Texas Influencers

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Tom "Smitty" Smith, director of Public Citizen's Texas office, was named one of the top 20 "influencers" in Texas politics by the Austin American-Statesman.

Transcript of Texas Influencers

Te x a s I n f l u e n c e r sAbout the authorW. Gardner Selby is editor of the Austin American-Statesmans PolitiFact Texas, the frst state-level version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact truth-testing project, created by the St. Petersburg Times. Hes been around Texas politics since boyhood and has written about state government and politics since the early 1980s.30 Campaigns & Elections | August 2010Rick PerryNever-beaten, governor for life?Mike ToomeyLobbyist, presumed frequent adviser to pal Perry Dan PatrickRadio stations owner, talk show host and state senator who exacts sway while speaking up on whats askew James HuffnesBanker, quiet adviser to Perry and other top offceholdersBill HammondPresident, Texas Association of Business, former Texas House member Susan CombsState comptroller, former state representative; seeks third term in wake of nudging Formula 1 racing to contemplate TexasJoe StrausSurprise House speaker, so relaxed some forget he overtook predecessor in 2009, partly thanks to House DemocratsDavid DewhurstLieutenant governor, capable of self-funding 2010 re-election bid, maybe races to come Deirdre DelisiChair, Texas Transportation Commission, former Perry chief of staff and a campaign manager, bolstered by political consultant-husband, Ted Delisi (theyre rearing twins) Dave CarneyHonorary Texan; New Hampshire-rooted consultant to Gov. Rick Perry, once worked for White House (ahem)Matt AngleWashington, director, Texas Democratic Trust political committee, master strategist for Dems yearning for statewide resurgenceLisa BlueDallas lawyer-philanthropist, widow to John Edwards confdante Fred Baron, pivotal funder of Dem groups including trustTommy TownsendExecutive director, Texas Trial Lawyers AssociationJohn Eddie WilliamsHouston lawyer, mega-donor, among state-retained attorneys in tobacco case of 1990sBill WhiteFormer Houston mayor, gubernatorial nomineeKarl-Thomas MusselmanPublisher, Burnt Orange Report, made it a must-see blogLeland BeattyAustin consultant, strategist, maybe visionaryDan McClungHouston consultant, remembers when (and why) Texas Democrats won statewide racesRon KirkU.S. trade representative, Obama adviser in 2008 Texas primary, former Dallas mayor, lost 02 Senate race to John Cornyn; little seen, but many, connectionsBecky MoellerPresident, Texas AFL-CIO, poked Perry for living in taxpayer-funded suburban digs by offering trailer near the Capitol; what else does she have in store?Te x a s I n f l u e n c e r sThe Top 10 RepublicansThe Top 10 DemocratsThe breakdown that follows of the 50 most infu-ential Republican and Democratic fgures in Texas politics and government is imperfect, limited by the unreality that seeps in whenever anyone purports to take in Texas in one slurpy gulp.Cant. Be. Done.Still, it was a pleasure to try.This approach is my own, though it draws partly on pri-vate suggestions from members of the states power-political intelligencia, their own lists understandably marked with cross-hatches and disagreements. In the end, I resisted the inclusion of too many offcehold-ers as well as many lively partisans who ably carry out plans and ideas rather than hatch them. I also tabled my initial in-clination to focus on 20 super-signifcant GOP players and around 10 Democratic counterpartsa take arguably justi-fed by the uneven, pro-Republican results of jockeying at the Texas Capitol in recent years, but one failing to account for hot speculation within both parties that changes in pow-er and politics are on the way. Such changes will play out, in my view, when a cause or candidate (from either party) stirs Latino residents toward greater public involvement. Boiled out, this list refects the shift in Texas from Democratic to Republican dominance cemented in statewide elections nearly 20 years ago, and expected shifts beyond the immedi-ate horizon. Oversights are all mine.www. b| aokr deet x. oom - phone: 512. 48U. 8444T e x a s G o v e r n me n t R e l a t i o n sL O B B Y I S T SPustv Kellev Carol McGarah Michael lohnsonSara Kemptner loev Ionglev-Sunset Practice Groupwww. b| aokr deet x. oom - phone: 512. 