Weyrich on KBH vs Perry
Senator Hutchison said she would make up her mind about running against Governor Perry or running for another term in the Senate. She would have no trouble getting re-elected. The Democrats most likely would endorse a sacrificial candidate to run against her. Senator Hutchison is more liberal than her colleague, Fellow Republican Senator John Cornyn, and almost all other Republicans in the Texas Congressional Delegation. In fact, one motivation for Senator Hutchison, we are told, is her frustration over continually having to take more conservative stands than she would like but she tries to be loyal to President Bush and the more conservative GOP leadership in the Senate. When she served one term as Chairman of the Senate Steering Committee she would cringe when advised of positions she should take with the Senate’s conservative leadership. Most Senators serve multiple terms as chairman of this caucus of conservative Senators. She did not.
The incumbent Governor may be tough to beat. While not having the engaging personality of a George W. Bush or even an Ann Richards Governor Perry nevertheless is a solid conservative who vowed he would run on his record. He adamantly opposes tax increases. He was victorious over the budget crisis, (which nearly every Governor has experienced). Texas had a $10 billion deficit. Perry is the ONLY Governor to have balanced the budget without raising taxes. In fact, in this session of the Texas State Legislature Governor Perry is tangling with some fellow Republicans, a few of whom want to raise taxes and revenues. The Governor's answer has been consistently "no."
Perry has the support of social conservatives who have become a very important part of the Texas GOP. Indeed the expanded party base has developed at the expense of pro-life and pro-family Democrats who left their party after it was dominated by Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and other leftwing groups. In the last session of the Texas Legislature, Governor Perry led the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act. He led the passage of a unique “women’s right-to-know” law, which requires that prior to seeking abortions women receive information about the possible consequences of such a procedure. It is an informed-consent law which other states are reviewing as a possible model for regulating abortion. Perry also led and passed the "Pre-Natal Protection Act," which is really the Lacy and Connor Peterson Law for Texas. This session the Governor supports enactment of a parental-consent abortion law and wants a Constitutional amendment on marriage approved at the federal level.
Already the Governor and Senator Hutchison have clashed over embryonic stem cell research. Senator Hutchison favors expanding the available lines for stem cell research. Governor Perry takes President Bush's position that one does not destroy potential human life in the name of scientific research. It is not clear what Senator Hutchison's position is on pro-family issues that Governor Perry has advocated but she came to the Senate as a supporter of abortion rights. She has voted for most pro-life issues in the intervening years, however, because most abortion votes have involved funding and other marginal issues rather than abortion itself.
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