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Eat My Words |
January 27, 2012

More Proof That Austin Is Smoking Hot!

There’s nothing like a bandwagon. No sooner did Food & Wine and Bon Appétit fall all over themselves to give Austin a whole lotta love than StarChefs.com (an online magazine for chefs and culinary insiders) decided to hold one of its four national awards ceremonies in

Politics & Policy |
January 26, 2012

The Texas newspapers’ poll

The results are hardly surprising. In a recent post, I raised the question of whether Perry could be reelected. I didn’t think so then, and I don’t think so now. And the talk from Ray Sullivan and the Perry team that he could run for president in 2016

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 |
January 20, 2012

Supremes toss San Antonio district court maps

This solves one problem but creates a slew of others, starting with the most obvious: which maps will be used? The Legislature’s maps haven’t been pre-cleared by the D.C. court. The San Antonio district court’s maps were incinerated by the Supremes, who ordered the San Antonio judges to draw new

Politics & Policy |
January 19, 2012

A trip down Memory Lane

A new CNN/Opinion Research survey finds Rick Perry leading Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential race by double-digits, 32% to 21%, with Ron Paul at 13% and all other candidates in single digits. Most interesting is that Perry’s biggest strength may be the electability factor, with 42% saying he

Politics & Policy |
January 19, 2012

Flash! News from the Perry campaign

A COMMUNICATION FROM THE PERRY CAMPAIGN TO THEIR SUPPORTERS Subject: PERRY COMMITS BEYOND SOUTH CAROLINA!!!  We’re in for the long haul, folks! Perry supporters nationwide! Our ranks have grown and money is being raised from individual donors at a breakneck pace. You are ALL A MAJOR

Politics & Policy |
January 18, 2012

NM GOP assails Public Policy Polling

Normally I do not engage in discussions over which polling firms do good work and which do not. My policy has been to publish polls and let readers reach their own conclusions about which polls are credible and which are not. However, due to Public Policy Polling’s findings in the

Politics & Policy |
January 17, 2012

Can Perry win reelection?

A new poll from Public Policy Polling, a well known firm that is aligned with the Democratic party nationally, calls into question Perry’s standing with Texas Republican voters: In a PPP poll taken in September, the month in which Perry announced his candidacy for president, Perry led Romney by 49%

Politics & Policy |
January 16, 2012

Dueling fundraisers in SD 25

Jeff Wentworth faces a tough primary race against TLR-backed Elizabeth Ames Jones. Wentworth’s consultant, Bryan Eppstein, is circulating a comparison of their respective fundraising efforts. The summary in italics is written by Eppstein: Wentworh raises $400,000+ with 500 Co-Hosts for Jan 22nd Campaign Kickoff… Invitations

Politics & Policy |
January 16, 2012

The problem for Republicans in Texas

This was Kate Alexander’s main takeaway from the Senate debate. I don’t think it was any surprise that the top-heavy favorite in the race was on the defensive. If anything, as I wrote in my report on the debate on Friday, I thought Cruz missed opportunities

Politics & Policy |
January 12, 2012

Does Perry secretly want Obama to win?

His attacks on Romney for being a “vulture capitalist” have not gone over well with other Republicans, and they cost him the support of a major backer in South Carolina: Investment fund executive and top GOP donor Barry Wynn told the Associated Press he was leaving the Perry

Eat My Words |
January 12, 2012

The Pies Have It–This Saturday! Y’all Come!

There are two kinds of people in America: pie people and cake people. If you’re a pie person (as I proudly count myself), consider coming to the fourth annual “Peace Through Pie” Social this Saturday, Jan. 14, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., at the  Sweet Home Missionary Baptist

Politics & Policy |
January 11, 2012

Romney’s drive to the nomination continues

As expected, the Republican field did not offer a lot of competition for front-runner Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. The pundits were saying anything under 40% was bad for Romney, but he was close enough, with 39.3%. He has endured a couple of bad days as a consequence of saying

Politics & Policy |
January 9, 2012

Is the State Water Plan unfunded? Yes

Last week the Statesman took me to task for a post I wrote after the Iowa caucus in which I said that the State Water Plan has not been funded. The article appeared under the headline, “Is the State Water Plan unfunded? No” Here is what the Statesman

Politics & Policy |
January 8, 2012

What an odd debate

I don’t get it. Why did Rick Perry go to South Carolina? Why did he participate in the New Hampshire debate? He had no passion, he didn’t  attack anybody, and certainly not Romney. I guess he just wants to play with the other kids. He can’t stand being left out.

