THE BIG CONVERSATION:
For fans of horse-race style politics, yesterday was a good day.
A Rasmussen Reports poll showed Gov. Rick Perry still edging opponent Bill White, 50-41. But mid-year campaign finance reports, due to the state Thursday, showed White winning the money battle, with about $3 million more cash on hand than Perry.
Polls have shifted little since the beginning of the year. An outlier showed Perry and White running even last month, but most have fallen in line with Rasmussen, which has put the candidates at a similar 8- to 9-point split since January.
But White's fundraising advantage — which may only reflect the easier primary White fought than the one Perry faced against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who similarly outraised him — still lends him momentum. And while White's financial lead might bring to mind millionaire Democrat Tony Sanchez, whom Perry crushed in 2002, if nothing else, the figures — White's $9 million on hand and Perry's $5.9 million — foretell a bloody battle likely to be played out on TV sets across the state.
Some notable specifics from the candidates' reports: Each raised about $7 million since their primaries in March. White's campaign says he raised more than $1 million from former Hutchison supporters and received $1 million from the Democratic Governors Association. Perry netted eight $100,000 contributions, one at $75,000 and 14 at $50,000.
The next financial reports are due 30 days before Election Day.
- Other finance report notables from Thursday: Contributions to U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, of Apologygate, slowed in June. Republican Bill Flores outraised incumbent U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, but Edwards has more cash on hand.
- The Department of Family and Protective Services will meet today to address caregiver-to-child ratio at child care centers. The Tribune's Sarah Acosta has a preview: "Some private child care centers fear that smaller group and ratio sizes will cost too much and drive them out of business. The Texas Licensed Child Care Association, which opposes the proposed changes, says its main goal is to protect children in Texas while keeping the childcare business economically viable."
- Yes, you're reading this right: Oil has stopped flowing in the Gulf. At least temporarily.
"He said I was testy. I thought I was firm." — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in Laredo, addressing a phone call she made to Gov. Rick Perry last month during which, Perry said, she got "a little testy" when Perry brought up border-related issues
District attorney looking into Green Party ballot dispute — Austin American-Statesman
Police killed in Juárez blast — El Paso Times
UT System regents vote to rename Simkins hall — Austin American-Statesman
Transportation advocates surprised by change in committee chairman — Fort Worth Star-Telegram