Welcome to the Friday Wrap, where your Burnt Orange Reporters comment on the major issues of this week.
Leading off, Chaille Jolink submits this graphic made by New Leaders Texas about an odd young man recently seen roaming the Texas General Land Office and speaking in strange grammatical tongues:
Speaking of actual public servants, this serves as a good reminder that our President, Barack Obama, calls on all of us to participate in the National Day of Service this weekend.
Below the jump, read more about Greg Abbott, Lance Armstrong, Notre Dame, Rick Perry, the IRC, and an attack ad in the making.
Twitter was all aflutter about Greg Abbott this week, after campaign finance reports showed him with $18 million cash-on-hand, which gives him a 3:1 advantage over Governor Perry. That's surely great news for Abbott's gubernatorial ambitions, but don't get too excited about someone ready to knock off Perry. Perry's war-chest is depleted because he just had a failure of a presidential campaign, but he still raised a comparable amount over the period – $3.5 Million to Abbott's $4.1 Million. Greg Abbott, meanwhile, has had virtually his entire career to load up: since Abbott started running for statewide office in 1996, he has had no contested primaries and only one serious general election challenger (Kirk Watson in 2002). If Rick Perry wants to run for reelection, Abbott's going to need a lot more than a temporarily large money advantage to win.
– Michael Hurta
Lance Armstrong – goes on Oprah and tries to insert so many pre-trial prior consistent statements under the Federal Rules of Evidence that the Rules might burp one back up.
– Edward Garris
Obviously the Manti Te'o expose by Deadspin is a national scandal: Heisman runner-up faked dead girlfriend story that moved a phalanx of reporters who never bothered to check if she was real.
What's ironic is that this latest Notre Dame scandal has given considerably more oxygen to the story of an actual dead girl: Lizzy Seeberg, who accused an ND player of sexual assault before later killing herself. Her experience lays bare the university community's pressure on victims of alleged sexual assault perpetuated by the football team to not come forward. The story has been simmering all season; let's hope when the Te'o drama dies down, the real scandal of rape on campus (not just that by college athletes) gets some attention.
In related news, after being accused of sexual assault during an incident the night before the Alamo Bowl, Case McCoy and Jordan Hicks have been reinstated to the UT football team, per Mack Brown. Hicks' attorney said that the case was closed, while the San Antonio Police claim that is not the case.
– Katherine Haenschen
People always warn not to count Perry out, and of course they're right. He turned around a looming double digit loss to Hutchison in the 2010 gubernatorial with some rhetorical breakdancing. However, he's going to have a much harder time attacking his own Attorney General, Greg Abbott, especially after Perry's lost so much credibility and so few Texas Republicans want to see him run again.
In related news, Rick Perry said this week that pushing gun control after Newtown “disgusts” him, making him even more disgusting to everyone else.
– Ben Sherman
From a recent Austin Bulldog piece on implementing Austin's Independent Redistricting Commission, who said it — Peck Young or Fred Lewis?
“We passed personal expenses. They're either too stupid to read or are being malicious.”
“The bottom line is this is one more instance of petty bureaucratic games. They need to show respect for the will of the voters and quit jacking with the proposition.”
“I'm sorry if this inconveniences a bunch of jerks who don't like this Charter amendment but it preempts their personal prejudices.”
“Bullshit. They're looking to stop the ICRC. … They can hide behind bureaucratic games but they're not fooling anybody.”
– Karl-Thomas Musselman
The Texas Legislature adjourned for about a full week so that lawmakers could enjoy Obama's inauguration. Who knew that Republicans respected the president so much? Crazy Republicans not yet in office: you have your first attack ad!
– Michael Hurta