Local Races Open Thread: Beto vs. Cruz, #TrueToForm

Reports from last night’s debate:

And then…

Goal Thermometer

Texas Brawlin’ Open Thread: Betting on Beto

You know the Repubs are worried when they start the blatant ratfvcking this early. Per the Dallas News:

A person masquerading as a volunteer for Beto O’Rourke apparently sent text messages to voters Wednesday to give the impression the Democrat’s Senate campaign was seeking help to take “undocumented immigrants” to the polls.

A spokesman for O’Rourke’s campaign attributed the texts to “an impostor,” the Austin American-Statesman reported, and said campaign officials were looking into what happened.

“Hi, it’s Patsy here w/Beto for Texas,” the text said. “Our records indicate that you’re a supporter. We are in search of volunteers to help transport undocumented immigrants to polling booths so that they will be able [sic] vote. Would you be able to support this grassroots effort?”

Word of the messages quickly circulated on social media, prompting the campaign to follow up with another text message explaining that the impostor had signed on as a volunteer and then sent the unauthorized messages…

Even Chris ‘the Mad Bitcher’ Cillizza is excited — “Yes, the Texas Senate race is for real”:

Cillizza: It’s post-Labor Day. Is this race as close as most polling suggests?

[Texas Tribune CEO Evan] Smith:
Well, it’s close, and more importantly it’s closer than nearly every general election race in Texas has been for several decades. There is general agreement among pollsters and political observers that O’Rourke is trailing by mid-high single digits. By contrast, the Democrat running for governor is behind by twice that amount or more. O’Rourke has raised more money than Cruz and has more cash on hand, meaning can he get his name ID up and his message out in a very expensive state. He is already getting tons of free media. But Texas is a red state, and that’s the mountain he has to scale. The odds are still against him, though they’ve improved…

Cillizza: Cruz seems to be worried. They have started attacking Beto over being in a band, wearing a dress and a past (known) DUI. Is this a sudden panic?
Smith: They’re definitely sounding the alarm. Not sure it’s panic quite yet. O’Rourke is still relatively unknown, so they’re trying to define him in character terms before he can define himself. Oldest trick in the book. They’re betting that his younger, wilder days will be a turn-off. Hmm, where have I heard that phrase before? Oh, right, George W. Bush. Who won the presidency. For this strategy to be successful, you’d have to believe there are voters who are toying with voting for O’Rourke but won’t because HE WAS IN A PUNK ROCK BAND. I’m not sure this is a “Footloose” election cycle…

Goal Thermometer

CPAC Open Thread: Social Notes from the Clown Parade


Why I love Twitter, for days like this…

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Russiagate Open Thread: Trump Is Really Angry At “His” Government

Yeah, he’d be just about as terrible to everyone-not-a-rich-Republican as the Malevolent Leprechaun, but I’m not sure Cruz could even get confirmed, given how much his colleagues do not love him.

And it could be argued that, while his intentions are equally horrible, Cruz doesn’t have Jefferson Beauregard Session III’s lifelong bone-deep Confederate indoctrination to help him disguise his deep-seated racism.

Props to the CBC, though:

I wanna do a Jared ‘Simple Tootsie from the Country’ Kushner post, but there’s TOO MUCH BREAKING NEWS. How do the paid professionals keep up? (answer: they’re paid to do so!)

Open Thread: Good News on the Preserving-Obamacare Front?

Doubt I’m the only one getting a “Throw it to Ted, everybody hates him already” vibe on this one. But if Ted ‘The Anointed One’ Cruz is vain enough to jump at being elected fall guy, who are we Democrats to argue?

The original bill is ‘dead.’ That’s what Cassidy said on “Fox News Sunday,” and McCain suggested similarly on “Face the Nation,” with the caveat that “it’s probably going to be dead.”…

— Ted Cruz is top salesman for new plan. The Texas senator will be touting his amendment across the week, suggesting that his and Sen. Mike Lee’s support is contingent on including the provision. The Washington Post reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may ask Cruz to speak to senators as soon as Tuesday…

… Cruz is mounting a defiant defense of his amendment and the need to get an ACA repeal done. “Failure is not an option,” the Texas senator said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

But he’s taking a more confrontational approach to winning support, saying on ABC’s “This Week” that Grassley was borrowing his talking points from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a serious charge in GOP circles.

“The Consumer Freedom option is the key to bringing Republicans together and getting this passed,” Cruz said. “What’s being repeated [by Grassley] is what Chuck Schumer said this week.”…

Kudos to Cole and his fellow West Virginians for spooking Capito-Moore Moore Capito (thank you, JR in WV) into voicing a no, too.

Comic Relief Open Thread: Ted Cruz, Reaping What He Sowed

Remember the old line about “We’ve already established you’re a whore; now we’re just haggling over your fee”? Well, Ted Cruz sold himself early, while the market was hot. What with all the breaking Trump news, I never got the chance to post Politico‘s story — Cruz profited off Trump well before endorsing him“:

It took Ted Cruz four months and three weeks of “careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience” to declare publicly that he would vote for Donald Trump.

He made the decision to profit by selling his supporter list to Trump far faster than that.

Just six weeks after he dropped out – and more than a month before Cruz would dramatically snub the nominee at the Republican National Convention – the senator quietly began renting his vast donor email file to his former rival, pocketing at least tens of thousands of dollars, and more likely hundreds of thousands, that can be used to bankroll the Texan’s own political future…

The exact details of Trump’s financial arrangement with Cruz are unclear, and loose federal record-keeping makes it impossible to verify. But an email rate sheet obtained by POLITICO shows that Cruz asks campaigns to pay more than $22,000 for the right to send a single email his list of 280,000 digital donors. He charges more than $51,000 to ping his full email file of 1.28 million supporters. Because Trump has rented Cruz’s list so often, he is almost surely receiving a negotiated discount from the list price, industry veterans say.

“You are just a send away from reaching the most engaged and generous supporters in Republican presidential primary history,” the Cruz rate sheet says. More than $20 million was raised from Cruz’s email list, it says.

Since he exited the presidential race in May, Cruz’s campaign committee has reported a total of roughly $290,000 in list rental income, Federal Election Commission records show. Trump’s campaign directly rented Cruz’s list five times in June and since early July his joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee — which gives 80 percent of its proceeds to Trump — has rented the Cruz’s list more than 25 times…

In addition to paying to rent Cruz’s list, his campaign has offered some candidates the ability to strike so-called “revenue-sharing” agreements where, unbeknownst to the donor, Cruz and the renter split the donation. The rate sheet suggests Cruz would receive 60 percent of those funds, while the renter would receive 40 percent…

Nowhere in the fine print of the Trump emails does it disclose to recipients that they ended up on the GOP nominee’s email list by previously signing up for Cruz’s list.

After campaigns end, many candidates hire third-party vendors to manage their valuable email lists, paying them a portion of the profits for their services. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who ended his brief presidential campaign deep in debt, has made back $441,000 in list rentals in the last year, FEC records show…

Much more detail at the link — it’s always interesting to see how many behind-the-scene grifters experts get a swig of the mother’s milk of politics.

Early Morning Open Thread: Ted Cruz Slinks ‘Home’ to Trump

Principles! Character!… (craven careerism)

Remember when? The good old days, four months ago?…

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