The Blame Game: Governor’s Edition

The Lone Star Times posted an interesting piece yesterday about Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and this recently-ended legislative session.  Basically, the story asks “where was she?”  And while I hate to be “that guy” that answers clearly-rhetorical questions meant only to soil someone’s name (or libel?), I think I can help author David Jennings out.  Let’s go through this.

The piece starts with Hutchison’s critique of the legislative session.  She, with a chorus of other critical voices, pointed out that a little more leadership could have saved important bills and kept Texas agencies running, without the looming threat of a special session.  A Perry spokesman fired back that in Washington, they don’t get things done, so that’s why she’s critical of a session that passed bills for X, Y and Z (one of which is a balanced budget, which is a law–not an accomplishment).  The retort can be found through the same link above.

So, where was she? You may recall that back in January she said that she would stay out of the legislative session so as to not politicize it.  This is a classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.  She gets knocked for not stepping in and advocating for issues like voter ID–which she voted for on the Federal level–and would have gotten blasted for being self-serving by politicizing the session and making it more about “Rick and Kay” instead of the people of Texas.  It seems like a bit of a straw man argument to me, to attack someone who wants the job of governor, instead of the actual governor himself.

Below is a sample of the next topic we’ll rebut address:

Where was Kay in the 2008 elections? How many Republican Texas House seats were lost while she sat in her penthouse in Washington, D.C.? While Gov. Perry was out campaigning for Texas Republicans, Kay was sitting in hearings expanding the power of the federal government.

In the real world, of course, Sen. Hutchison raised money for more Texas lawmakers than likely anyone (and certainly more than Perry).  A simple Google search gives you these answers, friends.  Click here and read it for yourself.  Hutchison: 28 candidates, Perry: 26. And Hutchison held 24 fundraisers, 13 of which were just in the month of October, to boot.  This is all in addition to the fact that she raised money for Texans running for Congress and gave money from her own PAC to ensure they succeeded.

I don’t make a habit of following every word somebody says and refuting those who get it wrong, but this was a somewhat silly post by the Lone Star Times.  If the questions were asked in earnest, then I apologize and hopefully this was helpful.  I have my doubts, though.

If you’re looking for someone to go after, though, you might want to ask Perry consultant Dave Carney why we lost all those Republicans in the Texas House as he worked for Tom Craddick’s effort to pick up seats in 2008.  Seems to me that if he had helped win more seats, we wouldn’t be discussing the problems of the 81st legislature.


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