24 November 2008
Over a year and a half ago, I said, "Nick Lampson has a difficult decision to make: quixotic bid for re-election or quixotic bid to unseat Cornyn?"
He wasn't going to beat Cornyn (although perhaps quixotic was a soupcon too strong), but he'd have made it closer than Noriega, which would made Republicans spend money in Texas. As I said all along, including the day before the election, Lampson's bid against Olson was doomed the minute he started running. Quixotic was pretty much the right word.
I do have to quote myself though:
He spent $3.5 million in '06 in a race he couldn't have possibly lost [against a write-in candidate who was a weak candidate at that.]
But Nick Lampson is like Chris Bell. No matter how many times they lose, they'll keep running for something.
21 November 2008
Libertarians think this is the natural end of government
I was formerly involved a little bit with this, so I thought I'd note Robb Walsh's excellent article in the Houston Press:
There's a Texas law that prohibits breweries from selling their beer in their gift shops. Bill Metzger, the publisher of Southwest Brewing News, says it's the worst of many bad beer laws in Texas.
"It doesn't make any sense," he says. "It's like you make a killer brisket at your barbecue joint, and when people come to visit, you have to tell them you can't sell them any. I can't tell you how many small breweries in New York and California have told me that without their gift shop they would go out of business."
Once you subtract retail markup and the distributor's cut, a small brewery sees very little of the price you pay for a six-pack in a supermarket. Fledgling craft breweries don't make enough beer to interest distributors or retailers either, according to Tony Formby, managing partner of Rahr & Sons Brewing Company in Fort Worth. Selling beer for full retail from a gift shop can help a tiny brewery survive.
Yup. Regulations are hindering Texas small businesses in favor of out-of-state brewers. Good job, Texas legislature!
20 November 2008
Dewhurst the first to see the light
Renu Khator gained a new supporter Friday in her push to make the University of Houston a nationally ranked research university.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he will support the school as "a great selection for a Tier 1 university."
Dewhurst was among almost a dozen speakers this afternoon at a formal ceremony celebrating Khator's installation at chancellor of the UH system and president of its central campus.
He didn't provide any details about how the state might help the university achieve its goals, but he did note that Khator has been fiercely determined about the goal since taking the job in January.
An idea long past its due.
Is it me...
or is the rumor mill slowing for a Charlie Stenholm appointment in Obama's administration?
12 November 2008
Carole Strayhorn is running for office....again
You're surprised . . . right? You're not? KVUE:
Carole Keeton Strayhorn has reportedly taken the first step towards running for mayor of Austin.
The Quorum Report says the former state comptroller has filed paperwork and designated a treasurer for her campaign.
Did you ever doubt that she'd be back? And how much do you think her positions will...evolve...this race.
07 November 2008
And then they came back
I'm fascinated to see what happens when the Bushies come back to Texas. By that, I don't mean W and Laura. I mean all the rest of the Texans up in DC. Sure, some are already back or never left -- Rove, Hughes, Dowd, McKinnon, etc -- but it will be interesting to see how and when they engage at a state level.
05 November 2008
No term limits for governor of Texas
Interpret this for me. Lots of google hits on this page over the past few days for some variation of "rick perry term limits."
Don't know what that means, but I will provide an answer: there are no term limits for governor in the idyllic state of Texas.
Why bring back the blog?
It should be fairly evident why I'm bringing back the blog: Rick Perry versus the World might actually happen this time. Now that that silly little presidential election is out of the way, we can focus on the fun stuff: the coming heavyweight primary between Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison.
In the entire period of the GOP ascendancy in Texas, there hasn't been a single high-profile primary. The closest we've come was probably the 1998 Attorney General primary between Cornyn, Pauken and Williamson -- that result had some ramifications, didn't it?
It remains to be seen whether it will really happen. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has feinted several times that she was ready to return home and run for governor, only to jump out of the race. Last cycle she actually went out and hired a campaign staff, but facing a field that included Carole Strayhorn, she took another pass. It would've been a close race, but Perry was the favorite.
Perry surprised some people when he announced that he planned to run for re-election. There are those who think he is merely posturing to avoid being a lame duck for the upcoming legislative session. I wouldn't discount that 100%, but my view of Perry is that is he absolutely planning on running for re-election.
As for known unknowns, we'll see what David Dewhurst does. Most assume that he will wait to see what shakes out -- that is, does Hutchison give up her Senate seat? -- but then the conventional wisdom was that Carole Strayhorn was going to
Should be fun.
It remains to be seen what my posting schedule will be like. I have no commitments to myself on how often I'll post.
04 November 2008
Asymmetrical responses to the W
When George W. Bush left Texas in 2000, he had transformed Texas from a competitive two-party state into an overwhelmingly monolithic Republican state.
When George W. Bush left DC in 2009, DC had become the most Democratic in over a generation.
Books are being written about this, I can guarantee you that.
Overlooked in the race for Craddick vs the World
The polls recently opened, but the result has already been a foregone conclusion for a week: Obama wins by a landslide (7% or so), Dems get to 58 or 59 seats in the Senate, and about 265 seats in the House. There's a pretty high probability that those numbers are pretty close to right: this is not an election where the result is in doubt. Closer to home, Cornyn survives reasonably handily though with less than he should have. Were I him, I'd be thinking hard about 6 years from now. Olsen beats Lampson in a result that was foreordained. Lampson wonders why he wasted $2 million against Shelley 2 years ago. Doh!
There are some interesting Texas Senate races on the plate, but if you're reading this blog you probably know the most interesting races are in the Texas House. Specifically, do Texas Democrats regain the majority or come close enough to knock off Tom Craddick as Speaker?
Seems to me that no one has factored in the bloodletting that is going to occur in the Republican Party. There's tons of dissatisfaction nationally. That's perhaps attenuated by the fact that Texas is still a Republican state and hasn't tasted the defeat of Republicans like in other states. But there is plenty of upset activists. Many folks identify identify with one of the big 3 -- Craddick, Dewhurst and Perry -- and aren't happy with a different member of the big 3. Mix dissatisfaction with factionalism and what do you get?
That's the sort of thing that could bring down Craddick. We'll see; leadership elections are the most fascinating of all.
03 November 2008
Dynasties are bad
Here's something to celebrate, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat: no dynasties this year.
* For the first time since 1972, there is not a Bush or a Dole on the Republican ticket.
* We won't go Bush - Clinton - Bush - Clinton in a succession that would make us look like a downward-spiralling dysfunctional democracy.