One-night stands, getting lucky, and golf with Willie Gov. Rick Perry's team is aiming steady fire at Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who plans to run against the Guv in the Republican primary next year. It's a purity test: Strayhorn supporters and some aides say they want to attract new voters into the GOP primary, the theory being that Perry is strongest with conservative Republicans who show up for every election, and that other voters -- moderate Republicans, independents and disenchanted Democrats -- might sway the primary in her direction.
Texas Republicans have welcomed Democratic votes in November elections, but some apparently think inviting donkeys to GOP primaries is bad juju. Jeff Fisher, the party's executive director, told the Austin American-Statesman it was a bad strategy: "It's one thing when a candidate tries to invite like-minded conservative Democrats and independents to make a lasting commitment to the Republican Party. It's quite another to encourage liberals to vote in the primary like a one-night stand."
That triggered a response from the Strayhorn camp. Brad McClellan, the candidate's son and campaign manager, fired off a letter to party officials boosting his mom's Republican credentials and demanding an apology: "My Mom, like former President Ronald Reagan, believes in the 'Big Tent' theory. If we are going to be the majority Party for years to come, we must encourage voters to join our Party. That the executive director would think it appropriate to attack the honor of a mother and a grandmother who is a Republican statewide elected official is astounding."
That tussle went another round, when Dr. David Teuscher, a Perry supporter on the State Republican Executive Committee, took Fisher's side. In a "private letter" to McClellan excerpted on Perry's website (www.rickperry.org), he called Fisher's comment "coarse," but also said that, "quite simply, the metaphor fits the situation." In a "public letter" that's also posted there, he accused Strayhorn of trying to lure liberals into the primary and asked her to cut it out and to stop consorting with trial lawyers and such.
Perry, asked for a comment, ducked: "It's pretty much politics, and I'll leave the politics to another time."
• Gov. Rick Perry picked up an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas. Sessions is the second member of the Texas delegation (21 Republicans, to lend his name to Perry's reelection campaign.
• If you ride your bicycle well enough for long enough, somebody will start a website like this: www.lance4president.com. Count his fingers.
• Kinky Friedman, who's trying to get on next year's gubernatorial ballot as an independent, got lucky playing the slots in New Orleans, winning $45,612.65. That dollar figure is fairly close to the number of signatures he'll have to get from registered non-voters to get on the ballot next spring.
Separately, singer Willie Nelson announced a fundraiser for Friedman at his home in the Hill Country. For $5,000 each, golfers will get to play a round with Willie and with former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura; another 100 spots are open for lunch guests at $1,000 a pop. That's on September 24. Details are on his website, at www.kinkyfriedman.com.