Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune http://kut.org en UT/TT Poll: Abbott Holds 11-Point Lead Over Davis http://kut.org/post/uttt-poll-abbott-holds-11-point-lead-over-davis <p>After what are shaping up to be easy primary wins in March for the leading gubernatorial candidates, Republican <a data-tooltip="/directory/greg-abbott/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/greg-abbott/" title="">Greg Abbott</a> starts the general election race for governor with an 11-point lead over Democrat <a data-tooltip="/directory/wendy-davis/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/wendy-davis/">Wendy Davis</a>, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/136480031&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 13:29:05 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 9833 at http://kut.org UT/TT Poll: Abbott Holds 11-Point Lead Over Davis Turner's Declaration Could Impact Republican Primaries http://kut.org/post/turners-declaration-could-impact-republican-primaries <p>State Rep. <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/scott-turner/">Scott Turner</a>, R-Frisco, recently announced his candidacy for speaker of the House, an election for which will not be held until 2015.</p><p>His timing is more provocative than the candidacy itself, because it could force candidates in the Republican primary for the House to declare their preference for a sitting speaker perceived as a moderate or for an alternative — Turner or someone else — thought to be more conservative. It’s not about the speaker’s race. It’s about those primaries.</p><p> Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:17:41 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 9591 at http://kut.org Turner's Declaration Could Impact Republican Primaries Harold Simmons, GOP Mega-Donor, Dead at 82 http://kut.org/post/harold-simmons-gop-mega-donor-dead-82 <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;">Harold Simmons, a Dallas businessman and billionaire, philanthropist and Republican mega-donor, died Saturday at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. He was 82.</p> Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:56:49 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 9457 at http://kut.org Harold Simmons, GOP Mega-Donor, Dead at 82 UT/TT Poll: Abbott's Lead Over Davis in Single Digits http://kut.org/post/uttt-poll-abbotts-lead-over-davis-single-digits-0 <p>Attorney General <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/greg-abbott/">Greg Abbott</a>, the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for Texas governor, holds a single-digit lead over the likely Democratic nominee, state Sen. <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/wendy-davis/">Wendy Davis</a> of Fort Worth, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.</p><p>In a head-to-head race, Abbott got 40 percent of registered voters to Davis’ 34 percent, with 25 percent of the voters undecided. In a three-way general election, he would get 40 percent, Davis would get 35 percent and Libertarian Kathie Glass would get 5 percent.</p><p>“What you’ve got is a race in which, for the first time in a&nbsp;long time, the Democrat is as well-known as the Republican at the outset of the&nbsp;race,” said poll co-director Daron Shaw, a professor of government at the&nbsp;University of Texas at Austin.</p><p> Mon, 04 Nov 2013 13:06:19 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 9083 at http://kut.org UT/TT Poll: Abbott's Lead Over Davis in Single Digits Texas Democrats Need More Than Davis in 2014 http://kut.org/post/texas-democrats-need-more-davis-2014 <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; "><a data-tooltip="/directory/leticia-van-de-putte/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/leticia-van-de-putte/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Leticia Van de Putte</a>, a Democratic state senator from San Antonio, might be part of the answer to the second question her party’s activists are asking these days.</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 first question — will Wendy run? — will be answered Oct. 3 when state Sen.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/wendy-davis/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/wendy-davis/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Wendy Davis</a>, D-Fort Worth, announces her decision on whether to run for governor or seek re-election.</p><p> Mon, 23 Sep 2013 13:44:47 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 8744 at http://kut.org Texas Democrats Need More Than Davis in 2014 UT/TT Poll: Texans Favor Cruz Over Perry for President http://kut.org/post/uttt-poll-texans-favor-cruz-over-perry-president <article><h1><span style="font-size: 13.63636302947998px; line-height: 1.5;">U.S. Mon, 17 Jun 2013 20:53:05 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 8145 at http://kut.org UT/TT Poll: Texans Favor Cruz Over Perry for President Combs Spurs a Political Stampede http://kut.org/post/combs-spurs-political-stampede <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; ">What a difference a fact makes.</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; ">Texas politics jumped from the speculative to the competitive realm Wednesday with 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); ">Susan Combs</a>'s announcement that she wouldn't seek re-election and the nearly instant expressions of interest from a half-dozen people who'd like that job.</p><p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 20:47:56 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 7972 at http://kut.org Combs Spurs a Political Stampede Perry: Will He Stay or Will He Go? http://kut.org/post/perry-will-he-stay-or-will-he-go <p class="body">Every morning, people in Texas politics stand in front of their sinks, brushing their teeth, staring at someone they think could someday be the president of the United States.