PRES: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who chairs Donald Trump’s campaign in Texas, announced a “Texas Strategic Advisory Board,” which includes former Gov. Rick Perry as honorary co-chairman and several state and legislative leaders:
- Agriculture Comm. Sid Miller
- Railroad Comm. Ryan Sitton
- Railroad Comm. candidate Wayne Christian
- Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) and Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham); and
- Reps. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana), Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth), Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria), Larry Phillips (R-Sherman) and James White (R-Hillister).
Several business leaders and conservative activists are also part of the advisory board.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State certified the write-in candidacy of Evan McMullin. He was originally disqualified for failing to file a complete set of electors. One of his electors was deemed ineligible. He refiled with a replacement elector. He becomes the 12th certified write-in candidate for president.
Voter ID: The state formally requested (pdf) the U.S. Supreme Court hear its appeal to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and lower federal court decisions invalidating portions of the state’s Voter ID law and imposing remedies for the upcoming election. The appeal will not impact the use of those remedies – the ability to vote without required identification by signing a statement of “reasonable impediment” and a state education campaign to inform voters of this ability – for the general election.
Four justices must be willing to hear the case, and five must vote to overrule the lower court’s decision, or the Fifth Circuit’s opinion will stand.
Ethics: Speaker Joe Straus appointed former Rep. Steve Wolens (D-Dallas) to the Texas Ethics Commission to succeed former Comm. Paul Hobby. By law, the speaker appoints two members of the commission, one of which is a Republican recommended by Republican legislators and the other is a Democrat recommended by Democratic legislators. Wolens will serve a term ending in November 2019.
Wolens reported having more than $1.1 million on hand as of June 30. His campaign finance treasurer appointment is the oldest among active campaign/officeholder accounts, dating back to November 1981, well before the Ethics Commission came into existence and campaign finances were required to be disclosed.
Disclosure: Jeff Blaylock, publisher of Texas Election Source, worked for Wolens in his legislative office from 1999 until 2003.
RRC: The Corpus Christi Caller-Times endorsed Libertarian Mark Miller.
SD24: Comptroller Glenn Hegar endorsed Dawn Buckingham.
HD33 open: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Democrat Karen Jacobs.
HD102: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Linda Koop (R-Dallas).
HD109: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Helen Giddings (D-Dallas).
HD122: File this under something to watch for 2018. Bexar Co. District Atty. Nico LaHood and his wife Davida are listed as “celebrity keynote speakers” for the Autism Education Summit in Dallas on October 1. LaHood, a Democrat, is expected to appear on a panel with outspoken anti-immunization actress Jenny McCarthy. He has several times stated his belief that vaccines are related to autism despite significant medical evidence to the contrary.
We mention it solely because LaHood owns a home located within HD122, according to Bexar Co. CAD records. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) was one of the lowest-ranked Republicans on Texans for Fiscal Responsibility/Empower Texans’ most recent scorecard and has a “career rating” of F. Texans for Vaccine Choice PAC and Empower Texans PAC share several significant donors and have sided with the same anti-Speaker Straus candidates in recent primary election cycles.
LaHood is not on the ballot this year. He is up for re-election in 2018.