Rick Perry

Rick Perry was the forty-seventh governor of Texas, becoming the nation’s longest-serving governor in a run that started when he stepped up to succeed newly elected president George W. Bush on December 21, 2000. Perry won his first full term on November 2, 2002, in an election that ushered in a new era of Republican dominance in Texas leadership. He won two more elections and was sworn in for an unprecedented fourth time on January 18, 2011. Perry, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is the first Aggie to be governor. A fifth-generation Texan, he is married to Anita Perry. They have two children, Griffin and Sydney.

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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 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 |
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 |
July 1, 2010

True to form, Perry blasts EPA

This was the text of the governor’s statement regarding EPA’s decision to reject Texas’s State Implementation Program for the Clean Air Act. “The EPA’s irresponsible and heavy-handed action not only undermines Texas’ successful clean air programs, but threatens thousands of Texas jobs, families, businesses and communities throughout our state. It

Politics & Policy |
June 27, 2010

The TCEQ-EPA fight: an industry view, a governor’s view

The first article below is from the Oil Price Information Service (OPISnet.com), an industry newsletter. It is an informational publication, not an advocacy publication. A typical article is, "Flattening Ethylene Forwards Curve Reflects Declining Demand, Rising Supply." The second article appeared in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times under Rick Perry's byline.

Politics & Policy |
June 26, 2010

Behind the Green door

A reader and frequent commenter who calls himself “Cow Droppings” posted these remarks on Burkablog a couple of days ago concerning the Green Party issue, a subject about which I have not yet written. Let’s stipulate as fact for a second that [Mike] Toomey orchestrated Green recruitment. Question: what crime

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 |
June 10, 2010

The Perry camp’s response

(For a full discussion of the accusations leveled against Bill White by the Perry campaign, see my previous post, “Perry says White should quit the race over Rita contract”) I received this e-mail today from a Perry insider as a response to the post mentioned above: The connection to White

Politics & Policy |
May 27, 2010

What’s the point?

The El Paso Times today reports that the 1,200 National Guard troops President Barack Obama is sending to the border will be authorized to do…well, nothing. Can’t patrol it, can’t interdict aliens crossing the border, can’t use deadly force. From the Times’ story: The Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law,

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 |
May 4, 2010

Is the BP disaster an act of God?

That was a weird comment for the governor to make. He can’t possibly substantiate his statement. Is he so anti-litigation that he is trying to protect the perpetrators? In any event, Black’s Law Dictionary defines an act of God as “An act occasioned exclusively by violence of nature without the

Politics & Policy |
April 25, 2010

Target practice

Remember that comment Perry made a week or so ago, when Obama talked about adding jobs at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida but remained mum about the Johnson Space Center in Houston? Perry said that Obama had “put a target on Texas’s back.” One hardly expects Obama to love

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 |
April 15, 2010

Is Perry running for president?

The question got a lot of play on Fox News after Perry gave a rousing speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Friday. On Fox, Perry said, “My name is not on the straw poll. I have no interest in the presidential election personally.”

Politics & Policy |
March 24, 2010

Supremes block Skinner execution

The U.S. Supreme Court has put Texas’s procedures in death penalty appeals in the spotlight again. It blocked the execution of Henry Skinner, who was schedule to die at 6 p.m. tonight, Texas time. The Court’s action followed the decision of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles not to

Politics & Policy |
March 17, 2010

Bad “Review”

The article below appeared in "The Corner," a column that appears regularly in National Review Online earlier this month. The author commented on my post of March 4, "Last Words on the GOP Governor's Race." For readers' convenience, the excerpts from my post are quoted; the author's comments

Politics & Policy |
March 10, 2010

Perry’s letter to supporters

The Perry campaign sent this letter to supporters over the name of consultant Dave Carney: Thanks for all of your help during the primary. The primary results are a real testament to the massive amount of support the Governor has across the Texas . Everyone helps in their own way.

