Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 31, 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 or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.

Happy Opening Day 2014!


Dewhurst Gets an Endorsement

The Dallas Morning News on Sunday endorsed David Dewhurst for re-election. Even though the Dallas Morning News backed Jerry Patterson in the March 4th election, they believe that rhetoric hurts Patrick.

Seven of 10 voters in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor voted against incumbent David Dewhurst. He bore the “status quo” label at a time most GOP faithful were looking for something different among the four candidates.

Now comes the May 27th runoff between second-place Dewhurst and first-place finisher Dan Patrick, and a new question: Given the binary choice, is different necessarily better?

The answer is no, not when comparing Dewhurst’s three terms in the state’s second-most-prominent elected position against what the incendiary Patrick represents — to the state or Republican Party.

This contest pits an occasionally tongue-tied incumbent policy wonk against a silver-tongued challenger who honed his skills behind a talk-show microphone and thinks provocative words add up to a governing philosophy.

We’ll take the wonkish Dewhurst in this one, if on temperament alone. In the policy department, we see less daylight between the two than Patrick would represent.

Full disclosure is needed at this point: This newspaper recommended Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the GOP primary. Before the March 4 vote, we faulted Dewhurst for losing his political equilibrium after Ted Cruz thumped him in a 2012 GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. Patterson, we reasoned, offered a clearer vision and a plain-spoken means of achieving it. Our man Patterson went on to finish fourth, causing us to look again at this race with fresh eyes.

It resonates with us that Patterson, after the votes were counted, declared that he’d vote Libertarian in the lieutenant governor’s race come November should Patrick, a state senator from Houston, advance to the general election. The confrontational Patrick elicits that kind of chemical reaction in politicians who usually can shrug off the slights and wild exaggerations of a nasty campaign. Patrick’s knack for sticking in people’s craw should not be mistaken for the second coming of Ted Cruz. We don’t see the same consistency in Patrick; it’s more a matter of opportunism.

GOP voters might remember Patrick’s pick in the 2012 Senate runoff contest: He supported Dewhurst over Cruz, having accused Cruz of lying on his radio show. Patrick later endorsed Cruz for president.

One distinction between the two candidates is how they handled setbacks in their business careers in Houston, before they ran for office. Each filed for bankruptcy at one point. Patrick walked away from about $800,000 in debts from a string of failed sports bars. His creditors have never been paid, although Patrick later found success in the radio business. Dewhurst took an oil-drilling firm into bankruptcy with debts of $7 million. He later repaid secured creditors out of his own pocket.

For those GOP voters who doubt Dewhurst’s conservative bona fides, the proof of his GOP fealty consists of a long list. Dewhurst shepherded voter ID, GOP-friendly political maps and strong abortion restrictions through the Senate. Patrick complains that Dewhurst slipped up and allowed the abortion debate to become needlessly messy, but we’ve seen nothing in Patrick’s portfolio that gives us confidence he’d be a superior tactician.

Dewhurst, 68, has a track record to point to in this office, dating to 2003. The job requires managing a gaggle of 31 strong personalities in the Senate and building an inventory of trust with them. Dewhurst gets above-average marks there.

Patrick, 63, would be the strongest personality in the room if given the lieutenant governor’s gavel; good luck managing that group with that dynamic.

And at a time when the GOP badly needs to make inroads with the burgeoning Hispanic electorate — the key to long-term success for either party — Republicans don’t need Patrick’s fire-and-brimstone rhetoric from the Senate pulpit about an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. Border security is important to Texas, but it’s all a matter of tone, and Patrick shows no interest in striking the right one.

It does not surprise me at all that the DMN went with Dewhurst. In fact, I believe that most newspapers in Texas will. Dewhurst still has an uphill climb against Dan Patrick, but I have personally heard from many conservatives that refuse to vote for Dan Patrick. They may not like Dewhurst, but they don't trust Patrick for a number of reasons.

Bush 2016?

Is America ready for a Bush-Clinton showdown? According to FOX News, top GOP donors are reportedly attempting to convince Jeb Bush to run for President in 2016.

A group of top Republican donors have reportedly begun an intense effort to draft former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the race for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Washington Post report quotes one major donor as saying that the "vast majority" of the top 100 givers to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney would back Bush in a nomination fight.

The report also claims that a hard press has begun to get Bush into the race because conservative leaders and longtime Republican operatives are concerned about the electoral viability of New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. Christie's standing and poll numbers, both nationally and among Republicans, have been damaged by the ongoing investigation into whether he knew of access lane closures to the George Washington Bridge ordered by his staff as apparent political retaliation.

On the other hand, Paul's libertarian views on matters like surveillance by the National Security Agency and his perceived softness on foreign policy has also raised red flags in the GOP establishment. Paul's victories in straw polls at the Conservative Political Action Conference and the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference earlier this month may also have been a factor in the renewed push for a Bush candidacy.

Earlier this week, Bush met privately with casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson and addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition's senior members at a dinner held Thursday at Adelson's company airport hangar. The Post, citing a donor in attendance at the dinner, reported that the crowd of about 60 guests applauded when one told Bush, "I hope you run for President in 2016."

Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush and the son of former President George H.W. Bush, served two terms as governor of Florida between 1999 and 2007. After leaving office, his name was put forward as a possible Senate candidate in 2010 and a presidential candidate in 2012. However, despite the rumors, Bush has remained out of political life.

Bush's advisers told The Post that the former governor was not actively exploring a candidacy and would not make a decision on running until the end of this year.

I'm sure there are many in the Republican Party that would like Jeb Bush to run for President. However, I just don't believe that the country would welcome a Bush back into the White House right now. Jeb's last name hurts him more than just about anything even if that isn't fair.

Could Bush win the Republican Primary? It's possible, but I am one of those who believe that the Republican Party, for now, has moved beyond the Bush camp. I believe Chris Christie has a better shot at becoming President than Jeb Bush right now.

What do you think?

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