Monday, October 11, 2010

Republican Choices and the Railroad Commission

You have to like the Texas Republicans for their consistency. When they cast their votes at least there aren’t any surprises. The current race for Texas Railroad Commissioner puts all of this under a microscope for easy analysis.

Back in the primaries the incumbent Republican Railroad Commissioner whose term was up for re-election was primaried by a virtual unknown. Victor Carrillo, the incumbent and the highest-ranking Hispanic person in statewide office received a surprise primary challenge by a no one from Giddings, Texas, wherever that is. Apparently Giddings is a large enough town to support a full-time CPA, because that is Republican candidate for Texas Railroad Commission Dave Porter’s main claim to fame.

Get it? The Republican incumbent, appointed to the position in 2003 – by Rick Perry – and an Hispanic, was challenged by a guy with a WASPy name like Porter. Carrillo had his butt kicked in the primary despite the fact that he was the incumbent in a low profile (aka below the radar) position and outspent this nobody by twelve times.

Clearly, Republicans turned out in this primary, attracted by the opportunity to re-nominate Rick Perry and send Kay Bailey back to Washington and took this as an additional opportunity to get rid of “the Messican.”

“Given the choice between 'Porter' and 'Carrillo' – unfortunately, the Hispanic surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover, although I did all in my power to overcome this built-in bias.”
So Republican voters got rid of the more experienced incumbent and voted for the inexperienced nobody, but a White inexperienced nobody, and now we have this bean counter running in a race against Jeff Weems, a Democrat, and a petroleum engineer.

And now, according to this article in the Austin American-Statesman, Porter is getting the support from the Republican establishment, but not the support of the monetary kind. Porter is way behind in getting campaign contributions.

Lots of people, it seems, see this as a Republican year, Porter is a shoe-in in this downballot race, so instead of opening up their wallets, Republicans, and even the oil companies which is the industry the Railroad Commission regulates – or is supposed to anyway - are sitting on them.

Leading me to point number two in my microscopic analysis of the mind of the average Texas Republican voter: when there isn’t an ethnic question in a political campaign, go for the inexperienced Republican over the experienced Democrat.

Choose the lesser of the two.

Jeff Weems, a Democrat, is also a son and grandson of oil patch workers. Petroleum runs through his veins and drips from his DNA. Weems is simply the candidate that requires no training or startup time.

But this is how it is, isn’t it? Republican leadership expects a win in this race because Texas is a Red State. They could have run Shirley Temple for this office and she would have won because she is a Republican.

And could sing and dance once.

It’s just amazing, isn’t it, that Texans elect inexperienced and unqualified people to office because they can’t get by that race thing within their own party, and can’t get by that D thing even when there is a clear cut, no question, by God, sure and certain difference in qualifications between the candidates.

Nevertheless, Jeff Weems has a better chance running against this unknown and unqualified bean counter than he would have had against an incumbent. But that is only if the so-called “Independent Voters” come out and vote in this obscure down ballot race.

“Independent Voters” say that they vote for the man and not the party. Well this is their chance to prove that they aren’t just blowing smoke when they claim this. I’ve never believed this claim.

I dare them to prove me wrong.

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