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The Brief: December 10, 2009

We are one third of the way through the Rick Perry & Kay Bailey Hutchison Christmas sing-along.

The Big Conversation

We are one third of the way through the Rick Perry & Kay Bailey Hutchison Christmas sing-along.

At the beginning of the week, both teams launched a “12 Days of…” campaign  (after the popular Christmas song "12 Days of Christmas") highlighting alleged missteps by their opponent — one a day for 12 days. And it turns out, when they say 12, they really mean it.  

The Perry side went with “12 Days of Flip-Flops” — which means each day has brought a new instance of Hutchison seemingly changing her mind on something.

Yesterday’s release questioned the Hutchison camp’s recent insistence that she supported the 2003 redistricting effort given that reports indicate she stayed mum on the issue at the time.

On the other side, Hutchison’s campaign is bringing us “12 Days of Cronyism.”

Look for them to highlight a recent report by the Associated PressJay Root. According to the story, Filemon "Fil" Vela (a Hutchison supporter) alleges that a donation to the Perry campaign was sought in order to better position his wife, Corpus Christi Judge Rose Vela, to be appointed to the Texas Supreme Court.  Vela is currently running against Perry’s ultimate pick, Eva Guzman, for the position.

 CULLED

• Things change — even evolution opponents. The State Board of Education’s most notoriously conservative member, Cynthia Dunbar, is expected to announce in the coming days that she will not be running for re-election. A supporter, former State Republican Executive Committee member Brian Russell, will run in her place.  If the switch happens, Russell will face Rebecca Osborne in the Republican primary.  The victor will take on Judy Jennings in the general election.

• State Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, is being encouraged to run for Comptroller, which is still an empty slot on the Democrats’ ticket . The Austin American-Statesman reports that a decision could come as soon as Monday.

• ‘Tis the season to advertise.  Gov. Rick Perry has released a new radio ad, “Texas Values” — as in “Texas Values. Proven Leadership.”  It is now playing across the state.  The dwarfed Debra Medina campaign has posted to the web a TV ad, “Experience” — as in “My experience is in fighting corruption, not being a part of it.” It will start airing in Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Houston, Austin and San Antonio on Sunday.  Because of the campaign’s financial limitations, it will only air on Fox News — and on CNN (a little bit).

• Want to know everything there is to know about red-light cameras?  Stick with the Texas Tribune’s Matt Stiles and Niran Babalola. Today, they released a data application featuring details about camera locations statewide — complete with images, crash figures and citation totals.

“If you say somebody’s name, you can stop their brain.” — Mat Harris, founder of BizGreet, the company behind Gov. Rick Perry’s personalized video messages.

MUST READ:

Pistol-packing Perry challenger aims to affect raceAustin American-Statesman

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton's anti-BCS bill passes House subcommitteeThe Dallas Morning News

In Waco, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst says state must make cuts now to cover budget shortfall in 2013Waco Tribune-Herald

Rails crucial to future, says head of TxDOTMidland Reporter-Telegram

• Teacher groups wary of CVS contract with stateHouston Chronicle

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