Monday, April 6, 2009

Rick facing sour grapes lawsuit from Chris Bell?

From the Republican insider types I have talked to today, even from one partial to Kay, Chris Bell's lawsuit is nothing but a sour grapes frivolous lawsuit from a guy who couldn't even win a state Senate race last year (link). One VERY interesting part of the article is the Rick inside strategy the lawsuit revealed. Excerpts follow:

About the same time, the Perry campaign was feeling new pressure to raise money because its strategy wasn't quite working out, Carney said in his deposition.

Perry operatives wanted to keep Bell strong so that Democrats would stick with him instead of flocking to Strayhorn. They also needed Friedman to keep voters away from Strayhorn, who was in the strongest position among challengers to raise money. At the end of September, Strayhorn had $5 million, and Friedman and Bell each had less than $1 million. (Ultimately, Perry reported spending $23 million on his re-election effort. Strayhorn spent $12.6 million, Bell $6.5 million and Friedman $3.8 million.)

Perry focused his attacks on Bell.

"Chris Bell, you know, just was never a factor," Carney said in the deposition. "We had to make him a factor because we needed to keep people from going to Strayhorn."

Two Friedman problems worried the Perry camp even further, Carney said. In the fall of 2006, the Burnt Orange Report, a liberal blog, posted audio of a racially insensitive comedy performance from Friedman in 1980. His opponents pounced. And in the one gubernatorial debate in early October, Friedman's jokes bombed, Carney said.

"He was just dead in the water," Carney said. "So it was in that October period we were really concerned that — that he would disappear in terms of support, even quit the race, and that sort of, you know, weird Austin vote would go to Carole."

My take is that being a Democrat is still toxic for a state wide office in Texas. Being a Republican might have lost a little bit of luster, too, but really the fight for the state is within the GOP right now. Strayhorn represented the mavericky moderate wing of the GOP, Rick was the standard conservative, and Kinky tapped into the liberal/libertarian anti establishment wing. Poor Chris Bell, he must really hate what have become of his once promising political career.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.