Sunday, February 28, 2010

The prebituaries for Kay are flowing like the Rio Grande...

Mike Hailey of Capitol Inside puts it pretty well...

While some Hutchison fans like Houston beer distributor John Nau, a former Perry supporter, didn't appear quite ready to throw in the towel as he picked up the tab for $10,000 worth of campaign air travel this week, the candidate herself was spending time that was running out on her talking about how she might stay in the U.S. Senate several months longer than she's been saying she'd do and theorizing on what went wrong instead of scrambling to plug the holes in a sinking ship that she'd have a whole month to repair if she could force the incumbent into a runoff that still appears to be well within her reach.

Hutchison, who'd predicted at the outset of the race that Perry would go for the jugular, seemed to be expressing surprise this week as she acknowledged how the incumbent had torpedoed her campaign by effectively portraying her as a symbol of Washington politics that frustrated voters find more disgusting than ever. At a time when Apollo Creed would have been reminding Rocky about the eye of the tiger, Hutchison has displayed all the enthusiasm of a tired old dog that's ready to roll over and play dead in the past few days rather than showing the heart that it takes to hurl the Hail Mary like the one she referred to in an appearance last week with Roger Staubach, whose famous desperation heave was as much or more a product of sheer will and a never-say-die attitude than athletic talent and clever play calling.

The prebituaries are being written all over, and one of them... Patterico's Pontifications... points out that the official website of the House Press Gallery is still misspelling Kay's last name... insult to injury (link)...

Hutchinson (R), TX

That is just sad...

RedState has more prebituary (link). Excerpt follows...

But the reality is that Hutchison’s Washington-insider status does not resonate in Texas. She badly underestimated the backlash against her and all those associated with Washington spending and largesse, and as noted by a post by Chris Cilliza at The Fix titled, “What Happened to Kay Bailey Hutchison?”, she cannot even clearly explain why she’s running. And even the Senator herself admits that the stigma of being associated with Washington has negatively influenced voters.

The result is a lagging campaign, leaving her behind in the polls and with dwindling enthusiasm and support on the road.

Chris Cillizza wrote what may be the authoritative version of the prebituary (link). Excerpt follows...
* What's the "Why"?: From the start of her campaign, Hutchison struggled to explain -- in clear, concise language -- both why she was running and why voters should fire Perry.

[SNIP]

* A Panoply of Process: Reporters -- the Fix most of all -- love process stories. How much money candidates raise, what their television ads say, how they are doing in the polls etc. Voters could care less -- particularly in a political environment like this one where economic anxiety is running high. Given that reality, a number of party operatives expressed shock/amazement/befuddlement at Hutchison's relentless focus on process on the stump.

[SNIP]

* Mixed Messages: Hutchison spent a good deal of the campaign talking about education, high speed rail, ports and her desire to grow the Republican party. Perry talked exclusively about his record of job-creation in the state and his opposition to federal intrusion in state matters. It's not hard when you compare those two issue palettes to understand why Hutchison has fallen behind.

[SNIP]

* Perry's Political Skill: Even those who loathe Perry -- and there are many in that category -- acknowledge that he is a consummate politician. Perry effectively framed the race as a referendum not on his time in office but on Washington.

[SNIP]

* Environmental hazards: Hutchison simply picked an awful year -- from a political environment perspective -- to return to the Lone Star State. Republican voters were mad as hell at Washington's profligate spending while Hutchison had spent years as a member of the Appropriations Committee steering cash back to the state.
Kay looks like a lamb headed to slaughter right about now... there is not much she can do but hope and pray for Rick to get 49.999% or lower... and then prolong the pain...

Rick and Bill assume front runner status...

I wrote a blog recently about how liberal Democrat former mayor of Houston Bill White is already running against Rick (link). Bill White was also in the valley recently to discuss how much he doesn't like Rick (link). Excerpt follows...

Even though he's a Democrat running in a state where no Democrat has won a statewide race in 16 years, White is freer to attack Perry than Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the incumbent governor's main GOP rival.

Much as Hutchison does, White jumped at the chance Thursday to scold Perry for alleged cronyism and promotion of toll roads in the now abandoned Trans-Texas Corridor proposal.

So... basically Bill White is going to run the same campaign against Rick that Kay did... only he has a D by his name... and more room to be defined by Rick's peeps... let me know how that works out for ya...

Rick's campaign strategist is glad to keep the fight going because it shows that Rick is basically the presumptive nominee... which means that people on the fence will go ahead and vote for him just to make sure the party avoids an expensive run off...

David Carney sent an email that got leaked by the Texas Tribune (link). It looks like I was blind copied not on accident as well on an email officially to his colleague at his consulting firm ... probably a lot of bloggers, journalists, and influence makers were included if I had to guess...
As we head into Tuesdays primary I thought I'd let you in on some of our thinking going into the home stretch.

The early vote turnout is up and we're excited about who has been voting. Most of the increase appears to be based on the continuing trend of voters taking advantage of the convenience of no line/plenty of parking voting that the early voting process allows rather then an increase total turnout. We're thinking turnout will be around a million to 1.1 million GOP voters, which is up 20% but not the blow it off the roof projections some hysterical analysis has implied.

We believe high turnout is good for us because all types of voters continue of to move in our direction. In fact as of Thursday the Governor leads in all sub groups including first time GOP primary voters and self identified liberals and moderate on social and fiscal issues. (Just don't tell any one that! :) )

While no one can predict what will happen on Tuesday, we believe there will not be a run off. Our voters are energized, solidly committed and growing in number every day. Neither of our opponents can say the same thing. It is funny that pundits are quick to point out that we are below 50% in public polls by a few points but gloss over the fact that our opponents together generally poll in the low 40s and dropping.

As the campaign as been progressing the Governors’ favorability ratings have actually improved while our opponents have slid into almost a 1:1 ratio. Not good for them.

Regardless of the outcome on Tuesday, the GOP nominee is well positioned for November. The voter frustration with the democrat party nationally has not escaped the attention of Texans. Mayor White is another in a long line of dream team mirages that the net roots of the left have fabricated. In this political environment no competitive state will elect a big city trial lawyer, anti gun, sanctuary city promoting, Clinton protégé DC politician, let alone a conservative state like Texas. While Mayor White has yet to been defined its inarguable the Texas voters have been exposed to well over $100 million in negative attack ads against Rick Perry. The voters of Texas know Rick Perry, warts and all, and he still leads Mayor White by double digits in most public polls . Voter registration, voter intensity and the issues matrix in 2010 make any democrat the longest of long shots to be competitive.

