Politics

Politics
9:03 am
Wed June 27, 2012

'Guardian' Publishes Allegations Of Collusion In Mexican Presidential Race

Student protesters stage a demonstration front of Mexico's Federal Election Commission on Tuesday in Mexico City.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:01 pm

Two big pieces of news in Mexico's presidential race today:

-- A new poll finds that the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto has maintained a big lead over his rivals Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Josefina Vázquez Mota. The election is this Sunday and a few polls before this one showed Obrador had narrowed the gap.

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2012 Presidential Election
8:21 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Romney's Next Challenge: Woo Skeptical Republicans

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets attendees at the conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials in Orlando, Fla., on June 21. The presumptive GOP nominee took knocks from congressional Republicans during the party's presidential primaries.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 10:30 am

The battering Mitt Romney took from Republican rivals during the primary made big news. What seemed less noteworthy at the time — the knocks he took from Republicans in Congress — is now much more significant if there is to be a President Romney.

"He's the least of the candidates running right now that would be considered a Tea Party candidate," Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., told CNN.

After Romney won Florida, GOP Rep. Allen West told CBS that Romney has to do a far better job in "making the appeal as far as being a strong constitutional conservative."

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U.S. Senate
1:04 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Cruz and Dewhurst Set to Go One-on-One in TV Debate

Jennifer Whitney, Texas Tribune

Two candidates. Two lecterns. One stage.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Solicitor General Ted Cruz will participate Friday night in their first televised debate since advancing to the Republican U.S. Senate runoff after the May 29 primary.

It will also be the first such event to feature only Cruz and Dewhurst, which is likely to create a different dynamic than previous debates in which they shared the stage with other candidates.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

House Committee Cites Attorney General Holder For Contempt

Attorney General Eric Holder during congressional testimony in 2011.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 3:46 pm

Acting along partisan lines, with a vote of 23 to 17, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted this afternoon to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. Republicans, who control the committee, say Holder's Justice Department has not turned over all the documents that the committee needs to see as it probes the so-called Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation.

And they want to know more about why the Justice Department initially told a senator that it had not pursued such an operation.

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Immigration
3:35 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Polls: Obama's Immigration Changes Get Broad Voter Support

President Obama talks about his decision to stop deporting some young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 3:01 pm

Early indications suggest President Obama has a majority of voters on his side with his decision to defer deportation proceedings for young illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions.

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Politics
8:51 am
Mon June 18, 2012

President Obama's Immigration Shift Could Bolster Latino Support In November

Supporters of President Obama's announcement on immigration policy rally outside the White House Friday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 3:00 pm

President Obama's decision to stop deporting young, otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants could help rebuild his support among electorally important Latinos after 18 months of futile efforts, some activists said Friday.

"There is overwhelming support for the protection of these children, as there is in the rest of the country. I think this could have an energizing effect on Latino voters," says Clarissa Martinez del Castro, director of immigration and national campaigns for National Council of La Raza.

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Immigration
4:09 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

With DREAM Order, Obama Did What Presidents Do: Act Without Congress

President Obama on Friday announced he was using his executive power to give some young illegal immigrants the right to stay longer in the United States.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 12:12 pm

President Obama's announcement Friday that he is using his executive authority to defer deportation proceedings for young immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally but meet certain requirements was just the latest example of the president's use of his power to act without Congress on policy issues.

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Immigration
11:05 am
Fri June 15, 2012

DHS to Grant Relief for Some Young Illegal Immigrants

A boy waves an American flag at an immigration rally held in Dallas on May Day.
Caleb Bryant Miller, Texas Tribune

The Obama administration announced Friday that, effective immediately, it will begin issuing work permits and grant relief from deportation to certain illegal immigrants brought to the country before they were 16 years old and are currently younger than 30.

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Immigration
10:22 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Obama Offers Work Permit Program to Undocumented Residents with Clean Backgrounds

The Mexico-California border.
Flickr user qbac07, flickr.com/30816404@N04

The Obama Administration announced sweeping changes to immigration enforcement policy today: effective immediately, young, undocumented residents of the U.S. with clean backgrounds “will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings.”

The announcement comes from U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization,” the statement continues.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Constitution's 'Supreme Being' Clause Targeted Again

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

In January, an atheist group will lobby the state Legislature to overturn an obscure clause in the Texas Constitution — one that says candidates for public office must believe in a higher power. The group is following in the litigious footsteps of the late Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who 30 years ago challenged the same provision as an attempt to establish a state religion.

In Article 1, Section 4, the Texas Constitution states: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.” 

In other words, the Constitution maintains freedom of religion, but appears to bar atheists from holding state office. 

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Immigration
8:42 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Obama's Deportation Policies Have Failed, Immigrant Advocates Say

Audience members listen to President Obama speak about immigration reform in El Paso, Texas, in May 2011. The Obama campaign is wooing Hispanics ahead of the November elections, but the president's deportation policy is being criticized by immigrant advocates.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 7:16 pm

Criticism of the Obama administration's deportation policies continues to pour in as previously supportive groups called the latest government effort a failure.

Immigrant advocates on Monday condemned the administration's recent findings that a policy designed to reduce the deportations of otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants has had almost no effect.

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Politics
4:37 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

With a Runoff, Dynamics Change in Senate Race

Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

Even with nine candidates in the Republican primary to replace United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, just about everybody bet on Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to win outright.

