As the state's senior U.S. senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison has secured hundreds of millions of federal dollars for public projects across Texas. As one of the state's top public finance attorneys, Ray Hutchison has helped issue and defend the government bonds that benefit many of the same cities and public agencies getting that federal money.
Critics on both sides of the political aisle say that's a conflict of interest, even if neither Hutchison has ever been accused of wrongdoing. Both Hutchisons say their dealings are entirely ethical and bristle at any suggestion otherwise.
This is a very bad article for Kay, because at the very best it shows that she has an unholy love for earmarks, a very dirty word in Republican circles these days. At the worst, she could be facing senate and legal sanctions for ethical lapses, if she did not disclose her husband's personal financial interest in her earmarks.
What makes federal earmarks such a target is not even that bridges to nowhere in Alaska are getting funded... it is that there is no open and honest dialogue on the public record about why it was put in there in the first place. It is the ultimate be a loyal constituent or else perk, and it is a good reason why incumbent senators rarely lose. Look at Robert Byrd, who even has buildings named after him now... while he is still alive and in the senate. At least Kay doesn't have that.
This story seems to reach a lot deeper than just earmarks. It tarnishes Kay even further after a really bad week last week. If her campaign is that "I am competent, Rick is not" then she is losing that battle right now. If her campaign is that "I am better for prosperity than Texas," she can't win that from Washington against the sitting governor of Texas. If her campaign is "Rick is unethical, I am ethical" then that is going out the window as well. Her slogan "results, not politics" doesn't even make sense... her "I am going to run a positive campaign while meanie Rick attacks me" rhetoric is also an embarrassment.
More and more people I know in positions of influence and power think Kay and her camp are all doing a terrible job right now. The good news for her is that these influential people are only a small fraction of the electorate and most people have not started paying attention. In 2007, the super delegates were mostly on Hillary's side. The voters overruled the super delegates and went with Obama. The thing about Kay and the voters though is she is pro choice, she is known as a moderate, and Republican primary voters in Texas are decidedly pro life and conservative... and rowdy and not very happy with Republicans who are not conservative.
Many of the super delegates however are lining up against Kay as of now...
These articles about her financial conflicts of interest and using unethical secret keywords on the internet are not beneficial for her, because it will push down her sky high favorable ratings and destroy her aura of inevitability or invincibility... which was already hanging on by a thread.