Wednesday, March 09, 2005

More free advertising

This time its for gubernatorial hopeful, Chris Bell.

Dear Friend, If you're as tired as I am of hearing that Democrats can't win in Texas, then just think what Democrats in Kansas felt like going into their 2002 gubernatorial election. Registered Democrats comprised only 28 percent of that state's electorate and no Democrat had won an open race for governor in over 65 years. But Democrat Kathleen Sebelius won that race, and the political environment that produced her win has striking parallels to the environment here in Texas today. As speculation increases that Sen. Hutchison has all but decided to challenge Rick Perry for the Republican nomination, pundits are already talking about a bitter, bloody primary battle that would strain GOP loyalties and alienate moderate Republicans as well as Republican-leaning Independent voters. This closely mirrors the rift within the Kansas GOP, a rift so severe that one political magazine described Kansas as a virtual three-party state in which the moderate and conservative wings of the state party fractured to support their own candidates and agendas. As intra-party squabbling continued over education funding and conservatives' censorship of state curriculums, independents and moderate Republicans began to shift into the Sebelius camp. On Election Day, the pro-choice Sebelius won a resounding 53-45 victory in one of the most culturally conservative states in the nation, a state that President Bush would go on to win by 25 points in 2004. The Democratic victory in Kansas speaks closely to our current mission. Debates over school funding and legalized gambling continue to strain relations between GOP moderates and conservatives within the Texas Legislature. Sen. Hutchison's expected entry into the race will further divide Republicans, and a divisive GOP primary will produce a weakened and vulnerable nominee. The lesson from Kansas is clear: When the Republican Party turns on itself, Democrats will win even in the reddest of red states.
All the free media he can get.

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