john cornyn

It May Have Never Been About Defunding

Many conservatives who consider themselves the real Republicans have been grousing about those damn Tea Partiers; you know, the ones Ted Cruz was trying to appeal to when he filibustered against Obamacare? A calculated risk — because he and probably everyone else  knew defunding was never going to happen — that led almost directly (no offense to a friend of mine who keeps trying to separate the two things) to the nearly two-week shutdown that ended with celebratory high-fives as bureaucrats skipped their way back into work this week.

Just shut-up rabble rousers, they said in kinder terms, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn among them. Because you managed to make us all look bad and get us nothing in return except repeated lectures from the Reid-Pelosi-Obama trifecta.

I make no claims to be a Tea Partier but (with apologies), I don’t hold with Grover Norquist’s assertion that Cruz et al should apologize to their fellow conservatives:

“They hurt the conservative movement, they hurt people’s health care, they hurt the country’s economic situation and they hurt the Republican party,” he says. “And a lot of congressmen and senators are not going to win because we spent three months chasing our own tail — or at least, parts of the conservative movement spent three months chasing their own tail.”

Will Obama mandate biometrics for new guns?

Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent testimony touting biometric technology, like bracelets and fingerprint identification systems, as “common sense” gun control measures has some Republicans concerned about the prospect of yet another executive order from President Obama:

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is warning the Obama administration to not issue an executive order requiring that all new guns be made with biometric technology, such as finger-print recognition or bracelets.
“Your testimony has raised serious concerns for my constituents given President Obama’s track-record of acting beyond the scope of his legal authority and your hostility to the individual right to self-defense under the Second Amendment,” Cornyn wrote. “Is the Obama administration currently exploring the possibility of an executive order requiring all firearms to possess the technology capabilities you referenced in your testimony?”

Cornyn also asked Holder if the administration has any legal standing to make such a requirement on gun features, and expressed concern about how biometric guns could make it easier for the federal government to create a national gun owner database — something Cornyn said would violate privacy rights

Will you assure my constituents and me that, under your supervision, the Department of Justice will not issue regulations requiring law-abiding citizens to equip their firearms with fingerprint-reading technology, or to link them to biometric bracelets?” Cornyn wrote.

Karl Rove tries to connect Tea Party groups to Texas primary

Karl Rove

During a recent appearance on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Karl Rove, a Fox News contributor and former advisor to President George W. Bush, tried to downplay the role some Tea Party groups could have in 2014 Republican primaries by connecting them to an insurgent campaigns that none of them ever backed.

Carlson asked Rove about the “dissention” between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party movement.

“I think you gotta distinguish between the Tea Party sentiment and the Tea Party groups. Look, groups like Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action and FreedomWorks and Club for Growth don’t look like their going to have a particularly good year,” Rove told Carlson. “Our first test will be here in just over a week in Texas, where Senator John Cornyn is being opposed for reelection by Congressman Steve Stockman and Dwayne Stovall, both of whom are trying to capitalize on the Tea Party element.”

Today in Liberty: Texas kicks off 2014 election cycle, foreign policy hawks slam Rand Paul

“Once the principle is admitted that it is duty of government to protect the individual against his own foolishness, no serious objections can be advanced against further encroachments.” — Ludwig von Mises

— Happy Primary Day, Texas: Our friends in the Lone Star State head to the polls today for the first round of congressional primaries for the 2014 election cycle. Jamie Dupree has a run down of some of races in Texas, including incumbents who have challengers. The one race to watch will be in TX-32, where Katrina Pierson is challenging Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX). The conservative activist-turned-candidate has received support from Sarah Palin and several outside groups. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who is facing primary challenges from his right, is expected to win renomination.

— McConnell open to bringing back filibuster: Per The New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) hints that he’s open to restoring the filibuster for executive nominations. “If the American people give us the opportunity to put the Senate under new management, it is an appropriate discussion at that time for the new team that would be taking over the Senate,” McConnell told the Times. “It is a conversation for December.” Senate Democrats gutted the filibuster in November in an effort to distract from the disastrous Obamacare rollout and pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ted Cruz: GOP has to stand on principle to win in 2014

Ted Cruz

At a breakfast hosted by Politico’s Mike Allen, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-KY) predicted that Republicans would see success at the ballot box in the upcoming mid-term elections, in which control of the Senate is on the line.

The comments came near the beginning of the one hour talk between Allen and Cruz. The host had asked if Republicans “are going to do all right by putting all its eggs in the Obamacare basket” as the party approaches the mid-terms.

“I think 2014 is poised to be a very, very strong Republican year,” said Cruz. “I think if the election were held today, Republicans would take the Senate. I think there’s a possibility that it is an election year on the order of the magnitude of 2010.”

“You know, right now, there are probably 11, 12, 13 Senate seats in play. I think we could see a surprising pick up, and I think you’re starting to see a lot of Democrats get very, very nervous.”

Asked what could change Republicans’ electoral prospects, Cruz said “failing to stand for principles,” adding that “people need a reason to show up and vote.”

