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The Brief: July 20, 2010

It's back to back-and-forth in the governor's race this week.

Republican Rick Perry and Democrat Bill White

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Finance reports and education stole some attention last week, but it's back to back-and-forth in the governor's race this week.

In the latest round of allegations, Gov. Rick Perry has accused opponent Bill White of lying about profits he made off an investment in Frontera Resources, an oil company he founded in 1996 but from which he resigned his chairmanship in 2001.

The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that White has made $1.1 million in profit off the sale of Frontera stock since 2006. Perry's camp seized on the news, saying in a statement that White had been "caught in a lie" after claiming in 2003 that he hadn't "made a penny" from the company.

White's camp called the accusations baseless. White denied in 2003 having made any money from the company because he hadn't at the time, said spokeswoman Katy Bacon. Profits, which White has fully reported in tax returns, didn't come until years later, she said.

Perry's camp took the opportunity to loop the conversation back around to its insistence that White release tax returns dating back to his time in the Clinton administration. "He needs to be honest with the people of this state. There's something in his records he doesn't want people to know, and until he releases them, I refuse to be on stage with him during a debate. It's that simple," Perry said Monday during a visit to Fort Worth, where he also defended the state's natural gas drilling regulations.

White shot back at Perry for his own involvement with MKS Natural Gas, from which Perry has profited through "conflicts of interest" while in office, White's campaign said. Perry has said no such conflicts exist.

According to the Star-Telegram, Bacon said of Perry's support for drilling regulations: "It is surprising to see Perry pretending to be an advocate for the natural gas industry when he's been attacking Bill White for being a successful businessman in the oil and gas industry."

CULLED:

  • George P. Bush, son of Jeb Bush and nephew of George W. Bush, will join others at a press conference today in announcing the formation of Hispanic Republicans of Texas, which will seek to recruit Hispanic Republicans and promote them to office.
  • President Obama is headed to Texas in August, the Austin American-Statesman reports. As for an Obama/Bill White joint appearance, don't count on it, the Statesman says.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield, which has resisted covering the costs for a crucial infant vaccine, reversed its policy Monday, the same day — not coincidentally, one pediatrician says — the Tribune's Emily Ramshaw contacted Blue Cross about the matter.

MUST-READ:

Feds: Leaking from cap isn't cause for alarm yet — The Associated Press

Deadly Gulf blowouts persistHouston Chronicle

TEA's school ratings next week will have a footnoteHouston Chronicle

Job scams erupt from BP oil spillThe Beaumont Enterprise

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