Matt Lewis
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who appears set to battle incumbent Rick Perry for the Texas Governorship, has been receiving criticism from Texas conservatives for a variety of issues, ranging from the right to life to GITMO. 

Most recently, her refusal to disclose earmarks has drawn conservative scorn (many reformers believe earmarks should be put in the bill text, rather than inserted in conference reports).

According to EmpowerTexans blog:
“Everyone keeps hoping Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison might finally show some of the leadership her rhetoric suggests she has. Everyone keeps being disappointed. She told the Austin American Statesman that even though she likes the earmark reform concept, she isn't going to tell anyone what earmarks she's requesting.So is this a case of "accountability for thee but not for me"? What is she hiding? And she wants to be our governor?”
Empower Texans is a leading conservative voice in Texas, so this is obviously not helpful to Hutchinson's cause.

What is more, the transparency issue is especially resonant these days, with believing spending and earmarks contributed to the GOP's recent loss of power. 

Additionally, with the stimulus bill and economic problems serving as the political backdrop, voters are less likely to tolerate this sort of old-fashioned, under-the-table, pork-barrel maneuvering.

While Hutchinson may have her fans, it is clear Texas conservatives are circling the wagons and will work hard to prevent her from ousting Perry.  And she appears to be helping them by handing them yet another issue (and in this case, one that cuts across party lines)...

Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis is conservative writer and blogger based in Alexandria, VA.

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