Sunday, May 14, 2006

Texas: Lobbyist Ben Barnes on Strayhorn bandwagon

Once-Tall Figure in the Rugged World of Texas Politics Is Back in the Saddle

By RALPH BLUMENTHAL New York TimesMay 14, 2006 AUSTIN, Tex. — As Ben Barnes was saying before he was so rudely interrupted in 1972 ...
Yes, the boy wonder of Texas politics is back. He is 68 now, the towering frame a little stooped and the famous carrot top a yellowing frizz. But Mr. Barnes, a multimillionaire lobbyist who was speaker of the Texas house at 26, lieutenant governor at 30, a presidential prospect at 32, and washed up at 34, is out once again to sway politics in his native state, though this time from the sidelines as elder statesman.
...Most recently, Mr. Barnes has angered fellow Democrats for turning his back on the party's nominee for governor, former Representative Chris Bell, in favor of a Democrat turned Republican, Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who is running as an independent. Mr. Barnes says Ms. Strayhorn has a better chance of assembling a coalition to defeat the Republican incumbent, Rick Perry. ....

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