Today, I decided which candidate for Governor of Texas will get my vote in the primary. 

In what has been a very ugly primary race on the Republican side, Governor Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson have been slinging mud at each other for nearly a year.  Perry lays out stellar claims about the accomplishments of his administration which Hutchinson factually picks apart.  Between the two of them, both well funded and well established candidates, they’ve exposed so many of their weaknesses, they’ve handed the Democrats their entire campaign strategy and they’ve garnered a less than enthusiastic response from Republican voters.  Debra Medina, a South Texas rancher’s wife and businesswoman, seen as a minor candidate just weeks ago, has capitalized on the negativity of the two major candidates, and has surged forward in the polls.

Fear that Medina might pull off a major upset in the primary must be running pretty high.  It was no surprise that Chris Matthews of MSNBC accused her of being a racist, as he does most conservative candidates.  The clincher, however, was pulled by Glenn Beck on his program this morning.  During a phone interview with Medina, Beck alluded to response he allegedly received from voters in Texas upon announcing that he would be interviewing Medina, and asked an off the wall question with the obvious intention of making her out to be a “9-11 Truther,” someone who believes in a conspiracy theory that the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were planned and carried out by the U.S. government, for the purpose of gathering public support for the war in Iraq.  Medina appeared to be taken somewhat by surprise by the question.  Why not?  Whether or not she is a “9-11 Truther” is completely irrelevant to the issues related to the governor’s race in Texas.  But Beck, a master of such diversion, pressed ahead, cut the phone conversation off before Medina could get in a word about the real issues in the race, and then took several minutes to spin her response into an admission that she was, indeed, a 9-11 Truther.  That’s not exactly what Medina said, but truth and accuracy are not obstacles that get in Beck’s way when he has an agenda.

Beck’s attempt to bring Medina down, or at least, to stop her momentum, appears directed at benefitting Perry.  Hutchinson has been trailing in the polls all along, and Medina has gained at her expense.  But recently, she’s been chipping away at Perry’s support, too, especially since Sarah Palin’s endorsement and as a result of the continued negative tone of the campaign.  Where did Beck get the alleged “information” that led to his obscure, off beat question about criticism of Medina related to her beliefs about 9-11?  Do you suppose that it came from, oh, say, the Perry campaign? 

Beck obviously thinks that a lot of Texas voters are hicks and rubes, considering the comments he made after he got Medina off the phone.  Medina was obviously taken by surprise and her response to the question wasn’t great, but she did state that she was not aware of any advisors who were “9-11 Truthers” and that she didn’t know enough about the issue to comment on it.  That’s far from admitting she is one, though Beck tried hard to make it appear that she did.  If Glenn Beck doesn’t want Debra Medina to be governor of Texas, which essentially means that the corporate hacks who benefit from Perry being in office are afraid she might have a chance to win the primary, then I’ve got to give a lot of consideration to voting for her.  I already like what she has to say, and the freshness she’s brought to the campaign. 

If Beck’s shenanigans weren’t enough, the clincher came this evening when Michael Berry, a Beck wannabe on a local talk program here in Houston, pre-empted his planned topic in order to give his full attention to continuing the war on Debra Medina.  Berry was livid over the fact that the Medina campaign spurned his offer of having her on his show this evening to straighten all this out on the grounds that he’s host of the “highest rated afternoon talk show on radio in Texas.”  Perhaps he is, though comparatively, with the vast majority of the Houston drive time radio audience listening to the music stations, his audience is a fraction of the size of even the lowest rated local television news program.  Medina’s campaign wisely avoided addressing his slanted audience with carefully screened phone calls and edited text messages and emails.  Even with the slant, Berry’s listeners didn’t indicate that there was any evaporation of support for Medina, and in fact, many of the callers clearly supported the way she responded on Beck’s program.  It was during Berry’s show tonight, however, when I made up my mind to cast my ballot for Debra Medina for Governor of Texas.

It remains to be seen what will happen over the coming days, but I think the publicity Medina will receive from those four minutes on the Glenn Beck show will benefit her, and push her forward in the polls.  It’s pretty clear that she’s not a “9-11 Truther” and I think most Texas voters, contrary to Beck’s belief, are smart enough to figure out that she didn’t say what he tried to make her say, and that this whole thing is a thinly veiled attempt to push support to the established party candidates.  The corporate interests that firmly control the state through the governor’s office are sensing that support for their lackey is waning, and that Medina may be looming as the larger threat. 

Berry is just a hanger-on wannabe.  I don’t think enough people in Texas listen to his program, or value his opinion, enough to make a difference.

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About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

10 responses

  1. Spring Texas says:

    Outstanding article with the absolutely correct perceptions.

    I think this hit-job may well backfire on those that have so obviously orchestrated it.

    I just sent in a donation to Medina.

  2. K Gray says:

    She was noncommittal (agnostic?) but indicated interest in 9/11 theories. She could clear this up; has she? Here’s the segment:

    GLENN: Right. Here’s then let me be more frank and ask you the question: Do you believe the government was any way involved with the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11?

    MEDINA: I don’t, I don’t have all of the evidence there, Glenn. So I don’t I’m not in a place, I have not been out publicly questioning that. I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard. There are some very good arguments, and I think the American people have not seen all of the evidence there. So I’ve not taken a position on that.

    GLENN: I think the people of America might think that might be a yes.

