31 December 2009

Up 10, about even, it's all the same.

AP, via the Chron.com:

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison says she's in a "dead even" Republican primary race against Gov. Rick Perry.
Appearing at an Austin news conference about transportation issues Wednesday, Hutchison discounted widely leaked poll results from Perry pollster Mike Baselice.

What did you think she was going to say exactly?

By the way, am I the only one who remembers back the Perry campaign's "we don't discuss poll numbers" with the press? Heh. To be fair, this is entirely consistent.

Posted by Evan @ 12/31/09 06:10 PM | Comments (0)        


The Perry Poll shows him up 13

Hat tip to Rick v. Kay. I don't put too much stock in the commentary, but it is interesting to note. And of course, Baselice has a near impeccable reputation as a pollster.

TO: Texans for Rick Perry

FR: Mike Baselice

RE: Statewide Survey of Republican Primary Voters

Below are a few results froma telephone survey of N=609 randomly selected Republican primary

voters in Texas that we conducted December 19-21, 2009. The margin of error to the results of

this survey is +/- 4.1% at the .95 test level. I am in town all week to discuss in more detail.

Just as we observed in our survey conducted a few months ago, Rick Perry holds a double-digit

lead over challenger Kay Bailey Hutchison.


If the Republican primary election for Governor of Texas was held today, and you had to make a

choice, for which one of the following candidates would you vote? (Randomize choices)

49% Rick Perry

36% Kay Bailey Hutchison

5% Debra Medina

1% Other names (volunteered)

10% Undecided / refused (volunteered)


Since Hutchison spent nearly three million dollars on media in the last four weeks, and the Perry

spent about one million dollars, it is not unexpected for there to be more recall of Hutchison’s ads

than Perry's ads. However, the expenditures by Hutchison have not generated the results her

campaign intended as Perry leads Hutchison by 54% to 36% among those respondents who can

recall television ads about both candidates. Moreover, Perry even leads Hutchison by 46% to 40%

among those respondents who recall television ads only about Hutchison.

Posted by Evan @ 12/31/09 06:06 PM | Comments (0)        


30 December 2009

I hear Dogcatcher is open in Waller County

Does anyone know if Chris Bell has announced yet? Lots of people are sending me emails.

Surely Chris Bell won't let the cycle go by without running for something...anything.

Posted by Evan @ 12/30/09 10:44 PM | Comments (0)        


29 December 2009

I guess I haven't been paying very close attention...

There are a few Rick vs. Kay blogs out there. Specifically, I'd note Come and Take It as well as the succinctly titled Rick vs. Kay.

Perhaps what I find so interesting is that both are written from a very strong point of view -- CATI for Kay, RvK for Rick -- without labelling themselves as such. I don't like that much.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 11:13 PM | Comments (2)        


sabiduria convencional

William McKenzie interviews Matthew Dowd about the gubernatorial race. Not gonna lie, there wasn't much new here.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 11:07 PM | Comments (0)        


Hutchison released her transportation plan

Michael Lindenberger. Here's the lead:

Private toll roads will continue to be a significant part of Texas' transportation solutions should Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison be elected governor in 2010, the candidate said today.

"Public-private partnerships are an important part of a modern transportation system, and can often build roads faster and cheaper than the government could do it working alone," Hutchison said in a new policy paper presented by her campaign, and unveiled at a series of public speeches throughout Texas today.

Ratcliffe's Chron lead:

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison today offered a sweeping plan to overhaul transportation planning in Texas if she is elected governor, but she stopped short of saying how she would pay for it.

Hutchison has cast the final killing off of Gov. Rick Perry’s Trans-Texas Corridor and the restructuring of his state transportation commission as one of the cornerstones of her campaign to oust him in the March Republican primary.

Maybe I'll write more later. Gotta be productive now on something that actually earns me money.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 04:02 PM | Comments (0)        


Cada vez que sale sol, te despiertas tu

Somehow I missed until now former Texas Monthly writer Robert Draper's piece in the NYT . He mostly focuses on the Bushies' quiet support of Kay. That's maybe a topic for another post. What interests me enough to post right now is:

Hutchison told me unequivocally that her contest with Perry has national implications for the Republican Party. "If we don't see the losses in the House and Senate as meaning that we need to retool our party and our message and our governing strategy, then we're going to keep losing," she said as we flew from Dallas to Waco on a campaign-chartered plane.