Three observations that this primary has reinforced:

1) Message matters! Both in content and delivery, process and inside jargon can never compete with a coherent message delivered by a credible candidate.

2) The research that we were the guinea pigs for in 2006 with Professors Green and Gerber of Yale, Daron Shaw of UT and Jim Gimpel of the University of Maryland on the effectiveness of various traditional methods of campaign communications has paid off. Mail and phones are ineffective, while personal contacts through social networks and personal appearances, as well as and paid media move voters.

3) Dr. Bob Stein the worlds leading researcher on the effects of earmarks, conclusions (short handed and with apologies’ to Dr. Stein: Earmarks do not enhance an incumbent’s electoral standing) are correct. Using his theories we built our campaign against earmarks prior to the 2009 explosion of the center right voters on the federal fiscal issues (tea party’s, etc.) which just enhanced the effectiveness of our efforts.

If you have other thoughts or observations please pass them along and I'd be glad to answer any questions that you might have.


Thanks for your time,

Dave
Bill White's campaign responded (link).

We are already in the general election here...

Say what you will about Kay's meager crowds...

A few shots of Kay in San Angelo show that her crowds continue to disappoint (link). Excerpt follows...
Say what you will about Kay's tiny crowds at her events, but she just knows television cameras are all that matters, and she fights right through it all as if she has people there...

Rick has substantially better crowds at his events (link)...

Rick's staff will write blogs that say that this reflects their hard work and that Kay's staff sucks and is not even from Texas... in your face and all of that... but the differences here are the candidates not the staff work... Rick is connecting with voters. Kay is not. Enthusiasm in primaries is what you as a candidate want to see during early voting and before the general election... Kay is not giving off enthusiasm, but she is not getting much from her crowds either... it is a bad cycle to be in. Rick is gaining energy from his crowds, but he is also giving them something to be excited about...

For her own good Kay has to be secretly hoping for no runoff...

Say what you will about Kay's meager crowds, but at least if you are there to see her you are pretty much guaranteed to have a one on one conversation, you can probably get a picture or three... and you may feel like she is tailoring the speech just for you...

If governor doesn't work out, there is always class president (link)...

Kay on April 15... "Rick just lost the race today"

Kay and her husband Ray Hutchison must be some of the worst political minds of our time... look at some of these quotes from them explaining just how Kay fell so fast so hard (link). Excerpt follows... quotes bolded...
Just days later, Perry went even further, saying he understood how frustrated Texans were with the federal government and how they might want to secede from the union. His rival, Kay Bailey Hutchison, saw that as a decisive moment: "Rick Perry just lost the race today," she told a staffer when she heard the comment.
This is such a Chris Matthews, Washington way of thinking. Secession in Texas is not an especially dirty word, not that Rick actually used the word... in Texas it is all about Texas once being its own country... it is about Texas exceptionalism...

Rick has been more careful about hinting at secession, but that moment was not a bad one for him... it helped him. It showed that he understood just how angry people were about Obama and Washington, and it signaled that he meant business in terms of standing up to Washington... see his recent lawsuit with Todd Staples and Greg Abbott against the EPA for more evidence of that.

Okay... another revealing quote, this time from Kay's husband Ray...

Early in the campaign, the senator and her husband, Ray, met with advisers in their living room discussing possible lines of attack by Perry, a Hutchison ally familiar with the meeting said. Earmarks came up, but Ray Hutchison downplayed the impact.

"Which one of these projects does Rick Perry want to say no to because Kay couldn't secure federal dollars?" he said.

That is amazing... and their response to Rick saying "you voted for the tea pot museum in North Carolina" has been the same throughout the campaign... "how dare you attack us for fighting for Texas." People see that interaction and the win goes to Rick every time. He is pointing out wasteful projects out of state... like an indoor rainforest in Iowa... and she says, well... so what, I am getting a lot of pork for Texas...

What about those wasteful projects out of Texas Kay? You never even tried to explain those.

Back to the tea parties... look at this quote...

Perry scrambled to appear at every Tea Party gathering he could on tax day. "I know for a fact that he called multiple Tea Parties trying to get on stage at as many as possible," said Houston Tea Party organizer Ryan Hecker.

Hutchison did not appear at a Tea Party on April 15. She was at a more traditional campaign event, at a Houston supporter's furniture store, where she criticized government spending.

Afterwards, at a fundraiser at supporter Ned Holmes' house in Houston, she learned of Perry's comments about secession and thought he had just handed her the election.

Rick was on the tea party bandwagon early... Kay and 95% of politicians were horrified by the tea party...

By August 2009, the Hutchison campaign assembled a focus group to test the message that Perry was hypocritical: he criticized the bailout but accepted $12.5 billion in stimulus funds. He had rejected one small portion – $550 million for unemployment benefits.

They didn't care. Perry got credit for turning Washington down.

Exactly... and it was Kay who was hypocritical for saying Rick should have taken all of the money then criticizing him when he rejected some of it... then criticizing him for not rejecting all of it I guess??...

More than that, why would anyone still waste money on a focus group?

Twitter is the modern focus group. Facebook. Grassroots events are the modern focus group. What gets the most retweets or likes and comments on Facebook... what gets the most applause at small grassroots gatherings in small towns... those are your own focus groups you need these days...

It probably wouldn't sell many copies but I would love to read a book co-written by the Rick and Kay teams about how Kay went from such a giant lead in the polls to such a giant deficit... even against an incumbent in an anti incumbent year... I would also love to listen in on a post mortem panel if anyone is thinking of doing one of those... I could contribute some pretty good questions to someone else to ask considering I have been covering this election in more depth than anyone else over the past year...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Staff taunts...

One of Rick's staff members... I think actual staff not "Kevin Crouch" style staff... is taunting Kay's campaign for poor crowds (link)...

Lets compare the “crowds” that came to see KBH and that came to see Governor Perry this past week. All the events were well publicized by both teams through phone calls, emails, social media and old fashion word of mouth.

The pictures speak for themselves on what team has the momentum going into these next three days.

Crowds for Governor Perry

“Crowds” for Team Kay

Let me hereby egg this on...

More taunting!

More trash talk!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Rick's money cannon versus Kay's fund raising failure...

Kay's peeps are freaking out about Rick's 1.3 plus million dollar one day fund raising haul, and they got Christy Hoppe to write an article about it (link). Excerpt follows...

