Gov. Rick Perry said today he is going to withdraw the homestead exemption on a home he owns in College Station and will repay tax savings he gained last year. The Associated Press reported yesterday that Perry claimed a homestead exemption on a house in College Station even though he votes, works and lives in Austin in a home taxpayers foot the bill for. His daughter Sydney Perry apparently lives in the College Station home and has roommates who pay rent to stay with her in the house that's valued at $243,900. Perry spokesman Mark Miner issued this statement today: "Although approved by the
Brazos County Appraisal District, Gov. Perry today has chosen to withdraw the
homestead exemption for his house in College Station. The governor plans to
reimburse Brazos County $183.16 in tax savings for the year 2008. Gov. Perry
believes transparency is critical for open and honest government, which is why
throughout his career he has always released his tax returns and other
El Paso lawyer Mike Torres said today he is seriously considering challenging first-term state Rep. Marisa Marquez in the 2010 Democratic primary election. "I've never run for anything, but I'm looking at it and seeing whether this something I can have a go at," Torres said. Torres, who turned 40 today, worked for former U.S. Rep. Ron Coleman. Asked if there was anything lacking about the current representation that spurred his contemplation, Torres said, "I'm not going to comment about any of that at this time until I make a decision." He didn't say when a decision might be forthcoming. Marquez won the Democratic primary last year, beating out veteran state Rep. Paul Moreno, and she just finished her first legislative session. Marquez said she expects competition, because many El Pasoans were biding their time to run when Moreno retired from the position he held for four decades. "We take every challenge seriously," Marquez said, "but we had a great session."
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will be in El Paso on Aug. 21 for a stop on her gubernatorial campaign launch tour, said Charlie Garza, who is doing political work for the campaign in El Paso and West Texas. If Garza's name sounds familiar to you, it's probably because he ran against state Rep. Chente Quintanilla, D-El Paso, last year. Hutchison's campaign would not confirm the event, which Garza said would take place at 2:30 p.m. at Jaxon's on Airway Blvd. The campaign said only that El Paso would be one of the stops on the launch tour. In other Hutchison vs. Gov. Rick Perry slugfest news, Perry's campaign put out this video yesterday:
And Hutchison's campaign today launched its "Perry Trans-Texas Corridor Clock," which is counting the seconds until Perry says whether still supports the big road plan that drew great public ire. "Texans
deserve a straight yes or no from Rick Perry on whether he still supports his
controversial Trans-Texas Corridor plan to confiscate nearly 600,000 acres of
land. His refusal to say is just another attempt by Rick Perry to cover-up his
record of doing what’s right for himself but wrong for Texas," campaign spokesman Jeff Sadosky said in a press release.
State Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, is among local lawmakers who keep a presence on Facebook. Reps. Marisa Marquez and Norma Chavez, are on FB, too. State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh has some related pages, but not a personal one. Friday, Moody posted these pictures from an event honoring him as freshman lawmaker of the year. Moody, who used to work in the El Paso County district attorney's office, just wrapped up his first legislative session in Austin. The Texas District and County Attorneys Association named him freshman lawmaker of the year, because he "passed more criminal justice legislation than any feshman in recent history and he consistently supported prosecutors and crime victims," according to a press release from Moody's office. Here's a list of all the bills Moody filed this session that also tells you where those bills ended up.
Why should Gov. Rick Perry be the only one taking jabs at U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison? Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Schieffer took his turn today. In a press statement, he called Hutchison's vote against the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who will become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, a "sad commentary." He said Hutchison's vote betrays the "bitter partisanship that grips our state and country." Schieffer said Sotomayor's story was a reaffirmation of the American dream. Both Texas senators, Hutchison and Sen. John Cornyn, voted against Sotomayor's confirmation, along with 29 other Republicans who questioned her ability to rule without bias after public statements she made about having a "wise Latina" on the bench. "The
only reason Senator Hutchison voted against Judge Sotomayor was because
Republican partisans demanded it," Schieffer said. "That is not how the system is supposed to
work, and it is not the way a conscientious public servant would act. This will
not be a day when history remembers Senator Hutchison well."
Starting this week, the Texas Department of Public Safety will be issuing newly design vehicle inspection stickers. There will be 10 different designs, each with a cowboy. What design you get depends on a variety of factors including the age of your car and whether it requires emissions testing. "We wanted to present a new certificate design that was immediately identifiable as being Texan," JoJo Heselmeyer, DPS director of vehicle services said in a press release today. Here's a sample DPS sent out:
Earlier today, Austin American-Statesman reporter Gardner Selby posted some interesting information he found on the campaign Web site for U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Apparently, the phrase "Rick Perry gay" was among a bunch of "hidden phrases" on the site. Take a look at Selby's blog post for a full accounting from the campaign of how the phrases got there. To make a long story short, the campaign said the phrases weren't there intentionally and would be removed.
Also today, Gov. Rick Perry's campaign put out this video making fun of Hutchison for the confusion she created in the media with her seemingly opposing statements about her impending resignation from the U.S. Senate.
It's not even August. We've got about seven more months for this to get really heated.
