New Back To Basics Ad Targets Governor Rick Perry
October 14, 2010

Coming to a TV set near you today:  A new TV  political ad from the Back to Basics PAC .  

The ad claims that Governor Rick Perry used Hurricane Ike relief funds to help pay for restoration work on the Governor’s mansion.

A spokesperson from Back to Basics says this is a, “six-figure buy for a television ad exposing Rick Perry’s hypocrisy and lies after accepting stimulus dollars he claims he rejected.”

From Mark Miner, Governor Perry’s campaign spokesman:  “This ad represents more of the  same false and negative attacks you would expect from Bill White, the Obama attack machine and his fellow trial lawyers. Governor Perry is focused on addressing job creation, strengthening the economy, securing our border and improving education; issues that matter to the people of  Texas.”

 

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Democrats go after Gov. Perry in Texas
September 28, 2010

I’m posting this election story from the Washington Post, which like  KPRC Channel 2,  is owned by the Washington Post Company. 

It’s about the Democratic  Governor’s Association’s decision to spend money targeting Governor Rick Perry’s bid for relection against democrat Bill White.

Perry’s campaign has also responded to the article, and I’ve posted the statement after the article.

Dan Balz Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, September 27, 2010; 11:07 PM

In a surprise move, the Democratic Governors Association has decided to up the ante in Texas, with plans to launch an attack ad against Gov. Rick Perry (R ) that assails him as a career politician who has lost touch with the people of the Lone Star State. The audacious action comes in a state that has been a Republican stronghold for more than a decade. But Democrats have concluded that, even in a year that tilts strongly toward Republicans, Perry is more vulnerable than he has appeared in his race against Democrat Bill White, the former mayor of Houston. The DGA has already contributed $2 million to White’s campaign. The new ad buy, which is scheduled to begin running in the Dallas area Tuesday, represents an independent expenditure on behalf of White.

A Democratic strategist said the DGA would spend about $650,000 to $700,000 a week on its ad campaign. The latest poll in Texas, conducted by Blum & Weprin Associates for a consortium of Texas newspapers, gave Perry a seven-percentage-point lead, 46 percent to 39 percent. The poll was published on Sunday. Perry’s lead was consistent with other surveys taken in September. The public poll showed White and Perry running about even in the Houston area, where White is well known. But Perry held a solid lead in the Dallas area.

The DGA hopes its ad campaign will cut into that margin there, which could be the key to White’s hopes of winning. Perry became governor in December 2000 after then-governor George W. Bush resigned to become president. He has been reelected twice to four-year terms and is now the longest-serving governor in the state’s history. In a year in which incumbents of both parties have found themselves on the defensive, Democrats hope to turn Perry’s long tenure against him. The ad concludes by saying, “Twenty-five years as a politician has changed Rick Perry alright – for the worse.” A copy of the ad was made available to the Post before it went on the air. The ad attacks Perry on several fronts. Among them are ordering 11- and 12-year-old girls to be vaccinated against a virus that causes cervical cancer and proposing a mammoth Trans-Texas highway corridor that would have taken land from many private property owners. Both proposals eventually were blocked, but Republicans and Democrats have continued to criticize Perry for his actions. Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R ) included both in her primary challenge to Perry last spring but fell far short in her bid to unseat him. Democrats face substantial losses in governors’ races this fall, with Republicans looking to finish the elections with at least 30 of the 50 governor’s mansions. But Democrats are running competitively in three of the nation’s most populous states, all of which elected Republicans governors four years ago.

In California, Democratic attorney general and former governor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. holds a narrow lead over Republican Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay. In Florida, Democrat Alex Sink, the state comptroller, is running even with businessman Rick Scott, who was the upset winner or the GOP primary in August. An upset in Texas could provide an improbable sweep of the big Sunbelt states, although defeating Perry is seen as the most difficult of the three. Democratic officials believe it is worth an additional investment in White’s candidacy to see how vulnerable the incumbent may be.

