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The Brief: Oct. 8, 2010

Thursday was a mixed bag for Gov. Rick Perry — but he'll probably take it.

BIll White, Rick Perry at their Primary 2010 reception speeches.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Thursday was a mixed bag for Gov. Rick Perry — but he'll probably take it.

The day started with news that challenger Bill White's campaign had gotten its hands on a one-day "secret schedule" of Perry's detailing his whereabouts like no other previously released document. In the summer, White hit Perry on the his sometimes sparely documented work schedules, for which he dubbed the governor "Part-Time Perry."

The "secret" schedule, it turned out, had been mistakenly released to White's campaign, which had filed an open-records request for the document. "We were shocked, first of all, that Rick Perry’s well-honed campaign political machine allowed this to happen," said White spokeswoman Katy Bacon, as reported by the Tribune's Elise Hu. "This is clearly a mistake that they released this, because it’s unlike any other document we have — we have eight years of binders of his schedules … the longer he was governor the less he included. And now we see what he’s actually doing.”

Perry's office admitted that it accidentally released the governor's political calendar, which is exempt from public records laws, unlike his official schedule, his office said. "This was a one-time occurrence, and we are taking steps to prevent this in the future," said Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger.

But the Perry camp, whatever misstep it made aside, was likely buoyed by the release of a Rasmussen Reports poll showing the governor leading White by 11 points, 53-42 — the second poll released this week showing Perry widening his lead over White in the campaign's final month.

And despite a Texas Lyceum poll out this week that showed the race still close at 5 points, Rice University political scientist Mark Jones tells the Houston Chronicle that things look dire for White. "At this point, I don't see anything [he] can do," Jones says.

But, naturally, White's camp isn't having any of that. As Bacon, White's spokeswoman, tells the Chronicle, "When people know about Bill White, they tend to support him."

CULLED:

  • U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, on Thursday broke his own policy of not releasing internal polling, saying his own surveys show him running 4 points behind his Republican opponent, Bill Flores. A previous internal poll showed Edwards running 10 points behind.
  • The mystery on Falcon Lake may be a mystery no more. On Thursday, investigators affirmed the veracity of Tiffany Hartley's claims that her husband was shot by drug pirates while the two explored the border reservoir on Jet Skis. A body has yet to be found, though, and threats of an ambush from drug gangs have slowed further search efforts.
  • Another U.S. attorney candidate, San Antonio lawyer Michael McCrum, has withdrawn his name from consideration, citing the drawn-out nomination process that has caused a number of candidates to similarly drop out nationwide since Barack Obama took office.

“In the Church of Christ, if you get a sex change, I won’t sit by you next Sunday.” — State Rep. Jim McReynolds, D-Lufkin — one of the so-called WD-40s (white Democrats over the age of 40), whom the Trib's Reeve Hamilton reports on today — creatively drawing a parallel to his resistance to switching parties

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