Bill White

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Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2013

The Great White Hope

During his three terms in office, Houston’s Bill White has been one of the most popular big-city mayors in America. Now he’s just the latest in a long line of Texas Democrats trying to win a statewide election. What makes Mayor Bill think he can break a fifteen-year losing streak?

Politics & Policy|
January 23, 2012

Mitt Romney’s Bill White strategy

A single word can turn a campaign in the wrong direction. In the case of Rick Perry, of course, that word was “oops.” In the case of Mitt Romney, the word was “maybe”: Romney’s answer to the question of whether he would release his tax returns. It came across as

Politics & Policy|
August 13, 2011

The Great Campaigner

We interrupt your regular blogger to bring you a special message from the editor: So it’s official. As of today, at 1:30 pm EST, Governor Perry is finally a formal candidate for president (though we’ve been convinced he had eyes on the job as far back as

Politics & Policy|
September 30, 2010

Dem Bums

Bill White’s toughest foe this fall isn’t Rick Perry. It’s the national Democrats. But he could still win. Maybe.

Politics & Policy|
September 21, 2010

Richard Murray on the Harris County Vote

In an earlier version of this post, I mistakenly wrote that the 1990 governor’s race was between Richards and Bush. It was, of course, between Bush and Clayton Williams. The mistake was mine, not Dr. Murray’s, and has been corrected. This article from the blog of Dr. Richard Murray, a

Politics & Policy|
August 25, 2010

“Bill White refusing to debate”

The level of political discourse in this campaign is about as bad as I have ever seen it. Take today’s communication from the Perry campaign: Today is Day 171 of liberal trial lawyer Bill White refusing to debate. He also continues to refuse to release his taxes from his years

Politics & Policy|
August 23, 2010

Rasmussen: Perry 49%, White 41%

The race hasn’t budged since the last poll (July 14, Perry 50, White 41). What is significant is that White has spent buckets of money since the last poll and he hasn’t moved any numbers. Probably most Texans know how they are going to vote in this race. Here is

Politics & Policy|
August 8, 2010

Obama’s upside-down visit

Republicans are salivating with anticipation; Democrats are running for cover. This is nothing new. The biggest enemy of the Texas Democratic party has always been the national Democratic party, dating back to 1952, when Governor Allan Shivers broke the Solid South by endorsing Eisenhower, who carried Texas. The worst thing

Politics & Policy|
August 7, 2010

Perry, White continue to spar over Rita contract

Readers will recall that an earlier version of this saga featured Perry's claim that White, while mayor of Houston, personally profited from a contract between the Coastal Water Authority and BTEC, a company that provided generators to keep water flowing to major Houston industries during the storm. To refresh readers'

Politics & Policy|
August 1, 2010

Gov Hunt

As the only man ever to run against both Bill White and Rick Perry, I have a few thoughts on how either one of these fine, upstanding, admirable men could beat the tar out of the other.

Politics & Policy|
July 29, 2010

The Democratic strategy

Marc Ambinder, politics editor and blogger for The Atlantic, writes that the Democratic message for the fall elections is shaping up to be, “We may be incompetent but they’re crazy.” Good party messages are organic, and they are not announced. Fortunately for Democrats, theirs just sort of came

Politics & Policy|
July 20, 2010

Should Perry have spurned stimulus money?

I don’t get it. White has been criticizing Perry for taking more stimulus funding than any state except California and New York. Is this a bad thing? White is a Democrat. Democrats want to use government to help people. Money helps people. Had White been governor, would he have told

Politics & Policy|
July 15, 2010

Rasmussen: Perry 50%, White 41%

The previous poll was 48-40, so very little change. Curiously, Rasmussen describes Perry’s lead as “modest.” Since the MOE is +/- 4./5%, Perry’s nine-point edge is the largest possible advantage that is still within the margin of error. Perhaps Rasmussen is downplaying Perry’s lead as a reaction to recent criticism

