I wish you well with that argument, Tom.
For those who are already declaring that Attorney General Greg Abbott will be Gov. Rick Perry’s successor, former Texas Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken has a clear message.
“This idea that there’s a divine right of succession, I challenge it and thoroughly,” the gubernatorial candidate said Tuesday in a Capitol news conference. “This is a real battle for the soul of the Republican Party between the outsiders and the people that feel they don’t have a real voice in Austin.”
At his news conference, Pauken also took aim at the state’s school finance system and its budget, saying that as governor, he would take decisive action to make both more efficient. He also declared himself a candidate for all of Texas, not just those who have enough money to pay for lobbyists at the state Capitol. Pauken said his proven track record of listening to the issues and doing something about them will make him stand out among his opponents.
So far, Pauken, who announced his candidacy in March, is the only declared GOP candidate in the 2014 race to succeed Perry, who announced Monday that he would not seek re-election. Although Abbott has not declared his candidacy for the position, speculation has run rampant that he will throw his hat in the ring and become the instant favorite.
At Tuesday’s news conference, Pauken said he is running on authentic conservative principles, criticizing the “pretend conservatism” that he says many in Texas have adopted.
“It’s not a conservatism of the heart, it’s not a conservatism that takes the fight to the left that lays out here’s what we’re going to do,” Pauken said of the philosophy he opposes. “It’s taking the easy road of reading polls, seeing what the base wants to hear and giving them that.”
Pauken said that real conservatives listen to regular people, not just those who have enough money to pay for lobbyists. Conservatives are serious about ideas and solving problems, not just saying what people want to hear, Pauken said.
Yeah, good luck with that. I’m pretty sure that Abbott’s campaign, to whatever extent that he bothers to run one, will be hagiographic videos and “ME HATE OBAMA” chest-thumping. The over/under for his percentage in the GOP primary is set at 75 right now. Tom Pauken is hardly my idea of a good Governor, but to the extent that he actually has ideas and wants to Do Something about the real-world problems that Texas faces, he’s about a billion times better than Abbott. And it won’t do him a damn bit of good. Trail Blazers has more.