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Posted by on Apr 21, 2009 in Economy | 10 comments

Of a Hot-for-Secession Governor and One Cool Lady Senator

Texas governor, Rick Perry, has a penchant for trying to grab the headlines. This, perhaps in preparation for his upcoming run for re-election against someone who promises to be one tough rival, one tough lady—but always a lady—U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

His headlines-grabbing, anti-Washington rants, however, come at the expense of Texans and Texas, such as, recently, in terms of possibly lost financial help for Texans and in terms of national ridicule heaped unfairly upon the Great State of Texas.

Take first his recent ballyhoo refusing to accept $555 million in federal economic stimulus money from the federal government. Money that would help the nearly depleted Texas unemployment trust fund; money that could expand unemployment benefits for nine years; and money badly needed to help the increasing numbers of unemployed Texans, including those part-time workers who are being laid off.

Perry has said that the stimulus money comes “with strings attached.”

But Perry’s stubborn position and excuses have been strongly denounced by lawmakers and advocates for low-income residents:

According to the Austin American-Statesman:

“Without this federal money, Texas businesses face increased unemployment insurance taxes in bad times, and without the modest reforms in state law required to get the federal money, about 45,000 Texas workers will go without unemployment insurance,” said Don Baylor, a policy analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said rejecting the money “demonstrates the height of denial about the challenges confronting this state and its people.”

And,

“Governor Perry’s decision to reject the $555 million in unemployment aid is simply deplorable,” said State Senator. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston. “Texas families are hurting and are worried about how they are going to keep their homes and pay their bills. Today, Governor Perry told them: ‘good luck with that.’ If the Governor won’t do his job, we’ll have to go around him, and I am prepared to do just that.”

Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken has said that with more people losing their jobs, a “real deficit” could come by September or October and the state might need to seek a federal loan to maintain the unemployment compensation trust fund.

Meanwhile, Senator Hutchison keeps her cool.

More recently, kowtowing to tea baggers during the tea parties held in Texas, Perry, true to form, wasted no time in firing up his supporters, some already shouting “Secede!”, by suggesting that there could come a point when Texans would be so fed up with Big Government, taxation, spending and debt, that they would want to secede from the Union.

“There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

Perry’s antics have caused him to become the butt of innumerable jokes and ridicule, at the expense of Texas and Texans.

On Friday, the Statesman reported that “Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday stuck by his earlier statement that Texas can secede from the United States — a far-reaching, legally questionable prospect that nevertheless drew Perry a fresh favorable mention by Rush Limbaugh, one of the nation’s leading conservative voices.”

And in the same article: “A Perry spokeswoman said Perry believes Texas could secede if it wanted.”

Meanwhile, Senator Hutchison is keeping her powder dry.

But back to Perry’s refusal to accept the funds to help out the state’s unemployed. Apparently not all is lost yet for the unemployed in Texas.

Today’s Austin American-Statesman, under the banner “Against Perry’s wishes, Senate OKs stimulus money for jobless,” reports:

Lawmakers who want to defy Gov. Rick Perry and accept federal stimulus money for extending unemployment benefits cleared an important hurdle Monday.

The Senate gave final passage to Senate Bill 1569, which expands the unemployment program so the state can get $555 million in federal stimulus money. It now heads to the House, where supporters and opponents alike say it is likely to pass.

There is a catch, however. Since there are six weeks left in the legislative session, lawmakers must finish a bill within the next month in order to be able to override Perry’s expected veto.

It is going to be a tough fight, one not only against Perry’s stubbornness and antics, but also against the legislative clock.

In the meantime, Perry’s 2010 opponent for the Texas governorship, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, remains one cool lady and is keeping her powder dry.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • This whole Texas secessionist thing is making me miss Molly Ivins.

  • EEllis

    Even the title is BS. He made a crack at a partisan event that many are trying to use out of context and for their own purposes ignoring the facts. Refusing money for unemployment was a financial decision and one with reasons. It was not a kneejerk reaction. Texas welcomed money for infrastructure as soon as it was offered. Accepting the money for unemployment commits Texas to continue the increased unemployment cost even after the increased federal aid runs out. Thats right there is a continuing commitment of Texas funds required in acceptance of the money after increased federal funds stop. As to this being a good or bad thing that is in the eye of the beholder. Acting like it’s some crazed fringe move is BS.

