Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
When the GOP gubernatorial debate was finished last night at Belo’s WFAA-TV in Dallas, the 40 or 50 journalists who’d been watching the show backstage from a “media viewing area” were invited to file into the Channel 8 lobby, where featured performers Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Debra Medina had been asked to attend a post-debate press conference.
Pretty soon, though, word filtered into the lobby that Perry wouldn’t be showing up. Then came news that Hutchison wouldn’t, either. Only Medina (pictured) stepped to the podium, claiming a “strong” debate performance and ripping her opponents for their absence at the after-party.
Medina was right about performing strongly in the statewide debate–she outdid Hutchison, for sure–but I’d say the night’s real winner was Perry. In contrast to the public-TV debate held earlier this month, when he came off oily and shallow, last night’s Perry was sharp, composed and commanding, downright statesmanlike. The turnaround was enough to etch his frontrunner status in the race in stone, I’d bet, and by the time the evening was over the increasingly formidable Medina–surprisingly and against all odds– seemed a threat to overtake Kay.
Rick Perry never mentioned U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's name during a San Antonio campaign swing Tuesday but he often hinted she's guilty by association with the Washington political establishment.
During a brief media event at Mission Restaurant Supply downtown, the governor called for passage of two state constitutional amendments that he said would help Texas maintain fiscal discipline. He also called on Congress to pass a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Perry's proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution focused on tax and spending restrictions. One would require that any state tax increase must be passed by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. The other would limit spending rate increases to the combined growth rates of population and inflation.
January 27, 2010
The Honorable Rick Perry
Governor of Texas
Post Office Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711
Dear Governor Perry,
We strongly support your call for the adoption of a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.
Federal spending is unsustainable, potentially ruining the country’s long-term fiscal stability and weakening our economy.
Yet, President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will continue with their profligacy until the Constitution clearly and directly mandates a balanced budget.
This unprecedented spending has serious consequences.
Just this month (January 2010), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected "that if current laws and policies remained unchanged, the federal budget would show a deficit of $1.3 trillion for fiscal year 2010." The CBO also projected that the "budget picture remains daunting beyond this year, with deficits averaging about $600 billion annually from 2011 through 2020."
At some point, a future generation of Americans will be forced to pay the bill for Congress’ reckless spending today. When that time comes, what will tax rates be? How much liberty will we have lost?
In 1977, the State of Texas formally petitioned the United States Congress to enact a federal requirement under which:
"the total of all federal appropriations made by the Congress for any fiscal year may not exceed the total of all estimated Federal revenues for that fiscal year." Source: House Concurrent Resolution 31, 65th Texas Legislature; United States Senate Congressional Record, January 15, 1979; page 134
It is time to renew the call for a federal balanced budget amendment, and we are enthusiastic about taking the lead in pushing for it.
Those of us actively involved with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will ask our colleagues in other states to also take up this cause. We will not stand idly by as the Administration and Congressional majority bankrupt America in the reckless pursuit of a radical agenda.
Please do not hesitate to call on the members of the Texas Conservative Coalition if we may be of assistance in this effort.
Thank you for your service to the State of Texas.
State Representative Wayne Christian
House District 9 – Center
State Representative Warren Chisum
House District 88 - Pampa
State Representative Brandon Creighton
House District 16 – Conroe
State Representative Bryan Hughes
House District 5 – Mineola
State Representative Tan Parker
House District 63 – Flower Mound
State Representative Jodie Laubenberg
House District 89 – Parker
State Representative Ken Paxton
House District 70 – McKinney
State Representative Leo Berman
House District 6 – Tyler
State Representative Dan Flynn
House District 2 – Van
State Representative Phil King
House District 61 – Weatherford
State Representative Geanie Morrison
House District 30 – Victoria
State Representative Larry Taylor
House District 24 – Friendswood
TCC P.O. Box 2659, Austin TX 78768 512-474-1798 www.txcc.org 2
State Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson
House District 56 – Waco
State Representative Dwayne Bohac
House District 138 – Houston
State Representative Betty Brown
House District 4 – Terrell
State Representative Fred Brown
House District 14 – College Station
State Representative Angie Chen Button
House District 112 – Dallas
State Representative Bill Callegari
House District 132 – Katy
State Representative Frank Corte
House District 122 – San Antonio
State Representative John Davis
House District 129 – Houston
State Senator Bob Deuell
Senate District 2 – Greenville
State Representative Joe Driver
House District 113 – Garland
State Senator Kevin Eltife
Senate District 1 – Tyler
State Representative Allen Fletcher
House District 130 – Tomball
State Representative Dan Gattis
House District 20 – Georgetown
State Representative Kelly Hancock
House District 91 – North Richland Hills
State Representative Patricia Harless
House District 126 – Spring
State Senator Glenn Hegar
Senate District 18 – Katy
State Representative Charlie Howard
House District 26 – Sugar Land
State Senator Joan Huffman
Senate District 17 – Houston
State Representative Todd Hunter
House District 32 – Corpus Christi
State Representative Jim Jackson
House District 115 – Carrollton
State Representative Tim Kleinschmidt
House District 17 – Lexington
State Representative Ken Legler
House District 144 – Pasadena
State Representative Tryon Lewis
House District 81 – Odessa
State Representative Sid Miller
House District 59 – Stephenville
State Senator Robert Nichols
Senate District 3 - Jacksonville
State Representative Rob Orr
House District 58 – Burleson
State Representative John Otto
House District 18 – Dayton
State Senator Dan Patrick
Senate District 7 – Houston
State Representative Debbie Riddle
House District 150 – Tomball
State Senator Kel Seliger
Senate District 31 – Amarillo
State Representative Ralph Sheffield
House District 55 – Temple
State Representative Mark Shelton
House District 97 – Fort Worth
State Representative David Swinford
House District 87 – Dumas
State Representative Vicki Truitt
House District 98 – Keller
State Representative Randy Weber
House District 29 – Pearland
State Senator Jeff Wentworth
Senate District 25 – San Antonio
State Senator Tommy Williams
Senate District 4 – The Woodlands
State Representative John Zerwas House District 28 – Richmond
TCC P.O. Box 2659, Austin TX 78768 512-474-1798 www.txcc.org
Friday, January 29, 2010
"I'm reading. I don't like rehearsing much. I really like policy. I'm a business person. I want details, I want data, I want information, I want a plan. I know I'm going to get hit on the drug thing. They're either going to use that or the fact that I spoke to Log Cabin Republicans, something to try to fringe me with, so I'm doing some work in that regard. But they have a real hard time catching me, because they don't think like I do."
