DEBATE: "I was told to be a good girl, sit down, and be quiet" recounts Strayhorn when she criticized Perry's tax increases

Kudos to Karen Collins of McKinney for the Trans Texas Corridor question. First, Perry tried to explain away his land grabbing toll road nightmare by comparing public opposition to when the interstate system was built. Tonight he tried to compare the TTC to instituting farm to market roads (which are usually 2 lanes, 4 max. not 10 lanes with right of way 4 football fields wide).

Nice try, Perry, but a MASSIVE superhighway whose primary purpose is to transport foreign goods at Texans’ expense and putting it under foreign control is LIKE NO OTHER ROAD PLAN IN TEXAS HISTORY! He also reiterated that Texans voted on this. See the text of Prop 15 (to which he is referring, here, scroll down to Prop. 15) and then tell me if you think you voted on this…Perry continues to demonstrate total arrogance on this issue and his total disconnect with those who elected him.

The most telling exchange in the debate was when Strayhorn was asked about her switching parties (it should be noted Perry used to be a Democrat before he was a Republican, along with many others). Her answer: “I was told to be a good girl, sit down, and be quiet” when she dared to criticize Perry and the Legislature’s tax increases in 2003. She didn’t abandon the Party, the Party abandoned her. She’s the only TRUE FISCAL CONSERVATIVE in this race and the only candidate with the integrity to stick to her guns in the face of threats and intimidation by the establishment!
By Harvey Kronberg
Quorum Report
October 6, 2006

Each challenger lands a few, takes a few as they try to separate themselves from the pack; Perry ducks post-debate press avail

In a debate that surpassed expectations with often lively exchanges, all four main contenders for Governor managed to stay on message, presenting to voters what they clearly think is their best side.

For Gov. Rick Perry, that included what might have been his clearest explanation yet for why his much maligned Trans Texas Corridor is necessary for the state. He’s said on multiple occasions that the TTC is designed as a long term fix, so it was a telling detail to make the comparison between the current debate with the debate over the creation of the Farm to Market system.

Perry said that he was told by former Gov. Dolph Briscoe that the creation of the FM road system was heavily opposed by farmers but that the new roads were eventually accepted and applauded. The implication was that farmers who now oppose the TTC because they might lose land to the project would eventually welcome the long term benefits of alleviating congestion on Interstate 35.

Chris Bell was asked several times about his serious demeanor and his perceived invisibility as a campaigner. Bell, though, stuck to his guns as the policy wonk of the group.

Carole Keeton Strayhorn was challenged on the perception that she’s an opportunist, but she stuck with her message of being outside the Austin establishment. That might be a tough sell for the politician who earned the most votes statewide in 2002, but she illustrated her point with an intriguing anecdote. When she criticized the Legislature for balancing the budget in 2003 through $2.7 billion in added fees, she said that she was “told to be a good girl, sit down and keep quiet.” Will that kind of statement earn her more support from women voters who likewise have run into barriers at work? Maybe. But it was interesting to see her play the gender card, possibly the safest way to establish outsider credentials.

Kinky Friedman, of course, has no problems with establishing his outsider credentials. He had precious few new lines tonight but he made clear that he was not going to play “go along to get along” in order to win votes. He didn’t back down from his use of racial epithets in the past nor did he promise to be a better role model for the kids by putting down his cigar if elected. He simply promised that he wouldn’t be the politically correct choice for governor. That said, he wasn’t the bad boy that maybe debate planners feared when they decided on a five-second delay on the television broadcast. He did not use any foul language himself and except for calling politicians “blood sucking parasites” and calling Gov. Sam Houston an opium addict and drunkard (when asked whether or not governors should be role models), Friedman kept his discourse civil.