Monday, April 27, 2009

Perry's raises more from Washington donors than Kay?!?

The Associated Press is reporting today that, "Perry has collected $2.7 million from Washington since becoming governor — four times more than Hutchison's $670,000 from Washington during the same period, a Morning News analysis found".

Perry has been able to raise far more than Hutchison overall because federal campaigns have limits on individual donations, while Texas state campaigns do not. A slightly higher percentage of Hutchison's campaign money has come from Washington.

The money has come from political communities, lobbyists, individuals and interest groups.

We reported last month that Perry's political strategy is to paint Senator Hutchison as a 'Washington outsider'. The AP article continues with comments from Kay's campaign manager and the Texans for Public Justice:

The governor's financial support from the Beltway undercuts efforts to distance himself from the nation's capital by painting himself as the candidate of Texas-style government and Hutchison as the candidate of Washington, which recently landed Perry in the national spotlight amid talk of Texas secession.

"Governor Perry has built a fundraising mechanism well beyond the boundaries of Texas," said Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit group that tracks campaign money. "He has been very successful with special interest groups inside the Beltway."

Hutchison campaign manager Rick Wiley said it's more evidence that Perry likes to bash Washington but has no problem taking its money — except for $555 million in federal unemployment stimulus money, which the governor says has strings attached and he has rejected.

"One has to wonder what kind of strings he's attached to the fundraising haul he had from Washington, D.C.," Wiley said.

Friday, April 24, 2009

AP reports that Perry is comfy on the right

KVR picked up on a Associated Press report by Kelley Shannon in the Dallas Morning News. Kelley's report indicates that Perry's strategic goal of staying to the right is working so far; and he's comfortable there.
The two-term governor is lately offering fiery remarks that appeal to highly conservative voters as he gears up for a rough, expensive re-election race against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for the GOP nomination.

"There certainly is a strategy there, and one that he's run before," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University. Perry, who has never lost an election, is working to nail down the support of social and economic conservatives who tend to dominate Texas' GOP primary voting before he even thinks about moving toward the middle to appeal to a larger group of Texans, Jillson said.

Recent history shows pleasing those conservative voters is the key to winning GOP primaries in Texas. No more than about 650,000 of Texas' 13 million registered voters typically vote in a Republican gubernatorial primary, but there usually aren't two heavyweight contenders on the ballot.

Whoever survives that contest for governor in March 2010 is the favorite to win the November general election in the still-reliably Republican state.

The challenge for Hutchison, who's more moderate than Perry on social issues like abortion and embryonic stem cell research, is to attract middle-of-the-road voters and suburban women to the GOP primary, Jillson said. By doing that, he said, she could form a foundation for Texas Republicans' future as the state's demographics change and voters become less conservative.

"I think that argument is there to be made because Perry does amaze and offend regularly," Jillson said.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Secede! Or, drink some more tea.

A lot of media attention has been focused on Governor Perry's comments that bordered on calling for secession. Hilary Hylton of Time Magazine reported, "It was the shout-out heard around the world: Texas' Republican governor Rick Perry's praise for his state's tea-party protesters, accompanied by not-so-veiled references to a potential Lone Star State secession."
Dressed in jeans, boots and a baseball cap with a camouflage peak and a hunting outfitter's logo, the Texas governor was one of the few major politicians to appear at the tea parties across the country. While crowds yelled "Secede! Secede!," Perry — 60 but telegenic and youthful — thought out loud that secession might be the outcome if Washington does not mend its "oppressive" high-spending, dictatorial ways. (Most experts say the notion that Texas can legally secede is mistaken, but the state does have the right to split into five states, offering the prospect of 10 U.S. Senators, math that would send cold shivers down any Democratic back.)

After the rallies, Perry downplayed his secession comments, amending them in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to say, "I'm trying to make the Obama Administration pay attention to the 10th Amendment." The so-called 10th Amendment movement, asserting the rights of the states to claim all powers not granted specifically to the Federal Government, has been grist for conservatives for more than a decade. The movement got a boost following the Democratic return to dominance in Congress and more traction when federal dictates about how to spend stimulus money raised hackles in places like Texas and South Carolina. Some two dozen state legislatures are considering or have passed resolutions supporting the 10th Amendment.

Governor Perry seems to be pandering to the radical right wing supporters who seemingly hate President Obama. Hilary's article in Time Magazine is humorous and shows just how much Perry's national media strategy seems to be working.

