I had lunch last week with a Republican friend who is very much involved in the campaign season. No, not Eppstein. Every time I write something like this people say I’m just a conduit for Eppstein. There are other smart guys out there, you know.

Anyway, my RF said a number of interesting things about the House races.
1. The three most vulnerable Ds, in his view, are Juan Garcia (very Republican district), Allen Vaught (also a Republican district and Bill Keffer is working this time), and Robbie Cook (close district, close race last time).
2. After that, he’s pretty pessimistic. The other WD-40s? “Can’t beat ’em. Homer, Hopson, McReynolds, Farabee.”
3. He expects the Ds to field an opponent against every R in Dallas County.
4. He blames Karl Rove for the Republicans’ loss of support, nationally and in Texas, and he’s furious about it.

OK, now I’ll tell you what Eppstein is saying about the races: Probably not more than +2/-2 seats either way.

The prospect of Keffer’s return is not a happy one. He has talent, but it’s buried underneath ideological zeal. I went back into the video archives and listened to his speech–actually, it was more like a lecture, since he called out, among others, the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker, and his own brother–against HB 3, the business tax, in the 2006 special session. “The people who subscribe to a philosophy of limited government should be very concerned about turning on a faucet of brand-new revenue that will go toward growing government,” he said. Well, I’m for limited government too. Who isn’t, really? But, come on, this bill wasn’t about building bigger bureaucracies. It was about keeping the schools open. It was about reducing local property taxes. It was about governing, something Bill Keffer doesn’t care anything about.