The Houston Chronicle On Gov. Perry's Hypocrisy
They mince no words, DOUBLE STANDARD: handling of two special elections is an exercise of partisan politics
For seven months following the tragic death of Democratic state Rep. Joe Moreno, more than 140,000 residents in Houston's heavily Hispanic District 143 have been voiceless in Austin. They didn't have to be.
While Moreno lost his life in a highway accident, the lengthy denial of representation for his constituents resulted from a deliberate exercise of partisan politics by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Just how partisan is revealed by the governor's handling of a similar situation involving Republican Rep. Todd Baxter last month. In Baxter's case, Perry called the special election for Jan. 17, little more than a month after the representative resigned his District 48 seat in West Austin to become a lobbyist for the cable industry. In the case of District 143, Perry called the special election for six months later.
State Rep. Rick Noriega, D-Houston, says it's apparent that the governor's action "treats two areas of Texas constituents differently, and unfortunately, I think it was for political reasons." Houston political consultant Marc Campos of Campos Communications says the delay in replacing Moreno is inexcusable. "The guy died the day after Cinco de Mayo," explains Campos, "and here we'll probably have a winner two weeks before Christmas Eve. I blame it on our leadership and the governor for not communicating and working things out."
Double standard or just playing politics? If Gov. Perry would have had the special election earlier than Speaker Craddick wouldn't have had to break all those ties during the special session.