Emily Ramshaw, Texas Tribune

Texas Tribune Reporter

Emily Ramshaw investigates state agencies and covers social services for KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune. Previously, she spent six years reporting for The Dallas Morning News, first in Dallas, then in Austin. In April 2009 she was named Star Reporter of the Year by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Headliners Foundation of Texas. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, she received a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

 

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Texas
4:01 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Perry Targets "Pro-Abortion Radicals" in CPAC Speech

Gov. Rick Perry with wife Anita at Williamson County Republican dinner in Round Rock, his first public speech since leaving the presidential race.
Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Rick Perry targeted what he called “left-wing, pro-abortion radicals” in a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, blaming the Obama Administration for the state’s stand-off over the Medicaid Women’s Health Program.

“President Obama has invalidated a waiver that provides health care for more than 100,000 women in my state,” he said, simply because Texas doesn’t want to “subsidize abortion.”

The Women’s Health Program is a joint state-federal program that provides well-woman exams, contraception and STD screenings — not abortions — for thousands of poor women in Texas. The majority of them have traditionally occurred at Planned Parenthood clinics.

This year, in an ongoing effort to force Planned Parenthood out of business in Texas, Republican officials asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a waiver — to continue the program but exclude Planned Parenthood from it.

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Politics
4:43 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Perry Campaign Manager to Head Dewhurst Super PAC

Rob Johnson (left) will be managing a super PAC fund for Senate candidate David Dewhurst.
Photo illustration by Bob Daemmrich, Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Rob Johnson, the campaign manager for Rick Perry's failed presidential bid, has a new gig: running a super PAC for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's Senate race. 

Johnson has a familiarity and a history with Dewhurst. He ran his 2002 campaign, and he was a top aide to the lieutenant governor for eight years before running Perry's last gubernatorial race. Johnson briefly served as former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign manager until resigning in June, fanning rumors that Perry would run for president.

Back in Austin after Perry's high-profile flameout, Johnson established and is the executive director of the Texas Conservatives Fund, which he formed specifically to help Dewhurst succeed U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Johnson said Perry's former national finance director Margaret Lauderback, who also led the fundraising effort for the governor's 2010 re-election bid, is the Texas Conservatives Fund's finance director.

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Health
5:35 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Komen Drops Support of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood clinical assistant Nicki Bailey discusses the new abortion laws with a patient in Austin.
Eric Schlegel, Texas Tribune

The Dallas-based breast cancer prevention group Susan G. Komen for the Cure has halted its financial support of Planned Parenthood, yet another blow to the family planning organization that provides abortions in some of its clinics. 

Planned Parenthood alleges that Komen — which was founded in 1982 by Nancy Goodman Brinker, a former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary under George W. Bush, to honor her deceased sister — succumbed to rising political pressure.

"Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count," Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement posted on the organization's website.  

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2012 Presidential Election
8:29 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Perry Won't Refund Security Costs for Presidential Bid

Gov. Perry has brushed off calls to reimburse security expenses arising from his presidential run..
Photo by KUT News

Texas Democrats calling on Gov. Rick Perry to repay the taxpayer-funded security costs associated with his run for president shouldn't hold their breath. A Perry spokeswoman said Monday that it wasn't the governor's decision to have a security detail out on the campaign trail — it was the Department of Public Safety's. And she said "not a dime" of Perry's own travel expenses were paid by taxpayers. 

"The Department of Public Safety has a policy of providing security for governors and their families everywhere they travel, as they have back several administrations," said Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed. "These policies are determined by DPS and not the governor’s office. It’s unfortunate that we live in a day and age where security is an issue."

Nashed's response followed a letter that state Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, the leader of the House Democrats, sent to the governor's office Monday, asking him to repay the $2.6 million the state spent on his security detail between August, when Perry entered the GOP presidential race, and last week, when he dropped out days before the South Carolina primary.

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2012 Presidential Election
9:36 am
Sun January 22, 2012

Back in Texas, Rick Perry Has Relationships to Repair

Gov. Rick Perry waits to go on stage at the 7 Flags Events Center in Clive, Iowa, on Jan. 3, 2012. Perry placed fifth in the Iowa caucuses.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

When Gov. Rick Perry suspended his presidential bid, he said it was because there was no “viable path forward.” But is there a viable path back?

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2012 Presidential Election
9:55 am
Thu January 5, 2012

After Poor Iowa Showing, Why is Perry Still Running?

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Only Gov. Rick Perry knows for sure what changed in the 12-hour period between his late-night decision to come back to Texas to reassess his presidential bid and his morning Tweet that he was forging ahead to South Carolina.

