THE BIG CONVERSATION:
Add another layer to the tale of the unlikely reanimation of the Texas Green Party.
E-mails sent by Green Party statewide coordinator Kat Swift in March mentioning a Republican consultant, Anthony Holm, surfaced Tuesday. Holm, Swift's message indicated, could provide funding to help get the Green Party on the state ballot in November: "So I just got a call that a republican in texas [sic] wants to give us 40% of the cost of petitioning …" the message read. Holm says he wasn't involved in funding the petition drive and that the email is incorrect.
The news came only two weeks after lobbyist Mike Toomey, a former chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry, was revealed to have organized an early effort to collect signatures to get the Greens on the ballot, with the likely intention of siphoning votes from Democrats. (Toomey has remained silent on the issue.) And incidentally, Holm, who works with the lobbying firm Patriot Group, has ties of his own to Perry: Patriot represented the Perry campaign last year, according to the Austin American-Statesman. (That's not a current contract, says Perry spokesman Mark Miner.)
Since the news broke, Holm has challenged the e-mail indicating he could fund the ballot drive, and Swift has said she didn't intend to insinuate that Holm could provide the funding. "I'll help [the Green Party] in any way possible," Holm told the Statesman. "But I've never offered them money or gone out there and sourced them money." Holm said he is playing no part in Perry's re-election campaign.
Holm also denied, via The Dallas Morning News, that homebuilder Bob Perry, whom Holm represents, was involved in efforts to promote the Greens.
Democrats pounced on the possible ties between the Green Party and the governor, and the Lone Star Project, a Democratic research outfit, got the stories rolling in the first place. "It is no longer credible for Rick Perry to deny his campaign's involvement in the ballot scandal," said Democratic strategist Matt Angle, according to the Morning News.
- Bill White's "achingly earnest" campaign — as the San Antonio Express-News' Peggy Fikac recently characterized it — took another swipe at Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday, accusing the governor of considering campaign contributions in determining political appointments. The jab came as the state Democratic Party took aim at Perry's financial disclosure statements. Perry called White's criticisms "little I-gotcha" politics.
- Ah, sunlight, the best disinfectant. Or perhaps, rather, sunset. The Sunset Advisory Commission, which reviews the efficiency of state agencies, approved changes Wednesday to the embattled Division of Workers' Compensation.
- The Department of Justice filed suit Tuesday against the controversial new Arizona immigration law, and Texas politicians sounded off. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn: "I am disappointed the Administration has made suing Arizona its priority. The White House must focus on getting the federal government to do its job, which means securing our border and proposing specific reforms to our broken immigration system."
"I don't know whether to be flattered or to be creeped out." — Democratic land commissioner candidate Hector Uribe, upon learning that an individual in Indiana has been using his photo on a dating site
Dallas Police Chief Brown to return to work today — The Dallas Morning News
Deepwater oil likely didn't get here naturally, officials say — Austin American-Statesman
Alamo fundraising campaign falls flat; caretaker group blames newspaper — The Dallas Morning News
Weary of Fighting Natural Gas, DISH Mayor To Leave Town — The Texas Tribune