Saturday, September 25, 2010

The other Tea Party Perry

Dallas, TX-  Eyes in Massachusetts are on Tea Party candidate, former  police officer, Jeff Perry, who is giving Democrat Bill Keating a run for his money in the 10th Congressional district.  There's another Perry in Texas, also trying to capitalize on Tea Party discontent, who bears watching.

Out here, where the spaces are large and the egos match the space, Rick Perry, the Lone Star State's long- running governor, who replaced George Bush in 2000, is running for a third  term and is increasingly being mentioned as a possible 2012 candidate on the GOP national ticket. He has an interesting story to tell: Texas leads the nation in job creation; no current deficit; no income taxes; tort reform that has, since 2003, yielded a 60 percent increase in doctors available; a significant rainy day fund. (What he is less quick to report is that the state next year faces a deficit of $21 billion and the possible layoff of 10,000 employees.)

His Tea Party message will come out in book form later this fall: Fed Up voices frustration with the federal government.  He told the National Conference of Editorial Writers he is appalled at its overreaching, its intrusiveness into state matters, and its accumulation of debt.  "The perpetual growth of government is not an irrefutable force of nature," he said,  adding that "our citizens need a break from Washington."   If Rick Perry has his way, you're going to be hearing a lot more about the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

But unlike many Tea Party activists who focus on economic issues and generally prefer the government to butt out of our lives,  Rick Perry is no libertarian. If  he had his way, he'd have his Big Government in our bedrooms and pushing a hard right Christian agenda.

Like many of his Tea Party fellow candidates he has an acute aversion to debating his opponent and refuses to meet with editorial boards or answer questions after giving speeches. Note the national news stories he provoked by refusing to answer questions from the National Conference of Editorial Writers.  Looks like he'll get away with it this November. Wonder if Massachusetts will be on his book tour?

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