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Political Report

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The Legislative Report
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
Dallas: Recently The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Jeb Hensarling in the 5th Congressional District which includes the area served by this newspaper.
The News editorial stated, "In only eight years, Dallas rep. Jeb Hensarling has become one of the most popular GOP members of Congress ... he has gained a reputation as one of Washington's most serious fiscal hawks."
The paper added, "When he talks about the threat the long-term debt poses to his children, it's not just another political sound bite. The problem is real to him, and he backs up his commitment with ways to control spending. That includes reforming entitlement programs and flattening the tax rate."
Austin: Democrat gubernatorial challenger Bill White may have given Gov. Rick Perry's campaign an unexpected opening. Both participated in a media interview on September 30th. The topic was taxes and the budget gap. Perry said he would not raise sales taxes. White also said he wouldn't raise the rate but hinted that items not currently included in the sales tax could be included.
On transportation, Perry said he continues to support the concept of public/private partnerships in this area. (Where a private firm pays upfront costs of building roads, then recovers that money through tolls.)
White did not rule out more debt to pay for roads. He said the cheapest form of finance is a combination of public equity and tax-exempt debt.
In his first ad of the general election campaign, Perry said, "We've created more than 850,000 jobs, more than all the other states combined."
Politifact Texas rates that statement as True.
The Texas Republican Party is focusing on increasing the number of GOP representatives in the Texas House. They currently have only a slight majority and are now targeting a number of specific races with financial and other support for the GOP candidates. Control of the House will be critical in January because 2011 if the year for redistricting - the process of redrawing Texas Congressional districts which will impact the state for a decade.