U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan spent lunch last Friday at a Wimberley ranch, raising money for the GOP efforts to hold the House this coming fall.
Texas House Speaker Joe Straus introduced his national counterpart, who sported a Green Bay Packers polo shirt.
The audience included more than 100 donors, according to a source attending. Price of admission ranged between $2,700 to $244,000 and two GOP sources confirmed the event raised more than $500,000 for Ryan's joint fundraising committee.
Since he assumed the gavel, Ryan has raised millions of dollars in Texas. There is only one competitive Congressional race in the state, the 23rd District. U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio, currently holds the seat and attended the event. He faces former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine. Several other Texas GOP Congressmen were also in attendance.
Because of the paucity of competitive seats, Texas' main role in the fall campaigns is just this: funding the national campaigns to save dozens of vulnerable incumbents around the country.
Also late last week, the Donald Trump presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee named nine state victory finance chairs in Texas, most of whom are already known to be raising money for Trump. The newer additions include Gigi and Carl Allen, as well as John Steinmetz.
Five of the state victory finance chairs have been named presidential trustees, giving them more heft in Trump's fundraising operation: the Allens, Andy Beal, Doug Deason and Dennis Nixon.
The House Democratic campaign arm will soon air cable and digital ads with an aim of tying House Republicans to Trump.
The campaign will target CD-23's Will Hurd, but the ads do not name him directly.
U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced the advertising blitz will have a seven-figure buy behind it. It will be a national buy but target 10 districts with vulnerable Republican incumbents, including CD-23.
Hurd has declined to endorse Trump.
One of the DCCC advertisements features a succession of people who claim to be Republicans and rail against Trump. The other ad compares Trump to a childhood bully and urges Republicans to stand up to the bully.
A delegate to the Republican National Convention from Texas penned an open letter to party chairman Reince Priebus defending the efforts of some Republicans to organize an ouster of the party's presumptive nominee for president.
Her message: "Dear Chairman Priebus, don’t freak out. We are working to save you from yourself."
Sondra Ziegler of Lubbock, a delegate from Texas' Congressional District 19, disparaged Donald Trump in the letter, arguing that delegates should be given the "right to vote their conscience," and against Trump, at the party's upcoming convention in Cleveland.
Ziegler is bound to support U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in Cleveland but indicated that she would vote for "whoever might be nominated that has the best chance of beating Donald Trump in that vote” if allowed.
"I understand the position you hold, and your belief that you are duty-bound to (nearly daily) embarrass yourself by attempting to embrace Donald," Ziegler wrote to Priebus. "But those of us who are delegates have a different role. Our Party rules say the delegates are the 'highest authority' of the Convention. It is the delegates who choose our nominee. So along with other delegates, I am working to save you from yourself."
The aim of the new law, the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act of 2016, orders federal agencies to be more open to public queries about government business.
“One of our country’s hallmark values is a commitment to open and transparent government, and today is an important step towards ensuring the American people can hold their government accountable,” Cornyn said in a statement.
And in a nod to a Democratic ally on the bill, he praised U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
“I appreciate Senator Leahy’s partnership on this bill and I am pleased to see it become law today," Cornyn added.