Hey Texas Outlaw Writers subscribers! We are super excited to announce our first official podcast (with the whole gang!) We got together yesterday before the debate and shot the breeze about the upcoming election. We also introduced ourselves, gave a bit of our backgrounds, and just had a great time yakking it up with each other.
We hope to do this weekly, and we will also will release some bonus material... Jim and some of the outlaws have expressed interest in reading some of their longer pieces (Jim has already released a couple of his pieces as readers...)
We're already up on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Anchor, Amazon Music, RadioPublic, iHeart Radio and all the other usual podcast suspects. (Let us know if there is a podcast provider that you like where we're not listed.) We've also posted it right here inside this post if you want to listen on your desktop, right now! (Highly recommended!)
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(PLEASE NOTE: This is a rough (AI-generated) transcript of the show. If something is misspelled or a name is garbled... give the show a listen just to verify.)
Chris Newlin: Can you hear me, Roger? Whatever you jiggled a second ago I heard it.
Roger Gray: How's
Chris Newlin: Yeah, now I got it.
Roger Gray: Just being picky.
Roger Gray: Apparently got on a mailing list for something in one of the, uh, uh, the Daily Caller or something, and one of the, Offers was for Melania's Christmas Ornaments.
I thought she was saying, Fuck Christmas. You know? So,
Chris Newlin: Well, she knows how to decorate.
Roger Gray: I guess,
Deece Eckstein: Testing one. Testing one.
Chris Newlin: I gotcha. That you, Deece?
Deece Eckstein: It's me.
Chris Newlin: Okay. Very
Deece Eckstein: Very nice. Hi, Roger.
Y'all give me, can I have just a minute to go get some uh, beverage?
Chris Newlin: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Hello, Jim Moore. on the Air
Jim Moore: Ground control to Major Tom.
Roger Gray: well, you look all professional in everything.
Jim Moore: I do.
Chris Newlin: He never knows when he's gonna be called by msnbc,
Jim Moore: Yeah. I'm wearing a t-shirt and a baseball hat.
Chris Newlin: and
Roger Gray: I'm talking about, I'm talking about the mic. You're ready for espn?
Chris Newlin: ready for Rachel. Mad out a call.
Roger Gray: You know what? Deece cam is working and you're still not ready for your close up, Mr.
Deece Eckstein: That's the, that's my dilemma.
Roger Gray: when it comes right down to it.
Deece Eckstein: I think Jim Moore is the only person that know this, but my, my hair naturally looks like, uh, Javier Bards, as Anton Sugar in, uh, in no country for old men. And so I wear this, uh, toupe, to make it look like I'm balding on top of my head, uh, just as a way of, uh, Not creating that same menace that Javier Baram has.
Roger Gray: There she is.
Chris Newlin: Hey, Myra.
Myra Jolivet: there. Um, so Chris makes shit all complicated.
Chris Newlin: It's pretty easy.
Myra Jolivet: I just
Jim Moore: You sound good.
Myra Jolivet: Okay. Well, I,
All right, Captain, we're ready for take off.
Chris Newlin: Okay. We're recording.
Jim Moore: Don't say go with throttle up.
Chris Newlin: Welcome to the Texas Outlaw Writers Podcast and joining us today. We've got Roger Gray. I'm just going around my screen. Deece Eckstein James Moore and Myra Jolivet. And, uh, we're here today. We're gonna, well, we wanna welcome to the podcast. We hope you're a subscriber to our newsletter that you can find on Texas Outlaw writers.com.
Be sure and subscribe. uh, You'll get all the articles and our newsletter and any podcast we release. We hope to release them weekly. , and just glad to have you here. Uh, we're bunch of, bunch of old writers and journalists and, and we want to talk about Texas politics, Texas travel culture, uh, and we'll probably get into national politics and culture too.
Welcome. And guys, I think we just should start off, the, uh, donkey in the room. Does uh, Beto have a chance in the Texas gubernatorial race ready to go?
Jim Moore: I'm gonna start then, cuz I've, I've been, I've been sort of, uh, just being angst ridden over the latest poll from Quinnipiac and, and I find it hard to believe that Abbott is up by six or seven points and, and I think the X factor in this election, not just here in Texas, but nation. Is going to be what the, the Dobbs ruling throwing out Roe V and Wade does to this election.
What I'm wondering if, if the polls are measuring, uh, the, the women who are, who are angry as hell and, and are going to come out in big numbers, but it, but is there, is there a, is there a huge gap between when that ruling came down an election day? And do have people do, do people think less about that, worry less about that than they do about inflation, about the economy, uh, and, and, or, you know, a potential inbound, uh, hypersonic missile from Puty Poot and, you know, so I'm, I think.
I think that it's gonna be much closer than we think it is, because I don't think the polls can accurately take a full measure of what women are thinking regarding this election. In conservative white males who are saying, You have no right to control your own body, and the conservative white male were probably in bigger numbers in Texas than we realized.
So I think, I think Beto has a, an uphill run, but I also believe that he's gonna, he's got an outside chance of winning, and even if he doesn't, it's gonna be really close,
Myra Jolivet: Do you know? I, I think it's where you sit because, you know, coming from a blue state, there is polling of women and we're seeing, and I'm, I'm involved with the Democratic Party at the county level of where I am. So not nationally, I'm not doing that, but. I frequently see polls that are measuring women's angst.
Um, I think it's generally the poll, the, I'm assuming the polling is done more in the blue states because those pollsters care about that. I don't know how much they care about it in Texas, but, um, there are definite shifts showing that the centrist and moderate Republican women would prefer to vote Democrat cuz they're pissed off about Roe v Wayne.
And, um, and younger women are more engaged because of the fact that they are outraged by that decision. You know, that said, I mean, you know, Jim, we all know. And I know from working in campaigns, the, the polls can tell you something, but you just don't know until the nail biter of the night. Um, of course the exception was one race that I worked that we lost before the polls closed.
So that one was, you know, is just about drinking at that point. But for most times you have to wait, uh, you know, until the vote comes in. So, you know, it it, we need the polls, but at the same time we have to remember who's polling. Anytime I can that answer. We had polling, we poll for us. Right. And yeah, we would release it to media, but it wasn't really about you, , it was about us.
