Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Texas Farm Bureau Endorses Kay Bailey - Yawn

You might say that yesterday’s monumental endorsement flip-flop on the part of the Texas Farm Bureau has breathed some life into Kay Bailey Hutchison’s as yet still unannounced bid to oppose Governor Rick Perry in the March 2010 Republican primary. Perry, who will attempt to gain his unprecedented 3rd term as governor of Texas, has been parrying Hutchison’s thrusts on a daily basis for awhile now, even though Hutchison has yet to make it official. Has yet to step down from her seat in the US Senate.

Much to the annoyance of some people.

From the Star-Telegram, quoting Kenneth Dierschke, president of the Texas Farm Bureau:

“This is the most important race for governor in a long time. For the future of Texas, we call for new leadership. We call for new ideas and a new vision. We know that Texans will trust Gov. Hutchison in the same way we’ve always trusted Sen. Hutchison.”

This endorsement is big. The Texas Farm Bureau, representing over 400,000 rural members, has traditionally backed Perry ever since he ran for Agricultural Commissioner in 1990. But their patience with his positions and alliances have run rather thin of late.

Take for instance Perry’s stance in favor of the Trans-Texas Corridor, a project that promises to remove lots of farmland by eminent domain. The TTC has been opposed by Texas farmers and ranchers. Has been opposed by nearly anyone in Texas except for people respresenting the interests of the Spanish consortium that wants to build the ribbon of concrete.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, however, has gone on record as opposing the TTC, and has said unequivocally that she would kill the project if elected.

Now the trouble with getting the endorsement of the Texas Farm Bureau is the one that Perry’s spokesman Mark Miner brought up. Miner said that Perry retains strong support among "rank-and-file farmers," adding, "We’re confident we’ll have their support.

Now why is this? Why would farmers and ranchers support Perry who opposes eminent domain reform, that they support, and supported the Trans-Texas Corridor, that they opposed?


Anyone who has been around in Texas knows the answer to this. Ask anyone. Tool around in the urban areas of Texas, all 5 of them, and you get one view of government and social issues. But get on any road out of town and you’ll see, the further you go down the road, the more socially conservative are the denizens.

So in my view, those in the ag industry are definitely caught between their pocket book and their social mores. Where they ultimately come down on either will largely determine their votes in the primary.

My guess is that Hutchison’s soft positions on areas such as stem cell research and a woman’s right to choose whether to have or not have a child will ultimately be the deciding factor when all is said and done. Social conservatives oppose both of these on deep beliefs in evangelical religious doctrine.

This is because, in the end, social conservatives tend to vote their beliefs, and not along lines of logic and reason.

So while Kay Bailey Hutchison can whoop it up on her latest strong endorsement from a big, big organization, my guess is that the end game has already played itself out. Perry will win the primary because his base, social conservatives of the far right, show up en masse at the primary elections.

She has already lost even though she hasn’t even declared her candidacy.

And everyone knows it but her.

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