When Rick Perry announced that he would not be running for another term as Governor, most Republicans in Texas and around the nation automatically penciled in current Attorney General Greg Abbott as the natural replacement. On the surface, Abbott appears to be a good candidate. His personal story of overcoming his paralysis is inspiring, and he uses lots of language that conservatives are sure to like. And he has a ton of money and name recognition, although, grassroots conservatives like myself see his 20 million dollar war chest as a negative and an invitation for crony capitalism.
Digging deeper though, it appears Abbott is more of a David Dewhurst-Republican than a Ted Cruz-Republican. Granted, anybody would be better than Abortion-Barbie Wendy Davis, but Texas has traditionally been the role model for other red states and should take advantage of its strong conservative voting base. Anyone running for Governor needs to be bold and clear about where they stand on the issues.
Last month, Abbott refused to answer questions about positions on the in-state tuition law for illegals and whether he supports abortion exceptions in the cases of rape and incest. He also declined to answer what the proper level of spending for education should be and said he had no opinion on the government shutdown.
I can understand being ambiguous in a close race, I really can. But for goodness sake, Ken Cuccinelli wasn’t afraid to make his position on Syrian intervention clear, a federal issue. These issues are Texas issues (with the exception of the government shutdown-which is directly related) and deserve to be answered. The Governor of a state sets the agenda and must have plans to implement that agenda.
I’m not sure if Abbott’s core philosophy is sound. After joining the Obama administration in an attempt to stop an airline merger, he pulled out when it became politically harmful. A capitalist would have never endorsed such intervention in the first place.
All of this brings me to Tom Pauken, Abbott’s main opponent in the Republican primary. Who?
Tom Pauken first got into politics as a foot soldier in Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign. Then he became a real soldier during the Vietnam War, after which he continued his education and got his Juris Doctor. In 1980, Pauken was part of Ronald Reagan’s transition team. The next year, Reagan nominated him to head the ACTION agency, where he reduced the number of employees by half and cut the budget by 40 million by eliminating funding to liberal organizations. In 1985 Pauken returned to the private sector.
In 1994, Pauken returned to politics when he was elected Chairman of the Texas Republican Party. He served in this capacity until 1997. It was during this time he battled the Bush establishment and identified it as hostile to the Reagan tradition, which obviously proved true. From 2008-2012, Pauken served as chairman of the Texas Workforce Commission.
Tom Pauken is a man of principle and has a wide range of political experience. He is also a populist with a plan.
You can read his proposals at: http://www.tompaukenfortexas.com/
And a quick Google search yields tons of interviews in which he goes into substantial depth, unlike a couple other candidates for the office. Examples are here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Mark Levin has endorsed Pauken, which I will post below.
I encourage Texans to support Tom Pauken, a Goldwater-Reagan fighter as the next Governor of Texas!