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September 25, 2020      6:13 PM

Federal judge in Laredo blocks repeal of straight ticket voting in Texas

U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo grants temporary injunction, saying "By creating mass lines at the polls and increasing the amount of time voters are exposed to COVID-19, HB 25 will cause irreparable injury" to Texas voters

Here’s the order.

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September 25, 2020      5:45 PM

People on the Move

Staffer promotions, agency hires, appointments, and more

For so many of you, it’s been a year of clients either letting you go or saying they can’t pay for a few months but they want to retain you anyway. Business is starting to come back for many as we head into the last quarter but others are still hurting. Hang in there. You’re not alone. Call me if you need anything.

It sort of feels like the legislative session is right around the corner but the election still has to be sorted out along with a speaker’s race which still has little if any shape. Then, as our reporting the past couple weeks indicates, it’s anyone’s guess as to how the session will actually be conducted. Make sure your relationships are solid because the bulk of your work may be reduced to calls, texts, and emails.

Meantime, there’s career news to share. You can always tell the Texas Capitol community what’s up by reaching out to ksbraddock@gmail.com. When you do, use POTM in the subject line. Thanks very much.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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September 25, 2020      5:30 PM

Facing serious Democratic challenge, Rep. Stucky cites experience as veterinarian and legislator

Democrats hit him for past citations as a vet while Stucky is backed by veterinarian and animal rights groups

Editor’s note: Democrats have accused Dr. Stucky of having his license suspended but that is not accurate. The story has been updated to reflect that – SB

“Being a veterinarian is a lot like being a state representative. You start early, pay attention and watch your step,” Rep. Lynn Stucky, R-Denton, who is running for his third term against Democrat Angela Brewer, says in a new video advertisement.

Stucky, who represents House District 64 in Denton County including Corinth, Denton, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas, and Shady Shores, talks about his accomplishments while testing the temperature of and injecting shots into two animals and checking a horse’s hooves. “Increased funding for women’s health? You got it. $5 billion more for public schools? There you go,” he says, also touting additional funding for the University of North Texas and Texas Women’s University. “We finally got that done too.”

Then he steps in a pile of cow manure. Staring at the screen on a porch, boots up, he looks at the camera.

“Did I mention this job’s a lot like being a state rep?” he asks.

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By James Russell

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September 25, 2020      12:30 PM

In flipped Texas House district south of Austin, Zwiener and Isaac battle it out amid a changing political landscape and a pandemic

Students returning to Texas State may not pack the punch they did in ‘18; Isaac slams Rep. Zwiener as a “socialist” while the incumbent doubles down on the same issues she rode to victory two years ago

The victory of Rep. Erin Zwiener of Driftwood was a particularly bright spot for Texas Democrats in 2018. On an election night that saw the Democrats pick up a dozen seats in the Texas House and two in the Texas Senate, Rep. Zwiener’s win unfolded in what many thought was still a staunchly conservative part of the state.

Her narrow victory with 51.6% of the vote over Republican Ken Strange gives the GOP some confidence that with the right candidate, it is largely suburban territory the majority party can retake this fall.

Rep. Zwiener was a political neophyte two years ago but her message of good government, protecting the Hill Country from environmental threats, expanding Medicaid, and increased public education spending seemed to resonate. She’s doubling down on all those same issues now.

But some dynamics are different. Make no mistake: This is one of the House seats the GOP has set its sights on reclaiming as they target outspokenly liberal Zwiener.

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By Andrew Turner

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September 25, 2020      12:04 PM

Video: Rep. Calanni up on TV

Katy Democrat's ad reintroduces her as a cancer survivor who, as a single mom, rebuilt and ran for office after Hurricane Harvey wrecked her home: "Gina Calanni knows a thing or two about beating the odds."

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September 24, 2020      5:48 PM

Video: Billed by Rep. Crenshaw as the greatest greatest joint campaign ad in history, Texas Reloaded is finally here

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September 23, 2020      5:30 PM

Updated: Texas GOP Chairman West, Ag Commissioner Miller, Dr. Hotze, and other Republicans sue Gov. Abbott over extension of early voting

Republican officeholders and activists ask Texas Supreme Court to block the extra week of early voting; they argue “Abbott seems to have forgotten that the Texas Constitution is not a document that he consults at his convenience”

Editor’s note: After the original publication of this story, Sen. Campbell sent a letter to the plaintiff’s attorney making clear she did not agree to be part of this lawsuit. The story is updated to reflect that. Also, the final filed version of the suit is now available at the end of the story. It's another story covered first in Quorum Report – SB

In a move that QR is told was privately discouraged by national Republicans, Republican Party of Texas Chairman Allen West, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, conservative activist Dr. Steve Hotze, Sen. Charles Perry, and others have signed onto a lawsuit against GOP Gov. Greg Abbott focused on his decision to extend early voting.

