Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pete Sessions seeks 2nd term as NRCC Chair

From Politico:
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) announced Monday that he’s not seeking to be House majority whip in the new Congress and would angle instead for another term as head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, clearing the way for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to ascend to majority whip.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), the presumptive speaker, also is tasking Sessions to lead a group that will help develop the newly elected House GOP freshmen. The news was first reported by ABC News.

“Our Republican Conference needs Pete Sessions’s steady hand of leadership next Congress, and I am very pleased that he has decided to seek another term as NRCC chairman,” Boehner said in a statement. “Additionally, I’ve asked Pete to take the lead for new-member development.”
So, once again, Pete Sessions will be in charge of throwing the annual Las Vegas strip club fundraisers, recruiting Nazi sympathizers and, on top of that, he'll be in charge of instructing the new crop of teabagger insurgents in the ways of Congress. Break out the popcorn--it's going to be an entertaining couple of years.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pete Sessions' best winning strategy: doing nothing

He didn't campaign, he didn't debate, he didn't put many signs out, he didn't open his mouth once this time, and finally hit the over 60% mark that's eluded him his whole career.

Pete Sessions slid under the radar and claimed 62.61% percent of the vote, climbing over the 60% mark for the first time ever, aided, no doubt, by the Keep Fear Alive brigade.

The results, from Dallas County Elections:
Pete Sessions (REP 62.61% 79,181
Grier Raggio (DEM) 34.90% 44,134
John Jay Myers (LIB) 2.50% 3,159

Monday, October 18, 2010

Our 2010 PSA: "Don't Vote for an Idiot"

This year's PSA is a video mashup of the trailer for "Dinner for Schmucks" mixed with Pete Sessions on "Meet the Press." The final titles say it all--don't vote for an idiot, vote for somebody else in 2010.

A reader in Park Cities also suggests that Republicans review the PSA from 2008 called Bailout. Apparently, some people who are struggling with impending foreclosure are blaming the Obama Administration for bailing out the banks instead of helping people like themselves. Remember, it was Bush who asked for the bailout of the banks, and Pete Sessions was one of only 65 Republicans who voted for the bailout. He got booed for blaming the financial crisis on "community organizers,"--and that was in Richardson at an event packed with Republicans.

Early Voting Starts Today!

Starting today, you can cast your vote against Pete Sessions at any one of the early voting locations listed at Dallas County Elections.

In response to the Dallas Morning News' endorsement, there was only one letter in response, in favor of Grier Raggio:
In the editorial board's biennial endorsement of Pete Sessions, it called opponent Grier Raggio "too far to the left," then proceeded to list a number of things Raggio opposes -- like the 2008 bailout -- with which constituents agree.

All facets of the political spectrum phoned, faxed, emailed and gathered at Sessions' office asking him not to support the bailout, but our efforts were ignored; his letters in reply gave the usual canned Washington-insider rhetoric without acknowledgement of our point of view.

Grier Raggio, on the other hand, believes that big business should be just as fiscally responsible as small business, rising or falling on its own merits, without asking the government for a handout.

Raggio will bring fiscal sanity to the district and the nation, and he'll work for us instead of the lobbyists
So far, there have been no other letters published in favor or against any of the candidates, except for candidate John Jay Myers letter expressing dissatisfaction with the editorial board's exclusion of third party candidates:
Is The Dallas Morning News a source of journalistic integrity, or is it just a shill for the establishment? I ask after learning of my exclusion from the interview when the newspaper chooses which candidates to recommend.

I can't imagine why Libertarians lack electoral success when media have already chosen to marginalize them. Meeting challenging ballot requirements should be sufficient for the media's consideration -- it is for voters. But I have done even more, as evidenced by my television ads, fundraising, press releases and appearances throughout Dallas.

A Dallas Morning News columnist recently wrote that Americans want to "decrease the size and scope of government, cut spending and taxes, balance the budget, reduce the federal debt, reduce the power of special interests and unions, repeal and replace the health care legislation, and decrease partisanship." I am the only candidate who will do any of this, and yet I am the only candidate in my race excluded from consideration.

A big-government Republican or a big-government Democrat is no choice at all. Why even bother interviewing when you aren't interested in evaluating true alternatives? The News should interview all candidates or none of them.
Sessions Watchers can vote Libertarian or Democratic in early voting through October 25, or on Election Day, November 2.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pete Sessions backs Nazi Reenactor

From Burnt Orange Report:
When the GOP picked Pete Sessions to chair the NRCC, residents of the gerrymandered 32nd congressional district wondered, "Has the Republican Party completely lost its mind?" We broke out the popcorn, sat back, and waited for the GOP to implode. Pete Sessions' latest lapse in judgement: backing a candidate who likes to dress up as a Nazi.
It's Rich Iott, running against incumbent Marcy Kaptur (Oh-9) who told the press that being a Nazi reenactor is a "father-son bonding thing." So, naturally, Pete Sessions recruits him into the "Young Guns" program. What else do you expect from someone who thinks the Taliban is a good role model?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Once again, DMN endorses Sessions

In this climate of ethics investigations--first with Eddie Bernice Johnson, followed by an ongoing series about Rick Perry's tech fund donors--we were hoping Dallas Morning News would realize that it's time for a change in our district and endorse someone else. Glad we didn't make bets on it. True to form, the Dallas Morning News editorial board endorsed their favorite congressman Pete Sessions.

