Politics

Voter ID
4:45 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Justice Ginsburg Revises Texas Voter ID Dissent, Then Announces It

In her revised dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg clarified that photo ID cards issued by the Veterans' Affairs are "an acceptable form of photo identification for voting in Texas."
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:45 pm

Once again the U.S. Supreme Court is correcting its own record, but Wednesday marks the first time that the court has called attention to its own mistake with a public announcement. And it was the erring justice herself, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who asked the court's public information office to announce the error.

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Texas Book Festival
11:49 am
Mon October 20, 2014

How 'Thirteen Days in September' Shows Middle East Peace is Still Possible

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David in 1978. The Middle Eastern peace agreement that emerged from the meeting is the subject of journalist Lawrence Wright's new book.
U.S. Government

Recent world events seem so complicated – and perhaps intractable – that some citizens may reel from a sense of hopelessness. But maybe our collective memory fails us – it’s easy to forget how much the world can change in just a matter of days.

In less than two weeks in 1978, a world-changing event not only ended one of the most bitter conflict in modern history (or at least a part of it), with effects that endure to this day.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright speaks with Texas Standard’s David Brown about his new book, "Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin and Sadat at Camp David," a detailed account of the Camp David accords between Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Facilitated by U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the agreement brought peace between Egypt and Israel. 

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Politics
11:01 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Why Texas' Next Governor Will Be Weaker Than the Current One

Gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis (D) and Greg Abbott (R)
Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune, Laura Buckman / Bob Daemmrich

Early voting for the November election starts today. And to arm you with information before you head to the polls, KUT's Nathan Bernier and political reporter Ben Philpott have been highlighting the candidates in a few key state-wide races, and letting you know just what the offices they're running for can and can't do.

Nathan: So, I guess we've saved the best for last: let's talk about the governor's race and have a quick rundown of the governor's powers, as well.

Ben: The Texas governor is traditionally considered to be a weak office. And there's a reason for that. When Texans were writing up their constitution after the civil war, the LBJ school's Sherri Greenberg says they were eager to limit any and all powers of any so-called carpetbaggers from reconstruction.

"So when Texans wrote the Texas constitution, this very populist document, with as much power as possible vested in the people and at the lowest, most local, level of government," Greenberg said.

Of course, it wasn't just Texas. Decentralizing government power was a broader trend across the country in the 1800’s. And that action in Texas left us with what's considered a weak governor.

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Texas Standard
2:36 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Voter ID, Davis' Closing Gambit and the Texas Politics of Ebola

Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaking in Phoenix, Arizona.
flickr.com/gageskidmore

The month before Election Day is always filled with a wealth of rhetoric as politicians plead their case before the polls open.

This October has been no exception; the sheer influx of information this week alone can be daunting. So Texas Standard's David Brown sat down with Austin American-Statesman chief political correspondent Jonathan Tilove to sort through the run-up to early voting.

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Politics
4:44 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Why is the Lieutenant Governor the Most Powerful Office in Texas? And Who Wants That Power?

Lieutenant Governor candidates Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D) and Sen. Dan Patrick (R)
Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune: Jennifer Whitney / Michael Stravato

Early voting starts Monday for the November 4th election. And to help you head to the polls with as much information as possible, KUT's Nathan Bernier and political reporter Ben Philpott have been giving you a rundown of some of the state's key races, along with telling you just what the offices in question actually do.

Today, they talk about the office that some people say is the most powerful one in the state of Texas: the lieutenant governor.

Ben: So here's what a lieutenant governor can do, and why those powers are considered so important. First up, the lieutenant governor gets to be governor if the governor dies and even if the governor just leaves the state for a few days.

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Politics
1:49 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

What Does the Attorney General Do? And Who's Running to be the Next One?

Attorney General candidates Sam Houston (D) and Ken Paxton (R)
Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune, Michael Stravato and Cooper Neill

You probably already know that Texans will be electing a new governor next month. But the absence of Governor Rick Perry from the ballot has had a domino effect on other state-wide offices.