Gov. Rick Perry has bragged this week about making fundraising history by bringing in a record $1.3 million in one day, intimating that it came from tapping grassroots support. It turns out that the money mostly came from those who own the field.

[SNIP]

Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for Kay Bailey Hutchison, said Perry is again misleading Texans.

"The same Rick Perry lying about his campaign contributions is the same election year Rick that campaigns like a conservative and when elected tramples parental and property rights," Baker said, citing his now-rescinded mandate to have teenage girls receive cervical cancer vaccines and now-defunct Trans Texas Corridor.

What? Specifically what lie is Baker suggesting? That woman has wild eyes and bad quotes, I don't care at this point of tip toeing around that. I am going to say it. I think Jeff Sadosky was superior without question to Jen Baker and Joe Pounder put together... yet he rarely seemed to go on record in the press. What was that about?

I looked and Rick's peeps clearly are saying a larger number on their money cannon page than in their report...

What could explain the discrepancy?

Oh how about a little thing called 8 day telegram reports and Texas Ethics Commission rulings... candidates have to report all the money they raise every single day within 8 days of an election. Except they don't actually have to report it all because for big campaigns it would be practically impossible to report them all in such a short period of time... so they only have to report contributions over a thousand dollars each day...

Which means that while Rick definitely got the bulk of his campaign cash from large donors he must have had hundreds upon hundreds of small donors at or under 1000 on Wednesday that were not reported. That is the only way they could have raised so much more money than showed up in the reports from people over 1000...

I do not claim to be an expert on Texas campaign fundraising laws, but Christy Hoppe should have at the bare minimum included the fact that contributions of 1000 or less during the 8 days before an election don't have to be reported until the halfway point of the year...

This got me thinking, so I did a little digging around... actually someone dug for me and emailed me but like Paul Burka always says this is not the New York Times it is a blog so I am just passing along information that I have received...

On February 22, 23, and 24, Kay reported only a handful of total donations including 5 at 1000 and 4 others above 1000 adding up to 17,000... in three days... plus just under 10 grand from John Nau for use of his plane...

I doubt Kay raised money from more than 5 or 10 peeps under 1000, so this is pretty amazing. Her money has dried up almost completely... she raised around 6000 dollars on the day that Rick raised close to 1.4 million... look at those numbers for a second...

1,400,000

0,006,000

Kay better start hoping this race doesn't go to a runoff, because at least if Rick wins on March 2 she can always claim it was "close" but a runoff could get amazingly ugly fast... 62-38 would be my prediction in that situation...

Right now I am keeping my prediction for the general election that Rick will have over 50%. Kay won't get more than a third of the votes. Medina won't top... hopefully... 15%.

Weakest quote of the campaign?

We may have a winner, from Kay spokesman Joe Pounder regarding the Minutemen endorsement of Rick (link). Excerpt follows...
"When it comes to border security, Rick Perry's a Minuteman in the campaign but then takes a minute to forget what he said when the election is over," said Hutchison spokesman Joe Pounder.
On just about every level this quote is just terrible. Maybe next time go get a few more years of experience before being the primary spokesman for a statewide gubernatorial race in the second largest state in America...

And so it begins... Kay pushing back resignation...

Seeing the writing on the wall about next Tuesday, Kay is already walking back from her frequent promises to resign after losing to Rick (link). Excerpt follows...

With four days to go before the gubernatorial primary, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison this morning bought herself as many as eight more months in the Senate. Speaking on WBAP's Mark Davis Show, she said she plans to resign from the Senate
"sometime this year before the November elections."

That's a rather significant amendment to her most recent public posture. In December, at a Republican gathering in Galveston, she said she would resign after the primary, win or lose. And she has repeated that privately to GOP donors and supporters.

[SNIP]

This marks at least the fifth iteration of Hutchison's resignation plans. Last summer she said she would resign by the end of November. That turned into, by November she would announce her plans for when she would resign. Then came, she would stay in the Senate long enough to fight Democratic health care reform and cap-and-trade legislation and then resign. And then the December declaration in Galveston.

So it begins... she is probably already plotting an image rehabilitation tour from March through March 2012 when she will probably run again and probably have one or more primary opponents...

This is a big about face... and will only further anger all the peeps who need those dominoes to start falling to move up the ladder... it will make others happy because they never wanted her to run for governor in the first place...

Isn't it amazing that we are right back where we started... after bashing each other over the head for a year and draining party resources...

Next Wednesday, I hope my fellow Republicans will express in constructive ways their feelings with Kay and her peeps that tens of millions of dollars were spent before the general election... sapping down ballot races and depleting Republican dollars to take on the liberals in Texas.

This is a team sport, and peeps on the same team compete for playing time sure... but the loser in the deal for a lot of reasons usually gets traded to the Clippers. Kay, it's time to book your flight for Los Angeles.

Medina continues to disappoint...

9/11 truther Debra Medina continues to disappoint (link). Excerpt follows...

According to data compiled by OMB Watch, Medina’s medical billing company, Prudentia Inc., was granted a $50,000 federal loan guarantee shortly after she incorporated it in 2002. The loan guarantee came courtesy of a program administered by the Small Business Administration, headquartered in Washington—a program that Republicans tried to kill twice in the past 15 years. Thanks to the federal government’s loan guarantees, Medina and people like her are able to secure loans for their fledgling small businesses that banks might otherwise be reluctant to grant, or would charge a higher rate of interest on.

How did Medina qualify? The federal record describes such loan guarantees as being “for small businesses which are unable to obtain financing in the private credit marketplace.” In the terms of Ayn Rand, this makes Medina one of the “moochers” who needed to soak the “producers” to fund her business, rather than (to use Medina’s words) “having the courage” to let the business sink or swim in the free market. Apparently Medina was not ready to face her beloved free market: She stood in judgment before the Invisible Hand, got an invisible thumbs down and beelined it straight to Uncle Sam for a loan guarantee.

And yet Medina does not want to share the welfare she gets with her fellow Texans, which seems kind of unfair. Here’s what she’s promising to offer the suckers: “Get the government off their back, let them get out there and get a job, and we don’t have to worry about unemployment, that charity does not belong with the government,” she told one right-wing radio host.

But while Medina would get government off everyone else’s back, she has made a handsome profit piggybacking on the government twice over: first, with a federal loan guarantee, and, even worse, by using that government-subsidized business to soak the taxpayers of Wharton, Texas, her hometown, by obtaining lucrative city contracts.

