Mar 24, 2017
Just when many Texans thought Rick Perry had moved on past making headlines, he's b-a-a-a-a-c-k.
Perry took time out from his new job as U.S. energy secretary, safeguarding the nation's nuclear stockpiles, to blast the election of Texas A&M University's first openly gay student body president in a Houston Chronicle op-ed piece -- a move that bewildered Lone Star politicians and political scientists alike.
Why, they asked, would the former Texas governor and two-time unsuccessful presidential candidate want to take sides in a contested election in College Station. Doesn't he have better things to spend his time on in Washington, than step into a new controversy -- after his famous 'oops' moment that sank his first presidential campaign, and his appearance on "Dancing With The Stars" left him the brunt of national jokes?
In Austin, the political rivalry between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus took to the airwaves, as Straus responded on a West Texas radio show to Patrick's assertion earlier in the week, also on air, that he was 'out of touch" for not supporting the controversial "bathroom bill."
Patrick, a former radio talk show host, then called the same show to respond to Straus. Just a day earlier, the San Antonio speaker had blasted the proposed Senate budget and alleged that the upper chamber was "cooking the books" by using an accounting trick to give them $2.5 billion more to spend at the last minute, so they could balance their spending plan.
Straus, with uncharacteristic bluntness, compared the Senate move to Enron, the Houston-based energy giant that collapsed in a massive financial scam in 2001.
Add to the Austin meltdown the passage by a Senate committee of a controversial school-choice bill -- opponents call it vouchers -- and a letter-writing campaign to lawmakers where opponents were listed as supporters and one woman who had been dead some months wrote to support the choice bill. Legislative leaders were calling for an investigation.
Get the lowdown on all the political intrigue going on beneath the state's Pink Dome on this week's Texas Take: The Podcast -- the leading political podcast in the Lone Star State -- where you get the inside scoop on the Legislature in simple language every Texan can understand -- unvarnished straight talk, as they say.
There's no political-speak here, y'all.