Politics

Gay Marriage
10:08 am
Thu September 26, 2013

George H.W. Bush Is Witness At Same-Sex Wedding Of Friends

Former President George H.W. Bush, former first lady Barbara Bush, right, and their newly wedded friends Helen Thorgalsen, center, and Bonnie Clement.
Susan Biddle AP

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:34 am

Former President George H.W. Bush's presence as a witness and guest at the marriage of two women in Maine last weekend is being treated by some as his quiet endorsement of same-sex marriage.

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2014 Governor's Race
6:30 am
Thu September 26, 2013

'The Overcomer': How Greg Abbott is Staking his Claim on the Governor's Mansion

The new cover of Texas Monthly is likely to ruffle some feathers. 

It depicts Attorney General Greg Abbott in his wheelchair, shotgun slung over his shoulder. In bold print above him are the words "The Gov," with an asterisk. In small print: "Barring an unlikely occurrence." 

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Ted Cruz
3:40 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Interview: The Texas Tribune's Evan Smith Talks Ted Cruz

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz may have slowed down a Senate vote on funding for the Affordable Care Act, but he may have accelerated his own political career.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

After 21 hours of talking - whether it was an official filibuster or not is still up for debate - Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas departed the Senate floor Wednesday.

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Affordable Care Act
2:18 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Ted Cruz Ends Filibuster-Style Senate Speech Against 'Obamacare' (Update)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, during his 2012 campaign.
Ben Philpott for KUT News

Update: Sen. Cruz's remarks have ended. For a recap, see: With A Call For Prayer, Cruz Wraps Up Protest Against Obamacare.

Original Post (Sept. 24): Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz seems to be taking a play from another Texas politico: Wendy Davis.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate moments ago, Sen. Cruz announced he will deliver extended, filibuster-style remarks on his support for defunding President Obama’s signature package of health care reforms, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

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Politics
6:27 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Some GOP Leaders Tee Up Cruz For Blame If There's A Shutdown

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is becoming the face of a possible government shutdown over Obamacare, and that has many fellow Republicans bashing him for what they see as an ill-conceived gambit.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 10:36 am

Just a week before the federal government could shut down if no agreement is reached to fund it past the end of September, it's anyone's guess whether Democrats and Republicans will avoid plunging over this particular cliff.

More certain, however, is that if a shutdown happens over Obamacare and Republicans wind up taking the heat, many GOP fingers of blame will point squarely at Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas Republican will likely become the face of the 2013 shutdown, just as Newt Gingrich became the poster boy of two government shutdowns of the mid-1990s.

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Politics
8:44 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Texas Democrats Need More Than Davis in 2014

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte could fill out a 2014 slate of Democratic candidates, including her Senate colleague Wendy Davis.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Leticia Van de Putte, a Democratic state senator from San Antonio, might be part of the answer to the second question her party’s activists are asking these days.

The first question — will Wendy run? — will be answered Oct. 3 when state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, announces her decision on whether to run for governor or seek re-election.

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Politics
9:02 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz Has House Republicans Seeing Red

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, in August.
Justin Hayworth AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 4:40 pm

House Republicans, meet Sen. Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz, House Republicans.

Given the surprise expressed by some House members at the Texas senator's approach to the defunding of Obamacare, perhaps an introduction was in order.

A few dozen House members Wednesday morning successfully coerced a reluctant Speaker John Boehner into tying the Obamacare language to a must-pass government funding bill. This came after weeks of television ads featuring Cruz and fellow Senate Republican Mike Lee advocating exactly that plan, regardless of the consequences.

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Politics
5:44 am
Wed September 18, 2013

An Announcement From Wendy Davis, Sort Of

Davis says she'll announce her decision on running for Texas governor on Oct. 3
davis.senate.state.tx.us

Let the countdown begin: Sen. Wendy Davis has announced her announcement date.

The Fort Worth Democrat, eyeing a run for governor, said in an email release that she would break some news about her political future on Thursday, Oct. 3.

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Latino Americans
9:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Interview: 'Latino Americans' Miniseries Documents Birth of a Movement

John Valadez (left) is one of the producers of "Latino Americans," a six-part miniseries airing on PBS stations across the country.
KUT News

To coincide with Hispanic Heritage month, PBS TV stations nationwide begin an historic six-hour documentary series tonight, titled “Latino Americans.”   

Covering 500 years of history in six hours, it is the first major documentary series on the history and experience of Latinos in  America.

Watch Latino Americans on KLRU (18.1) Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7 pm and Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 pm.  KLRU's VME channel (18.4) will show the series in Spanish starting Friday, Sept. 20 at 8 pm.  Or watch online at klru.org.

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Politics
4:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

What Texans Need to Know About the Health Insurance Marketplace

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promoted the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act during an Austin visit on Aug. 8, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

About half of Americans say they don’t know how they and their families will be affected by the Affordable Care Act. That’s according to a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll done last month.

So what exactly do Texans need to know about the health insurance marketplace that launches next month?

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Islam
5:01 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Interview: Texas Should Teach Terrorism Lurks in All Radical Faiths – Not Just Islam

Professor Deepa Kumar says people of all faiths could gain something for her lecture on the construction of the "Muslim enemy."
flickr.com/glenscott

Wednesday marked 12 years since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The attacks thrust radical Islam into the spotlight and arguably ushered in an era of Islamophobia. But do stereotypes about Muslims actually go back much further?