Frankly, that sort of talk makes me downgrade Hutchison's chances of a comeback. That's generally not the sort of thing that successful candidates talk about. Not only is it germane-a-year-ago-but-not-now* and perhaps a bit self-important, but it distracts from the message.

*A wise professor once told me something like "never feel constricted by the rules of language when attempting to communicate." You Rice people probably know who I'm talking about.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 03:58 PM | Comments (0)        


DeMint v Cornyn

Alexander Bolton, The Hill:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is locked in a battle with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) over the future makeup of the Senate Republican conference.

DeMint (S.C.), the chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee, is going toe-to-toe with Cornyn in Senate Republican primaries.

DeMint has set up a fundraising committee, the Senate Conservatives Fund, to counter the support the GOP establishment may give to centrist candidates in the belief they have the best chance of winning general elections.

I find this interesting because I get the sense that much of the Texas establishment thinks of Cornyn as a DeMint type. It has been my contention that they misread the junior senator. Score a small data point for me.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 02:51 PM | Comments (0)        


Would've liked to see more talk about the bbq in Lockhart

You can watch Last Man Standing, the documentary on the 2002 house race between Rick Green and Patrick Rose, over at Texas Tribune. The link is to part 2, with part 3 to follow tomorrow.

Midway through part 2, I don't think there's any question who Stekler would have voted for.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 02:10 PM | Comments (0)        


KBH to release transportation plan today

I really don't think I can improve on the work of the DMN's Michael Lindenberger

1) Are transportation planners and leaders like Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, right when they say Texas' fast-growing population requires enormous investments in new roads and bridges?

2) If so, how do we pay for those new projects, especially in our busiest cities, when the costs of simply maintaining the aging and growing system we already have continues to rise? New taxes? More toll roads by public entities willing to borrow billions? Capital from private firms willing to build them?

3) Is Texas wise in favoring roads over rail to such a large extent? And if something should change here, how quickly and with what money?

4) Finally, if the money is too tight at the state level, should local governments be allowed to ask their citizens to vote on new, local tax increases and fees to fund local roads?

...I am hoping for clear presentation of thought-through ideas, and there is every reason to suspect she may produce just that tomorrow. After all, her policy staff in Washington told me months ago that transportation has been one of her abiding interests. She has been crucial, for instance, in finding hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the Green Line for DART, and she has long been an advocate for seat belt requirements for motor coaches.

We will see. There's more there, but you should click over if you want to see it.

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 10:32 AM | Comments (0)        


La Abuela Mas Loca (de nuevo)

In my post on the strange crazy fever that has infected a few Texas Democrats, I forgot to mention one detail: since failing to even make the Austin mayoral runoff, One Crazy Grandma has been a lobbyist for a group that is apparently reneging on its promises and angering environmentalists.

That sounds like a great way to win the Democratic primary!

Posted by Evan @ 12/29/09 07:47 AM | Comments (0)        


28 December 2009

Kind of a bizarre thing to say

Gromer Jeffers:

Still, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst told me Tuesday that he would appoint the Select Committee on Redistricting. He didn't name a chairman, but said he had a senator in mind.

Dewhurst feels like the Senate will have a plan, but the "in the end the court may draw the map."

This is a strange statement. Yes, federal redistricting law is ambiguous and byzantine, but why would you begin the process by saying that?

Posted by Evan @ 12/28/09 11:05 PM | Comments (0)        


Encapsulation (part 2)

I criticized the Kay Bailey Hutchison campaign the other day for banning Paul Burka from the debate with Rick Perry, but I saw something outside of the usual Texas sources that got me thinking.

And it struck me: I don't think I've ever seen Burka criticize Hutchison directly. I think he's always criticized her campaign, explicitly or implicitly blaming her campaign staff. Given that, it seems pretty odd for Hutchison campaign staff to remove Burka, a former high school friend of the senator.