Debra Medina... phony. Read that whole expose... it is a good thing she is slipping in the polls... she is not a hero, just someone with questions about whether the government helped bring down the buildings in New York City on September 11th... start from there and it doesn't get much better.

Kay is the Earmark Queen...

This is just great...


Really nicely done... kind of sums up everything that is wrong with Kay right now...

Hard to choose between that one and the Glamorous one though...


I wonder how much they had to pay the girl to sing this... according to the Washington Kay website she was on American Idol.. I wonder if she was a finalist or made it through to Hollywood... I don't watch that show so I don't really know how it works.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Another poll...

Another poll from KXAN (link). Excerpt follows...

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads the GOP and Bill White is favored by Democrats for state and local voters just one week before the March 2 primary, according to a new poll commissioned by KXAN.

The most important issues facing voters both across the state and in local counties are education, job creation and border security, the poll shows.

On the Republican ticket, incumbent Governor Rick Perry maintains a healthy lead with 44% support from likely Republican voters. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison follows with 30% support and Debra Medina receives 14%. There are still 12% of Republican voters who are undecided. Those undecided voters are a coveted group, as a candidate cannot win the primary without more than 50% of the vote.

On the Democratic ticket, there is also the chance of a run-off in April. Former Houston Mayor Bill White leads businessman Farouk Shami 43% to 22% respectively. The other five Democrats on the ticket split 8% of the vote and more than a quarter, 27%, of Democratic voters remain undecided.

When it comes to support from men and women, Hutchison gets 34% of the women's vote compared to 27% of the men's. Perry finds more support from men with 45% of the vote there and 43% support from women. Debra Medina remains in the teens in both categories with 15% support from Republican men and 12% support from Republican women.

It sure does look close, but I am still going to just throw it out there that there won't be a runoff. I have not been on the ground in the past two weeks to see the mood, but from afar it looks like Rick is just running away with it and Kay is sinking and sinking... with more and more peeps learning about Medina's 9/11 truther and other off kilter ideas... plus Rick is going to outspend Kay by far over these next few days...


Is Kay hoarding money, or running out of it?

Rick is aiming to win without a runoff... Kay is said to be hoarding her cash for a runoff (link). Excerpt follows...
AUSTIN — While U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is hoarding money for a possible Republican runoff, campaign finance reports show Gov. Rick Perry has increased his spending on television commercials in hopes of winning Tuesday's primary outright.

[SNIP]

Hutchison cut her weekly TV advertising buy on Feb. 18 to just $1 million for the campaign's home stretch, while Perry purchased $2.6 million worth of TV time. She had outspent him on TV in the previous three weeks — $5.3 million to his $5 million — but polls showed her ads had not made a major dent in his support among likely voters.
There is a rumor out there about this... and it is spreading like wild fire. Personally I have no insight other than what I have heard which is that Kay has done a lot of mail pieces and a lot of other things which may not yet appear on their reports... which means their consultant(s) is/are holding back bills as long as possible to help her out...

Burka fans the flames of that rumor (link). Excerpt follows...
A source close to the Perry campaign e-mailed me that Perry raised $1.2 million in a 24-hour Internet fundraising effort yesterday. The campaign continues to circulate the rumor that the Hutchison treasury is running out of money.
A frequent Burka commenter named Cow Droppings who is known for being extremely pro-Rick adds...

So KBH has done nine attack mailers and only spent half a million according to her report on mail?

Let’s see: I will charitably grant her the low cost of 50 cents per piece (though unlikely b/c you know Sullivan is getting a mark-up.) That’s one million pieces of mail divided by nine meaning her mail universe is only 111,111 households per piece in a primary with more than a million voters? Yeah, right. They have easily more than $3 mil in mail bills to pay. Can you say broke?

This is Perry spin, but that doesn't mean it is not true. I have a feeling there are some major outstanding bills for Kay... it doesn't really add up that she would not be out money based on the evidence. Direct mail is expensive... very very expensive... and I have not personally received any that I know of since my mail is being held until I get back to Texas on Monday... but I have heard about the mail and heard that is is pretty vicious... and peeps were getting 2 or 3 or 4 pieces on one single day... which as we all know is very ineffective and just looks desperate... Kay surely spent more than half a million on direct mail... how much more I don't know but it could easily be into the millions... which does mean there are bills being held back to avoid an article about how she is completely out of money... which would further depress her voters...

Rick's peeps have allegedly done no direct mail at all... which seems risky but it also seems to be paying off... has anyone seen any of Rick's direct mail?

My verdict... Kay is skating by and is almost out of money if not in the hole... we may wake up on March 3 and see that her campaign is a million in debt unless she has some serious checks coming in to pay for all of that direct mail... then again if she is cutting back on television and radio maybe she will just break even and spare Kay the indignity of a big "retire my debt tour"... let's hope... we need to be fighting back against the the well funded media darling Bill White not harnessing the Republican money establishment toward paying down Kay's campaign overspending.

Rick's claim about vetoing earmarks checks out...

I have to admit I am not a big fan of these fact checking organizations that hold themselves up as the voice of God when it comes to what is true and what is stretching the truth. One of Rick's claims I was curious about was saying he had vetoed earmarks (link). Excerpts follow...
THE CLAIM: A radio ad by Gov. Rick Perry's campaign touts that Perry "vetoed $35.8 million in earmarks in 2007." Tom Schatz, chairman of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste political action committee, mentions the number as he endorses Perry in the ad.
[SNIP]

BOTTOM LINE: Perry's claim about his vetoes is correct.

Hear the ad in this video presentation from the Perry campaign:


This was rated as one pepper...


Again... who determines which facts to check, and how to check them? These seem very arbitrary. There are hundreds of claims being made, and only some of them get checked out...

I have not looked closely at them all but at a glance it looks like the Dallas Morning News fact checks are more accurate and less editorial than the Austin American Statesman fact checks... but I have not done any serious analysis of this.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

When it rains it pours... Kay skips another big vote...

When it rains it pours, and no I am not talking about Northern Illinois, a truly miserable place and nice peeps with truly miserable accents... and overrated food...

I am talking about Kay's campaign. That Rasmussen Poll (link) showing Rick with a 21 point lead over Kay could not have been a great start to the day, but now it turns out she has skipped another vote on an important piece of legislation (link). Excerpt follows...

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison decided to skip Wednesday morning's vote on the $15 billion job-creation bill as she battles against being dubbed a "Washington insider" in the Texas gubernatorial GOP primary.

