Rick Perry vs. the World *
Tracking the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.
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Monday, February 21, 2005
Ben Barnes to head Democrats for Hutchison?

Via Greg, I see that Save Texas Reps is reporting:
Word out of the nation's capital this weekend is that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has asked former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes to head up a "Democrats for Hutchison," sparking renewed speculation that Texas' senior solon has made her decision to take on Rick Perry in what promises to be a bruising GOP primary.

Barnes, a longtime Hutchison supporter, was at the center of last fall's CBS controversy over reports that George W. Bush was AWOL from much of his National Guard duties in the early Seventies. For Hutchison to call on him now has raised eyebrows among her supporters who wonder whether aligning herself this closely to the Bush-bashing Barnes makes sense in a GOP primary.

It certainly seems odd in a Republican primary to take a player in the Rathergate scandal and ask him to join your campaign.

UPDATE: Perhaps it seemed odd because it was? Someone who has been emailing to complain about my coverage of KBH claims that:
The Ben Barnes story is totally phony. KBH hasn't talked to Barnes in months. He will not be doing any fundraising for her. This is a completely phony story, probably put out by Perry people to cast doubt on her Republican credentials.

UPDATE 2: More from STR:
A longtime political powerbroker and friend of Hutchison's in Laredo is telling folks that Ben Barnes is indeed on board with her and has pledged to raise at least $1 million through a "Democrats for Hutchison" front group.

Update 3: Both camps deny the rumor.

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