Wednesday, March 29, 2017

From the Texas Tribune: Analysis: One (Texas) official to rule them all

Is there a plot underway to concentrate power in the states?

- Click here for the article.

In the old days — we're talking way back, in the pre-2015 era — every mayor in the United States of America wanted to be governor and then president and then the face on a nickel or a dime or a two-dollar bill.
Maybe the office of governor should be the end game for every lowly politician who looks at the mirror in the morning and sees a superstar smiling back. Greg Abbott seems to be arguing for a consolidation of political power, what with his goal of moving federal power to the states and with his strong new pitch to make him a sort of mayor-in-chief of all the cities, towns, settlements and camps in the state.

Read on.

For more: Mega-rich conservative donors are behind Texas' obsession with amending the Constitution.

. . . experts say for the first time in decades, the convention of states movement may stand a remote chance of becoming reality thanks, in part, to the support of mega-rich conservative donors who have given millions to Abbott and other Texas Republicans.
“It’s a realistic possibility. It’s terrifying, but it is a realistic possibility,” said Anthony Gutierrez, executive director of Common Cause Texas, a nonpartisan government accountability group that opposes the convention of states movement.
Mark Meckler, president of the Convention of States Project, said he learned of the governor’s fervor for the convention during that speech and offered his organization's help. The Convention of States Project is a nonprofit that launched in 2013 to gin up support nationwide for a convention that would limit federal powers.

Dunn — both individually and through Empower Texans, a political action committee that is primarily funded by him — has contributed more than $5 million to far-right Texas Republicans since 2010, according to campaign finance records. Dunn donated $30,000 to Abbott. Empower Texans gave more than $25,000 to Sen. Brian Birdwell, who is championing the convention legislation in the upper chamber. And Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has gotten nearly $650,000 from Dunn and Empower Texans.
The influence of Dunn and Empower Texans has been most palpable in the Texas House. Last year, Empower Texans plowed more than $1.4 million into campaigns for ultraconservative House candidates.

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