Aman Batheja, Texas Tribune

Politics
10:25 am
Tue October 2, 2012

First Debate a Chance for Sadler to Draw Cruz Response

Gage Skidmore / Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Tuesday night's televised U.S. Senate debate between Democrat Paul Sadler and Republican Ted Cruz will be more than just an hourlong political sparring match.

For Sadler, the event in Dallas provides a rare chance to engage Cruz on the issues and draw a response.

Since the July 31 primary runoffs, in which Cruz beat Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sadler defeated retired educator Grady Yarbrough, debate in the race has been largely one-sided, with Sadler targeting Cruz and Cruz seemingly focused more on the national effort to defeat President Obama.

“Stand together with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Restore the American love story,” Cruz said at the Republican National Convention in August. “That, my friends, is change we can believe in.”

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Transportation
10:14 am
Thu September 27, 2012

With 85 MPH Speed Limit, Trucks May Avoid New Toll Road

Max Ually via Texas Tribune

In a matter of weeks, a 41-mile stretch of toll road with the fastest speed limit in the country will open in Central Texas.

But truck drivers may steer clear of the new high-speed road, said John Esparza, president of the Texas Motor Transportation Association, which represents the trucking industry in Texas.

“It’s going to be a deterrent, yes,” Esparza said of the road’s 85 mph speed limit.

The Texas Department of Transportation has said it pursued a higher speed limit for the new portion of State Highway 130 from Austin to Seguin in part to entice drivers away from more congested highways. Agency officials have said engineering tests demonstrated that an 85-mph speed limit is safe for the new toll road.

While he acknowledged that some truck drivers drive faster than 65 mph, most trucking companies try to keep drivers from traveling faster than that speed, both out of concerns for safety and because it reduces a truck's gas mileage, Esparza said. 

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Politics
10:54 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Sadler Working to Remind Voters of Former Influence

Paul Sadler makes an appearance at the Guadalupe County Democratic Headquarters, September 9, 2012.
Jennifer Whitney via Texas Tribune

In 2002, state Rep. Paul Sadler of Henderson, was one of the most powerful Democrats in the Texas Legislature when he announced he was not running for re-election.

At the time, he was the chairman of the House Public Education Committee and a force that even the state’s governor had learned to be mindful of when it came to anything involving schools.

Ten years later, Sadler, 57, is the unequivocal underdog in his bid for U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz, a rising national star in the Republican Party. As he crisscrosses the state, Sadler is learning firsthand that before he can persuade voters to view him as a serious contender, he must first remind them of the power player whom he once was.

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Politics
3:27 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

U.N.-Backed Agenda 21 Angers Many in Texas

Conservative activists around Texas are citing a 1992 U.N. resolution called Agenda 21 in protesting various local development initiatives. Agenda 21 is a non-binding resolution that promotes sustainable development.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

A Lubbock County judge's comments last week that President Obama might cede U.S. sovereignty to the United Nations and spark a civil war have been widely ridiculed. But concerns about U.N. overreach are gaining ground, with the attacks mostly focused on a 20-year-old nonbinding U.N. resolution called Agenda 21

Texas critics of the resolution have seen their fears echoed by activists at city council meetings around the state and adopted by some of the state's Republican leaders.

Agenda 21 was signed by more than 170 countries, including the U.S., in 1992 and aims to encourage governments to promote environmentally friendly development such as preserving open spaces and discouraging urban sprawl. A variety of organizations around the world promote similar principles.

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Politics
1:06 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Two Texas Counties Didn't Hold Runoff Elections

Amy Qualls-McClure via Texas Tribune

More than 1 million Texas voters participated in Tuesday's primary runoff elections, but none of them were from Sterling and Oldham counties. County clerks with both rural counties confirmed that they did not hold primary runoffs.

"Our Republican chairman had moved out of the county, so he was unable to do it and he was unable to find somebody to take his place in time," said Sterling County Clerk Susan Wyatt said, who added that the Democratic Party chair decided not to hold a runoff as well.