Thirteen Republicans crossed the aisle to join 57 Democrats in backing the jobs bill, which creates a Social Security tax break for companies hiring new employees and also contains money to replenish the highway trust fund. Hutchison was one of only two senators to miss the vote; the other was Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who was diagnosed with cancer last week.

As of this posting, Hutchison's office had not responded to a request for comment on why she missed the vote and how she would have voted had she been present.

Hutchison is fighting to unseat Gov. Rick Perry in the Texas primary, which is scheduled for March 2. Perry leads in the polls, and has worked to turn the senator's long experience in Congress against her. "I didn't think that anyone could turn my success in producing results for Texas into a negative, but I think that he has attempted to do that and that is what I've been having to fight against," Hutchison said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Through Feb. 4, Hutchison had missed 7.2 percent of all votes cast in the 111th Congress, the sixth-most among current senators, according to a Washington Post database.

Looking at the five senators who have missed more votes than Hutchison, three -- Sens. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) -- have had significant health problems. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) missed several votes when he was weighing whether to become President Obama's Commerce secretary, and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who is retiring, missed more than 20 votes in December but declined to give specific explanations why to the Kentucky media.

One of my very biggest pet peeves is members of the United States senate missing votes. They just don't have that many votes to make... so every missed vote is a huge deal. It is symbolic... a tip of the iceberg of the disengagement and lack of involvement that permeates the day to day.

Missing another big vote will probably be somewhat small news, but it will annoy and agitate the peeps who are on the fence and are looking for that one small reason not to support Kay.

With friends like these....

Kay is awfully proud of her newspaper endorsement sweep. Her new ad is all about that.

When I have spoken to the Rick peeps I know about their abrupt announcement that they were not seeking any newspaper endorsements, Rick's peeps give off a sort of evil mastermind giggle and tell me that they are privy to some solid academic empirical research that shows newspaper endorsements in a Republican primary are actually counterproductive. They actually hurt you in a primary. They also told me that "Kay can't help herself. She will work for those endorsements, and they will work against her."

Is this justification? Was their preemptive strike at editorial boards when they said they would not sit for editorial board meetings just an acknowledgement that Rick would not win many of those endorsements, or was it part of some broader strategy that emphasizes social media and email and other peer to peer contact over trying to win over the media?

Because let's face it... Rick may have snubbed the newspaper editorial boards but from all indications they are still working the traditional press hard on stories and angles...

They may not always be getting reporters to write their spin, but from what I have observed and been told they are constantly planting ideas with reporters, briefing reporters, on the phone with reporters, offering reporters exclusives... just as Kay's team is doing...

I think Rick's peeps may be on to something, but only if the newspaper editorial boards write their endorsements in a way that emphasizes the things that Republican primary voters do not care for. If they write things about how Kay is the solid conservative leader... as many newspapers have done... then the strategy might not be all that smart. Then again a lot of the endorsements I have seen do praise Kay for things like expanding S-CHIP, working across the aisle, or for not "pandering" to the far right...

Take the SMU school newspaper as just the latest example (link). Excerpt follows...
In her long and distinguished career, Hutchison has proven herself a moderate willing to break ranks with her party. She calls herself pro-choice and believes that Roe v. Wade was the correct decision, although she supports a number of restrictions to abortion rights. During the health care debate, Hutchison opposed her party’s stall tactics. She’s also funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in appropriations to the state.
With friends like these, who needs enemies? Kay can still pick and choose the good quotes for her television and radio as she has already done, but in almost every endorsement I have seen there is a line or two that reveals why these editorial boards are really endorsing Kay...

Rick 48, Kay 27, Medina 16, Undecided 9...

The latest Rasmussen poll (link) confirms what I suspected yesterday... namely that the liberal North Carolina PPP polls continue to be outliers in Texas and every other poll shows Rick closing the deal... honing in on 50%...

Rick leads by 21 points... 48% to 27% to 16% for Medina... with 9% still unsure. If Rick can win over basically one in four remaining undecided voters, or peel off a few more Medina voters who are still learning about her conspiratorial leanings and her 9/11 truther sympathies... or even get a few more Republicans from Kay's side who didn't realize before that the Hutchisons had been convicted of fraud and conspiracy in 1994 (link), something that was covered up until this week oddly enough...

There may also be peeps out there who are just sick of the mud flinging, sick of the campaign commercials... sick of the party ripping its own guts out... they see that the Democrats have a nominee... they may have wanted to send some sort of protest message before but now are just concerned that Bill White with an extra 6 weeks of intraparty fighting amongst Rick and Kay and a huge expensive 20 or more million dollar run off that it is time to get behind the front runner...

A few more nuggets in this poll... Rick has a net favorable of 67%, and a net unfavorable of 31%. Kay has a net favorable of 56% and a net unfavorable of 42%. Medina has a net favorable of 35% and a net unfavorable of 47%.

This is Rick's biggest lead of the campaign, but it makes sense considering that Kay all but threw in the towel yesterday (link) and Rick is the only candidate running any positive ads... while Kay runs smear tactic robo calls and really sinister looking direct mail... she just looks petty and negative, while Rick looks like he is proud of Texas and ready to stand up to Obama for the remainder of his time in office.

As for Medina, her 9/11 truther comments are definitely getting out there and harming her in a big way despite what the Burnt Orange kiddos and Boyd Ritchie and all those guys are hoping... Democrats obviously want a run off, and Medina is their only hope for a run off, but she is just not viable even as a protest vote if you actually look into what she is about and who she runs with. If you are still unconvinced that Medina is an awful candidate follow this link to see why (link). It is funny to see Democrats actively root for this nut and buy into and promote some of the really out there conspiracy theories about Clear Channel and a Glenn Beck conspiracy just because it hurts Rick. Credibility? What credibility?

Rasmussen explains a little more of the results (link). Excerpt follows...

At the beginning of the month, Perry lead 44% to Hutchison’s 29% and Medina’s 16%. In September, just after Hutchison traveled statewide to announce her candidacy for governor, she posted a 40% to 38% lead over Perry, but that was the high point of her support which has been declining ever since.

Early voting has already begun in the primary which wraps up on Tuesday. Turnout is often difficult to project for primaries, but among those who say they have already voted, Perry has earned 49% support, while Hutchison and Medina have picked up 24% and 20% respectively.