Politics & Policy |
January 6, 2012

Why, exactly, did Perry go to South Carolina?

According to a new CNN/Time/ORC poll, out today on the CNN website, Romney has a commanding lead in South Carolina: Romney 37% Santorum 19% Gingrich 18% Paul 12% Perry 5% Huntsman 1% Since the previous poll, taken in December, Gingrich has dropped 25 points. Santorum has

Politics & Policy |
January 6, 2012

Mitt Romney’s new BFF

That would be Rick Perry, of course. Perry cannot accomplish anything for himself in South Carolina. What he can do, and what he will do by staying in the race, is split the conservative vote between Gingrich, Santorum, and himself (Ron Paul is not a factor), and by doing so,

Politics & Policy |
January 4, 2012

Surrender

What an amazing turn of events. It started out as an ordinary speech by a losing candidate. Rick Perry thanked Iowa, he thanked his supporters, he thanked his family, and he read a letter from a young man who had driven from Texas to work in the campaign, all of

Politics & Policy |
January 3, 2012

Perry running 5th in Iowa

Romney, Paul, and Santorum are in what amounts to a three-way tie at 23% each. Nope, Romney has nosed ahead with 24%. Perry has climbed out of single digits to reach 10%, 3 points behind Gingrich. He spent $4 million on media in Iowa. This was a doomed exercise from

Politics & Policy |
January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

To our readers: Thank you for making this blog what I hoped it would become, which is an ongoing town hall meeting about Texas politics. I am very grateful for the interest and involvement of so many people. Now, back to business …. Perry may escape from Iowa with a

Politics & Policy |
December 31, 2011

Romney leads in Iowa, Paul 2nd, Santorum 3rd

The Des Moines Register poll covered Tuesday through Friday. The results: Romney 24% Paul 22% Santorum 15% Gingrich 12% Perry 11% Bachman 7% According to the Register:  If the final two days of polling are considered separately, Santorum rises to second place, with 21%, pushing Paul to third, at 18%.

Politics & Policy |
December 31, 2011

Columnist still waiting for Perry to prove him right

Emmett Tyrell, a conservative columnist for the Washington Examiner, ruminates today on the success and failure of his predictions for 2012. I know that he is a conservative columnist because one of his predictions was that liberalism would be dead. He also proclaimed the death of crony capitalism. And

Politics & Policy |
December 26, 2011

Will the Texas Voter I.D. law survive?

I’m on record as not being a fan of the Voter I.D. bill and I agree with DOJ that it is discriminatory and not only will it prevent people from voting but in fact is intended to prevent people from voting — most of whom are poor or members of

Politics & Policy |
December 26, 2011

Daily Beast disses Maxey’s book on Perry

Readers may have heard that former Texas State Rep Glen Maxey has published an e-book about Rick Perry’s private life. I seldom agree with Mr. Perry about anything, but his campaign’s description of the book as “false internet garbage” seems spot on to me. The Daily Beast today has a

Politics & Policy |
December 26, 2011

Yes, Virginia, there is no Rick Perry

This didn’t get posted over the Christmas weekend: Perry did not qualify for the Republican primary in Virginia. It’s pretty easy to qualify.  Candidates need 10,000 signatures of registered voters on petitions, and must also have 400 signatures from each of the state’s eleven congressional districts. Every campaign needs

Politics & Policy |
December 17, 2011

Governor for life?

The news that Rick Perry intends to pad his income by drawing a pension while serving as governor changes Texas politics. Before we learned about his double-dipping, and with his presidential bid looking bleak, it was possible to foresee the end of the Perry governorship, in January 2015.

