July 6, 2022      10:22 AM

Rep. Huberty, Charles Butt, and others take over Moak Casey, the largest public school consulting firm in Texas

Moak Casey, the largest public school consulting firm in the state, has new leadership including HEB Chairman Charles Butt and retiring Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Humble.

Per a news release this morning:

By Scott Braddock

July 6, 2022      10:20 AM

Whole Woman's Health, an independent provider of abortions in Texas for 20 years, will relocate to New Mexico

July 6, 2022      9:44 AM

UT Texas Politics Project Poll: Abbott leads Beto by 6 points

The poll also shows a record high percentage of Texans believe the state is on the wrong track; majorities oppose outright ban on abortion

James Henson, Director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, wrote:

“The results from several items on abortion and guns illustrate that state policies pursued in these areas by Texas Republicans in the 2021 legislative session remain at odds with the views of a majority of Texans, including large shares of Republicans. In a result consistent with years of previous polling on the subject, only 15% of Texans agreed that “abortion should never be permitted,” including only 23% of Republicans.”

The full results are here. Depending on your browser, you may have to right click the link and open in a new tab.

July 5, 2022      6:30 PM

TPPF Senior Fellow among Trump allies subpoenaed in Georgia criminal investigation

From the New York Times this evening:

Two other Trump lawyers were also subpoenaed: Jacki Pick Deason, who helped make the Trump team’s case before the Georgia legislature, and Kenneth Chesebro, whose role has come into sharper focus during the House Jan. 6 hearings in Washington. In an email exchange with Mr. Eastman in the run-up to the Jan. 6 attack, he wrote that the Supreme Court would be more likely to act on a Wisconsin legal challenge “if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way.”

Most of those subpoenaed could not be immediately reached for comment. A spokesman for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, where Ms. Deason is a senior fellow, declined to comment.

July 5, 2022      5:07 PM

Sen. Gutierrez and Uvalde Mayor McLaughlin ask Abbott to replace Uvalde County District Attorney as head of victim assistance

The letter from Sen. Roland Gutierrez and Mayor Don McLaughlin to Gov. Greg Abbott can be downloaded here.

July 5, 2022      10:02 AM

Beto and the TDP announce a coordinated campaign director

Amid some private grumbling from down ballot Democrats, effort at coordination aims to "elect Democrats up and down the ballot who will go to work for the people of Texas.”

The Texas Democratic Party and the campaign of Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday announced the hiring of a coordinated campaign director – something needed amid private grumbling from down ballot Democratic candidates frustrated with a lack of any sort of effort at coordination by O’Rourke.

Lauren Harper, whose resume includes working on O’Rourke’s brief presidential campaign, will serve in the role.

By Scott Braddock

July 4, 2022      8:23 AM

Former East Texas State Senator Bill Haley passed away: Passed the biggest education reform to date, HB 72

Elected to the House in 1978, went to Senate in 1989, served until 1995. Lobbied for public education afterwards. Arrangements pending

July 2, 2022      11:57 AM

Uvalde ISD Police Chief resigns from city council

The news via the Uvalde Leader News:

Pete Arredondo told the Uvalde Leader-News on Friday that he is resigning from his seat on the Uvalde City Council. Arredondo, the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief, was elected to the District 3 council position on May 7 and was sworn into the role on May 31, days after the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, where 21 people died.

Arredondo maintains he was not the incident commander that day. Community members as well as the Texas Department of Public Safety director Steven McCraw have criticized Arredondo and other law enforcement officers for waiting more than an hour to enter classrooms where the shooter and injured and dying students and teachers were located.

July 2, 2022      9:00 AM

In overnight ruling, Texas Supreme Court allows for civil enforcement of 1925 total abortion ban

June 30, 2022      9:00 PM

HK: Wargaming politics and elections in Texas after the Supreme Court overturned Roe

It almost seems pre-ordained that Beto will squander the Roe opportunity by focusing on the danger to 1% of the population that is LGBTQ instead of the 53% of the Texas population legislated into second class citizen status

Despite being fully forewarned, the public reaction to the Supreme Court Dobbs decision landed like a lightning bolt on an already unusually volatile political environment. The competition for headlines is enormous amidst a war in Ukraine, inflation, gun violence, and women’s health issues.