While the Tuesday night announcement surprised Perry's staffers and supporters — even following a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses — his abrupt and public change of heart Wednesday morning caught them completely off guard.  

So what could he be thinking? We asked seasoned strategists, politicos and Republican experts on the ground in early primary states for their top five theories.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:58 am
Wed January 4, 2012

In Quick Turnaround, Perry Headed to South Carolina

Despite a disappointing fifth place finish in Tuesday night's Iowa caucuses that led Rick Perry to say he was returning home to Texas to reassess his candidacy, the Texas governor surprised everyone — including some of his own staff — by tweeting that he was headed to the Palmetto State. 

"Next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State," Perry tweeted, posting a picture of himself in jogging gear giving two thumbs up. "Here we come South Carolina!!!" 

Perry's son Griffin Perry followed up with his own tweet confirming his father's intentions. "See y'all next week in Carolina! I expect all my SEC brethren to come out in force," the younger Perry tweeted.

The news sent political pundits, who had all but assumed Perry was dropping out of the race, spinning. It also clearly confused some of Perry's campaign staff, many of whom were en route from Iowa to Austin. 

"We are all scrambling," one staffer wrote in a text message. 

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Health
3:23 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Feds Approve One Texas Health Waiver, Reject Another

Photo by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has turned down Texas’ request to run a family planning program that excludes certain providers — namely Planned Parenthood — saying it’s a violation of the federal Social Security Act.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:16 am
Wed November 16, 2011

Perry Decries Insider Trading But Critics Call Foul

photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / Alex Proimos for KUT News

Newly — and fiercely — critical of using public office for personal financial gain, Gov. Rick Perry this week unveiled a campaign ad demanding that lawmakers who use “insider knowledge to profit in the stock market” be jailed, and he rolled out an overhaul plan of the federal government that would make that possible by criminalizing insider trading by members of Congress.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:24 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Texas Republicans Who Don't Support Perry Face Risks

Photo by Todd Wiseman and Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Texans have elected Rick Perry governor three times — with almost 55 percent of the vote in 2010 — but that does not mean Texas’ Republican establishment is falling in line to help elect him president.

Some prominent Texas business executives, Republican members of the state’s Congressional delegation and even university regents whom Perry appointed have lent their money — if not their endorsements — to other Republican contenders, most notably former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:28 am
Tue October 25, 2011

Struggling Perry Proposes Flat Tax and Spending Plan

Photo by Ben Philpott, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry, struggling in the polls as he pursues the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, released atax and spending reform plan today aimed at luring away business-minded voters from Mitt Romney and Tea Party fiscal conservatives from Herman Cain — and convincing a skeptical public that he’s got the policy chops to be a serious contender against President Barack Obama.

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2012 Presidential Election
12:20 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Perry "Hates" Cancer, but Budget Cuts Slash HPV Tests

Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman / Gage Skidmore / Ed Uthman

On the presidential campaign trail, Gov. Rick Perry has explained his much-maligned effort to make the human papillomavirus vaccine mandatory for school-aged girls by saying he hates the cervical cancer it causes and will “always err on the side of savings lives.”

Yet he gets some of his biggest applause in early primary states when he brags of signing a state budget that largely defunds Planned Parenthood — which provides four times more cervical cancer screenings every year in Texas than abortions.

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Politics
12:43 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Reinstate Abortion Sonogram Law

Photo courtesy of Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to let Texas enforce its new abortion sonogram law while the measure is under appeal, following a similar ruling from a federal appeals court on Wednesday.  

The abortion sonogram law, which forces women to have a sonogram and hear a description of the fetus before terminating a pregnancy, was deemed unconstitutional by an Austin district judge in August, who blocked several of its key provisions. 

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2012 Presidential Election
12:03 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

At Liberty, Perry Preaches to Christian Right

Photo by Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Rick Perry spent Wednesday morning preaching to the choir.

To uproarious cheers in a packed basketball arena at the world’s largest Evangelical university, Perry spoke more like a minister than a politician, motivating students to use their Christian values to wrest control of their futures from Washington.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:19 am
Mon September 12, 2011

In Florida, Perry Faces Questions on Social Security

Photo illustration by Bob Daemmrich/Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

 On the heels of a GOP debate where he reasserted his controversial belief that Social Security is a “monstrous lie” and a “Ponzi scheme,” Gov. Rick Perry heads today to Florida, a big state, rich in delegates, with a key early primary — and home to many older voters.

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