Politics

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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Politics
7:31 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Austin Congressman Opposes Military Action in Syria

A view of Damascus in more peaceful times, before the Syrian uprising began
flickr.com/sharnik

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Austin) is apparently the first Central Texas member of Congress to announce publicly his views on whether the U.S. should strike Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons. While he calls the use of chemical weapons "reprehensible," Williams doesn't support U.S. military intervention, because he believes Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has had enough time to prepare for one.  

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Politics
9:06 am
Tue September 3, 2013

'The Worm' Returns To North Korea; Rodman Visits Again

Former basketball star Dennis Rodman at Beijing Capital International Airport on Tuesday, before his flight to Pyongyang, North Korea.
Petar Kujundzic Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 7:48 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: Anthony Kuhn reports on Dennis Rodman's latest visit to North Korea

Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is visiting North Korea again, six months after spending time there with dictator Kim Jong Un — an "awesome" man, in Rodman's opinion.

NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Beijing that:

"Rodman was spotted transiting the Beijing airport en route to Pyongyang, sporting his characteristic lip and nose rings, plus green hair.

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Politics
7:04 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Confusion Lingers in Texas as Insurance Exchange Enrollment Nears

Alfredo Santos and Erica Gammill, left, with Enroll America, speak to potential consumers of the federal health insurance marketplace in Austin on Aug. 24, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

The federal government is spending millions to promote new health insurance plans being sold through online marketplaces as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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Agenda Texas
2:26 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Can MoPac Be 'Fixed?'

New tolled lanes are coming to MoPac - but so are thousands more motorists. Accounting for projected growth, some traffic experts say maintaining MoPac’s current level of congestion would be a success.
Jillian Schantz Patrick for KUT News

About a thousand people a day move to Texas. And if you’re driving on the MoPac expressway at rush hour, it might feel like every one of them is commuting with you.

That's how Sara Robertson feels most days. She's been commuting on MoPac for about eight years. “And every year it gets longer and longer,” Robertson says.

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Wendy Davis
9:03 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Wendy Davis Postpones Announcement on Political Future

Sen. Wendy Davis, beginning her famous filibuster this summer. The rising political star has postponed a decision on whether to run for governor.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democrats' best hope to run for Texas governor, said Wednesday she is postponing the announcement of her decision so she can help care for her sick father. 

“I had hoped to make public my decision about that next week, but with everything that’s going on with my dad, I won’t be doing that,” Davis said. “It’s likely it will be late September before I do.”

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Agenda Texas
8:50 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Some Texas Democrats Waiting on Davis Before Joining 2014 Races

Davis appears to be the key for Democrats in 2014.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

The Wendy Davis Watch continues in Texas politics. The Fort Worth state senator is expected to announce in the next few days whether she will or won’t run for the Democratic nomination for Governor. But Democratic activists aren’t the only ones waiting.

So are potential Democratic candidates, as state-wide races up and down the ticket, so far, remain empty. 

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Politics
5:02 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

House Leader Pelosi Visits Austin, Promotes Equality for Women

House Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke in Austin on the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment's ratification on Aug. 26, 1920.
Photo by: Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

House Leader Nancy Pelosi was in Austin today with one central message: There’s still work to be done on women’s equality in the workforce. 

She spoke at Austin Community College’s Eastview Campus Monday. Her visit comes on the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote. It was adopted into the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920.

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Agenda Texas
6:00 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Controversial Texas Lesson Plans Debated This Weekend

The lesson plans may be gone...but those for and against the plans continue to fight.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

You may not know it, but tomorrow, the lucky people of Tyler, Texas will have the chance to witness one of the most anticipated confrontations since Rocky III, when Rocky Balboa took on Clubber Lang.

Ok, maybe State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) debating State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff (R-Mt. Pleasant) over something called CSCOPE isn’t all that scintillating. But those lesson plans created by Texas teachers were one heck of a political football during the 2013 legislative session. 

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Politics
5:02 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz Calls on Texans to Oppose Obamacare

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, spoke against the Affordable Care Act at a press conference in Austin on Aug. 22, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is spending some time in Texas as the August recess winds down. Today’s stops included a visit to National Instruments in Austin, where he’s calling for people to join his effort against the Affordable Care Act. 

He's urging the public to sign an online petition aimed at influencing members of the U.S. Congress to vote to get Obamacare defunded in a government appropriations bill.

