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by Tom Pauken    Fri, Apr 14, 2006, 09:00 AM

Gov. Rick Perry
As the Bush Administration winds down in its second (and final) term, speculation is increasing as to prospective nominees for President and Vice President on the Republican and Democratic tickets for 2008. Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News has an interesting story Thursday on the possibility of either Gov. Rick Perry or Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison being named to the Republican Presidential ticket two years from now.

Hutchison is being touted by close Bush allies, and longtime Dallas Republicans, Jim Francis and Fred Meyer, according to the Slater article. Francis and Meyer have been closely associated with the Bush wing of the Republican Party both in Texas and Nationally. As Francis notes, "If you look at who’s got good national exposure, who’s already up to snuff on the issues, you basically end up with Kay Bailey Hutchison and Condi Rice."

Meanwhile, Texan Bill Lauderback, who currently serves as Executive Vice President of the American Conservative Union, is touting Perry for the job: "He’s a very attractive candidate and he’s a true conservative, someone who will be on various folks’ lists." Perry spoke earlier this year at the national conference of the American Conservative Union.

Perry draws more support from the conservative wing of the Republican Party while Hutchison’s base of support is in the centrist wing of the Party. Both should be viewed as serious contenders to be on the Republican national ticket in 2008 whoever the Republican Presidential nominee turns out to be. But, first, Gov. Perry has to get through a tough election battle against Independent candidate Carol Strayhorn and Democrat Chris Bell in November.

To read the entire Slater story, link here (registration required).

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by Trey Garrison    Fri, Apr 14, 2006, 12:34 AM

Up to 3,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees in Texas are felons on probation or parole in their home state but most are probably living under no form of supervision.

Almost 300 are listed in Dallas. Sleep tight.

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by Trey Garrison    Fri, Apr 14, 2006, 12:27 AM

McKinney SWAT shot and wounded an illegal alien from Mexico who allegedly solicited the murder of a detective.

Just after midnight Wednesday, the police unit surrounded a house in the 800 block of Inland Lane to serve a warrant on Guillermo Urquiza, 26. The officers were met with gunfire. Todos los story here. (Channel 8 skipped that detail about the immigration status, but I checked and, sure enough.)

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by Mike Fisher    Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 07:27 PM

It's been an interesting couple of weeks over at the Ticket. I'm not sure most of the people over there know it, but next week is going to be even more interesting. Because next week, I predict, Dale Hansen will announce his depature from the station. Read all about it in the 'School of Fish' ...

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by Carolyn Barta    Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 05:03 PM

PLANO, Tex. -- The world's first high-end Wal-Mart has grocery aisles nearly wide enough to drive a Volkswagen down. Pushing a cart around the store makes you feel like Cinderella, or Cinderfella. So says the lead to a Washington Post story today. Read "In Texas, the Biggest Box Gets Mighty Fancy Trimmings" about the Plano store at

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by Carolyn Barta    Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 04:48 PM

The polls may be growing darker for Republicans in the mid-term elections but a Washington Post story today says that while Democrats could narrow the 30-seat GOP majority in the U.S. House, they face an uphill battle in regaining the majority -- even with a major candidate recruitment effort.  A story in the Washington Post today looks at the congressional field and Tuesday's special election in California. See "Democrats Face Uphill Battle to Retake House" at

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by Carolyn Barta    Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 04:29 PM

June 1 may not be the hard-and-fast deadline for the Legislature to come up with a new school funding plan that everyone has thought. Here's a fall-back position. If no solution is forthcoming in the first 30-day session, the attorney-general could ask the Texas Supreme Court for an extension to the end of June.  Gov. Perry then calls a second special session. The real drop-dead date then would be June 25, the date the Texas Education Agency wires funds to the local school districts for the opening of school.

Gov. Perry, meanwhile, will entertain legislators and their spouses Monday night in Austin, where he will be promoting the Sharp Commission business tax. The approach of lobbying members in this way is unusual for Perry, but he needs the Legislature to take some action to satisfy the Supreme Court going into his November re-election campaign. If the Sharp-Perry tax swap plan is not accepted in the special session, it loses its urgency. 

For their part, some members will try to cast it more as a reform of the franchise tax than as a new tax to make a vote for the plan more palatable. Some legislators still hope to merely use the purported $4.3 billion surplus as a way for the state to reduce local property taxes and satisfy the Supreme Court until the Legislature can convene next year in regular session.  

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by Carolyn Barta    Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 04:22 PM

State Rep. Helen Giddings, D-Dist. 109, and Terri Hodge, D-Dist. 100 will conduct a a Town Hall meeting on public school finance at 7 p.m. tonight at the Town View Magnet Center, 1201 East 8th St.

The Legislature convenes Monday in special session to address personal property tax relief and the funding of public education. The legislators will hear concerns of area residents at the meeting. More information is available at 972-224-6795 or 214-824-1996.

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by Scott Bennett    Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 03:17 PM
Zac Crain
Who would have thought the Dallas Observer would be a breeding ground for politicians.  Zac Crain will follow Gary Griffith on April 24th by announcing for Mayor of Dallas.  If you have been a regular reader of the Dallas Observer for the past decade you are very familiar with Zac Crain.  If not, you are probably clueless.  If you Google Zac Crain you get pages of Observer covers.  Some of those covers are Zac Crain's very good serious stories on topics like homlessness.  Others are about the Dallas music beat.  Crain says he is serious about the campaign and has a logo to prove it.  (It looks a lot like what DallasBlog started out with).  He will announce at a Son's of Hermann Hall bash on April 24th from 7 - 11pm.  Zac, however, is not the entertainment.  That will be provide by local bands Sorta and Shibboleth. 
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by Brian Bodine    Thu, Apr 13, 2006, 01:00 PM

DallasBlog recently reported on the election contest filled by Steve Smith for the Place 2 on the Texas Supreme Court.

Now, according to information obtained by the Texas Lawyer, it appears that Steve Smith’s name was left off the ballot in Winkler County. Don Willet received 273 votes to  0 votes for Smith in Winkler Country. The  Winkler County vote won’t be enough to affect the election outcome, but irregularities in Winkler County in addition to irregularities in other counties could produce the net effect that Smith needs to get a ruling in his favor that could, at the very least, allow Smith to look at the ballots in those counties. Irregularities in Tarrant County, where there was an error in the computer software program used for reporting election results, could ultimately lead to the election being overturned.

Speaking to the DallasBlog, David Rogers of the Smith campaign said that, in the event that the Smith campaign is allowed to look at the ballots in Tarrant County, they would be looking for additional campaign irregularities.

“Ultimately, we’re asking that either Steve be declared the winner or a new election be ordered,” said Rogers.

Judges in Travis County will begin hearing motions on the election contest today.

Click here for story from Texas Lawyer

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