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Bell v. Perry

Great minds think alike – I had exactly the same reaction upon reading this op-ed by Rep. Chris Bell as Greg did, which is to say that it’s the opening shot in Bell’s 2006 run for statewide office. He’s going to have to talk to Jim Turner and maybe a few other people about who’s going to run for what, but there should be no shortage of opportunities, especially if KBH retires and/or Carole Keeton Strayhorn decides to aim for the Governor’s mansion.

For what it’s worth, I think Perry has a good chance of being beatable in ’06. I know he’s sworn to keep the Lege in Austin until they come up with a school finance reform plan he likes, but I don’t think he’ll benefit from another endless legislative summer. He’s got no goodwill to cash in on, and the long knives will be out for him. Never mind the Democrats, who have no incentive at all right now to play ball with him, and never mind the newspaper editorial boards, which will be riffling through their thesauri in search of synonyms to “weak” and “uninspiring”, Perry will face a lot of criticism from fellow Republicans if this gets drawn out. We all know about Strayhorn, who will be a fixture on the evening news with her latest jab at the Goivernor, but there’ll also be David Dewhurst noting for the umpteenth time that the Senate unanimously passed a reform package last year and was eager to begin talks with the House only to have Perry piss on their efforts, and Republicans like Todd Staples from rural areas that benefit from Robin Hood and stand to gain little under Perry’s current plan. All this plus the fact that his corporate overlords hate his split tax roll idea. Sure, if Perry gets everything he wants in short order he’ll be a hero, but right now I’d wager heavily on “goat”. He needs a big parlay to come home for him, and I don’t see it happening.

Anyway. Go read the op-ed piece, which Greg quoted in full, and see how often some of the points Bell has made come up during the next few weeks. This could get ugly.

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