Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune http://kut.org en Annie's List Executive Director Killed in Fatal Crash http://kut.org/post/annies-list-executive-director-killed-fatal-crash <p>Grace Garcia, the executive director of the Democratic women-in-politics group Annie's List, was killed in a fatal car accident in Waxahachie on Monday, the organization said early Tuesday morning.</p><p>"It is with a tremendous sense of loss that we announce the passing of our executive director and leader Grace Garcia, who lost her life in a car accident Monday afternoon," Annie's List board chair Amber Anderson Mostyn said in a statement.&nbsp;</p><p>Garcia came to work for Annie's List after serving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a senior adviser in the Office of the Chief of Protocol. Before working at the State Department,&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.35;">she ran an event management and public affairs firm&nbsp;she founded in 2001. Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:14:52 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 10532 at http://kut.org Annie's List Executive Director Killed in Fatal Crash Julián Castro is Obama's Pick to Head HUD http://kut.org/post/juli-n-castro-obamas-pick-head-hud <p><span>Julián Castro will be President Obama's next secretary of housing and urban development, sources close to the San Antonio mayor said Saturday.&nbsp;</span></p><p><em>The New York Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/us/politics/san-antonio-mayor-to-lead-hud.html?emc=edit_na_20140517&amp;nlid=4805&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">confirmed</a> the move to HUD on Saturday, hours after the <em>San Antonio Express-News</em> <a href="http://www.expressnews.com/news/news_columnists/brian_chasnoff/article/Mayor-Juli-n-Castro-likely-heading-to-Washington-5485105.php" target="_blank">reported</a> that the 39-year-old was being considered for a position in the president's cabinet.</p><p>The sources said Castro, who had previously been considered for transportation secretary but chose to stay in San Antonio, was excited about the HUD post because he felt it fit better with his experience and interests. Urban development has been a pet issue of the mayor's in San Antonio.&nbsp;</p><p> Sat, 17 May 2014 22:11:40 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 10438 at http://kut.org Julián Castro is Obama's Pick to Head HUD Steve Stockman Files to Run Against John Cornyn http://kut.org/post/steve-stockman-files-run-against-john-cornyn <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">U.S. Rep.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/steve-stockman/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/steve-stockman/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Steve Stockman</a>, R-Friendswood, has filed to run against U.S. Sen.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/john-cornyn/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/john-cornyn/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">John Cornyn</a>&nbsp;in the March GOP primary, joining at least eight other hopefuls vying for the senior senator's seat, according to a&nbsp;spokesman with the Republican Party of Texas.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">Stockman, who had filed for re-election in Congressional District 36, had to withdraw from that race to seek Cornyn's seat.</p><p> Tue, 10 Dec 2013 01:47:36 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune & John Reynolds, Texas Tribune 9336 at http://kut.org Steve Stockman Files to Run Against John Cornyn Perry to Veto Integrity Funds Unless Lehmberg Resigns http://kut.org/post/perry-veto-integrity-funds-unless-lehmberg-resigns <p></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; ">Gov.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Rick Perry</a>&nbsp;will veto financing for the public integrity unit — the state's ethics enforcement division — unless embattled Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigns, an official close to the governor said Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; ">The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/officials-perry-vows-veto-of-state-funding-unless-/nYHRm/?icmp=statesman_internallink_invitationbox_apr2013_statesmanstubtomystatesman_launch" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); "><em style="box-sizing: border-box; ">Austin American-Statesman</em></a>&nbsp;reported Monday night that Perry would use a line-item veto to cut funding for the unit unless Lehmberg, who was convicted and served jail time for drunken driven this past spring, steps down.</p><p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 15:41:41 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 8068 at http://kut.org Susan Combs Won't Seek Re-election http://kut.org/post/susan-combs-wont-seek-re-election <p></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; ">Comptroller&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/susan-combs/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/susan-combs/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Susan Combs</a>&nbsp;announced Wednesday that she will not seek re-election and that she is retiring from public office at the end of her term in 2015. Combs, who had been positioning herself to run for lieutenant governor, will not run for that post or other elective office.