July 8, 2020      9:53 PM

Montgomery County GOP votes to censure Gov. Abbott

July 8, 2020      5:00 PM

Updated: Houston Mayor Turner puts a stop to RPT in-person convention, Texas GOP exploring legal options

An emotional Mayor Turner points to the life story of his own mother who worked as a maid during events like the one slated for next week; Chairman Dickey says “We are prepared to take all necessary steps to proceed in the peaceable exercise of our constitutionally protected rights.”

After previously saying he would not interfere with the Republican Party of Texas’ in-person convention slated for next week, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner did a quick about-face Wednesday and dropped the hammer on what health experts had warned would be a “super spreader event” during a global pandemic.

In the morning, Turner ordered a legal review of the contract for the convention center and by the middle of the afternoon he had ordered the deal terminated.

RPT leadership said during the day they were exploring legal options amid Turner’s quick action. In the afternoon, many who had registered for the event told QR they were still receiving text messages about a delegate training scheduled for this evening.

By Scott Braddock

July 8, 2020      3:51 PM

The Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee announces fundraising haul of $1.3 million

The HDCC said the average small dollar donation was $34. "Democrats have the added advantage of Republican lawmakers retiring in droves this year, including the Speaker of the House," they said.

July 8, 2020      3:49 PM

Incumbents bounce back in runoffs in 8-day reports while Republicans make preferences clear in open seats

A deep dive of finances in legislative runoffs all across Texas

With the run-off elections now just under a week away, and a hot special election for a Texas Senate seat, that means one thing: 8-day campaign finance reports are in.

Here’s a deep dive.

By James Russell

July 8, 2020      1:15 PM

Houston Mayor Turner says RPT in-person convention could be canceled as soon as today, orders contract review

Turner told City Council "The plan is to exercise those provisions to cancel this contract today. Texas GOP Chair Dickey says his legal team is reviewing whether the city can cancel now: "We are prepared to take all necessary steps to proceed in the peaceable exercise of our constitutionally protected rights." Developing...

July 8, 2020      8:11 AM

Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick had planned to speak to the RPT convention virtually

Announcement was made during a townhall that was streamed by the party last night. Despite that announcement, Lt. Gov. Patrick still intends to be there in person, his spokesman says

July 7, 2020      8:53 PM

Ellis County GOP executive committee votes to ask Gov. Abbott to call a special session on coronavirus

The executive committee said they took into account that other local GOPs have asked for the same thing and more are considering it

July 7, 2020      5:22 PM

Including masks, TEA issues guidance on reopening of schools this fall

Education Chairmen Huberty and Taylor: "Most importantly, this guidance allows each independent school district the freedom and flexibility to operate in the best way for their local communities”; the Texas State Teachers Association says “Students and educators should not be forced to be props for Donald Trump’s reelection efforts”

The Texas Education Agency has issued additional guidance on the opening of the upcoming 2020-2021 school year, and as you might have expected: Some of the teachers are not happy with it at all.

Commissioner Mike Morath, in a well-timed news release late today, called it flexibility for parents and school districts to make appropriate decisions during COVID-19: Masks are required, as long as the governor requires them. All parents will have the option to choose remote learning. TEA will reimburse school districts for COVID-19 expenses. And school districts have the option to phase-in attendance over the first three weeks of school.

By Kimberly Reeves

July 7, 2020      2:30 PM

With $100,000 investment from Chairman Martinez Fischer, House Democrats kick off 2020 Red to Blue Campaign

TMF said “I know that we have what it takes to win the Texas House in November.”

With a $100,000 shot in the arm from Business and Industry Committee Chairman Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee on Tuesday launched what they're calling the 2020 Red to Blue Campaign with the aim of taking the majority in the lower chamber.

It's a goal that seems closer to reality than ever given the current political climate. And that investment from TMF is a big step for the HDCC, which to date has put together a little more than $300,000 from its members. That number doesn’t include other fundraising from outside donors.

The group said they can capture the majority by harnessing the "political experience and fundraising capacity of sitting Democratic members of the Texas House to propel competitive Democratic candidates to victory" across the state.

July 7, 2020      2:26 PM

The Greater Houston Partnership joins the chorus asking the Texas GOP to nix its in-person convention

The GHP says slowing the spread of coronavirus will put Houston "on the path to reopening our economy and moving forward towards full recovery. It is with this in mind that we ask those with the authority to cancel next week’s in-person [convention] to do so expeditiously."

