August 22, 2005
Still not quite done with school finance stuff

Some more linkage from the weekend that I missed the first time around...

First up, from Eye on Williamson, is a memo to RNC Chair Ken Mehlman from the Dallas Morning News.

Your party's leaders are brawling like gunslingers. If word gets out that Republicans can't govern in the reddest of red states, how can they govern anywhere?


As head of the national party, you need to pay attention to Texas. It's not pretty, especially with 2006 elections on the horizon. You can hear the ads now:

Republicans can't even govern George W. Bush's home state.

We recommended some of these leaders for office, and we're beginning to wonder why. If something doesn't change, Republicans are going to have a tough time explaining why they should govern here and elsewhere.

I kinda like that ad slogan. Those of you from out of state, feel free to appropriate it.

More interesting to me is that bit about endorsements, something the Chron touched on a few days ago. I know both the Chron and the DMN endorsed Rick Perry for Governor in 2002. I'm filing away what they're saying now so I can compare them to the We Recommend pieces they'll be penning next October. Will their words next year give substance to their complaints here and now? We shall see.

Also via the Eye is another piece examining the potential electoral fallout from Special SessionPalooza. It's not unreasonable to believe that the voters for the most part won't stay mad for 15 months, but there is another way in which we may see higher turnover next year: retirements.

Some representatives could lose to strong opponents. Others, sick of spending so much time away from their jobs and families while fighting a fruitless battle in Austin, are simply burned out and considering retirement. Still others, including three House GOP committee chairmen, have announced plans to seek higher office.

With more than six months until the primaries, at least 11 House members have already drawn primary opponents who are current or former school officials in a perfect position to beat the drum on school finance. In [Rep. Jim] Pitts' district, some superintendents are already showing support for his opponent, Duke Burge of Midlothian.

Dozens more members are certain they will draw opponents as well. And nearly a dozen House committee chairmen most of them Republicans are thought to be considering retirement.

Vague, to be sure, but given that the filing deadline for next March's primary is about four months away, if there's anything to this I expect we'll be hearing specific names soon. Remember, if Governor Perry signs the judicial pay-raise bill, legislators' pensions will also increase, and that will make retirement extra appealing to the Class of '93. If there are retirement announcements coming, look for a spurt of them immediately after that bill is signed.

Finally, via PinkDome, a school superintendent vents his spleen. Just one comment:

We can, however, thank the Legislature for passing legislation to put an end to the growing problem of out-of-control cheerleader routines. We dodged the bullet on that one.

Thanks, Al. Thanks a lot.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 22, 2005 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack