Saturday, March 04, 2006

Republican Corruption, Infighting & Turnout

As Republican corruption begins to come home to roost, and the infighting in the TRP continues, we see that all it is doing is keeping people away from the polls and depressing turnout in the Republican Primary in particular, as people wait to sign petitions. Check out what these people have to say about the governor's race:
"He has done average," said Kenneth "KC" Willis, of Austin, a GOP voter crediting Perry with keeping the state economically attractive.

Roger Myers, of Llano, said, "Everybody can make improvements, but he's OK."


Barry Smith, of Kyle, a retired state worker, stopped near Bell's office and predicted that Perry will win another term. "He hasn't done enough wrong."

Yet Smith said he won't vote in the primary and might sign a petition enabling Strayhorn to qualify. Perry hasn't given teachers a fair shake, he said.

State employee Lynn Belton, of Austin, paused outside a supermarket to say she'll vote in the GOP primary. Belton called Perry's performance since succeeding George W. Bush in 2000 "not particularly remarkable. I don't think he's done anything poorly either" outside of calling several failed special legislative sessions on education finance.

Belton said she might favor Strayhorn in the fall because the self-styled "one tough grandma" seems less likely to put her future over what's best for Texas. Perry "might have higher ambitions," she said. "He's got the sexy movie-star looks."

Accountant Stephen Fox, of Leander, described himself as usually an early voter. But he's uncertain whether to vote in a primary or to sit tight and consider Strayhorn.

Zacharias Johnson, 21, a senior at Huston-Tillotson University, said he'll vote, maybe for Bell, who's spoken on campus. Johnson said Perry should visit or "at least make an appearance" at the university.


A half-hour drive west on Texas 71 inside Opie's Barbecue in Spicewood, Willis followed up on his "average" grade for Perry by questioning Strayhorn's presentation of herself as an outsider to Capitol shenanigans. "She's right in there with the rest of them, asses to elbows, playing politics," he said.

David Johnson, his lunch companion, hailed Perry's cheerleading on economic development and drawing more jobs to the state. He hopes the governor and legislators will create a plan slashing school property taxes. Perry has promised another special session after the primaries. A Gammage sign was stuck in a yard on East Main Street in Llano, but the candidate's nearby front yard was absent advertisement.

Downtown, Lee Duncan said he voted early for Bell. Duncan, 78, a barber for more than half a century, might vote for Friedman in the fall. Perry "is a very poor governor," Duncan said. "I rate him very low," for failing on school finance and catering to donors' interests."

Leah Stewart, toting her 13-month-old, Elisabeth, voted early in Llano. She eeny-miney-mo'd among three challengers to Perry, whom she says has inappropriately taken credit for an economy steered by Bush.

She'll ponder Strayhorn after the primaries. "I don't know if she has all the answers, but she thinks she does."
I think my favorite was, "he hasn't done enough wrong". Like the poll from last month it's obvious that most people really can't point to anything Perry's done as governor it's just that he hasn't been horrible. That would make a great slogan, "Vote Perry, I haven't done enough wrong not to be reelected!"

The one thing about all the contested primary races is that without an engaged electorate these races could turn on very few votes.


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