The decision dramatically raises the stakes of the next session of the Legislature because the current statutory scheme in Texas effectively prohibits all abortions with no exceptions – a position that does not even come close to matching national and state polling of the general electorate on the issue. Nevertheless, Texas Republicans remain sanguine presuming it to be yet another storm to weather.

With President Joe Biden’s approval hovering around 40% in Texas, $5 gas, the border in daily headlines, and “attacks” on guns, Texas Republicans perhaps appropriately believe there is little to worry about in the current election lineup. With redistricting locked down, the wind is even more at their backs.

But that confidence may be misplaced.

By Harvey Kronberg

June 30, 2022      7:15 PM

Uvalde Mayor favors Texas House approach to investigating Robb Elementary School shooting, dismisses Texas Senate hearing

During a special meeting of the Uvalde City Council, Mayor Don McLaughlin voiced an appreciation for the way Texas House leadership is handling their probe into the massacre at Robb Elementary School. Mayor McLaughlin, who not unlike Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been a semi-regular guest on Fox News Channel, added that the Texas Senate’s public hearing in Austin was of little value.

The only witness before the Senate, he said, was Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw.

Mayor McLaughlin said he appreciated the closed-door proceedings of the House, "because they're trying to get witnesses to be more candid to talk and tell their story more truthfully than they would in a public setting."

But in the Senate, McLaughlin said “You had nobody from Uvalde, nobody from anywhere else. The DPS commander is the only one who spoke."

It is also becoming apparent now that many of the people who live in Uvalde are also aggravated to have seen the DPS commander presenting his most detailed account how the tragedy unfolded to lawmakers before anyone in the local community was given that information.

Developing…

June 29, 2022      4:18 PM

After migrant deaths in San Antonio, Abbott orders new round of truck inspections at the border

The news flash from Bob Garrett at the Dallas Morning News:

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday ordered state police to resume inspecting trucks entering Texas from Mexico after 53 migrants died in a tractor-trailer abandoned near San Antonio. Abbott continued to blame President Joe Biden, saying the truck carrying Mexican and Central American migrants who died wasn’t inspected by Border Patrol agents because that federal agency lacks sufficient manpower.

The death toll among unauthorized immigrants crossing deserts or clambering into the back of trucks as temperatures soar will keep rising if Biden doesn’t act, Abbott warned. “I urge the president, stop the loss of life,” said Abbott, a two-term Republican who is up for re-election this year. “You have the ability to stop people from losing their lives if you make it clear that no one can come across illegally.”

June 28, 2022      10:56 AM

Gov. Abbott, Speaker Phelan, and Lt. Gov. Patrick announce $105.5 million investment in school security, mental health ahead of school year

After a bit of a tug of war between Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Speaker Dade Phelan about how to allocate state resources for the coming school year following the massacre in Uvalde, Gov. Greg Abbott and the two presiding officers on Tuesday morning announced an agreement to spend $105.5 million for security and mental health resources.

Per an announcement from them along with the Texas House and Senate’s top budget writers, a budget execution will provide the following:

By Scott Braddock

June 27, 2022      6:00 PM

Abbott campaign announces nearly $9 million ad buy on broadcast and cable

“This significant investment in ad time will allow Texans for Greg Abbott to secure prime ad slots in live sports programming and local news before they sell out”

The campaign of Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday morning announced an ad buy of $8.8 million on broadcast and cable ahead of the general election. “This significant investment in ad time will allow Texans for Greg Abbott to secure prime ad slots in live sports programming and local news before they sell out,” the campaign said in a statement.

“As I have crisscrossed the Lone Star State, I have seen the momentum building for a pro-freedom tidal wave this fall. This media buy will allow us to reach every corner of the state and speak directly to voters about the issues that matter most to them,” Abbott said. “Texans want to ensure that we continue to have a growing economy, improving schools, and a secure border. We'll use these ad buys to remind everyone across the Lone Star State that Texas is still the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

In addition to this, Abbott’s campaign had already announced buying $2.75 million in Hispanic media.