And so you know that as well. And, and even when media organizations poll, I don't know exactly where they're coming from and, and how they're doing that, where their samples are, There's so many factors, right.
Roger Gray: I hate to be terribly obvious about this, but it's gonna depend on turnout, uh, and turnout in specific places. It's gonna depend on Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, versus rural Texas. That's, that's where the Democrats are strong. That's where
Jim Moore: Yeah. But Roger, Roger, Let, let me interrupt on that count because.
Roger Gray: I was gonna throw the valley too. Yeah.
Jim Moore: Well, no, I, I don't even wanna mention the Valley. What I was gonna say though is that, that in, in the Cruz race, uh, Beto carried every one of those, those locals, all five of the metro areas. In the first time in history, a Democrat carried Tarrant County, and I think he's doing better in the metro areas.
This go around. I think his, his issue always has been and was the last election, the rural areas, and that's where he spent all his time. This, this go around. The only, the only place that, that I think that, that he might be tenuous, uh, is, is where you just mentioned the valley.
Roger Gray: Well that, and that's my, my second point was going to be the rural areas where republicans are generally stronger. Uh, and so the turnout is all, if the issue is abortion, though the valley to me is in play. Uh, if the issue was something else, uh, it might not be, but you've got a collision there. You've got a, a group of folks who usually traditionally, historically, were relatively dependably democratic.
Uh, but you throw an abortion and you're going to have to factor in religion. You just are.
Chris Newlin: But 47% of, of Hispanic, uh, Hispanic males voted for Abbot. I mean, I don't think we can say anymore that, I mean, it, it was a tradition long ago. I mean, I
Roger Gray: That's why I threw in historical.
Myra Jolivet: You know, that's been a weird duck for me when I moved to Texas in 81 and I moved from the San Francisco Bay area. But as you guys know, I had crazy Louisiana parents. But still, I mean, I, I grew up in Berkeley. I mean, let's just face it that I did my first protested eight years old. I, I, that's my culture and I get to Texas and, um, well it was Chicanos here.
Uh, Latinos, Hispanics were white. You would get your butt kicked in Oakland, if you called it Chicano White. That was a cultural disconnect for me. It was a very, now, and I, I got to know La Raza and some of the groups in Houston, you know, living in Houston for a long time, but for the most part, being Republican and affiliating as a white Republican.
That's a Texas, Florida thing, more so than New York or California. Do you guys agree with me? I think so.
Jim Moore: I do, I do. I think that I, um, in, in, in de you may have more insight on this in, in this, working with Ann and in, in your, uh, your background in, uh, uh, grassroots work. But, um, my feeling is that, that that what, that what Myra is saying is, is correct. That there is, and, and maybe what's happening in the, in the, uh, Hispanic vote or Latino vote or Latino vote, however we characterize it these days is, is what is, is what, what Roger has described.
But the other thing is that I don't think has been measured, and I don't know if it's real, is. What sort of disruption is being experienced by people living on the border as a result of this humanitarian crisis, of people being drawn here. And there's also this business that, uh, of pulling the ladder up behind you, You know, that, uh, I'm here.
I got a job, I've got a living, and having you come over here makes it even harder. I mean, I, I don't, I don't know what you all went through with Ann, except, you know, I, I saw we're talking about the polls. I saw the polls collapse for Clatie in the last two weeks when what Ann was losing by 10, 12 points or something.
But, but to the Hispanic thing, d I mean, are you seeing that? Do you feel that?
Deece Eckstein: I think Hispanics are, uh, first of all, I think there, there's a distinction in the Hispanic community between older Hispanics and younger Hispanics. And I think that, um, the, I think the younger cohort, uh, in among Hispanics, I think is a little more activist and a little more paying attention. I think you're very right about the pull the ladder up.
Uh, old school kind of, uh, we're not, we're not Mexican Americans anymore. We're me, we're Americans. Uh, I, I, I mean, I've personally seen that sort of thing. Um, I have, I, I have three comments. One is, um, to your point, Jim, about it's probably closer than the polls tell us. I just listened to a podcast with Scott Braddock, who is the editor of the Quorum Report.
And he said that he's got friends who are telling him that Abbott's internal polls show the race much closer, than, than the 7, 9, 11 points that, uh, you know, groups like the Texas Tribune and all that are coming up with. Uh, so it could be that it's closer, which I think is your intuition, Jim. And he specifically cited that he thinks one of Abbott's weaknesses that their polling is showing is suburban women who are pissed off about Dobs.
And they may be good God fearing Republicans, but, uh, they're pissed off about Dobs and part of the phenomenon back in 1990, Jim, as you remember from the Ann Richards Clay Williams race was one of the reasons the polling even on election day was off a little bit, was that you had all these good God fearing Republican women.
Telling their hubbies, Oh, I'm gonna go vote for clay. And then they get in that booth and they close curtain and they voted for Ann. And I wonder if something like that may not be kind of happening out there, which is. Polls are not gonna catch it because they're still gonna say, I'm a, you know, I'm a suburban real estate agent, a real estate broker in Denton County, member of the Texas Federation of Republican Women.
And I'm telling everybody I'm gonna vote for Abbott. Cause professionally that's what I have to do. Uh, but maybe once I get in the booth, I do something differently. Having said all that, I'm reminded of the great wisdom of Damon Runion, which is that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.
And Texas is fundamentally a Republican state. Uh, there's probably a baseline 5% average. I think I went and did some research on this. I looked at Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals votes over the last decade. Uh, just to kind of see what the difference is because of course nobody knows what they're voting for, so that's a good lit.
To me, that's a good litmus test for party affiliation. And the Republicans typically win by about five percentage points.
Myra Jolivet: You know, um, this is anecdotal, but I just wanna throw out there, I've had a handful of good Republican girlfriends who've all had abortions when they were younger, you know? So I think that in a, in a weird way that speaks to what you said, these, it's kind of like, I may go in the poll in the, Once I'm in the booth, it's all about me,
Deece Eckstein: Sure.
Jim Moore: You. And you know what's, you know what's interesting Myra? Is, is Republicans, uh, and, and this is, they're against certain policies until they affect our lives. I mean, remember how anti stem cell that the ragged administration was until he got Alzheimer's? And then Nancy was, We need to do this research, we need to have stem cells.
