between the Sabine and the Rio Grande...

1. Bell attacks Strayhorn again:

In early June, a lawyer and an accountant who represent businesses challenging taxes collected by state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn's office met with a legal adviser to Strayhorn. By month's end, the visitors and their colleagues had given more than $400,000 to Strayhorn's gubernatorial campaign 13 percent of the $3 million she raised from January through June.

Strayhorn's office said Monday that there was nothing inappropriate about the confab initiated by an Austin lawyer and a Dallas tax consultant. Aides said talk focused on drafting plans for rules implementing the business tax created by lawmakers in a spring special session.

I guess it's too dangerous to attack Friedman, because as a non-traditional/non-serious (choose your own label, I'll provide them both) candidate, he is tougher to attack.

2. Strayhorn wants in with CLOUT:

Comptroller and gubernatorial candidate Carole Keeton Strayhorn has joined a Houston taxpayer group that is suing legislative leaders over a constitutional spending cap.

Strayhorn had been named as a defendant by Edd Hendee, executive director of Citizens Lowering Our Unfair Texas, which filed the lawsuit in June. But in a court filing last week, Strayhorn said she wanted to be aligned with CLOUT.

I don't see Strayhorn weaving a consistent message for voters. It surprised me that she wants to join the lawsuit, but maybe it shouldn't: she can't seem to help herself from criticizing Perry, Dewhurst, or Craddick whenever she gets the chance.

Meanwhile, I had a few talks with different friends in the last week. I just like to take people's political pulse and see what is trickling down through the media filter. Two friends -- who I'd describe as Republicans but not partisan (one said that he planned not to vote for anyone in the gubernatorial race) -- said Strayhorn reminded them of Hillary Clinton. As far as I could tell, it was because they didn't like her tone. Interesting. We'll see how it develops.

3. The Waco Trib:

Fighting a proposed Oklahoma-to-Mexico thoroughfare has long been a pet plank in Carole Keeton Strayhorn's gubernatorial platform. Now, speaking up at public hearings about the controversial superhighway is becoming a pet tactic in her campaign strategy.

Monday evening's Trans-Texas Corridor hearing at the Waco Convention Center was the fifth one that Strayhorn has attended since the Texas Department of Transportation began its 54-meeting circuit two weeks ago, Strayhorn spokesman Mark Sanders said.

"She's trying to get to as many as she can," he said.

At each meeting, she argues that an efficient highway system does not require funding from toll roads and criticizes Gov. Rick Perry for his "secret contract with a foreign company" -- the U.S.-Spanish consortium that the state has approved to build and operate the $184 billion corridor, which would parallel Interstate 35. The Perry administration is now battling an attorney general's ruling to fully disclose the contract.

Strayhorn's tactic of touring public hearings seems to be working. Her complaints about the project are applauded at such forums by rural Texans afraid of losing their farmland.

Hailing from Paint Creek, the Guv has always been strong in rural Texas. So, if successful, Strayhorn would be striking at a piece of Perry's base. Maybe she'll be successful, but I doubt that the TTC is palpable enough yet to really change voting behavior significantly.

4. It's hard to keep up with the immigration bill machinations* in Congress, so here's Michelle Mittelstadt in the DMN on how John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison are on different paths. I still doubt anything is going to happen. Here's what I wrote on May 21, disagreeing with Michael Barone (a scary, scary place to be indeed):

I'm still skeptical that anything ultimately gets done [on immigration]. There are too many complicated issues, too many divergent political interests. And the political interests are often different long and short-term.
*Machinations doesn't exactly fit meaning-wise, but I like the way it sounds. And it's my blog, so I'll alter dictionary definitions when I want to.

Posted by Evan @ 07/25/06 05:53 PM


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oooooh. a quote from 'what i like about texas'

Posted by yet another rice alum @ 07/25/06 10:09 PM

I'm not very creative. I just go with whatever MP3 is playing at the time.

Posted by evan @ 07/25/06 10:17 PM

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