Rick Perry

Politics & Policy |
October 28, 2009

Dick Cheney to campaign for Hutchison

Is this good or bad? This is a guy who left office with a 19% approval rating. The report comes from the NBC affiliate for the Metroplex: The battle for conservative credibility in the GOP race for governor just got interesting. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, an outspoken critic of

Politics & Policy |
October 23, 2009

Rick, Kay, and Eminent Domain

This was the Hutchison campaign’s daily blast at Perry for today: Rick Perry continues to avoid critical questions about the Trans-Texas Corridor. While he may think his proposal to seize nearly 600,000 acres of private property is dead and a settled matter, the question for some has turned to how

Politics & Policy |
October 22, 2009

Soliciting funds from restaurant owners

The Morning News story that Perry’s chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Commission is soliciting funds from restaurant owners in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 is the latest in a series of stories about Perry and his appointees. One of the worst things in the story is the

Politics & Policy |
October 21, 2009

Dewhurst Hits Bottom

I have already received a couple of calls from friends who wanted to be sure that I noticed the Dew's op-ed piece in today's Statesman about how Texas balanced its budget. His salient characteristic is on full display here: There is no depth of cravenness so low that

Politics & Policy |
October 19, 2009

Just wondering…

…why the Perry campaign is silent today. Last week spokesman Mark Miner fired off releases on Tuesday (2), Wednesday (2), and Friday (1). Today, nada. OK, I’m probably making a mountain out of a molehill, but it has occurred to me that the last couple of weeks haven’t exactly been

Politics & Policy |
October 14, 2009

When is KBH going to quit?

I don't mean quit the Senate. I mean quit talking about when she is going to quit the Senate. She provided more fodder for the Perry campaign yesterday by going on talk radio in Dallas (Mark Davis) and hemming and hawing all over the place. This is from today's Perry

Politics & Policy |
October 12, 2009

Cronyism and the Corridor

This is a scary story. The Statesman reported yesterday that Governor Perry is removing Linus Wright, a former Dallas school superintendent, as chair of the board that oversees the $88 billion Teacher Retirement System and will replace him with a current board member who is also a member

Politics & Policy |
October 11, 2009

Earmarks = Jobs

Of all the sniping that has gone on between the Perry and Hutchison campaigns, the skirmish that I find to be the most dismaying—and the worst for Texas—is the Perry campaign’s attack on Hutchison for her success in getting funding for designated federal projects in the state, popularly (or unpopularly)

Politics & Policy |
October 9, 2009

Is the Trans-Texas Corridor really dead?

The flap over the Corridor reminds me of a law school hypothetical. If A shoots B, inflicting a wound so serious that death is imminent, and C then fires a second shot, which also would be fatal, moments before B expires, is C guilty of murder? The answer is yes.

Politics & Policy |
October 5, 2009

The endorsements game

This morning, Mark Miner of the Perry campaign touts the list of endorsements the governor has received under this headline: Gov. Perry’s Endorsements Represent Diverse, Statewide Support • Texas Association of Realtors • Texas Chemical Council • Texas Home School Coalition PAC • T. Boone Pickens, Energy Entrepreneur • Texas

Politics & Policy |
October 3, 2009

Hutchison to get Farm Bureau endorsement?

A commenter to my blog post, “More on the Perry Agenda,” suggests that because of Perry’s support for the Trans-Texas Corridor, Hutchison is likely to get the Farm Bureau endorsement. While comments on blogs are hardly reliable sources, I find this one credible because (1) a Republican consultant told me

Politics & Policy |
October 3, 2009

More on “The Perry Agenda”

A commenter who calls himself/herself "Cow Droppings" posted this response to my discussion of "The Perry Agenda," in which I wrote about Perry's stated priorities for state government [a two-thirds vote to raise taxes; making permanent the tax cut for small businesses that pay the margins tax; criminal penalties for

Politics & Policy |
October 1, 2009

The Cover-Up

It’s not hard to figure out why Governor Perry removed the chairman and two members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission just before its scheduled meeting: He was about to be embarrassed, and not just in Texas but nationally. The commission was going to hear a report from an arson

