Yesterday morning I was composing a post cautioning the TEA Party crowd and Independents on voting for unknowns with no voting records for Governor of Texas, when I received The Peter Morrison Report. What’s interesting is, Peter and I are almost at odds, but in a good way. So today, I’ve decided to put both of our arguments out there and let you help me make up my mind. I plan to vote for whomever gets the nod, but I think I may have something to offer by way of strategy.

(I omitted the summary to get straight to the article.)

The Texas primaries are rapidly approaching, and as we get closer to the March 2nd date, the race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination has changed dramatically in just the past few weeks. Debra Medina, a virtual unknown in Texas, has come out of nowhere to throw a real monkey wrench into the race. Late last year, her support was in the single digits. By late January, a Rasmussen poll showed her as the choice of 12 percent of Texans, compared with 43 percent for Perry and 33 percent for Hutchison. Because of her rising numbers, she was included in the  statewide televised debate on January 29th.

Since her strong performance in both the first and second debates, her support has skyrocketed. In fact, according to a February 9th poll by Public Policy Polling, Debra Medina has now passed Kay Bailey Hutchison. The new numbers are Perry at 42 percent, Medina at 25 percent, and Hutchison at 23 percent. Medina’s rapid rise in support changes everything for Texas conservatives, and now we have a real opportunity to send a message to both Austin and Washington, and to make it loud and clear – we’re fed up with career politicians and politics as usual, and we want true conservatives representing us. Therefore, I’m strongly urging Texas conservatives to vote for Debra Medina on March 2nd. Let’s look at the candidates briefly to see how I arrived at my position.

Rick Perry has a well known track record, which means we know what we’re getting when we vote for him. Unfortunately for conservatives, his track record is very uneven, and he has a tendency to campaign as more conservative than he actually is.

It’s true that he has done a lot to keep the Texas economy strong in the middle of the worst recession in decades. That’s a real positive in his favor. So is his record on moral values; he
opposes abortion and the legalization of gay marriage. On other important issues Perry has either talked out of both sides of his mouth, or has let us down completely. He pushed for the Bush
bailout. He led the fight for the Trans Texas Corridor. During the last presidential race, he endorsed the most liberal Republican running, the far-left Rudy Giuliani.

He also tries to straddle the fence on illegal immigration, and hasn’t done much to prevent it. Possibly worst of all, in 2007 he ordered that sixth grade girls be given dangerous vaccinations for venereal diseases without their parents’ consent. Rick Perry is a mixed bag, at best.

Many were encouraged last year when Perry made some controversial remarks in favor of state sovereignty and secession as a last resort to federal abuses. However, I have recently learned that
Perry was a 2007 speaker and attendee at the super-secret Bilderberg Conference in Istanbul, Turkey:

I doubt that the speech he gave there on federalism and state-federal relations shared many similarities with his recent campaigning on state sovereignty.

I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but it’s well known that this group is a private, secret meeting of the top echelons of the globalist elite. A primary reason to invite any politician to address their group is to vet him for higher office. Texas Monthly claims Perry has his eye on the White House in 2012. It’s not encouraging to true conservatives that he flew halfway around the world to hobnob with a powerful group opposed to everything we care about as patriotic Americans.

Kay Baily Hutchison? Frankly, there are almost no good reasons conservatives should vote for her. She voted for the Bush bailout, after first denouncing it. Like many other politicians, she’s
talking fairly tough about illegal immigration right now, but she’s been in the Senate for nearly two decades, and the problem has only gotten worse. She certainly hasn’t made a name for herself as a forceful opponent of the immigration invasion that is overwhelming our state.

The one thing she is best known for, and is quite proud of, is pork barrel politics. One watchdog group says that Hutchison is responsible for an incredible one out of twelve of the billions of
dollars spent in federal earmarks since 2005. She’s not even slightly embarrassed about this. “Why wouldn’t I fight for Texas?” Hutchison said to the Dallas Morning News. “I’m proud of my effectiveness. To be hit for being effective for Texas is puzzling.”

On traditional moral values, Hutchison is even worse. She openly supports Roe v. Wade and keeping abortion legal. For that reason alone she shouldn’t get our votes; imagine the kind of judges she would appoint to fill possible vacancies on the Texas Supreme Court.

Finally, there’s Debra Medina. We may not see eye to eye with her on every single item, but she certainly agrees with us on the vast majority of issues. It’s true that she doesn’t have a long
political resume, but that’s fine. Career politicians are killing this country, and it’s time for some true outsiders to clean up the mess they’ve made.

