Friday, December 18, 2009

Ronnie Earle for Lt. Governor *updates*

Harvey Kronberg, about three hours ago...


No details. More here as I find them elsewhere. A blockbuster of a development, to be certain. Earle is highly prized by Texas progressives as the kind of candidate we would seek anywhere on the ballot, and has been rumored previously for both governor and attorney general. His filing for the state's #2 job fills a vacancy on the ballot and injects more excitement into an already-enthusiastic 2010 campaign. Should Linda Chavez-Thompson also contest the primary, then Democrats would have choices to make for three executive offices -- governor, lt. governor, and agriculture commissioner.

The Texas Tribune:

Earle filed with the Texas Democratic Party late Friday evening. So far, he is the only lite gov candidate to do so.

(He) served as Travis County DA from from 1976 until his retirement at the end of 2008, made national headlines in 2005 when he filed campaign finance fraud charges against U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Austin American-Statesman's Postcards blog:

Earle brings a higher profile than the other potential candidates after a career of noteworthy and notorious prosecutions that drew attention far beyond Travis County, including the still-pending case against GOP powerhouse Tom DeLay.

FWST's PoliTex:

With no advance notice, Earle quietly filed his paperwork at state Democratic headquarters late Friday. He said he plans a formal announcement after the holidays, when he will spell out his campaign themes.

Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has filed for re-election. Austin deli owner Marc Katz has also announced for the post as a Democrat.

Earle took a wait-until-later approach when asked his views on Dewhurst's performance in the job. But he hinted at his likely plan of attack by saying, "The idea of government by a few doesn't sit well with me."

DMN's Trail Blazers:

Ronnie Earle's entry into the 2010 election sweepstakes recalls his legal clash more than a decade against Kay Bailey Hutchison - and her political guru, Karl Rove. Rove was Hutchison's political adviser in 1993 when a grand jury under Earle's direction indicted her. Earle was the Travis County district attorney at the time. Hutchison was accused of using her state treasury office for partisan politics, but she was acquitted amid a full-court press by Hutchison's legal and political team. Hutchison. When a judge during pre-trial hearings ruled that some evidence against her couldn't be admitted, Earle gave up before going to trial. Hutchison was declared innocent.

Rove took an active part in the pretrial proceedings. He directed Karen Hughes - then executive director of the Texas Republican Party - to denounce Earle daily. Hutchison spokesman David Beckwith - at Rove's direction - trumpeted the message that Earle was a politically motivated prosecutor.

(Above: Rove & Beckwith at the time working on Team Hutchison).

And Rove took the stand during a pretrial hearing to paint Earle as a publicity hound. Rove accused Earle - falsely - of notifying the media in advance to maximize publicity of a raid on the treasurer's office by investigators. Rove said he was told by a newspaper reporter that Earle gave advance notice of the raid. In fact, the reporter learned of the raid the same way others in the press corps did - from Hutchison employees once the raid was already underway.

At any event, Rove's an informal Hutchison adviser in her gubernatorial bid. There's a possibility that that Earle and Hutchison could both find themselves on the ballot next November. If both won, it would mean Republican Gov. Hutchison would be working with Democratic Lt. Gov. Earle as presiding officer in the Senate.

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