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Wendy Davis Tag

Former Texas state senator Wendy Davis has continued her campaign to remain relevant. She announced on Monday her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives and challenge Republican Rep. Chip Roy. Davis shot into the national limelight a few years ago when she filibustered for 13 hours against a pro-life measure in the Texas senate. She tried to capitalize on this fame in a run for Texas governor but ultimately failed.

The Supreme Court of the United States has resumed hearing oral arguments since the death of conservative stalwart Justice Antonin Scalia. His seat remains empty, leaving the Court's already-tenuous balance even shakier as they address one of the most important abortion cases during recent years. Wednesday, the Court heard oral arguments in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, the case challenging HB 2, the Texas abortion law made famous when then-State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered it in 2013 in pink sneakers. Davis' filibuster was a short-lived victory, as the law was passed days later in a special session, and her sneakers ended up at a garage sale. (Full transcript of the oral arguments posted here.) Wendy Davis rising victory sign via Facebook Page

We don't like to kick a loser when she's down, but when this story appeared on Legal Insurrection's radar we thought it was too good to keep to ourselves. The pink sneaker wearing hope of progressives isn't finished with her fall from grace. Terri Langford of the Texas Tribune:
Wendy Davis Fined $5,000 for Ethics Violation The Texas Ethics Commission has fined former state senator and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis $5,000 after finding "credible evidence" that she failed to include her relationship with two lobbyists on financial disclosure forms filed during her 2012 senate re-election campaign. The commission issued an order detailing its findings and the fine on Thursday, nearly three years after a complaint was filed by Davis' Republican opponent, Mark Shelton, who narrowly lost the election to Davis by 2 percentage points. Shelton complained that Davis' personal financial documents for 2010 and 2011 did not properly indicate that her law partner, Brian Newby, was a registered lobbyist. The firm's unpaid executive director, Marcy Weldin Foster, was also a registered lobbyist in 2011, and that was not disclosed. The commission found Davis received fees for services from her own firm and another that she worked for "of counsel," Cantey Hanger, in 2010 and 2011. Both firms paid Newby as a lobbyist, and Cantey Hanger paid Foster as a lobbyist.
What a shame. Just as she was getting ready to launch the next phase of her career.

Back in February, then-gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis attempted to rock the boat by claiming that she supported Texas' open carry movement.Her opponent Greg Abbott, an already-beloved-by-most Attorney General and popular favorite to win the election, already supported the measure, so perhaps at the time it seemed like a savvy move. Texans love their guns, but they don't love them that much. The Texas Democratic Party lashed out against her, Davis lost by 20, and her ill-fated run went down in history as one of the most embarrassing for Texas Democrats. Now, she's backpedaling on her open-carry stance. From the Daily Caller:
“There is one thing that I would do differently in that campaign, and it relates to the position that I took on open carry,” Davis told the San Antonio Express-News in her first interview since losing to Republican Greg Abbott last month. “I made a quick decision on that with a very short conversation with my team and it wasn’t really in keeping with what I think is the correct position on that issue,” Davis continued. ... Davis’ announcement came just weeks after her campaign suffered its first of many major blows when it was reported that she had fibbed about her background. Davis’ new admission on her open carry stance appears to support those critiques. “Though I certainly support people’s right to own and to bear arms in appropriate situations, I fear with open carry, having watched that issue unfold during the campaign, that it will be used to intimidate and cause fear,” Davis told the Express-News. “What I do know is that as an elected public servant, I’ve always been true to my core beliefs. Always. And I’m so proud of that,” she added. “And this was the only time I felt like I’d strayed a bit from that.”
If you look back on Davis's campaign as a whole, this incident (and it truly was an "incident"---Texas politicos still talk about it) was a flash in the pan that provided a minor distraction from a transparently astroturfed campaign.

For many living in states not called Texas, it might seem odd that a place most regard as the "reddest" state in the union would fight so hard to gain ground in traditionally-liberal districts. Isn't a solid governing majority and clean slate of statewide office holders enough? Not if you want to keep building. And build Texas has, by electing a full slate of Republicans on the statewide level, defeating Battleground Texas' initial efforts to elect a Democrat statewide, and making key inroads with both battleground districts and battleground demographics. Perhaps our most notable achievement this cycle was flipping Wendy Davis's Senate District, SD-10, in favor of Republicans. When Tea Party candidate Konni Burton first announced her candidacy for Davis's old seat, many wrote her off as a long-shot; on election night, however, she proved them wrong. Via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
“It’s hard to believe that over 20 months ago I started having conversations with conservatives across Tarrant County about the need for someone to challenge Wendy Davis,” Burton, a Colleyville conservative with Tea Party ties​, told about 300 supporters gathered at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. “We were all sick and tired of being represented by a liberal in Austin who didn’t reflect the conservative values of District 10.

