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The Bill White factor

The thought that struck me as I read this story about Bill White’s expected switch to the Governor’s race is that maybe he was right to have taken this particular route to where he is now. I mean, he’s generated a ton of excitement with this announcement, more than he’d have gotten a year ago when he announced for the Senate instead, at a time when Texas Democrats really needed it. Had he been running for Governor all along, we’d all be as tired of that as we are of the Rick ‘n’ Kay traveling sideshow. I know this is primarily an accident of fate and KBH’s monumental fecklessness, but it’s still brilliant. And I say that, as you know, as someone who thinks he should have been running for Governor all along. Shows how much I know about strategy.

One other point:

“I think Democrats have a right to be pleased about this development, but the giddiness will fade,” said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University. White, he notes, is a credible candidate, but Texas still is a Republican state by a margin of 8 to 12 points.

“Nobody knows whether he has that next gear to generate excitement in a statewide race,” Jillson said, “whether he can go down into the Rio Grande Valley and pull people out, whether he can put enough money into it and raise enough money to wage a credible fistfight in the street.”

All due respect to Cal Jillson, but White’s ability to raise money is not in question. Counting the money that’s in his Mayoral account, which none of the news coverage I’ve seen so far has done but which he will be able to use for a state race, he’s already got more than $6 million in the bank, and all of that was raised under contribution limits of one kind or another. Just going back to his initial donors for the Senate race and reminding them they can now write him another check should rake in a few million more. If there’s one thing I’m not worried about, this is it.

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8 Comments

  1. Baby Snooks says:

    The focus seems to be on how much money he has and how much money he can raise. The money didn’t help Tony Sanchez. And the money didn’t help Peter Brown. But the boys in the backroom like the money. So the boys in the backroom will push for Bill White.

    Sorry but Bill White makes Chuck Rosenthal look like Dudley Do-Right and everyone really is tired of the corruption in both parties.

  2. John says:

    Kuff,

    before we all fall in love with how great Bill White is can we review his record? The overall budget is up nearly 40% in his term. Plus I think the Ashby deal is going to come back to bite him in the tail, plus if you consider those developers donated nothing to his campaign whilte Ed Wulfe has been a big donor. And Wulfe seemed to benefit immensely from the taking of the palm readers on his soon to be bankrupt development in the Galleria.

  3. houtopia says:

    I attended a presentation several months ago with Mike Baselice, who is perhaps considered the state’s preeminent Republican pollster. His analysis was that the GOP had held a 9-point generic advantage in statewide races, but that the advantage had eroded to about 5 points.

  4. Michael Hurta says:

    How much is in the Mayoral account? I’m seeing about 840k, but I could be looking at the wrong thing…

    That said, the numbers wouldn’t add up to quite $6 million…closer to 5 million…

  5. Baby Snooks says:

    There are no limits to campaign contributions so no doubt as soon as he announces all the people he’s pulled strings for like Ed Wulfe and Marvy Finger will pull out the checkbooks again. Along with those who would love to have a governor to pull strings for them.

    Only thing worse than Rick Perry is Kay Bailey Hutchison and the only thing worse than Kay Bailey Hutchison is Bill White who set the tone of his administration when he held a “second chance” fundraiser after he was elected mayor the first time. A second chance to buy a piece of City Hall that is. Even though he was unopposed by any serious challenger the next two elections, the money kept pouring in.

    Some see the money as being necessary to win elections. Others see the money as merely a politician selling themselves to the highest bidder.

  6. Baby Snooks says:

    Plus I think the Ashby deal is going to come back to bite him in the tail, plus if you consider those developers donated nothing to his campaign whilte Ed Wulfe has been a big donor.
    _______________________

    And not just 1717 Bissonnet but Wilshire Village which went from warning to red tag to condemnation in a matter of days rather than a matter of years which is the norm in Houston and of course as soon as the lot was cleared and the “for sale” sign went up, one of the two lenders moved to foreclose. Which lender? The Wedge Group.

  7. Mike says:

    >>Plus I think the Ashby deal is going to come back to bite him in the tail

    Are you kidding? I think that’s about as much of a non-factor in the race as you could possibly come up with. How many donors care about that – and are opposed to Bill White’s handling of that issue? And how many people in El Paso (who will be voting for Governor) give a damn one way or the other? I’d say – not many. (full disclosure: I oppose the Ashby high-rise, and if I had a few extra million to throw around, I’d give to Bill White but that issue would be meaningless to me. I don’t like Rick Perry far more than I care one way or another about Ashby)

    An issue that may be far more important – even though I also think this is a ridiculous issue – is the “sanctuary city” BS and the whole issue of illegal immigration.

    >>The overall budget is up nearly 40% in his term.

    How much are revenues up? Is this a problem? The city has grown by what – 700k people during his term? I would expect the budget to be up.

  8. Baby Snooks says:

    And how many people in El Paso (who will be voting for Governor) give a damn one way or the other? I’d say – not many.
    _______________

    Quite a few might care if it’s framed along with Wilshire Village as reflective of how corrupt he is. Which of course is how it will be framed. And rightfully so. He is corrupt.