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Politics
3:21 pm
Mon July 30, 2012

Dewhurst Dismisses Unfavorable Poll at Chick-fil-A

US Senate Candidate David Dewhurst outside Chick-Fil-A in Austin, TX on July 30, 2012
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst crossed the Chick-fil-A parking lot in Austin on Monday morning holding one of the fast food chain’s signature white paper bags. He stopped before a phalanx of reporters and television cameras positioned nearby so that the Chick-fil-A sign would be visible behind him.

“Sorry I’m a few minutes late,” Dewhurst said.

The previous 12 hours had not been good for the lieutenant governor. Though his primary runoff against former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz isn't until tomorrow, Politico practically called the race for Cruz in a story published Sunday evening. An hour later, a new independent poll came out showing Cruz leading Dewhurst by 10 points.

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Politics
10:17 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Senate Camps Trade Accusation: Lies, Lies, More Lies

Todd Spoth / Michael Stravato for Texas Tribune

Honesty, specifically a lack thereof, has emerged as a major theme in the Republican primary runoff for an open U.S. Senate seat the day before what could be the last televised debate between the candidates.

Last week, both Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz have accused each other of deceiving or misleading voters on multiple fronts.

In the latest salvos, Dewhurst charges Cruz of trying to hide details of his work as a lawyer, while Cruz says Dewhurst is covering up past statements that conflict with his current positions.

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Politics
4:49 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Cruz Leading Dewhurst in Two New Polls

Todd Spoth / Michael Stravato for Texas Tribune

Two new automated telephone polls show former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz leading Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst among likely voters in the July 31 Republican primary runoff for an open U.S. Senate seat. 

A poll from Public Policy Polling, which surveys races nationally, shows Cruz with 49 percent support and Dewhurst with 44 percent of the vote. Cruz's lead grows wider among voters who identify with the Tea Party movement. Among self-described Tea Party supporters, Cruz leads 71 percent to 26 percent. Dewhurst, meanwhile, leads voters who describe themselves as moderates (70 percent to 20 percent) or "somewhat conservative" (49 percent to 45 percent).

"This race is one of the most stark examples of the Tea Party movement propelling a candidate that we've seen to date," polling director Tom Jensen said.

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Politics
11:10 am
Fri June 29, 2012

On Most Major Issues, Cruz and Dewhurst Agree

U.S. Senate candidates Cruz (left) and Dewhurst (right).
Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

For the two Republican U.S. Senate runoff candidates, who have been running against each other for almost a year, the question directed at them during last week's televised debate could not have been more straightforward. 

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor general, were each given 30 seconds to identify an issue that could come before the Senate on which they would vote differently.

A minute later, neither had identified an area of disagreement.

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U.S. Senate
1:04 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Cruz and Dewhurst Set to Go One-on-One in TV Debate

Jennifer Whitney, Texas Tribune

Two candidates. Two lecterns. One stage.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Solicitor General Ted Cruz will participate Friday night in their first televised debate since advancing to the Republican U.S. Senate runoff after the May 29 primary.

It will also be the first such event to feature only Cruz and Dewhurst, which is likely to create a different dynamic than previous debates in which they shared the stage with other candidates.

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Transportation
10:47 am
Mon June 11, 2012

For TxDOT, a $2 Billion "Perception Problem"

Eddie Seal/Texas Tribune

The Texas Department of Transportation, which often argues that it lacks the money to properly maintain its network of roads, surprised many state leaders in March when it announced it had an extra $2 billion.

In a state with a population growing faster than its transportation system, extra cash for transportation projects was welcome news.

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Politics
9:03 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Spanish Debate Proposal Prompts Rumors, Accusations

U.S. Senate candidates Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst.
Photos by Bob Daemmrich, Marjorie Kamys Cotera for the Texas Tribune

A suggestion by a Univision reporter that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz debate in Spanish has taken on a life of its own.

Though neither of the two U.S. Senate candidates in the July 31 Republican primary runoff are actively working to organize a Spanish-language debate, the idea has gained attention from national media and sparked erroneous reports that such an event is actually in the works, a claim both campaigns deny.

According to Univision reports posted online last week in Spanish and English, Dewhurst "has challenged Cruz, the Cuban-American attorney and Tea Party favorite, to a debate in Spanish."

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