If there’s one universal truth about Texas politics, it’s got to be this: Republican or Democrat, Green or Libertarian, conservative or moderate or (perish the thought!) liberal, our politicians say the gol-darnedest things. As Molly Ivins once noted, “I never saw anything funnier than Texas politics.” And considering the consequences of it all, we damn well better laugh.
So every Friday from here till the end of this year’s campaign stumping, we’ll be honoring one of Texas’ finest each week for making the single most outlandish, puzzling, illogical or just flat-out ridiculous statement.
Without further ado, here are this week’s Runner-Up Stumpers:
“The President and Mr. Doggett are multi-millionaires. I don’t know why they’re raising money; I think they could run their campaigns out of their own pockets.”
—Donna Campbell, Lloyd Doggett’s GOP opponent in Congressional District 25, speaking at the Aug. 9 “Hands Off Texas” Obama protest rally in Austin. Doggett’s net worth is more than $7 million. But President Obama’s net worth is $5 million, the lowest of any American president since Harry Truman.
Stop the Presses!
“Caught two errors in the previous spreadsheet, will send a new one soon.
“Delgado was credited with someone else’s lobbying activity and should be struck from the list, leaving the OOG staffers having earned a combined $84 million.
“And it should be Borskey not Borksey.”
—mysterious email sent to reporters by Katy Bacon, spokesperson for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White, at 7:01 a.m., Aug. 12.
Duck and Cover
“Washington is deft at placing targets on the backs of Texans, and this proposal paints a target on our school teachers and school children.”
—Gov. Rick Perry, protesting $830 million in emergency federal assistance for Texas schools approved by Congress and signed into law on Aug. 10. Texas Democrats inserted language into the bill requiring Perry to use the funds to “supplement and not supplant” existing state funding for schools. In 2009, Perry and the Legislature used $3.2 billion in federal stimulus funds to balance the state budget rather than increase education funding.
And (drum roll, please), your Stumper of the Week:
Terror Babies Attack!
“At this point, I don’t have the evidence right here in front of me. However … this is a critical, critical issue for the American people.”
—State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, responding to questions about her assertion that “former FBI agents” told her office that “terror babies” are being birthed in the United States, then trained as terrorists to return to America and wreak havoc, on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Aug. 11.