June 27, 2022      5:49 PM

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez withdraws as nominee to lead ICE

The latest via CBS News:

Ed Gonzalez, who was President Biden's nominee to be the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has withdrawn from consideration. The Harris County, Texas sheriff announced in a series of tweets that he informed the administration on Sunday of his decision, noting that it's been over a year since he was nominated, and Congress has yet to act on his nomination. Gonzalez is serving his second term as the sheriff of Texas' most populous county, where Houston is located. Gonzalez also pointed out that ICE "has not had a Senate-confirmed director since the Obama administration."

June 24, 2022      1:24 PM

Abortion services halted at clinics across Texas following SCOTUS ruling

June 24, 2022      9:15 AM

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, allowing states to ban abortions

June 24, 2022      9:10 AM

Texas Supreme Court rules Texas Central has eminent domain authority for plan to build high speed rail

Some supporters of the project, though, say it is "too little, too late."

June 23, 2022      4:48 PM

Retiring Congressman Gohmert among those who asked for a pardon after Jan 6 insurrection

The Hill has this news flash:

The Jan. 6 committee investigating the attack on the Capitol revealed Thursday that Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) Mo Brooks (Ala.) Louie Gohmert (Texas) and Andy Biggs (Ariz.) asked for a presidential pardon for their role in voting to overturn election results in certain states on Jan. 6, 2021.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a member of the panel who played an elevated role in Thursday’s proceedings, presented an email from Brooks, dated Jan. 11, 2021, in which the congressman asked for presidential pardons for himself, Gaetz, and lawmakers who objected to the Electoral College vote for Arizona and Pennsylvania.

“President Trump asked me to send you this letter. This letter is also pursuant to a request from Matt Gaetz,” the email reads.

June 23, 2022      9:56 AM

Approval rating for Cornyn essentially unchanged since he started leading gun reform talks in DC

Via Morning Consult:

A chorus of boos may have rained down on Sen. John Cornyn at the Texas GOP’s convention last week, but as the Texas Republican shepherds the Senate’s bipartisan gun safety legislation to the finish line, Morning Consult Political Intelligence tracking shows he’s maintaining his typical level of popularity at home, including among voters in his own party.

Cornyn’s approval rating among Texas voters:

-        A 43% plurality of Texas voters approve of Cornyn’s job performance, unchanged from surveys conducted just before the May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that prompted the latest gun control push on Capitol Hill. Just over a third (36%) disapprove of him, up 1 percentage point over that time frame.

-        Positive sentiment about Cornyn also hasn’t changed among Republicans, 68% of whom approve of his job performance. But since his involvement in the bipartisan gun legislation, the share who disapprove increased from 11% to 17%.

-        A third of independents (34%) in the Lone Star State approve of Cornyn, along with about 1 in 5 Democrats (22%).

June 22, 2022      3:30 PM

HK: Looking below the surface of the Texas GOP convention

An extra sour mood, some thoughts explaining the poor attendance, and the vision – or lack thereof – for the largest state GOP in the United States

HOUSTON – While some extraordinary headlines poured out of the Republican Party of Texas Convention this past week, it took a little while to sort out multiple subtexts of what it all meant.

Sure, the metaphors for the Convention were delegates booing a United States Senator who actually accomplishes things for Texas while the Junior Senator who generally lives for headline grabbing and inflammation was applauded. Then there were the two booths raffling away guns in the weeks after the Uvalde massacre in the smallest collection of RPT Convention exhibitors in at least 25 years.

And while the Platform Committee rejected a plank calling for the execution of women who had an abortion, the Convention did adopt a classic science-denying amendment to the platform declaring LGBQT humans “abnormal” and guilty of making “bad choices.” Of course, Texas secession and ongoing arguments about the validity of the 2020 election were ubiquitous themes.

But as detached from reality as both political conventions can often be, they do say something about the state of their party and the country.

Here are some of the takeaways that flew below the general reporting coverage.

By Harvey Kronberg

June 22, 2022      11:12 AM

Senator Gutierrez sues Texas DPS for Uvalde massacre records