And then of course, George w and, and Carl Rove came up with the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment until Dick Chaney discovered that one of his daughters was gay. And all of a sudden, it's a cool thing. The, you know, it's, it's what's, it's what suits them and not you that is popular. And I think that, I think that, I'd like to believe, as Deece has suggested, some of these hypocrisies come home, uh, on election day when people get into the voting booth.
And I. Don't, I can't imagine a woman in 2022 going into the voting booth after Dobbs and everything that we've heard said and going in and casting a vote for Abbott and, and just, okay, if my daughter or I get in a situation that we need to have an abortion, whether it's by rapist or the, the fetus is not going to live and, and we have to get abortion, we can't do it without fear of, of being prosecuted or somebody driving us there getting sued.
It's just, I, I just don't think that the, the details of this have completely manifested themselves in the electorate yet. I'd like to believe that, but I, I don't know.
Roger Gray: You're on. Look, you're onto something. I, I, I, I mentioned in my last piece that my wife grew up Baptist, grew up very staunchly Southern Baptist, uh, very opposed to abortion, the gay rights, all of that stuff. Uh, but her brother's gay. We have a 25 year old daughter. Uh, and we've talked about if Mary got pregnant, uh, uh, by whatever means, uh, Karen would drive her there.
You know, I mean, that's, that's, uh, we've hit on something there that I think is, is very crucial. Uh, when it's personal, when it hits home, uh, all your political views go out the window. That said, we're using terms like, I hope that, I feel that, uh, uh, perhaps that'll happen this time. This is still such a dependably red state.
Chris Newlin: Yeah. And I mean, the brand is so strong. And immigration, they're gonna hammer that. And they've also got, uh, Betos,
Roger Gray: Drugs over the
Chris Newlin: guns. They've got Betos quote on, Yeah, I'm coming for your guns. Um, and they're,
Jim Moore: actually said, I'm coming for your AR 15. You didn't say your guns.
Chris Newlin: same thing. Same thing in their mind. That's the problem. We don't under Yeah. We, we like to talk nuance and they want to talk guns so.
Myra Jolivet: You know, the messaging piece. You know, Chris, you and I have talked about that. It's so frustrating. I mean, we all remember. You know, when Democrats had the, Clintons, had the rapid response team, I mean, you said one thing and bam there was a statement. You know, in my days with Kathy Whitmeyer, I mean one of the fastest things we, we strategized constantly, once she pulled me in, uh, everything was about a strategy.
You know, let's anticipate this. Let's anticipate. So I said that to say, what the hell has happened? So now we have, and, and this is why I got involved again cuz I didn't wanna be, I felt like I'm old and I ought to be able to sit down and just do what I wanna do when I wanna do it. But I just got frustrated with the young Democrats everywhere.
It's like when people are voting against their interest, swoop into that community and wake them. Yes. Be woke, you know, slap 'em upside the head and say, Listen, this doesn't serve you. You, I don't care if you're white or green. You are not rich and this is not gonna work for you. Where's that message? You know, I just don't get it.
Chris Newlin: And the, and the whole thing that if, if Beta were to win on the outside chance that he, that he won, what's the rest of the ticket, What's he, what will he be able to accomplish Being the one Democrat in office.
Myra Jolivet: Right.
Chris Newlin: Exactly.
Myra Jolivet: Sylvester ran for Mayor of Houston. It was like, you know, a bunch of people I knew when I lived there. They're like the legislature. We can't do anything in there.
Jim Moore: I'll tell you what happens if Beto wins. He immediately becomes Vice Presidential Timber For anybody who runs for the Democrats
Roger Gray: Mm-hmm.
Chris Newlin: But we need
Jim Moore: in 2024, that's what will happen.
Chris Newlin: We need help here.
Jim Moore: We do. But, but that's what happens politically for him, because you can't be the governor of Texas and not be considered, uh, vice presidential and or presidential timber.
We've seen that forever and ever, all the way back to Cactus Jack Garner for God's sake. You know? And, and, and that's what would happen. But, but I think what Myra is,
Deece Eckstein: to him.
Roger Gray: Newsom or orgO'Rourke
Jim Moore: that's what I was just gonna say. I think what Myra, Myra has just brought up is that, is the reason that Newsome is emerging on the national stage is simply because this guy is being aggressive in terms of messaging and nobody else is.
Him and Pete Buttigieg, Beatta, Buttigieg are those two guys are taken, taken it to the people and taking it, the streets they're getting in the face of Republicans and Democrats aren't seeing that anywhere else except in Beto
Chris Newlin: And in Beto's and Beto's biggest bump was when he, um, faced Abbott at that, at that, uh, rally
Myra Jolivet: That's right. We heard about that here. And remember this about Newsome Houston guy, Grant Martin and his, uh, group in San Francisco, cuz he also handled a Anise Parker and I, I think he's handling somebody else. Anyway, that group handled Newsome from the time he was mayor of San Francisco through lieutenant gov and all the rest.
And you know, that's always been the track for Newsome since even before he was mayor San Francisco. He was that guy. You know, that people say, All right, we're going to track him up because it's all about the White House. And you know, he had a couple setbacks when, you know, uh, some issues with his wife admitting his first wife.
Uh, it shared too much in group therapy. I don't know how people do that. And um, he had a little drug issue, so things, but you know, in California it's kinda like meh
Jim Moore: yeah.
Chris Newlin: your
Myra Jolivet: do drugs, so
Chris Newlin: stripes,
Deece Eckstein: Well, well back to back to Chris's question. The, the, to me, the, the big issue is if Beto were to win, it doesn't, it won't make much difference if Dan Patrick also wins, because in a sense, Dan Patrick is the most powerful elected official in Texas, and in many ways he's worse than Greg Abbott.
Uh, you know, Greg, Greg Abbot plays at being the Badass, but Dan Patrick is a badass.
Chris Newlin: Hold on for a second, guys. I, you know, uh, cuz if we're gonna go into Dan Patrick, we're gonna let Roger lead this off. But first of all, I, uh, was remiss and not leading off. We haven't introduced ourselves. Uh, this is our first podcast. So I figure let's go round robin and give a little bit of our background.