[SNIP]

Perry appears to have successfully portrayed Hutchison as a Washington insider at a time when voter unhappiness with politics in the nation’s capital is hurting incumbents nationwide. Medina seemed to be drawing support from Hutchison in the previous survey but stumbled this month in part because of a high-profile spat with Fox broadcaster Glenn Beck over her remarks suggesting there was an undisclosed conspiracy behind the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Perry, who is seeking an unprecedented third term as governor, carries the male voter by more than two-to-one over Hutchison and wins a plurality (45%) of the female vote as well.

The incumbent earns 56% of the conservative vote to Hutchison’s 22% and Medina’s 16%.

Conservatives dominate Republican primaries in Texas and nationally. But Perry also breaks even with Hutchison among GOP moderates.

That "already voted" figure is interesting. I could see Medina doing much better among early voting and Kay doing much better during election day voting... I think Rick will probably also benefit from some of that drop off from Medina. I think as more peeps learn about the real Debra Medina, it will be surprising if she gets more than 15%. I think it will be shocking if Kay gets more than a third 33%... Which leaves 52% for Rick. That is my prediction as of today, but things can always change.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rasmussen poll teases us, only does general election numbers...

Rasmussen has a new poll showing Bill White gaining on both Rick and Kay... and overtaking Medina by a lot (link). Excerpt follows...
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state shows incumbent GOP Governor Rick Perry leading White 47% to 41%. Five percent (5%) of voters prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

At the beginning of this month, Perry led White 48% to 39%.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is challenging Perry for the Republican nomination, now posts a 47% to 38% lead over White. Three weeks ago, she had a 49% to 36% lead. Given this match-up, eight percent (8%) like another candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

These findings mark little change from January just after White announced his candidacy for the race.

Another GOP hopeful, Tea Party activist Debra Medina, has stumbled following a gaffe on the Glenn Beck show. In the previous survey, she had a three-point advantage over White. Now Medina trails the Democrat by 10 points, 47% to 37%.

Republicans pick their nominee in a primary next Tuesday. Rasmussen Reports will release new numbers on the Texas GOP Primary tomorrow morning.
Rick had been up by 9 and is now up by 6 over White... a loss of 3. Kay had been up by 13 and is now up by 9... a loss of 4. Medina lost 13 to fall behind by 10. The result no doubt of a bruising primary battle and Medina's 9/11 truther and other conspiratorial revelations.

Tomorrow's primary numbers will be interesting... the last time it was Rick 44, Kay 29, and Medina 16. From the looks of it Medina has fallen in the general election match up so it remains to be seen how much Kay and Rick have picked up in the primary from fleeing Medina peeps who were horrified to learn she had questions about whether the government did 9/11 and gave other strange answers related to the Austin suicide plane crasher. There were 11% undecided last time. Will there be more or less undecided this time? Maybe more as Medina's support has dwindled but not committed to Rick or Kay yet...

I guess we will know tomorrow morning won't we...

Hypocrisy... look who was convicted by a jury for fraud and conspiracy in October 1994...

Wow. Buried in this AP story about pre election mud slinging are some very real, very new, and very damaging revelations about Kay's past (link). Excerpt follows...

The research book released by Perry numbered in the hundreds of pages and revisits a controversy over private prisons in six Texas counties — prisons that were built with bond financing that the Hutchison law firm helped put together. The project was a financial disaster and the state wound up buying them at a fire sale price. Today, they're mostly used as prison transfer facilities and can hold about 3,200 inmates, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons.

The records show Ray Hutchison served as bond counsel in 1989 — acting as the lawyer who said the debt-financing scheme met legal requirements — for the now-disgraced developers who built the private prisons. Texas Ethics Commission records also show Kay Bailey Hutchison listed her husband's law firm, Hutchison, Boyle, Brook & Fisher, as her employer in 1989, and she reported $25,000 in income from the firm that year.

Hutchison's campaign says she only worked at her husband's firm for five months that year and did no work on the prison bonds.

The private prison construction deal, including Ray Hutchison's role in it, was well-documented at the time by the news media. What's new are court documents, released Tuesday both by the Perry and Hutchison campaigns, that describe what happened in the federal lawsuit that the project sparked.

A 1993 court order says that Ray Hutchison and his firm were dismissed from the case and did not engage in any fraud or conspiracy. That record was released by the Hutchison campaign after Perry aides produced one that seems to contradict it: the lengthy jury verdict that was issued almost a year later, in October 1994, that directed the defendants to pay almost $80 million. It's not clear from the documents why the jury issued a verdict that included the Hutchisons after a settlement was reached, and neither campaign could explain.

Tucked inside the verdict: a list of defendants that also included both Ray Hutchison and his law firm among the parties that were found to have committed civil fraud and conspiracy by giving the legal signoff on the tax-free bonds that provided $74 million in debt-financing for the facilities.

This is pretty amazing that this is just now coming out, 16 years later... it also leaves some questions unanswered. Why did a jury find the Hutchisons guilty even after the settlement?

This story probably never garnered any traction because it is hard to follow. Too many moving parts. I just had to read this article about 3 or 4 times before I absorbed what the scheme was. I still have a lot of questions that the writer did not answer for me...

Boiled down... this does seem to fit into the shady bond business stories I have read about Kay steering federal earmarks toward her husband's bond firm... only this was basically using the state to bail out private jails financed in a fraudulent way...

I think this deserves some serious answers. What exactly happened? How was the guilty verdict kept completely quiet for 16 years? Someone needs to explain more background on this deal. What exactly happened to the prisons? Were they all built? Just some of them? What exactly is a "fire sale price" that the state bought them for? Were they up to code, or what was the deal? Did any investors lose everything Enron style? Who ended up paying the settlement?

I think this story has a lot more to it, but it seems like the story is written somewhat dismissively because of when the information dropped. Rick's peeps really should have given this to the press months ago... or at least a month ago... not 6 days before election day when it seems like all they are doing is flinging mud. Honestly this should have been out 16 years ago... voters deserve to know things like this... an actual jury conviction. That is huge. This is another major egg on the face of the Texas press for failing to uncover this year after year...

Kay sez Rick's campaign is hindering her campaign...

LOL (link).

Bill White... taking shots at Rick...

Bill White is aiming at Rick, saying nothing about Kay or Medina (link). Excerpt follows...

White, who said he expects Perry to be the Republican nominee, had sharp barbs for the incumbent during his speech. Referencing the allegation that Perry asked Texas Tech University trustee Mark Griffin to resign after Griffin endorsed Hutchison, White said, “That seems to me like corruption.”

“It is a public official advancing a personal agenda through his public office. We are better than that in Texas,” White said.

Them's fightin' words...

