Perry’s agenda in peril?

Posted in 2010 Primary, 81st Legislature, Around The State, The Lege, Uncategorized at 9:03 am by wcnews

Over the weekend the DMN had an interesting article on the likely GOP primary for Governor, Texas primary could help define GOP of future. It does a good job of highlighting the difference between the two camps in the Texas GOP. Call it the HW Bush Republicans vs. the W Bush Republicans.

In Texas, where Republicans hold every statewide office, some are watching the Hutchison-Perry race as a test of whether big-tent conservatives or the GOP’s social-conservative wing will shape the party’s future just as Democrats begin to show signs of being competitive again.

“You’ve got a very hard case to make that Kay Bailey Hutchison wouldn’t be the stronger general election candidate,” said Charles Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report. “To me, she projects moderation, which is great – except in a Republican primary.”

Perry has the clear advantage in the March primary, Cook said.

Recent GOP primaries have averaged around 650,000 voters, and religious conservatives have dominated the outcome.

Next year’s primary could attract more than 1 million voters. Both candidates are well known: Perry has been governor since 2000, and Hutchison has served in the Senate since 1993.

Hutchison’s political team believes its campaign would benefit from a higher turnout and is targeting center-right voters, including suburban women and economic conservatives.

“What Hutchison is saying is that what most of us are looking for is a party that has core fiscal principles – Republican principles that include people who may or may not agree on the social issues,” said Rich Galen, a GOP political consultant and one-time Hutchison adviser.

Hutchison supports embryonic stem cell research and abortion rights, though she backs restrictions on abortion such as a ban on federal funding for organizations that perform abortion and a ban on late-term procedures.

Perry political consultant Dave Carney said the Republican governor agrees the party should welcome new voters.

“But that doesn’t mean you take your principles and throw them out the door and become a whorehouse and let anybody in who wants to come in, regardless,” Carney said.

As the Texas GOP blood bath approaches, Gov. Perry has decided that Texas needs corporate welfare more than human welfare. From Katherine Haenschen at BOR, Perry Asks for $900 Million in Texans’ Tax Dollars After Rejecting Fed Stimulus Funds.

After rejecting $556 million in federal stimulus dollars to expand unemployment benefits here in Texas, Governor Perry has decided to request another $900 million from our own Texas taxpayers’ pockets to fund his office’s business development initiatives. This comes after Perry’s projects have already been sucking money out of our unemployment trust fund. Seems like Governor Perry’s just in it for himself, and not for hard-working Texans who can’t stay afloat in this tough economy.

Ahh, the free market. But Kuff has the news about Perry’s agenda and how it’s faring as session in careening to a close, Whatever Ricky wants.

Recent history has shown that while the House in particular has been willing to take a slap at Perry here and there, in the end the Governor has won a lot more of these staredowns than he’s lost. On the other hand, he doesn’t have Tom Craddick twisting arms for him this time around, and with the miniscule Republican margin, he may just suffer a few setbacks. Bear in mind that as long as Speaker Straus continues the tradition of not voting on legislation, if Rep. Ed Kuempel remains on the sidelines any straight partisan vote will be a tie, on which legislation fails to pass. Voter ID in particular may not be passable now, if Dems stick together. Just whipping Republicans won’t be enough.

He also says that he’s hearing a special session may be inevitable.

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