Politics & Policy |
December 8, 2011

AP critiques Perry’s latest Iowa spot

The Perry campaign has a huge ad blitz under way in Iowa, aimed at the state’s influential evangelical/social conservative community. The campaign has spent some $2 million, according to the Associated Press. The spot was designed to be controversial. It stretches the facts on several points, and it is very

Politics & Policy |
December 7, 2011

How the media could save Perry

As the ranks of Republican candidates thin with Herman Cain’s decision to suspend his campaign, the remaining serious candidates are reduced to three: Romney, Gingrich, and Perry. No, I haven’t forgotten Ron Paul. I just dismiss him as a contender. He can get his share of the votes, but he

Politics & Policy |
December 6, 2011

Can the Republicans redistrict in 2013?

Sure. The House can pass a bill that draws new Republican districts and does away with old Democratic districts. What lawmakers can’t do, though, is do away with minority districts. Those are protected under the Voting Rights Act. If the mapmakers do away with minority districts, they are flirting with retrogression.

Politics & Policy |
December 6, 2011

A vote for RGIII

It will be a huge injustice if anyone other than Robert Griffin III wins the Heisman trophy. The other finalists are Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Alabama’s Trent Richardson, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, and LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu. There is one huge difference between all of these worthy players and Griffin. Luck, Richardson,

Politics & Policy |
December 5, 2011

Perry courts Cain supporters

Politico’s Ben Smith noted yesterday that Rick Perry’s Facebook page appeals to Cain voters to switch their allegiance to Perry in the wake of Cain’s suspension of his presidential campaign. There is a photo of Cain and Perry, with the phrase “Both Washington Outsiders” between them.

Politics & Policy |
December 5, 2011

San Antonio court files unusual supplemental order

This is quite remarkable. The San Antonio court that drew the redistricting maps for Congress, the state House, and state Senate issued a supplemental order that amounts to a defendant’s brief on its own behalf. With no prompting from a higher court, the district court launched into an explanation of

Politics & Policy |
December 5, 2011

Seliger calls out Michael Quinn Sullivan

The Amarillo state senator published an op-ed piece in the Midland Reporter-Telegram on Sunday called “Who Will Watch the Watchers,” in which he criticizes Sullivan for what he calls “fraudulent misrepresentation of voting records” by him and his “misnamed special interest group,” Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. Sullivan

Politics & Policy |
December 4, 2011

Political obit: Scott Hochberg

What a huge loss for the Legislature. Hochberg knew more about school finance than any other member, and yet he never used his immense store of knowledge to get the better of anyone, or to gain a partisan advantage for Democrats. He was a completely square shooter, and it is

Politics & Policy |
December 2, 2011

Carona’s advice to Abbott

Earlier today, a message appeared in the comment thread for “Abbott vs. the DOJ” under the heading, “Senator John Carona says,” offering blunt words of  advice to Attorney General Abbott about his handling of the redistricting case(s). I called Sen. Carona’s Capitol office to ascertain if the author of the

Politics & Policy |
December 2, 2011

Abbott v. the DOJ

Let me see if I understand this. First, Abbott wants to avoid submitting the Texas redistricting maps for preclearance at the Department of Justice. He tells everybody that he has figured out how to bypass the DOJ by going to the D.C. Circuit and moving for summary judgment from Republican-friendly

Politics & Policy |
December 2, 2011

What is Perry’s message?

Perry’s recent comments in New Hampshire about federal bureaucrats–that he would send them to “some really god-awful place” if he failed to implement his policies–may not seem like a big deal, but it does indicate something important: how far he has strayed off-message. Remember, this is a candidate whose

Politics & Policy |
November 30, 2011

Where Perry stands

As you can see, the task ahead for Perry is enormous. He is at 7% in Iowa and Florida, 4% in South Carolina, 2% in New Hampshire. Here are the main early-voting  states ( in voting order): IOWA Gingrich 28 Paul 13 Romney 12 Bachmann 10 Perry 7 Santorum 3

Politics & Policy |
November 30, 2011

Political Obit: Burt Solomons

Solomons is something of a tragic figure, because he had considerable ability but, in nine terms, he never figured out how to put it to use. He was one of the eleven insurgents who led the successful revolt against Tom Craddick in the winter of 2008-09, and one of the