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; "><span style="box-sizing: border-box; ">"It is with a deep sense of gratitude for the past, coupled with excitement for the future, that I announce today I will not be seeking elective office in 2014," Combs said in a statement, adding that she would keep working on several policy priorities, but that she wanted to spend more time on her West Texas ranch. "I want to make my intentions clear as soon as possible for prospective statewide candidates."</span></p><p> Wed, 29 May 2013 16:11:40 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune & Jay Root, Texas Tribune 7918 at http://kut.org Susan Combs Won't Seek Re-election Lawmaker Transparency Bills Got Little Traction http://kut.org/post/lawmaker-transparency-bills-got-little-traction <p></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15.199999809265137px;">Lawmakers talked a big game about improving transparency this session, but when push came to shove, they did next to nothing to advance it.</p> Mon, 27 May 2013 15:57:02 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 7887 at http://kut.org Lawmaker Transparency Bills Got Little Traction GOP Donor Releases Songs Opposing 'Obamacare' http://kut.org/post/gop-donor-releases-songs-opposing-obamacare <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="275" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F5718641&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>He's already a Houston physician, Republican campaign donor, radio talk show host and litigant in a federal lawsuit against the roll-out of "Obamacare<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35;">." Now Dr. Steve </span>Hotze<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.35;"> may be adding aspiring pop star to that list.&nbsp;</span></p><p> Wed, 15 May 2013 18:16:31 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 7744 at http://kut.org GOP Donor Releases Songs Opposing 'Obamacare' Big Tobacco Beats Small Tobacco on Tax Vote http://kut.org/post/big-tobacco-beats-small-tobacco-tax-vote <p>Small cigarette manufacturers would face new state fees on their sales under a measure that passed the Texas House in a preliminary vote on Monday —&nbsp;a big win for Big Tobacco.&nbsp;</p><p>The bill passed 85-53.&nbsp;</p><p>The nation’s four largest tobacco companies currently pay more than half a billion dollars to the state every year as part of a 1998 lawsuit settlement. They have for years lobbied for small cigarette manufacturers, which were not included in the $17 billion settlement, to face a similar financial penalty.</p><p> Mon, 06 May 2013 23:40:29 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune & Jay Root, Texas Tribune 7638 at http://kut.org Big Tobacco Beats Small Tobacco on Tax Vote For Cornyn, Right Turn Could Be Defensive Play http://kut.org/post/cornyn-right-turn-could-be-defensive-play <p></p><p>After more than a decade representing blood-red Texas in the U.S. Senate,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/john-cornyn/" title="">John Cornyn</a>&nbsp;finds himself in an unusual spot: burnishing his conservative credentials.</p><p>One would think the senior Texas senator’s reputation would be secure: Cornyn, who has ascended to minority whip, spent two election cycles as chairman of the Senate’s Republican campaign fundraising arm, and National Journal last week&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nationaljournal.com/2012-voting-ratings/the-senate-s-most-conservative-member-ever-heard-of-him-20130220" title="">ranked him second</a>&nbsp;in its 2012 list of the most conservative senators.</p><p> Mon, 25 Feb 2013 19:39:35 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 6735 at http://kut.org For Cornyn, Right Turn Could Be Defensive Play Perry Stands Firm on Rejecting Medicaid Expansion http://kut.org/post/perry-stands-firm-rejecting-medicaid-expansion <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">Just six months ago, Texas </span>Gov<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">.&nbsp;</span><a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Rick Perry</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">&nbsp;and Florida </span>Gov<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">. Rick Scott were&nbsp;</span><a href="http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/08/13/governors-rick-perry-and-rick-scott-try-to-reel-in-title-of-most-business-friendly-state/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">fishing together on FoxNews</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">, pitching then-presidential contender Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan and arguing that decisions about health care should be made by states, not the federal government.