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September 22, 2018      1:39 PM

HK: In the hand to hand combat of their first debate Ted dominated Beto

Not a knockout by any stretch but Cruz laid out a potentially effective campaign playbook; any illusions O’Rourke may have had about his opponent are gone

Last night’s debate between Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O’Rourke confirmed for each side’s true believers the superiority of their candidate. Cruz confirmed his unflinchingly partisan and conservative credentials with a litany of administration accomplishments while jamming half-true accusations in an almost staccato style to O’Rourke. 

With few exceptions, O’Rourke stayed on his message of hope, optimism and unifying the country but in the context of the engagement and for those just learning about the candidates, Cruz controlled the debate.

The biggest takeaway of the night was that while Cruz missed no opportunity to try and define his opponent, O’Rourke’s attempt at sustaining an upbeat message missed opportunity after opportunity to call the incumbent to account for his record.

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By Harvey Kronberg

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September 21, 2018      12:28 PM

People on the Move

A new senator, a major retirement, new hires at lobby shops, and more

Well, the first person on the move this week has to be Senator elect Pete Flores, a mild-mannered conservative retired game warden who made national headlines by winning his seat in South Texas’ special election Tuesday. Welcome to the Texas Legislature, sir. It’s the best show in town and your chance to make a difference for real people.

One observer quipped “With 21 Republican senators, can the Texas Senate go back to the two-thirds rule now? Kidding, of course.” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pushed in all his chips on a longshot and won big. Now, he’s got as many as three GOP seats to defend in the fall. As Democrats not named Pete Gallego or Christian Archer will tell you, it’s not as if the minority party put up much of a fight in Senate District 19. Apparently “Vote for Pete” wasn’t the optimal message in this race.

Meantime, some big career news to pass along this week in the lobby. The Quorum Report audience loves nothing better than to gossip about each other, so feel free to send along career news about you or yourself anytime to ksbraddock@gmail.com and put POTM in the subject line. Thanks for all your submissions this week.

Here’s Texas’ weekly edition of People on the Move:

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By Scott Braddock

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September 21, 2018      12:23 PM

Video: Justin Nelson ad focuses on Paxton stealing a pen at the courthouse where he was indicted

Justin Nelson, he won't steal your pen, the ad says

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September 21, 2018      7:47 AM

Cook Political moves Texas Senate race to toss-up column

The Cook Political Report updated its rating for Texas's Senate race on Friday from leans Republican to toss-up amid new polls showing Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) in a tight race with Sen. Ted Cruz (R).

Via The Hill:

Cook's authors did not immediately give any explanation for the ratings change, but the move follows a series of polls showing Cruz with at most a single-digit lead over his insurgent opponent, who has outraised Cruz by millions since the year began.

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September 20, 2018      5:30 PM

Updated: Under pressure, TRS board holds the line on TRS-Care Benefits

No changes made to premiums, benefits

The Teacher Retirement System has taken no action to increase healthcare premiums for retired teachers this morning, heeding the call of Senate leadership and possibly putting the legislature on the hook for $238 million.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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September 20, 2018      5:15 PM

City of Houston says TCEQ ignores data in draft plan for distribution of Volkswagen settlement

Meantime in San Antonio, health officials say “There is a region-wide urgency and commitment to meet the standard in less than three years and avoid more severe regulations.”

Houston leaders are crying foul as Texas’ draft plan to distribute a $209 million settlement with Volkswagen sends almost three times as much money to San Antonio as it does to the Bayou City.

Volkswagen was directed to create a $2.9 billion environmental mitigation trust fund as part of its restitution to reduce diesel emissions. The car manufacturer also set aside $10 billion to retrofit existing Volkswagen vehicles and $2 billion to create a national zero emission vehicle investment plan.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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September 19, 2018      5:02 PM

Lawmakers urge HHSC to move on contracting reforms, promise new action on agency contracts in 86th

Chair Nelson says contracting problems don’t appear to have anything to do with the size of the agency or where the division is on an organizational chart, instead it’s a failure to elevate the problems “to a top level at which the legislature believes it should be”

Lawmakers are urging the Health and Human Service Commission to aggressively move forward on contracting changes and not wait on what is expected to be a third round of legislation intended to address contracting problems at multiple state agencies.

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By Kimberly Reeves

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September 19, 2018      5:00 PM

Press Releases: SD 19 reactions, wrecking ball, endorsements, and silence from Sid Miller

Click the Press Releases button above for the latest

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