The editorial board supports its statement that Grier Raggio is "too far to the left" by citing the fact that he opposed the 2008 bailout--which was only supported by 25% of Americans--and that he wants to get out of Afghanistan, a position supported by 58% of Americans. Sounds like the Dallas Morning News is the one who's out of step.

And, of course, we learned recently from John Jay Myers' own letter to the editor that the board doesn't even bother interviewing Libertarians. They gave him the standard mention:
Libertarian John Jay Myers, 41, president of a promotional items wholesale firm, also is seeking this seat.
As always, Sessions Watch endorses Somebody Else for TX-32 and invites readers to either vote Democratic or Libertarian in 2010.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dallas Morning News Shuts Out Libertarians

Readers of Sessions Watch have been following the Dallas Morning News' election recommendations, anxiously awaiting their annual endorsement of our congressman, wondering what lame excuse they'll give this year for supporting him.

The current pattern this year has to endorse either the Democrat or the Republican, then mention at the end that there's also a Libertarian in the race.

We Sessions Watchers took it for granted that all three candidates went through the same interview process, but apparently that is not the case.

A reader sends along this link to a letter to the editor written by TX-32 Libertarian candidate John Jay Myers, in which he says he was excluded from the interview process:
Is The Dallas Morning News a source of journalistic integrity, or is it just a shill for the establishment? I ask after learning of my exclusion from the interview when the newspaper chooses which candidates to recommend...

...A Dallas Morning News columnist recently wrote that Americans want to "decrease the size and scope of government, cut spending and taxes, balance the budget, reduce the federal debt, reduce the power of special interests and unions, repeal and replace the health care legislation, and decrease partisanship." I am the only candidate who will do any of this, and yet I am the only candidate in my race excluded from consideration...
At Sessions Watch, we don't make endorsements, of course, we just want somebody else representing us in Congress, someone who'll actually work for us instead of lobbyists and billionaires. We find it shameful and disheartening that the Dallas Morning News is abdicating its responsibility to keep the citizens of our district informed about all the choices in this year's election.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pete Sessions Votes No to Helping 9/11 Responders

Today, the House passed H.R. 847: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. From Associated Press:
WASHINGTON – A bill to give up to $7.4 billion to workers sickened during the cleanup of World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks passed in the House on Wednesday after a passionate floor debate in which supporters said they were standing up for heroes.
"To the living victims of 9/11, we have good news: Help is on the way," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., a lead advocate for the bill.
New York lawmakers have been pushing for years for such a measure, which passed 268-160.
Pete Sessions voted no. See Roll number 550.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pete Sessions votes no to small business lending

On Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment
House Roll Call No. 539
111th Congress, 2nd Session

Passed: 237-187 (see complete tally)
The House concurred in the Senate amendment to H.R. 5297, to create the Small Business Lending Fund Program to direct the Secretary of the Treasury to make capital investments in eligible institutions in order to increase the availability of credit for small businesses and to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for small business job creation, by a yea-and-nay vote of 237 yeas to 187 nays, Roll No. 539.
Pete Sessions voted no. See Roll No. 539.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pete Sessions chickens out over Log Cabin appearance

Last week, we learned that Pete Sessions and John Cornyn had accepted an invitation to speak at tonight's annual dinner of the Log Cabin Republicans. Sure, Sessions and Cornyn are against gay marriage and the idea of gays serving openly in the military, but they are both united in their support of the rights of gay people to give money to the Republican Party.

But today, Pete Sessions has gotten cold feet, according to Dallas Voice: Dallas Congressman Pete Sessions gets cold feet about tonight's Log Cabin dinner. Supposedly, he need to attend an urgent meeting of the GOP caucus. Dallas Voice says:
Well isn’t that a convenient excuse? We’re sure Sessions’ no-show has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he and Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, also slated to appear at the Log Cabin dinner, are being villified on right-wing websites for accepting the invitation.

...We called Sessions’ D.C. office to get further explanation about his decision to back out...But not surprisingly, Sessions spokeswoman Emily Davis mysteriously became unavailable after we identified ourselves as being from the gay paper, and she hasn’t gotten back to us.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pete Sessions co-sponsors bill to change 14th Amendment

Sure, they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, but they just want to "tweak" it a bit, and get rid of birthright citizenship--a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. For those of you who wondered whether or not Pete Sessions is a co-sponsor, yes, he is. For a look at their editing of the Constitution, check their revisions to the Amendment at the Library of Congress. A list of co-sponsors is available at this Gov Track link: H.R. 1868: Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009

The bill has been referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law.

Mitch McConnell is on record as wanting a "hearing" on the 14th Amendment, but not all conservatives agree, namely Lou Dobbs.

In the upcoming debates (unless Pete chickens out), listen for the latest right-wing fringe scare tactic: the "anchor baby" plot to take over America. :)

(And, if you submit a question, ask Pete if he'll considering "tweaking" the Second Amendment to exclude things like armor piercing bullets, since he's into changing the Constitution all of a sudden).

