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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hendee emails Murray re: Chron DeLay poll

by David Benzion | 01/19/2006 8:43 am | Alert moderator

Dr. Richard Murray and associates appear to have made contact with Edd Hendee; we aren’t privy to the professor’s emails (and wouldn’t publish them without his permission, even if we were), but Edd has authorized LST to openly publish his response, which we do below:

I appreciate your interest in the discussion - glad to oblige.  While I am a conservative - I’m also transparent on this and other issues.  I support  DeLay- know DeLay - admire and respect DeLay.   No crime in being a  conservative, liberal, Republican or Democrat…unless you feign neutrality.   After some simple research - I found that you, on the other hand, are not  forthcoming with your relationships, your past activism, your organizations, or  your motivations.  That compromised your credibility and explains volumes of how  a man of such credentials could put out a flawed poll.   Let me explain.

Not one person qualified to review polls other than yourself has defended  the poll.  Here are the objections I have developed to the poll - using  qualified analysts objections.

  1. Chris Wilson (DC) and Dr. David Hill (Texas) - both nationally renowned  pollsters have stated on air that the poll is flawed - non standard at best.   Wilson stated it didn’t follow generally accepted practices - Hill was less  complimentary.  They both stated that they wouldn’t conduct a poll which  included all respondents (including Dems and Inds) in their choice for Repub  primary choice.  Take them out - DeLay has 67% of likely primary vote - hardly  what your poll reflected.  Your poll showed DeLay at 21% in the primary - quite  a difference.  As to the +/-4% - neither of these pollsters accept that you can  accomplish that with less than 200 Repub responses.  Again - not my opinion but  theirs.
  2. Additionally these "Republican primary voters" were NOT asked if they  actually voted in the last Repub primary.  In fact there is no verification  that they have a history of voting in Repub primaries.   In response you state  "cross over votes" as you justification for including all respondents in the  primary poll.  You may want to review the voting history of Dist. 22 - I’m sure  you won’t find that % of crossover votes in the last few years.  Your defense is  completely unsupportable.
  3. You have access to poll phone lists of those who have historically  voted in Repub primaries in Dist 22 - you chose not to use them - flawed  when analyzing primary results. Perhaps you can demonstrate a list  of clients who have ordered similar size and inclusive polls for primary analysis.
  4. Your name is all over the Internet as a Democrat organizer and  operative - specifically in your son’s blogs - hammering DeLay personally and  forming front organizations to counter the Republicans.  You are biased in  this race - no question - it’s not even up for debate.
  5. Your son, Keir Murray, serves on with you on a board of just 3 members  - his consulting partner as the 3rd board members.  He is active as  a Democrat political consultant - currently on the payroll for Nick Lampson  for the last 2 quarterly reporting periods.  In the quarter ending 10/31/05  alone your son was paid $6000 for consulting services.
  6. Your poll was used by the Chronicle and Channel 13 to demonstrate  political vulnerability of DeLay.  If the poll was mis-used or mis-quoted - can  you kindly copy me with your email in which you protest the conclusions drawn or  caution against overreaching?  Surely you would be on record if your client  misinterpreted your data.

Your poll has been compromised on statistical grounds as well as personal bias and family contact with the Demo candidate running against DeLay.

To use your words - or those of Sen. Moynihan - you’re entitled to your  opinion - but it will be exactly that - opinion only not deserving of any  professional respect on this poll.  The facts? They disappeared when the inside dealings were exposed.

Perhaps you should share this email with a disinterested (read - not a Demo operative) pollster or political adviser. I’d be interested in their response.

Edd Hendee

43 Responses to “Hendee emails Murray re: Chron DeLay poll”

  1. Wino Says:

    Well done, Edd.

    This is why being honest is so important. If you always tell the truth, when something is questioned, you KNOW the answer. You don’t have to fumble around trying to remember which cover story you used.

    Dr. Murray has some ’splainin’ to do, Lucy.

  2. TheGrimReaper Says:

    This just in from Dr. Murray’s polling service:
    NOBODY in Dallas County will be voting for Tom DeLay!!

    Also, KTRK (Channel 13) has been deafeningly silent on this poll, which they ultimately used as a “news” piece.

  3. LTC Says:

    There is not much I found about Murray’s “group”….it must be very stealth…

    Richard Murray (Director of the UH Center for Public Policy), Keir Murray and Heidi Kirkpatrick (Houston-based political consultants)
    are part of a “progressive think-tank” the Texas Research Foundation.

