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Some conservative Republican lawmakers are getting set to harness the force of the national Tea Party movement in the Texas Legislature.   State senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) has announced the creation of the Tea Party caucus in the Texas Legislature.  Senator Patrick announced the creation in an Thursday morning e-mail, saying the group will support its members when they need help pushing legislation that reflects the Tea Party's core values...and, "challenge them when they stray."

A South Texas lawmaker has been found guilty of multiple crimes in a case involving allegations that he sold access to the legislature.  The Austin American-Statesman reports the jury returned a verdict this morning for State Rep. Kino Flores (D-Mission).

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Millions of dollars have funneled into the Texas legislative campaigns over the last month as interest groups try to maximize their influence in the upcoming election. The donations, primarily from trial lawyers and business owners around the area, have come late so as to reduce the exposure of the donors themselves.

Some contribute late so that donators can ride the coattails of a winning campaign. As The Austin American-Statesman reports:

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Photo courtesy TDS website

The Texas Republican Party just revealed the location of its election night celebration: the Texas Disposal Systems Exotic Game Ranch. 

Image courtesy United States Congress

Local media is swarming around the Travis County Criminal Justice Complex this afternoon for the first day of jury selection in Tom DeLay's trial on money laundering and conspiracy charges. DeLay is the former-Republican House Majority Leader who is accused of conspiring to launder $190,000 in corporate cash to political campaigns. DeLay insists he's innocent.

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