FROM THE RICK PERRY CAMPAIGN:

Obama Bailing Out Bill White’s Failing Desperate Campaign

After wasting $2 million with direct contributions to White, the Obama attack machine now taking over campaign and creating own negative attack ads

With Gov. Perry holding a commanding 30-point lead over Bill White in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, according to a recent newspaper poll, President Barack Obama and his Washington Democrat attack machine are hoping to bail out Bill White’s failing campaign by funding negative attack ads in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

The Washington Post is reporting: “In a surprise move, the Democratic Governors Association has decided to up the ante in Texas, with plans to launch an attack ad against Gov. Rick Perry (R) that assails him as a career politician who has lost touch with the people of the Lone Star State.  … The DGA has already contributed $2 million to White’s campaign. The new ad buy, which is scheduled to begin running in the Dallas area Tuesday, represents an independent expenditure on behalf of White. A Democratic strategist said the DGA would spend about $650,000 to $700,000 a week on its ad campaign.” [1]

“After wasting $2 million on Bill White’s anemic campaign, the Obama attack machine is now taking matters into its own hands,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Considering Bill White and President Obama share the same liberal philosophy, it’s not surprising that the president’s political team would step in and take over Bill White’s campaign. Governor Perry will continue talking about creating jobs, the economy, border security and other issues that truly matter to Texans.”

Following the release of a recent poll commissioned by Texas newspapers, the Associated Press reported, “According to the survey, Perry leads by more than 30 percentage points in Dallas-Fort Worth.” [2]

President Obama has raised at least $500,000 for the DGA this election cycle. [3]

Last week, the Dallas Morning News reported, “Texas trial lawyers have given $1 million to White through the Democratic Governors Association.” [4]

In August, President Obama headlined a fundraiser in Austin whose invitation said, “Some of the proceeds will remain in Texas to help elect Democrats in Texas, including Bill White as our next governor.” [5]

Bill White is also employing many of the same campaign handlers that President Obama uses: The Strategy Group (direct mail), Revolution Messaging (communications), The Tyson Organization (grassroots), Blue State Digital (internet), and Benenson Strategy Group (polling). [6]

SOURCING

Midnight Deadline Passes: No Debate In Race For TX. Governor
September 16, 2010

Bill White and Gov.Rick Perry both campaigned in Houston on Wednesday, but they were miles apart on the issue of having a debate before the November 2 election.

Perry stood his ground and stuck to the midnight deadline for White to release additional income tax returns covering the years he was chair of the Texas Democratic Party and later served as deputy U.S. Secretary of Energy.

For his part, White accused Perry of playing the people of  Texas by setting artificial conditions for a debate. White, who has released his income tax returns covering the six years he was Mayor of Houston, also said that Perry was disrespecting the people of  Texas.

Both campaigns issued official statements on their rhetorical debate over the debate.  I’ve posted both below:

  

From Perry’s campaign:  Scandal has followed every time liberal trial lawyer has released some past tax returns

For 192 days liberal trial lawyer Bill White has failed to come clean with the people of Texas about how he has profited while serving the public by refusing to release his tax returns for his years in public service. If by midnight tonight Bill White does not release tax returns he filed while serving as Deputy Secretary of Energy (1993-1995) and Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party (1995-1998), because of his actions to hide his business dealings there will be no gubernatorial debate in 2010.

“When the clock strikes midnight, the people of Texas will unfortunately lose the opportunity to see the candidates debate because of Bill White’s lack of transparency and honesty,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Every time liberal Bill White has released some of his past tax returns, scandal has followed. The tax returns Bill White has released revealed that he profiteered following Hurricane Rita, he earned millions while mayor of Houston serving on the board of a company under investigation by Congress for lying to the EPA, and he was not being honest when he said he hadn’t made a penny from the company he formed to exploit his Washington contacts and do business in the Middle East. Why is Bill White still hiding the truth about his financial activity from the people of Texas?”

From Bill White Campaign

STATEMENT: Rick Perry’s refusal to debate

 

25-year incumbent hides from debates, editorial boards, tough questions
HOUSTON — Bill White today issued the following statement on Rick Perry’s refusal to debate, meet with editorial boards or answer tough questions about the $18 billion budget hole.