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to oil drilling safety

On Friday, the House approved a bill to lift the ban on deep water drilling, while putting in place new regulations to prevent another disaster like the current oil spill in the Gulf. The bill passed 209-193, with Pete Sessions among those voting no. From Voice of America:
Republican Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas argued against the legislation, saying it will stifle job growth and hurt the economy. "The Obama moratorium on deep water oil drilling has already cost tens of thousands of jobs," said Sessions. "And this bill will eliminate even more American energy jobs, making it harder and more expensive to produce both energy on and offshore. Additionally, this legislation will only further enhance our economic troubles in the Gulf region and throughout the nation."

Jim McGovern, the Democratic Party congressman from Massachusetts disagreed. "My friend talks about jobs. How many jobs have been lost because of this oil spill? How many fishermen are out of business, how many hotels and restaurants have lost business because of this terrible crisis? So this is a good bill, and it is a smart bill. And if you want to apologize to big oil go right ahead, but the American people are not on your side on this one," said McGovern.
Roll call information is available at the Library of Congress: Roll Number 513 and you can read the bill and follow its progress as it goes to the Senate at Gov Track.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dems to NRCC: Return your tainted cash

In today's Dallas Morning News, we learned that our new performing arts center is named for someone being investigated by the SEC:

SEC accuses Sam, Charles Wyly of secrecy, insider trading
The suit is the first formal accusation of wrongdoing against the Wylys after more than six years of subpoenas, grand jury investigations, congressional hearings and copious speculation about when the legal shoes might drop.

"The cloak of secrecy has been lifted from the complex web of foreign structures used by the Wylys to evade the securities laws," the SEC said in a statement, calling the Wylys' accounting an "elaborate sham system of trusts and subsidiary companies."

The suit names Wyly attorney Michael C. French of Dallas and stockbroker Louis J. Schaufele III of Dallas as cogs in an intricate global financial network that sold $750 million worth of stock.
And we got lots of email from our readers today alerting us that Pete Sessions and the NRCC were recipients of the tainted funds. From The Atlantic:
These Guys Owned the GOP, writes Marcus Baram at The Huffington Post: "Charles and Samuel Wyly, along with their wives, have donated $2.5 million to more than 200 Republican candidates and committees over the past 20 years, including over $1.3 million to the Republican National Committee, according to an analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics. The top recipients of their largesse have been Texas Republicans. George W. Bush received at least $100,000 raised by the Wyly clan during the 2000 presidential election. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson has received $30,400 from the family; Rep. Pete Sessions, $29,000. Other Republican senators who've received their donations include John Cornyn of Texas, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, John Thune of South Dakota and Kit Bond of Missouri. Sam Wyly also funded the Swift Boat campaign that torpedoed Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign."
And, from Wall St. Journal:
Friday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a national fund-raising arm for the party, said the National Republican Congressional Committee should return $160,000 it received from the Wyly brothers over the past two decades.

The Wylys, now in their 70s, made their name through computer, retail and hedge-fund ventures over four decades. They have been active in Republican political circles and, together with their wives, have donated nearly $2.5 million to more than 200 federal-level Republican candidates and committees during the past 20 years, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
Now that the Wyly Brothers are in trouble, will Pete Sessions send them a love letter?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to extension of unemployment benefits

Our newly fiscally conservative congressman voted against the extension of unemployment benefits (we haven't forgotten your vote to fund the original bailout when Bush wanted it, Pete, or your votes to fund such things as the Iraq War without plans to pay for them).

On Thursday, the House passed this bill to extend unemployment benefits through November 30, making the extension retroactive to June 2 when the last extension expired. It was then sent to the president, who signed it the same day.
The bill passed 271-152; roll call information at this link:
Roll Call Vote No. 463 Tally

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pete Sessions joins Tea Party Caucus

Good news! Pete Sessions has joined the Tea Party Caucus
Both Texans in the House Republican leadership have jumped aboard the new Tea Party Caucus: Dallas Rep. Pete Sessions and Round Rock Rep. John Carter both announced today that they are joining the group, founded by tea party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Sessions chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. Carter is GOP Conference secretary. Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana also signed up, so far, so that's half of the elected House GOP leadership.
Since they're anti-incumbent, we hope Pete Sessions will be campaigning soon to throw himself out of office.

National Review: Sessions, Cornyn "halting to the point of being embarrassing"

From National Review Online:
Congressional Republicans who don’t think the party needs an agenda should consider the performance of Rep. Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn on Meet the Press over the weekend. Asked about their affirmative program, the leaders of the GOP campaign committees in the House and the Senate sounded a very uncertain trumpet — indeed, one that was halting to the point of being embarrassing.

Sessions talked of balancing the budget, although without daring to mention anything close to a specific, and of reading bills before they pass. Out of desperation, Cornyn was forced to say he’d like to see the work of Obama’s fiscal commission before addressing spending. If GOP consultants who are advising the party to avoid embracing a substantive agenda prior to the November elections get their way, this will be the pitiful Republican dance for the next three-and-a-half months...

