THE BIG CONVERSATION:
Two unrelated notes for this Tuesday morning: The National Weather Service says that cool — even freezing — temperatures are expected throughout the state. And former Vice President Dick Cheney is in town.
Cheney, heralded by the Kay Bailey Hutchison campaign as “one of our party's strongest conservative leaders,” will be endorsing Hutchison for Governor at a 4 p.m. ceremony at Hobby Airport in Houston. This a big get for the U.S. Senator and gubernatorial candidate, and a highly anticipated announcement for Hutchison as she establishes her conservative bona fides leading up to the Republican primary
Mark Miner, a spokesman for Hutchison’s opponent, Gov. Rick Perry, shrugs it off. “Most of her endorsements are Washington insiders,” he says.
Speaking of endorsements, Perry won the endorsement of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas PAC on Monday, continuing his dominance among groups that lobby in Austin. Perry will also get to spend much of the week with one of his notable endorsers, Republican Governors’ Association chairman and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, as he plays host at the annual RGA conference, which kicks off on Wednesday in Bastrop.
Miner frames the week this way: “Perry will be with Republican governors, and the Senator will be with a member of the Washington establishment.”
Actually, work might prevent Hutchison from joining Cheney at her biggest endorsement ceremony to date. She intended to be there, but senatorial duties in Washington — specifically work on a military construction and veterans’ affairs bill, as well as the possibility of a procedural vote on healthcare reform legislation — may hold her up.
• Texas is drying up, but don't worry — state lawmakers hope they have a solution. State Rep. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, has not had success in the last two sessions in his attempts to permanently fund a state water plan, which, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, could cost anywhere from $35 million to $140 million depending on how long it takes to get approval. At the two-day H204Texas conference in Fort Worth, which concludes today, lawmakers, including Averitt, will try to figure out what can be done. Monday’s speakers included Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who emphasized the need to act now rather than later.
• Former state Rep. Rick Green, R-Dripping Springs, doesn’t think you can keep a good man down. A staunch conservative, he thinks — with justices legislating from the bench and what not — “it’s time” to run for Texas Supreme Court. He announced his candidacy at an event Monday night in Kyle. Among the landmarks on Green’s resume: allegedly using his position to lobby the state health department on behalf of one of his law firm’s clients and allegedly punching his ultimate replacement, Democrat Patrick Rose, in the face on Election Day. The race between Green and Rose was featured in documentarian Paul Steckler’s “Last Man Standing: Politics — Texas Style.”
• Farouk Shami, a hair stylist turned beauty products executive turned Democratic candidate for Governor, launched his campaign website on Monday and, with it a new campaign message: “Farouk Shami…The day he becomes Governor is the day business as usual ends in Texas." He will officially announce his candidacy at an event on Thursday.
• At 6 p.m. Tuesday evening, Gerald Cornelius Eldridge is slated to become the 22nd person executed in Texas this year. Eldridge was convicted of fatally shooting Cynthia Bogany and her daughter 17 years ago. His attorneys contend that he is mentally ill and incompetent to be executed.
“Salt water isn’t good for anything.” — La Marque police Lt. Greg Gilchrist on the chances of salvaging a $1 million Bugatti Veyron driven into a saltwater lagoon last week.
• HUD rejects state’s spending plan for Ike funds — The Galveston County Daily News
• Green card seekers won't have to get HPV vaccine — Associated Press
• Millions will have to repay part of tax credit — Associated Press
• An Anti-Endorsement — I Love Beer blog
• Tea Party moves in on Conaway, threatens to divide GOP base — Midland Reporter-Telegram
• Parker slams Locke's business ties — Houston Chronicle