July 7, 2020      11:53 AM

Register today for SD 14 special election online forum coming up Thursday evening

All candidates have confirmed for the forum hosted by the Texas Real Estate Advocacy & Defense Coalition an moderated by Quorum Report Editor Scott Braddock

Click here to register for the forum, which will be held online via Zoom at 6pm on Thursday night.

July 7, 2020      11:31 AM

State Fair of Texas canceled for 2020

Pandemic causes the State Fair in Dallas to be canceled for the first time since World War II

July 7, 2020      10:31 AM

Harrison County GOP latest to censure Gov. Abbott over pandemic response, mask order

Momentum seems to be growing among grassroots activists for censure of Abbott at the RPT convention in Houston next week

Here’s the resolution language.

July 6, 2020      9:30 PM

Allegations of racism boil over in Sen. Lucio runoff days before the election

Planned Parenthood and TFN use the term “Sucio Lucio” to blast the incumbent, Rep. Lucio and Texans for Life rush to the Senator’s defense, MALC says: “we must steer clear of political name calling that plays on racial, sexist, homophobic, ableist and every form of discrimination”

In a contest for which of the campaigns may be the nastiest of the runoffs, the one between Texas Senate Intergovernmental Relations Committee Chairman Eddie Lucio, Jr. and attorney Sara Stapleton Barrera down in The Valley has catapulted to the top.

At issue is the word “sucio,” historically used to describe Mexican-Americans as “dirty” or “filthy.” It has sexual connotations as well. Sen. Lucio’s critics like the fact that it rhymes with his surname.

By James Russell

July 6, 2020      9:26 PM

Updated: Jeff Moseley to depart Texas Association of Business

Veteran of the Capitol led TAB as CEO for 3 and a half years

Today, Texas Association of Business President and CEO Jeff Moseley sent the following letter to the TAB board:

July 6, 2020      4:33 PM

ICYMI: Ector County GOP voted over the weekend to censure Gov. Abbott for mask mandate

Meantime some GOP activists plan to push for a censure of the governor at the RPT convention in Houston

July 6, 2020      10:34 AM

Fearing government intervention, Republican Party of Texas adopts backup plan for online convention

Meantime GOP anger at Abbott grows with a Republican senator calling for a special to provide legislative oversight of the pandemic response; one county party voted to censure the governor over the weekend

After debating the details and airing fears of government intervention for several hours Sunday night, the State Republican Executive Committee overwhelmingly adopted a backup plan to host an online Republican Party of Texas convention in a way that would allow them to argue with each other just as passionately as they tend to do in person.

Texas GOP chairman James Dickey said that in the event of a virtual convention, the party would use a platform called Meeting Pulse to facilitate online discussions and other interactions during the event

Among other things, the SREC also voted to require the chairman to send an email, if possible, to all delegates and alternates notifying them of the change to an online gathering instead of an in-person one. It was the second of two emergency SREC meetings in recent days, held via Zoom, to discuss how to move forward.

By Scott Braddock

July 3, 2020      7:54 PM

People on the Move

Power players making moves, new shops in Austin, and mourning a legend of Texas politics

Sad news today as our publisher Harvey Kronberg reported just within the last hour that Buck Wood, a longtime ethics attorney and a key figure in school finance fights over the years, passed away last night.

To say Wood was a giant in this community is an understatement. He was a top aide to then-Comptroller Bob Bullock and someone who always nearly instantly had the answer to every question on Texas law because he wrote so much of it. As Jeff Rotkoff suggested on social media, anyone in Texas politics who hasn’t read Dave McNeely’s book on Bullock including so many stories of Wood’s adventures with him should check it out. You’ll be better for it.

Rest in peace, Mr. Wood.