</span></p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif;">On Wednesday, Scott reversed course, joining a growing number of Republican governors who are reluctantly embracing the key tenet of President Obama’s federal health reform — a sweeping Medicaid expansion.</p><p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 01:24:07 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 6684 at http://kut.org Perry Stands Firm on Rejecting Medicaid Expansion Lege Could Ban Drone Surveillance of Private Property http://kut.org/post/lege-could-ban-drone-surveillance-private-property <p>A drone, no bigger than a toy airplane, hovered north of the Texas Capitol, floating over the heads of lawmakers momentarily distracted from their morning meetings. Several of them gathered beneath it, faces tilted skyward, marveling over a pair of goggles that allowed them to watch live video of the drone’s panoramic bird’s eye view.</p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 17:58:07 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 6451 at http://kut.org Lege Could Ban Drone Surveillance of Private Property Straus Makes House Committee Assignments http://kut.org/post/straus-makes-house-committee-assignments-0 <div class="content"><p>House Speaker <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/joe-straus/">Joe Straus</a> announced committee assignments for the Legislature's lower chamber on Thursday, ending speculation over key chairmanships and giving lawmakers the go-ahead to start considering bills.&nbsp;</p><p>Of the standing committees, 32 are chaired by men, six by women. That's one more female chair than the 2011 session.</p><p>Among the committee chairs, 26 are white, five are black and seven are Hispanic, one more than last session.</p> Thu, 31 Jan 2013 20:34:36 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 6424 at http://kut.org Straus Makes House Committee Assignments Lawmakers Could Restore Family Planning Funds http://kut.org/post/lawmakers-could-restore-family-planning-funds <p>When state lawmakers passed a two-year budget in 2011 that moved $73 million from family planning services to other programs, the goal was largely political: halt the flow of taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood clinics.</p><p>Now they are facing the policy implications —&nbsp;and, in some cases, reconsidering.</p><p> Fri, 07 Dec 2012 18:01:09 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 5852 at http://kut.org Lawmakers Could Restore Family Planning Funds Before Health Exchange Deadline, Perry Reaffirms Stance http://kut.org/post/health-exchange-deadline-perry-reaffirms-stance <p>Ahead of a Friday deadline to decide, Gov. Rick Perry's office has reaffirmed that Texas will not implement a major tenet of federal health reform —&nbsp;a state-based online marketplace for consumers to purchase coverage.</p><p>That means the federal government will have to roll out a program for Texas instead. Every state must have an exchange by 2014, the year “Obamacare” —&nbsp;which many Republicans had hoped would be repealed if Mitt Romney won the presidency —&nbsp;requires most Americans to carry coverage.</p><p>Allison Castle, Perry’s spokeswoman, said Texas won’t design its own exchange because there is “really no such thing as a ‘state exchange.’”</p><p> Thu, 15 Nov 2012 19:09:23 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 5649 at http://kut.org Before Health Exchange Deadline, Perry Reaffirms Stance Perry Adviser Says Governor Will Run for Re-election http://kut.org/post/perry-adviser-says-governor-will-run-re-election <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">Ken </span>Armbrister<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">, </span>Gov<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">.&nbsp;</span><a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); ">Rick Perry</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">’s legislative director, told a crowd on the University of Texas at Austin campus Tuesday that his boss had told him he had decided to run for re-election in 2014 —&nbsp;a definitive statement that seemed to put to rest speculation over the longest-serving Texas chief executive’s future.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">But a spokeswoman for Perry quickly rebuffed the statement from her colleague, saying “the only person to make that announcement is Governor Perry.”</p><p style="margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">“He has said multiple times he will make [the decision] after the legislative session,” Catherine Frazier said. “That door is open. He wants to keep doing what he’s doing. But he’s not going to make an official decision now.”