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Political Report

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The Legislative Report


The Gazette Staff

It look like Governor Rick Perry is moving toward a White House run, however, as of this writing, Perry had not announced any trips to Iowa or New Hampshire, where the first two nominating contests take place.

In 2010, Perry ran an unusual re-election campaign for governor. He would not sit down with the editorial boards of the major Texas newspapers. He refused to debate his Democratic opponent unless he released his tax forms, which Bill White refused to do. He did not use yard signs or regular mail, depending instead on the Internet plus advertising and appearances on TV and talk radio.

In his campaign speeches, Perry ignored White and went straight after Obama and the Washington elites. In terms of raising money, he has built a network during his 10 years as governor that he can call on for a national race. Some pundits believe there is an opening for a fiery Southern governor who has appeal to both fiscal and social conservatives. Perry's 2010 message to Washington would translate quite easily on a nationwide basis.

A week ago, he spoke at Unidas Por La Vida (United for Life), an anti-abortion event held in Los Angeles. Also last week, he spoke to the New York County Republican Committee in Manhattan, filling in after Donald Trump pulled out.

In New Orleans, today, Perry will address the Republican Leadership Conference, joining announced candidates Herman Cain, Gingrich and Ron Paul along with national figures such as Mike Huckabee, and Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

Iowa Republicans will hold the Ames Straw Poll on August 13

th. In 2008, winner Mike Huckabee was propelled into the first tier of candidates and won the Iowa caucus five months later. However, he didn't win much else. Perry would have to decide whether to participate in the straw poll and a FOX News debate to be held two days earlier. One week before the straw poll, Perry will host "The Response", a prayer and fasting event that will bring thousands to the Reliant Stadium in Houston.

Following the Iowa caucus next winter comes the New Hampshire primary, the Nevada primary then South Carolina. It is thought that Perry would stand a very good chance to winning that primary. He has a long and strong record as chief executive of a large and successful state, he has done substantial budget cutting and he knows how to raise money.

A Republican consultant in South Carolina has said that he senses that Republicans in that state are unhappy with the current field of candidates.

Every winner of the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the GOP nomination.

Perhaps destiny will favor the man from Paint Creek.

In other news from Austin, the special session of the Texas Legislature took a major step toward producing a balanced budget for fiscal 2012-2013. The House gave final approval to Senate Bill 1. The measure frees up $3.5 billion in revenue and enacts a $4 billion reduction in state education aid. A potential conflict was averted when the Public Education Chairman Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, opted to keep the current 22-student cap on class size but give the education commission more leeway to grant waivers to that limit.

Members agreed that the Rainy Day Fund will not be tapped unless it exceeds the comptroller's estimate of $6.5 billion it will have available in the 2012-2013 budget. Any surplus beyond the $6.5 could be directed toward education.