If Texas politics is the wild west, then the Wendy Davis campaign is currently on a slow jog through the desert at high noon. Twitter exploded this evening when a member of the College Republicans in Virginia caught the "@WendyDavisTexas" Twitter account (Davis's personal account) claiming that a picture of several College Republicans actually showed Davis supporters:

We're less than 6 hours into the first day of early voting in Texas, and we've already documented evidence of first (electoral) blood between gubernatorial candidates Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis. Behold: These tweets source back to Abbott's recent interview with the San Antonio Express-News editorial board, in which he brushed aside questions regarding a hypothetical (and highly unconstitutional) scenario regarding a ban on interracial marriage (click through to Salon if you hit a paywall):
In an interview with San Antonio Express-News editorial board, flagged by Talking Points Memo, Abbott, who is married to a Latina, objected to answering the “hypothetical” question. “Right now, if there was a ban on interracial marriage, that’s already been ruled unconstitutional,” he told the paper. “And all I can do is deal with the issues that are before me … The job of an attorney general is to represent and defend in court the laws of their client, which is the state Legislature, unless and until a court strikes it down.” Challenged on the vagueness of his answer, Abbott continued to evade the question. “Actually, the reason why you’re uncertain about it is because I didn’t answer the question. And I can’t go back and answer some hypothetical question like that,” Abbott said.
He didn't "evade" their "gotcha" question; he stated that the ban would be unconstitutional and moved on. But even if we allow ourselves to assume that there is indeed some sort of secret Greg Abbott Interracial Marriage Ban Conspiracy brewing at campaign headquarters, there's still a bit of a problem with Davis's allegations:

Remember the pink sneakers and progressives promising to stand with Wendy? Remember how sure liberals were that Wendy Davis would turn Texas blue? Remember when people at CNN and MSNBC were falling all over themselves to talk about the exciting candidacy of Wendy Davis? Those days are gone. Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Wendy Davis is now about as popular as a plane seat next to someone from Liberia. Even Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC was questioning the decision to run the now viral "wheelchair ad" when she interviewed Davis yesterday. If you listen carefully, you'll notice a strange comment from Mitchell at the 4:30 mark. Mitchell refers to Greg Abbott’s "supposed" disability. Supposed? Really? Noah Rothman of Hot Air is calling game over:

Last week, Democratic Texas Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis' campaign ran an ad attacking Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, for being in a wheelchair. The ad received such intense blowback, Abbott's campaign turned the negative reaction into their own campaign ad: "Just keep digging" apparently being the Davis campaign mantra, Davis doubled down on the monstrous ad:

This thing speaks for itself. Remember when Battleground Texas supporters of Wendy Davis laughed at Greg Abbott being in wheelchair? The line of attack by the Battleground Texas people was exactly the line of attack in Davis' current video -- that Abbott is in a wheelchair but has not sympathy for others, as if being a Judge means cases should be decided on sympathy:

With less than 15 days to go until early voting begins, statewide candidates in Texas are running a full court press against not only the agendas of their opponents, but against umbrella strategies from national party organizations and advocacy groups. The gubernatorial contest between state Senator Wendy Davis and Attorney General Greg Abbott is arguably the most high profile of the top-ticket races, and pollsters are busy keeping up with a race that has slowly tightened since the primary. From the Wall Street Journal:
A poll released Wednesday by the Texas Lyceum, a nonpartisan public-policy group, showed Ms. Davis nine percentage points behind Mr. Abbott. The Rasmussen Reports, meanwhile, released a poll Friday showing Mr. Abbott 11 points ahead. “Turnout in nonpresidential election years is always lower, and Texas voters just don’t seem interested in politics this year,” Mr. Riddlesperger said. ... Ms. Davis hasn’t emphasized abortion in the campaign, largely focusing on other issues, such as increasing public-education funding and expanding health coverage. She has portrayed Mr. Abbott as beholden to moneyed, corporate interests. Mr. Abbott, in turn, has said he would work to secure the border against illegal immigration—a key concern in the state—and he has tried to link Ms. Davis, whenever possible, to President Barack Obama.

Today in New Orleans, attorneys for the State of Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for an immediate stay to a previous ruling that disallows regulators from enforcing new laws against abortion providers. Earlier this summer, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the new laws were an unconstitutional undue burden on a woman's right to seek an abortion. That District Court decision has blocked enforcement of the new law “against any abortion provider –- present or future.” Via Bloomberg:
Texas accused Yeakel of making an end run around the appellate court’s 2013 decision that upheld Texas’s admitting-privileges rule, which requires that doctors gain permission to admit patients at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions. Women’s health advocates and clinics fighting the anti-abortion limitations said in court filings that letting Texas go ahead with the measures while it appeals would have a “catastrophic impact on the availability of abortion services” in the state. “If a stay is granted, most of the remaining abortion providers would be forced to close overnight,” opponents of the law said in a filing asking the appeals court to deny the state’s request. “Many women’s constitutional rights would be extinguished before the appellate process ran its course, and their lives would be permanently and profoundly altered by the denial of abortion services.”
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