Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 10, 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.

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Ryan Says There is No Civil War

Paul Ryan went on CBS on Sunday and according to POLITICO said that there is no civil war in the Republican Party.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says there's no civil war in the Republican Party.

"I don't think there's really this vast civil war in the Republican Party like many in the left like to suggest there is," the Wisconsin Republican said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation." "I think we're a party with a vibrant debate, adding ideas, solving problems, and I think we're going to be OK."

Ryan claimed the differences within his party weren't based around ideological goals, just over how best to achieve them.

"We are not having this agreement with each other on principles or even policies," he said. "The biggest disagreements that have occurred have been really over tactics. And so I think that we should all put it in perspective."

I think Paul Ryan is both right and wrong. Ryan is correct in that the disagreements have been over tactics for the most part. However, that is a huge argument and a reason why Republicans have been split. There have been numerous stories about Republican Senators like John McCain who can't Ted Cruz because of his tactics. There are many Republican voters who are upset with John Cornyn because of his... tactics. While Paul Ryan is correct in that the fight hasn't been about goals, it seems he underestimates just how passionate voters are about the tactics used to achieve those goals. Sadly, it makes Paul Ryan seem out of touch.

Time to Drop Out?

Is there an effort underway by some in Texas to get candidates to drop out of runoff elections? According to the Texas Tribune, that is what an email says from one of the state's largest law firms.

An email from a lobbyist at one of the state's largest law firms suggests there may be efforts underway to persuade three second-place Republican primary finishers, including incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, to withdraw from the May runoffs.

In a message sent to clients on Friday, Robert Miller, the chairman of Locke Lord's public law division, wrote that only the "hardcore of the hardcore will vote" in the May Republican primary runoffs and that he believed the races for comptroller, attorney general and lieutenant governor "are over before they start."

"Efforts are underway and will intensify to have Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, Rep. [Dan] Branch, and Rep. [Harvey] Hilderbran drop out of the races," wrote Miller. "I don’t know whether these efforts will succeed, but I am certain that money will rapidly begin moving to [Dan] Patrick, [Ken] Paxton and [Glenn] Hegar. I am in the process of organizing major Houston fundraisers for each of them."

Dewhurst cleared just 28 percent of the vote in the March primary. Challenger Dan Patrick, a state senator from Houston, finished ahead by a 14-point margin. Attorney general hopeful Ken Paxton finished over Dan Branch by an 11-point margin for the open seat. In the race for comptroller, Glenn Hegar was less than 100 votes from avoiding a runoff in unofficial tallies, with Harvey Hilderbran trailing at a distant second with just under 27 percent of the vote.

"I assessed the situation and that’s my assessment of where we are," Miller said in a phone interview. "You are seeing the big money Republicans move."

According to filings with the Texas Ethics Commission, Miller's law firm has contributed $6,000 to Dewhurst and $10,000 to Patrick since June 2013. In that period, the firm also gave $15,000 to Hegar and $25,000 to Barry Smitherman, a third candidate for attorney general who finished last in the primary.

The Dewhurst, Branch and Hilderbran campaigns told The Texas Tribune on Friday that they intended to continue to the May runoffs.

Dewhurst spokesman Travis Considine said the incumbent had not been asked to drop out.

"He’s been receiving calls from the grassroots leaders that supported him in the primary," said Considine.

Enrique Marquez, a spokesman for the Branch campaign, questioned Miller's judgment, noting that Miller had predicted in November that Branch would not be in a runoff at all.

Marquez said he expects "Mr. Miller to be wrong once again."

Shortly after the story from the Texas Tribune hit, Harvey Hilderbran dropped out of the possible runoff election.

It is not surprising that some would want many of these runoff elections to be over, but I just don't see Dewhurst or Branch dropping out. Both have spent a lot of money and I believe that both think they can win. For my own selfish reasons, I hope they don't drop out. Why? Well, I think the runoff contests in the AG and Lt. Gov campaigns will be ruthlessly great.

Other Top Stories:

Rand Paul Wins CPAC Poll 

Ted Cruz Disagrees With Rand Paul on Foreign Policy 

Iowa Poll Looks at Perry and Others 

DMN: Hard Right Push by Texas GOP Won't Help Democrats Yet 


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