Is Gov. Perry Berman’s Hostage?

Gov. Rick Perry sat down with state Rep. Leo Berman yesterday.  Perry had lunch with the Tyler lawmaker and former Arlington City councilmember to discuss Berman’s potential run for govenor.  If Berman enters the race, he’ll face an uphill battle against 10-year incumbant Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who both have high name recognition throughout the state.

Berman, who many consider to be a so-called “die-hard” conservative, has said his candidacy will likely launch on July 4.  But, in an interesting twist that occurred yesterday, he said he might reconsider if Perry decides to adopt Berman’s platform.  In short, he has given Perry an ultimatum:  adopt Berman’s four key issue stances, or face opposition in the primary.

Perry’s options are grim.  He either adopts the stances of Berman in an attempt to solidify his conservative credentials, or he loses costly votes to Berman in the primary.  So will Perry crumble and do whatever he must to retain power, or tell Berman to buzz off and risk losing the primary?

Berman’s demands are as follows:

  • Agree to have Texas join a consortium of states that challenge any federal legislation that violates states’ 10th Amendment rights.
  • Sign on, as governor, to a federal lawsuit that Berman said he expects Montana to file challenging the federal government’s regulation of intrastate commerce, such as guns manufactured in a state and sold only to residents of that state.
  • Order all state agencies to remove undocumented residents from benefit programs.
  • Arrange for the Homeland Security Department to train some state law enforcement workers so they can legally enforce immigration law.

Following the meeting, Berman said:  “He’s going to let me know, and if he can agree with the four issues and if he can actually accept them as his own, then I’ll step out of the race and endorse him for re-election as governor.”

Our governor is not only being held hostage, he’s considering negotiating with this guy to secure his own release.

Berman was speaking Thursday at an “America’s Awakening” rally in North Richland Hills.  Others at the rally included Karl Sweetman of Denton who was petitioning attendees to sign for a “Texas Sovereignty Commission” that would study ways for Texas to reclaim its rights as a state under the 10th Amendment.”  The petition is to be sent to Perry.

Gardner Selby posted his own version of the story on the Postcards blog, including this update:

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle later confirmed the meeting, adding that Perry plans to get back to the representative.

According to Berman, Perry said he’d consider each item and get back to him within two weeks.  When Perry responds, Berman said, he’ll hold a press conference to announce the results.

And finally, Jason Embry’s First Reading blog had this to say:

It will be interesting to see how Perry responds here. Nobody wants to be seen getting told what to do by a state rep who, at best, is a longshot to win the governor’s race. On the other hand, if Berman does get in the race, at this point he appears more likely to take votes away from Perry than from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. And so I would think it’s in Perry’s interest to keep Berman out of the race.

Stay tuned on this topic.  It’s sure to be enlightening, and provide a rare public viewing of Perry’s political maneuvering.

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