Let's keep it within, I'd say, an hour for each of us. Um, and, uh, uh, I'm Chris Newlin. I, uh, started this little gang, This of Outlaws. Uh, I've been in the media all my life, although most often in a background. I started out in a small, well, I went to hs, P v A, the high school performing arts here.
I was always interested in photography, radio, tv. Uh, I went to, went to school, just kind of dabbled around and, and I, I say I went to school in the east. I went to school in Nacodoches, um, and at sfa, uh, got my first job in Corpus Christi at a little PBS station, doing everything. I'd never done any, anything like that.
The first week they had me switching a, a pledge break for their local, uh, pledge drive, and got back to, uh, Houston, working for the NBC affiliate as a news editor for a couple of years. Went over to K Ho U, the CBS affiliate, where I. Let's see about three of three of the four of you. Uh, over the years at KHOU, mainly, uh, in the tech department, I ended up running the live trucks, the microwave trucks, and so setting up all the, all the live broadcasts for the reporters and getting to know everybody that way.
Since then, I've had a long, uh, freelance career just doing video production, multimedia production, marketing consulting and things like that. Um, going around Robin with a clock.
Let's go to Myra. Myra,
I met you at K Ho U
Myra Jolivet: Oh yeah. I mean, all of us. Okay, so, um, a lot of Houston people didn't realize it, but k o u was my fourth television station. Um, and I hate to say how I got into the business, Okay? So I already told you guys, I, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area with Louisiana parents. And so, um, those of us who weren't uc, Berkeley material, like , like my siblings, I got, um, sent to Louisiana for college because I was singing with the band and I wasn't really interested in going to school.
But anyway, so, but my mom's philosophy was you do college or the cemetery. Her, her philosophy also to go to abortion was, If you have a baby, you'll eat it. We don't do babies here before we're adults. And so my mom believed in abortion because her thing was you don't get to embarrass her. For her, it was all about her.
And so anyway, what I started television because when I was at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Lafayette. I was the first black queen. And I hate to say that cuz you know, it's always women got into TV in the seventies cuz you usually you were in a, a pageant, but it wasn't, it was more political than that.
So anyway, from there, the CBS station asked me to do talk shows. Um, they had guest hosts for these public affairs shows, and I'm 19 years old and I'm like, okay. Half the stuff I was interviewing people about, I had no clue what is it, you know, housing or anything like that. I didn't even know anything about it, but I was able to fake it.
And so they were like, wow, you know, you kind of have raw
Chris Newlin: You're in
Myra Jolivet: You're in, right? Cause and you don't, you're not too hideous to look at. So we can work with you. But anyway, um, so I started like that in the business and then obviously moved over to the ABC station where I became a reporter and morning anchor and, and then got picked up by John Spain and Baton Rouge.
And he was a fierce, uh, character at the time. He was on the DuPont Committee and, and was kind of a force in the business. And so I worked for him, co ended up covering the capital, Edwin Edwards days and things like that. Then I came back home to California and did some radio news, uh, in the Bay Area, and then got picked up by Jerry Levin, uh, for K H O U.
So I spent a lot of time in Houston, uh, for personal reasons. But, uh, after k, well, I had two tours at K H O U the eighties and then, and then went back in the nineties. But, um, when I had my first contract fight, Kathy Whitmeyer approached me saying, I need somebody like you inside my administration.
Chris Newlin: Former Mayor of Houston.
Myra Jolivet: Former Mayor of Houston, uh, first woman, mayor of Houston, um, I need it. And by the way, at that time in Texas, I think there were a woman governor and women were mayors of all the major cities. Austin, Galveston, um, Dallas, uh, you know, Houston obviously. So anyway, so once I got inside, inside, now I'd covered things from the outside, like all of us.
Once I was inside, uh, one of my first reactions was, Whoa, I mean, it, it's not the same. Deece knows it's not the same on the inside as it is as a reporter covering it. So anyway, so from there, you know, I did a little stint corporate with Shell Oil. Um, I also was with Hill and Nolton, huge New York based PR firm.
And from there continued on heading either communications departments or strategic departments for different organizations. Came back to California via the LA Red Cross where I headed up, uh, marketing and communications for them. And so, you know, I kept doing that until finally three years ago I said, Okay, I'm on my own.
I do consulting and I'm doing strategic planning. I'm certified in that as well.
Chris Newlin: Myra is our, uh, our certified black friend who is going to, who's going to keep a bunch of old white guys in line
Myra Jolivet: know. I was really gonna get a shirt that said I'm the black girl just to be funny, but I didn't have time to pull that.
Chris Newlin: She's, she's our Robin to three or four. Uh, Howard Sterns is, uh, what we've got going here. Hey, Deece, what about you?
Deece Eckstein: Uh, my name is Deece Eckstein. I was, uh, raised in San Antonio. I taught for a little bit. I was a community organizer with Ernie Cortez and the Industrial Areas Foundation for a while. Uh, it, that got me hooked on the Texas legislature. I went to law school and then my first job in public service was as a senior aid to Governor Ann Richards, uh, which was a fabulous gig for me and a fabulous opportunity, uh, since after she was defeated in 95.
Since then, I, I worked for, uh, uh, in public service and in government for the next 30 years, uh, including a stint with, uh, Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston Fame. When he was, I was his chief of staff for four years. Take that back six years. Uh, worked for people for the American Way, which was Norman Lear's group.
And then the capstone of my public service career was working for Travis County as its intergovernmental relations officer. The last two and a half years, I, I've been blissfully retired and uh, I now say I'm semi-retired cuz I am a writer and ractonteur
Jim Moore: It doesn't pay. That's completely retired
Deece Eckstein: and it is completely retired.
Chris Newlin: Jim, Jim, we missed you a minute ago. You cut out. Go ahead.
Jim Moore: Um, well, I'm, uh, I'm an Outlander. I was not born over the sacred soil, but I've been here since 75 and, uh, worked on the border in radio and then, uh, uh, Laredo television and came up to Austin and worked in Austin tv. And, uh, then got, uh, uh, hired by K prc after Joel Smith passed, passed away, they were looking for somebody to, uh, fill the Austin, uh, office.
