Political news

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. 

Photo Courtesy The White House

This week on The Ticket: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott dive into the growing speculation that Vice President Joe Biden will run for the Democratic nomination. They'll talk with ABC News Digital Reporter Arlette Saenz, who's been covering the VP for several years. And even though running for President is a serious decision…they'll revisit some of Vice President Biden's most humorous moments.

Ben Philpott/KUT News

This week on The Ticket: The Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott talk about one of the only GOP candidates that's been able to survive the Summer of Trump: Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

While Cruz's poll numbers have held steady, he's set himself up as an alternative to Trump, if, or when, the current GOP frontrunner flames out.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

A contempt hearing set for next week against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been canceled.

Federal court Judge Orlando Garcia canceled the hearing, writing that Paxton and the other state officials— Governor Greg Abbott and interim Commissioner of the Texas State Department of Health and Human Services Kirk Cole — have complied with the court's Aug. 5 order to amend the death certificate of one member of a married same-sex couple and to issue state policy guidelines for recognizing legal same-sex marriages on birth and death certificates.

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Today, Sept. 1, marks the legal start for more than 600 new state laws for Texans to follow. From healthcare to transportation to education and public safety, there’s something that affects everyone in the Lone Star State.

Photo courtesy Andrew Magill, flickr.com/amagill

This week on The Ticket: The Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott dive into the billions of dollars flowing through our campaign finance system. They’ll give a history of campaign finance to explain what lead to past regulations. And examine how the unchecked millions flowing through SuperPACs has affected the 2016 race for the White House.

Gage Skidmore https://flic.kr/p/e38G55

Did everyone pray in U.S. public schools prior to 1962 and was the Bible the principle textbook? Yes, according to Sen. Ted Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman. KUT's Nathan Bernier asks PolitiFact Texas reporter Gardner Selby what the Truth-O-Meter says

facebook screenshot/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Don’t expect Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller to apologize over a social media post that appeared to call for the atomic bombing of “the Muslim world” – despite an outcry from critics.

Miller, who is currently on a trade mission to China, did not personally share a controversial photo that appeared on his campaign Facebook account and has since been removed, Todd Smith, the Republican's campaign spokesman, said Monday. The commissioner has no plans to figure out which of his staffers shared the controversial posting, or to apologize, Smith said.

“We’re not going to apologize for the posts that show up on our Facebook page,” said Smith, estimating that 18 people have access to the campaign account. “I don’t know who did it, but I’m not going to start a witch hunt to find out who did.”