    …”to take the “war of ideas” analogy a bit further…Dr. Murray, renowned pollster and professor, envisions the nascent Texas Research Foundation as a provider of substantive ideas and research to galvanize progressives at the state level…..incorporated its name and has initiated the process to become a 501c3 entity…create a message component to arm progressives for the media …the new think tank will be a “virtual” one, operating mainly online, says Keir Murray…”

  4. Jeremy Weidenhof Says:

    Edd Hendee, the “Radio Hammer.”

  5. gregg Says:

    Yeh, Edd is the tough smart morning show guy. He’ll get everything you deserve!

  6. Kevin Whited Says:

    we aren’t privy to the professor’s emails (and wouldn’t publish them without his permission, even if we were)

    That’s unfortunate. These aren’t personal emails about where Hendee and Murray might go have lunch. These are emails about legitimate criticism of flawed polling conducted by Murray under the auspices of a public policy center at a state university, and for the city’s only major daily newspaper. While it’s certainly polite not to reproduce private emails as a matter of blog policy, I think an exception is more than merited in this instance.

    Murray and Stein have declined to answer one blogger’s emails about their methodology. They shouldn’t be able to duck the public debate over their flawed survey because you have a polite email policy.

    This is a highly public matter. They’re not entitled to normal standards of privacy on this one. Hendee should share the email.

  7. The Dude Says:

    I wonder if we’ll get to see a response to Edd’s response. I think my problem is like Edd described on his show: I expect other people to do their jobs with the same diligence and honesty that I do mine. When they don’t, I’m surprised. I should know better by now.

  8. buddy Says:

    G-R-E-A-T response Edd. Sic ‘em. And I completely agree with #6. Bring this into the open.

  9. pmartin Says:

    #3 - LTC

    I for one appreciate your research. Wonder why they call themselves “progressives” instead of what they are - liberals. Seems the “liberal” moniker has become distasteful, to put it simply.

    #6 - Kevin

    I agree with you that should be made public.

  10. LTC Says:

    there’s another Texas Research Foundation but its all about “dirt”…

    “The Texas Research Foundation, a nonprofit agency supported by voluntary contributions, was set up to revitalize the sick soils of Texas.”

    so does Murray’s group have a conflict in name infringement ?

  11. pmartin Says:

    #10 - LTC

    Texas Research Foundation was incorporated on 9/3/04. Richard Murray, Keir Murray and Heidi L. Kirkpatrick are its present directors. The address is 7670 Woodway Drive, Ste 110, Houston 77063. It is domestic non-profit.

    The Texas Research Foundation (soil) was liquidated in 1972, thus giving up its name for anyone else to use.

  12. Big45Iron Says:

    Any time I see the word progressive, I read “liberal who wants to be a socialist and control us like a communist”. Progressive Insurance gives exclusively to liberal venues. identifies Progressive at donating over $3.8 million to left wing groups

    The totalitarian thought processes of so called progressive liberals are plainly obvious when you look to the majority of college campuses where the left does everything possible to repress the liberties of conservatives to have a public voice.

    Edd, if the email came from UofH on a computer paid for by the taxpayer, sent by an employee of the taxpayer, then the email belongs to all of us. There is no reason not to print it unless you simply don’t want to. There certainly is no ethical boundary which would preclude it. So I can only presume at this point that there is a strategic reason not to publish it, and Edd is just letting them insert their “progressive” cranium into a darker region. Must be crowded there with both feet in their mouths.

  13. shannon Says:


    Thanks, Big. I have been meaning to post about Progressive Insurance. The guy in charge at Progressive was described to me as a George Soros Wannabe/Mini-Me.

  14. Wil Barnes Says:

    #12 - Gee, I never realized that reducing the power of political bosses by instituting presidential primaries; exposing corruption; establishing public control of monopolies over resources, such as water and gas works; fighting for an end of child labor; pushing for public education and the right of women to vote were Commmunistic ideals. Ole Teddy Roosevelt was a red? My goodness. And all those years I spent as a youth reading Progressive Farmer…

  15. jimb Says:

    14 - Today’s “progressives” are a different kind of animal and you (should) know it. Your tactic is invalid, as you are comparing apples to oranges. The things you mention are not the goals of “progressives” today. Today, they want broader government welfare/handouts, a continued and/or strengthened “right” to abortion on demand, Socialized healthcare, “saving” social security, recognition of perverse and unhealthy lifestyles by society as “normal”, etc. Most of these ideas I would label as “regressive”.

  16. Big45Iron Says:

    Wil, trying to compare the values Democrats of 50 to 100 years ago to today’s Democrats is like comparing a Lamborghini to a wheelbarrow….today’s Dems being the wheelbarrow. Today’s libs think a shift to a chariot is moving to the center.

