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The Brief: January 21, 2010

Kinky to Gilbert: "Give the money back!"

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

What will become of Farouk Shami's well-timed, six-figure favor to agriculture commissioner hopeful Hank Gilbert? Kinky Friedman has an idea: "Give the money back!"

A day after Gilbert denied that Shami's $150,000 contribution was anything more than one candidate's support for another, Friedman's camp called the exchange an all-out "bribe."

"Farouk and I are old friends, but he'd never offer me a bribe because he knows I wouldn't take it," Friedman said in a statement. "And if Hank's feelings are hurt by the accusations from the press, there's one sure-fire way of fixing that...give the money back to Farouk."

Gilbert has since been on the defensive and quipped on his Web site that the rumor mill needed some "control." But Friedman's camp isn't buying it, and wondering aloud what's yet to come.

""We know Gilbert accepted a $150,000 bribe to leave the race and attack Mayor White," said Colin Strother, a Friedman campaign consultant. "The 'million dollar
question' is, 'How much more bribe money is coming? "The only thing worse than Gilbert taking this bribe, is him lying about it."

Without divulging details, Strother told the Tribune late Wednesday the camp "will ratchet this thing up about 10 notches." Stay tuned ...

CULLED:

  • A former U.S. Secretary of State is one thing, but a living and breathing ex-prez? News broke Wednesday that President George H.W. Bush (41) will endorse Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in her bid to unseat Gov. Rick Perry.  The announcement came a day after Hutchison reigned in support from former MLB pitcher and Texas legend Nolan Ryan and former Secretary of State James Baker.
  • Was one of Gov. Rick Perry's largest campaign contributions a back-handed effort to help Democrat Bill White? According to The Dallas Morning News, some might have reason to suspect so.   "Many Democrats are rooting for Perry to beat Hutchison, believing he would be a weaker candidate in the fall against White, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination," reports the DMN.
  • With the Texans and Cowboys officially in the off season, what else can Texans do on Super Bowl Sunday? How about a double dose of politics with Perry and Sarah Palin? Word came out of Houston on Wednesday that Perry and the former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate will make a stop in Houston on Feb. 7.

MUST READ:

MASSACHUSETTS EFFECT: Political activists to capitalize on GOP win - Houston Chronicle

Gun show owner, police at odds over recommendations - Austin American Statesman -

Ready to runoff - Texas Tribune

Kidnapper testifies Texan was killed in Mexico - Associated Press

 

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