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February 27, 2009

Perry Digs For Dirt

Having already alienated large segments of the GOP base, I guess Gov. Rick Perry has decided that the surest path to reelection is to start digging for dirt on his primary opponent.

Gov. Rick Perry's re-election campaign has been asking Dallas City Hall for information concerning rival Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and her husband, a signal that the campaign could turn personal.

Ray Hutchison is a prominent bond attorney who has represented public agencies for decades.

Perry has promised a vigorous campaign if Hutchison challenges him in the March 2010 Republican primary, as she has said she will.

"We're interested, as most Texans would be, in how Senator Bailout's husband's bond business has benefited from her job in D.C.," said Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner, using a nickname the campaign has applied to the senator for her support of the federal government's initial financial-industry assistance plan.

Ray Hutchison told the Dallas Morning News the Perry campaign has filed such open-records requests all across the state and that their fishing expedition was "stupid." He said he has not benefited from his wife's position as senator.

"I don't know what she does. I don't communicate with her staff," he said.
Hutchison's campaign said the request shows Perry intends to run a negative campaign.

"On the heels of some bad poll numbers, Rick Perry is taking the low road for an election that's 13 months away," said Rick Wiley, Hutchison's campaign manager. "Republicans don't want that kind of campaign, but he's already showing his hand and decided to go down that road. It's vintage Rick Perry."

Iím struck by several things in the article.

First, the distinct lack of class shown by Perry spokesman Miner. Iíve yet to see the Hutchison campaign refer to the incumbent as ďGovernor GoodhairĒ or any other derogatory nickname.

Second, Iím struck by the sleazy innuendo. Miner states that they are checking to see ďhowĒ Hutchisonís husband benefited from her work as a Senator, not if it had benefited. This is an effort to imply that Ray Hutchisonís business has benefited, and that any benefits have been illicit. If Perry wants to make such a claim, let him produce some evidence to back it up.

Third, Iím rather amused by the sort of stuff that has been requested.

The request, dated Feb. 24, asked Mayor Tom Leppert's office for copies of all documents in which Kay Bailey Hutchison's name appears with the words bond, bonds, funds, funding or project.

It also asks for any letters or correspondence to Hutchison or her office seeking federal action or support and any "letters of acknowledgment and thanks."

Good grief, the Perry campaign is even after thank you notes! Thatís a sure sign that we are seeing the campaign of a desperate and pathetic incumbent who wants to cling to power by any means necessary.

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