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The Brief: December 7, 2009

If Thursday was Gov. Rick Perry’s day, and Friday belonged to Bill White, then today is a day for Kay Bailey Hutchison.

THE BIG CONVERSATION

If Thursday was Gov. Rick Perry’s day, and Friday belonged to Bill White, then today is a day for Kay Bailey Hutchison.

With Hutchison filing as a candidate for governor with the Republican Party of Texas at 8:30 this morning, it looks like Perry consultant Dave Carney’s “Operation Intervention” — an attempt to persuade Hutchison to abandon her bid by siphoning off supporters — was, in the words of Hutchison spokesman Joe Pounder, “as successful as Rick Perry was in mandating that sixth grade girls receive the HPV vaccine.” Zing!

Today, Hutchison will also outline her plan for eminent domain reform and other private property protections in an address to the Texas Farm Bureau. Then, she will rush back to DC and the ongoing debate over healthcare reform in the U.S. Senate.

Speaking of Carney, in a recent New York Times Magazine article he referred to prominent Bush-friendly politicos, largely supportive of Hutchison, as “not conservatives” and “country-club Republicans.”  Expect a different tone on this Pearl Harbor Day morning as Perry speaks at the opening of the new George H. W. Bush Gallery at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg.

CULLED:

• Hold your horses! A major announcement is expected today from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman on the status of his campaign, but as of late Sunday night the campaign’s general consultant Colin Strother says Kinky is still thinking things through and “we may not have a decision” by today.  Should Friedman make up his mind and move to a race further down the ballot, he will spare himself having to face the well-financed forces of Bill White and Farouk Shami, who are both angling for the gubernatorial nomination.

• Fort Worth educator Felix Alvarado knows what he’s running for, and he will make it official today by filing to run for governor as a Democrat.

• The two best-financed Democratic bids are moving right along.  Hair care executive Farouk Shami opened a campaign office in Dallas over the weekend.  Houston Mayor Bill White held a rally in Austin on Sunday where he received the support of the Travis County delegation and the entire Austin City Council.  A similar White rally will take place today in San Antonio. Among the many lawmakers in attendance will be State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, who briefly considered and declined a run at the governor’s mansion.

• Health alert: For now, do your best to avoid oysters from San Antonio Bay, which may cause you to come down with a highly contagious virus. Symptoms last one to two days and include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramping.  Apologies if this ruins your Monday oyster plans.

“I came down from my hotel room and I could see the Russian embassy.” — Sarah Palin at the 2009 Gridiron Dinner in Washington, DC

MUST READ:

• Texas mayors' bids for statewide office tend to fall shortFort Worth Star-Telegram

• Years after mental health overhaul, new picture of needs emergingAustin American-Statesman

• Lots of sparring, but no knockout at debateHouston Chronicle

• Lawmakers to tackle immigration issuesEl Paso Times

• Texas colleges counting economic blessings - for nowAustin American-Statesman

• Immigration detainee transfers: a costly game of musical chairsThe Brownsville Herald

• Total, Exxon Mobil most fined polluters in Texas —The Associated Press

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