Outside of politics, though, she’s well known and respected in her community. Married for nearly 30 years, she’s a Christian who owns a small business, and home schooled her children. I conducted a lengthy interview with her back in December, and I was impressed with the answers she gave.

It’s obvious why she’s gaining in popularity – she’s for less government spending, getting rid of racial preferences, cracking down on employers of illegal aliens, state sovereignty, free market
health care, 2nd Amendment rights, less government regulation of the economy, and most important of all, she’s strongly pro-life. When I asked her when human life begins, she didn’t mince words: “Human life begins at conception.”

Subsequent to that interview, the more I found out about Medina, the more I liked her. For example, she recently told the Dallas Observer that all property taxes in Texas ought to be abolished:

Not reduced, not appraisals reformed, not Robin Hood, but eliminated, gone; just close down all of the appraisal districts because they’re not going to be needed. Think about it: why should
we have to pay 2-3% “rent” to the government just to own our home or land? Rick Perry wanted to steal your land to build toll roads, while Medina wants to restore true property rights.

This is not to say that Medina is perfect on all the issues. I personally have low expectations that she will do anything more than Perry or Hutchison on the problem of illegal immigration. In
my interview with her, she said she supported a border fence in “densely populated urban areas only.”

This means that none of the three gubernatorial candidates support a complete border fence. In 2006, Rick Perry told the Texas Border Coalition that building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border was a “preposterous idea” and that “the only thing a wall would possibly accomplish is to help the ladder business.” In 2007, Hutchison used a voice vote in the U.S. Senate to personally gut the Secure Fence Act (SFA) that would have provided for a border fence.

The bottom line though is I believe Debra Medina is the best of the three GOP candidates for governor. Many Texas conservatives share this view, but up until now, have been reluctant to back her. They’ve been afraid of splitting their votes between her and Rick Perry, allowing Hutchison to win. With Medina’s astonishing rise in the polls, and Hutchison’s collapse, that’s no longer a concern. Now that there are three viable candidates, it’s going to be virtually impossible for anyone to get 50 percent of the vote, which means there will be a runoff, and there’s no risk of “wasting” your vote by voting for Medina.

If Debra Medina comes in third, she won’t be in the runoff, and conservatives can back Perry. But if enough of us vote for Medina on March 12th, she could easily come in second, and then the runoff would be between her and Perry. If that happens, Texans would finally have a chance to elect a real conservative to the office of governor, instead of always settling for the lesser of two evils.

Scott Brown just gave the establishment the shock of their lives by winning Ted Kennedy’s old seat in the Senate. Now it’s our turn here in Texas, and we can send an even bigger message by voting for Debra Medina on March 2nd.

To summarize:

1. Many had legitimate concerns back in December that Medina was nothing more than a protest candidate not running a serious campaign, and voting for her was a wasted vote that would benefit the greater of two evils: pro-abortion Kay Bailey Hutchison.

2. Polls now show Medina is a serious candidate, tied with or even leading Kay Bailey Hutchison. The concerns about wasted votes are now irrelevant. Medina is a serious candidate who could win.

3. No candidate has enough votes to win outright on March 2nd. There will be a runoff. Rick Perry is so far ahead in the polls he is guaranteed to make the runoff.

4. Since Perry cannot win outright and will make the runoff anyway, voting for him on March 2nd is a wasted vote that will make no difference. However, a vote for Medina could make all the difference in the world.

5. Even if you think Perry would make a better governor than Medina, voting for Medina and humiliating Hutchison, a sitting US Senator, with a third place finish would be a beautiful coup de grace for conservatives looking to send a message to the party’s elite in Austin and Washington. You can still vote for Perry in the runoff if you want. Even if you’re a committed Perry supporter, Perry is in a better position to win a runoff against Medina than Hutchison.

6. If Medina makes the runoff, regardless of whether she wins, it will be a message heard round the world, comparable to the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts. This will do wonders for Medina’s name recognition and could even set her up to pursue a less competitive state office in a subsequent election. If you’re worried about Medina’s lack of experience, then let’s at least put
her in the runoff where she will enjoy notoriety such that she can run for a smaller office in the future and win to get that experience.

7. For these reasons, I think all conservatives should strongly consider a vote for Debra Medina in this year’s primary election. It’s a no-lose, no-risk proposition.

***Last minute update***

I had originally put this report together in the middle of last week, scheduled for Friday release. After Medina’s interview with Glenn Beck last Thursday, I decided to postpone release until I
could more thoroughly think about the issues. My thoughts:

A. For those who don’t know, Medina was asked by Beck if she believed the government had any involvement in the 9/11 attacks. She gave a poor answer and the impression that she does possibly believe the government had some involvement in 9/11. She later clarified her response in a press release, but the damage was done.

