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

Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Gubernatorial news for the past few days
Apologize for the slow posting over the past few days. Some of my old roommates from Rice came back to town.

1. Robert Rivard, editor of the SAEN writes a column about the traffic on I-35 and the Trans-Texas Corridor. Inasmuch as the column dwells on the need to ameliorate traffic, it's good for Perry. As Rivard notes, this could be the "enduring legacy" of Perry's governorship. That's often true of huge public works projects.

I wrote before that I thought the TTC would be a net loser politically for Perry, before updating the post to change my mind (link). Since Perry's opponents are likely to attack Perry for lack of accomplishments in the last 4 years, Perry really wants the TTC built.

2. Todd Gillman in the DMN divines the tea leaves:
An occasional search for clues to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's political future:

•One day last week, the senator was seen outside the Senate chamber chatting and posing for photos with Texas members of the Alliance for I-69, a network of elected officials and civic leaders pushing for a new trade route linking Mexico to Canada, via Houston and East Texas.

Lots of votes in that corridor.

•A couple of days later, she announced that she'll take a three-day tour later this month tracing the route of El Camino Real de los Tejas – a 2,600-mile trail once used by settlers, American Indians and heroes of Texas independence. Ms. Hutchison spent three years securing a historic designation, which Mr. Bush signed into law last fall. Lots of vote-rich settlements along that route, from Nacogdoches to San Antonio to Eagle Pass, and she'll stop at a dozen of them.

•Then there was the meeting she hosted last week, where half the Texas congressional delegation lobbied four high-level Pentagon officials to protect Texas military bases from the next round of closures.

Television cameras were on hand.

•And she offered tough talk when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finalized a deal Thursday for Mexico to repay its water debt to Texas. The pact ended one feud but fueled another – the one between the senator and Gov. Rick Perry.

He lauded the deal and played up his role in the breakthrough, when he encouraged Mexico to tap sources beyond the region covered by a 1944 treaty to repay Texas farmers and utilities.

She emphasized that the deal forgives 155,000 of the 1.5 million acre-feet Mexico once owed – enough to flood almost a half-acre of land with water 1 foot deep. She wanted it all back, plus interest.

"This agreement is long overdue, and it may well be the best deal available," the senator said. "But the debt should have been paid in full."

3. Perry press release:
Gov. Rick Perry today named Philip Johnson, chief justice of the 7th District Court of Appeals, to the Supreme Court of Texas.

"I looked across Texas for an individual who could add to the High Court's depth of experience, who is committed to interpreting the law in accordance with the will of the legislature and our founding fathers, and who has demonstrated the high level of integrity demanded by the people of Texas," Perry said. "One extraordinary West Texan fit the bill and that is the Chief Justice of the 7th District Court of Appeals, Phil Johnson."
Here is the Statesman's take.

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