Politics

Politics
6:11 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Public Integrity Unit Move Halted, For Now

Democrat's Point of Order sends bill back to committee
Liang Shi KUT News

A point of order from state representative Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso) delayed a vote on a bill that would remove a key function of the Public Integrity Unit. Among the duties of the Unit, a division of the Travis County District Attorney's Office, is investigating allegations of corruption leveled against state-level officials, such as members of the Texas Legislature or employees of state agencies.

Under the bill authored by state representative Phil King (R-Weatherford), that function would go away. Investigation would be the responsibility of the Texas Rangers, an elite division of the Texas Department of Public Safety. Prosecution would be handled by the District Attorney's Office in the home county of the accused.   

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Agenda Texas
11:02 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Gov. Abbott's 5 Emergency Items: Where Are They Now?

Gov. Abbott laid out his call for this session's emergency items in his State of the State speech.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

The Texas constitution requires lawmakers to pass one bill each session: the state budget, which was under (rather lengthy) discussion last week in the House and in the Senate this week. But governors can push their own to-do list at the start of each session in the form of emergency items.

In February, newly minted Gov. Greg Abbott named five of those priorities during his February State of the State speech, and today we're going to see how those bills are doing, by ranking their legislative progress so far this session.

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Election 2016
7:50 am
Wed April 8, 2015

In Anticipation of Likely Presidential Run, Perry's Image Gets an Upgrade

Rick Perry is expected to run again for President. Since his last try, he's undergone a few changes.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune; Screenshot from Fox News

First there was Ted Cruz. Then yesterday, Rand Paul joined the mix. Eventually, former Texas Governor Rick Perry is expected to announce his run — his second — for the Republican Presidential nomination. His first run, in 2011-12, didn’t end well.

But the former Texas Governor and his team have been working to undo past damage and build a better Perry: Perry 2.0.

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Texas Standard
12:09 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Texas Bills Could Change How You Interact with Your Insurance Provider

In 2012, McAllen, Texas was hit with a hail storm that damaged cars and buildings. Now, insurance claims from that storm and others are up for debate in the legislature.
Via Win Henerson

Two companion bills in the House and the Senate aim to change the way you interact with your insurance company.

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Election 2016
8:54 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul Announces 2016 Presidential Run

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., listens to a question at the Epoch Restaurant in Exeter, N.H., on March 21. Paul announced his presidential run today in Louisville, Ky.
Cheryl Senter AP

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 11:42 am

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced today that he will seek the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

"I have a message — a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words," he told supporters in Louisville, Ky. "We've come to take our country back."

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2016 Presidential Election
11:42 am
Fri April 3, 2015

3 Surprising Things About Ted Cruz's Campaign

Ted Cruz meets voters in Des Moines.
Ben Philpott/KUT News

Texas Senator Ted Cruz heads to South Carolina today on the next leg of his presidential campaign. KUT’s Ben Philpott has been following his first week on the campaign trail. While much of the week was predictably standard fare for Cruz – and presidential candidates in general – there were a couple things that stood out.

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Election 2016
9:01 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Ted Cruz, Still the Sole Official Presidential Candidate, Courts Young Voters in Iowa

Sen. and 2016 Presidential candidate Ted Cruz campaigns in Iowa. He and other Republicans are expected to focus on winning the youth vote this election.
Ben Philpott/KUT News

Seventy percent of young adults who voted in 2012 voted for President Barack Obama. Some post-election analysis said Republican nominee Mitt Romney could have won if he had split that vote in a handful of key states.

So expect to see a heavy push towards the youth vote from Republicans this election. That includes Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who's campaigning in Iowa this week. How's his message being received by young voters on the campaign trail?

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Politics
6:28 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Pharmacists Group Votes To Discourage Members From Providing Execution Drugs

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 7:16 pm

The largest pharmacist association in the country has voted to discourage its members from participating in executions.

The move could make executions harder for states that have been ordering their drugs from compounding pharmacies. As we've reported, some states like Texas turned to the pharmacies after big pharmaceutical companies — under pressure from death penalty opponents — decided to stop selling their drugs to U.S. prisons.

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2016 Presidential Election
11:19 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Are New Hampshire GOP Primary Voters Tired of Texas Candidates?

Ted Cruz speaks in New Hampshire; Rick Perry appears on Fox News earlier this year.
Ben Philpott/KUT News; YouTube screenshot

From George W. Bush to Ron Paul to Rick Perry — and now Ted Cruz and, presumably, Perry together — the New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary has had a Texan on the ticket for a while. And while Republicans in Texas may say that with pride, how do the people of New Hampshire feel about Texans in the race?

By and large, most New Hampshire residents said they weren’t feeling the “Texas fatigue” one might expect with the continual stable of Lone Star candidates. In the case of Cruz, who was there last weekend kicking off his campaign, his proposals outshone any regional biases. In the case of Perry, some primary voters showed surprising support for a candidate who placed sixth in the 2012 contest.

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2016 Election
8:11 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Ted Cruz Wraps Up New Hampshire Trip

Sen. Cruz speaks to the Young America's Foundation dinner in Nashua, NH
Ben Philpott/KUT News

Texas Senator Ted Cruz ended his first official week as a Presidential candidate in the snow in New Hampshire. As the skies spit small flakes, the kind that shut down most Texas towns but are barely noticed in New England, Cruz turned up the heat indoors with a rousing 40-minute speech that drew six standing ovations.

Tom Fergus was in the crowd of more than 200 people attending the brunch at the Portsmouth Country Club. While national media and some Republican pundits have said Cruz's campaign doesn't have the broad appeal needed to make a successful run, Fergus says Cruz's message fits right in with the "rugged individualist Yankees that we are."

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2016 Election
12:21 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Cruz Kicks Off Presidential Run in New Hampshire

Sen. Ted Cruz takes his official campaign to New Hampshire this weekend.
KUT News

First came the announcement: Sen. Ted Cruz launched his Presidential run on Monday in front of the student body of Liberty University.

Then it was time to make some money. Cruz had a big online push and headed to New York for a couple of days of fundraising.

Now it's time for him to meet the people as an official Presidential candidate.

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Election 2016
2:08 pm
Tue March 24, 2015

Livestream: One-on-One Interview with Ted Cruz

Texas Tribune political reporter Jay Root sits down one-on-one in New York City with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas' junior senator and the nation's first declared 2016 presidential candidate. Cruz formally announced his candidacy on Monday. The interview is set to begin shortly after 2 p.m. Watch the livestream, courtesy of the Texas Tribune, below.

Election 2016
9:25 am
Tue March 24, 2015

What Might Ted Cruz’s First and Only Run for Office Tell Us About his Presidential Campaign?

Ted Cruz celebrates on Election Night 2012.
Michael Stravato/Texas Tribune

Reporters and political pundits across the county are scrambling to handicap Ted Cruz's chances of winning the Republican Presidential nomination. But unlike most other expected candidates, Cruz has little campaign experience to review. He rose from relative obscurity to win his 2012 U.S. Senate race.

So what can that race tell us about Cruz’s Presidential chances?

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Election 2016
9:17 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Watch: Ted Cruz Announces Presidential Bid

Cruz announces his 2016 presidential run in Lynchburg, Va.
Screenshot from Washington Post

From the Texas Tribune: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz declared his candidacy for the White House on Monday in a speech heavy on faith and hard on President Obama, making him the first major party candidate to formally jump into the race.  

"I believe in you, I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America," Cruz said to a college basketball arena filled with students. "And that is why today I am announcing that I am running for president of the United States."

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Politics
4:32 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Republican Thorn Ted Cruz Announces Run For President

Sen. Ted Cruz, his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters Catherine (left) and Caroline practice waving on stage at Liberty University before Cruz's Monday presidential campaign launch.
Andrew Harnik AP

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 8:13 am

The 2016 presidential campaign has its first official candidate. Republican Ted Cruz jumped into the race for the presidency, announcing his intentions in a tweet at 12:09 am EDT Monday morning.

"I'm running for president and I hope to earn your support!" the firebrand Texas senator tweeted simply with an embedded video.

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Election 2016
8:38 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Ted Cruz Set To Announce Presidential Bid

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz speaks with area business leaders during a Politics and Eggs breakfast, on March 16 in Manchester, N.H.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Sun March 22, 2015 6:10 pm

Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will announce Monday he is running for the Republican nomination for president, a close aide of the lawmaker confirmed to NPR following a report first published by The Houston Chronicle.

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Texas Standard
2:21 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Alabama Chief Justice to Speak on Same-Sex Marriage

Marriage March in Washington, D.C. Former Justice Moore says that Texas shouldn't approve current marriage equality measures.
americanlifeleague/flickr

Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore went to war with the Supreme Court back in 2003, over the right to display the Ten Commandments outside an Alabama courthouse. As a result, the Alabama Judiciary removed Moore from his post during his first term.

Now, Moore talks about who has jurisdiction over marriage and divorce, equality of rights and the future of same-sex marriage.

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2016 Presidential Race
12:59 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Rand Paul Opens Austin Office Ahead of Likely 2016 Run

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul speaks Sunday at the launch event for a new group based in Austin.
Patrick Svetik/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Laying down a marker in a state with a burgeoning tech community — and no shortage of political ambition — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Monday opened an Austin outpost of his likely 2016 presidential campaign, hailing it as proof of his forward-thinking appeal to nontraditional Republican voters.

"People keep asking, 'Why are you in Texas and not in New Hampshire?'" the Kentucky Republican said, nodding to the influx of his potential presidential rivals this past weekend into the Granite State. "Well, because I think if you want talent, you've got to go where the talent is."

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Politics
4:44 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

DPS: Glitter Bombs Weapon of Choice for Gay Rights Advocates

Frankie Leon

From the Texas Tribune:

In an email forwarded to legislative staffers on Thursday, a Department of Public Safety captain warned of "glitter bombs" being sent to state lawmakers and attached a document titled "Glitter Bombing: Weapon of Choice for Gay Rights, Pro Choice Advocates." 

According to the DPS email, passed along to Senate chiefs of staff by Patsy Spaw, the secretary of the Senate, state Rep. Debbie Riddle's district office in Spring recently received such a parcel — a spring-loaded tube filled with glitter. 

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Immigration
9:30 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Feds Ask Court to Move Forward with Immigration Program, Perhaps Without Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott appeared on Fox News Sunday to talk about Texas' resistance to the Obama administration's Deferred Action Program.

The Obama administration wants to move forward with its Deferred Action Program that would shield some illegal immigrants from deportation. But a federal court halted the administration's program last week.

On Monday, the administration asked the court to lift last week's order. In its request, the administration is offering options: Let the program go forward nationwide or let it go forward everywhere except in Texas.

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