Headlines from the campaign trail
• Riddle me this: The Libertarian Party of Texas claims it's not GOP-lite (or right), but from its just-issued 2009 Legislative scorecard (for "personal liberty" and "economic liberty" votes), the party's heroes are all Republican, the villains all Democrats. More enchanting: Top-ranking senators include Houston radio tub-thumper Dan Patrick; top state reps feature Debbie "Terror Baby" Riddle. You can tell a lot about a party from its friends ....
• The Libertarians are less impressed with Gov. Rick Perry. LPT gubernatorial candidate Kathie Glass recently confronted the incumbent at Texas Conservative Coalition's 10th Amendment Town Hall in Humble about his refusal to debate her. Perry responded by skipping out the back door, prompting Glass to call him "a scared little boy."
• With three weeks before election day, the TV ads are coming thick and fast, with local Dems going positive. Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, concentrates on biotech jobs; Diana Maldonado, D-Round Rock, features business people lauding her support for education; and Valinda Bolton, D-Austin, emphasizes her role in improving congestion on Highway 71 and adding school crossings to FM 1826.
• Orthodontist Andy Barron, a write-in candidate for governor, is denouncing the "extreme bias of the Austin American-Statesman" for excluding him from a co-sponsored Oct. 19 gubernatorial debate including Bill White, Libertarian Kathie Glass, and Green candidate Deb Shafto (Perry rejected the invitation). Barron, whose campaign slogan is "Yes We Can, Through Christ," cites a poll giving him 2% support, in theory enough to meet the major newspapers' debate standards.
• State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, is poised to win re-election, but who'll actually fill his seat next session? Wentworth, whose district also includes southwest Travis County, has hinted he'll step down after the election, triggering a special election. Names of possible GOP candidates bubbling up include former Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce President Joe Krier, former Bexar County Commissioner Lyle Larson, Texas Racing Commission Chair Rolando Pablos, and high school teacher Eric Anderson.