Politics & Policy |
October 1, 2009

The Perry Agenda, 2011

In his conversation with Texans who were able to connect with his video address, Governor Perry offered new proposals for his next campaign. Let’s say that you had been governor for the past nine years. What would your top priorities be? Here’s what I would identify: * Improve the quality

Politics & Policy |
September 30, 2009

Craddick criticizes the use of stimulus funds

An unsigned editorial in today’s Midland Reporter-Telegram expresses concern that the $12 billion in stimulus funds that were used to balance the budget “might some day come back to haunt us.” The paper was alerted to the danger by “a recent report to Midlanders from Tom Craddick, our

Politics & Policy |
September 29, 2009

UPDATED: Did Hutchison vote against protecting landowners?

This headline from a press release from the Perry campaign caught my attention: Kay Bailout Express delivers more earmarks, fails to protect landowners The first part of the release attacks Hutchison for voting for the Department of Interior's appropriations bill: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison today continued her 16-year tradition of

Politics & Policy |
September 28, 2009

The Governor’s Race: Is she or isn’t she?

Chris Cillizza, author of “The Fix,” the Washington Post’s politics blog, criticized Rick Perry last week for suggesting that Hutchison might not run: Perry, during a sit-down with a dozen or so Washington-based reporters late last week, said that although Hutchison has already announced her candidacy, he is

Politics & Policy |
September 27, 2009

Mark McCaig on Benkiser’s departure

I received this communication from State Republican Executive Committee member Mark McCaig in response to my post about Tina Benkiser’s resignation as state chairman of the SREC. McCaig has been a critic of Benkiser’s leadership and had considered running against her had she run for reelection. McCaig writes: I do

Politics & Policy |
September 24, 2009

The governor’s race: critiquing the criticism

From the Hutchison campaign, 23 September: Instead Of Cutting Spending, Rick Perry Balanced The Budget Through $12.1 Billion In Federal Stimulus Funds. “With little debate, the Texas House passed its largest budget ever Friday, a day after senators also breezed through the $182.3 billion plan for the next two years.

Politics & Policy |
September 21, 2009

The Medina Factor

I haven’t previously paid much attention to the candidacy of Debra Medina, of Wharton, for the Republican nomination for governor, but when the Rasmussen poll shows Hutchison ahead of Perry by 2% and Medina gets 3%, perhaps it’s time to pay attention. This race is fertile ground for a wild-card

Politics & Policy |
September 18, 2009

Was the Perry tape a dirty trick?

“Collin Watcher,” a reader, posted a comment to the article, “Let them eat chili,” about the video of Rick Perry speaking to a Houston business group, in which Perry refers to a report that Texas will be the first state to come out of the recession, and then jokes, Are

Politics & Policy |
September 18, 2009

Let them eat chili

This is the YouTube link for Perry’s comments yesterday about Texas being recession-proof before an audience of business leaders in Houston. * * * * Here is the transcript of what Perry said: “Why is Texas kind of recession-proof, if you will? As a matter of fact, just

Politics & Policy |
September 18, 2009

Rasmussen: The September Surprise

Hutchison 40%, Perry 38%. This is a stunning development. Hutchison was down 46-36 in July and had a poor rollout of her campaign in August. What accounts for the turnaround? 1. Overconfidence and misjudgments in the Perry camp. I have had a number of conversations with Perry supporters,

Politics & Policy |
September 16, 2009

Hutchison: Perry can’t take credit for the economy

From the Hutchison daily e-mail: Hutchison also has taken issue with Perry taking credit for Texas’ ability to weather the economic storm that has depleted other states’ coffers. Hutchison admitted that Texas is doing better than other states in the slow economy. “The reason we are doing better is that

Politics & Policy |
September 15, 2009

Not a Debate

The Hutchison campaign is doing a better job of having a daily presence—it couldn’t have done a worse job—but it is still too reminiscent of a high school debate approach. By that I mean the campaign is trying to attack here and probe for a weakness there without developing the

Politics & Policy |
September 14, 2009

One race, one ranger

Is nothing sacred? Playing politics with the Texas Rangers ought to be off limits. And if the governor is going to play politics with them, shouldn’t the governor have to say how many Rangers he is deploying? Is it two, or twenty? The El Paso Times published a

