Saturday, June 7, 2008

We interrupt these messages from the Democratic convention for this brief GOP announcement

It appears the Republicans will have a contested chairman's race on their hands and one that could get quite ugly. Paul Perry, a Republican activist from Ellis County has announced for GOP chairman against the incumbent Tina Benkiser. "My intention as chairman of the Republican Party of Texas is to make the will of the grassroots known to our officeholders and to assist in strengthening the Republican Party in a manner that will make the grassroots proud," he said. "I want to set a high standard for following the rule of the Republican Party and for operating as transparently as possible." The Republican base is frustrated with a party whose elected officials have, in the view of much of its base, have abandoned the principles of the party. The Trans-Texas Corridor has infuriated rural Republicans, and Perry plans on making that an issue in the Chairman's race. The theme of a party that has lost its way is one that resonates among GOP partisans (just look at Dan Patrick's victory in Senate District 7). That said, current Chairman Tina Benkiser was front-and-center in criticizing leadership's later aborted attempt to use expanded gambling to pay for school finance, and she criticized Gov. Rick Perry when he tried to mandate that sixth grade girls get a vaccination for the sexually-transmitted human papiloma virus (HPV) unless parents opt out. More recently, she has called for tougher restrictions on the state's use of eminent domain to force private land owners to sell to the governor. Fasten your safety belts.

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