legal immigration.”

Villarreal said he had little time for politicians who were more concerned about their political base than the future of the country.


Villarreal said Noriega had great credentials to become a U.S. senator.

“He’s been elected five times to the Texas Legislature. Rick has a high ranking in the National Guard. He has actually served in Afghanistan. He’s still picking sand out of his bellybutton. He has the experience of being on the ground instead of a politician on this side who cannot even find Iraq on a map,” Villarreal said.

“He understands. He’s got a wife, he’s a public servant. He is very community (minded). He’s been more about the people than the party. He’s worked across the aisle. He has passed bills that have been family-oriented, business-oriented.”

Villarreal added that Noriega had made sure that Hispanic and minority-owned businesses “got a fair shake” at the Port of Houston, the City of Houston, and the state of Texas.

“He has leveled the playing fields for business. I can only support somebody who has got that kind of vision for a position like that,” Villarreal said.

Asked if he could see himself forming a ‘Republicans for Rick Noriega’ group, Villarreal replied: “Done. I’m doing it.” He said he had recruited a lot of people to the Noriega camp. “A lot of them, Republican Hispanic leaders, not just grassroots folks,” he said.


“He’s going to get all of South Texas. There are some mistakes to be learned from the Tony Sanchez campaign. That playbook has been read and scrutinized,” Villarreal said.

Villarreal supported Perry in the 2002 gubernatorial campaign against Sanchez, a Laredo banker.

“Tony never came to our community to ask the Hispanic leaders to do anything. He came as the patron, and said, I’m rich, you’re not. I’m going to be governor, you’re not,” Villarreal said.

“Rick is saying, look I’m one of you. He has come to me and said, Massey, tell me how I can earn your vote.”

This hopefully is a sign that the state is becoming less ideological right/Republican and that Texans will look more at the individual candidate and not just party ID. That could be real trouble for the Texas GOP, they’ve relied on straight ticket voting.

Next Sen. Cornyn tries to distance himself from Al Gonzalez, Cornyn questions Gonzales’ handling of attorneys probe, and does a pretty bad job of it.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn on Thursday criticized Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ response to congressional inquiries into the firing of nine U.S. attorneys.

“He’s a good person, but I look at his jobs he’s held, and I wonder what has prepared him for being the head of the Department of Justice and 110,000 employees in a highly partisan and difficult political environment,” Cornyn told the American-Statesman editorial board.


“The rest of it is really a matter of how (Gonzales) handled the inquiry, and I just think he has not handled that well,” Cornyn said.

Still, he did not say Gonzales should step down. He speculated that Bush and Gonzales have decided that the confirmation process for a successor could last until the end of Bush’s term, and he said he agrees with that assessment.

Let’s see if we can get this straight. Sen. Cornyn isn’t saying Gonzalez did anything wrong, he’s just saying he didn’t handle the “congressional inquires” well. Then he goes on to say that while Gonzalez is a good man NOW he can’t see what has prepared him for the job he currently holds. What could possibly have changed about his prior jobs between now and 2005? Last he doesn’t think Bush should fire the incompetent, unqualified AG because the confirmation process will drag on. Sen. Cornyn is in agreement with George Bush that Gonzalez should stay in office until 2009 because there would be a tough confirmation fight over his successor. Here’s what his Democratic rivals had to say.

Two Democrats who are exploring runs against Cornyn next year — San Antonio lawyer Michael Watts and state Rep. Rick Noriega of Houston — said Gonzales should resign. Noriega said Cornyn has sharpened his criticism of Gonzales because he’s got an eye on the 2008 election, and Watts said Cornyn “will never call for his resignation unless Karl Rove gives him permission.”

That’s right. Cornyn is getting a headline which is attempting to show he he’s split with Gonzalez when in actuality he’s done nothing of the sort. Sen. Cornyn, like our president, believes Gonzalez has done nothing wring, except not handling a congressional inquiry very well. Cornyn also says that even though he realizes now that Gonzalez isn’t qualified to be AG he should stay in the job for another 18 months because the confirmation of a new AG might drag on. That is just sad. Let’s hope Cornyn’s gone before Gonzalez.

Don’t forget to drop Rick Noriega a couple of bucks.


Sen. Hutchison Scuttles SH 121 Scuttling

Posted in US Senate Race, Progressive Radio, Road Issues, Commentary, Around The State at 11:49 pm by wcnews

DMN has the story, No penalty for state over 121 bidding.

The Federal Highway Administration responded by sending Texas officials a series of letters saying the late bid could violate the federal bidding rules and that the state could lose more than $200 million in federal funds if the contract was awarded to NTTA.

