Chad’s Morning Brief: Will They Stay In Or Will They Drop Out, Wendy Davis Goes After Greg Abbott on Equal Pay and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 11, 2014. 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.
Stay In or Drop Out?
A group of 14 State Lawmakers sent State Representative Dan Branch a letter urging him to drop out of the runoff race for Attorney General according to Breitbart Texas.
In a call for party unity and moving the battle to defeating Democrats in the November General Election, the 14 State Reps said in a letter received by Breitbart Texas, “As your colleagues in the Texas Legislature, today we call on you to respectfully consider withdrawing from the race for Texas Attorney General.”
The letter asks Branch to avoid a costly and potentially more divisive runoff election and states that “moving forward with this continued campaign is not in the best interests of you, our party, or the state we know you dearly love.”
The authors of the letter argued, “The millions of dollars that would be spent by your campaign characterized by negative ads aimed at Senator Paxton servers no legitimate or helpful purpose, especially when considering Senator Paxton’s strong support reflected in the Republican Primary Election last week.”
The letter cites Paxton’s success in winning 19 of the 20 most populated counties and a strong first-place finish in 9 of the top 10 GOP counties including Branch’s home county, Dallas County. Additionally, the letter claims Senator Paxton won 50 of the top 75 Republican counties representing about 85 percent of the GOP vote.
The Texas Secretary of State’s Office election results page reflects that Sen. Paxton received 44.44 percent of the vote compared to Rep. Branch’s 33.49 percent. Out of 1,273,733 Republican votes cast, Paxton was 141,545 votes from winning without a runoff.
The letter references the class move by State Rep. Harvey Hilderbran in his decision last Friday to withdraw from the State Comptrollers race and his endorsement of his former opponent, Sen. Glenn Hegar.
In urging Branch to withdraw, the signing Reps said, “Should you choose to do so, you will earn the lasting respect and admiration of Texans all across our state as we band together as Republican and fight to Keep Texas Red!”
The letter is signed by Representatives, Pat Fallon, Dan Flynn, Bryan Hughes, Phil King, Jodie Laubenberg, Jeff Leach, Charles Perry, Scott Sanford, Matt Schaefer, Jonathan Stickland, Van Taylor, Steve Toth, James White and Bill Zedler.
Pressure is also being placed on Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to drop out of his runoff election with State Senator Dan Patrick. Will the efforts work? Possibly, but it all depends on the money. If Branch and Dewhurst think they have the money to go on, I bet they will.
Personally, I don't buy this party unity line. I have see no reason for either candidate to drop out of the runoff election. That doesn't mean I think they will win though.
Davis Goes After Abbott
Having run out of other issues to talk about, Wendy Davis has gone after Greg Abbott over equal pay according to the San Antonio Express News.
Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis is pounding on the issue of equal pay in her race for governor against Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, pressing him Monday to say if he would have vetoed her bill on the topic like Gov. Rick Perry did last year.
Abbott has voiced support for equal pay but when asked about the state version of the federal Lilly Ledbetter law — named after a woman who fought pay discrimination — he hasn't said directly whether he would have axed it.
Abbott instead has cited other protections in state law, and his campaign has noted that the federal law covers Texas.
But the limits of the federal protections are highlighted in a 2011 case in which the attorney general's office, under Abbott, defended Prairie View A&M University in a state lawsuit brought by a professor who alleged discriminatory pay.
By the time the state case arose, the Ledbetter law had changed the federal statute of limitations so that allegations of pay discrimination could be brought 180 days after the last alleged discriminatory paycheck was received.
Previously, the clock started running when the discriminatory payments began.
The professor, who was of Indian national origin, had alleged race- and nationality-based pay discrimination.
When Prairie View A&M said the statute of limitations had expired in her case, she contended the federal Ledbetter law applied to claims brought under the Texas Human Rights Commission Act. She said that is because one of the state law's purposes is to provide for the execution of federal law against discrimination.
The Texas Supreme Court decided the change in federal law didn't affect the state statute of limitations, which it said still began at the time a person was informed of the compensation decision. It dismissed the professor's lawsuit.
The majority opinion, authored by Justice Eva M. Guzman, recognized the potential difficulty for employees being given such a limited timeframe, and for workers and employers of there being different statues of limitations.
“But we are not the law-making body. We are called to interpret and apply the law as it is enacted by the Legislature,” Guzman wrote.
The Legislature last year approved a bill by Davis and Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, that would have made state law mirror the federal Ledbetter law. Backers of the legislation said cases are less costly and can be resolved more quickly in state than in federal court.
Perry, however, vetoed the measure, saying it duplicated federal law and that “Texas' commitment to smart regulations and fair courts is a large part of why we continue to lead the nation in job creation.”
Abbott, asked whether he would have vetoed the state measure, told WFAA television in Dallas that “as a father of a teenage daughter ... as a husband of a wife who has been involved in the workforce here in the state of Texas, I fully expect women to be paid what men are paid. There shouldn't be any differential in payment because of sex.
“I'm proud to say that Texas is one of the few states in the nation that actually has a constitutional protection against sexual discrimination of any type, and under the current labor code in the state of Texas, there is a specific statutory prohibition, a specific law in the state of Texas, that prevents discrimination on the basis of sex in any type of employment, and I will ensure that women will not be discriminated in any way on pay because of their sex,” Abbott said.
His campaign previously also has cited the federal law's protections.
Davis said in a Monday statement, “Greg Abbott needs to stop dodging and give a straight answer about his opposition to the Texas Equal Pay Act. Hardworking Texans deserve to know if he believes in this simple principle: a full day's work is worth a full day's pay no matter what your gender. With more families than ever before relying on two incomes, they can't afford to have one of their paychecks unfairly reduced just because one of them is a woman.”
The Abbott campaign didn't immediately have a comment about the lawsuit and Davis' statement.
This issue will get Wendy Davis nowhere.
Other Top Stories:
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.