Medina vs. Perry - A Discussion on Strategy and Open Thread

>> February 17, 2010

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.

Both views after the jump...

(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.

Comments are open. Any thoughts? Keep it clean, please.


JC February 18, 2010 at 1:04 AM  

So it's your type that reads :didn'
t I tell you". Glad to meet you. Heh.

robot February 18, 2010 at 4:20 AM  

Hi JC, If you mean the type that likes good BBQ cooking, cold beer, good music and conservatism, then you'd be correct. Nice to meet you too. Thanks for stoppin' by.

theCL February 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM  

I don't get to vote in Texas, but here's a couple thoughts anyways ... Besides, living in the Socialist Republic of Michigan, Texas is on my list of potential new homes.

It's nice to see you not joining the bumper sticker crowd by immediately disqualifying Medina as a decent human being. She may not have played that Beck hand well, but at the same time, it was disappointing to see the way Beck handled it as well.

Sarah Palin has had many missteps that were easily just as bad. She also went after the Republican Party of Alaska. The Republican Liberty Caucus has endorsed her. So I wouldn't count her out. Especially over lack of experience, because her philosophy is in the right place.

And never worry about failure my friend. Failure is one of the spices of life. Can you imagine if Jefferson, Washington and Madison sat around worrying about failure?

Like you said, it is a long road ... So I guess the question is, do you put the right people in place until they succeed? Or put the wishy-washy people in office and continue down the road we're on?

Just my thoughts, that's all ...

robot February 18, 2010 at 4:39 PM  

Hi theCL. Truly glad you found my little cubby hole in the blogosphere. Your site is a daily stop of mine. Thanks for the comments. I guess you can tell that I'm still on the fence about Medina. Honestly, I would have already voted early but I want to air it out some more. Your kind of thoughtful feedback is exactly what I was hoping to get. Much obliged. Stop back by when you get the chance.

Unknown February 19, 2010 at 6:42 PM  

I think political newcomers are exactly what this country needs. We can see what has happened with career politicians. Its all about more power and money with most of them. I think most of us are so use to voting on a name we forgot that most of those names have no idea what it means to be a working American. Only one candidate in this race is one of us. Debra Medina.

Unknown February 19, 2010 at 7:05 PM  

The election of governor is not a horse race. You are not trying to pick a winner. Vote your principles and you will be a winner.
Medina is the one candidate that offers real change and real answers for Texas. I say show Texas that you love her and vote Medina!

Texan4AmericanLiberty February 19, 2010 at 7:18 PM  

Longhaired Conservative:

I don't know if the reasons why I am excited about Debra Medina will excite you, but thought I would run them by you.

Three factors have converged to cause me to get more involved in this campaign than any in my life (I am 53.)

First, the times are dire. Obama has control of the federal bureaucracy, and even if the GOP wins back the US House and Senate this year, they will not have veto-proof majorities, meaning that Obama's radicals will be able to do untold damage via regulation. State sovereignty from a strong, principled conservative can stop some of that damage.

Second, I really believe that the big two candidates are examples of where the GOP has gone wrong. They profess to be conservatives, then they act in ways that betray conservative principle and pander to special interests. Didn't we learn from the McCain presidency and the 2006 debacle that we need people who will not ruin the brand image of the party?

Third, all my judgment tells me that Debra Medina is the real deal. Her life story tells me that she is in it to advance her conservative principles. I think that we must do the best we can to determine the true motivation of the people seeking our vote. Many seek prestige, power, and popularity. I want someone committed to conservative principle. That is Medina.

So, when you say let's wait to put someone in office who is truly committed to conservative principle. My response to that is that I HAVE been waiting decades for someone like that! The times are crying out for a principled conservative. And Ronald Reagan had never held office before he became governor. What made him qualified was that he had thought about how to apply conservative principle all his life, and he had backbone. Medina has both of those qualities.

Risking embarrassment because she fails? It is a certainty that Perry and Hutchison will fail to defend the principles we care about. They have already proven it. Why not risk success?

