Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Texas Governor’s Race Moved to “Toss-Up”

After living a few years here in Texas, you finally get used to how they do things. Like for instance during the summer. In the summertime in California you open all the windows in your house and you spend as much time outside as you possibly can. In Texas, during the summertime, you close all your house’s windows tightly and stay inside, looking out your windows from time to time to see whether it has stopped raining yet.

So it came as no surprise to me when, in 2008, while most of the rest of the country elected America’s first black president, Texas went the other way and voted for a guy that cheated on his wife while she was in the process of dying from cancer and the most unqualified running mate since Dan Quayle.

It didn’t surprise me at all. You come to expect these things after awhile.
So when I read today in the Washington Post, specifically in the column authored by Chris Cillizza called “The Fix” that he and a “senior political reporter” had moved the Texas gubernatorial race from “leans Republican” to “toss-up” I was similarly not surprised. Here’s a map that shows all of the toss-up states.

California and Texas are the same color.

I was not surprised because this mid-term election, after all, is supposed to be favoring the party that is not in power, we are told, and that is why the Republicans are all jumping around rubbing their hands in anticipation.

So while the national trend is to the right, or more likely, to the center, Texas shifted toward the left just inside of the 100 day mark until the General Election.

Here is what Cillizza says about the Texas governor’s race:
“Texas (Move from Lean Republican to Toss Up): Former Houston Mayor Bill White (D) has more money in the bank than Gov. Rick Perry (R) and polling shows the contest close. It's still Texas in a good Republican year, which should help Perry, but White is running an effective campaign to capitalize on discontent directed at the incumbent.”
Boy, I’ll say. Rick Perry presents a target-rich environment for Texans to focus their collective angst upon. Lately, the Bill White campaign has focused some attention on the media reports of Rick Perry’s Horseshoe Bay land deal, something I mentioned here. What is new in this is how the dots have all been connected now, and we see how making Rick Perry rich, despite a paltry salary that doesn’t even come close to a Texas football coach’s pay (or a Bell, California City Manager’s salary for that matter), is all related to getting appointments to the University of Texas Board of Regents.

It gives you a special insight in the current governor’s dedication to Texas’ system of higher education, knowing that he makes sure to stack the governing board of the UT system, with friends, lackeys and rich people who are not averse to parting with some long green to buy a state governor’s appointment.

It sort of redefines the term “public service,” doesn’t it?

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