Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Some Really Wild Weather Arrives

Some really wild weather has hit central Texas. Down in eastern Austin, rain was falling at a rate of 4 inches per hour! Here at the ranch, we got 1¾ inches, all between 7PM and 8PM. While the rain is welcome, this was too fast. Too much of it is running off, taking the top soil with it.

Yesterday evening, we went to a meet the candidates night at the Republican party county headquarters. We got to meet all the local and county candidates. The state-wide candidates, of course, were not present. The state-wide candidates, from either the Republican or the Democratic parties, never stop at the small towns any more: not enough votes and little fund raising potential.

This is shaping up to be an interesting political season. The House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for election. This means that all of the Representatives and one Texas Senator are up for re-election. These races tend to be a referendum on the job the President of the US is doing. In addition, there have been a number of scandals recently, including sweet-heart, no-bid contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq and New Orleans, the corruption scandals related to lobbying, and, most recently, the sexual scandal involving a Republican member of the House of Representatives.

For the Governor's Office, there are five major candidates: Rick Perry, the Republican; Tom Bell, the Democrat, Kinky Friedman and Carol Keaton Strayhorn, the independents; and libertarian whose name I have forgotten. Conventional wisdom says the Rick Perry will win. However, the independants have a strong following. Currently, the opinion polls show:

Rick Perry33%
Carol Keaton Strayhorn19%
Kinky Friedmand16%
Tom Bell13%

Early voting will start soon. If the turnout is heavy, I believe it will favor the Republicans. If the early voting turnout is light, I think the independents will have an advantage in the Governor's race and the Democrats in the other state-wide races. The weather will have its part to play, since rainy weather will tend to keep people away from the polls. The real results will be announced in about three weeks.

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