Texas can stand up to the federal government and save American liberty if we elect Debra Medina. I literally believe that she is our best shot at getting out of the state AND national situation we are in with as little damage as possible.

Please, give liberty and Constitutional government and conservative principle a chance. Vote for Debra Medina.

Texas Soldier February 20, 2010 at 1:33 AM  

I listened to Medina on Beck's show and I was feeling pretty good about what she was saying until she would not denounce 9/11 Truthers. She wasn't just bad at answering a simple question, she showed she didn't want to take a stand (Political) and wouldn't answer whether or not she had supporters from that group (Financial?).
As a Soldier in the TXARNG, I have sworn to support the President of the US and the Governor of the State of TX as well as the Officers appointed over me. I would have to leave the military if I thought my government had anything to do with killing 3,000 innocent civilians. You know there were four planes that day headed for targets and one may have been for the Capital or the White House.
This has to be the easiest question to answer and I would have no problem with that one. I could not support her as Governor despite her otherwise good positions. I'm with Beck; Hitler had a lot of great ideals for his people but, not for the Jews. Usually, a 90 or 95% solution is a reasonable compromise, but not knowing how she believes on this, please.
She is either incompetent or too political for those of us that have to trust our leaders. I have young Soldiers under me that have to make live and death decisions in seconds and do the right thing in combat. A politician that can not answer this simple question with clarity has no business as my Commander and Chief or Governor of the best state in the Nation. I say, most of what Texas has going on does not warrant changing to such an unknown and un-proven novice. Like I said, I was with her thinking until that. I don’t think I would have voted for her if she hadn’t revealed this flaw anyway, because I believe change needs to happen slowly and I wouldn’t risk a novice when we have a proven leader that is coming our way. Don’t waste your vote, she is probably a decent person except for that “I dunno”.

robot February 20, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

Hi Chuck, Suzy and Texan4AmericanLiberty, Thanks for commenting. I guess you guys heard through Mrs. Medina's FB page that I am still having questions. Your additions to the discussion are appreciated. I can't yet say that I'm swayed one way or another. I wish I could. I can say that I'm still thinking and praying on all of my choices. It may come down to her libertarian leanings, some of which I don't totally agree with. It's encouraging to see so many Texans involved in the political process these days. You guys keep the faith and thanks again for your input. It really is helpful. - LC

robot February 20, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

Hi Texas Soldier, First let me thank you for serving in the TXARNG. Thanks for your comment as well. While I agree that she didn't handle the question well, I'm not sure if Beck didn't push the whole "wire the buildings to blow" theme a bit too much. I'm going to have to look into that a bit more. I will say that I believe Debra Medina was a Ron Paul supporter and R.P. is purported to be a "truther" as well. And I think she has doubled or tripled down since on the conspiracy theory and that's kind of silly to me. Then again, so is labeling everyone who has ANY questions about 9/11 a "truther".

I did see one post on D.M.'s FB page that claimed Beck altered the audio of the phone call. - Come on - Let's not go down that rabbit hole. It seems immature and gives fuel to your opponents. I'll do some more research and may do a post on this issue alone. It would certainly be controversial.

As I said in my previous comment, I'm still on the fence with the Perry/Medina vote but leaning Perry and not just because of this one issue. Thanks for your views and thanks again for your service. Cheers - LC

Texan4AmericanLiberty February 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM  

Texas Soldier, Longhaired Conservative:

I am not a truther and question the judgment of those that are. I was rocked back by the Beck interview, too.

I encourage you to listen to this interview of Debra by Mark Rich. I believe that she finally got it right.

I think she really had never focused on the truther issue, and was thinking 911 report when she answered.

Bottom line, I think she made a mistake, she acknowledges it, and now we can think about the issues that matter to this governmental campaign.

And when we focus there, she stands head and shoulders above the other two.

Texan4AmericanLiberty February 20, 2010 at 12:43 PM  

Forgot to post the link to the interview by Rich of Medina:

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