...Republicans should have confidence in their ideas. If they can’t offer an alternative to Obama...they should be in a different business.

Monday, July 19, 2010

NRCC struggles to explain what Sessions said yesterday

We Sessions Watchers should be used to interpreting Pete's rambling non-sequiturs by now, but we have to admit being stumped by one part of his Meet The Press appearance, where he seemed to be advocating a return to the fiscal policies of George W. Bush. Democratic Party pundits say he wants to return to the Bush policies, but the NRCC is vehemently denying that Sessions wants to go back to the Bush agenda:
Democrats are simply misrepresenting the facts. As the transcript reflects, Pete Sessions was clearly referencing the exhaustive report that was presented to the president by the Business Round Table, in which they stated that the 'cumulative effect' of President Obama's proposals have significantly hindered economic growth in this country.
Here's the quote in question that has both sides trying to figure out what he said:
We need to make sure that we allow employers, which was in that 52-page report that was presented to the president of the United States by CEOs in this country, we need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminish it.
We, at Sessions Watch, would like to welcome the rest of the nation to our world. One of the many reasons we want him out of Congress is his inability to articulate a direct thought without resorting to stump speech platitudes. Grammatical incorrectness aside, what does he mean, specifically, by "empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminish [sic] it"?

And we still want to know what's the deal with that blimp. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tom Pauken: Pete Sessions is "not up to the job"

According to Tom Pauken, Pete Sessions should be removed as NRCC chair. From Dallas Morning News:
Although Republicans are poised to make serious gains in November, Pauken says Sessions – chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party's House campaign arm – should be replaced after the midterm elections.

"He's not up to the job," Pauken said, arguing that no matter how well the GOP does this fall, Sessions should be replaced by "a smart conservative who knows what needs to be done."
With all due respect to Mr. Pauken, we disagree that Sessions should be replaced after the midterm election. We think he should be replaced on Election Day. :)

Pete Sessions takes his rambling non-answers to Meet the Press

This morning, Pete Sessions was on Meet the Press, alongside his counterpart in the DCCC, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, and fundraising chairs for the Senate, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and our own John Cornyn.

David Gregory learned what we've come to expect from Pete Sessions, that he has a "pretty gauzy agenda" when asked for specifics about what he'd do differently from what Democrats are doing. Sessions spoke in his usual roundabout manner, giving campaign platitudes instead of specifics; he said Republicans would "read the bill" when they get back to power (even though they passed such bills as the Patriot Act without reading it) and that "we'd live within our means," even though they ran up plenty of debt when they were in charge.

Republicans all over the country must be scratching their heads this morning, wondering how he ever got put in charge of building the party.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

TN-08: Pete Sessions takes sides in GOP primary

From Hotline on Call
The NRCC raised eyebrows on Monday by taking sides in a contested primary, elevating one contender to the highest level of its recruiting program while leaving 2 other well-funded challengers behind.
Stephen Fincher (R), a farmer and gospel singer who bolted to a fast fundraising start, has been named a "Young Gun," the top tier of the NRCC's recruiting ladder. Top GOP leaders in DC have been impressed with Fincher's abilities and his story since the moment he entered the race for Rep. John Tanner's (D-TN) seat....

...But the Young Guns designation could prove more troublesome than valuable for Fincher. Kirkland manager Leatherwood blasted NRCC chair Pete Sessions for supporting Fincher.

"The same Pete Sessions who voted for TARP and then came to Tennessee to raise money for Mr. Fincher is leading this effort to save Mr. Fincher's embarrassing campaign," Leatherwood said. "Between his false negative attacks, his love of subsidies and his hypocrisy, Mr. Fincher is falling right in line with all the other Washington politicians who have sold us down the river."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to small business lending

On Passage
House Roll Call No. 375
111th Congress, 2nd Session

Passed: 241-182 (see complete tally)
The House passed this bill that would establish a $30 billion lending fund administered by the Treasury Department to invest in financial institutions, like community banks, with the intention of expanding the availability of credit to small businesses. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Pete Sessions was among those voting no.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

No big surprise here, but Pete Sessions voted no on the House amendment to repeal the 1993 "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays and lesbians in the military.

The vote to repeal passed the House 234-194, with Sessions joining all but 9 Republicans in casting dissenting votes.

From Congress.Org:

On Agreeing to the Amendment
House Roll Call No. 317
111th Congress, 2nd Session

Agreed to: 234-194 (see complete tally)
This amendment repeals the 1993 law that codified a ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to Home Star Energy Retrofit Act

Last week, the House passed H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, which allocates $6 billion to be used for consumer rebates to make houses more energy efficient. This is a popular bill with bipartisan support; the Senate version of the bill is co-sponsored by Scott Brown (R-MA) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC). The measure is, favored by manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and voters in TX-32!

The House bill passed 246-161 (23 not voting), with Pete Sessions among those voting no. From here, the bill goes to the Senate; read about the benefits of the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act in this article at Grist: Home Star energy retrofit bill passes House". Read the text of the bill and follow its progress through the Senate at Gov Track

Monday, May 3, 2010

Pete Sessions votes "no" to Puerto Rico Democracy Act

Last Thursday, the House paved the way for Puerto Rico self-determination by passing the Puerto Rico Democracy Act. This is part of a multi-step process which will eventually allow Puerto Rico to decide for themselves if they want complete independence from the United States, to remain a commonwealth, become a 51st state, or to be independent with some sort of special political relationship with the U.S.