With all the hubbub today about Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison telling a Dallas radio station she plans to leave the Senate this fall, Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams didn't want anybody to forget he really wants to take her place. Really, really. Here's the statement his campaign sent out this afternoon:
AUSTIN – Corbin Casteel, Campaign Manager for the Michael Williams for U.S.
Senate Committee released the following statement in response to Senator
Hutchison’s announcement this morning of her imminent resignation:
“Michael Williams is
ready to run and ready to win with an unequaled grassroots network of thousands
of supporters, and the right message of stopping bailouts without
accountability, and record spending that jeopardizes our children’s future. Our
team is ready.”
That resignation, though, might not be as imminent as it sounded at first, according to this report from Congressional Quarterly.
Every once in a while I get some random entertaining press e-mail in my inbox that I just have to share. Today's could be the best yet. The subject was something about tattooed librarians. I figured it would be some sort of cheesy joke about librarians and books and ink and ... ha, ha, ha. Boy, was I wrong. Reading further, the press release says the Texas Library Association's latest fundraising effort is an 18-month calendar featuring "librarians from school, public and
academic libraries, in various states of dress and undress, showing off
their tattoos." Really. You must see to believe. And in other completely unrelated news, which is not as sexy, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, made some changes in her campaign staff today. Here's that press release: Hutchison
Campaign Fills Key Staff Positions
AUSTIN – As Texans for Kay builds towards Kay Bailey
Hutchison’s formal announcement of her run for Governor in August, the
campaign has added to its political and communications team. This added depth
and experience will provide a solid footing as Senator Hutchison builds upon
the foundation created during the exploratory phase of the campaign.
“I’m so pleased to have Terry with me again for
this race. Terry’s strategic vision and experience in tough primary
campaigns will be invaluable over the next year,” stated Senator
Hutchison. “Jennifer, Jeff and Joe have been on the front lines of some
of the most hard-fought campaigns in the last decade, and their expertise will
help our campaign get our vision for Texas in the 21st century out
Terry Sullivan – Campaign Manager Terry
Sullivan will serve as campaign manager for the campaign. Terry is returning to
Texas after having worked with Sen. Hutchison on her 2006 campaign.
“Young aide an old hand at battle” is how the Dallas
Morning News described Terry Sullivan. He is known as a hardball strategist
in heated campaigns. From his early career working as a youth coordinator for
Senator Jesse Helms to serving in leadership roles in multiple Presidential, US
Senate and Congressional campaigns including Senator Jim DeMint, Mitt Romney
and Steve Forbes, Terry has experience being in the toughest fights and
Terry is currently the managing partner in the political consulting firm First
Tuesday Strategies and the direct mail firm On The Mark. He is also a
co-founder in the political Web firm UnderThePowerLines.
Terry is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at
Jennifer Coxe-Baker – Senior Communications Advisor Jennifer Coxe-Baker will serve as a senior communications
advisor to the campaign. In this capacity she will oversee of all aspects of
the campaign related to communications. She brings to Texas more than thirteen
years experience in political communications and grass roots politics.
A veteran of numerous state and national campaigns, Jennifer has served as the
communications director in several hotly contested and high profile Republican
primaries, including U.S. Senator Mel Martinez' 2004 campaign and U.S
Congressman Van Hilleary's 2002 gubernatorial bid. She also served as
Congressman Hilleary’s campaign manager in the 2006 U.S. Senate primary
She has served as a senior communications advisor to the
Senate Republican Conference, communications director for Rep. John Linder of
Georgia, press secretary for the Bush-Cheney Victory 2000 operation and
director for regional communications at the Republican National Committee.
Most recently, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Public
Affairs under Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Jennifer is a graduate of Florida State University.
Jeff Sadosky – Press Secretary Jeff Sadosky will serve as press secretary and chief media
spokesperson for the campaign.
Most recently Jeff served as Communications Director in Sen.
Hutchison's Senate office. Jeff has worked for the past two
Republican nominees for President, first as Southwest Regional Coordinator for
President Bush's re-election campaign, and as Director of Regional
Communications for John McCain's campaign, where he managed more than a dozen
regional communications directors deployed across the country in battleground
During the '08 presidential primary, he served as traveling
press secretary for Senator Fred Thompson's campaign. Prior to this, Jeff
was Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Mike DeWine and Communications Director
for the Republican Party of Florida.
Jeff is a graduate of James Madison University.
Joe Pounder – Deputy Communications Director Joe Pounder will serve as Deputy Communications Director for
the campaign. In this capacity he will oversee the campaign’s rapid
response operation. Of Pounder, The Politico wrote, “Few
communications staffers on or off the Hill dominate
inboxes the way [he] does.”
Joe currently serves as Strategic Communications Director
for House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA). Before moving to Capitol Hill, he
worked as Rapid Response Director for both the McCain-Palin and Romney
presidential campaigns. He also worked as Deputy Research Director for the California
Republican Party in 2006 and began his career by joining the White House staff
of President George W. Bush where he worked in both Communications and
Presidential Personnel from 2004 to 2006.
Joe is a graduate of the George Washington University.
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