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The Brief: Oct. 5, 2010

In a reversal, Gov. Rick Perry's now giving Bill White a run for his money.

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THE BIG CONVERSATION:

In a reversal, Gov. Rick Perry's now giving Bill White a run for his money.

According to campaign releases Monday, the governor raised nearly twice as much cash — $8.3 million to $4.7 million — as Democrat Bill White between July 1 and Sept. 23. In the last finance filing period, White led Perry, who'd just come out of a competitive primary.

Perry's campaign also reported a hefty cash-on-hand advantage this time around: $10 million to White's $2.8 million. But the White campaign attributed that stark difference to the $4 million White has already plunked down to reserve air time for future TV ads.

Some of Perry's biggest contributions came from Houston homebuilder Bob Perry ($600,000), Ross Perot ($100,000) and energy magnate T. Boone Pickens ($100,000). White drew generous support from Robert Patton Jr., owner of Fort Worth magazine ($125,000), and the Democratic Governors Association, which, in addition to its $500,000 contribution this period, has also started airing statewide ads in support of White.

News of the fundraising totals, which were due in full to the Texas Ethics Commission on Monday, came amid a mixed bag of a day for White, who ratcheted up attacks on Perry for doling out awards from a state technology fund to investors with ties to Perry donors. White, who appeared to be gaining traction with the story, called it "part of Rick Perry helping his friends, and his friends helping Rick Perry," according to The Dallas Morning News. Perry, to the Morning News, shot back: "If what you are trying to say is they are all in some kind of confederacy to deliver these projects to certain people, I just don't agree with you. I think that's connecting dots that don't exist."

But the day ended on a lower note for White, with a poll from WFAA-Belo showing Perry leading White by double digits — and finally eclipsing that 50-percent mark, which has long eluded the governor. As WFAA notes, the 14-point spread (50 to 36) gives Perry his widest margins yet over White.

CULLED:

  • Bill White's latest ad, titled "Profile in Courage," with soaring music in tow, touts the former Houston mayor's leadership during hurricanes Katrina and Rita and hits Gov. Rick Perry for becoming "a millionaire on the public payroll."

  • Attorney General Greg Abbott on Monday called for a halt on foreclosures across the state in light of recent news of bank employee "robosigning."
  • Mexican authorities have so far found no signs of the alleged attack on two Americans last week on a Rio Grande reservoir that left one dead. "We are not certain that the incident happened the way that they are telling us," a district attorney in Mexico says of the deceased man's wife, who survived the reported incident.

"I don't mind saying we are behind. I relish being the underdog." — Democratic U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, admitting to the Dallas Morning News editorial board that he's trailing in his bid  to hold on to his seat in conservative House District 17, a race that's received no shortage of coverage (today, it's the Houston Chronicle's turn)

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