Then there was Bill White calling Rick part of the forces of darkness (link). Excerpt follows...

In his remarks, White took aim at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is locked in a Republican battle for re-election against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Wharton County Party Chairwoman Debra Medina.

After the primary, "when the forces of darkness are licking their wounds, let's get out there," White urged Democrats.

Forces of darkness really?

Bill White later went out of his way to make sure people knew he was talking about Rick and not Kay or Medina (link). Excerpt follows...

Former Houston Mayor Bill White had some tough words at the Dallas County Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Union Station.

He urged the partisan crowd to get ready to defeat the "forces of darkness" after the primary season was over.

White spokesperson Katy Bacon said the Democratic candidate for governor was referring to incumbent Rick Perry, not Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Here's her statement:

"On Saturday night, Bill was NOT referring to "his GOP rivals" in discussing a post-primary scenario. Bill was referring specifically to Governor Rick Perry, who by all accounts is expected to win the Republican nomination after a difficult primary.

It's widely known that Perry practices the politics of wedge issues, talking openly about secession, campaigning with the divisive Sarah Palin and making appointments based on political, or financial litmus tests.

Rick Perry has let Texas fall behind in important ways, instead of moving our state forward.


On many occasions Bill has openly said he agrees with Senator Hutchison on her criticisms of Governor Perry, from TexDot, to toll-roads and cronyism. He has also worked closely and effectively with many Republicans including Senator Hutchison"

Funny... almost seems like Bill White is trying to harm Kay by buddying up to her and saying how he is very similar to Kay in terms of their criticisms... and how he the Democrat has worked closely with Kay...

In this video from the Austin Chronicle Bill White takes shots almost exclusively at Rick (link)...


I am still predicting that Rick wins without a run off, and I get the feeling that with or without a run off Bill White is going to aggressively go after those disaffected Republicans who voted for Kay while Rick and his team are busy reloading and reconfiguring their campaign guns to launch toward Bill White.

In the end the Kay voters will overwhelmingly back Rick, but a run off would be very beneficial to Bill White... that is unless Rick can steamroll Kay in a run off and actually end up with a lot of momentum out of that... sometimes the act of campaigning is expensive and damaging in terms of negative ads, but it is also energizing and helps a campaign sharpen its focus and learn how to win in hand to hand combat...

I think no matter what it will be a tough battle in November between Rick and Bill White but the final spread will be a lot closer to 10 points no matter what the polls may say throughout the campaign...

I also think Bill White using rhetoric like "forces of darkness" is damaging to his own image that he tries to craft as a consensus building moderate... it makes him sound more like the partisan player that is truly is...

Digging into the PPP poll... Among Republicans Rick 46, Kay 29, Medina 16...

So who will vote in the Republican primary? Mostly Republicans? Lots of Democrats? Independents? (link)...

It all depends on how many Republicans, Independents, and Democrats show up to vote in the Republican primary, but Rick does much better when you take the Democrats out... and that Independent/Other number is pretty amazing and again is a big outlier compared to other polls...

The last time a PPP poll came out showing Rick at 39%, everyone said, "welp, that means there's a run off..."

Then the next day or two lots of other polls showed Rick at 45% or 49% and Rick winning more than 50% when leaners were added... everyone said, "welp, looks like there won't be a runoff."

Now people are back to PPP... the latest polls are always the most authoritative even if they are consistent outliers...

A run off would basically just prolong the negative ads for more than a month... and delay the inevitable...

PPP poll has Rick 40%, Kay 31%, and Medina 20%...

The liberal PPP out of North Carolina has a new poll that shows the race going to a run off (link). Excerpt follows...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Perry still favored

Debra Medina is fading in the Texas Republican race for Governor, and it continues to look like the contest is headed for a runoff where Rick Perry will be a strong favorite over Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Perry leads with 40% to 31% for Hutchison and 20% for Medina. Compared to PPP's look at the race two weeks ago Perry has gained a point, Hutchison has gone up three, and Medina's standing has declined by four.

Unless Perry wins the remaining undecideds by an overwhelming margin and/or peels off more of Medina's support it looks like he won't get to the 50% needed for an outright victory next week. But he leads Hutchison 52-35 in a potential runoff thanks in large part to Medina's supporters, who say Perry is their second choice by a 52-24 margin.

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Medina's standing. Her favorability spread in the previous poll was 40/9 for a +31 net positive. Now she's at 36/30 for a net positive of just +6. A 25 point drop on your numbers in the span of just two weeks is pretty unusual.

Fair or not the issue of whether Medina is a 'truther'- someone who thinks the federal government was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks- seems to be hurting her. 21% of primary voters think she subscribes to that theory while another 29% are unsure. Among that half of the electorate Medina is getting just 7% with 51% going to Perry and 30% to Hutchison. Medina actually leads with the half that does not think she is a truther, with 33% to 32% for Hutchison and 29% for Perry.

Although it now appears Hutchison will safely avoid the embarrassment of a third place finish her weak standing with conservative voters continues to make it unlikely that she will fare well in a primary electorate dominated by them. She actually has a negative approval rating- 43/45 with them- and trails Perry 45-24. She has a dominant 51-26 lead with moderates, but they account for just a quarter of likely voters.

Hutchison's struggles are not necessarily a product of voters disliking her so much as their wishing she would just stay in the Senate. 37% say that's the office they would like her serving in compared to 31% who wish she was out of elected office and 24% who would like her as Governor.

As for Perry his 50/41 approval spread within the GOP primary electorate is pretty mediocre but barring some major change of events he should win nomination for another term. That will set up what will likely be his closest race for Governor yet against Houston Mayor Bill White, who's cruising to the Democratic nomination with a 59-12 lead over his main challenger.

Full results here
My math yesterday was definitely moot because I felt like more people would know Medina is a 9/11 truther... according to this poll only 21% know she is a truther, and 29% are unsure... so that half is lumped into the "yes she is a truther" category they teased yesterday? What about the other 50%? They think she is not a truther? Could be. Who knows.

I have to say again that the PPP poll always seems to be an outlier... they also showed Kay up by huge margins in early 2009, which I felt was inflated...

They have also showed Rick below where most other polls are showing him. When others were showing Rick at 45 or 49, they had him at 39. Now there aren't other polls post Medina truther comments, but they have Rick at 40. According to their poll Rick is going to a run off... even if he wins over lots and lots of the undecided voters.

I have predicted a win on March 2 without a run off, but if the PPP poll is correct we are in for a Punxsutawney Phil scenario... six more weeks of negative campaign advertisements and a huge cost to the party... as Bill White without a runoff consolidates his support and raises millions. Lord, help us.

