I imagine the GOP will jump on the ad, complaining that it doesn’t show enough guns (are there any?). But it does several things the next Texas governor needs to do:
It paints a picture of a Texas government that works to help people succeed in Texas.
Davis’s ad shows Texas’s diversity, and suggests both that the diversity is a virtue for Texas’s future, and that Texas government shouldn’t be barring the door (or voting booth) to any Texan (especially white Texas women, many of whom may get a shock when they try to vote this November).
Davis urges policies to help Texas cattlemen, who have been hammered hard under GOP rule (50% of Texas beef ranches closed in the past two years).
Davis urges policies to help Texas farmers (cotton is still big in about a hundred counties).
Aerospace and aviation get specific attention — you saw the American Airlines jet? Davis was City Councilwoman in Fort Worth, American’s hometown and headquarters. Already Davis turned around Greg Abbott on that issue when she called for a Texas government that supported American Airlines and its few tens of thousands of jobs in Texas. Abbott announced last week that he has dropped his suit to prevent American’s merger with USAir, a suit that threatened Texas jobs directly.
The ad ties Davis’s success in business, and life, to public institutions that help all Texans, institutions Davis used to climb the success ladder.
Pro-business. Business in Davis’s ad is aerospace, ranching, farming, oil, and main street retail, among others. Abbott’s ad shows only one ramshackle BBQ shack.
It demonstrates an area where Greg Abbott should have been active in fighting crime, processing rape backlogged rape kits from Texas assaults — but where it too Davis in the legislature to get action to solve the crimes.
Oh, yeah: Education is in there. It’s solidly in there.
Overall, it’s a positive, “once more into the breach” sort of story. At the end of Abbott’s ad, one can say he seems a physically capable guy; at the end of Davis’s ad, one may want to get up and go start a business, or run for office.
Davis’s ad does a lot of things a pitch for Texas’s next governor needs to do, on issues that we hope the next governor is way ahead of the rest of us on — but which are wholly missing from Abbott’s first non-negative ad effort.
For three days after Fort Worth State Sen. Wendy Davis announced her candidacy for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor, the Republican front-runner, Greg Abbott, seemed off-balance, first going to negative campaigning about Davis.
Some Texans wondered whether Abbott had a good idea about what the role of governor is, which could form a basis for his candidacy. Why does Abbott want to be governor, and what would he do?
Today Abbott released an almost-90-second advertisement. The ad reveals Abbott doesn’t have a vision for Texas in the future, and the ad suggests Abbott will rely heavily on trying to scare white Texans to outvote everybody else.
Here are my observations about Abbott’s ad as it came to me on Facebook, and the ad, below.
Greg Abbott first went negative when State Sen. Wendy Davis announced her campaign for governor last week.
He’s having difficulty finding a reason to run for governor, demonstrated by his video, below.
The video is impressive:
Not a single Hispanic shown out of several dozen people. In fact, there appears to be only one, lonely woman of color in the entire thing. Texas is for white people, Abbott appears to be saying.
Those white people in Texas need guns. It’s not like Texas has any shortage of guns, nor has the Obama administration done anything to restrict gun ownership or use, nor is it even an issue in Texas — but watch the video, you understand that the Texas white people shown in it, need guns. (Why? you may ask?)
Abbott is all for low-wage, service industry jobs. When he talks about jobs in Texas, the ad shows a rickety, ramshackle BBQ joint. You may like BBQ more than Greg Abbott, but if you’re an aerospace worker, or you work for American Airlines, you would do well to question why Abbott worked so hard to kill American Airlines before Sen. Davis made it a campaign issue. (Abbott belatedly dropped his suit challenging the American/USAir merger, last week. Less than a week in the campaign and Wendy Davis is already improving Texas government . . .)
Faced with a pro-business Democrat with a proven record of making things work for business and Texas, Abbott is adrift. These appear to be issues he hasn’t pondered much, other than to reduce regulations on businesses that injure people.
Not a word about education. Where will all those gun-wielding white people send their kids to school?
When he mentions water policy, something that comes far behind guns, BBQ, and the Tea Party in Greg Abbott’s Texas, he shows footage of Interstate 35 in Austin. One of Texas’s greatest problems (on the ballot in November with a Constitutional Amendment), but to Abbot it’s an afterthought. Maybe he thinks he can shotgun a few clouds to resolve the issues?
Not a word about farming, nor ranching. Texas’s lack of a water policy, and inadequate work to mitigate global warming, pushed about 50% of Texas’s cattle and beef operations out of business on the GOP watch, just in the last four years. In Greg Abbott’s Texas, land is for shooting quail for rich folk, all you hamburger eaters can take a hike.
Not a word about oil or gas, nor fracking, nor the abuse of eminent domain to ram a pipeline through Texas ranches and farms, killing the ranches and farms.