Poll: John Cornyn cruising to runoff-free reelection, Wendy Davis facing blowout

Sorry, RINO hunters, it looks like you’re going home empty handed this time.

There aren’t many state election polls, but in Texas elections the Tribune is a big one, and their poll results out Monday for statewide races show no big surprises.

Senator John Cornyn, who according to the media narrative is pitched in a tough battle for his seat against insurgent conservatives, secures a solid 62% of Republican primary likely voters. Since all he needs to avoid a runoff is 50% in the primary, he looks comfortably poised to cruise to victory in November.


In the general election, Cornyn looks in no more peril against Democrats, who are likely headed to a runoff, with LaRouche acolyte and perpetual candidate, Kesha Rogers, holding the early plurality. The Tribune provides no direct matchup between Cornyn and Rogers or any other Democrat candidate for Senate, but with a +1 approval rating in a +10 Republican state in an off-year election, Cornyn should be representing the great state of Texas in Washington for another 6 years.

The Tribune poll also gages several other high profile Texas races this year, including governor and lieutenant governor. In the former, current attorney-general Greg Abbott’s lead over state senator Wendy Davis has expanded from 8 points last October to 11 points. In the October poll, when few knew who either candidate was, Abbott had only 29% support to Davis’ 21%. Now that both campaigns are ramping up, Abbott has a strong 47% support and Davis 36%.

TX Senate: Club for Growth won’t get involved in Republican primary

Steve Stockman

The Club for Growth, a conservative organization that advocates for free market policies, said this morning that will not get involved in the Republican Senate primary race in Texas, delivering a blow to Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), who filed papers yesterday to run against incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

“While Congressman Stockman has a pro-economic growth record, so does Senator Cornyn, as witnessed by his 87% lifetime Club for Growth score,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola via an emailed statement.

The Club for Growth has become a prominent player in Republican primary and general election races, endorsing fiscal conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Dave Schweikert (R-AZ), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in their successful campaigns. The organization’s political action committee (PAC) will be a player in the 2014 mid-term, already making endorsements in several races across the country.

“Our PAC evaluates three factors when looking at races that involve incumbents: 1) the strength of the incumbent’s record; 2) the degree of difference between the incumbent and the challenger on economic issues; and 3) the viability of the challenger,” said Chocola. “None of those factors weigh against Senator Cornyn, so we do not expect to be involved in the Texas Senate race.”

TX Senate: Steve Stockman will challenge John Cornyn

photo by Gage Skidmore

Monday was the last day to file to run on the primary ballot in Texas for the 2014 elections, and in typical dramatic Texas fashion, a last minute marquee matchup has emerged.

Rep. Steve Stockman, a long-time Republican in Texas politics elected to Congress for the second time in 2012, has filed to appear on the US Senate ballot and face two-term incumbent Senator John Cornyn. The narrative of Tea Party insurgent vs establishment moderate is already being squeezed through the media sausage factory. However, the reality of the race could be more complicated than that.

John Cornyn has been a US Senator from Texas since 2002, replacing the retiring Phil Gramm. He is “moderate” by no real world definition of the word. He has a 93% life rating from the American Conservative Union (ACU), 79% from FreedomWorks, 86% from Heritage Action (far more than the 67% Senate GOP average), 87% from Club for Growth, and 83% from National Journal.

Poll: Ron Paul would beat John Cornyn in Texas Senate primary

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has been worried about the prospect of a conservative primary challenger, so much so that he brought on staffer who has experience working with the grassroots. He’s also taken a noticeable track to the right, though he’s avoided closely aligning himself to his Tea Party colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

But recent poll, conducted by Gravis Marketing and conservative new outlet Human Events, showed that Cornyn would “lose” a hypothetical primary challenge by former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) by a 10-point margin.

Paul, who didn’t seek re-election to the House last year, would take 44% of the vote, while Cornyn would receive 34%. Twenty-two percent (22%) of the 563 registered voters said they were undecided.

Don’t get your hopes up, Ron Paul fans. This is just a hypothetical. Paul has launched a couple different endeavors lately, including the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and the Ron Paul Channel.

While Cornyn leads in hypothetical match-ups against conservative House members from Texas, including Reps. Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, he trails a “generic Tea Party candidate,” 46/33. Cornyn’s approval rating stands at 46/30, though Cruz enjoys a higher approval rating among Texas Republicans, at 73/16.

Barring a credible conservative primary challenger, it would seem that Cornyn is on the path to winning the GOP nomination, making the seat a lock for Republicans in the 2014 mid-term election.

Harry Reid attempting to push through unnecessary court nominees

An important battle is brewing in the Senate that could send shockwaves through the United States’ judicial system. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is trying to push through three of President Barack Obama’s nominees to fill vacancies on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

While this issue hasn’t received a lot of attention as other political fights over Obamacare and NSA spying are currently raging in Washington, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is one of the most influential courts in the country, holding the responsibility of reviewing regulations and rules written by federal agencies.

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