Meaning we'll also be electing new people to all 7 of the top state-wide offices. That includes Attorney General. KUT's All Things Considered host Nathan Bernier and Political Reporter Ben Philpott will help explain what the office does and who's running to be the state's next top lawyer, 

Ben: This office, like many, can take on the personality and priorities of the office holder. Especially, if you've been in that office for more than a decade, like current Attorney General Greg Abbott.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Who's Running For Texas Comptroller? Also, What the Heck is a Comptroller?

Comptroller candidates Mike Collier and Glenn Hegar
Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune

Early voting starts Monday for the November 4th elections.

But before you head to the polls, KUT wants to make sure you know what you're voting on. Not only on who's running, but on what the office they're running for actually does. To do just that, All Things Considered host Nathan Bernier is going to spend the rest of the week talking with KUT's political reporter Ben Philpott.

Ben: I guess we should start with how the office is pronounced. Some people hit the letters M and P when they say "Comptroller." Others pronounce it like the word "Controller." The state's spelling, Comptroller, comes from the Old English spelling. When American governments were getting set up, they often took the Old English spelling. But what about the pronunciation?

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Politics
11:54 am
Mon October 13, 2014

North Korea Says Thousands Of U.S. Soldiers' Remains Are At Risk

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 11:12 am

The remains of thousands of U.S. soldiers who died in the Korean War are "left here and there uncared and carried away en masse," a North Korean military spokesman said Monday.

He said the remains are being put at risk by large construction projects – and by the halting of joint recovery efforts. North Korea is estimated to contain the remains of more than 5,000 American soldiers.

From Seoul, Jason Strother reports:

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Politics
11:53 am
Mon October 13, 2014

U.S. Strikes At ISIS In Kobani As Kurds Claim Progress

Smoke rises after a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on Kobani, Syria, Monday, as seen from the Turkish side of the border. Kurdish fighters say they're making progress against ISIS in the area.
Tolga Bozoglu EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 3:06 pm

The besieged city of Kobani, Syria, has seen an increase in air strikes and fighting, with Kurdish fighters in the area saying they've stopped the extremist group ISIS from advancing. As the U.S.-led coalition carried out strikes on areas east and south of Kobani, new reports emerged about Turkey's role in supporting the fight against ISIS.

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2014 Elections
1:06 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Small Expenditures Can Add Up in Statewide Campaigns

Block-walking, phone banks and other logistical expenditures can cost a lot in statewide campaigns.
Tracy Olson/Flickr flickr.com/tracy_olson/

Statewide campaigns in Texas aren't cheap. Advertisements in any major television market can set a campaign back at least $2 million. So, when you’re running a campaign, you want to make sure as much of your money as possible is going to getting your candidate's message out. Of course, that means advertising, but it's more logistically nuanced than that.

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Politics
6:45 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Millennial Voters Are Paying Attention — So Why Don't More Vote?

Rapper Lil Jon appears in a new ad for Rock the Vote's 2014 campaign. The organization was founded to get Generation X engaged in politics, and is adapting its tactics to reach millennials.
Courtesy of Rock the Vote

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 11:22 am

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

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Texas Standard
8:48 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Kasim Reed on the Need for Bipartisan Politics

Texas Standard Host David Brown, left, with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

The United States continues to lead the world as the center of the global economy and the sole international superpower, according to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Those who disagree with that statement are simply uninformed, he says.

“I think those people are flat out wrong and that they don’t know what they’re talking about,” he says.

Reed says for the U.S. to maintain its standing in the world, Democrats and Republicans need to consistently strive to work together for America’s betterment. He sat down with Texas Standard host David Brown during The Texas Tribune Festival to discuss the political center, the value of bipartisan politics, and his own political future.

