Give me a head with hair …

Republican U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia finds a black man he has not yet offended in a barber shop.

Some interesting tidbits can be found in the new report released today by watchdog group Texans for Public Justice: “Keeping Texas Weird: Bankrolling the 2006 Gubernatorial Race.” The report analyzes the $43 million raised by the four Texas goober-natorial candidates with a listing of top donors and to which special interest groups they represent.

Now a lot of the donors don’t really surprise me a whole hell of a lot.

Bob and Doylene Perry of Houston are the biggest “special friends” of Rick Perry during the period January 2003 through June 2006. The Houston Perrys, if memory serves me, are not related to the Paint Creek (now Austin) Perrys. Bob Perry was the money man behind the Swift Boat Veterans who helped torpedo John Kerry’s run for president. Rick also has AT & T, East Texas chicken magnate Bo Pilgrim, Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton and tons of other people you would expect as generous donors.

Democratic candidate Chris Bell has oil and lawyers giving to his campaign, not a bad combination when it comes to money. Some names familiar in Democratic circles, not surprisingly, show up on his top donor list such as former U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Lyndon Olson Jr. of Waco and Beaumont attorney Gilbert T. Adams III.

Of course, independent candidate Carole Keeton McClellan Rylander Strayhorn Epsilon Sigma Alpha, has been in Texas politics for awhile so it isn’t too shocking to see some of the moneyed names on her list of big givers nor the industries to which they belong. For example, there is Beaumont King of Torts Walter Umprhey Jr. at No. 3. Harlan Crow of the Dallas real estate Crows comes in at No. 10. The so-called “tough grandma” as well has assorted other lawyers, oil bidness folks, and Chicken Dude Pilgrim hedging his bets with a $50,000 nest egg.

Perhaps the most baffling among donors are on the list belonging to otra indepdent Kinky Friedman. Why it would be no surprise that his honor roll of contributors would be unusual is obvious as the Kinkster is, well, the Kinkster. But the one business sector I would not peg Friedman as having a lot of ties to is that of the hair care industry. After all, have you ever seen Kinky’s hair? All I’ve ever seen is that big, black goofy-looking cowboy hat.

But lo and beholden, “shampoo magnate” (to quote the TPJ report) John H. McCall of the Armstrong McCalls is Kinky’s largest donor having given a hair-raising $851,000. Farouk Shami of Farouk Hair Systems is No. 9 on the Kinky roll of dough. And Brenda Gray is listed by the TPJ as affiliated with Peri Haircare Salon of Louisville, Ky.

So the hair care lobby’s prominence in the Texas governor’s race clearly creates a big WTF? at the very least. I certainly have no idea why the hair people are backing Kinky and I have heard no explanation as of yet as to why the hair force is among those who have something Kinky under their dryers.

If I were to speculate, and this is only rank speculation of the highest rank, I would guess that perhaps Friedman really does have some grand strategy up his well-worn black coat sleeve. Just maybe if Friedman gets all the hair care people on his side, then Rick Perry may have difficulty getting his signature “do” done down the line. The incumbent governor would then look like any other Austin pol with a cheap haircut and a pair of boots thus, like Sampson, losing his power because his hair no longer works politically.

It certainly could be the reason behind the Kinkster’s support by the hair potentates. Of course, it certainly could not be the reason as well. More likely it’s the latter.

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