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Gov. Rick Perry
12:56 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Perry Defends Jobs Tour Through Maryland

Gov. Rick Perry at the 2012 Texas Republican Convention. Gov. Perry is embarking on another promotional jobs tour through another state critics call poaching.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry defended his efforts to bring jobs from other states to Texas on Thursday – and told critics that if they can't stand competition, they should get out of the game.

Perry will visit Maryland on Sept. 18. He has already spent nearly $500,000 on radio and TV ads touting Texas' low taxes and regulation in the state. Maryland is the sixth state Perry has visited this year, following California, New York, Connecticut, Missouri and Illinois.

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Syria
4:04 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Cornyn Skeptical of U.S. Leadership’s Decisions on Syria

Sen. John Cornyn opposes current plans for American military intervention in Syria – but doesn’t rule out military involvement altogether.
KUT News

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, joins other members of Congress in hesitantly approving President Barack Obama’s decision to diplomatically disarm Syria rather than initiate a military intervention.

“Well I do believe that this proposal is better than executing a poorly thought out and foolishly telegraphed plan that is doomed to fail," Sen. Cornyn said of President Obama’s address. "I think it is worth seeing this thing to a conclusion.”

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Syria
12:41 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Should the U.S. Intervene in Syria?

A protest in New York City opposing a U.S. attack on Syria.
flickr.com/worldcantwait

In the wake of a chemical weapons attack that reportedly left more than 1,400 Syrians dead , the debate has begun on whether the U.S. should intervene. The American people now wait for what steps, if any, the United States will take in the coming weeks.

The Takeaway has responded to this call for a national conversation with special programming.

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Syria
4:43 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Obama: American Ideals, National Security At Stake In Syrian Crisis

President Obama addresses the nation in a live televised speech from the East Room of the White House on Tuesday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 10:18 pm

In a prime-time speech that followed two weeks of high-stakes drama, President Obama asked the American people to support a military strike against Syria, even as he pursued a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

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4:12 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

New Maps OK'd for 2014 Texas Elections – But Only on Interim Basis

Lead in text: 
A federal court has ordered Texas to use political maps drawn by the Legislature this year for holding 2014 elections, but only on an interim basis. A three-judge panel in San Antonio issued the ruling today, giving both sides in the lawsuit over Texas' voting maps reason to claim victory. The court denied the state's request to throw out the lawsuit brought by civil rights groups. which claim the Legislature intentionally discriminated against minorities in 2011 and needs federal supervision. Here's more from KUT News' reporting partner The Texas Tribune:
The state's 2014 primaries will be held using the congressional and legislative maps approved by lawmakers this summer, a federal panel of judges ruled Friday. The San Antonio-based judges said they don't have time to finally settle the legal disputes over the state's redistricting maps before those elections, which are scheduled for March, but told the state to proceed with those maps until the lawsuits have played out.
San Antonio
3:47 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

San Antonio Passes LGBT Non-Discrimination Ordinance

Tyler Pratt/KUT News

A citywide debate over whether lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals should be included in San Antonio’s non-discrimination policy came to a fiery end on Thursday.

Before a crowd of hundreds at City Hall, the San Antonio City Council adopted an ordinance aimed at preventing discrimination against people because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Agenda Texas
10:41 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Has 'Cruz-Mania' Made Senator Cornyn an Afterthought?

Is Ted Cruz essenailly the Sr. Sentor from Texas?
Gage Skidmore Texas Tribune

Texas Senator John Cornyn has been in office since 2002. He’s currently the GOP minority whip. And yet, based on media appearances and general buzz, you might think Cornyn was the state’s junior Senator – second fiddle to Tea Party favorite and conservative media darling Senator Ted Cruz.

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Wendy Davis
9:02 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Wendy Davis' Father Dies; Speculation Builds Over Run for Governor

Sen. Wendy Davis, D- Fort Worth, during her famous 13-hour filibuster in June. Davis said she would announce a decision on her political future this month, but her father’s death may complicate matters.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Jerry Russell, the father of State Sen. Wendy Davis, died Thursday at 77. The news sparks more anticipation for those waiting to hear whether Davis will announce a run for governor in 2014.

Russell has been in critical condition at a Fort Worth hospital since August after complications developed from abdominal surgery. Davis was expected to make an announcement about whether she would run for governor in early September, but postponed the news to take care of her father.

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Voter ID
2:51 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Maps: Austin, Now You Can See If Your Neighbors Are Registered to Vote

Volunteers looking to register eligible voters can now search individual voting precincts by map.
KUT News

September is Travis County’s Voter Registration Awareness Month – and the county Tax Assessor and Voter Registrar are kicking things off with a new online tool to help volunteers find new voters.

Citizen registrars can now use the county’s website to view lists and maps of addresses with unregistered and suspended voters, broken down by Travis County precincts. While the maps do not verify that eligible, but unregistered, voters reside at those locations, the new resource still helps deputy registrars and other organizations identify areas that may be neglected by the voting process.

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