Rick Perry vs. the World *
Tracking the 2006 Texas gubernatorial race.
* Now at the new Rick Perry vs World

Saturday, March 26, 2005
Brouhaha aftermath
Jay Root, FWST:
A secretly recorded video. An alleged political threat to a state senator. A faked phone call to a talk radio program.

And the race, if there is one, is still a year away.

As if any evidence of it were needed, the potential contest between Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is on the verge of becoming a Republican Party blood bath.


Hutchison campaign manager Terry Sullivan called the Perry tactics a "Nixonian kind of bullying."

"Is this the Gestapo?" he said. "You can't disagree with the governor on issues without them sending camera crews halfway across the country? Obviously, they're desperate."

For the record, the camera crew was based in the Washington area and received $2,100 from the Perry campaign to film the event, officials said.

Sullivan characterized Hutchison as very reluctant to engage Perry head-to-head despite their differences on key issues such as taxes and gambling.

She "bit her tongue on the payroll tax, bit her tongue on the gambling coming back up," said Sullivan, referring to tax and slot-machine proposals that state legislators are debating.

"She's gone out of her way not to start a feud," Sullivan said.

But Perry operatives say Hutchison political consultant Chad Wilbanks did little to stop the feuding when he pretended to be "Charles from Flower Mound" during a phone call to the radio talk show of conservative moderator Mark Davis on WBAP/820 AM this month.

The Hutchison campaign, after remaining silent on the issue, acknowledged this week that Wilbanks was, in fact, "Charles."

"It was certainly not anything planned by the campaign," said Sullivan, adding that the fake call was "absolutely" a mistake.

Saenz, the Perry campaign director, said the flap showed "the character of whatever campaign they're going to run."


It's too early to say whether the intraparty tit-for-tat has scarred either Hutchison or Perry. Harvey Kronberg, editor of the online political newsletter Quorum Report, said the surreptitious filming of Hutchison with Clinton shows the Perry campaign is trying to bring down the senator's approval ratings and frighten her.

"I think this is all just chest-beating to send a message to Kay that it's going to be an ugly fight and to try to scare her out of the race," Kronberg said. Hutchison officials say they're "embarrassed" for Perry, not frightened by him.

<< Home

Copyright 2005 Perry Vs World.
All rights reserved. Online Event Registration