Medina had told me earlier in the day that she had spoken to Log Cabin Republicans -- gay Republicans -- and that she had told them that she thought their lifestyle was immoral, but that didn't mean she couldn't work with them on other issues. On "the drug thing," she has libertarian inclinations, which means that she's willing to at least entertain the idea that the so-called war on drugs is futile.
The Beeville native helped herself in the first debate. Be on the lookout this Friday for efforts on the part of the senator and the guv to "try to fringe her," which would indicate that the two professional pols in the race are taking her grassroots candidacy seriously.
Mrs. Medina is critical of both Mr. Perry and Ms. Hutchison, calling them "two sides of the same coin." But she has reserved some of her sharpest jabs for the governor, whom she described in an interview as the "jumpy, fidgety frat boy sitting on stage with me two weeks ago."
In response to Mrs. Medina's remark, Catherine Frazier, a spokesman for the governor, said: "Under Gov. Perry's leadership, Texas is the strongest state in the nation. If that is what she thinks about where Texas is headed, that's unfortunate."
Dr. Henson of the Texas Politics Project was among the political mavens who thought Mr. Perry would prevail in a runoff, because he was most likely to capture Mrs. Medina's voters.
But others thought Ms. Hutchison would benefit from the extra campaign time a runoff would afford and from Mrs. Medina's attacks on the governor, which the senator encouraged during the first debate.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we see more fire coming in from Gov. Perry in the direction of Debra Medina," said Ken Emanuelson, a leader of the tea-party movement in Dallas, which worked to ensure that she was included in both debates.
I guess this really shouldn't surprise anyone. In an interview, Debra Medina told Robert Pratt of Pratt on Texas that if she doesn't win the Republican primary for governor, she will support a third party candidate in November.
This is the problem with
most "wing"a certain wing of the Republican Party. Instead of rallying behind the "80%" candidates, they throw stones and end up helping the Democratic Party. Liberals. Who agree with them maybe 20% of the time.
I have a question for the people so disgusted with McCain that they did one of these things in November 2008. How isthat working out for you? Yeah, I do look at it as "Republicans" versus "Democrats." Again, two-party system, major parties in the country.Getting back to Texas and the gubernatorial race. Mrs. Medina polls at about 12% according to the latest from Rasmussen. Which is about right for a relatively unknown candidate who flirts with the fringe vote and isn't competitive in fundraising. I want to say, in case this isn't clear - I do not think badly of Debra Medina. I think she is a refreshing voice, I think she brings important things into the debate. Does that translate into thinking she can win, now or in November? No. Like a third party candidate in a general election, she will simply draw enough votes to push the other candidates into a run-off.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I received this information about polls that were taken in two House districts, HD 3 (Homer) and HD 47 (Bolton). The first poll is from HD 3. The pollster was Chris Wilson. Fair warning: Both polls were sent to me by a source close to the Perry campaign:
In HD 47 (Mike Baselice poll):
The obvious thing that jumps out is Medina’s number, in Travis County yet. Obviously she is taking more votes from Hutchison than from Perry.
The daily blast from the Hutchison campaign includes this discussion:
Texas had the 4th highest teen pregnancy rate in the country in 2005, according to a new study. That’s up one notch from 5th highest in 2000, according to new data from the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights and is a leading source of data on abortion-related trends. Overall, the group reported a 3 percent increase in the nation’s teen pregnancy rate in 2006, a year after reaching its lowest point in three decades.
KBH’s daily release frequently carries bits of bad news about Texas. Yesterday’s selection was about rising employment. The unstated message, of course, is that these things are happening on Rick Perry’s watch. I don’t think that trumpeting bad news about Texas is very smart. When things go badly for Texas, they don’t just happen to Rick Perry. They happen to all of us.
