Tuesday, April 25, 2006

TEXAS:



May you vote in interesting times
Monday, April 24, 2006
By ALAN PEPPARD
The Dallas Morning News
For Gov. Rick Perry, being George W. Bush's anointed successor has been quite the crown of thorns. He's up for re-election just as the president's poll numbers are getting sucked down the second-term vortex. Voters are more excited about a Dukes of Hazzard sequel than they are another four years of Rick the Haircut in Austin.
But nobody can remember the name of the Dems' nominee so that leaves the cutthroat independent race for governor as the only show to watch.
Grandma can't make it
Texas comptroller Carole "One Tough Grandma" Strayhorn is duking it out for petition signatures against novelist/songwriter Kinky Friedman who allows that many years ago, he might have inhaled some second-hand smoke on Willie Nelson's tour bus. To get on the ballot, both candidates have until May 11 to collect the signatures of 45,540 registered voters who didn't vote in the March 7 primary.
Friday night, Grandma Strayhorn was supposed to be the keynote speaker at the Irving DFW Indian Lions Club Lone Star Cares Banquet. But her handlers cancelled on Thursday citing Mrs. Strayhorn's work on the legislative special session. She became the most popular person in Austin last week when she announced that the state had a surprise $8.2 billion surplus.
Quick! To the Kinkymobile...
Happily for the Irving Lions, Kinky Friedman was in the neighborhood speaking Friday at the University of North Texas. "If you're old enough to die in Iraq, you're old enough to help us fix Texas," he told hundreds of cheering UNT co-eds.
The Indian Lions Club asked if Kinky could come on over and speak in Grandma Strayhorn's stead.
Does a monkey have tail?
Upon entering the gala, Kinky addressed last month's non-scandal when he was observed actually drinking a beer (gasp!) while riding as grand marshal in Dallas' Greenville Avenue St. Patrick's Day Parade.
"I admit that I drank the Guinness," he cracked, "but I did not swallow."
The setting son
As an interesting side note, Grandma Strayhorn was never expecting any campaign help from the White House. But she may get some unintentionally. Her son, White House press secretary Scott McClellan , just got shoved out the back door of the West Wing as a sacrificial puppy in incoming chief of staff Josh Bolten's first shakeup.
He should have plenty of time on his hands to help his mom's gubernatorial aspirations.
More with Alan Peppard E-mail
apeppard@dallasnews.com more


The main event
Special session leads to tough political battle
By Kelley Shannon
Associated Press Herald Democrat
Apr. 24, 2006
AUSTIN — While Gov. Rick Perry keeps working to coax legislators onto his tax bill bandwagon, he's also busy trying to shake a menace off his tail.
Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who calls herself “one tough grandma” and is in charge of the state’s money, keeps pointedly telling Perry how to preside over the 30-day special legislative session on school finance.
It makes for new agitation in an already testy Texas governor’s race as Strayhorn, a veteran politician running as an independent, attempts to oust the Republican Perry. Strayhorn insists she’s just doing her job — one loaded with power and history....
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