Politics

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If Bernie Sanders surprises pollsters and confounds expectations in the New York primary on Tuesday, April 19, his backers and staff will trumpet the effect of his ninth debate with rival Hillary Clinton on the night of April 14.

They will say the relentlessly aggressive strategy Sanders pursued in the latest CNN debate, with its steady stream of attacks on Clinton, provided the defining moment in a long campaign for a nomination that remains up for grabs.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:Texas Gov. Greg Abbott believes allegations that Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller misused state funds when he took two out-of-state trips a year ago should be investigated, a spokesman for the governor said on Thursday. 

This week on The Ticket: KUT’s Ben Philpott dives back into the Donald Trump Presidential campaign. First he’ll talk with Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey about whether or not journalists should be blamed for Trump’s rise to GOP frontrunner.

Then he’ll chat with This American Life producer Zoe Chase about an historical political strategy being invoked by some conservatives to keep Trump from getting elected President: The Hamilton Rule.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: The criminal case against former Gov. Rick Perry was officially dismissed on Wednesday, weeks after Texas' highest criminal court ordered that it be dropped

Judge Bert Richardson, who presided over the case in Travis County and now serves on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, signed an order dismissing the abuse of power indictment related to a 2013 veto threat. 

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller posted a photo on Facebook of President Obama grinning and holding a Che Guevara T-shirt. Was it real? KUT's Nathan Bernier asks Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas.


Michael Stravato, via Texas Tribune

Starting this morning, Texas lawmakers will spend two days discussing the state’s Medicaid program. On the docket is a look at services and ways to cut costs, but there's a big question looming in the discussion of whether a big chunk of that Medicaid money will even be there next year.

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin primaries Tuesday night, an important step for both candidates as they look to stop their leading rivals and close their delegate gaps.

For the Republican Texas senator, he's on pace for a nearly double-digit win over Donald Trump, increasing the likelihood of a contested Republican convention this July in Cleveland.

There's a lot on the line for both parties in Tuesday's Wisconsin contest. For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the state is a prime chance to stop Donald Trump and complicate the GOP front-runner's path to the nomination. For Bernie Sanders, a win over Hillary Clinton helps close his delegate deficit and gives the Vermont senator new momentum heading into the next stretch of the primary calendar.

Calafellvalo via Flickr

Believe it or not, Texas is not among a short list of states that prohibits fetal tissue research. Advocates and researchers say that’s a good thing, because Texas is among a list of states that would be affected if the Zika virus makes it into the U.S. mosquito population. 


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

A simple label-change from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could have a sweeping impact on access to medication abortions in Texas. The federal agency announced on Wednesday it’s updating how the pill — not an emergency contraceptive like Plan B, but a medication taken to induce abortions — should be administered.


Jorge Sanhueza Lyon/KUT

Despite the excitement and wall-to-wall media coverage of this year’s presidential nominating contests, Texas still had one of the lowest voter participation rates during this year’s primaries – about 21 percent. 

Some Texans are trying to fix this problem by innovating the way we administer elections here in the Lone Star State.

Patrick Svitek/Texas Tribune

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have stumped for Ted Cruz for president but there's no record he voted in this year's Republican primary in Texas. A spokesman for Perry suggested his ballot may have been lost in the mail.

Shelby Tauber/Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Ted Cruz is moving further than ever away from his pledge to support Donald Trump if he is the Republican presidential nominee as the Texas senator combats a series of personal attacks from the billionaire and his supporters.

"I don't make a habit out of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my family, and Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican nominee," Cruz told reporters Friday afternoon, his clearest suggestion yet that he could not back the billionaire if he is the GOP's standard-bearer in the general election. 

Screenshot via YouTube

This week on The Ticket 2016: While we're waiting for the parties to figure out who will be the nominees, the Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott will talk about the ads and media strategy that have helped shape the campaigns so far. 

Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz each notched victories in Tuesday's Western contests, but Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's big wins in Arizona still mean their overall delegate lead won't change much.

On the Democratic side, Sanders won big victories in the Utah and Idaho caucuses, but the much smaller prizes could end up netting him roughly the same number of delegates Clinton will get from her Arizona win.

Just after President Obama and I concluded our interview — and after the microphones and cameras clicked off — he added a thought.

Senate Republicans' vow not to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, he said, could have profound consequences for the high court and the justices themselves.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

This week on The Ticket 2016: The Texas Tribune's Jay Root and KUT's Ben Philpott will try to explain what could happen at this summer's Republican National Convention if none of the candidates have enough delegates to become the nominee. 

The GOP presidential field dropped by one candidate on Tuesday night, but Republicans are still no closer to uniting behind a nominee.

Democrats, however, did get more clarity as Hillary Clinton racked up more wins over Bernie Sanders, extending her delegate lead and complicating the Vermont senator's nomination calculation.

Jamie Lovegrove/Texas Tribune

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott repudiated President Barack Obama’s recent criticisms of the state’s voter laws on Monday, arguing that Texas must remain vigilant against voter fraud.


Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

At a packed Travis County GOP executive committee meeting Tuesday night, it took less than a minute for someone to acknowledge the elephant not in the room.

“Give us wisdom to deal with the situation that we’re in,” Peggy Bower prayed during the opening invocation, to a chorus of quiet amens. “We pray this can be used as a lesson to everyone about how important it is to stay informed.”

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