Trial lawyers spend a lot to little effect in Texas races

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 Texas' Democratic Party is in shambles today, despite tens of millions in trial lawyer money that was invested to rebuild it. This year, Democrats failed even to field a credible candidate for U.S. Senate. And so to avoid throwing too much good money after bad, Mostyn and other trial lawyers changed their strategy. Instead of going all-out for the Democrats, they found and funded friendly Republicans to run in the contests that were decided this week. They concentrated especially on two open-seat state Senate races where they saw an opportunity to install Republican friends of the trial bar. They made huge individual contributions to candidates, and funneled millions more through PACs mostly connected to Mostyn, with deceptive names like "Conservative Voters of Texas," "Texans for Insurance Reform" and "Texans for Individual Rights." 
In the Houston area, they spent $1 million against state Rep. Larry Taylor, who had championed the hurricane lawsuit reforms in the state House. Despite this, Taylor finished the night with 58 percent and the nomination for a state Senate seat. The trial lawyers' preferred candidate finished with just 25 percent, or fewer than 13,000 votes. 
The trial lawyers suffered a similar setback in a Dallas-area open-seat race in which Kelly Hancock, the candidate against whom they spent $500,000, took 65 percent of the vote. And their $700,000 effort to protect one of their favorite incumbent Republican senators in the San Antonio area -- Jeff Wentworth, the only Republican senator who voted against the hurricane reforms -- came up short. He finished with only 36 percent and was forced into an unexpected runoff with a very good chance he will lose....
Taylor had some very effective ads exposing the scam.  Sen. Wentworth will be in a runoff with a emergency room doctor named Donna Campbell.  I think she has a good chance of winning.She would definitely be an upgrade.  I expect the trial lawyers will invest even more in Wentworth's runoff effort to try to keep him as a blocking force in the Senate.

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