Nor do I think that it was wise to bring up the teen pregnancy data. The immediate question that comes to mind is, What do you propose to do about it? A debate is coming up on Thursday, and a very good question to ask is, “Senator Hutchison, you have expressed concern that Texas has the fourth highest teen pregnancy rate in the country. Do you support the state’s policy of abstinence-based sex education or would you favor sex education that provides students with information about birth control and sexually transmitted diseases?”
Cornyn Shares the Glory with Fort Hood hero; KBH doesn't
Sen. John Cornyn released a press release yesterday about a visit by Sgt. Kimberly Munley, a hero of the Fort Hood shotings, with both him and Sen. Hutchison. Munley will be at the State of the Union address.
"Sens. Cornyn and Hutchison today met in Washington with Sgt. Kimberly Munley, the civilian police hero who took down Maj. Nidal Hasan when he launched a deadly attack on Fort Hood last year. Although Munley was hit in both legs and her wrist during the gun battle, she stayed on her feet and kept firing at the gunman. She is a member of Fort Hood's "Special Reaction Team," which trains for events like the Nov. 5 massacre.
Munley is in D.C. to attend the State of the Union as a special guest of the First Lady."
Here's what Hutchison's office released of the same photo op, with no mention of Cornyn.
Unless you’re running for national office, “there’s really no point to inviting non-Texan bloggers,” said campaign spokesman Joe Pounder.[SNIP]The Hutchison campaign's online strategy includes, in addition to Twitter and Facebook, a social media network called the “Kay Network” and a feature which allows supporters to make campaign calls from their homes. But don’t expect any blogger summits. “I don’t see the strategic rationale for the event — all campaigns are involved in online strategy,” Pounder said.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
With another debate looming and early voting just weeks away, the Republican candidates for governor are racing to persuade voters now tuning in. We'll talk to the spokespersons for the Perry and Hutchison campaigns.
Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken today released figures showing that Texas created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years and has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 largest states in the nation. Pauken cited the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics January 22, 2010 release of Current Employment Statistics for December 2009 showing Texas created 724,300 more net private sector jobs as compared to December 1999, the largest private sector job gain nationwide over the last decade.
Pauken also noted that among the 10 largest states as ranked by civilian labor force size, Texas was well ahead of all other large states in private sector job growth with a percentage net gain of 9.30 percent as compared to December 1999. Florida was the only other large state to realize a net gain in private sector employment over the same period with 259,500 net jobs gained for a percentage net gain of 4.31 percent from December 1999 to December 2009. The other 8 large states showed a net loss of private sector jobs over the same period.
Nationally, over the last decade, the private sector experienced a net employment loss of 1.408 percent or 1,549,000 jobs lost.
GOP gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina said today that she used campaign dollars on clothing “because I’m a poor small-business provider not usually wardrobed like people would expect a gubernatorial candidate to be wardrobed.”
"I think it's indicative of the whole approach he takes to government," Hutchison said after she talked to shoppers at a South Lubbock supermarket.
She would meet with newspaper editorial boards considering endorsements, she added, and criticized Perry's decision not to.
"I mean, what is he afraid of?" she asked.
Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner was dismissive.
"Unlike Sen. Hutchison, Gov. Perry has a record cutting taxes, balancing budgets and improving education, and travels around the state every day talking about those issues," Miner said.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
• Debra Medina continues to draw attention in the Republican primary. After she did a Lubbock radio interview, state Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican and ardent supporter of Gov. Rick Perry’s, posted a series of Tweets about Medina in rapid succession at about 3 a.m. today:
“Medina told a radio station in Lubbock today that she cannot promise to support Rick or Kay if they win in Nov-saying there might be others.”
“She made my point today that she is not a true Republican. Who is she going to support the Dem or an Independent ?”
“I have questioned why she is running in the R primary when she should be running as an Independent or Libertarian.”
“She asks Republican voters to vote for & trust her, but she will not support the voters will if she doesn’t win-that will only help White.”
“Posted part of the interview on my facebook If she supports a 3rd party in Nov, that cannot win, she could help White win in a close race.”
AUSTIN – Kay Bailey Hutchison has railed against the Trans-Texas Corridor, but she counts one of the state’s premiere toll-road builders among her major financial contributors.
Bartell Zachry, whose San Antonio-based construction company partnered with the Spanish company Cintra to develop the multi-billion transportation project, gave Hutchison $25,000, according to a campaign finance report filed with the state.
Hutchison campaign spokeswoman Jen Baker said the senator was happy to accept money from the toll-road builder, even though she has denounced the Trans-Texas Corridor as a land grab and has pledged to curb toll-road construction if she's elected governor.
"Clearly, Zachry agrees with 60 percent of primary voters that don't have any interest in four more years of Rick Perry," said Baker, referring to Perry's 39 percent share of the vote when he won re-election in 2006 in a four-way race.
Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner said Hutchison is being hypocritical.
"The senator criticizes the project, yet she has no hesitation taking money from the company building the project," Miner said.