Instead, he is in a runoff against Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor general, an energetic opponent who tapped into the anti-establishment vein in the Texas Republican Party. Dewhurst is still the front-runner, but he is no longer the inevitability presented throughout the spring.

And now the spotlight is brighter. Dewhurst and Cruz don’t have to compete for attention with a presidential race or contests in other states. National political reporters looking for things to cover are more likely than normal to be planning visits to the Texas barbecue trail. They — like the people they cover — are trying to connect the dots this election year, to figure out whether there is any theme or trend in the results.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Texas Democrats Elect Their First Hispanic Chairman

June 9th, 2012: Newly elected Chair of the Texas Democratic Party Gilberto Hinojosa.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for Texas Tribune

Texas Democrats, trying to compete in a state that overwhelmingly favors Republican candidates for executive, legislative and judicial offices, elected their first Hispanic chairman Saturday.

In a reflection of the state’s burgeoning Hispanic growth and the party’s longtime success with Latinos, delegates overwhelmingly elected Gilberto Hinojosa as the next party chairman. He will replace outgoing chairman Boyd Richie, who announced in April 2011 that he would not seek another term after six years on the job.

Hinojosa successfully breathed some life into the sparse crowd on the convention floor with a fiery speech before the delegates cast an overwhelming majority of votes in his favor.

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Politics
4:59 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

After Afternoon With Cruz, Santorum Addresses Texas GOP

Rick Santorum tells stories from his failed presidential campaign June 8, 2012 at the Texas Republican Convention.
Bob Daemmrich for Texas Tribune

FORT WORTH — Rick Santorum wooed a friendly audience with tales of campaign misadventures while avoiding aggravating divisions among his fellow Republicans on Friday night when he addressed a room full of state party leaders at a Texas GOP gala fundraiser.  

The former Pennsylvania senator has endorsed Ted Cruz in his bid against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to become the state's next U.S. senator and replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, but Santorum made no mention of it during his speech.

Cruz and Dewhurst are pitted in a heated runoff that has exposed the division between the grassroots and establishment wings of the GOP — a division that has been on display at the convention. On Thursday, when Gov. Rick Perry praised Dewhurst as the best candidate to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, members of the crowd loudly booed. When Dewhurst took the stage today, some greeted him with jeers and shouts of "Cruz!" but the noise was quickly shushed by others in the audience. 

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Politics
4:56 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

For Texas GOP, A New Position On Immigration Reform

The group Hispanic Republicans of Texas at a news conference Nov. 3, 2010.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for Texas Tribune

Late Friday night, Texas Republicans approved an unprecedented change to their official party platform: a call for a national guest-worker program.

The more moderate language is a welcoming gesture to Hispanics who have avoided the GOP because of what they view as its hardline position on immigration issues. 

"It takes away a tool that Democrats have used for years to drive a wedge between conservative Hispanics and Republicans," said TexasGOPvote.com's Bob Price, who is also a delegate at the Republican Party's state convention.

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Politics
11:15 am
Sat June 9, 2012

Castros, Parker on the Future of Texas Democrats

Joaquin (left) and Julian (right) Castro.
Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

A charismatic personality isn't going to end the Texas Democratic Party long electoral drought, three prominent local officeholders said Friday. But bickering Republicans and a renewed effort to build their party and their bench of candidates will help bring Texas Democrats back into statewide office.

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Politics
2:37 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

'Birther' Pains for Dewhurst at GOP Convention

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaking today at the state GOP convention in Fort Worth
Ben Philpott, KUT News

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst – a candidate for the U.S. Senate – seemed to be taken off guard today when he was confronted during his speech with shouts from "birthers," people who believe Barack Obama has fooled the nation into electing a foreign national as United States president.

The speech didn’t start well for Dewhurst – an establishment Republican candidate locked in a bitter runoff race with tea party favorite Ted Cruz. People began booing him as he started his speech. Or maybe they were chanting “Cruz.” Or maybe, as Governor Perry suggested after an event yesterday, they were simply chanting, “Dew!” for Dewhurst.

Whatever it was, others in the audience shushed the jeers, and Dewhurst delivered a red meat speech that appeared to be well-received.

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Politics
11:28 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Why State Conventions, Besides the Funny Hats?

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Are political conventions necessary?

Texas Democrats are in Houston for their state convention. Texas Republicans are in Fort Worth for the same thing. The Libertarians are meeting this weekend near DFW Airport, and the Green Party is having its convention outside of San Antonio.

It’s actually easier to make the convention case for the Libertarians and the Greens, who use their gatherings to put people on the ballot, because they don’t hold primary elections.

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Politics
10:15 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Outgoing Texas Democratic Chairman Highlights Victories

Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie at the 2010 Texas Democratic convention in Corpus Christi, Tex. on June 26.
Spencer Selvidge, Texas Tribune

HOUSTON — Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie said Thursday during his final convention as the party’s leader that despite his disappointment in being unable to propel a candidate to victory in a statewide race during his six-year tenure, the party should still reflect on the significant milestones it has accomplished.

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12:24 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

At GOP Convention, Applause for Perry (But Boos for Dewhurst)

Lead in text: 
Gov. Rick Perry delivered a speech this morning filled with red meat for his Republican base, and allusions to his political future, writes KUT News' reporting partners the Texas Tribune. But Perry's support for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wasn't as well received. The Trib has a transcript of the Governor's full remarks.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking at the state’s Republican convention on Thursday, fueled speculation that he’ll run for re-election, saying he was “not riding into the sunset” but “mounting up for the next operation.”

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