Rick Perry easily wins TX GOP Gov. primary

A big victory for Perry, and an embarassment for KBH:

AUSTIN, Texas – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has conceded the Republican Texas gubernatorial primary to Gov. Rick Perry.

Hutchison told supporters in Dallas on Tuesday night that she called Perry once she believed the election results were clear. She said that “we have fought valiantly for our principles, but we did not win.”

Perry, Hutchison and GOP activist Debra Medina (meh-DEE’-nah) were vying for the Republican nomination in a hard-hitting primary that largely overshadowed the Democratic race and highlighted the anti-Washington sentiment among midterm voters.

With a third of precincts reporting, Perry was ahead with 52 percent of the vote to Hutchison’s 31 percent. Medina had 17 percent. Hutchison might have been in a runoff with Perry had his support dropped to less than 50 percent.

Perry will face former Houston Mayor Bill White in November.

Tuesday night links and open thread (UPDATE: RANGEL *WON’T* STEP DOWN)

NewsThere’s so much going on out there that your humble blogger can’t keep up with it all. Here’s a brief rundown on this evening’s hot stories:

— The USA Today reports that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has called for embattled NY Gov. David Paterson step down if reports that he intervened in a domestic-violence case are true. NOW has called for Paterson’s resignation as well. Paterson, of course, has denied the allegations.

—– And speaking of Gillibrand, former US House Rep. Harold Ford (TN) – who recently was vying to be her chief opponent in the Senate primary later this year – is no longer interested in trying to challenge her for the seat formerly held by S.O.S. Hillary Clinton. He wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the NYT yesterday explaining his decision, complaining about Democrat “machine politics” in NY – but the bottom line is his candidacy was going no where fast and he got out before he was embarassed later.

—– CNN reports that President Obama is “open” to some GOP ideas on healthcare, but apparently not to much as it is being widely reported tonight that he will announce tomorrow that he is on board with reconciliation to get healthcare “reform” passed:

White House officials tell ABC News that in his remarks tomorrow President Obama will indicate a willingness to work with Republicans on some issue to get a health care reform bill passed but will suggest that if it is necessary, Democrats will use the controversial “reconciliation” rules requiring only 51 Senate votes to pass the “fix” to the Senate bill, as opposed to the 60 votes to stop a filibuster and proceed to a vote on a bill.

It was only a matter of time.

—– Breaking news: MSNBC’s Chuck Todd is reporting via Twitter that Rep. Charlie Rangel is preparing to give up his House Ways and Means Committee gavel, “possibly as early as tonight.” This after Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala), fellow CBC member, called for him to step down today in light of the recent finding by the House Ethics Committee that Rangel broke the House’s gift rules.

It has not been a good year for NY politicos so far.

***Update – 8:19 PM: THe Hill is reporting that, contrary to earlier stories about how Rangel was going to resign his chairmanship of the HWMC, he is not:

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) will not step down from his position, the congressman said Tuesday.

Rangel, who sits atop one of the most powerful committees in the House, rejected calls to step down from his chairmanship pending the result of an ethics inquiry.

Rangel, following a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the Capitol, denied very preliminary reports Tuesday evening that he’d be stepping down.

When asked whether he is still chairman, Rangel said: “you bet your life!”

He then said Pelosi told him not to say “a damn thing” about the meeting.

Stay tuned.***

—– The GOP and Dem primaries for the Governor’s seat in TX are just about to close (7 PM their time). I’ll post the results here later. The TX BOE will, of course, have them as well (where do you think I’ll be getting the info from? ;) ) Am very interested to see who wins in the hotly contested GOP match-up between current TX Gov. Rick Perry and US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Breaking: Bunning and Senate leaders strike deal, republic is saved

Roll Call reports:

Under increasing pressure from Democrats and members of his own party, Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) Tuesday night abandoned his one-man filibuster of a one-month extension to unemployment benefits and other programs.

In the end Bunning agreed to a deal allowing him one vote on an amendment to pay for the bill’s $10 billion cost. That proposal was offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) last Thursday at the start of his filibuster, but Bunning rejected it because he feared his amendment would not pass.

Reid has also agreed to give Bunning two votes on amendments to a larger, one-year extension bill that is currently under consideration in the Senate.

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said he was pleased a deal could be reached.

“Bunning is coming back now, he has accepted our offer to have one offsetting amendment, which is an offer we made last week, and now he’s accepted it. I think it’s a new offset, we’re waiting to see. So, we’ll see where it goes,” Durbin said. “So it would give us two votes: offset amendment and final passage of the short-term [unemployment insurance].”

The Senate is expected to vote Tuesday night on the short-term bill, which also includes payments for doctors and highway spending as well as other items.

My hat’s still off to him, though, for the point he was trying to make about PAYGO. Of course, the MSM didn’t paint the issue in this light, instead choosing to falsely call what Bunning was doing a “filibustering” of extending unemployment benefits (as Roll Call did above), while CNN portrayed Bunning as willingly wanting to hurt “Thousands of Americans.”

Related to all this, did you know that over the weekend two of Bunning’s offices received bomb threats? Of course you didn’t, because the MSM was too busy demonizing Bunning to cover the story on a national level. Gateway Pundit has the predictable details.

Great news: My Congressional rep. ranked one of the “most liberal” in US House


An annual list of how members of Congress stack up, ideologically speaking, has U.S. Rep. Mel Watt as the most liberal member of the state’s House delegation while U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry is the most conservative.

National Journal studied 97 roll-call votes that it used to establish where House members ranked in terms of how liberal or conservative they were.

Watt, a Charlotte Democrat, was among eight House members who were tied for the most liberal in the chamber. Watt was the 423rd most conservative House member.

