The Brief: January 11, 2010

TV and politics collide this week, but it won't include Tom DeLay's dance moves.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

TV and politics collide this week, and it won't include Tom DeLay's dance moves.

The Republican gubernatorial primary debate may not be until Thursday, but it's sure to be the topic of the week. Political observers have been hoping to see a Kay Bailey Hutchison-Rick Perry faceoff for years, and finally they will have their chance.

The two major camps had some skirmishes over the weekend regarding claims in Hutchison's most recent ads. After Sen. Hutchison’s campaign released a commercial without alerting the press to background sourcing (a customary practice), Gov. Perry’s campaign didn’t mince words.

“Senator Hutchison has once again resorted to lying with her latest false and misleading television advertisement,” said Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner in a statement on Sunday.

While neither campaign has mentioned the other in ads so far, negative campaigning will likely soon begin in earnest — the debate may offer a vantage point for a back-and-forth snipe-fest.

Adding to the debate hoopla — the announcement that host KERA will let Tea Party Republican Debra Medina participate.

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for—and it’s on TV.

CULLED:

  • Is the Governor’s Mansion the house Rick built? The governor has stayed away from the topic publicly, but he’s nonetheless given the green light for the controversial, $26 million restoration project with a 3,000 square foot addition. The State Preservation Board, on the other hand, has yet to take a public vote on the matter, even though planning is well underway.
  • Apparently, shoppers are in short supply. Texas is already almost $1 billion behind in its sales tax collection expectations — and we're only four months into the latest budget. While the state didn't expect collections to grow, the actual receipts show a 12 percent decline. Comptroller Susan Combs says not to worry. But if you are stressed, shopping might be a good way to quell those anxieties.
  • It's finally happening. At 2 p.m. today, Eva Guzman will officially become the first Latina to join the Texas Supreme Court. Perry appointed the South Texas College of Law grad to replace Scott Brister, who resigned in September. Guzman was first appointed by then-Governor George Bush to the State District Court in Harris County.
  • Pit stop! Sen. Hutchison will be in Dallas today to open a local campaign headquarters. So if you've been meaning to spend some time with her, well, it's your chance.

"At the end of the day, voters, even really angry voters, don't want to waste their votes.” —Strategist Mark McKinnon on Debra Medina’s bid for governor.

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