Facing 'Fracking' Questions, White Calls for 'Common Ground' Leadership

The Democratic candidate for Texas Governor Bill White on Wednesday complained in an email to supporters that incumbent Governor Rick Perry was not asserting leadership for a more “mainstream” approach to school standards.

“I respect the sincerity of Texans who hold different views of what our students should and should not be taught,” said the email from White’s campaign. “But we should have a governor who finds common ground and moves our state forward, rather than appeasing people intent on pursuing partisan agendas in public offices.”

White’s objection to the cultural extremism of Anglo Republicans on the Texas State Board of Education–who last week dismissed Thomas Jefferson from the standard curriculum on Enlightenment–echoes a theme that he introduced when lamenting the Anglo bias of Republican voters during the March primary election. Republican voters ousted the sitting Chair of the Texas Railroad Commission because he had a Hispanic name.

If White, who served as Houston Mayor, can wage a campaign of urban tolerance vs. suburban cultural supremacy, he may be able to motivate a winning moderate-liberal coalition against Perry in the November elections.

However, the morning headlines out of Houston suggest that White is already on the ropes at the start of an eight-month campaign. While Mayor of Houston he also served on the board of directors for a “fracking” company, BJ Services, that has apparently admitted to federal investigators that it injected diesel into the ground near water supplies after promising not to.

Foul water or cultural extremism? We’re betting that the ghost of Thomas Jefferson is happy to be relieved of responsibility for this sort of history, whatever you want to call it or whichever way it goes.–gm

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