B. I consider conspiracy theories to be a waste of time because most of the time they’re wrong and they don’t accomplish anything because they make people feel powerless. The globalist elites push their agenda through consensus, because it’s in their interest to do so, not because there’s some grand conspiracy.

C. We don’t have any new poll numbers post-Beck on Medina, and of course it will be interesting to see what the polls say later this week. I don’t expect the impact to be all that significant. Outside of DC and NYC (where Beck spends his time), the federal government is not seen as a Deity Who Can Do No Wrong, and Medina’s views are not nearly as shocking to the average Republican primary voter as they are to Washington insiders.

D. The worst thing that can be said about Medina concerning this issue is that she trusts the federal government even less than Glenn Beck. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for a governor if we want someone who will stand up for state’s rights. On the other hand, Perry still wants to steal our land for toll roads and forcibly vaccinate our daughters for STD’s, while Hutchison still
supports killing unborn children and wears her Washington “Pork Queen” title proudly. Which of these issues is least significant on principle?

We conservatives claim we are tired of professional politicians. Yet I see too many people willing to throw Debra Medina overboard because she gave a non-professional response to Glenn Beck. Do we want someone who tells us what we want to hear or a person of principle? I still recommend a strategic vote for Medina for the reasons outlined above, for Medina and Perry supporters alike.


The Peter Morrison Report

Thanks to Peter for the fine research and commentary.
I’m sure you’ll agree that Peter puts a lot of heart, thought and effort into his  articles.


Less research, more gut feeling.

By Longhaired Conservative:

As far as I’m concerned there are two front-runners for Texas Governor, and the race between Perry and Medina has me asking questions (Kay Bailey Who?).
First, who is truly best for Texas at this moment in time. Secondly, will Medina hurt the TEA Party movement if she gets elected and fails? (Much like Obama is tearing up the Democratic Party, Medina could cast a long black shadow over the TEA Party candidates if she doesn’t perform well or if in fact she turns out to be a loony conspiracy theorist as some have said lately). The third question on my mind is, can a weaker Republican candidate (Medina) beat Bill White, who will most surely be the Democrat candidate? Don’t underestimate White. As liberal as he is, he’s got a good track record in Houston to build on.

Let’s just say, I’m suggesting caution in electing people who we have no voting record to reference for judging policy. How will she handle the pressure from both sides of the aisle when the two parties inevitably come knocking on her door with seemingly impossible problems and compromised convoluted solutions? Does she have any political allies in Austin to turn to for guidance? I would want a set of trusted confidants if I were her. I think in reference to the Glenn Beck question and her subsequent handling of it, she and her team are ill prepared for surprises. In fact, I think she is too vulnerable. Texas is as big as many countries. We are considering electing, in essence, a political newcomer to what is in effect a national stage. Let’s be cautious.

As an alternative, let me suggest a more patient approach. I would urge TEA Partiers to first get started on a local level. Establish policy positions and back them up with voting records. As a matter of fact, this is already happening.

While they are serving in the smaller offices is the time to establish political ties for runs on larger issues and offices. For instance, Medina’s idea for abolishing the state property tax is a grand idea that I am all for. Where is she going to find backing for it in the Austin establishment? Nowhere. I wager the thinking there is too ingrained for such radical change. She needs allies where I don’t think she has them. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

Besides these reasons, Medina may have already burned the Republican bridge when she sued the Republican Party in Wharton. Why would they help her get any of her policies implemented? They have nothing to gain by letting a newcomer just waltz into the Governor’s mansion and start changing anything but the drapes. I think she’ll be held back by a lack of allies in the Republican party and could get so frustrated to show any sign of progress that she reaches across to the aisle to strike some crazy deal just to show she did something.

I believe the TEA Party needs to establish itself locally and build from there. Truly grass roots. If it doesn’t, it will be infiltrated too easily by people who are pretenders, Pied Pipers and snake oil salesmen.

Think of it as a chess game. This is going to be a long battle, so we need to position our players on the board, not bring out the queen before we’re ready to strike.

I think Medina and others like her would best be suited to run for State Senators and Congresscritters. Get to know the system and learn how best to change it. Be whistleblowers in the House and the Senate when the corruptocrats bring in the back room deals. Help the up-and-coming TEA Partiers when they arrive and then launch to Governor with a track record of
votes and a group of elected officials to back their agenda.

One last thing. If a candidate for Governor of Texas can’t speak out strongly against illegal immigration and make an outright call for deportation of all illegal’s and to finish the border fence, then I’m reluctant to jump ship and vote for an unknown.

[Originally posted here February 17, 2010]

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December 2022