Chad’s Morning Brief: Lubbock City Council Meeting, GOP Takes On the Tea Party, and More
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of November 8, 2013. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
It was a busy and important City Council meeting last night. Today on the show we will get into the impact from last night’s meeting. Here is Rob Snyder’s story from KFYO News.
Thursday night, the Lubbock City Council took up the issue of new appointments and re-appointments to the Electric Utility Board (EUB) which oversees Lubbock Power & Light.
The first re-appointment considered by the Lubbock City Council was EUB Chairman Gail Kring. Kring lost his spot on the board by a 4-3 vote, with Kring being replaced by Don Boatman. Kring was supported by Councilman Todd Klein, Councilman Victor Hernandez and Councilwoman Latrelle Joy.
Carroll McDonald’s seat was the next one to be discussed and he lost his seat on the EUB as well. James Conwright was voted onto the EUB by a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Floyd Price dissenting.
The council then filled an open seat on the EUB with Charlie Dunn. Dunn was voted onto the EUB by a 5-2 vote, with council members Floyd Price and Latrelle Joy dissenting.
Former Lubbock Mayor Marc McDougal was the last current board member up for reappointment. When discussion about McDougal’s seat began, Councilwoman Joy nominated local CPA Greg Taylor. Councilman Price then nominated to reappoint McDougal for another term on the board.
In discussing McDougal (pictured, left) and his term on the EUB, Councilwoman Joy said, “I know there has been a legal opinion issued by the City Attorney that Marc McDougal does not have a conflict on paper. However, I think there is more to consider than whether or not there is a legal conflict.
“We have to look at how he has operated during the past years. I did my own research and I do know that one of the issues before the LP&L Board is: who is going to pay for some of the cost of the underground utilities and the connections to the various businesses? It’s been a much discussed issue…. and I do know that Mr. McDougal has lobbied for LP&L to pay those expenses. Because he is a developer and because he has sat in meetings where he has represented that he is a developer; I think there is conflict between what the (McDougal Companies) is doing Downtown and his position on the LP&L Board. For that reason I cannot support Marc McDougal,” Joy said.
District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez then voiced his support for Councilwoman Joy’s reasoning for replacing McDougal on the EUB. “I like Marc and I served with him when he was mayor. But I think if you’re going to wipe the slate clean (on the EUB), you wipe it clean.”
The vote concerning McDougal’s spot on the EUB was then taken, with Greg Taylor winning appointment by a 4-3 vote. Mayor Glen Robertson, Mayor Pro Tem Karen Gibson and Councilman Price were the dissenting votes.
The final appointment to be made to the EUB was to fill the spot being vacated by Robert Musselman. Councilman Jim Gerlt nominated former City Council candidate Jerry Bell, Stephanie Hill was nominated by Councilman Hernandez and Pro Tem Gibson nominated Marc McDougal. Bell was appointed to the EUB by receiving five votes, with Mayor Robertson and Pro Tem Gibson dissenting.
The members of the EUB are now: Emilio Abeyta, Board Vice Chairman; George Carpenter, Clayton Isom, Suzanne Blake and the newly appointed: Don Boatman, Charlie Dunn, James Conwright, Greg Taylor and Jerry Bell. The board will have to elect new officers at their next meeting.
In other action by the Lubbock City Council, the council voted 6-1 to give the Lubbock’s Chief of Police latitude to consider and/or start an investigation into the Lubbock Power & Light RFP process. Councilwoman Latrelle Joy was the only dissenting vote on the measure. Agenda item 6.5 was officially worded as, “Consider and possibly take action on starting an investigation concerning LP&L’s RFP processes including the activities of officers and/or employees of LP&L and/or the City.”
As the Mayor mentioned on my show yesterday, the vote on the EUB members was going to be controversial. While there is a possibility that the change over could strain the relationship between LP&L and City Hall, I don’t know what else the Council could have done. Citizens have been wanting a do-over. Another risk for City Hall? Now the former EUB members can talk freely and openly.
GOP vs. Tea Party
According to Politico, Senate Republicans are ready for a fight with Tea Party Conservatives. Members of the Senate see this as a chance to take back their power and party.
Senate Republicans are spoiling for a fight this primary season as they try to take back control of the party from conservative activists.
The strategy: prop up the most electable candidates — even if they are more moderate than ones demanded by tea party activists — and punish those who get in their way.
After witnessing the business community help save the candidacy of Bradley Byrne, an establishment-backed candidate in a GOP runoff Tuesday for a House seat in Alabama, Republican senators are calling for the same type of support from well-funded GOP groups in Senate primaries next year.
“If you have an unlevel playing field, then you get predictable results,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who faces a primary challenge next year, said Wednesday. “The people who want to support a more traditional, Ronald Reagan-like Republican also need to get in the game.”
The fight between the establishment and the tea party has been brewing since 2010, but it has taken on new urgency in the aftermath of the Tuesday elections and as the midterm elections draw near. Many congressional Republicans were quick to argue that the 2013 elections bolster the case they’ve been making for the past three years: Candidates matter.
Gov. Chris Christie romped to reelection in New Jersey by positioning himself as a deal-cutting pragmatic Republican who did not adhere to strict conservative orthodoxy. But to his south, Ken Cuccinelli lost his bid for the Virginia governor’s mansion in part because Democrats seized on his hard-line conservative credentials. And even further south in Alabama, Byrne beat back Dean Young, a staunch conservative who likened himself to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
Republicans said they must replicate the tactics by choosing the best candidates in 2014 — regardless of the demands of tea party-aligned groups.
“If super PACs are going to get involved in primaries, there has to be some other people involved in primaries who are interested in actually winning the election in November — and not just purifying the party in the primary,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who ran the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the past two cycles and faces reelection next year.
With the blessing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the hardball plan is already beginning to take shape. Senior Republican officials are privately warning GOP consultants and firms who continue to work with one of their main foes — the Senate Conservatives Fund — and another GOP ad firm that they won’t get contracts from the NRSC. They’ll also be frozen out of McConnell’s network if they remain hired by their right-wing rival.
The NRSC is prepared to spend money in primaries after sitting out the intraparty fights in 2012.
The rhetoric has become more pointed, with top Republicans accusing the groups of caring strictly about their own profits rather than the cause of winning a Senate majority. And with the backing of Senate Republicans, Big Business groups — which are allied with McConnell — are taking a more aggressive tack in the 2014 primaries as well.
Some Republicans see the turn of events as eventually hobbling some of the outside groups. Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, chairman of the NRSC, said the conservative organizations could grow weaker if they lose in 2014 and their fundraising begins to dry up.
“Donors are tired of contributing to groups that support candidates with their money that don’t win elections,” Moran said. “If you can only win a Republican primary and can’t win a general election, you serve no purpose in changing the United States Senate to something that’s good for the country.”
Let the battle for the Republican Party begin.
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