Skip to comments.Perry Getting Head Start in Appeal to "Values Voters"
Posted on 06/12/2005 1:33:08 PM PDT by Theodore R.
Perry getting head start in appeal to 'values voters' ASSOCIATED PRESS
DALLAS (AP) - Even for Texas, the scene was remarkable: The governor, flanked by an out-of-state televangelist and religious right leaders, signing legislation in a church school gymnasium amid shouts of "amen" from backers who just as well could have been attending a revival.
It wasn't just the blatant blend of church and state that made the gathering in Fort Worth unusual. Advance publicity also attracted about 300 angry protesters - unheard of for the routine business of ceremonial bill signings.
Now some wonder whether Rick Perry overplayed his hand last week trying to stick to the playbook used by old friend George W. Bush and political whiz Karl Rove, to mobilize evangelicals in last year's presidential race.
"Governor Perry and his people are just not as good as Bush and Rove," Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson said. "Governor Perry knows the steps, but he's got no rhythm."
Perry's faith-based appeals begin as he awaits possible Republican Party primary challenges from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn in 2006. But Jillson said the ex-Democrat risks alienating moderate Republicans turned off by an in-your-face approach to political issues with religious themes.
It's a gamble the governor seems willing to take. Last month, he spoke to about 500 pastors in Austin at a meeting of the Texas Restoration Project, which plans to register 300,000 new "values voters" in Texas and elect candidates who reflect their conservative views.
In the private meeting, Perry championed promotion of spiritual values on the public square.
"One of the great myths of our time is that you can't legislate morality," the governor told the ministers, according to a transcript provided to The Associated Press by his campaign.
"If you can't legislate morality, then you can neither lock criminals up nor let them go free. If you can't legislate morality, you can neither recognize gay marriage nor prohibit it. If you can't legislate morality, you can neither allow for prayer in school nor prevent it," he said. "It is a ridiculous notion to say you can't legislate morality. I say you can't not legislate morality."
Perry, a United Methodist, did not refer to the death penalty, which his denomination says devalues life and should be eliminated from criminal codes. The governor, a capital punishment proponent, presides over the nation's most active death penalty state.
Perry's pastor, the Rev. James Mayfield of Tarrytown United Methodist Church in Austin, did not respond to e-mail or phone messages from the AP seeking comment.
Perry grew up attending both the Baptist and Methodist churches in the tiny Paint Creek community in West Texas, his spokeswoman Kathy Walt said. His religious beliefs are guided by several factors, including his understanding of scripture and conversations with "faith leaders."
How's that mile-wide Texas tollway boondoggle going?
The TT Corridor is, in itself, enough for Perry to lose my vote.
This last legislative session was a disaster, too. School finance and property tax relief were two big issues that died and will still have to be addressed, probably in special session. Granted, the governor in Texas has less power under our constition than in some states, but a leader can get things done. Perry cannot.
Don't blame Perry. The problem is that the Speaker and the Lt. Governor can't get along.
No, he didn't. He called special sessions, but Tom DeLay and the Lt. Gov. did the dirty work.
The only thing Rick Perry has going for him is an Aggie ring. I hate the thought of an Aggie yell leader and a T-sip cheerleader throwing punches next year. We need new blood.
Kay Bailey? Truth be known, her real views are not much different from those of Olympia Snowe.
Governor Perry also ceded control over criminal justice matters to Rodney Ellis and John Whitmire -- two left-wing Democrat state senators.
Jedi, you should know by now that Aggies who run, win.
No, I'm not supporting Kay Bailey. We need NEW blood, and she doesn't qualify.
But surely there are better Ags out there.
If there are, they are not running. He is the only one running worth voting for.
Who did you have in mind, who has the connections? Only the light guv, and that does not seen to be in the cards right now.