Meantime, there are a few power players of today making moves as we head into the July 4 weekend. As always, you can let us know what you or a friend – or an adversary – is up to by reaching out to ksbraddock@gmail.com. Use POTM in the subject line when you do for faster and more reliable service.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

By Scott Braddock

July 3, 2020      7:46 PM

Video: Sen. Lucio debates runoff challenger Sara Stapleton Barrera

The senator accuses his opponent of representing drug dealers, says she should behave like a lady; Stapleton-Barrera says Lucio has profited from private prisons. Debate hosted by Futuro RGV and The RGV Matters; Sydney Ramon of The RGV Matters and Davis Rankin of KURV radio handle moderating duties

July 3, 2020      7:02 PM

Lt. Gov. Patrick says he disagrees with decision to hold Texas GOP convention in person, but plans to attend

His statement in full: “I watched all three hours of the SREC debate on Thursday night. I agree with the twenty people who believe it is not a good idea to hold an in-person state convention in Houston because so many of our party activists will be unable to attend. It also risks the exposure of those who do attend. But I respect the will of the forty people who voted and I will be there.”

July 3, 2020      1:13 PM

Attorney Buck Wood has passed away, friend and close counselor to Richards, Bullock and many more

There were few corners of state government and ethics that Wood did not touch....arrangements to follow

July 3, 2020      12:18 PM

Texas Craft Brewers Guild withdraws sponsorship of RPT convention, call on Gov. Abbott to cancel the in-person event

"Apparently, Gov. Abbott believes the threat posed by COVID-19 is too great for brewery taprooms to operate, even under strict social distancing, sanitation & mask protocols...That’s why we’re confident he will do the right thing and cancel the in-person Convention. If it's too dangerous to be 6ft apart in an outdoor beer garden, it’s certainly too dangerous to cram 6,000 people in an indoor convention center. Let's be consistent."

July 2, 2020      11:09 PM

After Texas GOP votes to move ahead with in-person convention, Texas Medical Association withdraws as a sponsor

Full statement from TMA President Diana Fite, MD:

“TMA is pleased that the Republican Party of Texas will comply with Governor Abbott’s directive and require face masks at its state convention later this month in Houston. While face masks certainly will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in and around the convention, masks alone are not enough. With or without masks, an indoor gathering of thousands of people from all around the state in a city with tens of thousands of active COVID-19 cases poses a significant health risk to conventiongoers, convention workers, health care workers, and the residents of Houston. We are concerned not only for the City of Houston but also for the communities to which the delegates will return, giving the virus easy transportation to parts of Texas that have far fewer cases.

TMA has chosen to withdraw as an advertiser from the convention.

Five actions have proven effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19. The TMA strongly believes that Texans should follow these proven guidelines: stay home when possible, wash hands frequently, avoid large crowds, ‘keep 6 feet apart, and wear face masks or face coverings when around non-family members. We support all efforts throughout Texas to reach the highest levels of compliance with these safe practices.

July 2, 2020      10:40 PM

Runoffs and special election drawing a tiny number of voters so far

Despite two hot contested elections, only 27,154 have voted so far in Travis County. Democrats outpaced Republicans with 17,546 to 3,180. Of mail-in ballots, Democrats returned 1,516 to Republicans’ 335

So far, just about 2 percent of voters in Texas’ major counties have cast votes between June 29, the first day of early voting for the July 14 runoff, and yesterday, July 1.

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers available.

By James Russell

July 2, 2020      10:37 PM

On a vote of 40 to 20, the SREC votes to move forward with in-person Republican Party of Texas convention in Houston

July 2, 2020      5:31 PM

Gov. Abbott mandates that all Texans wear a face mask in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID cases

Abbott released the video below, in which he said a warning can be issued for not wearing a mask, followed by the possibility of a fine not to exceed $250

No questions asked, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued an executive order requiring the vast majority of Texans to wear a mask in public spaces.

He did not hold a news conference, but Abbott hosted a conference call apparently only for GOP lawmakers. But we are told it was a one-way conversation so even Republican members of the Legislature were not allowed to ask any questions about the order.

Here is the language of the new Executive Order.

This comes as the State Republican Executive Committee this evening, at 7:30pm, will meet via Zoom to discuss and possibly vote on whether to move forward with the Republican Party of Texas Convention in Houston in a couple weeks.


July 2, 2020      5:05 PM

With only 84 tickets sold and coronavirus cases spiking, Vanilla Ice canceled his Austin concert this weekend

We're just as surprised to see Vanilla Ice mentioned in Quorum Report as you are

July 2, 2020      10:01 AM

Video: Dallas Citizens Council and Greater Houston Partnership launch pro-mask campaign

The campaign called "Stand Tall for Small, Texas" was developed in part by Roy Spence, who also came up with the "Don't Mess with Texas" anti-litter slogan