Kay Bailey Hutchison

Romney’s Texas Cabinet Members?

Jan 21, 2013 By Jason Cohen

U.S. Senator John Cornyn and outgoing senator Kay Bailey Hutchison were floated as potential members of a Romney administration, and Greg Abbott is a top choice to head the EPA.

The Kay Place

Jan 21, 2013 By Brian D. Sweany

Kay Bailey Hutchison, the state’s senior senator and the first woman from Texas to hold that office, opens up about the changes in her party, why she decided to retire, and the governor’s race that got away. 

Commercial Appeal

Jan 21, 2013 By Sonia Smith

It's no accident that Rick Perry has a 10-0 election record. Watch the campaign ads that helped convince voters he was the man for the job.

The Great Campaigner

Jan 21, 2013 By Jake Silverstein

After eleven contested elections dating back three decades, Rick Perry remains undefeated. Is he brilliant? Lucky? Ruthless? We asked the people who know best—his vanquished opponents.

Right Place, Right Time

Jan 20, 2013 By Paul Burka

A year ago Rick Perry’s political future seemed to be in peril. Now he’s looking past the 2010 elections—and all the way to the White House. Think I’m kidding? How about a cup of tea?

The Gentleman From Texas

Jan 20, 2013 By Jake Silverstein

Only a few years after arriving in Washington, John Cornyn has become the capital’s most powerful Texan. Can he lead the Republicans back to power in the Senate?

The Thrilla in Vanilla

Jan 20, 2013 By Paul Burka

The looming clash between Republican gubernatorial candidates Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison may not be as fearsome as the storied Ali-Frazier bout, but it’s the heavyweight showdown every Texas political junkie has been waiting for.

The 1998 Bum Steer Awards

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

A year of altered antlers, bawdy broadcasters, comedian corrections, dining detectives, emancipated emus, fossilized felines, gullible Gore, hemline harassment, insatiable igniters, jazzed-up jewelry, Kay’s kennelwear, lottery loonies, metric madness, numerous nudes, 007 oenophiles, poultry protesters, questionable quizzes, revengeful revenuers, Spam slingers, tie tirades, unallowed uniforms, variant videotapers, warning! water, x-humed x-mascots, yanked Yvonne, and zodiac zombies.

The Great Campaigner

Aug 13, 2011 By Jake Silverstein

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 February…

Public Policy Polling: Kay’s not O.K.

Jun 27, 2010 By Paul Burka

From the PPP Web site: Approval/Disapproval (Republicans) Approve 47% Disapprove 37% Unsure 18% Job Performance Approve 37% Disapprove 43% Unsure 20% Should Run for Reelection in 2012 (Republicans) Yes 43% No 41% Not sure 17% Vote for KBH in 2012 (Republicans) Yes 43% No 41% Not sure 17%…

Tuition break for illegals is key issue in Jones-Perry runoff

Apr 6, 2010 By Paul Burka

The fight is over a bill Jones supported in 2001 providing for undocumented high school students to be able to pay in-state tuition rates at Texas colleges and universities — the same rates that legal residents pay. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, the entire Lubbock delegation voted for…

Hutchison decides to stay in the Senate

Mar 31, 2010 By Paul Burka

This is not exactly shocking news. Most people who follow Texas politics closely have been predicting that she would serve our her term since her campaign began to collapse in January, or was it last September? It is her best option, and perhaps her only option. Hutchison has been a…

Last words about the GOP governor’s race

Mar 4, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

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

Mar 3, 2010 By Paul Burka

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 ease; the closest race was Ralph Hall's 57% victory. In fact, this was a bad election for conservatives, with one exception--Rick Perry. He was a ten-year incumbent in an election cycle that was supposed to be terrible for incumbents, but his keen political instincts enabled him to get out in front of the tea party movement early and become its champion instead of its victim. One of the undercurrents in this election was that conservatives disgruntled by Joe Straus's defeat of Tom Craddick in the 2009 speaker's race saw an opportunity to destabilize him by running hard-right Republicans against moderates on his team. Todd Smith was assailed for holding up Voter ID; he won with surprising ease. Vicki Truitt was assailed for offering a local option gasoline tax; she dispatched three opponents without needing a runoff. Burt Solomons had an unexpectedly close race but prevailed. Chuck Hopson, who switched from Democrat to Republican, infuriated Republicans in his district by announcing that he would continue to vote as he had in the past--and smashed his two opponents. Most of the opposition didn't come from the grass roots; it came from self-appointed kingmakers like Texans for Lawsuit Reform and Michael Quinn Sullivan. Incumbency proved to be mightier than ideology. The voter anger never materialized; it metamorphosized into a brief infatuation with Medina and faded away after she self-destructed on the Glen Beck radio show. A bonus for Straus: One Republican he surely didn't want to see in the House was former Legislative Council director Milton Rister, a longtime Republican operative and hatchet man who is close to Craddick and Dewhurst. Rister was running for the Gattis open seat, but Dr. Charles Schwertner won that four-person race without a runoff. In the end, only five incumbent legislators lost, three Democrats (Al Edwards, Dora Olivo, Tara Rios Ybarra) and two Republicans (Betty Brown and Tommy Merritt), and none of the losses could be blamed on voter anger or ideology. Rios Ybarra could not overcome issues in her personal life that became public, and the others lost for the typical reason why legislators lose: They stayed too long and had too little to show for it. Brown could also attribute her loss to the suburbanization of her district.

