She told me that decriminalizing marijuana deserves a look. The mother of two home-schooled children, now grown, also sounded skeptical of the state mandate that children attend school.
Medina said she voted for Republican George W. Bush for president but not for the GOP's 2008 presidential choice, U.S. Sen. John McCain (or Democrat Barack Obama).
The Wharton businesswoman favors repealing the Texas concealed handgun law, saying it shouldn't be government's job to license and regulate guns.
"KERA is buckling to demands by the governor that unless he’s on the stage exclusively with Kay, he’s not going to be there," Medina said Monday night.
But KERA News Director Shelly Kofler said Tuesday that Medina has not been excluded from the debate and that no one representing Perry or Hutchison has made her appearance an issue.
"In their conversations with me, neither the Perry nor Hutchison campaigns have made Medina an issue for whether they would participate," Kofler said. "They may have preferences, but that was never a precondition for accepting the debate."
Debra Medina, the other candidate in the Republican primary for governor, complained Monday that Gov. Rick Perry is avoiding debates with her. But Medina’s campaign seems to be engaged in its own debate with reality.
The Medina campaign said in a press release:“In early November, the Texas Press Association scheduled a gubernatorial debate in Galveston. “We thought it would be great for the city of Galveston to have the publicity surrounding such an event,” stated Ed Sterling of the Association. The city would have benefited economically and since the devastation of Hurricane Ike they have undergone a tremendous amount of hardship. The invitations were sent and Rick Perry and Kay Bailey were confirmed. Debra Medina was confirmed and two days later we were told the event was canceled as the demands of Rick Perry were not being met. The sponsor had invited all the candidates.”
I thought this was pretty interesting, particularly considering how anxious to debate Perry had been earlier in the campaign. So I called Ed Sterling at the Press Association to confirm the details.
Good thing I did. Sterling said he had hoped to organize a January forum where all Democratic and Republican candidates would appear onstage together, similar to an event the group hosted in the 1990 governor’s race. But the only two candidates who committed to attend were Medina and former Democratic candidate Hank Gilbert. Hutchison asked for information but never committed, and neither did Tom Schieffer, another Democratic former candidate.
Sterling said a Perry staffer claimed not to get some of his written communication, so he followed up with a phone call. The Perry campaign didn’t commit in time, and with U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison having not committed, the plan for the forum was scrapped. Perry and Hutchison were never confirmed.
[SNIP]There is certainly a legitimate argument to be made that Medina belongs in any debates that take place between Perry and Hutchison. It’s not my place to take a position on that. But if Medina wants to be taken seriously in other aspects of her campaign, she needs to be careful about the kind of information her campaign puts out.
“She ends up hurting the guy that she is probably closest to politically,” says Chris Bell, the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, who knows a thing or two about the effect that Medina-like candidates can have. He adds, “It’s an incredibly self-serving exercise at the end of the day.”
If, in running, Medina is drawing support from would-be voters for the current Republican governor — given that both the UT/Tribune and the Rasmussen polls showed a double-digit lead for Perry —that’s only bad news for Hutchison.
The flipside of the conventional wisdom is more bad news for Texas’ senior senator. “Her mission is clearly an anti-Perry mission,” Blakemore says of Medina. “On that point, she would be taking votes away from Hutchison.”