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What’s on the mind of the Farm Bureau in Texas these days? Property rights. The Texas Farm Bureau this past week declared its support for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in her bid for the Republican nomination for governor. She’s running against the incumbent, Gov. Rick Perry.
The Texas Farm Bureau endorsed Hutchison because she “has been a leader in the U.S. Senate on agriculture and property rights,” said farm bureau President kenneth Dierschke. And the governor? Well, the problem there is that Perry vetoed a bill in 2007 that would protect the value of property in eminent domain cases. This was back when Perry’s grand plan included the Trans-Texas Corridor, a wide swath of the state the governor wanted to set aside for highways, transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines. Farmers feared the corridor because it would eat up land across rural Texas.
Perry said the Farm Bureau’s endorsement meant nothing because it is just another insurance company. That set off a back and forth about who was most in favor of property rights. And it got back to the theme that Perry is pushing: that Sen. Hutchison supported the federal stimulus package. A Perry spokesman said: “It’s not surprising that an insurance company that supported the bailout would support someone who was for the bailout.” What does all this have to do with life in rural Texas? Absolutely nothing.