Yesterday, in an interview with The Dallas Morning News, FHWA spokesman Ian Grossman said the government had made no decision on whether to seek the return of the federal funds. He said officials were considering all options, including what has been seen as the most draconian possibility, the demand that Texas send a check back to Washington for the full amount of federal funds that had previously been spent on State Hwy. 121.

Today, Sen. Hutchison said Secretary Peters has expressly promised that the federal government will not penalize Texas in any way as a result of NTTA’s.

Regional Transportation Council chairman Oscar Trevino, who is also mayor of North Richland Hills, said he remains convinced NTTA will seal its deal with TxDOT and the RTC to build the road by its Aug. 27 deadline. The specter of lost highway funds, he said, had always appeared to him to be simply a bargaining chip used by state transportation officials who had favored Cintra’s bid.

It looks like KBH may be taking sides against “state transportation officials” in Texas. This could all be wrapped up in 2010 Texas GOP gubernatorial politics. If KBH decides to run for governor it will be interesting on the GOP side no doubt. Where transportation whether Perry runs or not. What would KBH running for governor mean for Perry and Dewhurst, who announces first, etc.. Not to mention the clout Rick Noriega will have being the Senior Senator from Texas once KBH steps down to run for governor.


TX-Sen: 2008 Race

Posted in US Senate Race, Election 2008, 2008 Primary, Congress, Around The State at 11:27 am by wcnews

Which side of the fence is Sen. Cornyn on? This DMN article breaks it down Sen. Cornyn’s “evolving” position on the border wall, Is Cornyn shifting on fence? Nope, it appears Cornyn has flip-flopped. Nothing new about a politician trying to have it both ways.

Two years ago, Sen. John Cornyn said a border fence was a bad idea. Last month, he voted to build one.

Sen. Cornyn also made two shameful votes (SCHIP and Ethics Reform), make that three (Warrantless Wiretapping), in the Senate last week.

It was a Good week for Rick Noriega. He was at YearlyKos, making the rounds with the national netroots bloggers. He liveblogged at DailyKos on Thursday. He also was sworn in as the Commander of the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment at the Alamo on Friday. Evan Smith of Texas Monthly spoke with Rick Noriega, be sure and read the comments as bloggers hold Mr. Simth to account on a couple of points in his post. Rick Noriega was also mentioned in this Moonie Times piece about YearlyKos:

Many at the Yearly Kos convention cared more about Democrat Rick Noriega than Sen. Barack Obama. They hoped Mr. Noriega will unseat Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, but still debated whether Mr. Obama is the best choice to be the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee.

Mikal Watts issued press releases on Sen. Cornyn’s SCHIP vote [.PDF]. TexasKaos has a diary of Watts’ visit to Victoria. And the Texas GOP has some thoughts on the Watts campaign thus far.

There’s still a long way to go to the nomination and much more fun to be had. Now you’re caught up.


Bunches Of Media From Rick Noriega @ YearlyKos

Posted in US Senate Race, 2008 Primary, Democratic Events, Congress at 12:03 pm by wcnews

Apparently he’s making quite a name for himself there.

Podcast from Eplurbis Media with Rick Noriega at YearlyKos here.

Ustream.tv video regarding Rick Noriega at Yearlkos here.

OffTheKuff post w/pictures of “rock star” Rick Noriega at YearlyKos, At Yearly Kos with Rick Noriega,there’s one of him with George Lakoff.


Sen. Cornyn Votes Against Ethics Refrom

Posted in US Senate Race, Election 2008, Had Enough Yet?, Around The Nation, Around The State at 3:30 pm by wcnews

Sen. Cornyn (R-Texas) was one of only 13 Senators to vote against the measures. From Think Progress.

In an 83 to 14 vote, the Senate today joined the House and passed legislation requiring that “lawmakers disclose more about their efforts to fund pet projects and raise money from lobbyists, a move some called the biggest advance in congressional ethics in decades.”

McCain voted against it too.


TX-Sen: Democratic Primary - Video Wars Edition

Posted in US Senate Race, Election 2008, 2008 Primary, Around The State at 4:25 pm by wcnews

Watch more Rick Noriega video here. This time as a guest on Valley Newsline.

Texas Politics posts on Noriega’s video and a story that critique’s Mikal Watts’ intro video on his website. It says something about Watts’ online organizing that their video isn’t up on YouTube - or able to be embedded on blogs with some other video technology - as Texas Nate asks at Mydd.


Meet Rick Noriega

Posted in US Senate Race, Election 2008, 2008 Primary, Around The State at 4:41 pm by wcnews

Rick Noriega has an introduction video:

Don’t forget to drop him a dollar or two.

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