Redistricting: Phone a Friend

At one point in the most recent redistricting hearings in San Antonio, the judges asked the lawyers in the room if anyone would object if they called their counterparts on a Washington, D.C. court for a quick conversation about the progress of the case.

Nobody objected, and when the judges were back, they didn't say what, if anything, they'd found out.

This week, they put out a public signal, and the judges in Washington did the judges in San Antonio a favor, telling them via a procedural order that the D.C. panel won't be ruling on its part of the Texas redistricting case for a month.

That looked to some like a delay. But it's actually the answer to a question asked by the San Antonio judges during a hearing last week: How fast is Washington moving?

Now that they know the answer, the San Antonio judges know they can draw redistricting maps without looking over their shoulder.

The three judges in San Antonio had several things to worry about when they met a week ago. The U.S. Supreme Court threw out their legislative and congressional redistricting maps, saying they should have used the Legislature's maps as a starting point. The Supremes also gave them a prescription for how to proceed if the Legislature's maps haven't received preclearance from that Washington court.

The Washington panel of three federal judges was holding hearings on preclearance, though. The Texas judges ran a risk if they started drawing again. If the Washington ruling was imminent, the Texas judges had reason to wait. They could take the Washington ruling, pull it into their findings and draw a map based on the mix. If there were no election deadlines looming, that would be the normal course of things.

If they waited and the Washington court was slow to rule, they'd be unnecessarily putting off the elections.

Lastly, if they decided to draw maps and then got a Washington ruling that conflicted with their work, they'd have another mess on their hands.

So this latest order from Washington clarifies things. A ruling won't come quickly. It's safe for the Texas judges to make their guesses (using the Supreme Court's instructions) about what the Washington court will do and to go ahead and draw maps.

Redistricting: The Court Schedule

In their latest order, issued on Thursday, the Texas redistricting judges said they're ready to draw maps. They gave the parties a week to file briefs that'll be consulted during the mapmaking, to list out the places where they agree and disagree.

"The parties should assume that this court will announce interim maps before any decision is rendered by the D.C. court..." they said in the order.

The papers are due at the end of the day on February 10, with responses due on the following Monday, February 13. And they'll hear arguments and confer with the lawyers on Wednesday, February 15.

The parties are still talking to each other, as the judges asked them to do, to try to reach agreement on new maps or partial maps. Those talks have surged and sputtered along, but the parties haven't announced any results.

A week ago, the judges told the parties that if they hadn't come to some understanding by Monday, February 6, that it would be impossible to have congressional and legislative elections on April 3 as scheduled.

Redistricting: The Primaries

The Texas panel, which includes U.S. District Judges Orlando Garcia and Xavier Rodriguez, and Jerry Smith of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals still must decide when to hold the state's primary elections, and whether the primaries should be split to allow Texans to take part in presidential elections early while giving the courts time to draw maps for the other elections, and election administrators time to set up those elections.

It appears certain that most of the primary elections, already moved to April 3 from March 6, will be delayed again. Several dates were informally suggested in court, including April 17, May 29 and June 26.

That prompted the judges to ask whether Texans would still have a voice in selecting presidential nominees if the elections were pushed back. That's one of two possible rationales for a split primary; the other is that the political parties need to hold precinct elections and conventions in advance of their state conventions in early June.

One way to solve both problems is to hold presidential and party elections in early April and everything else from U.S. Senate down to county elections on a later date. And since presidential and party elections don't require runoffs, that split would only create one new primary election instead of a primary and a runoff.

Even so, it would be expensive and, according to some of the lawyers, would suppress voter participation.

"We believe that a split primary would not be in the interest of the minority community or of the electorate in general," said Jose Garza, one of the lawyers for the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. He said separating the presidential race from the rest of the ballot would hurt turnout.

Assistant Attorney General David Mattax said the state wants to have a unified primary, and wants to have it in April. He said the state hasn't appropriated the money for extra elections. That's new: In hearings last month about moving the primaries, the state didn't take a position on whether the primaries should be split or not.

The judges are concerned about the timetable. Election administrators across the state have said they need 60 to 80 days after maps are completed to pull an election together. To put together a May 29 election, for example, they'd need to have maps in hand by mid-March.

