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The Brief: May 14, 2010

Opposites attract and all that, but Annise Parker and Rick Perry still make very strange bedfellows.

BIll White, Rick Perry at their Primary 2010 reception speeches.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Opposites attract and all that, but Annise Parker and Rick Perry still make very strange bedfellows.

That hasn’t stopped the Republican governor from turning the Democratic mayor into an ally, taking any opportunity to use her words against his challenger and her predecessor, Bill White.

A recent example: a May 13 missive from the Perry camp describes Parker’s “efforts to clean up the fiscal mess that White created during his six years of deficit spending,” then quotes Parker at a City Council meeting saying her budget is “the first … in the last five years that has not used pension obligation bonds to balance it.”

In Perry campaign-speak, her comments translated to “Liberal Bill White has zero fiscal discipline. While mayor of Houston, Bill White borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars so he could claim that his budgets were balanced” — even though in her own release Parker “stressed that the City of Houston remains in sound condition.”

However, as the Houston Chronicle points out, this is a change in tone from Parker’s assertion two months ago that the city had been living outside of its means in a “unbusinesslike” fashion “for years.” Parker’s new perspective comes “a day after Parker chief of staff Waynette Chan and White aide Elena Marks met over lunch,” in a possible effort to reduce tension — which both Parker and White deny exists — between the current and former Houston mayors.

CULLED:

· Will Texas get a federal prosecutor after all? U.S. Sen. John Cornyn announced yesterday he will join with Hispanic groups to push Sarah Saldaña for the Northern District post. There’s a hitch, of course: Though Saldaña is a “loyal Democrat,” she’s not among of the Texas Democratic delegation’s picks for the job. So get comfortable. There’ll still be more delays in the process.

· There’s a new press secretary in town, and he’s already gotten to work creating the Perry campaign’s Spanish-language website, new Twitter feed and Facebook group, “Tejanos por Rick Perry.” Alejandro Garcia’s efforts reflect the governor’s attempts to woo the state’s Hispanic voters, two-thirds of whom are Democrats. "We're trying to reach a larger audience with the same message," he says. "We don't want to change the message so we can humor Hispanics."

· Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. Yesterday, a Travis County judge banned an ex-convict for selling legal briefs — for fees between $10,000 and $25,000— to federal prisoners and their families, which he contacted through the web and newsletters. The briefs advanced the bogus claim that Title 18, the part of the U.S. criminal code detailing federal crimes, was improperly enacted by Congress in 1948.

"I think there are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman. But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have I think the same sort of rights that everyone has." — Former first lady Laura Bush on gay marriage, to Larry King

MUST READ:

Authors decry being locked out of lockupAustin American-Statesman

Group worries drilling permits ban will cost jobsHouston Chronicle

Army still plagued by suicides — San Antonio Express-News

Tough economy, more children in Texas foster careThe Associated Press

Anatomy of a Controversy — The Texas Tribune

 

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