Tribpedia: Tea Party

The Tea Party is a conservative movement made up of loosely affiliated groups unified around the central principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility.  While most of the various groups that compose the movement agree on the Tea Party principles — limited government, fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, the rule of law and national sovereignty — they often disagree on ...

Bombs Away!

Paul speaking at CPAC 2010.
Paul speaking at CPAC 2010.

In November 2007, when the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Surfside, raised more than $4.2 million in a single day, the grassroots-fueled "money bomb" became part of the national political conversation. But while the tactic was in greater use this cycle, the underwhelming showing of candidates who employed it reveals its limitations.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

E. Smith interviews Gov. Rick Perry for the Trib and Newsweek, Philpott dissects the state's budget mess in a weeklong series, Hamilton looks at whether Bill White is or was a trial lawyer, M. Smith finds experts all over the state anxiously watching a court case over who owns the water under our feet, Aguilar reports on the battle between Fort Stockton and Clayton Williams Jr. over water in West Texas, Ramshaw finds a population too disabled to get on by itself but not disabled enough to get state help and Miller spends a day with a young man and his mother coping with that situation, Ramsey peeks in on software that lets the government know whether its e-mail messages are getting read and who's reading what, a highway commissioner reveals just how big a hole Texas has in its road budget, Grissom does the math on the state's border cameras and learns they cost Texans about $153,800 per arrest, and E. Smith interviews Karen Hughes on the difference between corporate and political P.R. — and whether there's such a thing as "Obama Derangement Syndrome." The best of our best from April 19 to April 23, 2010.

A Conversation with Rick Perry

A Newsweek/Texas Tribune exclusive: The Governor of Texas talks about the Tea Party, his beef with the federal government, health care reform, Mexico, the state budget, redistricting, whether he's an insider or an outsider, what he thinks about the presidency of George W. Bush, and — while we're on the topic — whether he plans to run for the White House himself ... and his answer could not be more definitive.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the fall of Norma Chávez; M. Smith and Ramsey on the runoffs, the results, and the aftermath; Hu on the Tea Party's birthday party; Thevenot and Stiles on the path between schools and prisons; Ramshaw on prosecutors' reaction to helping hands from Austin; Hamilton on self-appointed lawyers; Galbraith on property rights and power lines; Aguilar and Grissom sit down with the mayor of Juárez to talk about his crime-ridden city; Kraft on telling the stories of Texans and other Americans who died in Vietnam; Ramsey on slots and horses and casinos; and Hamilton goes on a field trip with Jim Hightower to hear the history of populism. The best of our best from April 5 to 9, 2010.

The Middle-Finger Vote

It's embodied in the Tea Party movement, in this week's runoff election results from Lubbock and Plano, in last month's primaries, in Gov. Rick Perry's embrace of states' rights and the 10th Amendment, even in Barack Obama's campaign against the status quo in 2008. Voters are furious, and politicians are listening.

A Stronger Brew

The Tea Party movement marked its first anniversary this week, just as its political power began to show in primaries in Texas and across the country. At rallies in Austin on Thursday, members promised to be an even stronger force to be reckoned with come November.
Rep. Delwin Jones (standing) talks to voters in a Lubbock diner.
Rep. Delwin Jones (standing) talks to voters in a Lubbock diner.

The Runoffs: HD-83

Delwin Jones, who was first elected to the Texas House in 1964 after two unsuccessful attempts, says he has handed out 765,000 promotional emery boards since his start in politics. His tenure and those files weren't enough to win a bruising primary outright last month, though, and the veteran legislator now finds himself in a runoff against Tea Party organizer Charles Perry, who's capitalizing on voter anger at incumbents.

The Runoffs: HD-84

The runoff between John Frullo and Mark Griffin shares one important characteristic with the adjacent race in HD-83: It pits inside-the-tent Lubbock Republicans against a coalition of social and libertarian conservatives who are distinctly unhappy with government in Washington and Texas. In that frame, Frullo's the insurgent and Griffin represents the establishment.

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison finally ended the will-she-or-won't-she drama, saying she's staying put through the end of her term in 2012. But ever since she first announced she'd resign, she's been shifting positions. We take a look back.

Kay in 2012?!?

She said she would limit her time in the U.S. Senate to two terms and is currently serving a third. She said she would resign her federal office to run for governor and didn't. She said she would quit after the primary and hasn't. So who's to say she won't reconsider in two years and run for a fourth term? And what of all those would-be successors?

Redistricting Reality

In 2011, political mapmakers will take the latest census numbers (Texas is expected to have a population of more than 25 million) and use them to draw new congressional and legislative districts. The last time this was done, in 2003, Republican mappers took control of the U.S. House by peeling away seats from the Democrats. This time, Texas is poised to add up to four seats to its congressional delegation — and early numbers indicate bad news ahead for West Texas and other areas that haven't kept up with the state's phenomenal growth.