Monday, February 22, 2010

PPP poll coming out Tuesday... Medina does well among peeps who still don't know she is a 9/11 truther...

The liberal polling outfit PPP is teasing a poll for tomorrow (link). Excerpt follows...
-Debra Medina actually leads the race with people who think she's not a truther- with 33% to 32% for Kay Bailey Hutchison and 29% for Rick Perry. But with voters who think she is a truther, or that she might be, she gets only 7% to 51% for Perry and 30% for Hutchison. What portion of the electorate do each of those groups comprise? We'll tell you tomorrow.

-In yet another sign that there may really be no difference between the 'Tea Party' and the Republican Party, 74% of GOP primary voters there say they 'support the goals of the Tea Party movement.' It's basically the whole party sans the moderates...if centrist Republicans split off and did their own thing that might really shake up American politics. More and more though it looks like the 'Tea Party' movement is nothing more than a group of GOP voters who gave themselves a special name.
My guess is that approximately 75% know Debra Medina is a 9/11 truther. 25% don't. If those are the ratios, then the total number would be 38.25+7.25=45.5% for Rick... 22.5+8=30.5% for Kay... and 5.25+8.25=13.5% for Medina. Which leaves 10.5% undecided.

If only 60% know Medina is a 9/11 truther and 40% don't, then the numbers are...
Rick 30.6+11.6= 42.2%
Kay 18+12.8= 30.8%
Medina 4.2+13.2= 17.4%
That would leave 9.6% undecided.

If only 40% know Medina is a 9/11 truther and 60% don't, then the numbers are...
Rick 20.4+17.4= 37.8%
Kay 12+19.2 = 31.2%
Medina 2.8+19.8= 22.6%
8.4% undecided under that scenario.

There may be a whole other category of peeps who are unsure or "don't know" they aren't telling us about. If that is the case, then these numbers are are moot... but it will still look closer to a big lead still for Rick and small numbers for Medina. For example if 30% understand that Medina is a truther and 10% think she is not... with 60% not knowing either way... then there is no real way to guess what those other 60% believed.

If you are wondering whether Debra Medina is a 9/11 truther or not, visit these links (link) (link) (link) (link) (link). She is not only a 9/11 truther she is into all kinds of crazy conspiracy theories.

Hair

What do the candidate's hairdos say about them? The Statesman has the analysis (link). Excerpt follows...

Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican: Swept back, curled under, flawlessly highlighted, the former University of Texas cheerleader's hair is a thing to behold. With minor variations, she's had the same style — parted just left of center, if at all — for decades. The political subtext? No flip-flopping.

"I think she's mastered her own look," Forbes says. "Women who are icons, they need to stay the same, only make it better and better, and I think she's done that. I think she looks great." He praised her well-maintained highlights and adds that even in Washington, Hutchison "still looks like she's from Texas."

Debra Medina, Republican: This woman wears her conservatism on her sleeve — and her head. It's not like we could have expected her to wear an untamed look like Rachel Zoe's. Medina parts her dark brown hair on the right and wears it in a no-nonsense, flat style in which it would be quite difficult to conceal a handgun. Political subtext: Conservative roots, all the way. Never say dye.

There's nothing fluffy about Debra Medina, and Forbes thinks that's unfortunate.

"She could plump it up a bit," he says. "She's in the public eye, after all."

Rick Perry, Republican: Governor Goodhair, as the late Molly Ivins famously dubbed him, has already gotten a lot of mileage out of his dark, fluffy mane, and as the incumbent, he would seem to be hair apparent to the governor's throne.

Perry's hair, parted on the right (but not the far right) is so famous that it has its own Twitter account (@GovPerrysHair ). At this writing, the hair has 840 followers. The hair's Facebook fan page hasn't done quite as well: Only 21 fans have signed on, many of whom appear to be high school students doubtless looking for a good hair role model. Political subtext: He sees himself as the mane attraction, and he's not afraid to get Bushy at times.

"I like his hair. It's got something that's seriously working for him," Forbes says. "He's a very handsome man."

I have actually noticed Debra Medina's hair more than Rick's hair or Kay's hair. I feel like Rick's hair is pretty overrated... Medina's hair seems to change often... as if she is trying to find herself in terms of visual image... if you watch her videos and look at her photos she has had a lot of different looks over the past year...



Debt and Kay...

Fox News analyst Mort Kondracke has some harsh words for Kay and a few others who voted against a debt elimination commission (link). Excerpt follows...

Even as President George W. Bush ran up higher debt with tax cuts, unpaid-for wars and the Medicare prescription drug benefit – which Democrats wanted to be bigger – he proposed Social Security reform and a debt commission.

Democrats torpedoed both. Now, President Barrack Obama is running up the debt even faster – with a stimulus program to fight Bush’s deep recession and new entitlements for college students and the uninsured, plus tax-cut extensions – but also wants a deficit commission.

And, no surprise, now Republicans are refusing to play. In the most outrageous act of irresponsibility in memory, seven Republican senators last month killed a bipartisan commission proposal they had previously co-sponsored.

If and when the debt bomb explodes, their names deserve to be memorialized in infamy: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, in the lead, along with Sens. Sam Brownback, of Kansas; Mike Crapo, of Idaho; John Ensign, of Nevada; Kay Bailey Hutchison, of Texas; Jim Inhofe, of Oklahoma, and – perhaps joining McConnell in the lead – supposed deficit-hawk John McCain, of Arizona.

Big John Cornyn voted for the commission. So did Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, and others... I think Kay's excuse for voting incorrectly on this debt reduction commission just does not hold water.

Kay did vote 9 separate times to raise the debt ceiling and that has been rated as true by even PolitiFactTexas... maybe her support for higher debt has something to do with her husband's bond business which relies on government debt to flourish... who knows...

Rick and Kay on Inside Texas Politics....

Rick and Kay both went on Inside Texas Politics on Sunday... along with fringe 9/11 truther Debra Medina...

Rick went on first...

Kay went on second...

9/11 truther Debra Medina went on last... although I don't really get why she is still a credible candidate worthy of appearing on a well respected show like this after all of her crazy statements lately...

I think Kay did the worst. She really got called out for distorting the truth on Rick's spending record by Brad Watson... Medina did okay... she at least said she didn't think the government did 9/11 this time. Rick did the best of the three but seemed almost a little too overconfident... he should be a little more humble and less smart alecky.