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Rep. Charles Perry Still Has Much to Learn

When you are a freshman, you have a lot to learn. This is true not only in High School and College, but also when you are an elected official. We are now seeing what happens when a freshman thinks they are bigger than they actually are.

Rep. Charles Perry won a big election taking down Rep. Delwin Jones. Many had tried in the past, but they failed. Charles Perry won and won with big support. Many people out there liked his style and thought that eventually he would be one of stars of the South Plains in the Texas House. Well friends, it seems as though that star has faded a bit.

Don’t get me wrong, Perry is still making the right votes for the most part. There is no arguing that he is conservative and he sticks to his guns. However, he has made some bad decisions that have weakened his future. Perry didn’t support Rep. Joe Straus even when he knew that Straus was going to survive as Speaker. Perry then accused Rep. Craig Eiland of standing to benefit financially by proposing legislation that would allow fired Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to sue the state. Perry later apologized, but the damage was done. There have been other missteps, but perhaps the largest came late Wednesday night during the  redistricting debate.

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Rep. Perry tried to alter Rep. John Frullo’s district without involving Frullo. Huge mistake. Perry tried to tack an amendment onto Rep. John Smithee’s map, the same map that uncoupled Perry and Landtroop. Everyone (Landtroop, Frullo, Craddick) was happy with the Smithee map except for Charles Perry. Perry’s amendment took the central part of Lubbock a.k.a “the finger” out of Perry’s district and put it into Frullo’s district. Perry claimed that this was because people get confused and don’t know which district they live in, but I suspect that they could just open up and map and read it and the problem would be solved.

The real reason behind the move? I believe it has something to do with envy and hurt feelings. Oh, and probably because central Lubbock is trending more liberal and Perry doesn’t like that at all. Giving Frullo central Lubbock hurts and weakens him. If Perry doesn’t understand that, then we should all be worried about Perry’s skills in politics.

You might be wondering why I believe envy and hurt feelings come into play here. Remember, Perry went to Austin riding the Tea Party wave. Frullo went in sorta under the radar. Frullo secured a great staff and also earned respect from Speaker Joe Straus and Governor Rick Perry. Frullo was placed on fantastic committees, especially for a freshman. Perry’s committee assignments? Yawn. Frullo hasn’t had a lot of media attention, but when he has it’s always positive. Perry on the other hand seeks out the attention and many times stumbles.

Rep. Charles Perry made a huge mistake by not consulting Rep. John Frullo when it came to this failed amendment. It’s one of those mistakes that is just plain embarrassing and never should have happened. Perry was the one who talked about building a West Texas Coalition and then pulls a move that would hurt Frullo. There is no defense for the move Charles Perry made. Sure, you could chalk it up to another freshman mistake, but how many of those mistakes are we going to allow? When do you stop making excuses for the mistakes and instead hold him responsible? Perry’s move could end up hurting not only District 83, but his future in Austin as well.

Can Perry rebound? Sure, and I hope he does. I still believe that Charles Perry has a lot of promise and could have a bright future, but these mistakes must stop. It might be time for Perry to sit on the sidelines and learn.

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