    You just don’t get it….and you never will. That’s why there will continue to be more and more red on the map, and why libs will scratch their heads and wonder what keeps going wrong. Look at the box off take at the theater, and then look at what you libs hold up for the movies that you like. Look at the garbage you call art, and how it’s in direct contrast the values of the vast majority of Americans. So you keep thinking like that. We don’t mind. We’ll just remind you every other November about what we like and don’t like.

  17. Wil Barnes Says:

    TR was a Democrat? Oh, I get it. Here’s some recommended reading:

  18. sargevining Says:

    re #3

    “Progressive” is NewSpeak for “Liberal”

  19. Wil Barnes Says:

    #18 - Obviously, you need that book too.

  20. sargevining Says:


    Today’s “Liberals” want to be called “Progressives” so that they can be identified with one of the most famous “Conservative Republicans” of all time.

    But you’ll never hear any of today’s so called “Progressives” say :

    “Walk softly, but carry a Big Stick.”

  21. Wil Barnes Says:

    #15 – “recognition of perverse and unhealthy lifestyles by society as ‘normal’, etc.”
    Yeah, I have to agree that trying to paint a bunch of beer guzzling, pork eating, adulterers as normal is wrong and is taking its toll on our society.

  22. sargevining Says:


    I thought Ted Kennedy drank champange…

  23. sargevining Says:

    Or that Barney Frank didn’t eat pork

  24. Wil Barnes Says:

    #20 - Here is another book for you since you don’t seem to know much about Teddy Roosevelt.

  25. Big45Iron Says:

    Can you imagine a liberal suggesting today that we dig a hole in a Panamanian rain forest from the Atlantic to the Pacific?

  26. sargevining Says:


    1. I saw nowhere that anybody called TR a Democrat. Please point to the post that does.

    2. If you can’t, you owe and apology.

    3. Libera’s today call themselves “Progressives” for the same reason they want homosexuals to be called “Gay” and Conservation to be called “Environmentalism.” Orwell addressed it in 1984 when he mentioned “NewSpeak” as being the language of the land.

    4. My notice of how “Liberals” are now calling themselves “Progressives” in no way indicates any lack of knowledge on my part of History or Teddy Roosevelt, why would you try to indicate that it does?

  27. Big45Iron Says:

    Sarge, in #14, Wil tried to compare Teddy Roosevelt to today’s liberals. A laughable effort on his part.

  28. kidwittehtape Says:

    Edd + poll commies= complete and total 0wnage

  29. Wil Barnes Says:

    TR a conservative? LOL

  30. kidwittehtape Says:

    but teddy did have one good thing to say:

    “Speak softly and carry a big stick”

  31. Wil Barnes Says:

    Correct kid. I see YOU have studied your history.

  32. sargevining Says:


    Well, let’s see:

    Dispatched the Great White Fleet in defiance of Congress to demonstrate the power of the Executive.

    His “environmentalism” was tempered with an advocacy to use Natural Resources for the public good. He advocated and allowed explotation of these resources when he established the National Park System.

    Statements like this, from his “Autobiography” stand him a good deal apart from Liberals of today:

    “I declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws.”

    However; the weakness of the Left’s attempts to adopt TR as one of thier own is more aptly described here:

    in which Bush says:

    “To be sure, today’s left has much in common with its progressive predecessor, including relative disdain for property rights, commitment to a so-called “living Constitution” that can be molded at will to advance certain policy aims, and reliance on supposed “experts” to rule in a manner untouched by democratic accountability. However, there are also many crucial differences between progressivism and today’s left, starting with the fact that anti-democratic reliance on experts represented but one strand of progressivism (which also supported features of direct democracy like the initiative and the recall) while it seems to have swallowed the modern left whole.”

  33. sargevining Says:

    In fact, if you compare this:

    “Conservative Quote of the Day: “Conservatism is about the organic nature of society-the linkage between family, freedom, tolerance, civility, economic persuit, law, order, tradition and opportunity. It is about seeing any society as a living, breathing body with different needs, opportunities and relationships. It embraces values about human nature and the need for structures that restrain the worst and liberate the best in people accross the social spectrum. It embraces the core view that duty, responsibility, and order are the non-negotiable foundations upon which genuine freedom ad opportunity are built.”

    ( )

    to this from TR’s 1906 Inaugural:

    “[S]urely there is nothing so vitally essential to the welfare of the nation, nothing around which the nation should so bend itself to throw every safeguard, as the home life of the average citizen… When home ties are loosened; when men and women cease to regard a worthy family life, with all its duties fully performed, and all its responsibilities lived up to, as the life best worth living; then evil days for the commonwealth are at hand.”