Hilary's article in Time continues with comments from Royal Masset:

Nevertheless, one longtime Republican analyst and numbers cruncher, Royal Masset, believes Hutchison will defeat Perry and be the next governor of Texas. Polls suggest she has an early lead, and Masset points to her overwhelming victories in the past as evidence of her wide support not only among Republicans but also among independents, who can vote in Texas primaries. He has urged Perry to forgo another gubernatorial bid. Masset believes that Perry should be content with one major accomplishment: helping to create more jobs in Texas than the rest of the U.S. during his tenure. "Your place in history is secure," Masset wrote in a recent analysis piece for the Quorum Report, an insider political newsletter that circulates out of Austin, the state capital. "You would be freed up to do great things on the national scene where real power is now held by media stars such as you."

It is not likely to be advice Perry will heed. He is already the longest serving governor in Texas history — as lieutenant governor, he took over for President-elect George W. Bush in December 2000. That has given him unparalleled influence over state government, where much of the governor's power resides in appointments to boards and commissions. Masset believes that more of that kind of centralization of power "will lead to Washington-style corruption. We need new people with new ideas. We need new appointees and new blood."

Friday, April 10, 2009

Perry says the Federal Government is Oppressive

The governor of Texas gathered in the State Capitol building with reporters, citizen activists and lawmakers to declare the Federal government's oppression on our State. No, this isn't a history lesson about Texas' seventh governor Sam Houston in 1861. It was actually Governor Rick Perry speaking yesterday at the Capitol in support of House Concurrent Resolution 50.

To understand the governors endorsement of the resolution and the excitement of confederate-like supporters, one must put the content of the resolution into perspective. Here's a brief excerpt:
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United State over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United State; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effect immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers...

It seems that this was an attempt by Governor Perry to denounce portions of the Federal stimulus bill and lay the framework for his campaign strategy of Washington versus Austin.

Jason Embry at the Austin American Statesman highlighted Perry's comments in his blog this morning:
Gov. Rick Perry appeared with about 30 Republican legislators — and Democrat Ryan Guillen on Thursday to push for House Concurrent Resolution 50, which according to its caption, affirms “that the State of Texas claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated.”

Perry, who happens to be running for re-election against (and trailing) someone who has been part of the federal government for almost 16 years, said, “I believe that our federal government has become oppressive. I believe it’s become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens and its interference with the affairs of our state.”

There was no mention of giving back the $51 billion in federal funds in the current state budget.

Following his speech, the Perry was asked, "Governor, has Senator Hutchison been an active participant in the expansion of Federal powers?"

"I would suggest that there are a number of folks in Washington, D.C. that have seen the Federal powers be expanded, she [Hutchison] being one of them."

The reporter then followed up with a second question, "In what ways, what things has she supported?"

"I'll get you the long distinguished list of those shortly", Perry replied with a chuckle or two coming from the crowd behind him.

This is an interesting strategy from what is supposed to be an all star-team of campaign and staff consultants. Here at KVR we'll be waiting on that long list with Hutchison's actions as a republican United States Senator representing Texan's.

We're sure that the list will include Perry's request for federal assistance in fighting wildfires and Hurricane Ike recovery along with many other federally-funded programs that benefit the State of Texas.

A video report was provided from Ken Herman at the Austin American Statesman showing clips of yesterday's speech given by Governor Perry.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Knight supports Republican Senate hopeful Roger Williams

With so much focus on both Senator Hutchison and Governor Perry for the 2010 gubernatorial race, we can't lose sight of the ever growing important list of possible candidates vying to replace Kay's senate seat.

Today Aman Batheja at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that republican and former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams has added a Knight to his war chest of supporters:

Famed — or infamous, depending on your allegiances — basketball coach Bobby Knight got involved in Texas politics Thursday, throwing his support to Roger Williams of Weatherford, a Republican who plans to run for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat.

Knight, better known in the past for throwing chairs, said of Williams: "He’s not a politician. He’s a businessman and a problem-solver, and he will put Texas ahead by putting Texas children first."

Knight sent the remarks in an e-mail to Williams’ supporters. Knight and Williams have been friends for more than 15 years.

Williams, a Weatherford car dealer and former Texas secretary of state, is one of several who may vie for Hutchison’s seat. Other possible contenders include Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott, Houston Mayor Bill White and former state Comptroller John Sharp.

Mayor White already has his website up and running. Expect others to follow suite soon.

Texas' Governors Race to Affect GOP Nationwide

There is a nationwide fascination with the race between Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and current Texas Governor Rick Perry.