</p><p class="body">It is the nature of these beasts.</p><p class="body">Before they can proceed with those dreams, however, they need to know what <a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" title="">Rick Perry</a>, the governor of Texas, is going to do. He has said he will lay out his political plans in June.</p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 16:02:34 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 7443 at http://kut.org Perry: Will He Stay or Will He Go? Is Perry-Powers Tension About College Rivalry, Policy? http://kut.org/post/perry-powers-tension-about-college-rivalry-policy <p></p><p>Is this about Bill Powers or UT’s tower?</p><p>Tensions between Gov.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/">Rick Perry</a>’s administration and Powers, the president of the University of Texas at Austin, are rising, sucking up legislative time and pitting lawmakers, prominent alumni and higher-education critics against one another in a running argument over politics, rivalries and what a public university is supposed to be.</p><p> Mon, 01 Apr 2013 18:20:00 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 7168 at http://kut.org Is Perry-Powers Tension About College Rivalry, Policy? Strama, Mulling Mayoral Bid, Won't Seek Reelection http://kut.org/post/strama-mulling-mayoral-bid-wont-seek-reelection <p></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;">State Rep.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/mark-strama/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/mark-strama/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="">Mark Strama</a>, D-Austin, is considering a run for mayor of Austin and won’t seek another term in the Texas House, he said Wednesday.</p> Wed, 20 Feb 2013 18:05:28 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 6669 at http://kut.org Strama, Mulling Mayoral Bid, Won't Seek Reelection Dewhurst Appoints Senate Committees http://kut.org/post/dewhurst-appoints-senate-committees <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lt. </span>Gov<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.&nbsp;</span><a data-tooltip="/directory/david-dewhurst/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/david-dewhurst/" style="line-height: 1.5;" title="">David Dewhurst</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;slipped out his committee assignments for the </span>83rd<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Legislature late Friday afternoon, a bit of timing that will give senators — and the lieutenant governor — several days before they see each other again to debate the choices.&nbsp;</span></p><p>This year's announcements are earlier than usual, and a bit anticlimactic: Dewhurst rearranged the chairmanships late last year.</p><p> Sat, 19 Jan 2013 01:19:00 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 6260 at http://kut.org Dewhurst Appoints Senate Committees Simpson Withdraws, Straus Reelected by Acclamation http://kut.org/post/simpson-withdraws-straus-reelected-acclamation <p>After the last of his challengers dropped out Tuesday, San Antonio Republican&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/joe-straus/" title="">Joe Straus</a>&nbsp;was elected to a third term as speaker of the Texas House.</p><p>That last challenger, Rep.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/david-simpson/">David Simpson</a>, R-Longview, never found enough support to threaten the incumbent. An earlier challenger, Rep.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/bryan-hughes/">Bryan Hughes</a>, R-Mineola, dropped out weeks ago as Simpson entered the race.</p><p> Tue, 08 Jan 2013 20:29:38 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 6104 at http://kut.org Simpson Withdraws, Straus Reelected by Acclamation In Judicial Picks, Perry Reaches Past Executive Branch http://kut.org/post/judicial-picks-perry-reaches-past-executive-branch <p></p><p>Jeffrey Boyd will become the newest Texas Supreme Court justice, an appointment that scrunches the foreheads of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/">Rick Perry</a>&nbsp;critics who think it odd that the governor would name his chief of staff to the state’s highest civil court.</p><p>It’s the latest brick in a wall Perry has been building for a dozen years — a period that has seen him appoint 224 Texans to state district and appeals court judgeships.</p><p>His hold on the executive branch is well documented and regularly noted; Perry has been in office long enough to twice go through the entire cycle of six-year executive appointments.</p><p> Mon, 03 Dec 2012 22:00:13 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5810 at http://kut.org In Judicial Picks, Perry Reaches Past Executive Branch Rick Perry Taps Chief of Staff for Texas Supreme Court http://kut.org/post/rick-perry-taps-chief-staff-texas-supreme-court <p></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;">Jeff Boyd, chief of staff to Gov.&nbsp;<a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Rick Perry</a>, is the governor’s choice for an open spot on the<a href="http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/" style="color: rgb(0, 137, 144);">Texas</a><a href="http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/" style="color: rgb(0, 137, 144);"> Supreme Court</a>.</p> Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:32:04 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5724 at http://kut.org Rick Perry Taps Chief of Staff for Texas Supreme Court Texas Democrats Gained, if Only a Little, in 2012 http://kut.org/post/texas-democrats-gained-if-only-little-2012 <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35;">Have another look at those election results, you blue bashers. Republicans kept the state reliably red, but theirs was not the party recording gains on Election Day in Texas.