Yep, the headline is correct.
Five major newspapers in the state's largest cities (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, and Fort Worth) have scheduled a debate for October 19th at the University of Texas. All five papers ran editorials this morning urging Governor Rick Perry to stop playing games and step up to give Texans the debate that we deserve. Click the city name to get the editorial.
In conjunction with KLRU-TV of Austin, the newspapers will hold a one-hour question and answer session with former Houston Mayor Bill White if Perry still refuses to show up.
Perry initially promised to debate if White released his tax returns for the years he served as Houston's mayor. After White called his bluff, Perry backstepped and is now calling for White to release his tax returns from 1993-1995 when Bill White served as energy secretary. Bill White supporters should be happy; White has refused to be bullied by Perry now that he has broken his word and now voters statewide are aware of his service under President Bill Clinton. I'll call that a win-win for the White campaign.
I'm happy to see the media stand up to Perry's arrogant position that the voters only deserve a debate if his petty conditions are met. Governor Perry now has a choice - don't show up to the debate (it likely won't be widely televised if only one candidate shows) and face national ridicule or show up to the debate and have his shenanigans televised for all to see.
I like the position this puts Bill White in, as he's a serious candidate and Texas deserves to find out more about him.