Courts of Inquiry

The “Texplainer” at the Texas Tribune has a story explaining what a “Court of Inquiry” is. As the story points out, these courts have been involved in some very visible cases involved accusations of wrongful conviction.

Should Perry’s campaign pay his security costs?

The Houston Chronicle (“Perry should pay campaign security costs “) has suggested that Rick Perry’s campaign pay for the more than $1 million in security costs that the state of Texas paid to protect him as Perry campaigned for president.

On one side of the question, Perry’s security needs do not go away just because he is outside of the state. Also, making a governor’s campaign pay for those expenses creates a burden that other candidates might not have. Does Texas want to make it harder for our governor to run for president?

On the other side, Perry is out of the race now and seems to have plenty of money left over. The state’s budget has been cut everywhere and other state employees have seen their travel reimbursement subject to strict rules–many of the suggested by the governor’s office.

What’s the best course?

Perry’s approval rating in Texas sinks

A poll of Texans reveals that Rick Perry’s approval rating in Texas has dropped.

Poll Results on Rick Perry from San Antonio Express-Jan 2012The poll, reported in the San Antonio Express-News (Perry’s approval rating in Texas sinks – San Antonio Express“) and other Texas newspapers indicates Perry’s image took a beating in the state as he ran for president.

The Texas Tribune reports that Perry spokesperson Ray Sullivan seems to be already looking ahead to 2016: “Gov. Perry remains strongly and conservatively at the helm of Texas state government and may well run for re-election in 2014. He may also run for president again in 2016, especially if President Obama somehow wins a second term.”

Perry can make a comeback. However, it looks like his staff has not learned much from their mistakes. Perry needs to mend fences back home and talking about 2016 may not be the best way to start. The Perry campaign still doesn’t seem to think that there is a problem with their message. Don’t talk about coming out for an encore when you’ve just been booed off the stage.

Supreme Court will not hear “Pole Tax” Case

The Texas Tribune is reporting (“U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Hear Strip Club Fee Case“) that the US. Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to the $5-per-patron strip club tax that Texas created in 2007. Strip clubs had appealed the case on First Amendment grounds.

Exactly how the state of Texas plans on drawing the line between “adult” entertainment suitable for “sin” taxes and other content should be interesting. I’ve suggested in the past that the pole tax is pretty arbitrary and more trouble than it’s worth.

Did a Perry donor defect or did Perry lose a defective donor?

The Hill is reporting that one of Perry’s top donor will defects over attacks on Romney’s actions as head of Bain Capital. Perry’s criticism was that Romney should not claim credit for “creating” thousand of jobs when he also fired thousand of people as he took apart companies for a profit.

Perry’s criticism has been read as an “attack of capitalism.” It raises the question of what capitalism actually. Perry’s now former supporter (Barry Wynn) felt wounded by Perry criticism. However, Perry’s criticism could be legitimate. Is anything done by a capitalist really capitalism?

It seems absolutely clear that Rick Perry is pro-business. How could his alleged crimes against capitalism be so heinous that a reasonable conservative would walk away based on one criticism that Perry raised? Was this a legitimate defection or the whimpering of an overly sensitive corporate raider who did not like being called out?

Tearing down the Texas prison rodeo

The Associated Press is reporting that workers have begun tearing down the famed home of Texas prison rodeo. As the story recounts, the Texas Prison Rodeo was a Texas institution for decades. Texas Monthly also offers A Look Back at the Texas Prison Rodeo.

The rodeo became the only glamorous part of the Texas prison system and sometimes drew crowds of 20,000. In the end, the rodeo disappeared among budget cuts.