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Political Report

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The Legislative Report
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas are asking for more federal money for border communities in the fight against drug traffickers.
Senators Cornyn and Hutchison joined four other senators from California and New Mexico to request $31 million for the Southwest Border Prosecution Initiative which reimburses local governments for the money they spend in detaining and prosecuting smugglers and others arrested on the border.
In a statement, Sen. Cornyn wrote, "Texas families and children cannot and should not have to wait for another dangerous act of violence to receive federal assistance to combat drug-related violence along our border.
Gov. Rick Perry is back in the news. On April 17th, at a Fort Worth NASCAR event, he said that President Obama "has put a target on Texas' back."
He was referring to the fact that Obama, when he announced new space agency initiatives in Florida recently, did not even mention the huge Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Perry was appearing at the Texas Motor Speedway to promote his gubernatorial campaign's sponsorship of a car in last Sunday's Sprint Cup race.
Perry said it was "very disconcerting" that Obama talked about adding jobs at the Kennedy Space Center without addressing Texas where missions are directed after liftoff.
"The message there was, ‘You're from Texas. We don't care about you,'" Perry stated. "I tell people this president has put a target on Texas' back ... and I don't appreciate it."
Perry's comments were his latest criticism of Obama amid speculation that he might be considering a run for the White House in 2012. However, Perry has consistently maintained that he is not interested in the presidency.
Meanwhile, on April 16th, Perry's opponent in November, Democrat Bill White, joined in recent criticism of the State Board of Education for its version of new curriculum standards for history and other social studies classes.
Speaking to several hundred teachers, White attacked Perry and his appointed chair of the education board.
He was referring to criticism from a group of academics of the direction the board was taking the social studies curriculum. If it stands, it will go into Texas textbooks and would circulate nationwide.
White's gripe is with a bloc of social conservatives on the board, including Chairman Gail Lowe, who have rejected recommendations from academics who had been appointed to write new curriculum standards - subject to board approval. Changes made by the board reflect a more conservative and religious view of American history.
Conservative charge that many history and social studies textbooks distort and misrepresent U.S history, even to the point of leaving important historic figures out, removing mention of Christian holidays and devoting little or no space to important events in our history, giving students a skewed and very liberal version of history.
Libertarian Debra Medina, who has laid low since her run in the gubernatorial primary, turned up in Austin recently at a hearing of a legislative panel on electronic medical records. Medina, a libertarian, sees the possible misuse of sensitive health information as a major privacy concern.