A Look Back at a Month of Rick Perry and Texas Republican Failure

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Texas Democrats are energized and excited heading to the TDP State Convention this weekend. The latest polls have shown that, despite being known by 100% of Texans, Rick Perry still can't get above 50% in the polls. Perry has hit his ceiling, and has nowhere to go but down from here — especially as Bill White's campaign ramps up for their summer work.

There are two major, major reasons for Democrats to be excited:

  • Bill White is running a fully-funded, professional statewide campaign
  • Texas Republicans can't stop tripping over themselves

I write about what's happening with Bill White's campaign on a daily basis, and will have more about his campaign tomorrow, before the start of the TDP Convention. Before then, let's remind ourselves, quickly, of all the massive failures of Rick Perry and Texas Republicans from recent weeks:

Rick Perry’s Worst Month Ever

  1. Rental Mansion – Perry's rental mansion continues to drag him down; the latest TV ad from the Back to Basics PAC will continue to pile onto that story. Perry is living in a $10,000-a-month taxpayer-funded rental mansion. Meanwhile, Texans for Public Justice have filed an ethics complaint against Perry for his failure to properly disclose where the money comes and goes from his “mansion fund.”

    Bill White, meanwhile, has agreed to live in a double-wide if elected Governor.

  2. Part-Time Perry – Perry’s state schedules show that Perry averages just seven hours of work per week, earning a rate of approximately $428.57 per hour. Texans expect a full-time governor, not someone who ignores an $18 billion budget deficit.
  3. Rick Chicken Perry – Described as “the cluck heard round the world” — Perry’s campaign team decided to host a press conference in front of Bill White’s headquarters. Instead of making whatever meaningless point they were trying to make, Perry’s team ended up as funny props for a Bill White rally. We have photos and video of Bill White supporters — including a guy in a chicken suit – holding signs and chanted “Rick Chicken Perry” and “Debate Bill Now!” in our wrap-up post, “Rick “Chicken” Perry Campaign Hosts Bill White Press Conference.”
  4. Republicans Agree: Perry May Not Win – Don’t take our word for it. Ask Republicans:

“[Bill White] is plain-spoken. He is very specific-oriented. He’s kind of our nightmare…” – former RPT political director, Royal Masset

“[Rick Perry]’s been lucky as a candidate. I think his luck runs out against Bill White.” – Jim McGrath, former Bush speechwriter

Texas Republicans: Corruption, Scandal, and Failure

  1. Joe Barton Apologizes to BP – Months ago, First Rick Perry suggests the BP disaster was simply an “act of God” and argued that BP “historically had a very good safety record.” Then Texas Republican Joe Barton apologized to BP, and then unapologized. Rick Perry and Texas Republicans want to defend BP instead of the victims of the senseless, man-made tragedy in the Gulf.
  2. Linda Harper-Benz – I mean, come on. And then the video? COME ON.
  3. Stefani Carter Plagiarism – Not only has she plagiarized, on video, parts of Obama’s speech, she also pads her résumé — trying to assert that she was a “fellow” at the Heritage Foundation (she was an intern), and further trying to claim she was a “columnist” for USA Today (she penned a couple guest pieces, but never worked for the paper).
  4. RPT in Disarray – The Republican Party of Texas convention in Dallas was supposed to be all about unity. Instead, facing well over $550,000 of debt, the Republican state party elected a new chair, Steve Munisteri, and passed a brutally divisive platform that highlights the extreme values of a party out-of-touch with Texans
  5. Leo Berman Files for Speaker – Speaker of the House Joe Straus narrowly escaped a condemning resolution of his own during the RPT convention. Now Leo Berman, angry over Straus’ alleged moderate tendencies, has officially filed against him.

About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


    • Oh, please…
      The Obama Administration has given BP the green light to go destroy the Arctic Ocean along with the Gulf of Mexico. Last time I checked, Barack Obama was a Democrat. Although these days, what is a Democrat?  Or a Republican?