The bill, H.R. 2499, passed 223-169, with Pete Sessions among the "no" voters. From there, it will go to the Senate.

For the roll call vote, and to follow the progress of this bill see Gov Track.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pete Sessions votes for Iran sanctions

Pete Sessions joined the majority in Congress, voting yes to the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act. From
On Motion to Instruct Conferees
House Roll Call No. 219
111th Congress, 2nd Session

Passed: 403-11 (see complete tally)
The House voted to move forward with a bill to sanction Iran by approving this motion to appoint House members to a conference committee with the Senate. The House version of this bill focuses on imposing sanctions on multinational companies that deal with Iran's petroleum sector, while the Senate's broader version would prohibit the U.S. government from purchasing goods from companies that are subject to sanctions under existing law and expand sanctions on foreign companies investing more than $20 million in Iran's oil and gas sector.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pete Sessions Votes "no" to clean estuaries

From Congress.Org:

Clean Estuaries Act of 2010

On Passage
House Roll Call No. 209
111th Congress, 2nd Session

Passed: 278-128 (see complete tally)

The House approved this bill that would authorize $50 million annually through fiscal 2016 for the EPA's National Estuary Program and would require the EPA to evaluate estuary management plans every four years. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

GOP Strip Club Fundraisers--why the double standard?

Thanks to the Sessions Watch reader who brought this story to our attention; it's not exactly news that Pete Sessions organizes fundraisers at Las Vegas strip clubs, but it's noteworthy GOP leadership has said nothing about it. Why are Republican leaders calling for Michael Steele to resign over the "strippergate" scandal and not demanding the same of Pete Sessions?

Lone Star Project wants to know Why is Pete Sessions getting a pass? (The link takes you to the article and a video with footage from one of the Las Vegas strip clubs Sessions patronizes--the video is not family friendly or "work safe," but it doesn't auto-start, so the link is okay if you don't press that "play" button).

Libertarian candidate John Jay Myers has also jumped into the fray, making his own YouTube burlesque video; it's pretty tame compared to the Lone Star Project video, but I'll still just post the link instead of embedding: Dear Pete Sessions, John Jay Myers fan Christina takes on Pete.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pete Sessions holds town hall meeting on healthcare

Tonight, Pete Sessions will hold a health care town hall meeting in Richardson; on Wednesday, he'll be in Irving, once again ignoring his constituents in the southern sector of the district.

Knowing Pete, he probably won't deliver any solid information about how you and your family can benefit from the new reforms of the insurance industry, but if anti-reform rhetoric is your idea of a fun evening out, bring your own popcorn to one of the following events:

Richardson Town Hall Meeting

Monday, March 29, 2010 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Charles W. Eisemann Center
2351 Performance Drive
Richardson, Texas 75082

Irving Town Hall Meeting

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
7:00pm – 8:30pm

Irving City Hall
825 W. Irving Boulevard
Irving, TX 75060

For even more fun, play GOP Talking Points Bingo!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pete Sessions campaigns for Jon Barela in New Mexico

Again, no editorial comment, just a note for future reference:

Sessions To Campaign for Barela in New Mexico

National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions of Texas will be making an appearance in New Mexico this weekend as the "special guest" at a breakfast rally for GOP House candidate Jon Barela...

...Barela, former chair of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, faces an uphill battle to unseat freshman Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) in the Democratic-leaning district, and has put up only modest fundraising numbers...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Friend of Pete Sessions appointed to leadership role

No scandal here, no editorial comment, just a note for future reference: Walden Rises Up From Obscurity
Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.) appears to have done all the right things to win him an appointed seat at the GOP leadership table: be a good team player, prove you’ve got political and policy chops, and have friends in high places...

...He may be National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions’ (Texas) closest friend, he had become a regular counsel for leaders on top issues, and he was willing to give up a powerful committee post to make room for the Conference’s newest lawmaker.

“We wanted to put Greg in a position where he is at the leadership table every week,” said Sessions, who last year appointed Walden to serve as his deputy chairman at the committee.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Voters Have Spoken: Sessions wins primary

Okay, all you Republican complainers, we Sessions Watchers don't want to hear any more tales of woe about how you wish someone would vote against the corrupt, hypocritical Pete Sessions; if only, you've told us, someone would run in the primary, you'd vote for "the other guy."

Well, this year, you had a choice, but at this writing, with 36 of 188 precincts reporting, Pete Sessions is on the way towards easily winning this one, with 84% of the vote so far.

Still, David Smith's 15% is a very good showing for a newcomer to this race.

Voter turnout was low; in Sessions' own precinct, Precinct 2222, for instance, only 110 people showed up to vote, and ten of them voted for David Smith. Not bad at all.

So Sessions lives on to fight in the general election against Libertarian John Jay Myers and Democrat Grier Raggio, and all you GOPers who say you want Sessions out have one more chance to get it right.

