The Brief: December 3, 2009

The season for speculating is drawing to an end. Politicians, it’s time to stake your claim.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

The season for speculating is drawing to an end.  Politicians, it’s time to stake your claim.

For political hopefuls, today marks the beginning of the filing period, which will run until the Jan. 4 deadline. Eager and ready to file right away is Gov. Rick Perry, who will hold a press conference after doing so at the Republican Party of Texas headquarters this morning.

His opponent, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, is in Washington, DC, participating in the floor debate on healthcare reform.  Though Perry has tried in his way to dissuade her, she plans to file on Monday.

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On the subject of Republicans filing, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports today on the numerous primary challengers expected to file against the GOP members of the U.S. House.  For example, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, will file today, and so will Michael Brasovan of Aledo — for the same seat.  Elsewhere, up to six Republicans may fight for the chance to take on U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, in the general election.

With the races becoming official, things are getting kicked up a notch — as foretold by the unveiling of some new, flashy multimedia.

Hutchison released her latest television ad on Wednesday titled “Texas Tough.”  It takes a swipe at her opponent, saying, “It’s time for a conservative governor who doesn’t just talk tough, but delivers.”  The Perry camp has countered by accusing her of “embellishing her record.”

As for the Democrats, Houston Mayor Bill White’s campaign spruced up his website this morning with an interactive display of his support among voters for the gubernatorial run he has been mulling.  We won’t know if he will heed the calls until the official announcement of his decision scheduled for tomorrow.

The Republican Party of Texas isn’t waiting, though. They’ve already got an ad out attacking White — it’s set to the music of “The Great Pretender” by The Platters.

CULLED:

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The state’s five major newspapers — The Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and San Antonio Express-News, are teaming up in “an unprecedented partnership” to conduct polling on candidate match-ups and issues during the 2010 elections.

• Be sure to check out the “must reads” below for a link to Robert Draper’s article on the Texas race for governor — framed as ““a public airing of that national party’s internal discontents” — in the newest issue of The New York Times Magazine.

In 2006, Republican Van Taylor ran against U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco. He’s back — but in Plano, where he will try for the seat being vacated by state Rep. Brian McCall.  The race already includes former Plano City Councilwoman Mabrie Griffith Jackson and businessman Wayne Richard.

• On Wednesday, I wrote “Radio silence may be broken today on the little matter of state Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan,” regarding Ogden’s persistent lack of comment on the days-old news that he might run for re-election despite announcing his retirement in September.  Radio silence was not broken.  But, it might happen today.

Texas’ final scheduled execution of 2009 is set to take place today, though some believe Bobby Wayne Woods, convicted in 1998 of kidnapping, raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl, may be retarded.  According to The Texas Observer, which has video of Woods, “test scores during his childhood and incarceration show Bobby Woods has an IQ that hovers at or below 70 — the cut-off point for mental retardation.”

“I don’t think Texas becomes an urbany, really highly cultured place until like the last decade.” — Gov. Rick Perry, who has governed Texas for the last 9 years.

MUST READ

It’s Just a Texas-Governor ThingThe New York Times Magazine

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Rep. Smith's 'robo-calls' irk cell usersAustin American Statesman

Agency, advocates assail ICE on detainee transfersHouston Chronicle

Texas students struggle on early versions of end-of-course testsThe Dallas Morning News

• Family First? — The Texas Tribune


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