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The Brief: June 30, 2010

Tension — as if it wasn't already thick — is mounting between Gov. Rick Perry and Bill White.

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THE BIG CONVERSATION:

With convention afterglow wearing off, tension — as if it wasn't already thick enough — is mounting between Gov. Rick Perry and Bill White.

It all started three weeks ago, when the Perry camp accused White of profiteering from Hurricane Rita relief efforts while serving as mayor of Houston. White's camp dismissed the accusations, but the Perry team stuck with the attack, releasing a video Friday in which it calls White "shady":

Last week, the White campaign got its own juicy bit of political intrigue with which to slam Perry: the revelation that former Perry chief of staff Mike Toomey had led an effort to put the Green Party on the state ballot in the fall — with the intention, it's presumed, of draining votes from Democrats. The White camp jumped on the news and soon tied it back to Toomey's former history as a lobbyist for Merck & Co. Inc., the company that would have provided vaccinations for young women had the Legislature not defeated Perry's 2007 HPV vaccine mandate. (Perry has denied any dealings with Toomey.) The campaign released a video Tuesday:

The two camps will slug it out with the same accusations and dismissals that have characterized the race thus far, but look for White to possibly gain the most traction out of this news cycle as new wrinkles appear in the Green Party story, which now sees Democrats appealing to the state Supreme Court to keep the Greens off the ballot.

CULLED:

  • With hurricane season in full swing as Hurricane Alex barrels toward Mexico and Texas, it's the equation that's been in everyone's minds: Hurricane + Gulf oil spill = ? KUT's Ben Freed has the report.
  • Amid the political showmanship on display, it may have been easy to forget that the parties actually crafted something tangible at their respective conventions. State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, released a comparison Tuesday between the Democratic and Republican party platforms drafted at each party's convention. "Texas Democrats crafted a platform that offers real solutions to meet tough challenges caused by Republican politicians who ignore pressing problems to pander to special interests and the far right partisans that wrote the Republican platform," Coleman said in a news release.
  • Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a legal opinion Tuesday that state school districts must award teachers raises for experience. And that creates problems for some districts that have already budgeted without the salary increases, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

"My constituents are more important than the cars." — State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, who said Tuesday she's stopped driving a Mercedes that last week was reported to be owned by a company that does big business with the state.

MUST-READ:

Criminal Records Don't Prohibit Child Care Work, The Texas Tribune

Troop share uncertain: El Paso waits to hear on Guard soldiers deploying to border, El Paso Times

Census can count on trouble in West Texas, San Antonio Express-News

Texas Candidates Rush to Raise Money by July Deadline, The Texas Tribune

Brownsville beats out S.A. for plastics factory, San Antonio Express-News

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