You’d think after two decades in state office, Mr. Abbott would have a better idea about Texas and Texas problems, and would run a campaign on how to improve things for Texans, not just out of state pipeline companies.
Abbott is running against Barack Obama, and he hates California. No good reason, but those are probably the only applause lines in his bereft-of-Texas stump speech.
You’d think some of those Million-Dollar-A-Year consultants would have worried a bit about Texas in setting up these ads. They must think their only chance is to scare their supporters out to the polls. They may be right.
What do you think, America? See any reason for anyone other than a paranoid white guy to vote for Abbott?
Conflict of interest note: Abbott is a Duncanville boy, a favorite of most residents of Duncanville we know.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appears before a controversial tablet displaying the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol (behind the capitol building) in Austin, Texas, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Two years ago this ad helped push Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis to victory in a district stacked against her. I think it’s one of the more powerful political advertisements done in the last decade at least, considering the target audience.
Today Sen. Davis will announce she’s running for Governor of Texas. Regardless the outcome of the race, it’s still a remarkable life story.
Polls show Davis only 8 points behind Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who usually enjoys an 80%-20% advantage in elections. Davis is good enough to essentially wipe out the name identification, party identification and money advantage Abbott has, before she announces.
It could be a very exciting political year in Texas. Stay tuned.
Details: The entire conversation between Texas Senator Wendy Davis and James Henson, Director of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin. Senator Davis discussed a range of topics including education, budget priorities in the 82nd Legislature, her filibuster in the final hours of the 82nd lege, and the future of the Democratic Party in Texas.
Recorded Dec 1, 2011 at The University of Texas at Austin.
Master of the Capitol, “I do hate losing”: Picture from Vogue Magazine; caption: Wendy Davis in a Carolina Herrera dress and Reed Krakoff pumps. Quote from the article: “I’m a very competitive person,” she says as the sun sets behind her and she packs up for the movie. “You won’t change things unless you are prepared to fight, even if you don’t win.” She pauses. “But I do hate losing.” Photographed by Eric Boman, Vogue, September 2013
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
Early voting for the twice-delayed* Texas primary elections opens this week. The election is set for May 29.
Happy to see the Texas Democratic Party sending out notices that voters won’t be turned away from the polls. It’s a clear effort to deflate the voting discouragement campaign of State Attorney General Greg Abbott, Gov. Rick Perry, and the Republicans of the Texas Lege.
I’d be interested to see that the Republican Party in Texas is doing something similar. They keep booting me off their lists. Anybody got a similar letter from them, especially one showing how the Texas Voter Identification law does not apply to this primary election?
* The elections were delayed by federal court orders. Texas is a place that historically discriminated against minority voters, and so under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, reapportionments by the legislature must be approved by the Justice Department or a federal court as complying with the nondiscrimination laws. AG Abbott tried to do an end run around Justice, suing for approval as a first step. As part of its War on Democracy, the Texas Lege wrote a spectacularly Gerrymandered reapportionment plan, depriving Texas Hispanics from new representation despite the dramatic increase in their populations. Consequently the federal courts balked at quick approval. Instead, they asked for more information. In the delay, the Washington courts ordered the federal court in San Antonio to draw up a more fair plan, giving at least three new seats to districts where Hispanics hold broad sway.
Litigation against the Texas Jim Crow Voter Identification law is separate.
Can you imagine the contretemps had he announced he won’t enforce federal immigration laws, nor support their enforcement by federal officials?
Abbott is once again putting politics far, far ahead of science, no matter how it damages Texas (Texas pays premiums in home insurance already because of damage from global warming).
If it’s something in the water that generates such craziness, I hope it enters the water systems well south of Dallas.
Abbott’s opponent is a well-respected, deeply experienced, honorable attorney named Barbara Ann Radnofsky. Almost every big polluting corporation in America is supporting Abbott. You may want to consider that as you contribute to candidates this week (hurry!), and as you vote this fall.
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If you find a dead link, please leave a comment to that post, and tell us what link has expired.
Retired teacher of law, economics, history, AP government, psychology and science. Former speechwriter, press guy and legislative aide in U.S. Senate. Former Department of Education. Former airline real estate, telecom towers, Big 6 (that old!) consultant. Lab and field research in air pollution control.
My blog, Millard Fillmore's Bathtub, is a continuing experiment to test how to use blogs to improve and speed up learning processes for students, perhaps by making some of the courses actually interesting. It is a blog for teachers, to see if we can use blogs. It is for people interested in social studies and social studies education, to see if we can learn to get it right. It's a blog for science fans, to promote good science and good science policy. It's a blog for people interested in good government and how to achieve it.
BS in Mass Communication, University of Utah
Graduate study in Rhetoric and Speech Communication, University of Arizona
JD from the National Law Center, George Washington University