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The Brief: February 25, 2010

Kay, Rick, and Debra sitting at a table . . . F-I-G-H-T . . . oh, nevermind. But they were together in Houston last night for the sold-out “Showdown in the Bayou City.”

Republican gubernatorial debate coverage

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Kay, Rick, and Debra sitting at a table . . .  F-I-G-H-T . . . oh, nevermind. But they were together in Houston last night for the sold-out “Showdown in the Bayou City.”

In what will likely be their last joint appearance before Tuesday’s primary, all three Republican gubernatorial candidates attended the Harris County GOP’s Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner, a fundraising event for the county party.

Rick Perry, who said it was “a very intriguing evening,” drew “noticeably louder applause” than Hutchison and Medina.

The governor sat through attacks from Debra Medina (“Rick Perry is leading Texas all right — right into a ditch”) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (“it isn’t healthy to have the same person controlling the state’s boards and commissions”) and delivered some of his own, against Washington, D.C., of course. Hutchison ducked out early, before either Medina's or Perry's remarks.

It was a meal “spiced with some of the name-calling, sniping and mutual enmity that has marked the last few months.” But Harris County chairman Jared Woodfill said that’s not something that whet the appetites of the 600 some-odd guests, noting beforehand that they would “would take a dim view of overly personal attacks at an event dedicated to Republican icons Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. “

CULLED:

• Texas A&M snagged $40 million in federal grants to construct a vaccine manufacturing facility, called “Project Greenvax,” which will “develop manufacturing methods to use proteins from tobacco plants to produce massive amounts of vaccines in a short period of time.” Proponents say the project will bring “more than 100 high-paying jobs” to the area, critics worry about how it fits with the university’s mission.

• His judge and his prosecutor had an affair, but that’s not why the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals threw out Charles Dean Hood’s death penalty sentence. The ruling, which granted Hood a new sentencing trial, said the Collin County man’s jury “received improper instructions over how to weigh mitigating evidence.”

• The founder of the Minuteman Project, radical anti-immigration group, gave the nod to Perry’s gubernatorial bid. The governor accepted the endorsement, though he has criticized the organization in the past.

"We have more diversity on our three-person steering committee than your entire TV network lineup." — the narrator on a Dallas Tea Party video response to Keith Olbermann, when he declined the group’s invitation to speak at a rally on Saturday.

MUST READ:

Lone Bar StateMother Jones

17 House Republicans fighting party challengersSan Antonio Express-News

Victims' WrongsThe Houston Press

Texas: Endorsements Shore Up Perry's Right Flank — CQ Politics

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