31 October 2005
I bet Tom DeLay likes this headline
The same judge, the same prosecutor, the same defense attorney, the same Republican complaints of political payback, and the same courtroom strategy. The case against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is playing out like a rerun of a Lone Star court drama that unfolded in 1993-94.
30 October 2005
Willie raised $170k for Friedman
Kinky Friedman, who has had quite the burn rate, raised $170k from a fundraiser at Willie Nelson's ranch.
Dave Beckwith moving to Cornyn's team
David Beckwith is leaving the Kay Bailey Hutchison re-election effort in favor of being Senator Cornyn's state director.
I guess after Senator Hutchison decided not to challenge Rick Perry in the primary, there wasn't nearly as much fun to be had for Beckwith.
The Statesman ed board isn't a fan of the Grandma
The Austin American-Statesman's editorial board doesn't think much of Carole Keeton Strayhorn's campaign thus far:
Texas needs State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn to run an intelligent, coherent campaign in her challenge to Gov. Rick Perry in the Republican primary because the incumbent — any incumbent — should be called to account. But Strayhorn's campaign so far is unimpressive, at times even silly.They deride Strayhorn's recent proposal to send every Texas homeowner a check for $260 as "a political gimmick."
The Texas Credit Union League is holding a campaign school on Tuesday and Wednesday in Austin. Repbulicans go on Tuesday and Democrats on Wednesday. The class is free, of course.
Its a pretty solid lineup of speakers for both the GOP and Dems. If I didn't have classes with mandatory attendance, I'd probably go just to hear some of the speakers. I imagine Jan van Lohuizen would be worth the trip by himself.
Interesting idea for a lobbying group.
Kay Bailey '08?
Bob Novak's most recent column includes this:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has approached Republican fund-raisers in her home state of Texas to test the waters for a possible 2008 presidential nomination, but party sources believe she is mainly interested in a vice presidential nomination.As before, passed on without comment, at least for right now.
Supporters describe Hutchison as saying that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Democratic nominee, the Republicans must consider putting a woman on their ticket. Hutchison, who has held statewide elective office for 15 years, would head the list for the GOP.
National ambitions may have factored into Hutchison's decision against challenging Gov. Rick Perry in a bloody Republican primary for governor next year. Hutchison chose instead to seek re-election to the Senate.
28 October 2005
I confess to some mild confusion. Karl-T at BOR has written:
Remember, in Texas, if we had Presidential level turnout, we'd be as much up shit creek with this Amendment as even Oregon was with their $2.4 million in aid from the NGLTF. It's not that we want low turnout either, we need the correct turnout. By making this big splash in the press about us running ads in Houston, not only are Houstonians aware of what's going on from the ads, but so is the rest of the state and those on the right that are paying attention to what we are up to. It's hard to ignore a fifth of a million dollars suddenly playing with Prop 2 turnout.This paragraph makes it seem that Karl-T doesn't think that Prop 2 can be defeated if Texans are paying attention.
I think he's probably right (vividly blue state Oregon approved a similar amendment), which makes me wonder why the entire content these days of Burnt Orange Report is mostly devoted to efforts to defeat Prop 2. I understand that they feel strongly about it, and perhaps there is a small chance that if they defeat Prop 2 once, then they won't have to deal with it again. But it seems that if they successfully defeat Prop 2 now, then Republicans will find a way to put Prop 2 on a regular election ballot.
Putting Prop 2 on a regular election ballot sounds to me like something Democrats would not like.
27 October 2005
SCOTUS takes up redistricting
The Supreme Court takes up Texas redistricting to determine whether they should grant certiorari to hear the case.
The case is captioned Travis County, Texas, et al. v. Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, et al.. Will there be a hearing? My guess would be no, but who knows? The Supreme Court seems to issue a high-profile redistricting opinion every ten years when reapportionment occurs. This will be John Roberts first crack at redistricting cases, so if he thinks a change is somehow necessary then we will soon find out if SCOTUS grants cert.
Dallasblog.com is a new for-profit venture by some former journos that looks to focus on Dallas and Texas news and issues. They've got sub-blogs set up on the Wright Amendment, Robin Hood/school finance, and pro-strong mayor in Dallas.
They also mention Roy Spence as a potential Dem candidate for governor, while mentioning the rumor that Houston Mayor Bill White will be re-elected as Mayor and then immediately file to run for Governor. I've heard it from several sources, but don't buy it for a second. Bill White isn't running statewide in '06. However, I'm confident he'll be on the statewide ballot in 2008 or 2010. The Democratic statewide bench is very slim.
Early voting growl
Is there a good reason why early voting in Harris County closes at 4:30? Is there a good reason why the pollworkers at Fiesta have to be less than courteous when I show up at 4:30.01?
Dumbest scandal ever
There's been a little bit of a fuss here in Houston about the fact that City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado claimed to have graduated from UH when she had not.
That fact alone makes it sound significant, but it's not. Initially, it sounds similar to when once Democratic rising star Lena Guerrero claimed to have a college degree, but actually was lying. In this circumstance, Alvarado thought she had graduated, and there's no reason not to believe her. She completed her coursework, but failed to take a superfluous writing exam that is no longer a degree requirement.
She's a Democrat. I'm a Republican, but I think everyone should agree that this is much ado about nothing. This is not a scandal and it hardly even reflects poorly on her. I'm glad to see that the local blogosphere has treated the issue responsibly.
So what if she was technically not a graduate? Mistakes happen, especially when dealing with arcane graduation rules requirements. She had a job, moved away from Houston and didn't think about it. She didn't get a paper copy, but that's no crime. Some people don't obsess over mere pieces of paper.
This is why good people don't run for office and it's a shame. Criminalizing ethics and innuendo politics are corrosive to our democracy.
26 October 2005
Perry presidential trial balloon
From a National Journal interview with Grover Norquist:
Q: Jeb Bush would clear the field?Passed on without comment, at least for right now.
Norquist: I think the reason there is a chance for Jeb Bush, and the governor of Texas, or Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, is that all three could run on spending. They have been good on taxes, but they have also been good on spending. [Texas Gov.] Rick Perry cut $10 billion out of the biennial budget when he was first elected, when he was cleaning up after the previous governor's [George W. Bush] spending spree. Jeb Bush has dropped state employment 5 percent a year. Pretty good. Sanford, 100 vetoes [of spending] that the Legislature overrode. Each of those three guys could run as a Reagan Republican, Bush-friendly spending-restraint guy, and I tend to think that is something that will give credibility to candidates.