“There are 18 billion reasons why Rick Perry has decided not to debate. Debates are a means of accountability for voters, and Perry’s showing his true colors as a scripted professional politician who thinks he’s entitled to re-election,” said White. “I’ll debate him anywhere, anytime.”

“Rick Perry will say anything to get elected, but he won’t say it to Bill White’s face in a debate. He’s hoping to get by in a job interview on little feel-good soundbites,” said Katy Bacon, campaign spokesperson.

Bill White released all tax returns from his years as Houston’s mayor, just as Perry has released tax returns from his years in elected public office. While Bill White built businesses, Perry is a 25-year career politician.

“Bill White has released far more detailed information concerning his income than Rick Perry, and that’s not even a close question,” said Bacon.

Harris County Military and Overseas Voters First to Receive Postal Ballots
September 14, 2010

With early voting for the November 2nd election set to begin on Monday,  October 18, the Harris County Clerk’s office is preparing to mail postal ballots.

The ballots will go to military and overseas voters and then will be followed by ballots sent to senior citizens and the disabled.  The clerk’s office sent out the announcement below:

Houston, TX, – The Harris County Clerk will mail approximately 15,000 postal ballots on Saturday, September 18th. Two-thirds of the first postal ballots mailed this election cycle will be to military and overseas voters. Federal law requires election officials to send absentee ballots at least 45 days before the election to any military or overseas voter who has submitted a request by that date.

 “Voting by mail is a lifeline to the democratic process for Harris County registered voters who find themselves outside the County during the early voting period and on Election Day. It is also the most convenient way to vote for voters who are 65 years of age or older, ill, disabled or voters who are confined”, said Beverly Kaufman, the chief elections officer of the County. “I strongly encourage registered voters who qualify to vote by mail to take advantage of the option Texas law affords them.”

 According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 population estimate, 8.1 percent of Harris County’s population is 65 years or older.

           Table 1.   Persons in Harris County who are 65 years or older  

Total White Black Hispanic Asian Other
328,354 191,143 53,895 61,810 18,586 2,920

 A postal ballot is not sent automatically to qualified registered voters. Except for military and overseas voters who requested a postal ballot in the previous major election, registered voters who qualify to vote by mail must submit a completed ballot-by-mail application or a written request every election cycle to receive a ballot. The last day the County Clerk can accept a ballot-by-mail request for the upcoming election is October 26th. Ballot-by-mail applications may be obtained by visiting www.harrisvotes.com.

 Eligible registered voters may submit a completed ballot-by-mail application or written request by regular mail to Harris County Clerk’s Office, P.O. Box 1148, Houston, Texas 77251-1148. Requests sent by courier should be delivered to 1001 Preston, Ste. 440, Houston, TX 77002. If voter is outside the County, the request may be sent by fax to 713.755.4983. The written request must include:

 The name of the voter and the address where the voter is registered to vote;

  • The reason the voter is eligible to vote by mail (65 years of age, ill or have a disability, or plan to be outside Harris County);
  • The address where the ballot should be sent (If voter is outside the county, voters must provide an address outside of Harris County);
  • The voter’s signature

 

For more information on the voting by mail process, voters may call 713.755.6965.

Gov. Perry Focuses on Business in First TV Ad
September 12, 2010

Governor Rick Perry’s campaign today released its first TV political ad leading up to the general election in November.

The ad focuses on business ( jobs and the economy) 

Perry has made the state’s strong economy one of his major messages in the campaign against former Houston Mayor Bill White.  How will voters respond to the political ad, in light of the state’s projected $18 Billion budget shortfall?

Are METRO Troubles A Problem For Gov. Candidate Bill White?
September 9, 2010

One day after the Federal Transit Administration accused METRO of violating procurement procedures, Governor Rick Perry  tried to put the responsibility on former Houston Mayor Bill White.
 
White was in office and appointed the board chairman and most of its members during the time that METRO allegedly violated  federal law when it awarded contracts for two new rail lines.
 
Perry’s campaign today issued a new video called, “Bill White’s Houston METRO-gate.
 
You can watch the video at  a website set up by the Perry campaign:  www.liberalbill.com.
 
