We're now one week into the special session on school finance reform, and the one thing we know for sure is that the Perry Plan is toast. Neither Tom Craddick nor David Dewhurst has supported it, there's already an alternate plan in the works, and of course on the sidelines we have Carole "No Strippers!" Strayhorn throwing spitballs.
It's been my belief that if the sessions implode with no major action taken, Perry will suffer some blowback. However, as this AP story notes, he may come out all right anyway.
No matter which school finance plan emerges, Perry appears to be hoping Texas voters in 2006 give him credit for pushing lawmakers to address the vexing subject.
Even George W. Bush wasn't successful when he tried to pass a school funding plan as governor in 1997, Perry has pointed out.
Republican political consultant Ray Sullivan, who has close ties to Perry and Bush, said polls showed then that voters supported Bush's efforts.
"School finance is a monstrously difficult issue for any governor or Legislature to address," Sullivan said. "Texas governors have not always been successful at dealing with school finance in the past. But they generally get credit for trying."
I will say this: Strayhorn is on the verge of turning into a self-parody. (Not that she really had all that far to go, in my opinion - all that "tough grandma" baloney always made me gag.) Sooner or later, people are going to say to her "OK, smartypants, what's your plan?" Closing down strip clubs isn't going to sound any more like a bright idea than taxing them is. Look at this editorial from the Lufkin Daily News (via Byron). If you've lost Lufkin, you've lost the Common Person Common Sense mantle.
Continuing its great job of political coverage from the redistricting sessions, the Austin Chronicle has a fine overview of this session and what may happen. Check it out.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 24, 2004 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack