Chad’s Morning Brief: Governor Rick Perry Says Texas Will Never Go Blue, Senators Working On Plan For Background Checks On Private Gun Sales, & More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of February 25, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.
1. Perry Says Texas Will Never Be Blue (link)
Governor Rick Perry is saying that Texas will never go blue. His reasoning? Because Texans love small government and freedom.
For many, it’s the country’s ultimate over-the-horizon electoral question: Could Texas become a blue state?
To which Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry emits a hearty guffaw. Texas going blue, he says, “is the biggest pipedream I have ever heard.”
To explain just how preposterous, Gov. Perry summons the example of the state’s two arch rivals, the University of Texas and Texas A&M, his alma mater, whose colors are maroon and white.
“The University of Texas will change its colors to maroon and white before Texas goes purple, much less blue,” he said in an interview on the edges of the National Governors Association winter summit in Washington, D.C.
The largest and most reliable Republican state on the presidential map has fallen into the GOP column in every presidential election since 1980. Mitt Romney last year won the state and its 38 electoral votes by 16 percentage points.
But were it to tip the other way, thanks to its swelling Hispanic population and the growth of urban liberals in cities like Dallas and Austin, the Republican route to the White House would grow perilously narrow.
Many political pollsters and demographers predict the state could get wobbly sooner than many Republicans think, possibly going blue by as early as 2020.
“It’s because of freedom,” he says. “People in Texas truly aspire to freedom. They don’t want government coming in and telling them how much of this or how much of that.”
At heart, he argues, there’s just something about Texas. “Democrats are about government getting bigger and bigger and government providing more and more,” he says. “Texans have never been for that, and Texans never will.”
Never say never Governor. Let’s take a look at the major population centers around Texas. Harris County=Blue, Travis County=Blue, South Texas=Blue, Dallas County=Purple/Blue. In other words, Republicans have a lot of work to do to prevent Texas from becoming a swing state in, I believe, 2020. Perry has to be optimistic as an elected official but the fact is, Texas could become a blue state. Many Texas cities aren’t as Republican as they once were. One could even make the argument that Lubbock isn’t as conservative as it was just 10 years ago.
2. Expanded Background Checks (link)
According to the Washington Post, a bipartisan group of senators have come up with a plan to expand background checks to all private gun sales.
A bipartisan group of senators is on the verge of a deal that would expand background checks to all private firearms sales with limited exemptions, but significant disagreements remain on the issue of keeping records of private gun sales, according to aides familiar with the talks.
An agreement would be a bold first step toward consideration of legislation to limit gun violence in the wake of the mass shootings at a Connecticut elementary school in December and comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected this week to begin considering new proposals to limit gun violence.
Resolution of whether to keep records of private sales is key to earning the support of one of the Republicans involved in the talks, Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, who has a solid A-rating from the influential National Rifle Association and could provide political cover for lawmakers of both parties who are wary of supporting the plan.
Coburn has declined to comment on the talks, saying recently that “I don’t negotiate through the press.”
Democrats say that keeping records of private sales is necessary to enforce any new law and because current federal law requires licensed firearm dealers to keep records. Records of private sales also would help law enforcement trace back the history of a gun used in a crime, according to Democratic aides. Republicans, however, believe that records of private sales could put an undue burden on gun owners or could be perceived by gun rights advocates as a precursor to a national gun registry.
Coburn and Schumer are joined in their talks by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), while aides in both parties anticipate that Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Susan Collins (Maine) could also endorse the plan soon. McCain and Collins have said they generally support legislation expanding background checks, while a Flake spokeswoman said Saturday that he is still reviewing the proposal.
The problem with background checks on private sales is that it only hurts law abiding citizens. If I have a friend that I want to sell a gun to, why should I or he have to pay for a background check?
Criminals who buy their guns off the streets aren’t going to do background checks at all. Again, this looks to be another law that does nothing to address or solve gun violence.
3. No Sales Tax Increase
Imagine Lubbock Together would like to have citizens vote on a sales tax increase to fund potential projects that were brought up in the group’s meetings. The only problem with that, is that it must go through Austin. On Friday, lawmaker’s confirmed what I already knew. It’s not going to happen. The local paper reported over the weekend that both Rep. Charles Perry and Senator Robert Duncan told a town-hall meeting that support was unlikely. The reason? Lawmakers want to stay away from any kind of tax increase. Republicans don’t want their names tied to raising taxes.
I’ve heard privately from two people that Rep. John Frullo said no to the idea immediately when he heard it.
As I’ve said before, I don’t think many at the Chamber of Commerce are shocked by the opinion of the lawmakers. It would not surprise me though to see some of the Imagine Lubbock projects make their way onto the City of Lubbock’s bond election.
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