Perry's Secession Remarks A Distraction From His Utter, Total Failure to Lead

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Governor Rick Perry will do anything in his power to distract the general public from the fact that his reign as Governor is a complete failure. Governor Perry is no longer serving as Governor — he is running a permanent campaign for re-election and, eventually, for a place on the 2012 ticket. In the mean time, Texans continue to suffer under a man who is making George W. Bush look like George Washington.

Here's just a small example of the real problems Perry is ignoring — and how he's failing to lead on any of them:

 1) Dallas-Fort Worth home foreclosures hit record highDallas Morning News)

Home foreclosure filings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have risen to a record high, with more than 5,500 properties facing forced sale next month.

 2) 47,000 additional jobs lost in March (BOR)

 Gov. Perry continues to ignore the increasing job numbers. In fact, Perry has decided his office will discuss seceding rather than how to curb job loss or how to use federal money to solidify Texas' standing in the national and global markets.

3) Texas Senate defies Perry, votes to take stimulus money (Dallas Morning News, via KVUE)

In a sharp rebuff of Gov. Rick Perry, the Senate on Thursday tentatively voted to accept $555 million in unemployment aid from the federal economic stimulus plan.

Senators voted 22-9 in favor of a bill by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, that would authorize state officials to receive the stimulus money to shore up Texas' trust fund for unemployed workers.

4) Texas House strips most of the Governor's budget (Houston Chronicle)

The Texas House has voted to wipe out the governor's budget.

In the second slap against Gov. Rick Perry by his own Legislature this week, the House agreed Friday to take more than $23 million out of Perry's office budget and would instead put it in mental health care services. He's left with about $900,000.

Even though most of that money for the Governor's office will be restored — can there be a stronger statement of how little confidence the Senate and the House have in the Governor than their respective actions against him last week? And how did Perry respond to such leadership? By calling on TX to secede:

With 31% of Texans saying Texas has a right to seceded and only 18% actually wanting to secede, Perry has clearly hung his re-election hopes squarely on the far right. Will this anti-American sentiment work?  Sadly, it's too early to tell.

The secession discussion is Perry's latest attempt to make a clear and vocal distraction from the many ways in which he was a failure. Perry has a history of not working with legislators, and I fully expect him to continue to grandstand (as opposed to, you know, actually leading) by vetoing the budget this summer.

It's up to Texas Democrats to be vocal. We have to talk to our neighbors, point out Perry's failures, and do all we can to stay informed so we have all the facts to organize in the coming months. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will run a high-proifle campaign, but ultimately she will lose and we'll be running against Perry again in 2010.


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.


  1. Not a big Perry fan but . . .
    at this point you could probably paint any Gov. you wanted with similar stats, headlines, and statements that are unflattering.  However in actual performance, should we try and get our unemployment rate to 8.5% from 6.7% like the national average?  Should we proportionally increase our debt to the rate the current US government is proposing?

    Texas has by far the lowest unemployment rate of any of the 10 most populated states.  In fact a full point lower than any other of the top 10 of which the average is 9.4%.  

    • Perry has little to do with the unemployment
      rate here. Our low employment is in large part due to very diverse job markets in the large urban areas like Houston, i.e. energy, biomedical and other highly technical industries. If one tanks it does not mean the others will.  Also, Texas is not as big a victim to the liar loans that brought down housing markets in other states.  We don't make cars and other products that no one wants to buy either.

      We may have a low unemployment rate but the services to residents are stingy at best. Texas boasts the highest number of uninsured residents and our schools rank second to last nationwide.  We have cheap labor and we know why.  Politicians like John Cornyn vote against bills like SCHIP and other programs that would help our struggling working poor and middle class. Some veterans in this state have to drive over a hundred miles to get care.  This is stuff that Perry and our elected lawmakers are responsible for. They like to take credit for the low unemployment rate but they shirk their responsibilities when it comes to human services.  

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