According to the Houston Chronicle article, Rick has raised more than 600 thousand dollars for the UNCF. $600,000 is a lot of money.
Rick is also winning points with African Americans by indicating that he will sign a bill to compensate wrongly convicted people (link). Excerpt follows...
Tim Cole of Fort Worth, who was wrongfully convicted of the rape of a Texas Tech student, died in 1999 in prison. A bill named in his honor would increase the compensation that wrongfully imprisoned former inmates receive upon exoneration. Included in the bill is an increase from $50,000 to $80,000 received for each year spent in prison, 120 hours of paid tuition at a college or career center, and other transitional services.The Star Telegram has more to this story (link).
Having made it through the state senate, the bill is headed to Governor Rick Perry's desk. The governor has indicated that he will likely sign it into law.
I doubt the African American vote will be that huge in the GOP primary in 2010, but this does seem to indicate that there is more going on under the surface than the pundits are proclaiming. Rick is not just angrily ripping Obama and going to anti tax tea parties and pro life events. Sure yeah he is doing that. He is also reaching out to African Americans and who knows what other groups more under the radar.