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

Feb 24, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

Found in the Democratic party’s dumpster

Feb 23, 2010 By Paul Burka

Sifting through the dumpster behind the Democratic party headquarters, I came across discarded copies of this memo. From: Your Democratic leaders To: All Democratic voters Re: Election strategy To all Democrats in Texas: We have determined that the best strategy for Democrats in this election is to vote in the…

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

Feb 23, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

KBH’s robocall

Feb 14, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

Research 2000: Perry +4 over White

Feb 13, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

Perry far ahead in UT/Tribune poll

Feb 12, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

Perry leads in Collin County poll

Feb 10, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…


Feb 9, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

Rasmussen: Perry 44, Hutchison 29, Medina 16

Feb 2, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

What is Medina up to?

Feb 2, 2010 By Paul Burka

A couple of weeks ago I questioned in this space whether Medina might enter the Senate race if Hutchison resigns her seat after the primary or the runoff? Apparently someone else was thinking the same thing. The analysis that follows was sent to me by someone who is well known to readers of this blog, someone with SO license plates. The analysis picks up below the asterisks: * * * * I just read your comment about Medina running for Kay's seat, if it ever opens up. I [have] speculated on the same thing. I have been trying to figure her reason to run in the R primary. It doesn't make sense for her. Here is why: 1. If she really cared about her issues she would have run as an Indy or a Libertarian so she would be in the race all the way into the fall. She would then have time to build her name and would get to debate on the big stage in the general election. 2. If she actually thought she had a chance to win the R primary, or make the run-off she would not turn off the R votes by advocating legalizing drugs or saying she will not guarantee she will support the primary winner in Nov and may support a third party candidate. So, what is her plan. Let's go back to point 1. If she was running as an Independent or Libertarian it would be difficult to also run in a special election for Senator, and depending on when the election was actually held, she might not be legally able to do so. Secondly, if she had not run in R primary no one would know her anyway. My thesis. She doesn't care if some Republicans don't like her drug stand or that she will not support Perry or Hutchinson in November. She is running in the Republican primary to build name I.D. and build support for a run in the special election for Kay's seat. Once March 2 passes she will be free to run for the Senate (providing Kay steps down). What is her chance of making that run-off ? Still a long shot, but she will have a shot, especially if she surprises and gets 12-18% in the primary. My analysis of the numbers in a crowded special election field: --Sharp and all Ds get 35% --If Medina keeps her base and adds a few points she is 15-20% (if she does well in the primary) --That leaves 50-55% to be split between 6 to 10 Republicans --Dewhurst, Shapiro, Williams, Williams, Jones, all of whom have indicated they will run. You can be sure that there will be 2-4 more. Each one will pick up 3-5% points even for the bottom finishers. If you have, let's say, 8 Republicans, can any of them get higher than her if she gets 18-20%? Dewhurst has the best chance, but with so many in the race each candidate will have their own base. making it harder for him to get 20%. So, you could have a Medina-Sharp run-off if everything breaks her way. But three things have to happen:

If someone were paying me $30,000 a month…

Jan 30, 2010 By Paul Burka

Here is what I would do if I had been running the Hutchison campaign. I would not just sit back and let Perry punch us with the bailout day after day, week after week, month after month. I would follow the old rule: “Hang a lantern on your problem.” I…

