Rick's team has some bomb throwers to be sure but they also pump up their guy a lot more. Rick spokesman Mark Miner throws some serious bombs at Kay, but he also seems to offer a lot of good things about Rick. Facts, ideas... all of that...
Rick's consultant David Carney got some press for using the word "whorehouse" in conjunction with opening up the party to a bunch of liberals, but he has been quoted in pro Rick comments a lot too.
I don't even really know who is directly responsible for Rick's opposition research, but they seem to stay out of the press.
I have been told Joe Pounder is behind the Tricky Ricky 2010 series and the www.slickrickperry.com website which looks pretty and has neat animation but is just full of lengthy unreadable diatribes.
Joe Pounder came into this race with a lofty reputation as someone who pushes a lot of paper into email boxes. I think he has fulfilled that promise, and at first the press seemed to be swayed by his constant emails. Now I am hearing from a lot of my contacts in the press that he is sending way too much and it is the same stuff over and over... and it often strains credibility.
One example was this quote on the Willingham situation as reported by liberal blogger goddess Wonkette (link). Excerpt follows...
If you’re Kay Bailey Hutchison, and you have a Texas Republican primary against Rick Perry in a few months, how do you attack this from the right? How do you reconcile (a) the major opportunity to attack Rick Perry for this major thing and (b) the fact that the Republican base loves the death penalty and will always love it and want it and cherish it? Hmm… uhh… how about… Rick Perry is in cahoots with the liberals? Huh? Any objections? Fine, type up a statement.
As hard as Rick Perry’s office and his campaign may try to divert from the issue, this is not about one man or one case. The issue is Rick Perry’s heavy-handed politicization of a process and Commission established by the legislature to provide critical oversight. First, Rick Perry delayed the formation of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, then he tried to ensure it didn’t have funding and when all else failed, he fired everyone he could. The only thing Rick Perry’s actions have accomplished is giving liberals an argument to discredit the death penalty. Kay Bailey Hutchison is a steadfast supporter of the death penalty, voted to reinstate it when she served in the Texas House and believes we should never do anything to create a cloud of controversy over it with actions that look like a cover-up.
Because of Rick Perry making such a scene, the gay liberals might now play that wacky “state-ordered execution of innocent person absolutely decimates logic behind capital punishment” argument, which has been discredited and is shrill. So elect me and I’ll… whatever.
There’s probably something wrong with your stance if you and your communications staff can’t, just cannot, come up something that doesn’t sound completely sociopathic.
Balloon Juice another liberal blog also hits Kay on this same thing (link). Kay lover Chris Matthews was taken aback by this quote when he read it on the air for the first time. Texas based liberal blog Brains and Eggs bashes Kay for this weird statement (link). Excerpt follows...
The most serious offense is the "cloud of controversy" the governor has created over the death penalty.
Who again are the Democrats who intend to vote for this harridan in the Republican primary in March, 2010?
I think that is the real issue here. Joe Pounder and some of the campaign are so concerned with getting Kay to the right of Rick on every single issue that they are starting to get sloppy and forget what their appeal really is. Their appeal is supposed to be to the moderates and liberals who don't have a home with the Democrats or anywhere else and want to make an impact on this race... They are losing the liberal GOP peeps I talk to. The problem remains that the liberal Republicans don't know where to go.
When Kay or her increasingly shrill spokesman Joe Pounder make these kind of strange and erratic comments in the press it makes her look crazy and angry and unreasonably right wing and all the things she is not supposed to embody.
The big irony here is that her wading into this story has exacerbated exactly what Joe Pounder is bemoaning. She has escalated this story and given liberals more ammo for attacking capital punishment as a concept. This went from a fringe partisan issue before to a seemingly bipartisan revolt against the death penalty.
Seeing that Kay was looking vulnerable and potentially typecast as anti death penalty after she waded in so indelicately, her spokesman careened off the cliff to the right to try to prove some point.
All these quotes are proving is that Joe Pounder really hates Rick. Kay really hates Rick. They still don't have an identity or a coherent campaign message... is Kay the friendly, moderate, big tent alternative to Rick's fiery limiting conservatism, or is Kay the real fiery conservative and Rick is some secret lib?
In the lowest-common-denominator drama the Republican governor's race is rapidly becoming, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison last week blasted Gov. Rick Perry for calling the multibillion dollar border fence a silly idea.
But that's exactly what it is, and Hutchison's tactic was a misguided appeal to the “what-part-of-illegal-don't-you-understand?” crowd that holds to the notion that sealing the border is even possible.
In a news release last week, Hutchison tried to wrap House Speaker Nancy Pelosi around Perry's neck on border security. In particular, her campaign cited a House vote against a measure calling for 300 more miles of fence along the border with Mexico.
“Are Pelosi House Democrats taking their cues from Rick Perry?” the release breathlessly asked.
What followed were statements Perry has made over a three-year period in which he called the idea of a border fence “preposterous,” “ludicrous,” “nonsensical,” “silly,” “idiocy” and “a cockamamie idea.”
I don't know how Perry would have voted on the amendment, nor can I confirm that he said all those things, but he was right if he did. Evidence is accumulating that the fence was an expensive mistake.
I don't think Kay's team can play both "Miss Moderate" and "Miss Right Wing" simultaneously and expect to win either side.