The Brief: Texas Political News for Sept. 13, 2013

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley

The Big Conversation

Gov. Rick Perry's latest jobs pitch has yet another Democratic governor crying foul.

On Thursday, days after word broke that Perry's newest radio ad campaign to lure businesses to Texas would target MarylandThe Baltimore Sun reported that the governor would be heading to the state in person next week to meet with companies.

Perry's shots at Maryland had already vexed the state's Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley, who earlier this week slammed the radio ads, which criticize the state's tax rates and business climate. "Instead of engaging in PR stunts, Gov. Perry should come to Maryland to see firsthand the better choices that have led to these better results," his office said in a statement.

O'Malley, a rumored 2016 presidential contender, has planned some out-of-state forays of his own — including one to Texas — to raise money for Democratic candidates. (He'll headline the Johnson Rayburn Richards Dinner in Houston on Oct. 26.) A spokeswoman for O'Malley called his trips to help candidates "a lot more effective than Perry's job-poaching expeditions."

And O'Malley isn't alone in his hostility toward Perry.

"It's equally ironic that it's coming from someone who, when he ran for president, couldn't even identify the three government agencies he'd like to eliminate," Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch, a Democrat, told the Sun. "Maybe he's coming here to take some of our remedial higher education classes. We'd be happy to offer him our affordable higher education prices."

But Maryland Democrats aren't the first ones to take umbrage with Perry, who says his tactics promote healthy competition.

Though Democratic governors in states like California and Connecticut have jabbed at Perry for bringing his jobs campaign to their states, Democrat Jay Nixon, the governor of Missouri — another state Perry has visited — recently hit back with a radio ad of his own.

He has also slammed Perry for inserting himself into a fight over a tax cut that Nixon vetoed.

"I think when he jumped inside a veto override fight, that’s not the way governors deal with each other," Nixon recently told The New York Times

Culled

•    Todd Staples says David Dewhurst proved he’s not a strong GOP leader in U.S. Senate race (The Dallas Morning News): "Lieutenant governor candidate Todd Staples said Thursday that incumbent David Dewhurst had proved during his failed campaign for Senate last year that he wasn’t the strong leader the state needs in the No. 2 job. 'The race for U.S. Senate with Ted Cruz just revealed that David’s not the leader to take us forward,' Staples said at a campaign stop in Plano."

•    Judge will proceed with January trial dates in school finance lawsuit (Austin American-Statesman): "The lawsuit challenging Texas’ school finance system will proceed as planned with additional trial dates in January, despite some recent second-guessing by state District Judge John Dietz. Dietz, who ruled the funding system unconstitutional in February, had been reconsidering his earlier decision to take new evidence on the effect of recent legislative changes before issuing a final written order. But the judge Thursday instead finalized plans to reopen the case Jan. 21 without commenting on his earlier reservations. The January proceedings could last up to four weeks."

•    Senators push additional benefits for Fort Hood victims (Houston Chronicle): "With the conviction and death penalty sentencing completed for Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan, Texas lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing for better benefits for families of the fallen and wounded. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn backed by Sen. Ted Cruz and fellow Republican senators from Kansas and Maine, proposed legislation Thursday to provide Purple Hearts and federal benefits to the families of the 12 GIs killed in the mass shooting on Nov. 5, 2009, as well as to the wounded survivors."

Quote to Note: "I didn’t even know Ted Cruz was potentially a candidate until somebody pointed it out to me the other day." — Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson to National Journal on the 2016 GOP primary field

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