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

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 3, 2010

Bad day for conservatives: the anger that wasn’t there

This was supposed to be an unpredictable election due to the tea parties and the Medina candidacy. It was supposed to be an election in which angry conservatives rose up and smote incumbents. Nothing remotely like that occurred. Republican congressional candidates, who might have been tainted by Washingtonitis, won with

Politics & Policy |
February 24, 2010

Rasmussen: 48-27-16 (9% undecided)

Perry creeps ever closer to the magic 50% that would enable him to win without a runoff—which the Perry camp expects him to do. Hutchison’s position appears to be hopeless, not that this is anything new, but it does raise the question of whether, if Perry comes in with just

Politics & Policy |
February 23, 2010

New Public Policy Polling survey: 40/30/20 model

Perry 40% (39%) Hutchison 31% (28%) Medina 20% (24%) (numbers in parentheses = PPP 2/9 poll) N = 400 likely Republican primary voters MOE = +/- 4.9% These numbers seem intuitively correct. They suggest that Perry and Hutchison have beaten each other up enough that both are more or less

Politics & Policy |
February 20, 2010

Why is this PAC necessary?

Haven’t Dick Weekley and Leo Linbeck inflicted enough damage on Texas politics through TLR without starting a new PAC (with Harlan Crow)? The unmodestly named Texas Citizen Leader PAC proclaims that it will support politicians based on their adherence to four basic principles: limited government, individual liberty, free enterprise and

Politics & Policy |
February 14, 2010

KBH’s robocall

I received this e-mail from a lobbyist whom I have known for many years: Just got a robocall from “Texans for Kay” (was “Private Caller” on caller ID) with a clip from the Glenn Beck show about Perry is someone who says and does good things during an election but

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 12, 2010

Perry far ahead in UT/Tribune poll

The numbers: Perry 45% Hutchison 21% Medina 19% Undecided 16% The poll surveyed 366 Republican primary voters and has a margin of error of +/- 5.12%. The Hutchison campaign will go down in Texas history as accomplishing the least with the most assets, personal and financial. (The closest contender: Claytie

Politics & Policy |
February 10, 2010

Perry leads in Collin County poll

I don’t know the details of this poll, but here are the results. The sample was 300 Republican primary voters who said they would “definitely” vote or “likely” to vote: Perry 43.3 Medina 22.7 Hutchison 22.0 This is in Hutchison’s back yard of the Metroplex. I don’t see how she

Politics & Policy |
February 9, 2010


Public Policy Polling has the governor’s race as a 15-point spread from top to bottom: Perry 39% (sound familiar?) Hutchison 28% Medina 24% Undecided 10% Rasmussen’s most recent poll: Perry 44% Hutchison 29% Medina 16% Anything can happen now. Medina’s support has grown by 50% since the Rasmussen poll even

Politics & Policy |
February 8, 2010

At the Palin-Perry rally

I drove to Houston for the rally yesterday. The event was held at a huge complex called the Richard E. Berry Educational Support center on Barker-Cypress Road in northwest Houston. The surrounding area is entirely outside the Houston city limits and is unincorporated. A colleague at Texas Monthly who lives

Politics & Policy |
February 2, 2010

Rasmussen: Perry 44, Hutchison 29, Medina 16

Perry gained 1 point since the previous poll. Hutchison lost 4 points. Medina gained 4 points. Hutchison now is lower in the polls (29) than Perry was (30) when she first announced that she would run for governor. Key stat: If voters maintain their current attitudes, Hutchison needs 50% of

Politics & Policy |
February 1, 2010

This May Be the Worst Idea Ever

Finally, Rick Perry wants to do something about the dropout rate. He proposes to prohibit people of high school age from having a driver’s license if they drop out or aren’t progressing toward a degree. Current law requires that students be enrolled in high school in order to get a

Politics & Policy |
January 29, 2010

Reporting the Belo Debate … Perry wins

On the air Perry looks more comfortable so far. First question, the corridor. Was it a mistake? Perry says, wasn't a mistake to have a vision. Blames governors who didn't do anything before him. We had to come up with a way to move people. He had a big smile,

Politics & Policy |
January 29, 2010

Perry’s old new border ad

Perry’s ads are usually first rate, but anyone with a memory going back four years will recognize that the message, the scenery, and even the clothing is recycled from 2006. Still, having a border sheriff give a testimonial for Perry is very effective, even if Perry did direct a

Politics & Policy |
January 28, 2010

“Corps Values”

This was the headline for a story I wrote about the battle over changes that were taking place at Texas A&M, in the heyday of the Gates presidency (“Corps Values,” May 2004). Current A&M students have no historical memory of this period. So that readers may understand the

Politics & Policy |
January 28, 2010


Have you noticed that no criticism of Rick Perry seems to stick? It is very clear now that nothing Hutchison has done has moved numbers, except maybe to reduce her own. He nails her on the bailout and it sticks like flypaper. (Does flypaper still exist?) She tries to nail

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