And I had been working, uh, at a TV station in Denver and they flew me down here. Uh, and both KTRK and K PRC flew me down and made it sound like they're gonna offer me a job. And neither did. But I moved back to Austin anyway, Mary Lou and I did. And uh, uh, when that job opened to the bureau, I sent a note to, uh, the news director at that time.
What was his name? Chris Bill
Goodman. And he offered to let me freelance for 450 bucks a week, which I jumped at. And, uh, and I had the bad form of winning a headliners award and RT n d A award and AP awards and stuff while I was freelancing. So he was embarrassed into offering me a contract for $31,500 a year in 19 81, 82, I think it was
82. Yeah. And, um, anyway, so I worked for K prc, um, for eight years till 1990 when a new news director came along and wanted to hire an ex network wash out and fired me so he could put them in my job. And, and within, uh, nine
Chris Newlin: no names.
Jim Moore: Within nine months, he had drank that bureau into oblivion that I'd spent 10 years building and they shut it down.
But the cool thing was I got fired on a Friday, and, uh, your friend of mine and Myra's two, Philip Bruce, uh, told David Goldberg to hire me and I had a job after on Monday morning. And, uh, then I accepted. I went to work for K O U till, uh, 99, then I worked for the, uh, News of Texas and traveled. Full time on Bush's campaign and, uh, uh, wrote, uh, a book called Bush's Brain.
And then I've since written seven other books, uh, all, much less successful than the initial one. And, uh, I occasionally write for cnn, op-eds. And, uh, uh, I just finished, uh, writing another book with, uh, a successful business guy that's gonna be out next year. And, uh, I'm working on a, a memoir about my parents' lives.
I write, I I write a lot because it doesn't pay anything.
Chris Newlin: And then they, uh, the stuff about your parents live, a lot of it is being previewed on our Texas Outlaw newsletter.
Jim Moore: That's correct. I'm, I'm putting, I'm putting little excerpts
of it in there.
Chris Newlin: release, and we go now we go now to Roger Gray and I took Roger last. Sorry, Roger. Uh, cuz I figure you can segue into your relationship with Dan Patrick. But, but tell us a little bit about your other background.
Roger Gray: I have a couple of relationships that, that yeah. Will surprise you. Uh, and by the way, it's been 40 years since the eighties. I forgot how bloody funny Myra is. My
Myra Jolivet: That's a polite term. I've been called other things, but I'll take funny
Roger Gray: I, I forgot how funny
Myra Jolivet: Oh, come on. You know, we used to talk, uh,
Roger Gray: I know, I know.
It's just, I, I, I forgot how much you make. Everybody make me laugh.
, I, I started, uh, in broadcasting in 1970. Uh, I was at the University of Houston. Uh, I was a drama major. And, and on the bulletin board there were job things for, you know, job offers for the summer. One of them was being an announcer at Sea Arama Marine World in g. I announced the whale show and the port show, and here are the seals.
And you know, um, and my boss,
Chris Newlin: downhill from there.
Roger Gray: my boss. My boss was an old vj. And, uh, I, I said, Well, you know, the summer ends and the park closes down. It's like marine land in California. And, and, uh, I said, I go back to tending barn, pumping gas or whatever. He said, Get into radio. It's much easier and you can work around your classes.
Uh, and he was right. And, uh, I got hired at KTRH to do the weekend news, uh, back when you could start in a town the size of Houston. and went on from there. Chris worked at St. Corpus, um, uh, for about, you know, a hot minute and came back, did radio, went to TV in 77, uh, at KRIV started their first news department there.
Um, and, uh, then I ordered Channel 11 and because of a couple of people that we both know, I left Channel 11, uh, one of them being the gen, the station manager. Um, and, uh, went to K PRC radio and on and on and on and on, uh, was, uh, a news director up in Tyler. We, uh, we were partnering a station. We sold it, uh, news director up in Tyler, went to Wyoming and was a regional news director there.
Uh, came back to Amarillo, worked for Sinclair Broadcasting. Holy cow. Uh, and yeah, yeah. So that, that lasted the length of my contract and then it was, it was time to go. It was, you know, at this point I don't need that. Uh, and, uh, came here to East Texas. Over the course of all that, I, uh, by the way, Jim, I have the great, uh, unpublished Raymond Chandler ripoff novel sitting in my desk that I am rewriting to make it a little less of a Raymond channel ripoff.
I, uh, at one point was hired away from K PRC by Dan Patrick, uh, who had started a talk radio station after bombing out of tv, uh, uh, going broke, running a bar. Uh, I'm not sure how you do that, but he did. And, uh, I, I can say when he hired me, he was not the Dan Patrick. You know, I, I have to say that, um, um, uh, there's a, there's a famous, uh, pianist, I'm trying to remember his name now.
Very funny man who once said he knew Dora Day before she was a virgin. Well, I knew Dan Patrick. But I knew Dan Patrick before he was this guy. Uh, I was working, I was a partner in the station. Uh, I got screwed on that deal. , and I saw him go through his conversion. At first it was a very personal, religious thing, but it
Chris Newlin: A sincere one.
Was it a sincere conversion? Was it a sincere
Roger Gray: I, I, I, I, I really, I really do think it was, uh, and it was triggered by a guy that you all probably know, Mike Richards. Uh, you remember Mike Richards state rep, uh, senator actually, I think. And, and the less said about him, the better, but he got Dan on this road convincing him he had political potential.
Uh, so he combined. Reli religiosity with his personal ambitions. And now he is where he is. Uh, all of us, uh, small investors in the station, small partners, uh, were bought out for a pitance and then it whole shebang was sold, a Clear Channel um, so Dan is a millionaire and I live in Center. So
Myra Jolivet: You knew, um,
Roger Gray: I, I know I believe it or not, in the middle of all this, I took two sojourns away from the business. Uh, one was to do a little PR for General Motors after we sold our station in Houston, which I thoroughly enjoy right before they went broke. And I spent about six months being the press guy for Paul.
Chris Newlin: Oh,
Roger Gray: he ran, he was running, he was running for the Republican. He asked me to do that. We, we, I had interviewed him and, and, and after the show, we sat on the set
Jim Moore: Turn off his camera.
