Let the games begin

Well, we’ve known for awhile now that former Governor Bush would be leaving office just in time to avoid a very messy financial situation here in Texas. Ginger has a nice recap of things as they now stand. Today, the Chronicle reports of another messy problem, this time having to do with the state’s unemployment insurance fund. Not only is the fund operating at roughly a $700 million deficit, it’s in a cash-flow crunch. A rise in the unemployment rate from 4.6 to 5.6%, along with the usual lack of foresight to plan for such a rainy day, is the culprit.

What makes this case more interesting is that the Chron had to fight to get the information released in the first place. It’s not the first time that Governor Rick Perry’s staff had tried to hide information that would make him look bad. From the Chron article:

The involvement of Perry’s staff in keeping the growing deficit secret last fall marks the third time his office has tried to block the release of information potentially embarrassing to the governor.

Perry’s office last month under questioning from the news media dropped a lawsuit against Cornyn over his ruling that the governor’s office had to make public documents about the eligibility of three of his appointees to serve in office.

Perry’s staff also had to admit that it had altered the appointment application of former Public Utility Commissioner Max Yzaguirre, hiding his conviction for accidentally shooting a whooping crane to death during a goose hunting trip. The application had been requested under the state’s open government law by a Democratic gubernatorial campaign. Yzaguirre resigned from the Public Utility Commission last week.

One can begin to see some of the strategy that the Democratic nominee will use later this year.

Speaking of such things, I saw a TV ad for Tony Sanchez the other day. A pretty nice job introducing him to the people, if you ask me. As is often the case with multimillionaires running for their first office, it stresses his just-plain-folks, up-from-the-bootstraps creds. (You can view the ad, in English or Spanish, from his web page.) Sanchez has the backing of the AFL-CIO, though in Texas I’m never sure if that’s a net positive.

In any event, I came away with a favorable impression of Sanchez from his ad. I’m still gonna vote for Dan Morales, but at least I’m somewhat reassured that if my man loses there I won’t be pulling the lever for a slightly less appalling version of Clayton Williams in November.

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