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Politics
6:39 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Listen: Lt. Gov. Dewhurst Calls to Get Relative Out of Jail (Update)

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Update: A spokesperson for Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says he was acting out of concern for a family member when he called Allen Police to see what he could to get a female relative out of jail. He says Dewhurst was careful not to ask Allen Police to do anything outside of their normal protocol.

But State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) released a statement calling the move an "abuse of power." 

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Politics
8:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Tension, Anxiety Are Backdrop of UT Regents Meeting

Gov. Rick Perry greets UT Regents head Gene Powell in this July 16 photo. The Board of Regents meets for two days starting today.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

As the University of Texas System Board of Regents convenes for its annual August meeting Wednesday and Thursday, a gathering fraught with tension and anxiety is all but assured.

The nine regents have been bathed in controversy for more than two years, and — despite racking up a number of accomplishments, including the creation of a major new university in South Texas — have only managed to sink deeper over time.

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Politics
8:37 am
Tue August 20, 2013

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz To Renounce Canadian Citizenship

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaks about immigration during a march near Capitol Hill in July.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 7:41 am

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in the 2016 election. But to run for president, the U.S. Constitution says a candidate must be a "natural born" U.S. citizen; it doesn't mention dual citizenship.

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Politics
1:19 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

For Tweeting Candidates Like Abbott, a Campaign Risk

Greg Abbott announces his candidacy for Texas governor at LaVillita in San Antonio on July 14, 2013.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

As his followers know, Attorney General Greg Abbott, widely considered the frontrunner to be Texas' next governor, manages his own Twitter feed. It's not uncommon for him to use it to thank his supporters. 

But his appreciation for a supporter's tweet on Sunday night — one that called state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, an "idiot" and a "Retard Barbie" — has fast become the most controversial moment of Abbott's young gubernatorial bid. And it has highlighted the high-risk, high-reward proposition of letting a candidate handle his or her own social media.     

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Politics
4:56 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

OMG: Attack Websites Begin Trashing 2014 Texas Candidates

Web attacks designed to go viral, like Dan Patrick's "Dewfeed," kick off the 2014 campaign season early.
dewfeed.com

It may be too early to start running attack ads on TV and radio for the 2014 Texas general and primary elections. But it's apparently never too early to launch an attack website.

So to give you something to do heading into the weekend, we've compiled a list of some of the most prominent attack sites out there at the moment. The number will certainly grow as we get closer to the primaries in March.

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Politics
3:09 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Special Prosecutor To Investigate Perry Veto

Shelley Kofler KERA News

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 12:16 pm

A Texas judge says he plans to have a special prosecutor review allegations that Gov. Rick Perry abused his office when he vetoed state funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit.

The complaint stems from an allegation that Perry said he would veto millions in funding for the office if Democratic D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg did not step down.  Lehmberg was arrested for drunken-driving in April but did not quit her job.

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Politics
12:28 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Cruz Staging Number of Events Across Texas

Ted Cruz speaking at a campaign event last year. A swing through Texas brings him to Austin next week.
KUT News

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, whose trips to early primary states have sparked speculation about a possible 2016 presidential run, is hitting the road in Texas next week to bash “Obamacare,” stage town hall meetings and press the flesh with the people who sent him to Washington, D.C.

Cruz’s central focus during the August recess remains his drive to defund the Affordable Care Act. But during the two-week swing, he’ll also squeeze in a few fundraisers, take a tour of the Keystone Pipeline near Houston, visit the U.S.-Mexico border, meet with business leaders, go to a military base and attend a ribbon-cutting for a veterans facility in Austin. 

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Wendy Davis
1:23 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Democrats Crank Up Pressure on Wendy Davis to Run for Governor

With the launch of a draft-style website, pressure is building for Sen. Wendy Davis to make gubernatorial run in 2014.
wewantwendydavis.com

Update: Texas Democratic Party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa has released a statement explaining the new website gathering support for a Davis run for Governor.

"We know she can win this race. Wendy has faced long odds before – and they've never stopped her. But before she decides to run, we need to show her that we have her back."

Original post (12:04 p.m.): Texas Democrats appear on the fence over whether Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, should run for governor in 2014 – much like the candidate herself.

But with nobody else on the ballot so far, the minority party is ramping up its efforts to make sure their new rising star will have money and manpower – just in case.

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