  34. sargevining Says:

    Funny what happens when somebody comes on trying to characterize Conservatives as “a bunch of beer guzzling, pork eating, adulterers” and are faced with educated and eloquent Conservatives instead.

  35. Wil Barnes Says:

    #34 - You’re too smart by half. I was describing what I considered “a perverse and unhealthy lifestyle” as mentioned by jimb. Methinks you doth protest too much. Or, if the foo sh**s - wear it.

  36. texpat Says:

    I have socialized with Dick Murray and his former long-time dept chair, Kent Tedin. It takes only a few minute to realize the serious political baggage these people carry. Dick does not even pretend to be a disinterested, unbiased observer. His hostility towards anything remotely construed as conservative is barely concealed.

    When he began his tv appearances years ago in Houston, he tried to appear unbiased, but in the last 10 years he gradually gave up any pretense of objectivity. His appearances of the last 5 years are nothing short of embarassing.

    He is a nice guy in person and I gored him a few times when he would make unfounded comments. Dick makes a very nice living with his think tank-polling research-consultancy mini-conglomerate. His professor gig serves to publicly legitimize his real money-making interests.

    RE: T. Roosevelt

    I’ll give this much to Wil Barnes: Teddy was the original big government conservative. He was enough of a populist (and popular enough) to get away with instituting the first federal controls on industries and fervently believed in involving the federal government in many areas of civic life previously held to be local affairs. The very idea of Johnson’s Great Society would have been unthinkable without TR’s genesis of federal welfare policy. TR did not entertain many restraints on the scope of American power, foreign or domestic. He fully embraced Manifest Destiny.

  37. Rio Says:

    Nothing better than watching Edd drop a nit-wit into the grease and turn up the flame !

  38. LTC Says:

    Texas Research Foundation “woodway” office also serves as Heidi L. Kirkpatrick’s Lone Star Strategies office

    Heidi Kirkpatrick also the founder and president of Lone Star Strategies
    …”has been involved in public affairs for 17 years. She conducts training seminars on event planning, entertaining and the fund-raising process.”

    She did lots of fund rasing for the democrats as noted by the “/D” by its firm on this listing

    Heidi L. Kirkpatrick was or still a registered lobbyist.
    At least she was in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.

    For example she was a lobbyist for Safety….Special Districts & Authorities
    …State Agencies, Boards & Commissions in the year 2000

    Heidi L. Kirkpatrick is also Treasurer of the New Texas Fund

    New Texas Fund gave a total of $2,000 in Texas, all to democrats

  39. jimb Says:

    #21 - A beer drinking, pork-eating (the unhealthy part) adulterer (the perverse part) is indeed leading an unhealthy, perverse life. However, are building a straw man and you know it.

  40. Wil Barnes Says:

    #39 - sorry you don’t appreciate satire.

  41. The Dude Says:


    beer guzzling, pork eating, adulterers

    Actually, even though you were being satirical, you described me with 67% accuracy, although I tend to be more of a sipper than a guzzler. But I won’t split hairs.

  42. Wil Barnes Says:

    Dude, I appreciate honesty more than any other trait in a human being.

    Gotta go do what I do. Have a good day yourself, sir.

  43. LTC Says:

    to have close to 60% who do not know or not telling whom they are going to vote for in a poll
    is difficult to conclude or have the data to say that Delay is going to loose or in trouble.
    nor does it indicate that Delay going to win.

    the headline would should say the key to the election is the undecided votes instead of the
    spin that Delay is in trouble or loosing

    also the flaw in the poll is asking democrats whom they are going to vote for in a Republican primary
    …unless Dr. Murray or abc13 knows something we dont know…democrats crossing over to vote republican to “sabatage” the republican primary to skew the results.

    Lampson’s 30 percent of the votes and only 31 percent of those survey were democrats so he got the votes that was going be be from his own party anyway.

    so Lampson didnt gain or loose any votes that he would have gotten from his constituents.

    might be “set up” so “kool aid” drinkers and progressive “bomb throwers” would say the election was a fraud and was stolen if Delay wins because the polls said he would “loose” or in trouble.

    Researchers asked the 560 registered voters who they would choose in the Republican primary.
    Twenty-one percent (118) chose Delay,
    10 percent (56) chose one of his three challengers.
    68 percent (381) were either undecided or refused to answer.

    Forty-three percent (241) identify themselves as Republicans
    31 percent (174) as Democrats
    22 percent (123) as independent

    If the general election where held today
    DeLay would get 22 percent (123) of the vote
    Lampson 30 percent (168)
    Stockman 11 percent (62)
    remainder are undecided or support other candidates…59 percent (330)…

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