They want the Texas Supreme Court to block Abbott’s extension of early voting because, they argue, only the Legislature can make changes to the Election Code.

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By Scott Braddock

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September 23, 2020      5:20 PM

Texas organized labor launches what they are calling their largest electoral program in the modern era

Heading into the general election, organized labor in Texas is supporting what they’re calling their “largest electoral program in the modern era.”

“Texas working families have so much on the line this year,” said Rick Levy, who serves as President of the Texas AFL-CIO and as Chair of the Fair Shot Texas PAC. “In January, the Texas labor movement resolved that our 2020 motto would be ‘Rise Up, All In.’ And after six months of the pandemic crisis and a summer movement for racial justice, our resolve has only strengthened.”

“That’s why in addition to running an historic voter education program to union family voters through our affiliate unions and the AFL-CIO, this year the Texas labor movement is supporting the work of the Fair Shot Texas PAC,” Levy continued.

Check it out here.

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September 23, 2020      4:16 PM

Rep. Drew Darby asks Abbott to take a regional approach to reopening Texas bars

"Many businesses in my district are struggling to survive and numerous bar owners have contacted me with concerns over the prospective loss of their entire livelihoods," Rep. Darby wrote

A letter sent today to Gov. Greg Abbott from Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, can be downloaded here.

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September 22, 2020      6:40 PM

Significant funding flows to Luther and Springer as SD 30 special election enters the homestretch

Luther gets a boost from TPPF and Empower Texans Chairman Dunn while the business community comes to the aid of Springer; meantime those two duke it out on social media over support for Gov. Abbott and more

Before reporting a massive haul of campaign cash, rebel salon owner Shelley Luther was confronted by the man she hopes to succeed in the Texas Senate, Sen. Pat Fallon of Prosper. In a video shared with Quorum Report, which you can see here, Fallon confronts Luther at a candidate event in Grayson County about her lack of involvement in Republican politics.

“Do you want me to go to jail? Is that your standard?” Fallon asked, referring to Luther’s arrest opening her Dallas area salon in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott’s coronavirus orders.

“Yes!” Luther said. “You have to stand up.”

“So, you need to go to jail to get elected? Got it,” Fallon shoots back during the tense exchange.

You don’t need to go to jail to get elected – though it could prove key in this race – but you do need resources. With just seven days until the special election to replace Fallon, who is running for Congress, there’s a lot of campaign cash flowing, according to the eight-day reports.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By James Russell

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September 22, 2020      6:38 PM

In new ad, Democratic group slams Rep. Goldman on preexisting conditions

Forward Majority is the group that recently announced $6.2 million for Texas House races across the state

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September 22, 2020      3:09 PM

Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, announces he is withdrawing support of Gov. Greg Abbott as governor

"By your demonstrated lack of leadership, you have betrayed the trust of conservative Texans across the state," Toth wrote to Abbott. "As a former ardent supporter, I must condemn your management of the State's response and formally announce that I am withdrawing my personal support of your actions."

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September 22, 2020      9:21 AM

Video: Rep. Craig Goldman, in tough race against Elizabeth Beck, blasts radical left, rioters, and looters

"These are not garden variety Democrats," the video warns

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September 22, 2020      9:16 AM

Secretary of State Hughs says there are now 16,617,436 registered voters in Texas in Texas, a new record

That's as of this month

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September 21, 2020      5:11 PM

SB: So, about all those Texas House polls

Sources say Gov. Abbott’s chief strategist Carney told lobby and the Texas House GOP that the Democratic polls can’t be trusted, but he declined to offer any numbers; Republicans forge ahead with slightly modified field programs in the pandemic

After months of the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee sharing polling information, albeit incomplete, with lobbyists in Austin, the Texas House GOP Caucus this past week convened a Zoom lobby briefing with Gov. Greg Abbott’s chief strategist Dave Carney to push back on the idea that the minority party will capture the majority this fall.

It wasn’t a call for the media, but multiple sources tell Quorum Report that Carney was dismissive of the idea that Democrats have the wind at their backs and even argued it is possible Republicans could expand their majority in the Texas House.