Since there are no maps today, April 3 appears to be logistically impossible. "It can't be done," Garza said. He takes the Supreme Court's recent decision to mean the worries of the state parties are "secondary" to the need to hold fair elections. "Those are party issues," Garza said, in response to a question from Smith about the state conventions. "I'm not saying they're not important … but they must take a back seat."

Scott vs. The World

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011

Amid widespread anxiety among school leaders, parents and educators about how schools will meet the increased standards of a new student assessment system with reduced resources, Texas Education Agency commissioner Robert Scott touched off political controversy this week when he told a gathering of 4,000 school officials in Austin that standardized testing had gone too far in Texas.

In what many viewed as a surprising turnabout for Scott, he said that the state testing system has become a "perversion of its original intent" and that he was looking forward to "reeling it back in." The remarks, which mirrored those he made at a State Board of Education meeting last week, have been his most forceful on the topic since the last legislative session, when lawmakers slashed state funding to public education by $4 billion. The budget cuts have spurred at least four different lawsuits against the state from school districts arguing they have not received adequate funding to meet increasingly high state accountability standards

Scott, who received a standing ovation at the end of his address, also predicted that there would be a "backlash" against standardized testing during the next legislative session. But his comments, while popular with superintendents, have already provoked a backlash of their own.

Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, said the commissioner owed lawmakers an explanation. She was "blown away" by the commissioner's remarks in light of his repeated testimony during the legislative session that schools would have enough money to move forward with STAAR.  

"That's a direction I've never heard him take," she said, adding, "He's been the one that's been talking about school accountability over the years. We've all been a part of this. School accountability is something we started many, many years ago, and we believe in it."

The Texas Association of Business, the state's largest business group, took out a full-page ad in the Austin American-Statesman urging lawmakers not to postpone the rollout of the exams. In an interview, Bill Hammond, the group's president and a fierce accountability advocate, called Scott a "cheerleader for mediocrity."

Hammond said that the fact that the state was forced to reduce funding to education was not a reason to retreat on accountability standards for schools.   

"Every time we've gone through this, the standard has been met, and it has resulted in a better educated work force," Hammond said. "I do not understand Commissioner Scott's making excuses for the educators." 

Campaign Chatter

The Texas AFL-CIO's political arm endorsed former state Sen. Paul Sadler of Henderson in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, and knocked off one of his rivals in the process. The labor group heard from three of the Democratic candidates at their COPE convention last weekend, including Sadler, Daniel Boone and Jason Gibson.

That endorsement apparently spurred Gibson, who heads the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, to get out of the race. He was counting on labor to put his statewide bid together; without that, he's out, saying he will back Sadler.

• The state's biggest labor organization also endorsed Democrat Keith Hampton for presiding judges of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The current presiding judge, Republican Sharon Keller, is seeking reelection.

Scott O'Grady, the former fighter pilot seeking office for the first time, dropped his bid for the Texas Senate, leaving that Republican primary open to state Rep. Ken Paxton, who had all but wrapped up the local political support and who's got more than $850,000 in his campaign account. The two were vying for the seat now held by Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, who's not seeking reelection.

O'Grady's exit notice: "I would like to thank all of my supporters and citizens of North Texas for their encouragement. At this time due to the uncertainty of a primary election date from redistricting I am suspending my campaign for the Texas State Senate. I will continue to concentrate on championing conservative values and volunteering to make Texas a vibrant and prosperous state for all to live. God's blessings, Scott."

He made another exit after the official one, telling the Plano Star-Courier that Shapiro had promised to back him and then pulled the rug. Shapiro told the paper she'd made no such promise and had recently advised O'Grady to reconsider since Paxton appeared to be locking things up.

• Paxton picked up an endorsement from TEXPAC, the political action committee of the Texas Medical Association.

• Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones decided to ask the state's top lawyer to decide whether declaring San Antonio as her residence violates a constitutional provision that requires statewide officeholders to reside in the capitol. Jones, a former House member from San Antonio, is challenging state Sen. Jeff Wentworth in the Republican primary.