The KDR Development Inc. advertisement that ran in the Panola Watchman
The KDR Development Inc. advertisement that ran in the Panola Watchman

The First Corporate Ad

The first political ads bought by a corporation in Texas appeared in East Texas newspapers just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively ended the state's ban on that kind of spending. They challenged the Republican bona fides of state Rep. Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville, a Democrat who switched parties in November and ran in a three-way GOP primary.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the 1.2 million Texans who've lost their licenses under the Driver Responsibility Act and the impenetrable black box that is the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Ramshaw and Kraft on nurses with substance abuse problems and rehabilitation that can get them back to work, M. Smith finds it's not easy being Rick Green, Stiles on counting Texans (and everybody else), Rapoport on the State Board of Education's war with itself and the runoff in SBOE District 10, Thevenot's revealing interview with a big-city superintendent on closing bad schools, Aguilar on the tensions over water on the Texas-Mexico border, Hamilton on the new Coffee Party, Hu on Kesha Rogers and why her party doesn't want her, Philpott on the runoff in HD-47, Ramsey on Bill White and the politics of taxes, and E. Smith's conversation with Game Change authors Mark Halperin and John Heleimann: The best of our best from March 15 to 19.

Members of the San Antonio chapter of Coffee Party USA pose with a sign.
Members of the San Antonio chapter of Coffee Party USA pose with a sign.

Grounds for Debate

For the politically disenchanted Texan who can't cozy up to the Tea Party, an alternative brew is now available. It's called the Coffee Party.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Our obsessive-compulsive election day and next day coverage: frenetically updated county-by-county maps and up-to-the-minute returns in every race on the ballot, Hu's awesome crowdsourced liveblog, Ramshaw on the twenty surprise outcomes, Aguilar on recount possibilities and dead incumbents, M. Smith on how judicial races turned out, Rapoport on changes at the SBOE and who was elected before the first vote was cast, Thevenot on whether the GOP has a problem with Hispanics, Hamilton on how the Tea Party fared, Grissom and Ramshaw on the legislative and congressional mop-up, Ramsey on what happens now, Stiles on how much candidates spent per vote; and my post-primary debrief with Rick Perry's pollster and George W. Bush's former strategist. The best of our best from March 1 to 5, 2010.

Victor Carillo, David Porter
Victor Carillo, David Porter

The Elefante in the Room

Railroad Commission Chairman Victor Carrillo, a seven-year incumbent with a background in the industry he regulates, got trounced in the GOP primary on Tuesday by an unknown, David Porter, who spent little money on the race. He's not the only one who thinks his Hispanic surname cost him his job.

Railroad Commission Victor Carrillo
Railroad Commission Victor Carrillo

Carrillo: Hispanic Surname Caused Election Loss

"Early polling showed that the typical GOP primary voter has very little info about the position of Railroad Commissioner, what we do, or who my opponent or I were. Given the choice between “Porter” and “Carrillo” — unfortunately, the Hispanic-surname was a serious setback from which I could never recover." 

January 16, 2009: A coalition of Tea Party groups rally against Democrats and U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday afternoon at the Texas Capitol.
January 16, 2009: A coalition of Tea Party groups rally against Democrats and U.S. President Barack Obama Saturday afternoon at the Texas Capitol.

Weak Tea?

Candidates favored by the Tea Party movement did not fare well on primary night, but they had an effect on several races.

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Debra Medina's final pitch to her supporters in her roller coaster ride of a primary campaign.

In Closing: Debra Medina

“We’ll do a runoff if we have to," she said Saturday. "I’d like to secure it outright." She paused and smiled. "It will be the upset of the century if that happens."

Bill White at the Doubleday Sports Bar Champions in Port Isabel.
Bill White at the Doubleday Sports Bar Champions in Port Isabel.

2010: The Virtual Debate Continues

Democrat Bill White takes the same questions that the three GOP gubernatorial candidates faced from Common Sense Texans, the network that connects Texas tea parties. News alert: "His answers differ significantly," the organizer said.

2010: The Tea Party's GOP Debate

The GOP gubernatorial candidates have already gone head to head to head in televised debates put on by KERA and BELO. But why settle for two debates, when you can have three?

Rep. Tommy Merrit (left) and his Republican primary challenger David Simpson (right) unexpectedly run into each other as both court Longview's Chick-Fil-A breakfast club.
Rep. Tommy Merrit (left) and his Republican primary challenger David Simpson (right) unexpectedly run into each other as both court Longview's Chick-Fil-A breakfast club.

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  • 1Comment

Is this the year that independent-minded state Rep. Tommy Merritt, R-Longview, finally gets his comeuppance from conservatives?