Roger Gray: Huh,
Chris Newlin: cut his
Roger Gray: no, no, no,
Jim Moore: Cut his mic.
Roger Gray: He said, he said, I need a press guy. Uh, he said, Would you be interested? And I, uh, I I thought it sounded interesting. I said, You know, Ron, I don't agree with anything you say. And he said,
Chris Newlin: But I can pay you.
Roger Gray: I wanted you to lie for me. You know, he was, he was, believe it or not, he, he was don't go by Rand. Uh, Rand was in college when I did that.
Um, he's, he's essentially fundamentally a decent man. Um, and, uh, I know, I know at one point in the campaign, they came across a picture of Phil Gramm. Who ultimately won that nomination, obviously, uh, uh, when he was teaching in the sixties or seventies at A&M in stripe, bell bottoms and sandals with long hair.
And, um, some of his other staff really wanted him to use that. Uh, and he said, No, that's not fair. And I thought, okay. I thought better him, uh, after that. But it was an experience. And you're right. Being inside the campaign is very different. Uh,
Jim Moore: he was, he was not a politician. He was a libertarian. He didn't, he didn't believe in government, you know?
Roger Gray: I know, I know. No, I understand that.
Myra Jolivet: You know, since Roger did a confession and I grew up Catholic. I left that at 15, but you know, Creole is a Catholic, I don't care, you know, you're just gonna be Catholic if you're a Creole. And so, um, so I'll confess, I worked in the Republican National Convention of 1992 when it was in Houston. But the reason was because Cathy had gotten to the point where, you know, how a candidate gets to where they are no longer listening.
They're so in their own head. So she lost. To Bob Lanier. Not to mention there was a vendetta. That whole er thing, I won't even get into that. So anyway, so those of us who were appointed by her, we didn't have civil service protection, so she sprinkled us through the lands and I ended up on the host committee for Republican National Convention.
So, you know, we had offices at Enron. So Ken Lay would come in and give us little talks and then obviously all the others who were, um, that particular type Republican that Ken Lay George Bush, you know, that whole group cuz we were in their offices. Right. And so, Yes, exactly. So that's my sin. But I needed the money.
Um, at 92. I can't remember what age my children were, but you know, they were always expensive. And then the other story, the Dan Patrick's story, one night, this is before I was anchoring noon, I was on the night shift. Dan Patrick had a, you know how he interjected these videos in his sports cast? He had a video of him in a tux doing some nightclub scene, and the photographer did those shots, you know, from the ground up.
You know where you have that, like his head is in the sky kind of thing. Anyway, uh, so he's doing this nightclub scene, I can't remember which song, but he's like a lounge Liz, or doing this singing, and they do a couple of minutes of that. The phone rings, a guy calls the newsroom, he says, I'm at home alone and I'm embarrassed.
Chris Newlin: My fav my favorite, my favorite story, and I think I wrote about it in one of the pieces about Dan at the station. You know, he, he dressed in blue and the Oilers text, you know, Houston Oilers were Love you blue phase and had all this stuff. They were Bum Phillips was Coach Earl Campbell was playing. Uh, Was he playing by anyway?
Dan would go out shirtless on the sports desk, paint it up, uh, you know, and, and again, KHOU back then was in fifth place in a three station news market. And the, the few people, the other, the other reporters and anchors especially were just that, they just couldn't believe it. They were embarrassed. They were trying so hard to be serious and trying so hard to get, get some kind of credibility, and that they just fumed.
And finally, one of the directors, and I, I won't mention you names, we'll just call him. John went up to him. He could talk to anybody, John could and, and he said, uh, Dan, why are you doing this? I mean, you know, nobody respects this. Why are you doing this? And Dan's answer was, John, it's a game. It's all just a game.
And I've never
Jim Moore: was right.
Chris Newlin: because I think he's taken that through his whole life. I really do.
Myra Jolivet: Absolutely
Roger Gray: he was not equipped to go shirtless on tv, to be quite honest.
Myra Jolivet: what hit my head.
Roger Gray: look,
Myra Jolivet: That was before I got there to Houston. So I missed those stunts.
Roger Gray: I, when I was a minority partner at the radio station, um, uh, to get publicity because it was a new station, uh, Dan had a vasectomy on the air, on the air.
Myra Jolivet: Okay. Good thing I didn't eat yet. Cause I was gonna say there goes breakfast, Jesus.
Roger Gray: And I, I took, and it got him the publicity he wanted. I mean, as, as he said to our director friend,
Jim Moore: what's the camera position on that?
Chris Newlin: So, okay, so let's just slide back into, does Collier, is it Collier have a
chance? Does he have a chance?
Deece Eckstein: so you're saying there's a chance, I think Collier has a chance. Remember F four years ago lost to Dan Patrick by only five points. In fact, that was the closest race of the statewide races four years
ago. And I think that was probably some reference to how unpopular Dan Patrick is, even among kind of the Republican base. Uh, I think, you know, we could, we should really have a conversation about this more about just, you know, what is the, what is that base that Ken Paxton, Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott spent so much time pandering to, is it 5%?
Is it 10%? You know, Ross Forti did an analysis saying it's only 4%. But in any case, the fact that Dan Patrick only got only beat Collier by five points, you know, there's some, obviously there's some vulnerability there, and I think Collier's running a better campaign this time than, than he did last
Chris Newlin: Boy's got a great ad, got a great ad that just came out. I used to be a Republican and then he leads off with let's just do some
Jim Moore: Didn't, didn't Karl Rove recently say, and, and I'm loath to quote, quote Karl Rove, but he did put my daughter through college that But, but he said recently that he said, uh, Rove thought that Patrick and Paxton were in, in fact, in trouble and the only thing he would say about Abbott was Abbott might win. And, and I I thought that was curious if, does he have different polling or is, is he hearing or talking to other people?
But Chris, you know, or, or de the, that 4%. That 4% lives. They live in Lakey, they live in Del Rio. They live in Midland, Odessa, and Junction. And, you know, all of those places in the panhandle from plain view to Lubbock and, and parts of East Texas, those people vote in disproportionate numbers, percentage wise to their population.
