Political news

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Former Gov. Rick Perry is defending Donald Trump's war of words with the family of a fallen Muslim soldier, saying the father "struck the first blow" against the Republican presidential nominee and is not above criticism in return. 

"In a campaign, if you’re going to go out and think that you can take a shot at somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you," Perry said in an interview Tuesday on CNN. 

Michael Stravato / Shelby Tauber via Texas Tribune

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is leading Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by just 6 percentage points in deep-red Texas, according to a new poll. 

Trump gets 44 percent support to Clinton's 38 percent in the survey, which was done by Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling. Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson received 6 percent, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein got 2 percent.

Illustration by Todd Wiseman

FORT WORTH — Despite the state's request for an expedited ruling, a federal judge took no action Friday on a request to block the Obama administration's guidelines to accommodate transgender students.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor did not issue a ruling from the bench after an almost two-hour long hearing during which state attorneys — as part of a Texas-led, 13-state effort to block the guidelines — argued they unconstitutionally “hold a gun to the head” of states and school districts.

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) missed 44 of 50 legislative committee meetings last year and skipped 84 percent of House votes, according to reporting by the Austin American-Statesman. Dukes says she was recovering car accident injuries, but a review of her social media accounts shows in the same time period, she went to a Stevie Wonder concert, traveled to East Texas and attended a community festival.

Andrew Harnik/AP

This week on the show: KUT's Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune's Jay Root spent last week going over a few examples of Donald Trump's rocky road transitioning from GOP Primary Candidate to Republican Nominee.

But Hillary Clinton has had her own stumbles. So this week they'll review how she's doing as she tries to reach out to more than just the Democratic base.

And to help talk about how Republicans could take advantage of those slips, GOP consultant Matt Mackowiak joins the conversation.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine stopped in Austin yesterday and met with local volunteers and supporters to thank them for their work.

While the focus of his visit was mostly to let Texas Democrats know they are important to the national party, Kaine also had to address – and strongly denounce – Donald Trump’s latest comments aimed at Hillary Clinton.

Cheryl Gerber / Texas Tribune

A federal judge is hearing possible fixes to the state’s voter ID law today.

The state was forced to make some changes because the law was ruled discriminatory. While some proposed changes have been agreed upon by both sides, the judge will still have to settle some disputes about just what voters will have to do to cast a ballot in November. Both sides have proposed expanding the list of IDs voters can use at the polls.

Editor's note: NPR will also be fact-checking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's planned economic speech this Thursday.

Donald Trump is coming off a week of disastrous headlines and cratering poll numbers. His major economic speech on Monday at the Detroit Economic Club, a vision described by his campaign as "Winning the Global Competition," was a chance to turn the page.

This week on the show: With the party conventions finally over, the Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott will dive into what the race looks likes as the campaigns really kick off. And what Donald Trump's very, very, VERY bad week could mean moving forward.

And as you've probably already seen, one of the biggest stories this week is the post-convention polls! We'll have UT Austin pollster Jim Henson guide us through all the big bounces in the last month.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Texas struck a deal Wednesday that will soften its voter ID law for the November general election — a development that lawyers suing the state say will make it easier for minorities to cast their ballots. 

The state reached the agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and minority rights groups just a few weeks after a federal appeals court ruled that Texas’ 2011 voter identification law was discriminatory.

Democrats called on Americans to reject what they called the politics of fear and division of the GOP and elect Hillary Clinton during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images

This week on The Ticket 2016:  KUT's Ben Philpott and the Texas Tribune's Jay Root check back in with Google Data Editor Simon Rogers on what kind of internet searches are being inspired from the speeches at the DNC in Philadelphia.

Then they'll check in with Tribune Reporter Patrick Svitek from inside the convention hall to see if the Bernie Bros really won't vote for Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump urged Russian agents to "find" his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's emails and release them, an unprecedented move by a candidate for president encouraging such a foreign breach.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP presidential nominee said at a news conference in Miami on Wednesday. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

The Tuesday night session of the Democratic convention was really three events, each with its own atmosphere and impact, but all contributing to a single theme: The Clintons are back.

The Democratic National Convention made history Tuesday evening: Amid applause, shouts, cheers and in some cases tears, the delegates on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia nominated Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.

Clinton is now the first female presidential candidate of a major American party.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

A contentious scene unraveled here Tuesday morning at a meeting of Texas delegates after one criticized Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and a favorite of Lone Star State Democrats.

For Michelle Obama, this election is about the kids. On the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, the first lady wove her vision for the next generation with her hope for the next president.

"This election, and every election, is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," she said, adding that Hillary Clinton is the only candidate "who I trust with that responsibility."

Cheryl Gerber / Texas Tribune

Last week, a federal appeals court ruled Texas’ voter ID law makes it harder for minorities to vote. The state was told it could no longer enforce the law as is.

Early voting in the first election since that ruling is now underway, so that special election in Bexar County is following a new set of rules.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton's choice for her vice president, giving her a running mate with experience at all levels of government to round out the Democratic ticket.

Clinton told supporters the news in a text message and a tweet on Friday evening just after 8 p.m. ET. According to a Clinton campaign official, the former secretary of state called Kaine this evening to make the formal offer.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

There was a little-noticed lawsuit filed in federal court this week.

Lawyers representing six Latino voters in Texas argue the way we elect judges for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court violates the Voting Rights Act because it denies Latino voters an equal opportunity to elect judges of their choice.