Every Friday from here till the end of this year’s campaign stumping season, I’ll be honoring the most outlandish, befuddling, illogical or just flat-out nutty statements of the week in Texas politics. (Talk about some fierce competition!)
This week yielded a bumper crop. So let’s get right to this week’s Honorable Mention Stumpers:
Creative Measurement Dept.
“‘Have there been arrests made? Yes,’ McCraw said. ‘Have there been drug seizures? Yes. Have there been vehicle seizures? Yes.’
“But asked for data on just those points, McCraw said, ‘That’s not how we measure them.’”
—State public safety director Steve McCraw, telling the Associated Press’s Christopher Sherman about Rick Perry’s “Ranger Recon initiative” to send Texas Rangers to the border, which the governor likes to tout at campaign events.
“State Representative Charlie Howard, District 26, has announced that he has signed the Pledge with Texans, the legislative agenda of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus of the Texas Legislature. … The platform for the TCC Pledge with Texans includes balancing the budget without raising taxes, limiting ‘federal intrusion,’ improving election integrity, cutting taxes and securing the Texas border.”
—So let’s see if I’ve got this straight: Slash social services, stay stingy on Medicaid and unemployment benefits, cut taxes for the wealthy, and sell more guns to the Mexicans. Yep, got it! (From Fort Bend Now, Aug. 26.)
Oh, right. Thanks for reminding us.
“We know what this is all about. This is a political maneuver by a rogue district attorney.”
—Tom DeLay, giving Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater his side of the story. Hearings began this week on charges that DeLay, as reported in the Observer, laundered $190 million in corporate money to Republican legislative campaigns in 2002. The “rogue” to whom DeLay refers is former Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle.
Nice work if you can get it
“Nancy Pelosi is the living portrait of the arrogant, out-of-touch elitist Democrat. In the face of genuine grassroots opposition to her leftwing agenda, the paranoid Pelosi invents bizarre conspiracy theories. And in the face of growing unemployment across America, she dines with high rolling trial lawyers to generate cash for her wealthy limousine liberal friends to perpetuate the Democrats’ destructive, job killing policies.”
—Republican Party of Texas spokesman Bryan Preston, expressing outrage over the U.S. House Speaker’s fundraising visits to Dallas and Houston this week. And hey: Be sure to check out the terrifying and almost-real-looking photo of Pelosi looking like a ravenous skeleton:
…and our Stumper of the Week is:
Wait: Did you just go there?
—Big-letter message of anti-Gov. Perry ad placed in 24 Texas newspapers by the Back to Basics group, whose largest funder is Houston trial lawyer Steve Mostyn. The ad got plenty of attention, and criticism.
STUMP ME! Send your favorite campaign stumpers of the week to firstname.lastname@example.org.