Reporting the Belo Debate … Perry wins

Jan 29, 2010 By Paul Burka

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, looked more comfy than last time. To KBH, concealed carry laws? Metal detectors in our Capitol? Hope not. Lighting is not good for her, and she has to look to the right to talk to the moderator, not toward the camera. To Medina, you called Perry a frat boy? are you talking about issues? She says, he's looking at everything through rose colored glasses. Wayne Slater -- Need to build highways, $300B or more needed. Only 3 choices--taxes, debt, more toll roads. Be specific (to KBH) how to we meet those needs. KBH -- I want to do an audit of TXDOT, need more leadership there. I will reform TXDOT. I knew she would duck this. Says never a tax increase without a vote of the people. Slater follow up--which is necessary. She says, if we need more revenue, and I'm not convinced we do, I would reform TxDOT. ...Medina, that $300B you say is not a hard number, it's the highway lobby, I'm not convinced that's what we need. Now to Perry, debt, taxes, tolls. Perry ducks it to start, we have an audit every two years. He starts with diversions. I'm against the gas tax, bottom line, private sector, we'll need to take tolls to build them, but those roads that are free will still be there. KBH says we only get 70 cents per dollar from Wash, Perry wrong. She says txdot web site ? to Medina -- illegal immigration, not convinced that e-verify is the solution, must protect private prop along the border. We want a healthy immigration process. Perry -- e-verify a federal program, and speaking of the fed gov't, that's where the problem lies. Incidentally, she voted for against sanctuary cities. Washington must send money to defend our borders. e-verify won't do anything unless we defend border first. kbh -- SHAME on governor, even the truth tests say I voted against sanctuary cities. e-verify is the best protection we have. (It's really unfortunate, KBH is set up so that she has to look off camera). Medina -- we know that Tx driver's license is good ID, but we issue drivers license to illegal immigrants. To Perry -- U took $12B in federal stimulus, won't be there the next time around, what programs would you cut? Answer, we have already asked agencies to cut 5%. In 2003, $10B short. ??? -- what would you cut? I'd bring together PUC and Railroad Commission, you can consolidate. KBH -- using fed stimulus money for recurring expenses leaves us with a bigger deficit (shot of Perry pursing his lips). I believe in across the board cuts. I'd be looking at the Gov's enterprise fund, not transparent, not producing results. Jobs would have come here anyway. Same ? to Medina -- it's unfortunate that the governor is not taking his own advice. In first fiscal quarter 13.5 increase in spending in the executive branch. We must eliminate property tax, have a consumption tax, $3 billion increase in personal income. Perry rebuttal -- enterprise fund, most popular with the legislature (tell that to Pitts! Hah!) now he's pretty close to a smirk.

Two more house district polls show Perry widening his lead

Jan 28, 2010 By Paul Burka

I received this information about polls that were taken in two House districts, HD 3 (Homer) and HD 47 (Bolton). The first poll is from HD 3. The pollster was Chris Wilson. Fair warning: Both polls were sent to me by a source close to the Perry campaign: Perry 47…


Jan 28, 2010 By Paul Burka

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…

More on the governor’s race today

Jan 26, 2010 By Paul Burka

PERRY The Perry campaign issued a release attacking the veracity of Hutchison's ad on securing the border. The Perry release follows: Latest False Hutchison Ad Perfect “Match” For Dishonest Senator Media Already Labeling Ad A “Distortion” That “Clouds Some Of Her Record” And “Deviates From Facts” Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison continues to disregard the truth in her latest television ad which media are already labeling a “distortion” that “clouds some of her record” and “deviates from facts.” In her latest ad, “Matches,” Sen. Hutchison continues to take credit for actions media have confirmed she did not do and dismisses efforts already underway in Texas. In the ad, Sen. Hutchison also says she is proud of her own broken record of failing to secure our border, which includes supporting sanctuary cities and opposing the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws. “The only thing Senator Hutchison has been consistent on has been the use of false and misleading ads to deflect from her lackluster campaign,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Her latest ad is yet another attempt to hide the fact that after 17 years in Washington, Senator Hutchison has provided zero leadership on border issues.” Below are claims made by Sen. Hutchison in her latest ad: CLAIM: Sen. Hutchison: “I have quadrupled the number of border patrol agents.” FACTS: Both WFAA-TV in Dallas and the Austin American-Statesman have discredited this statement, which Sen. Hutchison also made in previous false ads. WFAA-TV said, “It’s a distortion for her to say she did it,” and the Austin American Statesman said, “Hutchison has advocated increasing border agents, but she didn't personally quadruple anything. In many cases, the increases were pushed by President Bush and she was one of many who! support ed them.” (SOURCES: “Reality Check: Hutchison border security ad deviates from facts,” WFAA-TV, 1/25/10; “Hutchison says she quadrupled Border Patrol agents,” Austin American Statesman PolitiFact Texas, 1/12/10) CLAIM: Announcer: “Kay’s plan would require state agencies verify legal status before hiring …” FACTS: Current law requires the state of Texas, as well as all employers in Texas, to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment. This includes citizens and noncitizens. In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation (HB 1196) to require business that apply for a grant or other financial benefit, such as a tax abatement, from a public agency (state agency or local taxing jurisdiction) or economic development corporation to submit a statement certifying that the business does not knowingly employ undocumented workers. WFAA-TV also said, “Illegal immigrants come mostly from private sector jobs, and Hutchison’s plan doesn’t crack down on them. The likely reason? Business groups have opposed such restrictions in the legislature.” [remainder of release omitted due to length]