</p><p> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 17:37:07 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 5349 at http://kut.org Perry Adviser Says Governor Will Run for Re-election Texan is DNC's First Undocumented Speaker http://kut.org/post/texan-dncs-first-undocumented-speaker <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">CHARLOTTE, N.C. —&nbsp;</span><a data-bitly-type="bitly_hover_card" href="https://twitter.com/BenitainCourt" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); ">Benita Veliz</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">, a 27-year-old San Antonio woman whose parents brought her into the country on a short-term tourist visa nearly two decades years ago, became the first undocumented person to address the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night.</span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">Veliz, who graduated from high school at age 16 as valedictorian and double-majored at St. Mary’s University on a full academic scholarship, was nearly deported to Mexico after being pulled over in 2009 for a traffic infraction.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; ">The case was eventually dropped in 2011. But Veliz, who identifies herself as an American and has hardly any connection to Mexico, has become the poster child for a generation of young immigrants rooting for the DREAM Act, proposed legislation that would provide them a path to citizenship. &nbsp;</p><p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 14:07:16 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 5030 at http://kut.org Texan is DNC's First Undocumented Speaker In DNC Keynote, Castro Courts Latinos, Youths http://kut.org/post/dnc-keynote-castro-courts-latinos-youths <p>CHARLOTTE, N.C. —&nbsp;San Antonio Mayor&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/julian-castro/about/">Julián Castro</a>, in the most defining moment of his young political career, gave a Democratic National Convention keynote on Tuesday night that reiterated Barack Obama’s 2008 message of hope, from the promise of recent immigrants to the anticipation of the nation’s youths to the dreams of Americans reaching for the middle class.&nbsp;</p><p>“To me, to my generation, and for all the generations to come, our choice is clear,” Castro said. “Our choice is a man who’s always chosen us. A man who already is our president.”</p><p>Castro’s speech was thrilling and moving for Texas Democrats, who don’t hold a single statewide elective office but are pinning their hopes on the state’s shifting demographics and young, charismatic leaders like Castro.</p><p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 15:16:57 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 5019 at http://kut.org In DNC Keynote, Castro Courts Latinos, Youths Texans Reading a Lot Into Castro Keynote http://kut.org/post/texans-reading-lot-castro-keynote-0 <div class="content"><p>CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Call them idealistic, but the Texas delegates in town for this week’s Democratic National Convention are reading a lot into the selection of San Antonio Mayor <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/julian-castro/">Julián Castro</a> to give Tuesday night’s keynote address.</p><p>Sure, it means a great deal for Castro’s own political aspirations: The Democratic Party's rising star is already one of the nation’s youngest mayors, a Stanford- and Harvard-educated 37-year-old Latino with an equally ambitious identical twin. Castro sat next to first lady Michelle Obama at the 2012 State of the Union address, another sign he was being primed for the national spotlight.</p><p>“They recognize <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/julian-castro/">Julián Castro</a> is a potential statewide candidate — very likely to be the first one we’ve had in a long time in the very near future,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.</p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 15:45:54 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 5010 at http://kut.org Texans Reading a Lot Into Castro Keynote Unlike Romney, State Leaders Oppose Abortion After Rape http://kut.org/post/unlike-romney-state-leaders-oppose-abortion-after-rape <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">The state’s Republican leaders are at odds with the presumptive GOP presidential ticket on one key element of abortion politics —&nbsp;whether they oppose the procedure for victims of rape.</span></p> Tue, 21 Aug 2012 17:55:08 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 4920 at http://kut.org Unlike Romney, State Leaders Oppose Abortion After Rape After Komen Drama, Planned Parenthood Expands Screening http://kut.org/post/after-komen-drama-planned-parenthood-expands-screening <p><a href="http://www.plannedparenthood.org/north-texas/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); ">Planned Parenthood</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">&nbsp;will expand breast health services to more than 40,000 women across five Texas cities, the result of increased donations following Dallas-based&nbsp;</span><a href="http://ww5.komen.org/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " Mon, 20 Aug 2012 16:52:46 +0000 Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune 4911 at http://kut.org