UPDATE: With 100% Reporting, the final numbers are:
David Smith (REP) 16.28%, 5,930 votes
Pete Sessions (REP) 83.72%, 30,492 votes
Total # of votes: 36,422

In the Democratic primary, Grier Raggio, running unopposed, won 7,460 votes.

Voter turnout: Democrats--5.01%, Republicans--8.63 %

Not bad for a primary, but it sure would be nice to see voter turnout in double digits, at least.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scott Brown paves way for vote on jobs bill

Just one month ago, Pete Sessions was crowing about Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, issuing a statement that said, in part:
Tonight, Massachusetts voters relived their historic roots with a mass revolt against the Obama-Pelosi agenda of bigger government, higher taxes, and fewer jobs. No matter how Democrats want to spin it, there is a movement building in America that threatens their majority in Congress. All across this country there are candidates like Scott Brown who have had enough and are running to put an end to a culture of fiscal recklessness in Washington.
But yesterday, Scott Brown joined a handful of Republicans in voting in favor of cloture on the Democrats $15 billion dollar job bill, allowing the bill to go forward for a vote.

Democrats are praising Scott Brown for his bipartisanship, while Republicans are calling him a low-life scum hypocrite. Wonkette has tweets, and you can vote for your favorite Facebook screenshot at Gawker.

A Streetcar Named Hypocrisy

Count Pete Sessions among the GOP stimulus bashers who are now campaigning to get some of that money in their districts. From Businessweek:
Sessions, who called the stimulus “a massive spending binge by the Democrat-controlled Congress,” wrote LaHood three times last September and October. Sessions promoted four projects, including a Dallas streetcar line he said “will create jobs in the region and improve the quality of life for North Texans.” The project got $23 million.

Sessions, in an e-mail, called the stimulus an “abject failure” and said he’d vote against it again if he could.

The lawmaker said his objections don’t keep him “from asking federal agencies for their full consideration of critical infrastructure and competitive grant projects for North Texas when asked to do so by my constituents.” Sessions has written agencies supporting six other grants, spokeswoman Emily Davis said.
(A streetcar line, huh? Hope the contract is awarded to someone who's actually made a streetcar before).

According to Alan Simpson, this is nothing new in Washington:
“It’s the original sin of Washington -- it’s hypocrisy,” Simpson said. “You can’t do that then say you go out and cut the other stuff.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dallas Morning News endorses Pete Sessions

No big surprise here, but the Dallas Morning News gave Pete Sessions their endorsement in the March GOP primary. Yesterday, when Sharon Grigsby announced on her blog that the endorsement would be in today's paper, one of our Sessions Watch readers posted this snarky note on her blog offering to do it for them:
I'll help write your endorsement of Pete Sessions:

"We wish Pete Sessions weren't so corrupt, we wish he cared more about the constituents he represents, we wish he'd give us a straight answer on questions instead of roundabout non-answers; in fact, we wish he was a totally different person. But we can't give the endorsement to a totally different person, we have to give it to Pete Sessions, 'cause we just like him. Don't ask us why, we just do! We really, really like him!"

C'mon, editorial board. Prove me wrong.
The endorsement wasn't quite as obviously sycophantic as that, just your standard "power of incumbency" nod, saying that Sessions is a better choice because he's been there longer, and the other guy just doesn't have the experience!

But they overlook the fact that he's not much of a leader in Congress. According to GovTrack, "Sessions is a follower according to our statistical analysis of bills in this legislative session. Sessions tends to cosponsors the bills of other Members of Congress who do not cosponsor Sessions’s own bills...Peter Sessions has sponsored 81 bills since Jan 7, 1997 of which 70 haven't made it out of committee and 2 were successfully enacted."

And the Dallas Morning News actually had the nerve to slam challenger David Smith for being partisan--after Pete Sessions said the GOP should use the Taliban as "model for insurgency. The Taliban! Not only is Sessions a hyper-partisan who can't work across party lines--or even with members of his own party--to get bills passed, he can't even find any "good guys" to identify with, he'd rather side with the enemy! Pete Sessions is one of the reasons Washington has turned into such a toxic hyper-partisan cesspool.

At best, we hoped for a "no endorsement" from Dallas Morning News, thinking the paper might follow the lead of all the Republican organizations that have refused to endorse Pete Sessions this time around. But there you have it, another endorsement from Dallas Morning News for Pete Sessions. No surprise there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pete Sessions parks in fire lane for endorsement interview!

Actually, it was his assistant Emily Davis who parked in the fire lane at the Dallas Morning News, since she drove him to the interview and was there to comb his hair before he met the editors--as reported by David Smith, who reviewed the interview process on his blog: Review: Dallas Morning News Editorial Board endorsement interview.

But, seriously, isn't that just typical of Pete Sessions, allowing his assistant to park in a fire lane, assuming everybody else's rules don't apply to him?

To the Sessions Watchers who've been badgering the Dallas Morning News over the past few days, asking the editorial board if they're planning on ignoring this race, you can stop now. They actually did an endorsement interview, so they should be making their decision in a few days.

From past experience with Dallas Morning News, we expect something along the lines of their half-hearted endorsement of Pete Sessions over Will Pryor in 2006, in which the editorial board had a litany of "wishes" that Pete Sessions would be a totally different person, but endorsed him anyway.

