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The Brief: July 6, 2010

Two was company in the first general-election debate of the governor's race.

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Two was company on Monday night in Kerrville at the first general-election debate in the governor's race.

And three might not have even been a crowd, as the two debaters, Democrat Bill White and Libertarian Kathie Glass, spent much of their time at the forum attacking Gov. Rick Perry for not participating.

"If you don't have the guts to get up here on stage and answer to the taxpayers who pay your salary, then you shouldn't be elected governor," said White, who added that the governor "attacks his opponents with negative campaigns, takes credit for what's good and accepts no responsibility for a lot of mismanagement." Glass, heavy on the state sovereignty rhetoric, blasted Perry for lacking conviction in opposing federal policies and called a vote for him "a wasted vote." (Burnt Orange Report liveblogged the event, which was streamed online.) "You know you're voting for the man you wish he were," she said.

The face-off echoed the first rounds of debate in the Republican primary, which saw U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Libertarian-leaning Debra Medina devoting much of their speaking time to bashing Perry. Since participating in the primary debates, Perry has since refused to debate White until he releases tax returns dating back to the 1990s.

After the debate, Perry spokesman Mark Miner shot back with a statement: "It is unfortunate that Bill White failed to unveil one new policy initiative this evening and chose instead to continue a campaign based on personal attacks, rather than ideas that would move Texas forward. Under Governor Perry’s leadership, Texas continues to have one of the strongest economies in the nation and is a leader in job creation."

The forum also attracted a similar candidate crowd in the attorney general race: Democrat Barbara Ann Radnofsky and Libertarian Jon Roland, who similarly targeted Republican incumbent Greg Abbott for forgoing the event.


  • Spared no more, Texas got its first taste of oil from the Gulf spill this weekend as tar balls washed ashore on the Bolivar Peninsula. Officials, who say the incident may have been an anomaly, are hoping this doesn't portend more crude in sight for the coast.
  • On-again, off-again: There may not be a better descriptor for the Green Party's relationship with the Texas ballot, on which — a judge ruled Friday — the party may now appear.

"Politics isn't entertaining enough." — Democratic strategist Harold Cook on the emerging brand of early political campaigning via online videos


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