48U. 8444T e x a s G o v e r n me n t R e l a t i o n sL O B B Y I S T SPustv Kellev Carol McGarah Michael lohnsonSara Kemptner loev Ionglev-Sunset Practice Group32 Campaigns & Elections | August 2010Te x a s I n f l u e n c e r sRosie CastroSan Antonio mother to wunderkind twins Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, and Joaquin Castro, state representative Ben BarnesFederal lobbyist, former lieutenant governor after House speaker, premier networker Kirk WatsonAustin state senator, 2002 nominee for Texas attorney general, former Austin mayor, must-see Central Texas politico along with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-AustinScott McCownExecutive director, Center for Public Policy Priorities, liberal-leaning think tank, former state district judge, ever ready with calming adviceLeticia Van de PutteSan Antonio state senator, co-chair 2008 Democratic National Convention, stepped back from statewide run in 2010Robert JonesPolitical director, Annies List, committee devoted to electing Democratic women to legislature and state offces Lisa TurnerOwner-president, the Turner Group; wife to state Rep. Chris Turner of Arlington Tom Smitty SmithDirector, Texas offce of Public Citizen, respected non-partisan player in Capitol hallsRodney EllisHouston state senator, once acting lieutenant governor, proud protg of late U.S. Rep. Mickey LelandTrey Martinez FischerSan Antonio state representative, chairman, Mexican American Legislative Caucus; relentlessly on prowl for his causeGarnet ColemanHouston state representative, wizened budget/policy wonkWendy DavisState senator, former Fort Worth City Council member, unexpectedly unseated GOP incumbent in 2008, eyed for statewide offce Jack MartinFounding chairman, Public Strategies Inc., home at times to consultants Matthew Dowd, Mark McKinnon and the late Kelly Fero (whose political spirit abides)Katie NaranjoNational president, College Democrats of America, also business partner with Matt Glazer, GNI Strategies, online messaging and fundraising; part of partys youth core including Rick Cofer, member of Democratic National CommitteeJohn SharpAvowed aspirant for U.S. Senate in 2012, former state comptroller, member of Texas Railroad Commission, state lawmakerAimee BoonePresent development director at Texas Democratic Trust and former fnance director for the Texas Democratic Party.Sylvia GarciaHarris County commissioner, former Houston city controller; statewide next?David MatthiesenHouston lawyer, pivotal in plotting Democratic wins of local judicial races in 2008Hector GutierrezSemi-retired El Paso lobbyist, has helped candidates in both parties, senior adviser to Gov. Perry when Perry was lieutenant governorMarc StanleyDallas lawyer, former president, Texas Trial Lawyers AssociationThe Next 20 DemocratsAugust 2010 | Campaigns & Elections 33Peggy VenableState director, grassroots-stirring Americans for ProsperityKelly ShackelfordPresident-CEO, Liberty Institute, cause-oriented lawyer with political muscleBrooke RollinsPresident/CEO, Texas Public Policy Foundation, think tank churns material for R-majority LegislatureRusty KelleyLobbyist, long-ago roots as aide to (now-late) Democratic House Speaker Bill ClaytonRandy ErbenLobbyist, steeped in state, federal issuesReggie BashurLobbyist, studious former underling to GOP Govs. Bill Clements, George W. BushDick WeekleyChairman-CEO, Texans for Lawsuit Reform, tort reform advocate Greg AbbottAttorney general seeking third term with eye on lieutenant governor spotor more Carol ReedDallas, founder and CEO, Carol Reed Associates, Inc. Todd OlsenAustin direct-mail authority, teamed with Heather and Kevin Shuvalov, frm descended from Karl Rove & CompanyNeal T. Buddy JonesLobbyist, co-founder, Hillco Partners, former state representative Steve MunisteriHouston lawyer, chairman, Republican Party of Texas. Among founders in 1980s of Young Conservatives of Texas. Cathie AdamsDallas, longtime Eagle Forum cheerleader, immediate past state GOP chair Rob JohnsonAustin, campaign manager for Perry, former chief of staff to Dewhurst, wired inMichael Quinn SullivanAustin, President/CEO, Empower Texans, fair for stump, not fearful of tea-party crowdBob PerryHouston homebuilder, reclusive mega-donorHector De LeonBoard co-chair, Associated Republicans of Texas, fgures in GOP bids for legislature John ColyandroExecutive director, Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus of the Texas state legislature. Onetime Tom DeLay aide carrying unresolved indictment. Ray SullivanChief of staff, Governors Offce, also one-time aide to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison Boone PickensEnergy entrepreneur, shoulda been a contender (for governor)The Next 20 RepublicansUpstream CommunicationsCongratulatesTodd OlsenFor being named in the...Texas Inuencers ListUpstream wants to wish good luck to some of our clients for 2010:NRSCSarah PACGrassley for US SenateDan Coats for US SenateJoe StrausTexas SpeakerPete Olson for Congress, TXDee Margo for Congress, TXBill Flores for Congress, TXwww.getupstream.com34 Campaigns & Elections | August 2010Senfronia ThompsonHouston, state representative, makes things happenEd Martin Former executive director, Texas Democratic Party; writer-son Philip rising Democratic activist Tom MeredithAustin donor-adviser in Texas and beyond, former chief fnancial offcer, Dell Inc.Alexa WesnerAustin donor-adviser in Texas and beyondAnna BennettWashington, pollster, Bennett Petts & Normington, range of Texas Democratic clientsBernard RapoportWaco insurance magnate, long-time Democratic backerEddie AldreteSan Antonio banker, kitchen cabinet member for many, brother to respected Austin consultant James AldreteJulian CastroSan Antonio mayor; what next?Cecilia BooneDallas philanthropist, past chair Planned Parenthood of North