Wentworth has challenged her on residency, saying she either lives in Austin, which isn't in the Senate district, or she lives in San Antonio, which would — in his reading of the law — require her to quit her statewide post. Jones, hoping to put it aside as a campaign issue, is asking Attorney General Greg Abbott for his official opinion. She says Wentworth isn't reading the constitution correctly, and with the letter, she can tell voters in the district she's waiting for the official word from Abbott. On the other hand, Wentworth can tell voters that even the commissioner doesn't know the answer about where she's supposed to live, and had to ask the state's top lawyer. That fight goes on.

• Gov. Rick Perry's first glitzy public appearance since the presidential race will be on Monday, when he and First Lady Anita Perry appear at the annual Reagan dinner and fundraiser for the Williamson County GOP. He'll speak after an introduction by Dewhurst. The evening's emcee? A George Washington impersonator named Michael Collins.

• Bragging rights: El Paso's Beto O'Rourke, who's challenging U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes for the Democratic nomination for Congress, out-raised the incumbent $221,704 to $177,344 during the fourth quarter of the year. He's still behind overall, though, having raised $247,608 to the incumbent's $710,669 for this election cycle.

In Dallas, where longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson has drawn two primary challengers, Taj Clayton led in the finance department in the fourth quarter, raising $216,253. Johnson raised less than half that amount — $95,186 — but ended up with more in the bank. State Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway raised $15,741. She ended the year with $413 in the bank.

• Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst got the endorsement of the National Association of Realtors' political action committee, which was going on the recommendation, he says, of the Texas Association of Realtors. He also announced an endorsement from the Texas Retailers Association PAC. Dewhurst is chasing the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate. He also released an online ad featuring an endorsement from Michael Reagan, son of the late president.

• Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman got endorsements from four former commissioners, all Republicans: Victor Carrillo, Charles Matthews, Michael Williams, and Barry Williamson.

• Tom Pauken, the chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission and a former chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, endorsed Randy Stevenson, who's challenging State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff in the Republican primary.

• Republican House candidate Bennett Ratliff of Coppell won the endorsement of the guy he wants to replace. State Rep. Jim Jackson, R-Carrollton, says he interviewed all of the Republicans who want to succeed him in the Texas House and found them "all good, well-meaning conservatives who can do the job if elected." That said, he decided to endorse Ratliff and to contribute to his campaign.

Philip Cortez, a former city councilman running for state representative in San Antonio's HD-117, won the endorsement of the San Antonio AFL-CIO, the city's Firefighters' and Police Officers' associations and the Bexar County Deputy Sheriff's Association. Cortez is one of three Democrats hoping to challenge Republican Rep. John Garza.

• State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, says he won the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and got an "A" on that group's report card. Ron Simmons, a Republican running for the seat being vacated by state Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, got an "A" from the group, which has not yet endorsed anyone in that HD-65 race.

Inside Intelligence: The Primaries

With the courts in between decisions, we turned to the insiders for opinions about the coming primary elections, with three things in mind: Whether the state's opinion will matter in the presidential race, what a split primary would do to voter turnout and who might benefit, and when — in a perfect world — Texas should hold its primary elections.

The insiders are split down the middle on that first question, with 46 saying the Republican presidential nomination will be decided by April 3, the date currently set for the Texas primary.

The courts have talked about splitting the primaries, holding the presidential primary and the elections of party officials in April and delaying everything else on the ballot until later. Most of the insiders think voter turnout would suffer in both party primaries. What's more, 58 percent think the ideologues in each party would be the main beneficiaries, followed by 28 percent who think incumbents would benefit most.

The insiders were split (again) on the question of when to hold the primaries, with 29 percent choosing March — the current date when the lawyers aren't arguing over redistricting — and 30 percent choosing May, when the state's primaries used to be conducted.

We asked the insiders for comments as they went through the survey, and a complete set of their answers is attached. Here's a sampling:

.

Do you think the race for the Republican presidential nomination will still be undecided on April 3 — the current date for the Texas primary?

• "Undecided in that Romney will not have the delegates needed to secure the nomination, but all but decided by then."

