Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kay to be Rick Rolled...?

The irreplaceable Stephen Moore... formerly the head of the Club for Growth... has a great Wall Street Journal article up about how Rick is really on a roll and Kay is just wasting time and money and resources that could be going toward big wins for fiscal conservatives in 2010 (link)...

One of the most closely watched political races of the year should be the Republican primary for the governor's office in Texas, pitting incumbent Rick Perry versus Texas U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Both have spent millions already, with potentially tens of millions on tap, but the heavy betting is on Mr. Perry at this point as the March primary approaches. As one lifelong political operative in the state tells me: "Kay Bailey can't get to the right of Perry on a single issue." That's a big problem in a GOP primary in the reddest of states.

On Wednesday, Mr. Perry moved to seal the deal with conservatives by calling for a new constitutional set of protections for taxpayers. Call it a Texas-style "taxpayer bill or rights." Mr. Perry wants the state's constitution amended to require a two-thirds vote requirement of the legislature for any tax hikes. He also wants state spending capped at the rate of annual population growth plus inflation. States like Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada have already adopted such taxpayer protections and the limitations have worked well to repel new spending, according to economist and state budget expert Barry Poulson of the University of Colorado.

Mr. Perry sounded as if his audience for these reforms was just as much the White House and the U.S. Congress as citizens of his home state. As the tax, borrow and spend "mindset holds sway over Washington, D.C.," Mr. Perry said, "it is more important than ever that we take steps to protect our citizens from the excesses of unrestrained government at every level."

Mr. Perry's slate of populist taxpayer protections may well doom Ms. Hutchison's chances. Ms. Hutchison started with a 25-point lead a year ago but Mr. Perry was leading by more than ten points in polls at year-end. In November, 57% of Texas voters told Rasmussen they preferred that Ms. Hutchison remain in the senate. I'm hearing that Senator John Cornyn, who runs the Republican Senatorial Committee, also is trying to persuade Ms. Hutchison to drop out of the governor's race run for reelection to the senate. That would stop the costly internecine warfare in the state and likely end any chance of Democrats picking up her Senate seat. Ms. Hutchison has not ruled out seeking another Senate term.

Mr. Perry is rated one of the top conservative governors in America, winning kudos for turning down federal stimulus funds on grounds that the temporary money would permanently ratchet up state spending. Peggy Venable, Texas director of Americans for Prosperity, says: "Thank goodness we didn't take those funds. We would have had to raise our unemployment insurance tax on employers if the governor had taken stimulus money."

Texas is now ground zero for the revolt against Obamanomics and it's clear that Mr. Perry's stand for states rights against Mr. Obama's constant threats has made him a state hero. "Why would Texas vote out one of the best governors in America?" asks Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. It's a good bet they won't.

Rick is definitely on a roll... and Kay only has about 5 or 6 weeks before people begin mailing in ballots and voting early at their polling places... the real issue is that Rick is doing a good job. Has he been perfect? No... Has he been as Grover Norquist claims one of the best governors in America? Yes probably when you think about it... who else would you really put above him honestly? Jeb Bush was good but he is gone and now Charlie Crist has messed things up... Mark Sanford seemed good but he had a wandering eye and his state is not performing as well as Texas economically... Bobby Jindal is good but anyone would seem good in Louisiana after the last one they had in there...

I think we may begin to see a shadow campaign like there was during the Obama versus Hillary stuff to make sure the party rallies around the winner of the primary, and it seems like the party is already rallying around Rick... Kay just needs a big "shut the hell up sandwich" according to some of the truly non biased observers who have no dog in the fight but see the writing on the wall and just want to help the state's Republicans raise gobs of money and take back giant majorities in the 2010 elections before redistricting takes place...

Apparently the Rick vs. Kay race is sucking a lot of the down ballot peeps dry... they are having a really hard time raising money because it is all going to this intra party warfare...

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