Political news


Today, the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros kick off their series in the American League divisional playoffs.

Any other year, that would have nothing to do with the Texas Constitution, but this year’s different. While the teams are on opposite sides of the diamond, this legislative session both teams joined sides for a common goal: charitable raffles.

Those raffles are the subject of one of the seven Constitutional propositions on this November's ballot.

Photo via Flickr/Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In 2003, then President George W. Bush signed the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The bill required federal and state lockups to implement certain procedures and standards that would address sexual abuse behind bars. Not doing so, states would run the risk of penalties, such as the loss of federal grant money.

The final rules took effect in 2012, and the Texas governor at the time, Rick Perry, refused to sign on. However in a 180-degree reversal, Gov.Greg Abbott says the state will be brought in-line with the law.

Image via Facebook/Susan Hawk

From Texas Standard:

Earlier this year, Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk disappeared.

Her office fielded questions as to her whereabouts explaining that she was just taking a summer break, and that everything was fine.

Everything wasn't fine, as the public would learn later.

As Hawk's absence continued, the DA publicly revealed she was struggling with depression. More recently, in a candid interview with D Magazine, Hawk revealed that she was experiencing suicidal thoughts and had spent two months getting treatment at a psychiatric hospital in Houston.


Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Former Governor Rick Perry's bid for the presidency may have come to an end, but there's still a few chances that someone with Texas ties could occupy the White House next term.

Some, more obvious than others: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, son of Texas congressman Ron Paul, and from the Texas family legacy — Jeb Bush.

Liang Shi/KUT News

The third of seven propositions on the Texas ballot this Election Day would change the requirement for some statewide elected officials to live in Austin.

Prop 3’s passage would mean the governor would be required to live in the Governor's Mansion, but the rest of the statewide elected officials would have the option of living outside of Austin. Though, it's likely they would still have a place around Austin so they can get to their Texas Capitol offices quickly.

Photo via Office of the Texas Attorney General

From Texas Standard:

This week in Texas politics: in between court appearances, A.G. Paxton visits a church in central Texas and Sen. Cruz rounds up endorsements while Wendy Davis makes an endorsement of her own.

Timothy D. Easley/AP

This week on The Ticket: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott look at the role religion is playing in the 2016 presidential race. They talk with Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches on how religion is being used in the GOP Primary.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

We're just over a month away from Election Day in Texas and, while it's an election not everyone even knows is coming up, there are seven statewide constitutional amendments are on the ballot. Of those seven, Proposition 2 seeks to retroactively amend a state law allowing veterans’ spouses to collect benefits.

KUT News

While the presidential election is getting a lot of headlines, that’s not until next year. But one of the seven amendments to the state constitution on the ballot this November could raise the state's homestead exemption and lighten the property tax load for Texas homeowners.

Josh Denmark/Texas Tribune

This week on The Ticket: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott tackle immigration policy. The topic had a moment in the spotlight at the second GOP debate, but Republicans are divided on how to handle the millions of people living in the U.S. who crossed into the country illegally.

KUT News

Today is National Voter Registration Day. And when it comes to getting people to sign up to vote, the focus is often on young people.

USHCC Livestream, via Texas Tribune

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wraps up its annual national convention in Houston today. Yesterday the event jumped into the national spotlight, as protestors interrupted a speech by GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush.

Opportunity and Freedom PAC, and its two siblings, Opportunity and Freedom PAC numbers 1 and 2, were meant to be heavyweight sluggers for Republican Rick Perry, providing big-budget support for his second presidential bid.

But Perry himself turned out to be a welterweight at best. The former Texas governor entered the race late, raised a skimpy $1.1 million by June 30 and "suspended" his campaign barely two months later.

Screenshot via CNN

From the Texas Standard: The second GOP debate is one for the history books. Last night's primetime event had some standout moments – a few fireworks, perhaps. It also seemed to be somewhat of a contest in stamina, since the main event lasted three hours. Just in case you didn't make it all the way through Jennifer Mercieca, communications professor at Texas A&M, has got us covered.

Callie Richmond/Texas Tribune

This week on The Ticket: A live episode! Recorded Wednesday at the Google Fiber space in Austin just before the CNN Republican presidential debate.

Tonight, join KUT's Ben Philpott, the Texas Tribune's Jay Root, and special guest Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post's Right Turn blog for a live recording of the weekly podcast The Ticket 2016: A look at presidential politics from a Texas perspectiv

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Yesterday morning, we heard a story about the nation’s aging voting machines and the problems they could present in the future. But that same report, which warns of trouble ahead for some municipalities, also details how Travis County has developed a new voting system, set to premiere in time for 2018 elections.

Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

George P. Bush has been taking an active role in his father's GOP campaign. But has it been negatively affecting his role as the General Land Commissioner?

Just over six months into his term as Texas Land Commissioner, George P. Bush has been hard at work ... campaigning for his dad.

Bush ran for his current position on a commitment to "reboot" the General Land Office. But he's drawn new headlines recently over how much time he hasn't been at work, despite active initiatives to institute a new management structure and return the agency to zero-based budgeting.

Brian M. Rosenthal, state bureau reporter for the Houston Chronicle, tells the Standard that based on the land commissioner's calendar, George P. Bush was off of work 23 out of the 50 days since his father Jeb Bush announced his run for president.

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Days before he was to be relegated once again to a second-tier debate, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Friday he was suspending his struggling presidential campaign. It makes him the first to bow out in the crowded Republican presidential nominating contest.

Paxton Announces Legal Defense Team for Fraud Case

Sep 10, 2015
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: After spending more than two weeks without a lawyer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has secured a defense team in the ongoing financial fraud case against him.