The Debate Watch Party for the Texas Gubernatorial Debate at Fatso’s Sports Garden on Bandera Road drew a brisk crowd and several local candidates for local office.
Joseph “Jamie” Martinez is one of the candidates challenging incumbent Democrat Charlie Gonzalez for the House seat in Texas District 20.
Alan Strack is also a candidate for the 20th district seat. I’d vote for him if he promises to wear those jean and Converse high-tops to his swearing-in ceremony. The look on Pelosi’s face would be priceless.
Clayton Trotter is also running for the 20th District seat. His son was killed in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq;and he has some strong ideas on defense.
Scott Yellbell was there representing Kiko Canseco, who had a previous commitment
Dr. Robert Lowry, a local physician, is running for the 23rd District seat. His website is www.DrLowryfor Congress.com
Will Hurd is a local graduate of Marshall high School who until recently was a CIA case officer. He decided to run when he became disgustedwith how uninformed the congressmen he breifed actually were on the issues. His website is HERE.
And Brian Underwood is running for the seat in the 28th District. That’s three congressional districts where the incumbent will NOT run unopposed in Texas this year. Bravo to all of them!
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram understates the contentiousness of the debate:
DENTON — Texas Gov. Rick Perry opened tonight’s televised gubernatorial debate by declaring “this is the best state in the nation to be living in today.”
His opponents — U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Wharton County GOP Chair Debra Medina — tore into Perry as an advocate of big government and the governor who signed the largest tax hike in state history.
Hutchison said Texas lost 300,000 jobs over the past year and said, “That is not a record to be proud of.”
Perry tried to point to the jobs he has created in office and cited positive statistics stretching from November 2007 to November 2008.
“Let’s talk about ’09,” Hutchison replied.
Perry said Texas leads the nation in the development of jobs and it’s one of the top places for small businesses. But Hutchison argued that taxes have increased under Perry.
Medina accused both the governor and senator of being advocates of “big government solutions.”
On another issue, Hutchison was asked by Star-Telegram Austin bureau chief Dave Montgomery to clarify her position on abortion. She said that overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion could lead to “abortion havens.”
The San Antonio Express News agreed; it was one heck of a fight:
DENTON – Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison clashed repeatedly in the first Republican gubernatorial debate, speaking over one another and all but calling the other a liar.
Activist Debra Medina pushed for a place apart, describing Perry and Hutchison as politicians who embrace big government solutions to Texas’ problems. After one overlapping exchange of sniping between Hutchison and Perry, Medina expressed frustration, declaring, “This squabbling isn’t getting us anywhere.”
Hutchison went after Perry’s veracity time and again, while Perry painted Hutchison as out of touch from her years in Washington.
When Hutchison and Medina criticized his record on job growth, Perry said “It really wears me out that we have two people on this stage here who want to tear Texas down,” Perry said.
Hutchison struck at Perry’s record in office, saying he is “trying to have it both ways” as he describes himself as cutting taxes while the state’s tax burden on business rises and the state’s budget grows.
Perry and Hutchison verbally slashed at each other when discussing her 2008 vote for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), sometimes derisively called the Wall Street bailout bill.
Perry said Hutchison told Texans she would not vote for the measure but then did. Hutchison said she voted for the measure because she was asked to by then-President Bush, but she said the bill was changed to limit how much was spent.
Hutchison then called Perry “disingenuous” because he had written a letter the day before urging congressional action. “You were for it before you were against it,” she said.
In another instance, Perry accused Hutchison of attacking Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and the Republican legislative leadership on state budget growth and the fact Texas likely will face a $16 billion state budget shortfall in 2011. Hutchison responded by saying Perry is attacking Texas’ Republican congressional delegation.
“I’m criticizing the leadership at the top. The buck stops on your desk,” Hutchison said.
Perry replied, “We’re going to cut it (the budget) just like we did in 2003. We have the experience,” a reference to a $10 billion shortfall that was eliminated without a tax increase.
Medina proposed solving the state’s budget and economic problems by eliminating the property tax and replacing it with higher sales taxes: “The governor and the senator are both going to offer big government solutions.”
When asked about her continuing support for the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, Hutchison said she continues to back it because without the decision there would be “abortion havens.” She said some states would make abortion illegal while others would legalize abortion “even as the baby is coming out of the birth canal.”
All three candidates said they could support repealing the state’s advance directives law that allows hospitals to cut off care for terminally ill patients, but Perry stumbled. “I always stand by the side of life,” he said, but then had to admit he did not realize the law was passed by the Legislature when he was lieutenant governor, the presiding officer of the state Senate.
The three candidates also all opposed the national health care reform bill being pushed by President Obama and Democrats. But Perry used the discussion to take a swipe at Hutchison for the time she is spending campaigning for governor.
“We have heard it is hanging by a thread. I hope that our senior senator would get back to Washington, D.C., and cut that thread. That’s where she needs to be,” Perry said.
The Dallas Morning News had some interesting reader commentary. Commenter “kids” said that “perry won…medina came in 2nd…hutchison came in 3rd…“; a sentiment echoed bycommnter EmmaJ.: “KBH stuttered and stumbled through her answers so much that I was confused.” Commenter Eric seemed to summarize several others saying “Are you guys blind…..two idiots mumbling about you did this and I did that. 1 Candidate had clear answers….Debra Medina won. You need to tune into the news….they are clearly giving it to Medina. All undecided voters said they liked Medina and were tired of the bickering.“
Commenter Zeke agreed:
“Well if you want politics as usual, KBH and Perry are of the same coin, sell outs to special interests through CFR memberships. Perry being groomed for a Palin / Perry ticket in 2012 might appeal to some. Medina seems to be the only candidate that understands Texas must resist D.C. legislation, reduce the size of government and reduce the tax burdens on individual and business.”
Can’t wait for the second debate; although if Medina isn’t included, I’ll probably just skip that catfight.