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The Brief: May 4, 2010 [Updated]

Rick Perry and Janet Napolitano: just a couple of old border governors talkin' homeland security.

A boy waves an American flag at an immigration rally held in Dallas on May Day.


Gov. Rick Perry’s trip to Washington, D.C., on Monday for a Chamber of Commerce event and talk with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano drew the expected ire of Perry's gubernatorial opponent, Bill White.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Perry, usually a harsh critic of the federal government, came away in better spirits. "She's, No. 1, a border governor that gets it,” the Morning News quoted Perry. White’s campaign wasn’t buying it, though, reverting attention to a letter five border congressmen sent him last month claiming Perry’s office has doled out as little as 3 percent of the state’s homeland security grants from Washington, D.C. to the border.

“Rick Perry puts on this kind of show every time there's an election," said White campaign spokeswoman Katy Bacon. "He's had 10 years to get the resources Texas needs to secure our border. He's failed.”

Perry’s camp quipped back with a familiar shot of its own. “Because of the federal government's failure to secure the border Governor Perry and the Legislature have had to spend more than $200 million on border Security,” said Mark Miner, campaign spokesman. “While Bill White was busy mismanaging the Houston budget and engaging in shady business dealings, Governor Perry has been working to secure our border and protect Texans.” 

What shady dealings? According to today’s latest television spot, allegedly raking in millions from a “company under federal investigation” and leaving Houston with a larger per-capita debt than California. Here's the spot:


  • Okay, they mean it this time. State Reps. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, and Debbie Riddle, R-Houston, really will debate on CNN this morning at 10:35 CST. Okay, it was CNN’s fault that yesterday’s appearance was postponed, but aides to Martinez Fischer, the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said producers confirmed he and Riddle, who promised to file legislation similar to Arizona’s SB 1070 when the Texas House gavels in next year, will debate the issue today with anchor Tony Harris. In what was perhaps a quick preview to their showdown, Martinez Fischer posted a message on his Twitter account quoting Riddle: @TMF116: “Debbie Riddle: minorities do not support immigration reform because they are "used to being entitled.” Riddle’s office did not return a phone call seeking comment.

          (Update: Due to the arrest of the alleged New York City bomber, CNN has rescheduled today's debate between Martinez Fischer and Riddle.)                

  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced on Monday the creation of the Gulf States Coalition to help guide Texas’ efforts to protect its businesses and its shores from the British Petroleum oil spill. At a news conference, Abbott admitted that Texas’ shores might not be affected but didn’t completely rule out the possibility. He said the coalition would assist businesses in getting reimbursed for any losses they might incur.
  • The merger between airline giants Continental and United means several Houstonians will soon be out of a job, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. Continental Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smisek said Texas and Chicago will both see job cuts, telling the paper, “You eliminate duplicate functions. That's part of the savings of a merger.”

“From time to time, there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.” Gov. Perry, addressing one of the possible causes of the BP oil spill at a chamber of commerce event in Washington, D.C.


Super Bowl panel fills legislators in on its plansThe Dallas Morning News

Mexican drug violence claims 24 lives in 24 hours – CNN

Oil spill puts President Obama to the testPolitico

Continental chief says jobs to be lost here ­ - Houston Chronicle

Valley's real estate soars amid violenceSan Antonio Express-News

Is Texas a Sanctuary State? – The Texas Tribune

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Demographics Immigration Bill White Griffin Perry Rick Perry Trey Martinez Fischer