      Interesting that the Hutchison supporters are now supporting Bill White.  And Jim McGrath. So the Bush Republicans are supporting Bill White.  As they did when he ran for mayor of Houston. Something wrong with the picture.

      I know, I know. “Works well with Republicans…”

      • Are you kidding me?
        Republicans like Sarah Palin and Louie Gohmert are comparing Obama's tough stand on BP to the heinous acts of a horrible and vile man, Adolf Hitler.  This is how over the top and irrational the GOP has become.  Maybe Republicans might want to turn off demagogues like Rush for a few days and start thinking for themselves.  If that is possible.    

        As far as Republican support for Bill White, my Republican neighbors in Houston are voting for White because

        1.  Everyone knows that Bill White is a vast improvement over Bill White. Folks know for certain, given White's service as mayor, he will work on behalf of the people instead of the deep pocketed fat cats.

        2.  Perry lost moderates when he lurched over to the loony tunes right with his secessionist trash talking.  He also lost my neighbors when he went over board, according to them, not me, with his trashing of KBH.

        3.  Many Houston D's and R's both agree that Rick Perry is an arrogant, self-serving man who is out for himself while he throws the hard working and jobless people under the bus.  All are also sick and tired of Perry attacks on Houston, the state's largest, economically vibrant and most diverse city that is home to some of the nation's top level research institutions.  

        Maybe Rick Perry ought to take his secessionist, Bircher and teabagging soul mates and secede up to Alaska where all can live in blissful ignorance happily ever after.  

        • Are you kidding me?
          Republicans like Sarah Palin and Louie Gohmert are comparing Obama's tough stand on BP to the heinous acts of a horrible and vile man, Adolf Hitler.


          I wouldn't call allowing BP to proceed to begin drilling in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska a “tough stand” or any stand at all.  

          • Drilling in the Artic should not happen
            It seems that the Obama Administration had a coming to Jesus moment when it realized BP had no plan for any kind of oil spill, leak or gusher. Not only did BP have no plan it is scratching its head trying to figure out how it happened. DOH! Who would have thought? Homer Simpson would have asked.

            Just like the W. Administration had no exit strategy for the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.  Just bomb the living crap out of everything not nailed down and ask questions later.

            Corporate Republicanism = FAIL

            The Obama Administration called for a moratorium on all deep water drilling. But alas, a Reagan appointed tool, I mean, judge in New Orleans blocked it.  The tooling judge, by the way, has significant investments in Trans Ocean and other oil related entities.  Considering the appalling conflict of interest, one might wonder why the judge tool did not step aside from the case.

            Meanwhile, offshore drilling in Alaska has been put on hold for a year, much to the consternation of Shell.

            In a statement Wednesday evening, Begich said, “I am frustrated that this decision by the Obama Administration to halt offshore development for a year will cause more delays and higher costs for domestic oil and gas production to meet the nation's energy needs.”

            “Another year of delay costs money and Alaska jobs,” he added. “The nation also has to export more dollars and import more oil from some unfriendly places, jeopardizing our economic and national security.”

            On May 6, the cautionary wrath of deeply angered and intensely wary federal regulators hit Shell hard, when Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar placed on hold new and pending permits for drilling in federal waters. One company's disastrous mishap in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico — BP's uncontrollable gusher — had suddenly become Shell's nightmare.

            Environmentalists, along with some village residents along the arctic coast, urged Salazar to halt offshore drilling in the Arctic this summer, arguing oil exploration off of Alaska's northern shores is flirting with catastrophe. The area, home to several species of endangered and threatened marine life and animals, is too fragile, too important ecologically and culturally to risk the consequences of a spill, and its harsh weather and icy seas can't be adequately overcome to contain or clean up a spill, they argue.


            I guess Shell is really pleased with Judge Feldman's ruling on behalf of big oil.


          • Whether you like it…
            …or not, there will be drilling in the Arctic.  

            You can pass a ban, but guess what, the companies will just move operations to Russia and Canada.  Russia has the lion's share of the Arctic followed by Canada.  Our bit is just that, a bit.  

            Drilling in the Arctic is inevitable, whether America allows it or not.

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