Political People and their Moves

Gov. Rick Perry has said he won't rule out a future run for president. Not everyone buys it, but a couple of recent press releases from his state office — both following national headlines instead of state or local ones — seem to bear out his interest in speaking out on national and international affairs. Perry followed formal GOP rival Mitt Romney in his political critique of the attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi, blaming the current administration for the troubles there.

“Muammar Qadaffi was an evil oppressor who murdered innocent Americans. But in the naïve belief that America could 'lead from behind' in the operation to remove him, this President allowed Libyan rockets and artillery to be scattered to the terrorist winds and had no plan to secure the country. Now we have these brazen attacks on our mission in Benghazi, and the violent death of our ambassador.  

“Combined with President Obama’s shameful lack of leadership in Egypt that culminated in the burning of our flag in our own embassy in Cairo yesterday, it is no wonder our enemies in the region are emboldened and our allies are afraid."

In the second release, Perry renewed his year-old criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke after the Fed announced it will try to stimulate the economy by buying mortgage bonds and other assets until there is some improvement in the job markets. Perry said it's the wrong policy, noted its proximity to the November elections, called it "the mother of all bailouts," and said. Bernanke should resign. 

Reps. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, and Four Price, R-Amarillo, were appointed to the Texas Republican Representatives Campaign Committee, a PAC focused on Republican campaigns for the state House. They're joining a group that already includes Harvey Hilderbran of Kerrville, Larry Phillips of Sherman, Bill Callegari of Katy, Myra Crownover of Denton, Jim Keffer of Eastland, Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, and Wayne Smith of Baytown.

That group recently scooped up a $150,000 contribution from House Speaker Joe Straus, who has said he'll support Republican candidates — so long as they're not running against Democratic incumbents. That's not always popular with partisans, but Straus is following the precedent set by previous speakers. 

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association's PAC endorsed state Rep. Randy Weber, R-Pearland, in the CD-14 race to replace U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Surfside. That's a Republican district, but Democrat Nick Lampson, a former congressman, is in the hunt, saying internal polling and relatively high name ID show he can compete. His campaign points to a couple of judges who did well in that district in their statewide races; Bill Moody, running for Texas Supreme Court in 2006, got 50.6 percent there.

Milton Rister, long of tooth in Republican government and political circles in Texas, is the new executive director of the Railroad Commission. Rister was most recently with Gov. Rick Perry's office. On the way there, he also worked for former House Speaker Tom Craddick, for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and served as head of the Texas Legislative Council. 

The CD-23 race between U.S. Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco, R-San Antonio, and state Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, will feature at least one Spanish-language debate. Sponsored by AARP and San Antonio's Univision, that will be taped on Sept. 25 and will air on Sept. 29. 

State Rep. Stefani Carter, R-Dallas, joins the Black Leadership Council for the Romney campaign. She did some surrogate speaking for the campaign at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. 

Oscar Rodriguez was named president of the Texas Association of Broadcasters, replacing the late Ann Arnold as head of that trade group. He's been with TAB for 18 years.

Deaths: Bob Gammage, a former Texas Supreme Court justice, state representative (one of the Dirty 30 who battled with then-Speaker Gus Mutscher in the early 1970s), state senator, congressman, and Democratic gubernatorial candidate (in 2006). He was 74.