THE BIG CONVERSATION:
Former House majority leader Dick Armey took issue with Gov. Rick Perry’s negative campaigning at campaign pit stops with U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in Amarillo and Lubbock yesterday. “He's attacked her time and time again, unadmirably and unfairly,” Armey said.
Armey touted Hutchison as “a responsible adult” and “a true conservative” as he defended her record on abortion and against Perry’s accusations of pork barreling, declaring, “Kay fights as much as the rest of us to hold it down.”
Hutchison also used the opportunity to knock Perry for his decision to not to seek newspaper endorsements, a move regarded as a play to primary voters who are hostile to the mainstream media. In Lubbock, the senator said she would to seek them herself.
Asking what Perry was “afraid of,” Hutchison said the governor’s choice was “indicative of the whole approach he takes to government.”
Spokesman Mark Miner defended Perry, saying, “In the final weeks of the campaign, a better use of the governor's time is to continue traveling the state talking to Texans about the issues that are important to them.”
Hutchison’s campaign spokeswoman told the Austin American-Statesman yesterday that Hutchison was reviewing requests for meetings, but did not say if she had accepted any requests.
Meanwhile, Debra Medina has committed to meeting with editorial boards, and will huddle with the Austin American-Statesman today, according to a press release.
• Tea Party-allied conservative grassroots PAC FreedomWorks released its nationwide hit list of Senate and House races for 2010. It names U.S. House Democrats Ciro Rodriguez, D-San Antonio, and Chet Edwards, D-Waco, as “potential” targets — meaning the PAC is “monitoring” their races, but has yet to endorse an opposing candidate or specifically target them for defeat.
• Texas now claims the 4th-highest teen pregnancy rate, according to a new study from the Guttmacher Institute based on 2005 data. The state climbed one spot from its Number 5 ranking in 2000.
• Kinky Friedman and Hank Gilbert piled on “corporate guy,” “career politician,” and current Ag. Commissioner Todd Staples at a Lubbock County Democratic Party conference.
• An outbreak of the infamous cruise ship flu has struck a less jovial place: Texas state prisons. More than 1,600 inmates and prison staffers at 26 different prisons and halfways appear infected with a norovirus, whose symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps, prompting cancellations of visiting hours and prison officials to restrict convicts to their cells.
• Texas-based developer Centex did not obtain a permit for an “improperly constructed” retaining wall that collapsed in a San Antonio subdivision causing damage to three homes and the evacuation of a dozen families.
• Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Farouk Shami will release his economic plan this morning in Dallas, which will focus on “creating jobs and providing opportunities in low-income and minority areas.”
"Sheila works and Sheila delivers." — U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to the Houston Chronicle.
Feds find dubious home tax credit claims from Texas — The Dallas Morning News
UT developing plan to cut $29 million from budget — Austin American-Statesman
Cornyn’s good fortune — The Washington Post
Twenty who gave plenty — The Texas Tribune