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October 15, 2003

Perry Counterattacks Strayhorn

By Byron LaMasters

Monday, I wrote that Comptroller Strayhorn lashed out at Perry at a speech in Houston. Today Perry has responded with the following press release:

The Quorum Report has Perry's press release:


It is with great regret that I must tell you that Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn today launched a campaign-style, negative attack against Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature for standing up for conservative principles.

Below is Governor Perry's response:

"Texas legislators just completed the most successful session in decades. I am very proud of the conservative record we have established for balancing the budget without raising taxes, passing historic and sweeping tort reform that will save jobs, expand business opportunities and improve Texans' access to health care. In addition, we passed significant homeowners insurance reform that will save Texas taxpayers more than half a billion dollars in lower premiums and refunds. And despite a $10 billion shortfall, we increased spending on health care by $1 billion, increased spending on public education by $1.3 billion and established an historic and innovative transportation improvement system."

Senator Steve Ogden released the following statement:
"The Comptroller's public statements, including today's speech in Houston are more political than factual. Yesterday, the Legislature overwhelmingly passed HB 7, a comprehenshive government reorganization bill that, amoung other things, will transfer two programs, e-Texas and the Texas School Performance Review to the Legislative Budget Board. This transfer will increase efficiency and eliminate a serious conflict of interest where the Comptroller both identifies alleged savings and then certifies the amount of those savings. In addition, the message has been sent that the Comptroller needs to refocus on carrying out her constitutionally-mandated duties, which include providing more accurate, less political, revenue projections on which the legislature can base budgeting and policy decisions."

State Representative Mike Krusee also released a statement in response:
"While the transportation needs of Texas are great, transportation advocates have never had a more enthusiastic and effective supporter than Governor Perry... California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has publicly cited theTrans Texas Corridor as an example of what other states should emulate in transportation policy. At every step of the way, the Governor's leadership made the difference. It was Governor Perry's detailed vision which inspired the bills written by the legislature; it was Governor Perry's tireless efforts which led to legislative success; and it was Governor Perry's passion with the bully pulpit that passed the constitutional amendments...

Simply put, because Rick Perry is Governor, all across Texas new roads will be built faster, sooner, and for less taxpayer's money than before. Those of us in public office who wish to contribute would do well to work with the Governor in a cooperative manner to build upon our unprecedented achievements in transportation policy."

For more detailed information about Comptroller Strayhorn's false attacks and our response, please refer to the attached fact sheet. (See Below)


In a speech today before the Greater Houston Partnership, Comptroller Strayhorn launched a campaign-style, negative attack against Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature for standing up for conservative principles. Below are excerpts from her speech and the truth behind her false attacks:

"I was telling the truth when I said the budget did not balance."
Comptroller Strayhorn certified the budget as being balanced.

"I was telling the truth when I said there was $700 million available in early July to restore cuts before critical health care was eliminated for frail elderly and medically needy children."
Approximately half of the federal fiscal relief funds awarded to Texas ($167 million) are being used to increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for health care providers and expand community care services for the elderly and poor in fiscal year 2004. The remainder of the funds will be used to assist in FY 2005.

"And I was telling the truth when I said new fees, charges and out-of-pocket expenses were going to cost Texans $2.7 billion more over the next two years."
Many of these fees are going toward specific purposes such as getting drunk drivers off our roads. In addition, some of the fees were either supported or suggested by the Comptroller herself.

"What is personal to me is the 160,000 Texas children who have lost their health insurance under this governor’s administration."
· The $117.4 billion budget passed by the Legislature increases spending on vital health care programs by $1.1 billion without new taxes.
· Maintained the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for families whose income is 200 percent of poverty. The same income eligibility level as when the program began in Texas and as found in most other states.
· Increased funding for Medicaid acute care coverage, HIV medications and children with special health care needs.
· Made a $10 million investment to increase the number of federally qualified health centers in Texas to help increase access to health care services. The 181 federally qualified health centers that already exist in Texas provide routine and preventive care, and many also offer dental and pharmacy services as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment. This new infusion of funding will help the centers attract more federal dollars and provide services to an additional 250,000 Texans, many of whom do not have insurance.

"What is personal to me is the thousands of jobs that have disappeared in Texas under this governor's administration."
Under Gov. Perry’s leadership, thousands of new jobs have been created including major business expansion or relocations such as Toyota, Samsung, Texas Instruments, T-Mobile, INFONXX, and EchoStar.
In one month this year, California lost 30,000 jobs while Texas gained 28,500.
"Texas is a land of buccaneering capitalism The future is Texas." - Quote from The Economist December 22002
The Wall Street Journal called Texas' sweeping tort reforms the "Ten-Gallon Tort Reform", and said, "Texas not only provides an example for other states but also for Republicans in Congress."

"What is personal to me is sky-rocketing homeowner property tax rates and insurance."
After declaring homeowners insurance an emergency issue, Texas legislators passed and Gov. Perry signed into law signed sweeping insurance reforms into law to lower skyrocketing homeowner rates, end deceptive credit scoring practices and enforce tougher regulations on the industry. Those reforms resulted in the Texas Department of Insurance ordering most of the top 32 insurance company groups writing homeowners insurance in Texas to lower their rates. Ordered rate reductions will save Texas consumers more than $510 million.

"What is personal to me is the unacceptable inequity in our public education system that leaves too many children behind."
· The $117.4 billion budget passed bye the Legislature increases spending for education by $1.2 billion without new taxes.
· The 1.2 billion in new funding for public education includes a new science initiative, the Governor's High School Completion and Success Initiative and theEarly Start Initiative to foster strong early childhood learning.
· More than $580 million was provided for textbooks and instructional materials.
· Over the last four years, Texas public schools have received $6 billion in new funding.
· Under Gov. Perry's leadership, Texas has established and funded a Master Math and Master Teacher initiative.

"What is personal to me is that higher education expenditures per student have decreased under this governor' administration."
· Increased funding to the Texas Grant Program to assist in keeping access to higher education open to those students with the drive and determination to succeed in college.
· Funding for research carried out by public universities was significantly increased by allowing universities to retain 100% of their Indirect Cost Recovery for research purposes.
· Health-related institutions were also appropriated funds to increase their research into biotechnology initiatives.
· Over the last four years, Texas colleges and universities have received $3 billion in new funding.

"What is personal to me is the transportation crisis in this state."
· Under Gov. Perry's vision and leadership, the Texas Legislature passed and Gov. Perry signed into law the most comprehensive transportation legislation in the state's history which creates new financing tools to fund transportation projects that will improve commuter drive times, spur economic development and prevent highway tragedies.
· Seed money has been secured to generate billions in bond funds for the Texas Mobility Fund, an unprecedented commitment to building needed road, rail and public infrastructure projects.

Posted by Byron LaMasters at October 15, 2003 05:38 PM | TrackBack


I really wonder how true the "no new taxes" thing is going to read when everyone's tuition bill will be going up 20-50% next semester. I know, it's not technically a tax...

Posted by: Norbizness at October 15, 2003 06:02 PM

Ahh... the splendor of Elephantine War.

Posted by: Jim D at October 15, 2003 07:10 PM

with friends like those, I think it makes the case all the more that Carole should switch parties. Consider it a preemptive strike, if you will.

Posted by: Greg Wythe at October 16, 2003 04:29 PM
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