At Sessions Watch, we have our own set of "wishes" for the Dallas Morning News in their coverage of Pete Sessions, starting with our wish that they would comment in print on his inability to give a straight answer to anything.

In debates, when Pete Sessions is speaking to a bipartisan group that isn't packed with his supporters, his roundabout answers actually get laughs from the crowd. So why does the Dallas Morning News constantly give him passes on his obvious lack of knowledge on the issues?

According to David Smith, Sessions performed as we've come to expect him to in the interview:
And to be honest, I'm not sure that Rep. Sessions answered a single question he was asked! He used words like "leadership" and "reducing spending," even referring to my bringing up the Allen Stanford affair as--I have to make sure to get this right--I LOVED this term!--"a political characterization by a political opponent." Totally blew off the issue....
Readers of Sessions Watch may not agree with everything David Smith proposes, but at least he would be able to conduct an honest debate, using actual facts to back up his ideas instead of throwing the word "freedom" around for a cheap applause line.

C'mon, TX-32 Republicans, you've been campaigning for a GOP primary challenger since you first got stuck with Sessions back in 2004. Vote now, or forever hold your peace.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Early Voting Starts Today!

It is not the policy of Sessions Watch to endorse candidates, but then again, we've never had anyone run against Pete Sessions in the GOP primary before. So you know what to do, Republicans. You've been telling us for years that you'd vote for anyone who ran against Pete Sessions, so here's your chance to put your vote where your mouth is and vote for "the other guy," David Smith.

It's easy--just vote for the very first name you see on your ballot! David Smith is listed before Pete Sessions; not only that, but he's the very first name on the ballot, since Congressional races are listed before the Governor's race.

The GOP ballot is available at this link from Dallas County Elections: Republican Party Primary Election.

For Democrats, it's the same easy vote; Grier Raggio is listed first on the ballot, no opponents, before the list of candidates for Governor. The Democratic Party ballot is available at Democratic Party Primary Election.

David Smith's congressional campaign website is at this link: David Smith for Congress and his blog is here: David Smith for Congress blog.

Grier Raggio's congressional campaign website is at this link: Raggio for Congress.

Early voting runs Tuesday through Friday, February 16, 2010 - February 19, 2010 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.; Saturday, February 20, 2010, Sunday, February 21 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., then again the next week, Monday-Friday February 22 - February 26, 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pete Sessions accidentally slams NRCC pick

Hoo-boy, we tried to warn 'em about Pete Sessions, but they picked him, anyway, to chair the NRCC. Now, they're having to put up with the same incompetent leadership we've "enjoyed" for so many years.

Pete Sessions has flip-flopped on Parker Griffith (AL-5) again. In our previous article, Pete Sessions was against Parker Griffith before he was for him, we highlighted the attack ad the NRCC ran when Griffith was a Democrat. Then, Griffith changed parties and Pete Sessions lavished praise on him saying, "Congressman Griffith’s party affiliation may have changed, but his conservative principles, values and commitment to Alabama families has never wavered."

Now, Pete Sessions has sent out a fundraising letter to Republicans in AL-5 slamming Parker Griffith, apparently forgetting that Parker Griffith switched parties and is now backed by the NRCC:
In a fundraising letter, NRCC chair Pete Sessions lets donors in AL 05 know their "Democrat in Congress has been falling in line with Nancy Pelosi's destructive liberal agenda." The only problem is the NRCC is backing that incumbent, Rep. Parker Griffith (R).
"We're airing hard-hitting ads against your Democrat Member of Congress, and it's making an impact!" the letter reads...

..."Airing TV ads in your part of Alabama gets expensive over time, and we need to make sure we can apply serious pressure on your Representative throughout the 2010 campaign season," Sessions wrote.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pete Sessions: More hope than "change"

Under Pete Sessions' leadership, the NRCC is being outspent 6 to 1 by Democrats. From Dallas Morning News:
Republicans are riding high after a huge Senate win in Massachusetts, and many now talk openly of taking back the House in November.

There's just one big problem: money.

The party's House campaign arm, run by U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions of Dallas, has struggled to raise funds, leaving Democrats with a 6-1 advantage...

..."This is a serious deficit," said former Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, one of Sessions' more successful predecessors as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. "If the numbers persist like this, you're not going to win anything."...

...Sessions could not be reached for comment, and staffers at the committee declined to discuss the matter.

Friday, January 8, 2010

TN-08: NRCC "gay-baits" former minister, father of 3

Sessions Watch readers in Tennessee sent in this story from the Nashville Post; it's not directly about Pete Sessions, but about NRCC tactics. Since Pete is Chair of the NRCC we decided to run with it, since it sounds like something he'd approve.

So here's the story: NRCC spokesperson Andy Seré has been using his blog to imply that congressional candidate Roy Herron (running for TN-08) is gay. For proof, he points to Roy Herron's blog, where he writes about physical fitness and avoiding the heart disease that claimed his father's life:
Dad never got to see his younger two sons (my brother Ben and me) finish our education. The next heart attack got him. But I definitely want to see our sons grow up and complete their educations.

