The Hutchison campaign today went on red alert against push polling, or if you prefer a more polite term, message testing, by the Perry campaign. I don’t know the extent of the practice, but these were some of the messages being tested, according to sources with the Hutchison campaign. Let me stipulate that I was told only the general wording of these questions. — Would you be more or less likely to vote for Hutchison if you knew that Hutchison had passed $2 billion worth of earmarks for entities her husband’s law firm as represented? (Previous allegations — unproven — had been that Ray Hutchison had personally benefited from earmarks; this version covers any clients that Vinson & Elkins represents) — Would you be more or less likely to vote for Hutchison if you knew that she was absent for a vote on partial birth abortions and received thanks from a pro-choice group? (This refers to an occasion when Hutchison was in Texas delivering a eulogy for former Governor Preston Smith at the request of the family.) — Would you be more or less likely to vote for Perry if he were to advocate stopping waste, fraud, and corruption in Austin by establishing an office of state inspector-general? — Would you be more or less likely to vote for Perry if he were to propose criminal penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens? (Perry has previously proposed this as one of his four new issues for his reelection campaign.) — Would you be more or less inclined to vote for Perry if he were to propose a new program to provide extra revenue to failing schools? — Would you be more or less inclined to vote for Hutchison if you knew that she opposes more federal spending but since she’s been a senator, federal spending has more than doubled? The question I find startling is that Perry is contemplating spending money on failing schools after giving his support to the target revenue finance scheme, adopted in 2006, that is strangling school budgets all over Texas. This opens the door to an easy rebuttal by Hutchison.
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