Politics & Policy |
September 11, 2009

If Bonfire returns to campus: the Bowen safety plan

Here are some conditions that may — indeed, should — apply to its return. I found this by googling “Ray Bowen bonfire recommendations.” University president Ray Bowen said Friday [I believe the date referred to is September 8, 2001] that when the tradition does resume, in 2002 at

Politics & Policy |
September 8, 2009

Perry & the firings of the Texas Tech regents

The Hutchison campaign sent out this broadside against the governor today for his office’s action in demanding the resignations of two Texas Tech regents for their support of Kay Bailey Hutchison: “The message is clear for every single dedicated public servant in Texas: Either pledge support for Rick Perry or

Politics & Policy |
September 1, 2009


…My post about “The Hutchison Huddle,” which I inadvertently deleted. The Hutchison Huddle is a daily collection of e-mail messages from Joe Pounder of the Hutchison campaign. The one that I picked from today’s e-mail read: While Kay Bailey Hutchison is on the campaign trail talking with Texas voters, Rick

Politics & Policy |
August 29, 2009

The Perry Puff Piece, revisited

Most readers are familiar with the Wall Street Journal's interview with Rick Perry, conducted by alleged journalist Emily Efsahani-Smith, that appeared last Saturday in the online edition. The article includes a drawing of Perry. The article itself appears in italics. California needs a strong leader, says Texas governor

Politics & Policy |
August 20, 2009

The anticlimax

Why has attendance lagged on the Hutchison announcement tour? For one thing, it’s summer, it’s hot, people aren’t paying attention to politics right now. For another, this campaign couldn’t draw a crowd if you gave them a box of crayons. But I think the biggest reason is that it’s an

Politics & Policy |
August 19, 2009

Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?

Baseball aficionados may recognize the headline as the title of a book by Jimmy Breslin about the 1962 New York Mets, lovable losers of 120 of their 162 games. I was reminded of the book — the title was a quote from Mets’ manager Casey Stengel — by the astonishingly

Politics & Policy |
August 17, 2009

Would Perry pick Patrick?

I confess that I didn’t pay a lot of attention to Dan Patrick’s reelection announcement last week, but one thing struck me as very peculiar. Here are the first three paragraphs of the release: “During the past few weeks there has been speculation I might run for, or be appointed

Politics & Policy |
August 10, 2009

Barton may seek Hutchison seat

I missed this story from the Startlegram on Saturday. The first few paragraphs: No one seems to be mentioning U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, as a candidate to replace outgoing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. Turns out that Barton — who came in third in the 1993 special

Politics & Policy |
August 7, 2009

Should Hutchison Resign?

The answer is: No, no, and hell no. What is the upside of resigning? The only advantage is that it gives her more time to campaign in Texas. That is worth something. But the upside of staying is far greater. Perry set out to define the race as Texas (him)

Politics & Policy |
July 31, 2009


Rick Perry is the first Aggie governor in history. But as the current crisis shows, he’s been nothing but trouble for Texas A&M.

Politics & Policy |
July 16, 2009

Rasmussen: Perry 46, Hutchison 36

This represents a net six point gain for Perry over the May poll (Perry +4, Hutchison -2). The spread itself is bad enough for the Hutchison camp, but even worse is that Perry has passed her in favorability ratings. This would have been seen as inconceivable at the time Hutchison

Politics & Policy |
July 9, 2009

UT Poll: Perry 36, Hutchison 24

Perry’s twelve-point lead is the same as his advantage in last month’s Texas Lyceum poll, which was conducted by the same pollsters — Perry 33, Hutchison 21. Both that poll and this one showed that a large number of voters were undecided or preferred someone else. The Democratic primary results,

Politics & Policy |
July 5, 2009

The Perry Fundraising Letter

[Dated June 22, 2009; italics, bold facing, and ellipses are original] Dear ---- A few weeks ago, I found myself at the center of a national firestorm, and the subject of withering attacks from the left, because I had the nerve to defend the U.S. Constitution. I don't know when