• "Technically, it will be undecided since Newt and Paul will still be in it. Practically, the race was decided last summer when Romney was the best thing to show up."

• "Romney will be a persistent winner with victory sweeps in February and major wins in March, but proportional allocation of delegates can drag the race on."

• "Only on paper -- in that it won't be decided mathematically. However, I think Romney should be a shoe-in by then. The problem is that Ron Paul and possibly Gingrich won't concede until they're mathematically eliminated."

• "Look back to '08 in the race between Obama and Clinton; it was well into June before Clinton decided to step aside and give up her delegates."

• "It's all over 'cept for the formalities."

• "Romney will wrap it up after Super Tuesday, March 6 -- the original date of the Texas primary"

• "I don't think it will be decided until the convention."

.

If the presidential primary is separated from the congressional and legislative primaries, will turnout suffer?

• "Turnout suffers most if primaries are pushed to the summer. But voter fatigue sets in with two primaries and a possible primary runoff for U.S. Senate."

• "Who is going to show up to vote for Obama in an uncontested single-office primary?"

• "Ain't all politics "local"? Congressional and legislative races will hold their own."

• "Americans like voting for the Top Dog, not the pack."

• "Hard enough to get people out for one election...imagine 2 within a few weeks? Fuggetaboutit"

• "No question about it. Our "presidential" primaries will have the turnout of gubernatorial primaries -- and likely worse (10-20%)"

• "Democrats don't have any races anyway"

.

If turnout in the primaries is relatively low, who'll benefit?

• "Incumbents always hold the advantage."

• "Partisans are the group most motivated to vote."

• "More time to raise money"

• "A low turnout favors the most committed, who tend to be ideological"

• "Diehards will rule!"

• "Specifically, lower turnout in the GOP primaries this cycle appear to benefit incumbents or establishment candidates. Florida had a notable drop in turnout and was very establishment oriented of the early primaries. While there is very strong discontent among a vocal element on both sides, it doesn't seem to be translating into primary votes the way it did in 2010."

.

Redistricting has already delayed the Texas primaries once and could delay them again, raising an old question about when the primaries ought to be held. What's your preference?

• "Separate Pres primary in January"

• "It is an interesting trade out: shorter primary season or shorter general election season?"

• "Earlier means TX matters. The longer we delay the less important we become on the national stage."

• "Closer to the general is better, but realistically the latest it can be is May. No one would pay attention to a campaign over the summer."

• "We moved them up to be relevant in the presidential race, we haven't been. Let's move them back."

• "Primaries in March with a general in November means we get the summer off. Why mess with that???"

• "Keeping primary and general elections closer together makes for easier campaign cycle and less $$ spent by candidates."

• "The date of the primaries is not nearly as important as the composition of the districts."

• "If Texas would adopt an instant runoff, I'd be for with early September. But the space required between the primaries under the MOVE act makes anything later than May unrealistic, unless you want to vote in the summer when people are often attending to other things."