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By Scott Braddock

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September 21, 2020      4:58 PM

Houston-to-Dallas bullet train given green light from feds, company says

“This is the moment we have been working towards,” said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central Railroad, but Rep. Kevin Brady says that statement is "far from accurate."

The latest from the Houston Chronicle:

“This is the moment we have been working towards,” said Carlos Aguilar, CEO of Texas Central Railroad. Railroad administration officials submitted the final rules Sept. 11 and made them publicly available Monday.

But Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, told Quorum Report that Aguilar’s statement was “far from accurate.” Brady noted that the Federal Railroad Administration decision has been long expected, and “simply marks the completion of its efforts to develop standards for high-speed rail in the U.S.”

“FRA has made it clear that this does not give TCR the power of eminent domain, nor does it give authority to begin construction,” Brady said. “The lawmakers, landowners and rural communities along the route who oppose this project look forward to this application process because we believe it will finally force TCR to publicly disclose their shaky financial projections to the STB, reveal why potential investors have abandoned the project and why taxpayers will likely be on the hook when it ultimately fails.”

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September 21, 2020      4:15 PM

Rep. Howard calls on Gov. Abbott to release a plan for allocating remaining $5.7 billion in CARES Act funding for Texas

“Gov. Abbott has already rejected calling the Legislature for a special session...If he insists on having the final say, then he must assure us that he has a plan to spend these funds before the deadline" of Dec 31.

A senior Democrat who enjoys bipartisan respect in her role on the Texas House Appropriations Committee on Monday called on Gov. Greg Abbott to spell out the way that he will allocate significant remaining federal coronavirus aid sent to Texas earlier this year.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, noted that under the CARES Act, Texas received $11.24 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund created by Congress. So far, $5.67 billion has been appropriated from the CRF. Under federal law, that money must be allocated by the state prior to Dec. 31.

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By Scott Braddock

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September 21, 2020      4:11 PM

Texas Democratic Party rolls out six figure digital GOTV ad buy for general election

“With the voter registration deadline two weeks from today, our ads are targeting high-potential voters who will likely vote blue if we talk to them about the importance of voting.”

The news comes via The Hill.

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September 21, 2020      4:04 PM

Quorum Radio Report: Checking in on SD 30, the battle over the RBG successor, and more

Editor Scott Braddock and KFYO Host Chad Hasty discuss the news of the day

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September 19, 2020      3:48 PM

Chairman Drew Springer and his wife are in 14 day quarantine after she tested positive for COVID-19, Springer says

This news comes one day after the revelation that his fellow candidate for SD 30 received a $1 million loan from Empower Texans Chairman Tim Dunn

Texas House Agriculture and Livestock Committee Chairman Drew Springer will now be essentially sidelined for the rest of the special election for Senate District 30 after his wife tested positive for COVID-19 this past week, Springer told Quorum Report on Saturday.

The rest of the story, subscribers only

By Scott Braddock

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September 18, 2020      1:50 PM

People on the Move

Significant career milestones, appointments, staffer moves, lobby moves, and more

Time to hit the road for campaigns.

See you all soon in DFW, Houston, Senate District 30 and elsewhere. It’s coming down to the wire with one side sharing polls, the other boasting of robust field programs, and the lobby caught in between. Don’t you love it?

Usually I’ve put thousands of miles on the truck by this time in the election cycle, checking out races all over Texas. The pandemic has changed attitudes and campaign strategies in various parts of the state. But it would seem there’s still no better way to gauge what’s actually happening than to be on the ground in the districts. Will report back to you.

Meantime, there were significant career milestones for some of you this week. Keep the career news coming to ksbraddock@gmail.com anytime and use POTM in the subject line for faster service. Please and thank you.

Here’s the latest edition of People on the Move.

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By Scott Braddock

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September 18, 2020      11:56 AM

Consumer advocates ask Abbott to appoint an Insurance Commissioner who will put Texans first

Some of their preferred candidates would be Doug Slape, Melissa Hamilton, and Birny Birnbaum

The letter can be read in full by downloading it here.

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September 18, 2020      10:07 AM

Texas Realtors support Chairman Drew Springer for Senate District 30

Springer's "years of valuable experience will enable him to hit the ground running...and we are looking forward to working him in the Texas Senate on behalf of property owners in our state," said TREPAC Chairman Tony Lloyd.

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