At issue is whether METRO violated the “Buy America” rules when it awarded the contracts to a Spanish rail company.
 
According to media reports,  White said he was not familiar with the details of  the report criticizing METRO or the alleged actions of the former board chairman and board members.

Governor Perry Sets Deadline for Debate
September 2, 2010

Will they or won’t they debate?
 
It’s not looking good for voters who really want to compare the two candidates for governor side by side on the important issues before November’s election.
 
Today, Governor Rick Perry announced that he released his 2009 tax returns and challenged Bill White to release his tax returns from the time he served as Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party and Deputy Secretary of Energy.  
 
Perry set a September 15th deadline.   Keep in mind that White has released all of his tax returns for the years that he served as Mayor of  Houston.I really don’t understand why Gov. Perry is determined to set his own rules and conditions for the debate. On the other hand, if White released those forms a debate would be scheduled.
 
I’ve posted the entire Perry campaign statement below:
 
 
Gov. Perry Releases 2009 Tax Returns, Sets Sept. 15 Deadline For Bill White To Release Missing Taxes From His Years In Public Service
Failure by Bill White to come clean will prevent candidate debate


Gov. Rick Perry today released his 2009 tax returns and issued a final call for Bill White to come clean and release all of his income taxes from his years in public service. Gov. Perry has released all of his income taxes dating back to 1987.

If Bill White fails to release the income tax returns he filed while serving the public as Deputy Secretary of Energy (1993-95) and as Chairman of the Texas Democratic Party (1995-98) by September 15, the people of Texas will not get the opportunity to see the candidates debate.

For 179 days, Bill White has prevented debate discussions from occurring by refusing to allow Texans to learn from his tax returns how he profited while serving in public positions that required him by law to file annual personal financial disclosures.

“Texans are tired of waiting for Bill White to release his taxes, as am I,” said Gov. Perry. “I am eager to participate in a debate, as I have during previous statewide campaigns, but if Bill White refuses to be honest with the people of Texas about how he profited while serving the public, I will not share a debate stage with him. Bill White’s staunch opposition to transparency is unbecoming of someone seeking to be elected the chief executive of the greatest state in the nation. There is a very simple solution to this situation. Release your taxes, Mr. White, and we can move forward with debate preparations.”

Copies of Gov. Perry’s 2009 tax returns are available upon request.

Bill White announces 6-point border security plan
September 2, 2010

Both candidates for Texas Governor are stumping in the Houston area today. 

I’m on another assignment, but I’ll keep you posted on the plans being touted by Gov. Rick Perry and former Houston Mayor Bill White.

So far I’ve received White’s message.  He’s pledging to “fund boots on the ground and work effectively with federal and local leaders to secure the border.”

The entire news release is posted:
HOUSTON — Today Bill White announced his 6-point border security plan, laying the groundwork for how he will effectively to secure the border and stop gangs, drug traffickers and human traffickers.

“For almost 10 years we’ve seen empty promises and election year rhetoric from Rick Perry. Perry has failed,” said White. “Texans don’t need any more Perry photo ops and press releases. I will take action, fight hard and effectively for federal resources and work with leaders and law enforcement along the border.”

White will:

  • Fund an additional 1000 local law enforcement positions and 250 state troopers using federal grants, state appropriations and additional drug forfeiture dollars.  
  • Obtain all available federal funding to support border security and direct sufficient discretionary funding to border security efforts.
  • Use state appropriations more effectively.  
  • Establish a formal partnership with local and federal law enforcement agencies and other leaders along the border to promote public safety.
  • Revamp the Department of Public Safety to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
  • Assist local law enforcement agencies in adopting Secure Communities, a program that ensures that criminals in the U.S. illegally are identified and turned over to federal authorities.

For plan details please visit: http://www.billwhitefortexas.com/bordersecurity.

White will appear in Houston, Austin and Hidalgo today: http://www.billwhitefortexas.com/blog/001472.php.

Leaders joining him in Houston and Austin include Hidalgo Mayor John David Franz and El Paso County Sheriff Richard Wiles.