Our thanks to this week's participants: Gene Acuna, Cathie Adams, Brandon Aghamalian, Clyde Alexander, Doc Arnold, Jay Arnold, Charles Bailey, Mike Barnett, Walt Baum, Dave Beckwith, Luke Bellsnyder, Rebecca Bernhardt, Allen Blakemore, Tom Blanton, Hugh Brady, Steve Bresnen, Chris Britton, Lydia Camarillo, Kerry Cammack, Marc Campos, Thure Cannon, Snapper Carr, Tris Castaneda, Corbin Casteel, William Chapman, Elizabeth Christian, Elna Christopher, George Cofer, Rick Cofer, Harold Cook, Randy Cubriel, Hector De Leon, Tom Duffy, David Dunn, Richard Dyer, Jeff Eller, Alan Erwin, John Esparza, Jon Fisher, Bruce Gibson, Eric Glenn, Jack Gullahorn, Clint Hackney, Wayne Hamilton, Bill Hammond, Sandy Haverlah, Albert Hawkins, Adam Haynes, Susan Hays, Jim Henson, Ken Hodges, Billy Howe, Kathy Hutto, Shanna Igo, Deborah Ingersoll, Cal Jillson, Jason Johnson, Mark Jones, Walt Jordan, Richard Khouri, Tom Kleinworth, Ramey Ko, Pete Laney, Dick Lavine, James LeBas, Donald Lee, Luke Legate, Leslie Lemon, Ruben Longoria, Homero Lucero, Vilma Luna, Matt Mackowiak, Phillip Martin, Bryan Mayes, Dan McClung, Parker McCollough, Mike McKinney, Robert Miller, Bee Moorhead, Craig Murphy, Keir Murray, Pat Nugent, Sylvia Nugent, Nef Partida, Gardner Pate, Jerry Philips, Tom Phillips, Royce Poinsett, Jay Propes, Ted Melina Raab, Bill Ratliff, Tim Reeves, Luis Saenz, Mark Sanders, Andy Sansom, Jim Sartwelle, Stan Schlueter, Steve Scurlock, Bradford Shields, Dee Simpson, Ed Small, Martha Smiley, Todd Smith, Larry Soward, Dennis Speight, Jason Stanford, Bob Strauser, Colin Strother, Michael Quinn Sullivan, Sherry Sylvester, Jay Thompson, Russ Tidwell, Trent Townsend, Trey Trainor, Ware Wendell, Ken Whalen, Darren Whitehurst, Ellen Williams, Seth Winick, Peck Young, Angelo Zottarelli

 

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

A convicted murderer serving time at a state prison in Beeville is suing the state for the right to grow a beard. Kenneth Hickman claims the beard is a requirement of his religion, Islam, but prison officials have not allowed him to grow any facial hair. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice mandates that inmates be clean-shaven because beards, it says, hinder officers' ability to identify prisoners and can provide a hiding place for weapons and contraband.

Texas’ science curriculum has been awarded a grade of "C" from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute — an improvement from the "F" it got two years ago from the National Center for Science Education. The state's standards are too vague and largely ignore evolution, particularly in middle school, according to the Fordham study. Evolution standards that famously provoked battles on the State Board of Education in 2009 have been assessed as acceptable at the high school level but were criticized as not providing students with a foundation to adequately handle the material. Texas’ grade put it ahead of 27 other states.

Attorneys for Craig James, the former ESPN analyst now running for U.S. Senate, who want to depose publishers of two books that portray James negatively get a hearing on March 7. The books, related to allegations by James against former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach, were both published by out-of-state companies, which claim they are not subject to Texas’ jurisdiction. James contends the books are defamatory.

The director of the Emerging Technology Fund told the Senate Committee on Economic Development that some of the state's newest reporting requirements may be too intrusive. More than 100 companies have received money from the fund since its creation in 2005 and have created 820 jobs. The companies have objected to requirements that job creation results be reported, and director Jonathan Taylor said such information could benefit companies' competitors.

Record drought across Texas has forced restrictions on water use across the state. Recent rainfall may not be enough to change that. After storms last week dumped water into some reservoirs, increasing their volume by as much as 15 percent, the Tarrant County Regional Water Board said it is waiting to see what the spring and summer will bring. Wholesale customers like the city of Fort Worth are also reluctant to change any restrictions, fearing that it will confuse consumers if limitations need to be reimposed. The long-range forecast is for lower-than-normal rainfall to continue.

After a high-profile denunciation by Rush Limbaugh and the severing of a deal to write a chapter in Newt Gingrich’s upcoming book, Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe has found herself deluged with hate mail. Gingrich’s co-author had asked Hayhoe, the director of Texas Tech’s Climate Science Center and widely regarded as an expert on climate-projection models and regional impacts of climate change, to write a chapter of their book on environmental issues. After Limbaugh criticized her, the offer was withdrawn, and Hayhoe began to receive countless emails attacking her personally.

A state district court has dismissed a case filed against Range Resources for contaminating a homeowner’s well with methane gas. Judge Trey Loftin outlined the lack of legal standing in the suit brought by Steve and Shyla Lipsky, contending that because the Texas Railroad Commission ruled that Range was not responsible for the contaminated well, the couple cannot sue the company. His ruling directed the couple to challenge the findings of the Railroad Commission, although the deadline for appealing that decision is long past. The couple’s sole recourse now, if they want to pursue it, is to file an appeal with the 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth.