Posted by Evan @ 12/28/09 11:00 PM | Comments (0)        


Good luck with that

I noticed that former City Councilman Gordon Quan will attempt to knock off Rice alum Ed Emmett as Harris County Judge.

That seems like a tall task when even a campaign consultant in his party acknowledges that people think Ed Emmett "has done a pretty good job."

One thing I like alot about Emmett is that he isn't a panderer. I remember him debating Charles Bacarisse in front of the Young Republicans, a group he knew to be largely backing Bacarisse, and he pretty much refused to throw any red meat out at all. He just talked about limited government principles and running the county government effectively. The man clearly was immersed in the minutiae of county government.

Posted by Evan @ 12/28/09 10:40 PM | Comments (0)        


Texas +4

As I am back to posting again, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention a report that puts numbers to just how big a winner Texas will be in the next reapportionment.

Texas picks up 4 seats. By contrast, the only other states to pick up seats are Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Washington. They each pick up a single seat. Ohio loses 2. Losing 1 is Lousiana, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

As to partisan balance in the US House, that should swing seats to the GOP by at least 5 seats. The Ohio governor's race will have a significant impact on the final number...as will the Texas gubernatorial race.

Posted by Evan @ 12/28/09 09:43 PM | Comments (0)        


La Abuela Mas Loca

One Crazy Grandma is apparently thinking about trying to run for her old office...as a Democrat.

Texas Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirsten Gray confirmed that former Republican Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn called Democratic party chairman Boyd Richie on Tuesday to discuss running for comptroller as a Democrat. Earlier this month, the Statesman's W. Gardner Selby reported that Strayhorn had also reached out to Houston Mayor Bill White, the party's front-runner for governor.

Quick summary of Strayhorn's career: Democrat Mayor of Austin, switches to the Republicans, becomes a fairly standard Republican officeholder for years until she starts thinking about governor. Switches to independent, runs a quixotic campaign that gets like 10% of the vote, while prevaricating on her position on abortion. Then, she runs for mayor of Austin, coming in a less-than-solid 3rd.

And the Democrats are trying to recruit her? Seriously? I tell you what, if i were a Democrat, I'd be less than happy with Richie. Although I personally distrust people like this strongly, as I assert that they only care about the prestige and attention of holding public office.

That's One Crazy Grandma.

Posted by Evan @ 12/28/09 06:22 PM | Comments (0)        



i just wrote a big post and then lost it near the end. almost every time this happens, the original post never gets redone and I lose my desire to keep blogging.

Posted by Evan @ 12/28/09 04:33 PM | Comments (0)        


Congratulations to Annise Parker

Congratulations to Annise Parker for being the next mayor of Houston. I doubt I'd ever vote for her in a non-mayoral election, but it was pretty clear that she was the best qualified candidate -- being from Rice didn't hurt -- so best wishes for her.

She certainly inherits a city that has been left on shaky financial footing, but she's the best equipped to deal with that, it seems to me.

Posted by Evan @ 12/28/09 02:04 PM | Comments (0)        


23 December 2009


I've been off blogging for a long time. Other priorities, etc etc etc. It's hard to jump back in sometimes.

This, however, is easy. Paul Burka writes:

Ross Ramsey, writing in the Texas Tribune today, has a story that the Hutchison campaign asked that I not be allowed to be a panelist on the gubernatorial debate on the grounds that KERA, the Dallas PBS station that is hosting the debate, and NPR both have policies against opinion writers participating in debates. The story is correct. KERA agreed with the Hutchison campaign and invited Texas Monthly to send another panelist of our choosing. At this point, Texas Monthly withdrew as a co-sponsor of the debate.

It's amazing how Kay Bailey's campaign could so trenchantly encapsulate everything that is wrong with her campaign.

Burka, if anything, is an ally of Hutchison. At this point, though we know Burka thinks KBH has run a ridonkulously bad campaign, I think we have every indication that Burka still plans to vote in the GOP primary, in large part to vote for Hutchison.

If Perry's camp had made this request, they'd be laughed at and accused of threatening the press. KBH's camp will get more of a pass, but it encapsulates everything wrong with her campaign: she has taken people naturally inclined to be allies and given them reason not to support her.

Posted by Evan @ 12/23/09 04:44 PM | Comments (1)        



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