The governor’s race today

Jan 26, 2010 By Paul Burka

Hutchison The daily blast from the Hutchison campaign includes this discussion: Texas had the 4th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country in 2005, according to a new study. That’s up one notch from 5th highest in 2000, according to new data from the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights…

Another poll shows Perry +11

Jan 23, 2010 By Paul Burka

I was told about this poll by a lobbyist who was familiar with the poll. It covered just District 127 (Crabb’s seat), which is primarily Kingwood and other parts of east and northeast Harris County. It’s my understanding that the governor’s race question was added to the poll. This is…

Today in the governor’s race: Why Hutchison can’t resign

Jan 21, 2010 By Paul Burka

HUTCHISON George H.W. Bush will endorse Hutchison, following Cheney and Baker. The Cheney endorsement was worse than useless; it was self-defeating, because it didn’t help her with conservatives who hate all things Washington, and it hurt her with moderate R’s who saw him as a sinister figure who undermined the…

A call from the Hutchison campaign

Jan 20, 2010 By Paul Burka

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 in retrospect I think the snark factor was excessive, even for blogging. After we got the "pleasantries" out of the way, they offered to share some information with me. The main reason for my doubts, as I wrote, were the differences between the campaign poll and the Rasmussen poll, which reinforced previous polls about the race. I was also dubious about the 26% of the electorate that was said to be undecided. This seems like a very large number in a race in which 88% of the vote (Perry 43%, Hutchison 33%, Medina 12%) is already accounted for. Today I met with a representative of the campaign. The representative showed me some numbers, which I will pass along to readers. As I have said repeatedly in the comments section in response to readers who have questioned the accuracy of polls that I have reported on, I am not the local Honda dealer. I don't give warranties, or a "CR Recommended" rating from Consumer Reports. Readers can judge the credibility of the information for themselves. Caveat emptor. 1. The Hutchison campaign, like most campaigns, does polling on a small scale as well as on a large scale, polls that are snapshots in time. I saw the results of some of these polls, graphed and printed. They show that since January 3, Hutchison has trailed Perry by no more than 3 points and has led by no more than 2 points. 2. One of the things discussed during the call was the accuracy of the Rasmussen poll, which has been my "control" for polls about the race. I pointed out that Rasmussen and SurveyUSA, the robocall polls, did the best job of calling the 2004 election. The Hutchison folks pointed out that Rasmussen is the only pollster who had Scott Brown losing in Massachusetts. (This was before the polls closed.) Sure enough, Rasmussen called it wrong. 3. The Hutchison campaign has done polling about the debate. This is what they came up with: --21.7% of the primary electorate viewed the debate --39.1% thought Medina won --16.9% thought Hutchison won --15.5% thought Perry won --14.4% thought Perry and Hutchison tied --14.1% were undecided None of these numbers seem implausible to me, though the viewership seems quite high for a gubernatorial primary debate. Maybe people are just very interested in politics right now.

Early post-debate polling: leaders lose ground

Jan 17, 2010 By Paul Burka

This report comes from a polling firm that did a post-debate survey of Republican primary voters. I am authorized to publish these numbers. I have no further information to provide other than what I am publishing here. –Perry and Hutchison lost support as a result of the debate. Perry fell…

Perry must be worried…

Jan 17, 2010 By Paul Burka

…or else he would not have pulled the plug on the Governor’s Mansion addition. Perry has gotten himself out on a limb with all the bragging about Texas, and it may come back to haunt. Add up the boasts about how he balanced the budget (no mention of those stimulus…

Perry, Hutchison battle over transportation

Jan 17, 2010 By Paul Burka

Transportation is going to be a major battleground in the governor’s race. The two camps exchanged fire after the debate. Perry spokesman Mark Miner put out a statement that accused Hutchison of making misleading statements on her TV ad about transportation policy. What the Perry camp says (from spokesman Mark…