  • Abnerdoolittle

    Another Who Cares post by a lefty who has nothing better to do then trash talk a righty because he can. The power of the internet. Don’t cha just love it.

    I call on all reasonable politicians to regulate the internet. It is the cesspool of the universe.

    Wonderful how you took facts and twisted them into distortions. Great reporting. You report. You decide………..gaaaaggg.

  • elrod

    EEllis,
    Perry rejecting the unemployment money is not the issue. Perry saying that secession is a pretty “interesting” idea and one that is allowed and should be considered is treasonous.

  • mlhradio

    Keep digging that hole, Perry – us Texans will remember all sins in the voting booth. Just a few numbers to throw around:

    39% – The percent of votes that Perry received in the last election.
    75% – The percent of Texans that do NOT want to secede from the union.
    67% vs. 55% – The percent of Texas voters that have a favorable rating of Hutchinson and Perry, respectively.
    83% vs. 78% – The percent of republican Texas voters that have a favorable rating of Hutchinson and Perry, respectively.
    5% vs. 19% – The percent of Texas voters that have a very unfavorable rating of Hutchinson and Perry, respectively.

  • mlhradio

    Some more light reading on our looney-tunes guvner:

    Dallas Morning News (a bastion of conservatism) Editorial: Texas GOP and Pass-the-Biscuits Perry.

    Quote: “Conservatives here and beyond should look hard at whether the GOP really has a future in such gimcrackery. As William McKenzie argues on today’s Viewpoints page, Texas is set to boom in the coming decades. Can state Republicans afford to take their chances with Perry’s “Pass the Biscuits, Pappy” parochialism? With Texas becoming ever more urbanized and suburbanized, the dead-enders and hard-shells could easily drive common-sense GOP voters into Democratic arms. ”

    Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial: Perry Fades into Insignificance

    Quote: “Our Constitution makes Texas a “weak governor” state, but Rick Perry is adding a new dimension to the term. After stumbling to re-election in 2006 with an underwhelming 39 percent of the vote, Perry has had a bad time of it, what with Democratic Party gains in Texas and across the country and the sight of U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in his rearview mirror as she accelerates her race for the 2010 GOP gubernatorial nomination.”

    SMU (conservative university) Daily Campus Editorial: Governor Fails Texans

    Quote: “The governor of Texas was elected to represent the interests of Texans to the best of his ability. By bringing the word secession into the national spotlight, Rick Perry legitimized those who would tear us apart in a futile culture war. We all take pride in what Americans share, from Alaska to Massachusetts, to Texas to California. We should accept no less from those we elect to serve us.”

    UPI: Funds Cut for Texas Governor’s Office.

    Quote: “The House voted Friday to divert 96 percent of the governor’s office budget to programs for veterans and the mentally ill, The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday. … Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Raymond, a Democrat, said the vote should be seen as a rebuke of Perry, a Republican, for comments Perry made this week about the prospect of Texas seceding from the United States.”

    Austin American-Statesman Editorial: Don’t Make Texas Come Unhinged, Too

    Quote: “It is hard to take Perry seriously when he struts around in a gimme cap and spouts nonsense in a cynical ploy to attract attention and votes. Texas isn’t going to secede — as much as the rest of the country might wish it would — and Perry knows that. But the polls show him trailing U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, his rival for governor in next spring’s Republican primary, and he is desperate to gain ground.”

  • StockBoySF

    It would be hilarious if TX elected a Dem as its next guv.

  • EEllis

    Great Elrod but he never said that so what’s your point.

  • DdW

    These are some of Perry’s comments (and his staff):

    “There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

    On Friday, the Statesman reported that “Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday stuck by his earlier statement that Texas can secede from the United States — a far-reaching, legally questionable prospect that nevertheless drew Perry a fresh favorable mention by Rush Limbaugh, one of the nation’s leading conservative voices.”

    And in the same article: “A Perry spokeswoman said Perry believes Texas could secede if it wanted.”

  • MauraHennessey

    The reaction to Perry in the North East States has been outrage from parents of soldiers (I am one of them) who fear that Perry’s remarks will imbolden the Islamist insurgents and result in more lives lost with the blood on his hands for his even hinting at treason in wartime to some who reduce his ridiculous macho posturing to humor like “Someone call Mexico and tell them that the Zimmerman Telegram deal is back on the table for Texas, at least.”

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