Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Would you vote for a candidate who wrote a trashy, pornographic romance novel that glorifies premarital sex and seeks to arouse sexual interest as your State Comptroller of Public Accounts?"
That is the question posed by Fred Head, the Democratic nominee for comptroller of Texas, in a campaign flier. His opponent, former Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, wrote a passionate romance novel back in 1990. It's in such bad taste, says Head, that it's in even worse taste for Combs to dare run for public office.
The Houston Chronicle, which published a longish story about this (follow the link to read some of the standard-issue bodice-ripping prose), gets at the real issue. Combs has $3.4 million in her campaign treasury. Head has nada. Hence the raising of an issue that we media types can't resist.
So it probably won't hurt Combs. But will Head's stunt bring her yet more money?
"Unfortunately, the publishing company is out of business, so there are no more royalties to be generated by his attempts at publicity," Combs spokesman Reggie Bashur said.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.