Politics & Government

March 22, 2014

Texas native — Barry Corbin — speaks out for the state

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz played up a moment in the spotlight

Texas has a new spokesman — actor Barry Corbin.

Corbin, a Texas native and North Texas resident, is doing TV and radio ads for the Texas Veterans Land Board, promoting benefits Texas veterans have earned.

“Here in Texas, owning land has always been a big part of being a Texan, but for veterans like me, owning land here is a dream come true,” Corbin says in an ad that recently began airing. “Right now, if you’re a Texas veteran or a member of the military, the VLB has low-interest loans up to $100,000 with only 5 percent down. This is a great deal, just for veterans.”

Corbin, who was born in Lamesa and served two years in the Marines after he turned 21, has been in movies including WarGames and Urban Cowboy and on TV shows such as MASH, Dallas, Northern Exposure and Matlock.

“When not on the set, Corbin enjoys spending time on his ranch near Fort Worth and is an accomplished rider,” the land board said recently in a news release.

‘Flintstone’ Cruz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seemed to love his moment in the spotlight this month at the Gridiron dinner in Washington, D.C.

Not only did he give a pretty funny speech at the evening of journalists spoofing politicians, but he was the “star” of the show as a Gridiron member played him, dressed just like Fred Flintstone – with a huge, foamy cowboy hat.

“I’m a Flintstone cowboy,” went the tune, parodying Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy. “I’m a right-wing fossil, you can call me Teddy Paleo. Not a single damn Canadian bone.”

During the evening, Cruz addressed his Canadian birth.

“Canadians are so polite, mild-mannered, modest, unassuming, open-minded,” Cruz said. “Thank God my family fled that oppressive influence before it could change me.”

Cruz was seated on the dais next to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who Cruz said must have been wondering how he got such a terrible seat.

Popular names

Abbott, Bush and Brown were the three most popular names on the contested Republican primary ballot this month.

Attorney General Greg Abbott won his primary bid for governor with more than 1.2 million votes, Fort Worth’s George P. Bush won his primary bid for land commissioner with more than 900,000 votes and Place 6 Supreme Court Justice Jeff Brown won his primary bid with more than 820,000 votes.

On the Democratic side, state Sens. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio and Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, making bids respectively for lieutenant governor and governor, picked up the most votes in contested races.

Van de Putte won with more than 450,000 votes; Davis won with more than 430,000.

Range war for Ways and Means?

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, is already primed to fight for the chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee — even if it means going mano a mano with GOP wunderkind Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

Brady has seniority; he’s next in line for the top spot, assuming that the GOP holds the House in 2014 and that the current chairman, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., has to step down because of Republican term limits. But Rep. Ryan, the Budget Committee chairman, is apparently eager to lead the tax-writing committee and wields clout for his high-profile role in budget battles and for having been the GOP's vice presidential standardbearer in 2012.

Brady told Bloomberg News’ Al Hunt: “I’m qualified and prepared to lead this committee. At the right time, I’m going to make that case to my colleagues. This is all about the ideas and how we can move tax reform, trade, entitlement reform forward, so it’s good to have a healthy competition.”

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