The same type of internal strife and power struggle that ruined the Cowboys’ season has recently emerged between Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Unless their gubernatorial campaigns become more conciliatory and less abrasive, they will have the same level of success (or lack thereof) as the Cowboys.
On June 10, the Austin American-Statesman reported that “Gov. Rick Perry… plans to call the legislature back for a special session” to address funding issues for several state agencies. Shortly after the governor’s announcement, Hutchison told Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News that if she had been governor, a special session would not be needed.
She told reporters that she would be “working hard through the session and I would be working with the legislature, which is what I think the governor should do.”
The special session was not caused by Perry’s apathy. The arcane Texas Constitution is in drastic need of reform and only mandates 140 days for a legislative session. There is no amount of work and no level of involvement that any governor could engage in that would give the legislature adequate time to tend to the state’s business.
While I am very fond of hypothetical accomplishments, Hutchison’s critique is counterproductive. It is bad for the Texas Republican Party and ultimately the entire state.
The senator gave Perry an opportunity. He could have demonstrated a quality of executive leadership and collaboration by inviting her to contribute ideas for the special session. It would have been a smart political move, because Hutchinson could not accept the invitation.
This session’s lack of legislative leadership is going to be a major campaign issue for Hutchison. As the Dallas Morning News reported on June 2, “the fractious 140-day session that ended Monday without tackling some high-profile problems gives her [Hutchison] plenty with which to target Gov. Rick Perry in the coming Republican primary.”
If Perry reached out to her and she accepted, she would lose the issue, and declining his offer would make her look hypocritical.
Fortunately, Hutchison does not need to worry because Perry simply responded to her attack with his own.
“It’s easy to criticize when you’re in Washington and have nothing constructive to offer,” the governor said.
Texans deserve better than this type of back-and-forth from two of their most senior and influential public servants.
The practice of primary candidates whacking away at each other is an American institution. Just ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.
However, the race has already become contentious, and the primary is still about nine months away. This is not only irritating, it also represents a serious problem for the Republican Party.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Yesterday, there might have been three people articulating these themes in the 2012 race; Sanford, Perry and Sarah Palin. Now there will likely be two; Perry and Palin.Rick Perry is a very agreeable man. When things get said they sound better when they come from him than when they come from others, including Sanford. In that he is like Obama. Now as they head to 2012, whatever has worked its way in the creative mind of Sanford will come in the package of Perry. Unfortunate for Sanford, but this is good for conservatives, as it brings a creative new direction in an attractive new package and this is the most important new direction of politics in America today.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
But other Republicans are up for grabs. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who's facing a tough gubernatorial primary next year against the incumbent Republican governor (or president, if Texas secedes), Rick Perry, might ponder the implications of her vote in a state where Latinos make up about 20 percent of the vote and African Americans around 10 percent.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
AUSTIN – Fort Worth lawyer Tom Schieffer, who says Texas is “literally on the road to disaster” after more than eight years under GOP Gov. Rick Perry, formally launches his bid Wednesday to replace him.After a rally in front of the Fort Worth elementary school he attended, Schieffer plans stops in Houston and Austin as he seeks the Democratic nomination for governor. He’ll be in San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley Thursday.“People know there is something wrong – they know that Texas is falling behind. They are worried about it,” Schieffer said in an interview last week with the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle.[SNIP]If that continues, he said, “no level of taxes ... will support the services that you have to have in this state, and I’m afraid we’re literally on the road to disaster.”
Who do you support at this early stage in the Republican primary for governor of Texas in 2010?* Debra Medina (62%, 615 Votes)* None of the above - still waiting for Chuck Norris to enter. (23%, 231 Votes)* Gov. Rick Perry (12%, 118 Votes)* Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (3%, 30 Votes)
I can tell you that she is out working hard, speaking at any event she can find to discuss her vision of the future of Texas. Traditionally, we would dismiss a candidate such as Ms. Medina because of a lack of funding. But recall that we are coming off an election in which Ron Paul supporters were able to impact several Republican precincts around Texas. Will she be able to build from that and peel away some of Gov. Perry’s votes?
But it should be noted that even though Berman declared his candidacy last year we won't know until early next month whether he is in the race for the long stretch. Berman, best known for his tough stand on illegal immigration, said this week that if Perry endorses four key issues he is pushing for - including two that would help the state crackdown on illegal immigrants - he will withdraw from the race on July 1 and endorse the governor.
Berman's decision could have a huge impact on the race because a recent poll showed Perry and Hutchison running neck and neck. In a three-way race in the Republican primary, Berman could take more votes from the governor than from the senator.
Berman said he would support Hutchison.
"She is not conservative," he said. "Rick Perry is."
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry leads U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison by double digits in their race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, according to a new statewide poll by the Texas Lyceum.But a large group of Texans remain undecided in the expected showdown between the state’s top two Republicans in the GOP primary next March.“With nine months to go before the election, it is clear that the majority of Texans remain undecided,” said Daron Shaw, University of Texas at Austin government professor, who, with James Henson, conducted the poll. “Although Governor Perry enjoys a lead with those who intend to participate in the Republican primary for governor, the fact that 45 percent of those polled have yet to choose a candidate shows that this is still anyone’s race.”The poll, released Wednesday morning, shows Perry with a 33-21 percent lead over the state’s senior senator.When it comes to job performance, Texans give high marks to President Barack Obama, Hutchison and Perry — with Hutchison and Obama almost tied and both slightly outpacing the governor.The Texas Lyceum, a nonpartisan, nonprofit statewide leadership organization, conducted the poll June 5–12, surveying nearly 1,000 Texans via telephone. Participants who indicated they were "certain" or "probably going" to vote in the Republican or Democratic primary were asked candidate preference questions. The margin of error is plus or minus three percent.
