Friday, November 13, 2009

Schechter announces for Harris County Clerk

From her press release ...

Sue Smith Schechter today officially announced her plans to run as a candidate for the position of Harris County Clerk in the Democratic Primary in 2010.


Schechter, an attorney, has been involved in politics for more than 20 years. She has served in the Texas House of Representatives representing District 134 (1991-1995), managed multiple campaigns for Democratic candidates running for various positions and also has served as Harris County Democratic Party Chair (1998-2003). Schechter is also an active participant in the non-profit community, taking leadership roles on various board and organization initiatives.


Among Schechter’s supporters are Congressman Al Green, State Representatives Alma Allen, Ellen Cohen, Garnet Coleman, Harold Dutton, Kristi Thibaut and Sylvester Turner; former State Representatives Rick Noriega and Sissy Farenthold, former Texas Democratic Party Chair Molly Beth Malcolm, former Harris County Democratic Party Chair David Mincberg, HISD Trustee Carol Mims Galloway, Houston City Councilmember Ronald C. Green and former Councilmembers Ada Edwards and Gordon Quan, Rev. William Lawson, Ambassador Arthur Schechter, Roland Garcia, Bobby Singh, Gerald Womack and many more.

As Kuffner notes, Sue Lovell, recently believed to be the leading Democratic contender for the job, is hamstrung in a December run-off for her city council seat and can no longer be considered the favorite after all the heavy hitters that have now lined up for Schechter. It's also not good news for another Chosen One with no name recognition he hasn't "earned" on his own.

Kay Bailey now says she'll sit tight until after primary

From Quorum Report this afternoon, Kay Bailey has announced she will not resign from the Senate until after the March 2010 primary.

In a written statement, KBH said: "These issues are too important to leave the fight to a newly appointed freshman senator“A newly appointed senator would be selected in the midst of a political storm. And will need on-the-job training in the midst of a crisis.”

“I know that keeping my Senate responsibilities while running for governor may not be the best thing for my campaign,” Hutchison said. “Some have told me that for the sake of political expedience I should quit the Senate now to focus on winning the primary. To them I say, perhaps it's time we elect a governor who puts a little less priority on what is politically expedient.”

Governor Perry's campaign responded, "We appreciate that Senator Hutchison has taken the governor's advice and finally decided to make a decision to stay in Washington. Hopefully this will allow her to be a full-time senator for the people of Texas."

Exactly one month ago, when she was asked if she intended to stay through the primary, she said: ""Well, a lot of people are suggesting that. That’s not what I want to do. That’s not what I intend to do but... right now I want to just see what comes next. ..."

RG Ratcliffe excerpts remarks she plans to give in Galveston tomorrow:

I am more determined than ever to become the 48th Governor of the great state of Texas. But at the same time I must put what's best for my campaign aside and do what is best for our state. That is why I must stay in the Senate while running for the Republican nomination for Governor.

Assuming the senator means what she says this time, all the players lined up behind her are now frozen in place. That should also squelch the rumors of people switching races ...

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's announcement that she will retain her Senate seat through next March's GOP primary led to renewed speculation that Houston Mayor Bill White would drop his own Senate bid to jump into the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

But White spokeswoman Katy Bacon said that will not happen.

"A resignation in March would still mean a May special election, and Bill is running for the United States Senate," Bacon said.

Update: More from the TexTrib...

"She will resign the Senate when the cap-and-trade and health care debates are over," said spokesman Joe Pounder. He said she will resign at that point even if she loses the primary for governor. Democratic leaders in the U.S. Senate have said they think the debate on health care will come in January.

The filing deadline for next year's elections is January 4. Waiting until after that date effectively forces everyone else on the ballot to run as if the dominoes won't fall.

Rasmussen confirms Tribune's GOP polling: Perry leads 46-35

Evan Smith would have to be feeling quite a bit better after seeing this:

Rasmussen Reports this morning is reporting a new poll showing Gov. Rick Perry leading U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison 46 percent to 35 percent in the Texas GOP primary for governor. Activist Debra Medina had 4 percent support.

Perry led Hutchison by 10 percentage points in a July Rasmussen survey, but he held only a 40 percent to 38 percent lead in September shortly after Hutchison's formal announcement for governor.

You may recall that the Texas Tribune released a similar result on Election Day that many people questioned, including myself. More from RG Ratcliffe ...

One of the more interesting factoids in the poll is that by a margin of 60 percent to 26 percent, primary voters believe Hutchison should stay in the Senate while she challenges Perry.

Despite having an important vote next week scheduled the same day as her big endorsement event with Deadeye Dick here next week, I believe sitting tight in the Senate would be the course of action a self-indulgent self-preservationist such as Kay Bailey would prudently take. After a caveat about interpreting polls results, more again from Ratcliffe ...

Hutchison's campaign has not fully engaged Perry so far. While she has been campaigning in Texas, she has only fitfully done things to get free coverage from the state's news media. Instead, she has concentrated on appearing on cable television shows that reinforces the idea that she is a Washington insider.

Is that a failing reflected by his lead, or did she demonstrate in September that when she does engage and gets state media attention that she can quickly close the gap? If the latter is the case, then the strategy of putting the race off until the final two months makes some sense.

Also, all three polls have had Perry at 46 percent support or less. Is that his ceiling? Most of the time, an incumbent with re-elect numbers below 50 percent is viewed as vulnerable.

Spot on with all of that. Here we are mid-November and still no indication from KBH when she will "come home" and begin working on earning her 'promotion', and her gubernatorial prospects continue to head south . I believe she's got until Christmas to get it turned around or give it up.

Whatever she decides, Perry remains in control of his destiny. And comments like these in Midland may even be helping him with the freak-right base who votes in Republican primaries here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sweet Lou preps a run for Prez

My wife laughs every time I call him that; he has set off my gaydar for years. I think he's just a bitter old queen. Anyway, he fancies himself as a Ross Perot or Pat Buchanan ...

According to these sources, Dobbs has increasingly been feeling the pressure from CNN head Jonathan Klein. The longtime CNN anchor has increasingly become a controversial flashpoint for the network, as he argues against illegal immigration and for the idea that Barack Obama might not be a legitimate citizen of the United States. His increasingly angry conservative/independent leanings stand out in stark contrast to the cable news network's more centrist approach.

As tension between Dobbs and Klein has increased over the past few months, Dobbs reportedly began seriously considering a run for political office in either 2010 or 2012. He had been rumored last year to have been considering a run for governor of New Jersey (where he is a resident). But according to sources, that was never a serious consideration.

But Dobbs apparently now feels that a run for president -- perhaps as an independent -- is a real possibility. And associates expect that in the upcoming weeks Dobbs will making a number of speeches in front of friendly crowds, in an effort to judge the public's reaction to his political ambitions. "It's not that he sees himself as a politician," says one associate. "But he honestly believes that this is his time, that he has something constructive to contribute to the political discourse."

When Dobbs annouced his departure on Wednesday's show, he told viewers that "Some leaders in the media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond my role here at CNN and engage in constructive problem-solving."

One source I spoke with moments ago noted that while Dobbs might not be publicly committing himself to a political career, he is certainly giving it strong consideration. "He sees himself as having the same effect as a Pat Buchanan or a Ross Perot," said the source. "He sees himself as a populist and this is the time when America needs a rabble rouser from outside the normal political circles."

America needs another rabble rouser like America needs another war.