Tuesday, July 11, 2006

are republicans feeling threatened by strayhorn?

Secretary of State Roger Williams, a Perry-appointed Republican, has ruled that Richard "Kinky" Friedman can use his nickname on the November ballot, but "One Tough Grandma" Carole Strayhorn must be called "Carole Keeton Strayhorn." Williams insisted that "Grandma" is a slogan, while "Kinky" is a nickname. As reported at Capitol Annex, Strayhorn is going to challenge this decision in court. In the process, the Republicans will say that she is wasting time and money on a petty issue. She's probably worried about voter recognition because she was previously elected as "Carole Keeton Rylander." Vince hypothesizes that she will lose support over this move.

This is yet another attempt by the Republicans in power to undermine Carole Keeton Strayhorn. I think it's telling that the Republicans are against any real competition and debate among conservatives.

Governor Perry won the March primary with about 85% of the vote. Strayhorn, currently the State Comptroller, left the Republican Party to challenge Perry as an independent candidate. In early May, Secretary Williams tried to keep Strayhorn off of the ballot (or at least delay her candidacy) by refusing to use a statistical sample of her petition signatures and insisting on counting each of the required 45,540 one at a time.

Are the Republicans perhaps scared that Strayhorn will be a serious threat to Perry's re-election effort? With Kinky Friedman gaining popularity among teachers and college-age voters and Chris Bell likely taking the general 40% of voters that choose Democrats for statewide offices, Team Perry is probably starting to look at November without the rose-colored glasses. They sense that it's time to step up the offense and they aren't afraid to use and abuse their positions in the government to help Perry get re-elected. What's sad is that they find Carole Keeton Strayhorn more of a threat than Chris Bell.


c4n3p said...

The Reptilicans don't see Strayhorn as more of a threat than Bell. The Reptilicans see Bell as appealing to a different base and Strayhorn taking from their own base.

The latest polling has Perry down to 35%, but Strayhorn in fourth place. That means Perry is vulnerable (to Bell who could get over 35% if he can consolidate the Democratic base), and while Strayhorn isn't a threat to win, she is a threat to having a bit of a "Ralph Nader" effect on Perry's base.

In short, Perry hates Strayhorn not because of the vote total that she may get but because of the votes Perry will not get because of her.

Bradley said...

That's kind of what I thought, C4n3p. I think originally Team Perry thought Strayhorn would just get a few votes and wouldn't make much of a splash. Now, I think they see her as something that could thwart his re-election bid. They may not think she can win, but they think she can keep Perry from winning. Kind of a "If I'm going down, I'm taking you with me" mentality. Like you said, she could have a "Nader effect" and we could end up with Kinky or Bell.