News

The Darsch Report: Jan. 7 – 13

Tarrant County GOP

In Tarrant County on Jan. 10th, county GOP officials overwhelmingly voted against a motion to oust Vice-Chairman Shahid Shafi because he is a Muslim. Precinct chairs voted 139-49 in favor of the trauma surgeon and Southlake City Council member.

After the vote, Shafi told members of the press, “As an immigrant to this great country, I am honored and privileged to receive the support of my fellow Republicans. We need to learn to trust each other so we can create a more perfect union every day.”

Those in favor of removing Shafi from office argued that he cannot represent all Tarrant County Republicans because of his religion. Some also stated that they supported the initiative because Islamic ideologies run counter to the American constitution.

The vote drew national attention as well as condemnation from some of the state’s top Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, and Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey. Dickey went on the day after the vote, “We look forward to working with all Republicans to fight for lower taxes, quality education, and to continue our booming economy through Republican leadership.”

Conservatives should applaud the 139 County Party members in Tarrant County who voted against such a bigoted act against a fellow conservative. In these times, Republicans need to unite over a common sense of values and beliefs and not try to divide each other over things that shouldn’t matter like race, creed or religion.

Ohio HQ Moving to SA

Investment management company Victory Capital Holdings Inc. is also moving its corporate headquarters from Cleveland to San Antonio and adding with it 50 jobs on top of the 300 they acquired from their November acquisition of an arm of USAA.

According to the company, the city, and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF), the 50-plus new jobs will average a base salary of $96,000. Because of the HQ move, the company’s CEO David Brown, as well as five other senior executives, will be moving to the San Antonio area.

However, the city incentivized the move with tax dollars. As San Antonio Express-News reports, “San Antonio and Bexar County officials have agreed to give Victory Capital $750,000 in tax incentives for the move. The city projects a $945 million economic effect and $460,000 in tax revenue from the headquarters over the next decade.” On top of this, Brown cites the area’s 160,000 college students, population growth particularly among millennials, low cost of living and information technology presence as what sealed the deal.

Although it may be a gamble, this may also be good news for the city of San Antonio and Texas in general as it continues to expand not only its job growth but growth in information technology as well. Perhaps this move will be another step toward having a tech area in the US that can rival Silicon Valley.

The US Economy

It was a good week for US stocks, with multiple gains in the stock market. The Dow Jones increased to 23,995.95 on Friday, increasing by +522.79 points, or +2.18 percent over its Jan 4th close of 23,433.16. The S&P 500 increased by +64.32 points or +2.48 percent on Friday. In addition, the Nasdaq had an increase on Friday by +3.34 percent.

The US economy is also looking really good. The GDPNow forecast from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta expects the US economy to have grown around 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018. If this holds true then the US will have exceeded 3 percent annual growth for the first time since 2005 with a growth rate of 3.15 percent.

With this strong showing from the US economy, we also expect a good performance in 2019. It would be unsurprising if 2019 GDP growth exceeds the expected 2.4 percent, especially if Trump is able to negotiate a new trade deal with China to end the trade war.

2020 Mania has Begun

It is only the second week of January but already there are many heavy contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Julian Castro, former San Antonio mayor and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, and Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaiian representative, have officially declared that they are running for president. Meanwhile, California Senator Kamala Harris will make an official announcement of her decision on Jan 19th and New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has taken some steps that suggest a presidential run.

If Harris, Gillibrand and Warren all decide to officially run, the three will bring the total number of declared Democratic candidates to eleven. Along with these eleven, there are an additional twenty-nine speculative candidates who have made no official announcements, from well-known politicians like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Beto O’Rourke to not so well-known like Eric Garcetti, Tim Ryan, and Howard Schultz.

In the two most recent polls conducted by Public Policy Polling and the Morning Consult, the results don’t look that good for any of these candidates. In the PPP survey of 750 people in North Carolina, they asked participants if they would vote for Trump or a democratic candidate. The results were as follows: Biden 49-44, Booker 45-46, Harris 45-45, Beto 45-46, Sanders 48-45, Warren 46-46. In the Morning Consult poll of 1989 registered voters, they polled who people would vote for in the 2020 Democratic primary. Biden polled with 17 percent, Warren 3 percent, Sanders 12 percent, Beto 4 percent, and Harris 1 percent; the other candidates mentioned weren’t listed.

It is much too early to tell what will happen over the next year and a half but for now, it will be very interesting to see how polls shift in the coming months.

Government Shutdown

As of Sunday, January 13th, the US Federal government has entered its 23rd day of a partial shutdown, the longest ever. On Friday, January 11th, some 800,000 government employees missed their first paycheck, of whom:

  • 380,000 are furloughed
  • 420,000 are still working without pay, according to CBS News

Some have blamed the shutdown on the unwillingness of congressional Democrats to find a compromise on Trump’s demand of $5 billion for a border wall. Top Republican lawmakers have criticized Democratic leadership for not putting any counter-offers on the table.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ardent supporter of Trump’s efforts to build a wall, criticized Democrats who have condemned Trump’s proposed wall but previously voted in favor of other bills, such as the Secure Fence Act of 2006, that build barriers on the border. “It really does perplex me how you expect this to end when you tell the president of the United States, ‘you get one dollar for a wall’ when in the past Democrats have appropriated billions for the wall,” Graham said.

According to GovTrack, 59 percent of Senate Democrats (including Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer) voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which allowed fencing to be built along much of the US-Mexico border. In the House, however, only 31 percent of Democrats voted for the bill. Rep. Nancy Pelosi voted against it.

We are currently in the longest government shutdown in US history. This is not the time for Congressmen to devolve into useless bickering. Trump is going to find some way—any way—to get the wall built and it is in the Democrats’ best interest to negotiate. Perhaps a DACA for Wall deal, as was suggested in late 2017, could be a possible solution.

UT-YCT Doxxing

This week a doxxing group at the University of Texas released names, photos, emails and numbers of over 30 students who have attended Young Conservative of Texas (YCT) meeting and lectures held by conservative speakers. Saurabh Sharma, 21, leads the UT chapter of YCT and is the statewide chairman of the organization. Many of Sharma’s cabinet members have been doxxed and he says the fallout has been immense.

“It hasn’t impacted all our members… but it has discouraged many from staying involved,” Sharma told PJ Media on Monday. Many of the students were doxxed for simply liking conservative pages on Facebook.

Unfortunately, the doxxing blog will not be taken down any time soon because the hosting server is a well-known ‘anti-fascist’ server. Hopefully the students responsible will be found and those affected will be able to return back to a normal life.

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