To link to the executive summary of the poll, click here.There’s a lot of meat here, but the issues that I found most interesting were:Perry’s decision to reject unemployment stimulus funds:58% agree34% disagreeBank bailouts25% favor64% opposeAutomobile company bailouts31% favor64% opposeFederal government is spending too much money2/3 agree1/3 disagreeThese numbers are great for Rick Perry, bad for Hutchison. She voted for the bank bailout, which was the program of the Bush administration. It was the responsible thing to do, and it will probably turn out well. But it is very unpopular. I presume that tomorrow’s poll will have a Perry-Hutchison head-to-head, and, based on these numbers, I would expect it to be favorable to Perry.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Governor, what does culturally sound mean?"I guess that means that we got great barbecue and beer," he said, "and live music."Who would have guessed that when it comes to cultural soundness you get points for alcohol?
Monday, June 22, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, reported that she received between $1,000 and $15,000 for her seat licenses for the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
As if no one would ever notice that members of the Senate Banking Committee that oversees TARP funds actually hold stocks in the government-assisted companies they bailed out - while bailing out their own investments. Skunks!
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX):
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) still owns small amounts of stock in Regions Bank, based in Alabama, and Zions Bancorporation, a Salt Lake City company. Both have received TARP money, according to a Treasury Department report.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, owns $152,000 to $380,000 in stock in companies with communications interests regulated by the panel, according to the Texas lawmaker’s disclosure form. Reported holdings include $50,000 to $100,000 in AT&T Inc. and $101,000 to $250,000 in General Electric Co., which owns 80 percent of the television, film and amusement park company NBC Universal.
“She is in complete compliance with every law and every Senate rule relating to financial interests,” said Lisette Mondello, a spokeswoman for Hutchison. “This year, as in every other year, she always fully discloses her interests.”
Republican Governor Bill Clements predicts... Rick vs. Kay will tear GOP apart and open opportunity for Dems...
In 1978, Democratic upstart John Hill upended incumbent Gov. Dolph Briscoe in the primary -- only to fall to Clements in the general election. Clements attributed part of this 1978 victory to the fact that the party in power -- the the Democrats -- had become sharply divided. The party out of power -- in this case, the GOP -- won. It was something that the former GOP governor warned against amid the prospects of a KBH-Perry matchup in 2006. Said Clements, in an op-ed piece in The Dallas Morning News:"Make no mistake, if Texas Republicans have a blood bath in a primary battle between Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry, we are providing theDemocrats an opening to make a speedy comeback to politicalprominence. We risk dividing our party for decades to come. This isserious business, and Republicans should take heed.""I've been there when we were the minority party and when themajority party turned its guns on itself. When the smoke cleared,the political world in Texas was turned upside down."
Corbin Casteel, campaign manager of the Michael Williams campaign for U.S. Senate Committee, told National Journal that "Matt does not have any affiliation with our campaign, nor will he."Matt Mackowiak responded that "I am proud to be supporting Michael Williams campaign and I hosted a young professionals event for him in Austin in May. I am willing to help in any way that I can." Mackowiak declined to directly address for the record the campaign's statment about him.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
WASHINGTON – Ronald Reagan isn't on Mount Rushmore. But lots of Republicans think he should be. Thus, it is no small matter for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison when doubts are raised about her commitment to the party's hero.Dust off those clippings from 1976, a seminal year for Texas Republicans. Reagan's challenge brought legions of enthusiastic newcomers to the party – and some friction between them and the traditionalists who had labored years to break the Democrats' grip on Texas.President Gerald Ford had named Hutchison vice chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, and she sided with him against the insurgent, naturally."But after that, certainly I was very pro-Reagan," Hutchison said last week. "Loved Ronald Reagan. Supported him, was chairman of his Women for Reagan committee in Texas [in 1980]. I've got a lot of Reagan supporters supporting me for governor right now.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
While she has not yet formally announced her candidacy, in an email sent to supporters Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison states that she is, in fact, running for the governor's seat in Austin.Her email states that people she's encountering around Texas have expressed frustration with current governor Rick Perry's leadership, and goes on to state that "people from all parts of Texas feel it is time for a change in Austin."
Friday, June 12, 2009
Today Texas Gov. Rick Perry took a big step toward addressing the problem by signing legislation which includes new video surveillance, criminal background checks for employees (they didn't have this before?), as well as more on-the-job training.[SNIP]Let's hope this doesn't turn into a campaign issue in the upcoming primary between Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison, which will likely be the costliest in the state's history.
"It would have been a great-looking video," Perry told reporters at a law enforcement awards ceremony.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
AUSTIN — The theatrics of the 81st Texas Legislature may be over, but Texans are now gearing up for the state’s next feature attraction — a roiling political season topped by a marquee race for governor.
The unfolding Republican primary race between Gov. Rick Perry and his challenger, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, is expected to become the costliest — if not the most vitriolic — primary battle in state history.
Kay spends more for taxpayer funded travel than all but 7 Senators, has third largest total budget of all Senators...
On average, transportation costs account for less than 5 percent of a senator’s office expense budget; in most cases, the remainder of the funds is consumed almost entirely by staff payroll. In the first half of the fiscal year, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein spent a total of $2.1 million out of her office account, more than any other senator. Rounding out the top five were Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Hutchison, Cornyn and Schumer.