    MEDINA: Well

    GLENN: Do you have advisors, do you have advisor

    MEDINA: I’m not going to take a position.

    GLENN: That’s fine.

    MEDINA: These questions have been raised and they are not answered.

    GLENN: Do you have advisors that advise you or people that are around you that are 9/11 Truthers?

    MEDINA: Not to my knowledge.

    • Colby Evans says:

      I think this is going to backfire on whomever it was that prodded Beck to put forth the question. Has Beck questioned the other two GOP candidates about their position on the issue, or about whether they’ve screened their advisors with regard to being “9-11 Truthers”? And what in the world does it have to do with being the governor of Texas? A lot of Republicans hold to a lot of silly consipracy theories when Democrats are involved, and Beck is a master at promoting them and pushing them along when it fits his particular agenda, and he’s not really a big fan of the facts when they don’t fit. Not only that, but he’s a Mormon, and when you consider what kind of wacky stuff you have to believe to be considered mainstream among that group, it is almost funny that he seems to think being a 9-11 truther is detrimental to a political campaign. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot more people in Texas who think that the “US Government,” and more specifically, the Bush Administration, did indeed have something to do with the 9-11 terror attack, if not actually planning it and carrying it out, at least having advance knowledge of it and standing out of the way to let it happen so they could justify their Iraq war plans. Personally, I see it as a sign of intelligence and honesty that someone would continue to ask questions that have never really been answered as to why, when Al Qaida attacked the Pentagon and World Trade Center, operating out of a base in Afghanistan, and with which Saddam Hussein had absolutely nothing to do, we’ve spent a trillion dollars on a war in Iraq to avenge the event. Beck and the rest of the conservative radio crowd have shown their absolute lack of any kind of value to public policy by their hypocrisy over demanding accountability from the Democrats on every tiny issue, but by giving a gigantic pass to the Republicans on this, as well as on their handling of the economy that directly led to the recession.

      In the past couple of weeks, Perry’s poll numbers have started to drop, while Hutchinson’s have either stayed the same or dropped a bit as well, and Medina has gained. A lot of the corporate interests who underwrite Beck’s radio program via advertising and network ownership have sunk a lot of lobby money into Austin in recent years, and a lot of campaign contributions into Perry. No surprise then, that someone would “leak” to Beck a “concern” about Medina being a “9-11 Truther” and that he would raise such an obscure issue which apparently hadn’t been raised before with her, rather than get her on a discussion of the real issues in the campaign.

      She just got my vote, too.

  3. Lee says:

    It’s still early, but it is beginning to look like the publicity from the Glenn Beck show call is going to benefit Medina more than it will hurt her. She doesn’t have the financial resources to counter Perry and Hutchinson’s advertising, but their advertising is not much more than mudslinging, which the voters are apparently getting weary of hearing and seeing.

    Medina straightened out her views with a public statement. Beck’s attempt at diverting the attention of Texas voters away from the issues basically gave her an opening to refocus their attention back on the issues.

    Regardless of the outcome of the primary, I think the numbers and the issues as they are currently being laid out do not bode well for Perry’s re-election. Over 60% of the voters cast a ballot for someone else last time around, and the state’s tanking economy, duly reported and documented by Hutchinson, will have an effect on him. Even if Medina doesn’t pull out the primary, you’ve got to figure a lot of her support from independents will go to the Democratic nominee. Wonder what he and Glenn Beck will cook up to divert voter attention from the issues, and from his almost total selling out to corporate interests, during the general election?

    Do Texas voters want a candidate produced by the slanted agenda of radio announcers?

  4. Kathy says:

    I wonder if Glenn Beck would consider asking Gov. Perry about a State supported trip that he took last
    year to meet with the Bildaburger group in another country in which he was invited. Do you think Glenn
    might ask him if he is involved with this ‘secret’ group and who attended? I think not.

  5. Kelli Cook says:

    Yeah Glen what about Perry meeting with the Bildrberg group in Turkey. That is against the Logan Act you big dufus.
    Question with Boldness? Pffffff

  6. K Gray says:

    Apparently Gov. Perry went in 2007. Last year, Obama representatives included Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner and a rep from the State Dept., according to a NASDAQ press release. Apparently several past presidents (Clinton, Ford) have attended, as well as Senators (Edwards, Feinstein, Daschle), Secs. of State (Kissinger, Powell, Rice) and a few governors, Jon Corzine most frequently. (The latter is from Wikipedia so only as good as the source).

    People have all sorts of fun surmising stuff about Bilderberg.

  7. Kathy says:

    regardless if he is involved with Bilderburgs or not
    (I think he is) there are alot of people out there that
    THINK he is….and are questioning it…..soooo according to Glenn Becks way of thinking, shouldn’t that be a question that should be asked? Of course
    Perry will just laugh and say no, and the two of them will have a good chuckle about it. But the thought will be out there in peoples mind which is
    exactly what Beck wanted….and right Kelly, he is
    a big dufus!!

  8. K Gray says:

    I wondered what was going on here until I googled Perry Bilderberg Beck. At least a dozen sites — seem to be Tea partiers and/or Rand Paul fans — making the “why doesn’t Republican shill Beck ask Perry about Bilderberg” argument.

    Medina seems to be the tea party candidate.

  9. Sam Swart says:

    I’m not sure who I will support, but I’ve had my fill of untested empty vessels in which we place unwarranted faith. I’ll be sticking with the ‘devils I know’.