We're still 576 days away from the November 2, 2010 election, but the race appears to be heating up. In the next few days we'll be highlighting the election team and consultants that both Hutchison and Perry have recruited to make sure they inherit the restored Governors Mansion.

Last Sunday the Associated Press reported on the developing race between Senator Hutchison and Governor Perry:

With Republicans nationwide wondering how to reunite the party, two of Texas’ highest-profile Republicans are trading jabs in advance of the 2010 primary race.

Perry insists he’s not thinking about any election during the legislative session, and Hutchison has said she won’t formally declare her challenge until summer.

But still, it’s clear that their clash has already started. Hutchison has rapidly built her campaign team, while the Perry re-election campaign has been digging for dirt on her husband, Dallas bond lawyer Ray Hutchison, at Dallas City Hall.

Meanwhile, the pair spar indirectly over issues including federal stimulus money (both dislike it, but Hutchison said last week that Perry should have tried to find a way to get unemployment money while avoiding federal strings) to million-dollar bonuses for managers of a state investment fund (Perry attacked the bonuses, while Hutchison suggested he was trying to punish one of her campaign supporters).

What looms could be a political cage fight on the national stage that could further split and weaken the party.

“There will be blood,” consultant Mark McKinnon said Sunday in the Austin American-Statesman. He has advised former President George W. Bush and the late Democratic Gov. Ann Richards. “Doesn’t matter who you’re for. It will be fun to watch the shoulder pads crack.”

Watching from afar, University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said the Texas governor’s race, along with fights in Florida and California, could reveal whether Republicans across the board are forswearing political habits.

“If Hutchison can beat Perry in a GOP primary dominated by conservatives, it may indicate that some of the activists have gotten the message: The Republican Party cannot continue to win national elections simply with conservative white males,” Sabato said. “It will project (Hutchison) even further into the national debate.”

“She’s a prominent senator now. To be governor of Texas and to win as a moderate conservative Republican, she becomes a very hot property,” he said. “She’ll automatically become a prospect for vice president.”

Recent polls give Hutchison the early advantage. Most recently, a University of Texas survey of Republican primary voters found Hutchison was the favorite of 36 percent, compared with 30 percent for Perry.

But Perry, who has never lost an election, hasn’t given up ground.

At this point we'll remind our KVR readers that Governor Perry won his 2006 re-election with only 39% which is considered shockingly low. Alas, the AP article continues with an interview of a San Antonio republican:

Intent on winning a third term, which would give him up to 14 years as governor, he’s cast Hutchison as representing freewheeling Washington values in conflict with conservative Texas beliefs.

He hasn’t said so, but Perry’s camp is almost certain to remind voters she’s been a senator for nearly double the eight-plus years he’s been governor. At 65, she’s also older (he’s 59), and the two offer similar big-stage longevity. Both won their first statewide office in 1990.

Some Republicans worry that the contentious fight for the governor’s mansion could strain party ranks.

“I don’t understand this race,” said Jim Lunz, a veteran Bexar County activist. “Why are we having this? Why does Perry want to serve another term? And why does Kay want to leave the position she’s in?”

“If she doesn’t like the job she’s got, then why doesn’t she just go home? ... I would say there are probably a lot of people with these questions,” Lunz said.

While Republicans worry about the party, some Democrats are betting on damage to both Perry and Hutchison.

Fort Worth lawyer Tom Schieffer, a former Bush-appointed ambassador exploring a run for governor as a Democrat, predicts Perry and Hutchison will turn off most voters by focusing on conservative-leaning primary voters.

“It gives somebody like me with a middle-of-the-road philosophy an opportunity to demonstrate what a common-sense approach can do,” Schieffer said.

Here at KVR, we believe that Senator Hutchison must clearly separate herself on controversial issues. A repeat of her confusing and contradictory comments two weeks ago at the Texas Daily Newspaper Association left many reporters and supporters scratching their heads -- we know you've got to keep the republican party line talking points going -- but for goodness sakes, sieze on the opportunity to clearly seperate yourself from key and developing issues that affect Texans.

During her speech to the TDNA, Senator Hutchison spoke about how Perry lacked leadership. Well, now is your chance Senator, show us what you've got. Texans want a governor that will make tough decision and stand by them no matter how controversial they may be. And like him or not, that's what Governor Perry has done so far on controversial issues like HPV vaccinations and giving money to the Texas A&M System for the construction of a new drug laboratory.

Editors Note: Perry's re-election information updated based on feedback from Burnt Orange Report founder, Karl-Thomas Musselman. KVR welcomes and encourages comments to improve our blog postings.