So, I work out. And like everyone, I try to watch what I eat, sometimes with less success than others. One of my friends reminds me, "You know, Roy, gluttony is still a sin."

And since it's one of my sins, I have to work out more than some to keep my weight down. But my heart seems strong with a morning resting heart rate (pulse) of 34, sometimes lower. I'm hoping it'll hang in there for a while yet.

Another part of my motivation is to encourage young people to be active. And as someone once said of proclaiming the Gospel, "Preach the Good News--use words if you must." It's much easier for me to preach and fuss, but most young people get enough preaching and fussing, but not enough good examples. And they sure know the difference between the talk and the walk. So, I know I've got to continue to try to eat less and work out more than I otherwise would.

Now, I'm fortunate. All three of our sons are runners on Dresden's Cross Country Team..
Sounds like pretty good advice, especially since there's been such an emphasis lately on personal responsibility in the health care debate.

But according to Andy Seré, physical fitness is for gay people. From Talking Points Memo:
When I first spoke to NRCC spokesman Andy Seré on Wednesday, Seré used Herron's personal blog against him. In addition to his legislative work, Herron uses a good portion of the blog to discuss his physical fitness, and his family's history of heart disease. "Rather than protecting small businesses, rather than protecting taxpayers, he often seems more interested in watching what he eats, making sure he's jogging enough miles everyday, and just watching his body image very closely," said Seré.
Hmmm...Sarah Palin is a runner, right? And George W. Bush is into physical fitness, right? If physical fitness is only for gay people, does that mean George and Sarah are...?

But we digress. Apparently, Andy Seré is using his blog to make a weak link between pictures of Roy Herron in jogging shorts to his vote to overturn a ban on gay people adopting kids. "So why can't Roy Herron just be straight with West and Middle Tennesseans" Seré writes on his blog.

So, what journalists wanted to know next is, what's behind Andy Seré's obsession with gay people? John Aravosis of AMERICAblog writes about what he found on Seré's Facebook page:
In unrelated news, it must have been one hell of a party that same NRCC spokesman, Andy Seré, attended last May, according to his Facebook page. The Fete was called the "GOB Freedom Festival." It caught my eye since "gob," among other things, is gay slang for oral sex, and for young gay sailors (and, an even odder coincidence, the party was for a military friend coming back to the states). It gets even odder when you look at the photos from the GOB "festival" that I found on Facebook...
Here's one of the photos--for the rest, check out AMERICAblog--or better yet, become one of Andy's Facebook friends:

Our readers in Tennessee say that Ron Herron is a devoted family man and father of 3, and that he's a former minister; they assure us that he isn't gay but add, "Not that there's anything wrong with that! :)"

Monday, January 4, 2010

Libertarian John Jay Myers joins TX-32 race

From Dallas Morning News:
Onetime city council candidate and longtime Libertarian John Jay Myers has announced his plans to runs for U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions' seat. The campaign will officially kick off Jan. 28.

Myers ran a spirited but doomed campaign for City Council member Carolyn Davis' 7th district seat. Virtually unknown to the district's political and religious establishment, he nevertheless won quite a few votes through tireless campaigning and a message that seemed to resonate with voters from Buckner Terrace to East Oak Cliff...
The Sessions Watch team welcomes John Jay Myers into the race, and wishes him all the best. We invite our Libertarian readers to check out John's website at this link: John Jay Myers for United States Congress.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Allen Stanford Helped Pete Sessions Score His Biggest Political Victory"

From Talking Points Memo:
"I love you and believe in you," Sessions wrote Stanford in an effusive Feb. 17 e-mail, according to the Miami Herald in an exclusive report Monday. "If you want my ear/voice -- e-mail."

Why the warm-fuzzies?

Perhaps because five years ago, in Sessions' greatest moment of political need, Stanford and his associates proved staunch allies.

A Center for Responsive Politics analysis indicates that employees of Allen Stanford-led Stanford Financial ranked No. 2 among Sessions' donors during the 2004 election cycle, accounting for $24,275.

Of course, that amount alone won't win an election. But the Stanford donation total ranked ahead of massive firms such as SBC Communications, Ernst & Young and Crow Holdings, all of which have notable presences in Sessions' Texas District 32, situated in Dallas and its suburbs.

And it was the 2004 election cycle that Sessions, an incumbent, grappled with another longtime incumbent congressman in Democrat Martin Frost...
And, again, there's an interesting item in the comments section of the blog:
My family is represented by Sessions in Congress and we invested millions of dollars of our family's trust with Stanford last year that is now completely gone. This was a trust for two disabled members of our family. We have contacted Sessions' office no fewer than a dozen times with no return phone call. He is a disgrace to our community. He should be fighting for all the Stanford investors he helped Allen Stanford deceive. Part of the reason we trusted Stanford Group so much was because of the company's roots with our trusted elected officials like Sessions and Senator John Cornyn. We would have been better off investing with Madoff because at least those investors were able to get securities insurance. Sessions should be fighting in Washington to help the Stanford depositors to get at least the same relief the Madoff victims got. What Sessions did to help Allen Stanford is called AIDING AND ABETTING.