Additional leaders joining White in Hidalgo include Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., Representative Eddie Lucio III, Representative Aaron Peña, Cameron County Commissioners Sofia Benavides and John Wood, Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, Hidalgo Police Chief Vernon Rosser and Palmview Police Chief Robert Barrera.

White has been endorsed by sheriffs responsible for protecting 98 percent of Texans living in counties along the border.

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Bill White for Governor Campaign Recruits A Veteran Political Player
August 29, 2010

The Bill White campaign for governor of  Texas is getting an experienced political operative to help the former Houston Mayor defeat Governor Rick Perry.

I ran into William Paul Thomas Saturday night at the Greater Houston Partnership World Trade Soiree.  He confirmed to 2 On The Beat that he is joining the campaign through election day in November.

Thomas plans to take a sixty day leave of absence from his job as chief  of staff for Houston city council member Sue Lovell.

He wouldn’t provide specifics about his role when I asked him to describe his responsibilities.  He told me that he would to defer to the campaign to make the announcement.

I assume that he  is going to help White  create some excitement and bolster election day turnout in African-American communities across Texas.

I’ve heard grumblings from many Democrats that White is  taking  African-American voters for granted.  

Some are also upset that he doesn’t have a prominent African-American on his campaign staff. 

If  White doesn’t give African-Americans a reason to vote for him in November, many will stay home, and  he’ll have a tough time defeating Rick Perry.

Thomas is a political campaign veteran and he has worked on staff for  U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Senator Rodney Ellis, in addition  to his current job at city hall.

Sen. Ellis Ends Another Texas Legislative Internship Program
June 1, 2010

 

Houston, TX)// – Today 16 students will finish up their terms as participants in the Texas Legislative Internship Program (TLIP).  The students completed their internships in legislative offices; state agencies ranging from the Office of the Attorney General to the Task Force on Indigent Defense; non-profit organizations including the Innocence Project in New York; and the two highest courts in the state, the Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals.

Participants in the TLIP Class of 2010 include:

Susan Akinyemi, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Amy Benya, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Jacob Barber, recent graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Pache Barcliffe, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Justin Campbell, Junior at Arizona State University; Corwyn Davis, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Collette Gadson, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Greg Hardmon; recent graduate of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Justin Hayes, recent graduate of the University of Houston Law Center; Kirk Johnson, graduate of Sam Houston State University; Jose Martinez, graduating senior at the University of Houston; Eddrea McKnight, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Natalie Nguyen, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; Christina Sanders, graduate of Texas Southern University Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs; Austin Shell, 2L at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law; and Philip Stringer; graduate of Auburn University.

“My experience working at the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition has been extremely enlightening,” said Kirk Johnson.  “Working with an advocacy organization and the wonderful staff here has been a great joy in addition to the important work that comes out of this organization. I would encourage all of my peers to strive to be a part of such a prestigious program.”

“Having the opportunity to intern at the Supreme Court presented me with complex challenges and subsequently taught me how to think and react in an environment outside the walls of a classroom and beyond the boundaries of a desk,” said Corwyn Davis.

Added Christina Sanders, “My TLIP experience has been absolutely amazing.  The things I’ve learned and people I’ve met have helped me chart an exciting future career path.” 

Sponsored by Senator Ellis and administered by the Mickey Leland Center on World Hunger and Peace at Texas Southern University, TLIP began in 1990. Since its inception, TLIP has grown to be the largest legislative internship program in the state, with almost 400 participants over the past 19 years. TLIP provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students attending Texas colleges and universities to serve as interns in the Texas Legislature, in various state agencies, in local government and with non-profit organizations. Many TLIPers have continued with careers in public service. Notably, two former TLIPers are now serving in the Texas House of Representatives: Rep. Ana Hernandez and Rep. Armando Walle.  Another former TLIPer, Ron Reynolds, is the current Democratic Nominee for Texas State House District 27.

“TLIP is one of the programs I am most proud of because it equips students with the tools they need in order to be the future leaders of this state and nation,” said Senator Ellis.  “This class received many challenging assignments in their respective offices and handled them all with excellence.  They represented the program well and continued the legacy left by those who came before them.”