Politics & Policy|
June 18, 2010

Rasmussen: Perry 48%, White 40%

Only 8% are undecided, with 5% preferring some other candidate. As with all Rasmussen polls, this one was an automated-response telephone survey of 500 likely voters conducted on a single day (June 16). The margin of error is is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Readers

Politics & Policy|
May 23, 2010

UT/Tribune Poll: Perry +9

At least it’s better than the Rasmussen poll. The numbers: Perry 44% White 35% Undecided 15% Someone else 7% If you were trying to put a good face on the results for White, you would say (1) Perry is under 50%; (2) 22%, more than 1 voter in 5, are

Politics & Policy|
May 23, 2010

Where’s Waldo?

I mean, where’s Bill White? The State Board of Education is in a meltdown that is getting worldwide publicity, and the best he can do is say that if he is elected governor, he would name a new chair. Big deal. He ought to be saying: This is Rick Perry’s

Politics & Policy|
May 17, 2010

Rasmussen: Perry 51, White 38

The numbers speak for themselves. We are seeing an instant replay of the Republican primary. Another Perry opponent has been unable to find a theme that resonates with the voters. Meanwhile, Perry has found a strange political bedfellow–Anise Parker, White’s successor as mayor–who delivered Perry manna from heaven: the devastating

Politics & Policy|
May 6, 2010

The Hill: Texas a Toss-up

Here’s what opinion columnist Brent Budowsky had to say earlier this week about the Texas governor’s race. Keep in mind that Budowsky was an aide to Senator Lloyd Bentsen and later worked for the House Democratic leadership. Disclaimer: I’ll cite the article, I’ll even publish selections from the

Politics & Policy|
April 23, 2010

Did Bill White pioneer contingency fees?

This is a charge that the Perry campaign, through spokesman Mark Miner, has leveled at White. It seemed dubious to me, because contingency fees have been used by plaintiffs' lawyers since long before Bill White was practicing law. Contingency fees are used in personal injury cases when a client cannot

Politics & Policy|
April 21, 2010

The other mansion

Bill White is criticizing Rick Perry for allowing the taxpayers to pick up the tab for the home where is family is living while the Governor’s Mansion is under repair. Here’s what White had to say on the subject: Dear —– Did you know that Rick Perry is charging taxpayers

Politics & Policy|
April 20, 2010

The Rasmussen Poll: Perry 48, White 44

The previous poll showed Perry ahead 49-43. This one shows him ahead 48-44. The difference has no significance at this stage of the race. Perry is still under 50%, but very close. Remember, Perry didn’t break 50% in the primary until election day. The most interesting thing about the poll

Politics & Policy|
March 10, 2010

Read my lips: Maybe new taxes, maybe not

I was out of town yesterday, so I didn’t hear exactly what Bill White had to say at the Texas Tribune’s event in response to a question about whether he would rule out a tax increase. Press accounts said that he did not rule them out. This was a difficult

Politics & Policy|
March 8, 2010

Perry’s case against Bill White

This is the text of an e-mail I received from the Perry camp about the attacks the Perry campaign will use against Bill White: “Bill White as Mayor of Houston: supported gun control; opposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage; made Houston a sanctuary city; left Houston with twice as

Politics & Policy|
March 4, 2010

Can the Democrats win a statewide race?

I have expressed my opinion on many occasions that the Democrats don’t have a chance to win a statewide race, aside from Bill White, in this election cycle. But some unexpected developments might prove me wrong. Their best shot is Jeff Weems, who is running for the Railroad Commission. This

Politics & Policy|
March 4, 2010

Last words about the GOP governor’s race

Perry’s decisive victory over a sitting United States Senator is going to propel him into national prominence. Republican power brokers will have to take notice of him as a potential presidential candidate, if they haven’t already done so. Who on the Republican side would make a better candidate? Mitt Romney

Politics & Policy|
March 1, 2010

Out and About

Annise Parker, the newly elected mayor of Houston, is ready to discuss any of the challenges facing her city. That will happen as soon as everyone else is ready to stop talking about her sexuality.