And, and I, I'll never forget one of the, one of the things that threw me for a loop, I knew, I know racism. I mean, I, my, I grew up with a racist father and I, I've been all over the state. I know what it's all about. It wasn't until I was on a motorcycle trip down to the Frio River to go camping, and I stopped at this little general store, and this is, this was right after Obama had been elected.
And, and you know, I went inside, I got a, I got a Dr. Pepper and I'm sitting on the bench out in front of this little store and there are two guys. They're clearly local dudes who are, who driven in, They're sitting there in their pickup sweaty cowboy hats. And, and, and the one guy said that, I mean, it was just, God damnit, I wish that son of a bitch in in would come down here and we could tell 'em what the hell's going on.
We're not gonna put up with any "N" shit. And it just, the, the, the epithets and the, and the. The vitriol, the just the vile language coming outta this guy's mouth that was completely unburdened and he knew I and two other people were sitting over there. Those people are the people who support Trump.
Those people are the people that Abbott is, is using, is using his, is, you know, his verbal cues too, uh, to get those people to come out to, to make them feel afraid. So they turn out and disproportionate in numbers in rural areas and in fact, get this son of a bitch elected again. Can I say that? Oh yeah.
Myra Jolivet: Yeah.
Chris Newlin: ex, we have the explicit,
Myra Jolivet: I always have said they're in it for the racism, rich, poor, anything in between. The only way you can support this Trumpism is you have to at, at your core, you have to be racist because if you are not racist, you cannot tolerate these figures. You can't tolerate Dan Patrick if you're not racist.
I just don't believe it's. You know, and, and we're in an era because of that, like what Jim's talking about, where people are more comfortable in the race of, Although I will tell you the first time I ever got called the n word was in Houston, uh, not even in Louisiana. And, uh, some little seven year old girl called my son that at seven, and I'm like, seven, Who the hell's raising you?
Anyway? So, you know, her father and I had a tatted and he, the father said, I'll, I will, uh, call the police on your son. I said, He's a baby. I said, And I will tell you that at this point I'm a civilian member of the Houston Police Department command staff because I'm a senior police administrator for Elizabeth Watson.
So you wanna call police, go ahead,
but you wanna be careful with that. And he's like, Well, we don't have to take it to that level anyway, that's just an aside. But every black person that you guys have known in television, definitely in the, the time in the eighties and nineties, had at least one voicemail with the N word in.
I'm gonna tell you that all of us had that. However, it still was not at the level that it is now in terms of being comfortable in being offensive. You know, there's this whole, um, freedom to be ignorant, uh, racist, um, in unjust, hypocritical. You know, when you can excuse someone who commits crimes in front of your face, well then your whole moral ship has sailed.
I mean, what are you at that point? You're just a detestable piece of shit. And so how do you message that? You know? I mean, come on. We've all developed messaging in one way or another. How the hell do you talk to somebody with zero morals, with zero moral compass, with no sense of decency?
Jim Moore: I don't have those conversations. I refuse to have them. I have any, any friend I've ever had who, and this, this includes a guy who's been my best friend for almost 40 years here in Austin, who became a Trumper. And I was best man at his wedding. I'm his daughter's godfather. He is my daughter's godfather, and we haven't talked and we won't talk again because he has become that person.
And Chris Newland knows this, that my brother, uh, Brilliant man who taught himself the markets and, and made $40 million and retired at age 42, became a Trumper and a racist, and we were brought up by a racist father. But we put it, we both put it behind us. And now my brother has found a place of comfort in it.
And, and you cannot go, I cannot go to him and talk to him and say, You're wrong because he refuses to listen. And I have in my inbox that I've kept to this day, four emails from my brother that are probably each 10 pages along, uh, 10 pages along just raging about. The "N" word and raging about black people and what they've done to this country and how they're tearing us down now.
Why would I waste energy talking to him? And that's why we can't bridge this political divide because people like you and, and everybody here on this podcast is we have more important things to do than to talk to people who will not think rationally and will not listen to logic.
Myra Jolivet: My ex-husband is a Trumper. I, when I was in Texas, I got married in, I married a Texan, which was kind of
Jim Moore: They screwed up
Chris Newlin: you were
Deece Eckstein: That was your
Roger Gray: were you think?
Chris Newlin: So
Jim Moore: a, a real remark. Children. So if, if he was, if he was part of that, then you're okay.
Myra Jolivet: Oh, please.
Jim Moore: Or, or was he just, was he just a, a provider?
Myra Jolivet: a sperm donor. No, I shouldn't say that. No. In fairness, I mean, you know, he's brilliant in the sciences. He's a retired chemical engineer, but he's a, he's, I forgot this goes out. Um, yeah, so that's just all I'll say about that.
Chris Newlin: Hey, D, so you're talking to you, you, let's go back a little bit. D you're talking to three or 4% that are just rabid. You know that you're saying Abbot, but most figures show the, the red state, the red population of the country is 30 to 40% solid Republican. They're not gonna switch. They go by the brand ID of being American patriotic, gun loving, Christ loving, religious, non socialist, racism aside, And you can't put it aside.
No, I know. I look, I know I'm, I'm, I'm jumping off a cliff there, but racism aside, that's 30 or 40%. They're not gonna waiver either. And you, you, you can say that race is part of it, but you've got all these other things that are baked into that brand ID that they've worked on for over 40 years. Does that count too, or how does that figure into when Abbott advertises.
Deece Eckstein: no, I think, Well, and I think one of the things that we are gonna be, you know, that we're gonna be looking forward to in November, like let's take, uh, let's take our dear friend, the Attorney General of Texas. He has been under criminal indictment for the entire time that he's been Attorney, Attorney General of Texas.
He now has the FBI investigating him for the wrongful termination of several of his staff members, plus assorted crimes having to do with why he terminated those people. Uh, he, you know, he famously ran away from somebody trying to serve a subpoena the other day. Um, in no self-respecting democracy, would a guy like that still be the attorney general, but he's gonna survive because one, that 4% is rapidly for him and will support him against all enemies. But there's also this thing of, you know, I'm just gonna vote for the Republican because, uh, I'm a Republican and it's, and he is gotta be better than the Democrats. Whatever the, you know, whatever it is, the Democrats are gonna, you know, ruin the country. So I think that part of the dynamic is you have a crazy contingent that's very small that controls the primaries. They select the candidates. And then the dynamics of the, just the demographic and political com composition of the state determine that and what you have to over, what, what Democrats have to overcome if they're gonna elect a Beto or a uh, Rochelle Garza or whoever.
