Coming on the heels of the revelations that Strayhorn was using state employees to help do research that appeared to be campaign-related, this kinda cements the perception. It keeps the story alive a little longer. And it does seem inappropriate for the comptroller's office to be quoting from campaign press releases.
Colleyville home builder Will Edgington was stunned when he received a letter from Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn on state stationery that included a slam on Gov. Rick Perry's tax plan and a summary of her own campaign platform on tax policy and other matters.
The letter, dated July 18 and carrying the letterhead of the state seal, was sent in reply to Edgington's request for information on how local property appraisal review boards are supposed to conduct business.
The first half of the three-page letter explains how a property owner can appeal a review board's decision or request an arbitration hearing. The last page and a half, however, contain several paragraphs that are almost identical to those from a campaign news release that criticizes the tax plan that Perry pushed through the Legislature last spring as part of a school finance overhaul.
Strayhorn is running for governor as an independent.
"The first part of the letter was fine, but I was surprised to see her go on a rant about the governor's tax plan for a page and half," said Edgington, who is not aligned with any of the candidates for governor. "I was pretty shocked, actually."
But the letter does borrow wording from Strayhorn's stump speeches and campaign literature.
"Perry's plan is a staggering $23 billion short of the funds needed to pay for the promised property tax cuts over the next five years," one passage reads. The letter goes on to say that state leaders "must really fix our school system, really cut property taxes, rein in government spending, crack down on criminals who abuse our children and repeal the largest tax increase in Texas history."
In a May 18 news release issued by her campaign, Strayhorn called Perry's plan "a $23 billion hot check." And she goes on to say that "we can really fix our school finance system, really cut property taxes, rein in government spending, crack down on criminals who abuse our children and repeal the largest tax increase in Texas history."
It also feeds the perception that Strayhorn just has to attack Perry in every opportunity. It sounds like Edgington and Moritz were surprised by the attack, since it didn't appear to be relevant. But who knows, maybe being One Pissed Off Grandma will work.
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