</span></p> Mon, 26 Nov 2012 16:09:16 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5721 at http://kut.org Texas Democrats Gained, if Only a Little, in 2012 What if Bush Leapfrogged Other Texas Republicans? http://kut.org/post/what-if-bush-leapfrogged-other-texas-republicans <p></p><p>What if&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/2014-statewide-elections/bush-looking-land-commission-hasnt-settled/">George P. Bush</a>&nbsp;wanted to run for governor in 2014?</p><p>It’s not what most people are talking about, now that he’s knocked on the political door. When he filed papers this month designating a campaign treasurer — the first legal step on the path to a candidacy — most of the conversation focused on the lesser statewide offices, things like land commissioner and comptroller.</p><p>And his father, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, sent out a fundraising letter last week saying his son was looking at the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-state-agencies/general-land-office/">General Land Office</a>.</p><p>But if you are, like many political journalists, a fight promoter at heart, you can make out faint rumblings about something bigger.</p><p> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:42:10 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5677 at http://kut.org What if Bush Leapfrogged Other Texas Republicans? State College Funding Turns on Definition of 'Provide' http://kut.org/post/state-college-funding-turns-definition-provide <p>The Texas Constitution <a href="http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CN/htm/CN.7.htm">says the state</a> will “provide for the maintenance, support and direction of a University of the first class.”</p><p>In 1984, that meant about half of every dollar in higher education came out of the state budget. Today, it’s closer to 13 percent at the <a href="http://www.utexas.edu/">University of Texas at Austin</a> and 22 percent at <a href="http://www.tamu.edu/">Texas A&amp;M University</a> in College Station.</p><p>So, at that level, is the state really providing for the sort of education championed in its founding document?</p><p>That’s fodder for debate. Lawyers could probably generate a room full of words over the obligations imparted by the word “provide.” The bigger question is whether the state is doing enough, and whether doing enough — whatever that entails — necessarily requires more money. Mon, 05 Nov 2012 13:15:23 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5513 at http://kut.org State College Funding Turns on Definition of 'Provide' UT/TT Poll: Romney, Cruz Comfortably Ahead in Texas http://kut.org/post/uttt-poll-romney-cruz-comfortably-ahead-texas <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">Republican&nbsp;</span><a data-tooltip="/directory/mitt-romney/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/mitt-romney/" style="font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(0, 137, 144); " title="">Mitt Romney</a><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.35; ">&nbsp;has a commanding lead over Democrat&nbsp;</span><a data-tooltip="/directory/barack-obama/quicklook/" hr Mon, 29 Oct 2012 19:03:19 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5469 at http://kut.org UT/TT Poll: Romney, Cruz Comfortably Ahead in Texas A Boom on Texas Roads http://kut.org/post/boom-texas-roads <p></p><p>The baby boom — that fat lump that has been moving through the demographic snake since the end of World War II — is now made up of people between 45 and 65 years old, give or take.</p><p>They are starting to retire, prompting some of the growing conversations about pensions. Their bodies are getting old, which explains some of the ballooning advertising about drugs for this or that. Seen all the hearing aid ads in the paper? Products for gray hair? Couples sitting in bathtubs next to lakes?</p><p>As of 2010, 13 percent of the nation’s population was 65 or older. By 2030, demographers reckon that group will account for 19.3 percent of the population. Boomers are not babies anymore — and there are some public policy ramifications.</p><p> Mon, 01 Oct 2012 18:55:43 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5212 at http://kut.org A Boom on Texas Roads Attorney General Rides a Losing Streak http://kut.org/post/attorney-general-rides-losing-streak <p><a href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/greg-abbott/" title="">Greg Abbott</a>, the state’s ambitious and litigious attorney general, is on a losing streak.</p><p>Federal courts in Washington ruled against him in two crucial voting rights cases last week,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-redistricting/redistricting/court-texas-political-maps-dont-protect-minority-v/">first finding</a>&nbsp;that the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-redistricting/redistricting/">redistricting</a>&nbsp;maps drawn by the Republican Legislature didn’t protect minority voters as the law requires, and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/voter-id/dc-court-rejects-voter-id-law/">then ruling</a>&nbsp;the state’s tough new photo <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/voter-id/">voter ID</a>&nbsp;law unfairly burdens minority voters.</p><p>Neither ruling appears to be a threat to the elections now under way. In the case of redistricting, the state’s maps were replaced this year with interim maps prepared by another set of federal judges. In the case of voter ID, there doesn’t appear to be enough time for the courts to turn around an appeal and order the new standards before November.</p><p> Mon, 03 Sep 2012 17:17:51 +0000 Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune 5007 at http://kut.org Attorney General Rides a Losing Streak