McHenry, a Cherryville Republican, was the 17th most conservative member of the chamber and the 413th most liberal. Virginia Foxx, a Banner Elk Republican, was the 19th most conservative member and the 411th most liberal.

No other members of the state’s delegation cracked the top 20 as either conservative or liberal.

Not that this is exactly surprising, of course. Conservatives who have lived in his highly gerrymandered district know this all too well. Watt occupies one of those so-called “safe seats” because the district was drawn specifically over concerns that black people in North Carolina weren’t getting the best representation in the US Congress (which Watt has said in so many words that he agrees with), so the idea was to draw a district where primarly black Democrats could get elected over and over again. Mel Watt’s district is below:

12th Congressional District of NC


Various Republicans have ran against the multi-term, Cuba-friendly House rep over the years, but they are obligatory runs done by independent types as they can’t count on any substantial support from official GOP sources because the GOP pretty much knows it would be like throwing money out the window.

Watt filed papers seeking re-election back on Feb. 12th. He has no opponent yet. His last opponent, Ty Cobb, was/is almost as liberal as Watt is. Suffice it to say that there will be no Scott Browns in this district anytime soon – if ever.

Just for grins and giggles, let’s look at what Rep. Watt said back in 2003 about a proposal by the Bush administration that the NYT described as “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago”:

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.


In the midst of Jim Bunning’s last stand, MSM’s liberal bias shines through

Out-going Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning is in the hot seat this week thanks to blatant misreporting from the liberal MSM and practiced demagoguing Democrat politicos in the House and Senate on what the MSM describes as the issue of extending unemployment benefits for another thirty days. In reality, the issue for Bunning isn’t whether or not they should be extended but rather how they should be paid for, but to listen to the left and “news” outlets like the Obama-worshipping McClatchy news org., you’d think Bunning was a heartless b*stard who wants the unemployed to go without food, water, and shelter in the midst of our jobless “recovery.”

It’s the usual “GOP hates everyone” nonsense we’ve heard all too often before.

Rational Nation provides the basis for Bunning’s objections in a post that puts our derelict media to shame (via Left Coast Rebel):

The Senate failed Thursday to extend benefits programs for laid off workers. The house on the other hand passed a bill that would have extended for one month the program so lawmakers could decide how to address the issue in the long term.

The Senate, while trying to follow suit was not successful in overcoming the strong objections of Senator Jim Bunning, Republican Senator from Kentucky. Senator Bunning would not support the bill on grounds that the additional ten billion outlay would increase the Federal budget deficit.

Senator Bunning’s position is this; rather than adding an additional ten billion to the deficit we use money from the yet unused portion of the massive “economic recovery package” enacted last year. However, and as expected, the Democrats refused consideration of this commonsense and fiscally sound approach to controlling the deficit.

It seems as our nations productive work force continues to struggle to survive… the very “party of the working man/women” is against rational initiatives that help reign in our greatest excesses that will ultimately lead to our economic collapse.

Heritage’s Brian Darling adds:

Bunning said of the bill “if we can’t find $10 billion to pay for it, we’re not going to pay for anything.” A month ago, Congress passed something called pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting when they increased the the statutory limit of allowable national debt to $14.29 trillion, a $1.9 trillion increase. The current PAYGO rules are loaded with exceptions and loopholes, yet many saw the new PAYGO rules as a step in the right direction to restrain some out of control spending. The problem is that Congress seems to waive the PAYGO rule rather than offset one cent of new spending.


Basically, liberals in Congress love the idea of PAYGO, yet they refuse to enforce the statutory requirements that all new spending be offset. They do this by designating all new spending as an “Emergency Designation.” This is feel good politics at its worst, because the left can claim they are for PAYGO, yet PAYGO has yet to restrain any spending. Furthermore, the vote on PAYGO in the House helped pave the way for a $1.9 trillion increase in the debt limit. Therefore one can argue that PAYGO actually increased spending in the Congress.

Senator Bunning has proposed an offset of spending to pay for the one month extension of benefits consisting of “the unobligated amounts appropriated or made available under divisions A of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5; 123 Stat. 115). $10,267,000,000 is rescinded on a pro rata basis.” Sen. Bunning is asking that the Obama Administration cut $10 billion of unspent Stimulus monies out of a $787 billion dollar proposal to continue to pay benefits to unemployed Americans.

A Senator trying to hold his fellow Senators’ feet to the fire on a law they passed just a month ago. Shocking! His fellow Senators (and opponents in the MSM) trying to demagogue him and via proxy the entire GOP by suggesting Bunning doesn’t care about the unemployed. Surprising! (Not)

Ed Morrissey puts a fine point on it all:

Pay attention to the misreporting on this issue, because it will happen again when Republicans begin using the same process to slow down reconciliation. Coburn threatened to withhold unanimous consent on bill readings during the ObamaCare debate last December, and wound up forcing the clerk to read the bill aloud for hours. If Democrats decide to cram ObamaCare through reconciliation, it won’t just be Bunning withholding unanimous consent, and not just on ObamaCare, either.

Bunning isn’t filibustering. If Democrats want to get to a vote, they can with or without unanimous consent. If their bill is well supported, it will eventually pass. But after the scolding a few weeks ago from Obama on deficit spending and the Democrats’ victory dance on pay-go, the real reason Democrats are unhappy about Bunning’s action isn’t because it’s a filibuster, but because it shows their hypocrisy on deficit spending. And the American media needs to do its research on Senate procedure before declaring the withholding of unanimous consent a “filibuster.”


Oh, and before I get jumped by the left for supposedly “hating” the unemployed, save it – I’ve got family and friends who will personally be affected one way or another by this bill, and I still support what Bunning is doing … because he’s advocating the responsible way to pay for those unemployment benefits while at the same time exposing Democrat hypocrisy on PAYGO.

Update/Related: Michelle Malkin defends Bunning here.