I typically charge for my sage wisdom on campaign communications strategy, but sometimes, a candidate is obviously in such dire need of help that I simply cannot abide not offering free advice. Case on point? Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, who is stumbling haplessly through what appears to be an audition for a reality show on the Lifetime network rather than a legitimate race for governor of a state with an GDP greater than most European nations.
Whether it’s gleefully claiming that she’s pro-life because she cares for children once they’ve been medically separated from their mothers uterus, or embellishing her decidedly middle-class upbringing to engender trust in her faux compassion for Texas’s poor, or making the always-solid decision to run on a platform banning firearms in Texas, Wendy’s had a real streak of winning ideas. But none may be so bold as her more recent declaration, at a cozy SoHo cocktail party in NYC : that the state she wants to lead is a toxic cesspool.
On Tuesday, December 10th, Texas State Senator Wendy R. Davis was welcomed by some of New York’s finest movers and shakers at a contemporary loft gallery in SoHo.
At this small cocktail reception Ms. Davis spoke about her race for Governor, what she envisions for the deeply red state of Texas and how her grassroots campaign seeks to turn this key state blue in the near future…
She went on to say that Texas has the tendency and reputation of passing toxic policies that seem to spread across the country, as other states follow by their example.
If only. Texas is a destination for America’s unemployed largely because it’s adopted pro-business policies that other states have been more reticent to try. I mean, I suspect that Wendy’s economic agenda looks remarkably like the one we labor under in Illinois, but that’s precisely why I have a recurring Trulia search for charming condos in downtown Austin. No one in Texas is looking at Chicago and thinking, boy, I’d like to pay more in property taxes and have a government whose top priority is banning unhealthy food products and protesting Wal-Mart.
So here’s the advice, Wendy. Remember those Pace Picante ads from the late 1990s, where the cowboys threatened to brand an interloper who dared to bring a jar of salsa bottled in New York City to their campfire cookout? I’m fairly sure that when it comes to at least some Texas, that wasn’t a caricature. Not that I’m saying they’re going to brand your derriere when next you set foot over the state line, but you may want to try not badmouthing a proud Western state with a cowboy tradition to trust-fund hipsters and limousine liberals at posh urban cocktail parties.
Of course, that’s going to be a tough strategy for Wendy to adapt to given her arms-length concern for her potential constituents. I mean, she’s such a giver already.
Davis’ adjusted gross income rose from $130,931 in 2010 to $235,428 in 2011 and $284,183 last year. She made roughly $12,000 to $14,000 a year from capital gains, mostly from the sale of mutual funds.
In 2010, Davis’ combined legal work brought in $126,043, then rose to $223,263 a year later before hitting $275,271 in 2012, according to figures filed under tax schedules for business and partnership income…
Davis has made relatively modest contributions to charity. In 2010 she reported giving $2,700. She gave $515 in 2011 and $950 in 2012, the tax returns show.
In case you the triple-digit donations don’t wow you, you should know that her contributions amount to a whopping .33% of her income. That’s a whole third of one percent to Texas’s poor and destitute. I’m sure those poverty-stricken children that she speaks fondly of helping with your money are simply stunned by her model generosity.
But, of course, she’s not stingy with her personal income. Even if she barely cut a Christmas check to charity, there’s at least one institution she doesn’t mind taking her money. It just happens to be the Foundation of Neiman Marcus. In her Vogue profile alone, Wendy Davis mentions owning $1500 worth of clothing – a $900 Escada coat dress and a $600 pair of Reed Krakoff heels – triple the amount she gave to charity in 2011. I wonder how many desolate families that could feed.
Of course, there are things that Wendy Davis does for you that cause her pain, even if she isn’t personally helping those less fortunate. While standing for 13 hours during her “filibuster” of the Texas abortion bill that bans the procedure after 20 weeks (largely recognized as just short of fetal viability), she experienced all sorts of discomfort. So whether she cares, she at least feels your pain.
A saint, that one is. A real saint.