Politics & Policy|
February 13, 2010

Research 2000: Perry +4 over White

Research 2000 is a reputable national polling firm. That said, the result is definitely an outlier. The latest UT/Tribune poll, for example, has Perry and Hutchison leading White by identical nine-point margins, 44-35 in Perry’s case and 43-34 in Hutchison’s. This margin is a little higher than the presumed R

Politics & Policy|
February 8, 2010

The Democratic debate

First question was on vouchers...technical difficulties (mine) Next question: Legislature may reconsider Patrick bill requiring sonograms. Do you support reconsidering it? White says, not going to make advance judgments but would not allow Legislative sessions to get hijacked by wedge issues. Shami would not take away freedom of any Texan,

Politics & Policy|
February 5, 2010

White’s second ad

This is your basic bio spot — current family shot, childhood (“parents were schoolteachers”), off to college (“earned a scholarship”), then family life (“taught Sunday School”) to mayor of Houston (“cut taxes five times”). The closing shot is taken from the floor up, so that White’s baldness is not evident.

Politics & Policy|
February 1, 2010

Bill White’s first ad

It’s a good start. White chose the right message–improving education. Perry is vulnerable. Education advocates believe that standards have been lowered during the Perry years. The issue plays to White’s base but it also crosses party lines. Republicans in the suburbs and in rural areas care about public schools.

Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2010

A call from the Hutchison campaign

The call had to do with my post yesterday ("Was the Hutchison poll phony?") in which I expressed my concern about whether their poll, which the campaign has said showed them two points down, was on the level. Obviously, the campaign was none too happy about what I wrote, and

Politics & Policy|
December 20, 2009

The down-ballot Democrats

Here is who has filed so far: Governor: Felix Alvarado, Bill Dear, Farouk Shami, Bill White Lieutenant Governor: Ronnie Earle Attorney General: Barbara Ann Radnofsky Land Commissioner: Bill Burton Railroad Commissioner: Jeff Weems Agriculture Commissioner: Kinky Friedman (Hank Gilbert has said that he will run) A knowledgeable Democratic source told

Politics & Policy|
December 4, 2009

White Ends “Suspense”

There never was any doubt that Bill White was running for governor, and for that matter there wasn’t much doubt that he wanted to run for governor even when he was running for the Senate. Perry is now fighting a two-front war. A general election race against a Democrat will

Politics & Policy|
November 30, 2009

Did Kay think of this?

By delaying her decision about leaving the Senate, she damaged her candidacy in an unexpected way. Once Bill White recognized that there would be no Senate vacancy, he switched to the governor’s race. In doing so, he instantly won the loyalty of Democrats across Texas. Had Hutchison resigned her seat,

Politics & Policy|
November 24, 2009

Can Bill White penetrate the Republican vote?

As mayor of Houston, White enjoyed considerable support — political and financial — from Republicans. But he occupied a nonpartisan office. Can he repeat that success in a partisan race against an incumbent Republican governor, and can he do it outside of Houston as well as inside? The answer depends

Politics & Policy|
November 23, 2009

The Schieffer candidacy

It never really got off the ground. Tom had just been out of the game for too long. The conservative Democrats who had been his political allies during the seventies, when he served in the Legislature, had ceased to exist as a political force. I had the opportunity to meet

Politics & Policy|
November 23, 2009

Waiting for the Hutchison ad

I had a conversation with John Sharp this afternoon. Sharp said that White’s first preference has always been to run for governor. What had kept him out of the governor’s race was the prospect that Hutchison would win the primary, leaving White to face the most popular figure in Texas

Politics & Policy|
November 9, 2009

White noise

I keep getting e-mails from friends in the politics game that Bill White is going to switch to run for governor. Got one this morning, in fact. Burnt Orange gives life to the rumors today as well. My Houston-based colleague Mimi Swartz made some calls at my request,

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