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Texas Standard
4:41 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Inside the Texas Poll Looking at Abbott, Davis and Obama

University of Texas

Texans will be asking themselves a lot of questions come November, when Texas heads into its general elections. Between the battle for governorship, an indictment, and growing concerns over immigration, Texan’s have a lot on their plate.

So where does the average Texan stand in the middle of the political whirlwind? Texas Standard’s David Brown speaks with University of Texas associate professor Darren Shaw, who conducted a poll on behalf of the non-partisan Texas Lyceum group. So after the numbers have been tallied, what do the polls show us?

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Politics
10:37 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Court of Criminal Appeals Declines to Reinstate Tom Delay's Conviction

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (left) and his defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin at the Travis County Criminal Justice Center on November 1, 2010.
Matt Largey, KUT News

The state’s highest criminal appeals court is refusing to reinstate the 2010 convictions of former House Majority Leader Tom Delay on money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Prosecutors alleged Delay illegally funneled $190,000 in corporate campaign contributions to several candidates for the Texas Legislature in 2002.

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Politics
6:32 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Hong Kong Protesters Vow To Step Up Pro-Democracy Campaign

Protesters shout slogans outside a flag-raising ceremony that Hong Kong's embattled leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, attended in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Vincent Yu AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:50 am

A deadline set by Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrators for the territory's leader to step down has passed without his resignation, triggering a new phase to the protests that have brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill.

Protesters, who took to the streets by the tens of thousands last week to demand the open election of Hong Kong's next leader, heckled the territory's Beijing-appointed chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, during a flag-raising ceremony to mark China's National Day.

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Politics
8:26 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Secret Service Chief Grilled Over White House Security Failures

Secret Service director Julia Pierson enters a hearing room in April to answer questions before a closed meeting of the Senate homeland security committee in Washington. Today, Pierson will appear before a House committee to respond to questions about White House security breaches.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 12:58 pm

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson faced a tough inquiry by lawmakers today as she appeared before a House committee to answer questions about the Sept. 19 White House security breach in which a man with a knife entered the executive mansion.

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2014 Elections
12:55 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Davis Accuses Abbott of Grant Fund 'Cover-Up'

State Sen. Wendy Davis is calling for an independent investigation of Attorney General Greg Abbott's involvement in keeping records of Texas Enterprise Fund grants secret.
Laura Buckman / Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis accused her Republican opponent Monday of using his power as attorney general to “orchestrate a cover-up” of misspending inside the Texas Enterprise Fund that, according to an audit, handed out taxpayer subsidies to businesses with little oversight.

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2014 Elections
7:47 am
Mon September 29, 2014

What to Expect in Tonight's First and Only Debate Between Texas Lt. Gov. Candidates

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte will take the offensive tonight, callling out State Sen. Dan Patrick for previously supporting cuts to public education funding.
Jennifer Whitney / Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Houston State Sen. Dan Patrick and State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio will meet tonight in what is likely to be their one and only scheduled debate before Election Day.

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Politics
3:06 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Dewhurst Tells D.C. Crowd Prayer Rugs Found on Border

Candidate for Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst addresses the media in the parking lot of an Austin HEB before voting early in the 2014 runoffs, May 19, 2014.
Credit Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

In a speech in Washington, D.C., on Friday, outgoing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst doubled down on claims that Muslim prayer rugs had been found on the Texas-Mexico border.

"Prayer rugs have recently been found on the Texas side of the border in the brush," Dewhurst said at the Values Voter Summit, according to a report on Friday by Talking Points Memo, a liberal news site.

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2014 Elections
10:39 am
Fri September 26, 2014

What Exactly Can Candidates Do With Their Campaign Cash After Election Day?

There are plenty of things a candidate can't do with campaign cash, but there are also plenty of loopholes.
Tracy Olson/Flickr flickr.com/tracy_olson/

With less than six weeks before the general election, candidates are burning through their campaign cash to make that final push to win. But, when the race ends, some still have money left in the bank.

So what are lawmakers allowed to do with that money? 

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