Politico: Texas pol emerges as Perry critic

Posted on from Politico in In the News

By: Alex Isenstadt
August 20, 2011

Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett isn’t running against Rick Perry, but you wouldn’t know it from the way he’s targeting the Republican presidential candidate.

While Perry’s actual opponents have so far taken only vague jabs at the Texas governor, Doggett, a long-serving liberal, has emerged as Perry’s chief attack dog.

He’s taken to MSNBC to hammer the governor over his handling of public schools in Texas. He’s spoken at an anti-Perry rally on the steps of the state capitol, tweaking the governor for carrying a concealed firearm and vowing to “sound the alarm” about Perry across the country. On his Facebook page, he’s poked Perry for his “boot-in-mouth syndrome.”

Doggett’s latest attack came Friday afternoon, when he hosted a conference call with reporters in which he railed against Perry’s assertion that he’s presided over a jobs boom in the state – a claim the Democrat ripped as a “Texas tall tale.”…

To some extent, Doggett’s anti-Perry campaign goes far beyond his efforts to reclaim his seat — it reflects lingering tensions following a brawl over public school funding. At issue was a measure that Doggett inserted into a 2010 public education spending bill that would have forced Texas to use its share of the federal money to supplement its current level of education spending. Perry and his GOP allies waged a months-long campaign to combat Doggett’s insert, which was ultimately scrapped.

“Doggett and Perry have a long-standing feud over how federal funds are spent in Texas,” said ex-Texas Democratic Rep. Martin Frost, Doggett’s former colleague. “There’s no love lost.”

Doggett argues that he’s been the target of a Perry vendetta over the last year rooted in the education funding fight. In an interview, he noted that the governor singled him out during his State of the State address earlier this year over school funding, and claimed Perry had engineered the redistricting plan that made his seat unwinnable. He even said he’d seen the governor’s aides passing around maps that were designed to jeopardize his hold on the district.

“My differences are substantial with the governor, and they center over public schools,” Doggett told POLITICO. “There’s a direct relationship between the battle over school funding and redistricting.”

Read the complete article at Politico.com.