Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stimulus continues to dominate debate...

The Texas Senate is eying ways to circumnavigate Rick on his unemployment decision (link). Excerpts follow:

Against the wishes of Gov. Rick Perry, lawmakers are pressing ahead with efforts to claim $555 million in federal economic stimulus money for unemployment benefits.

With all of the Senate Democrats already on board, a small group of Republican senators hold the key votes needed for passage.


Perry has cast the unemployment piece of the federal stimulus package as an effort by the Obama administration to push its way into Texas to expand government. The National Federation of Independent Business and Texas Association of Business back Perry's position.

Those groups carry weight in Republican primaries. And in the Senate, primaries are just about all that matters. There are hardly any toss-up districts — only one senator has lost to a challenger from the other party in the past six years — so most Republican and Democratic members are more vulnerable to challenges from within their parties than from the other side.


Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said the governor's office is not lobbying senators against Eltife's bill. "I think the governor has made very clear what his position is on this," Castle said. "He's not interested in burdening employers with additional taxes."
I get the sense that the mainstream media is rooting for the legislature to overrule Rick on this issue, just so they can get some sparks. My sources at the Capitol tell me that Senator Eltife will have a tough time rounding up enough Republican Senators on this. He will get close but probably come short, is what they tell me.

You have to wonder what an override of Rick would do to the grassroots Republicans who will determine the 2010 primary. I can't see it being a good thing for down ballot Republicans in the next election. The GOP base is grumpy, and they don't want to see their local Senators voting to impose bigger government on the state for short term fiscal gain.

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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.