The following is from the March 12, 2007, edition of The Dallas Morning News.

Lawmakers increasingly challenge Perry

The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN In two short months, Gov. Rick Perry has gone from proposing that the state sell the lottery to cure cancer and expand health insurance to defending his right to even issue an executive order.

He is the incredible shrinking governor.

Many blame it on what they see as an overreaching edict that schoolgirls receive the human papillomavirus vaccine, an order that surprised lawmakers and angered some of their constituents. But the backlash Mr. Perry faces in the Legislature has been building for years over his push for toll roads and coal-fired power plants. The blast of the mushrooming sex-abuse scandal at the Texas Youth Commission hasn't helped.

"When you've been called governor for five or six years, you tend to forget that the office is mostly ceremonial and advisory," said Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson.

"You're the governor of the state of Texas, your chest swells and if disaster strikes, you get in the helicopter, cameras come and you feel reasonably authoritative. Then the Legislature comes back into town, and it's a different story," Dr. Jillson said.

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