Chris Newlin: or a dog catcher somewhere
Deece Eckstein: They have to overcome just this inertia of people showing up at the polling booth and just voting for the Republican, cuz that's what they do.
Chris Newlin: , how are things in East Texas? Roger, same thing. You're, you're in Louis
Roger Gray: Oh. Oh God. Uh, no. Nobody bothers. Uh uh, The one thing about still keeping up a hand in radio is, uh, a Abbott is, is soaking this area with ads. And I know he has a big war chest. I understand that. I mean, it's literally every spot break on this radio. Is an Abbott ad. Uh, and, and there's, there's, i I, the whole thing about Beto and defunding the police, uh, as somebody who's been in broadcasting, and Chris, you would recognize it too, there's a very obvious edit in that ad, uh, that makes it completely, um, um, dishonest.
It's completely dishonest. uh, but it, it doesn't matter the whole fentanyl thing. Most of the fentanyl is caught on trucks at the, at the ports of entry. It's not guys swimming across the rear grand bringing Fentanyl in. So I, there, there's so much play on this, but it works. It works that crowd. And the thing about Jim's story to me is the ease with which all of those things he heard were said.
The absolute ease. I can tell you, being in East Texas now, I mean, being a guy who grew up in Houston, uh, Uh, the assumption here is everybody thinks the way I do. Uh, everybody thinks the way I do politically. Everybody thinks the way I do racially. Uh, and they're not afraid to say it. There's no reason for them to be afraid to say it because they assume they're in like
Deece Eckstein: In the majority,
Roger Gray: Yeah.
Deece Eckstein: Roger, let me ask the, the radio ads you're referring to, would you view them more as motivation to make sure people get out and vote? Or is it persuasion? Do they think that there's persuadable voters out there who once they hear about wet backs, swim, swimming, fentanyl across the border are suddenly gonna say, Who?
That Beto guy. He's a little shady.
Roger Gray: I, it, it's a little of both. to be honest, right down the street from this radio station is, uh, oh God, I'm, I'm blanking on his name. The, the head of the railroad commission that I wrote about,
uh, Ah, yeah, Wayne Christie has a, has an office a block away from where I'm sitting right now. Uh, this is his town.
and I, I, yeah, the, they just, they're motivating people to go to the polls. You know, if, if Betos elected we're gonna be swimming in drugs, uh, you will not have a gun anymore. Lord knows what communist things he's going to do. I mean, it's just cementing, it's closing the deal.
Jim Moore: his story.
Myra Jolivet: By fascists and, and you know, people, uh, I learned long ago, you know, working the first campaign when I was being schooled and mentored, negative campaigning works, negative ads work. And that's why you save 'em for those last couple of weeks. Those last few weeks it worked. And I don't know what's going on.
Once again, with the younger Democrats, if not wanting to do negative ed, they need to, you need to call out these crooks, these, uh, you know, villains and fascists because that's exactly what we have.
Jim Moore: We, we in East Texas, though historically, uh, was the region that decided the elections in this state. And that's, that's probably what he's thinking now, that it's gonna be so close this time that he has to carry East Texas by a wide margin. East Texas made Anne Richards governor. You know, it made Bill Clemons governor and, and they are, and it was, it was Ronald Reagan who historically went into that, used to be yellow dog Democrat territory.
And Ronald, Ronald Reagan went over there and said, Well, you can, you can be Reagan Democrats and, and vote for me and still say you're a Democrat. And eventually they became Republicans. But there's been a, I'm not a demographer of East Texas. Pay fairly close attention, and there has been a shift back to a really strong conservat conservatism except among the African American population.
And I think that he's trying to do exactly as you say, Roger, is to both persuade those people on the margins and to get Ang anger from the folks who traditionally vote Republican. Because I think his big fear is that with Uvalde and Dobbs, that the, the conservatives that he needs are probably not gonna be there and the numbers he needs.
So he's gotta, he's gotta pay attention to East Texas in a way that I don't think historically he would have.
Roger Gray: I've been here for about a year and I haven't met anybody who's on the margins yet.
Jim Moore: Yeah.
Roger Gray: So
Myra Jolivet: Wow.
Chris Newlin: Okay. Hey guys, we're probably ought to start wrapping up, but I'll one
Roger Gray: Admir, I've never, I've never lived Clo. Houston's the closest to a blue city I ever lived there, so,
Chris Newlin: So, uh, we need to wrap it up. But, uh, one last thing. I guess tonight's the debate, supposedly anybody, and this podcast will probably be released after the debate. So does anybody want to go out on a limb and say, talk about what's gonna happen tonight, or who might, uh, give a good showing
Jim Moore: Well, I, I think, I think Beto has the intellect to chop him apart and, and, uh, I hope that he does. Uh, although it, it, Abbot is not a dumb human being. Abbott will have a hard time justifying anything other than the border stuff. And he can, he can use all of his fear crap that he wants to talk about the border.
But I don't believe any other policy that, that he has talked about is gonna be defensible. And I think that's gonna give a, uh, an advantage, especially when it comes to not raising the age to purchase an AR 15 from 18 to 21. How can you defend that? And he said it's unconstitutional, it's nonsense.
There's lots of ways that Beto can make inroads tonight.
Roger Gray: How do you, how do you defend busing people to other parts of the country? Strictly for
Chris Newlin: on. It's a good stunt. Serious. Seriously. Seriously. That's a good stunt. I, I mean, I'm not defending it at all. It's, it's awful. But if the shoe were on the other foot, it's a great stunt for his people.
Roger Gray: spending
Myra Jolivet: to have a constituency with no conscience. First
of all, you have to have a constituency that's morally bankrupt because that's the only way that that's gonna play for you.
Chris Newlin: And it played well. Well, let's wrap it up guys. Um, say goodbye everybody.
Jim Moore: Goodbye everybody.
Chris Newlin: uh, for podcast listeners, don't forget to, uh, like us on Facebook and Twitter or go to our website and subscribe to Texas Outlaw Riders Newsletter.
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