The Brief: Top Texas News for Jun 28, 2010

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Texas Democrats made a stand this weekend — with tongues planted firmly in cheek.

Gubernatorial candidate Bill White set the state Democratic convention ablaze on Friday night, capping off a rare week of political fortune for the party, which saw the White campaign digging in its heels on political messaging at the same time that Republicans nationwide were pushing back against ApologyGate and a poll showed White and Gov. Rick Perry in a virtual tie.

But at an otherwise fairly low-drama event — in contrast to the Republican convention two weeks ago at which internal strife over the party chairmanship dominated the conversation — Democrats compensated by amping up the shenanigans while taking direct aim at Perry: The double-wide trailer that the AFL-CIO offered to Perry made an appearance, as did "Perry's kill coyote beef" (hopefully not actually coyote) and copious amounts of snark, seen in a number of videos bashing the governor (and at one point comparing him to a certain TV villain also, incidentally, associated with cheerleading). Here's a taste:

 

And, yes, the chicken suit made an appearance, too. (Revisit all the action on the Tribune's liveblog, where reporters Brandi Grissom, Reeve Hamilton and Ben Philpott saw it all — including multiple chicken sightings, in fact — firsthand.)

But the party did take time to address more serious issues, including the "Texas two-step" primary/caucus voting system, which it voted to retain, and the party chairmanship, which expectedly went to incumbent Boyd Richie.

Though, as with any convention, the takeaway is the party's tweaking of the political narrative. And as The Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater notes, the story now goes something like this:

For the GOP: Washington is the problem, Bill White is Washington, Bill White is the problem.

For Democrats: Austin is the problem. Rick Perry is Austin. Rick Perry is the problem.

Not bad odds for Democrats, then, it would seem. But in a post-convention daze and with the political winds perhaps only briefly at their backs, do they have what it takes to win?

CULLED:

 
  • Former Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr., a rancher with a storied political and personal history, died Sunday at 87.

"Imagine what it will be like to actually have a governor who understands public policy." — Newly re-elected Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie

MUST READ:

Dallas County is point man for DemocratsThe Dallas Morning News

Texas Democrats seeing a generational shiftFort Worth Star-Telegram

FBI Investigating Possible DSHS Hacker — The Texas Tribune

More public money used to attract big events to TexasAustin American-Statesman

Small-business tax break expiringSan Antonio Express-News

Hearings into border deaths soughtEl Paso Times


Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.