Stumper of the Week: Rick’s Fat Tick

The most ridiculous things said this week in Texas politics


So this is it, people. Here at last, election week. A final chance for Texas politicians to compete for the honor of Stumper of the Week. A final chance, that is, until after the election. After all, it’s not just campaigns that inspire lunacy and illogic in our politicians. It’s a year-round thing in Texas. 

This week, since Gov. Rick Perry has finally bestirred himself to campaign—and, thus, to say things in public—he dominates the proceedings.

Here are this week’s Honorable Mention Stumpers:

And the children are surely very grateful

“From 2000 to 2009, the state’s share of public education spending increased from $11 billion per year to $20 billion—an 82 percent increase. At the same time, we’ve beefed up accountability in our schools and focused on the basics like math, science, English and social studies. Those efforts are paying off in the lives of our young people.”

Gov. Rick Perry, bragging on his educational achievements in Brazos County. By at least one accounting, Texas ranks last in the country in graduation rates.

The wonder years

“Para los hispanos han sido buenas noticias.”

Spanish-language ad touting Gov. Rick Perry’s time in office. Translation: “For Hispanics it’s been nothing but good news.”

Flattery would get you nowhere?

“A lot of the young people don’t even know what it means to be a Democrat, what it means to be a Republican, they just get caught up with what comes out on Fox.”

Congressman Ciro Rodriguez of San Antonio, complaining about young Hispanics who support his Republican challenger, Francisco Canseco.

Stoner logic

“Californians are going to make a decision about whether they’re more interested in a good economy or smoking weed.”

Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning in Lubbock. By one official estimate, California would bring in $1.3 billion in taxes if citizens approve marijuana legalization on Nov. 2.

Well, then, we agree on one thing

“It’s about time.”

Tom DeLay, jauntily greeting reporters as he walked into a Travis County Courtroom Oct. 26 for his trial on charges of money laundering and conspiracy.

Queer facts

“The facts are so distorted. I’ve never heard one discussion of a social issue. This is all about fiscal sanity.”

—Robert Rowling, owner of the Irving-based Gold’s Gym chain, defending himself against gay protests on Fox News. The gym has become controversial because of Rowling’s $2 million support of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads—which backs candidates including Nevada politician Sharron Angle, who has said homosexuality may lead to the downfall of the United States, and Missouri’s Roy Blunt, who favors an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.

With friends like these…

“He managed to straddle the political gaps in Houston and he was well respected on both sides. He got along well with his (city) council … I can’t tell you any great monuments that he created or big projects that have his stamp on them, but all in all, he was a good yeoman mayor, well respected by everybody.”

Former Houston Mayor Fred Hofheinz, on former Mayor Bill White.

Stumper of the Week

Maybe it takes one to know one

“It’s just expanded like a fat tick. It’s become engorged with our tax dollars.”

—Gov. Rick Perry, complaining one more time about the federal government.