Several thousand protesters held a march and rally at the state Capitol last weekend to mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Speakers including Attorney General Greg Abbott promised to keep fighting for abortion restrictions and pointed to the success of the state’s new sonogram law. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the law and gave the state the green light to enforce it.

Political People and their Moves

Julie Caruthers Parsley and Bryan Hebert are fronting the new Texas Conservative Roundtable, which they describe as a conservative advocacy group, backed by businesses and trade groups, to try to reach consensus on things like tax policy, infrastructure and education issues.

They won't have a political action committee, but plan to be active during election season with social media and grassroots and possibly some advertising. During legislative sessions, they'll be an advocacy group, speaking to voters and groups around the state and to the people in the Pink Building.

Parsley, an attorney and former Public Utility Commissioner, comes in as president; Hebert, an attorney most recently with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, will be executive director.

They're still organizing and won't yet name sponsors or backers. The setup resembles that of other advocacy groups around state government; they say the roundtable isn't intended to be a counter to any particular group. That said, they also are talking about issues that have been corked in recent years by officeholders' reluctance to come up with new funding for roads, the state's water plan, or other programs.

Jay Kimbrough, the former deputy chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, has has been hired as an assistant director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Adam Jones is leaving the Texas Education Agency, where he was deputy commissioner and COO for the Weaver and Tidwell accounting firm, where he'll be director of state government services. He's been in that TEA job since 2003 and worked on the Senate Education Committee before joining TEA.

Former state Rep. Nathan Macias, R-Bulverde, is joining the Texas Public Policy Foundation as a senior policy analyst.

Gov. Rick Perry appointed Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, to the Medicaid Reform Waiver Legislative Oversight Committee.

Perry appointed three members to the Finance Commission of Texas. Darby Byrd Sr. of Orange is the retired president and CEO of Orange Savings Bank and the current vice chairman of the bank’s board of directors. H. “Jay” Shands III of Lufkin is president and CEO of First Bank and Trust East Texas and board chairman of First Bank of Conroe and Balcones Recycling. Victor Leal of Amarillo is president and CEO of V. Leals’s Management and Leal’s Mexican Restaurants and is former mayor of Muleshoe.

Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, announced House appointments to the Medicaid Reform Waiver Legislative Oversight Committee: Reps. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston; Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe; Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham; and John Zerwas, R-Richmond.

Straus also announced appointments to the Joint Interim Committee to Study Alzheimer's Disease. Straus appointed Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, as co-chairman of the committee, and the committee members include Reps. Helen Giddings, D-Dallas; Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving; Susan King, R-Abilene; and Marisa Marquez, D-El Paso.

Deaths: Former state Rep. Ed Watson, D-Deer Park. He was 91.

Quotes of the Week

We have had lines that go one way, lines that go another way. We've had candidates in, candidates out. I keep raising my hand going, 'Excuse me. I'm here. I'm not going anywhere.'

Rodney Anderson, R-Grand Prairie, on redistricting, in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

ore here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/01/29/3696484/texas-political-campaigns-cant.html#storylink=cpy

I believe Hispanics have been used as scapegoats, to say, they're the problem instead of being a symptom maybe of a problem with the welfare state. In Nazi Germany they had to have scapegoats to blame, and they turned on the Jews.

Ron Paul to a largely Hispanic crowd in Nevada on Wednesday

When you take all the non-Romney votes, it’s very likely that at the convention there will be a non-Romney majority and maybe a very substantial one. My job is to convert that into a Gingrich majority.

Newt Gingrich to Politico on his post-Florida strategy, which includes amassing delegates in Southern states, including Texas

It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. … He would proof it.

Renae Hathway, a former secretary for the company that published the inflammatory newsletters Ron Paul produced in the 1990s, to The Washington Post

In this country, everyone has the ability to pick and choose exactly what they do. I don't judge people. That's their ability.

U.S. Senate candidate Craig James on gay marriage, in a radio interview on Thursday