Is OTG* The Lesser Of Two Evils?The early strategy of OTG's campaign appears to be for her to shed her far right/right-wing stench. It's a strategy to not necessarily go to the left but to show her as a true "centrist" candidate. She is, at this point, getting attention for getting an endorsement from one group that has traditionally thrown their support to Democratic candidates. And she also got more attention this weekend for speaking to the leaders from the Industrial Areas Foundation and at the aforementioned toll road rally. Trying to show her populist side I guess. She said some interesting things:
"Let's be honest," said Strayhorn, an independent running for governor. "We need to say out loud that we need more dollars for education.""Let's be honest"? Really. Now she wants to spend more money on education. 14 years of public school? If you're willing to spend $2,500 why not $8,000? The point is, now that OTG has shed the Republican/anti-tax party and it's mantra it looks like she's ready to promise anybody, who's not a right-wing lapdog, whatever they want hear to get their vote.
She supports a $3,000-a-year raise for teachers.
"We're at a critical crossroad in this state," she said. "We're either going to have public education or we're not going to have public education."
Strayhorn also wants to transform the state's current elementary and secondary public education system into a 14-year program, with two years of community or technical college for all students.
"I'd rather spend $2,500 (more) educating young Texans than $16,000 incarcerating them," she said.
Voters, except for those on the far right, are looking for an alternative. In the eyes of the anti-Perry voter, we are led to believe, only someone who they see as having a chance to win is a legitimate alternative to Perry. And many this early in the race seem to think the only other candidate that can win is OTG. They don't like Perry and they're going with OTG because at least she's saying the right things, now.
My question is, how do they know she's sincere, this time? She switches parties when it suits her. How do they know she won't switch her opinion from their groups once elected? Who knows what she will do when elected? She used to be for vouchers now she's against them. Was a Democrat, then a Republican and now an Independent. I won't even go into how many times she's changed spouses. This is apparently someone whose mind doesn't stay made up for long. And let's also not forget that two of her children work for the Bush administration. So who knows where her allegiances lie.
I'm sure the Republicans knew about loose affiliation problem back when she switched to their party. It was an equal opportunity situation for both of them, each using the other for their political goals. Rick Perry too has become more of right-winger over the years, he was a Democrat too once. See, the Republicans in order to gain power in Texas had to get the conservative Democrats or liberal Republicans, whichever name you prefer, to believe they weren't the far right ideologues that they really were, and are now known to be. Now that they have power they are going to try and run out all of those marginal, "centrist", Republicans and centralize power around the far right, pro-voucher, well financed base of the party.
Where does that leave Texas? Either taking the word of a person who changes allegiances over and over or choosing to fight for a Democratic candidate that really believes in putting more money into education, fighting against vouchers, fixing school finance right and funding health care. In other words Texans can choose between the lesser of two evils of the can choose a Democrat.
More reporting on the IAF conference here, Backers want money put toward schools, health care, job training.
* At this time I am abandoning my nickname of Carole ETC and will use the more accepted OTG ("One Tough Grandma") in it's place when referring to the comptroller.