Politics | KERA News

Politics

Political news from North Texas, across the state and beyond.

Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis announced Tuesday she raised $12.2 million in the last half of 2013 for her governor's campaign. Republican Greg Abbott reported raising $11.5 million in the same time period but says he has a total of $27 million on hand to wage his campaign. Political analysts say each candidate will need close to $40 million to be competitive if they become their parties' nominees as expected. Davis, who entered the race in October, currently has about half as much money her her campaign account as Abbott. But she's demonstrated an ability to keep pace with his fundraising in the past six months.

Harold Simmons Foundation

Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons left an important and pricey mark on American politics. The businessman, who helped fund the 2004 Swift Boat campaign against Democrat John Kerry, died Saturday. He was 82.

Texas Republicans can't get hold of enough guns.

Greg Abbott, the party's front-runner for governor, posed for a recent cover of Texas Monthly with a rifle over his shoulder. Nearly every other GOP statewide candidate has put out pictures or videos proudly displaying firearms.

Being an incumbent ain't what it used to be.

Texan John Cornyn is the No. 2 man in Senate GOP leadership and by most measures holds high conservative ratings — according to National Journal's rankings, he was the second most conservative senator in the last Congress.

Flickr

Sen. John Cornyn on Wednesday expressed confidence he’ll be the Republican Party’s nominee despite a last-minute challenge by Congressman Steve Stockman. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

The Dallas City Council passed a new, more restrictive gas drilling ordinance this afternoon. It includes a 1,500-foot setback from homes, businesses, schools and other so-called protected uses.

An 11th hour amendment was approved that requires a tougher two-thirds majority council vote to reduce the setback.

Tea party activists have been gunning for Sen. John Cornyn. But even they were surprised when Steve Stockman, a Republican Congressman from the Houston suburb of Friendswood, filed on the last possible day to run against Cornyn in the March Republican primary. 

Former Texas Republican Party Chair Tom Pauken is ending his campaign for governor saying he can no longer ask supporters and conservatives for help when there is "no realistic path to victory."

Wendy Davis made headlines earlier this year with her abortion rights filibuster heard around the nation. In September and October, she teased the Texas body politic with her gubernatorial guessing game.

After bursting into the race in early October with a big announcement in Fort Worth, the Davis campaign has hit the ground running, from Brownsville, to … Pharr, Texas?

So where’s Wendy Davis? That's what Paul Burka is asking.

The current dean of Texas political writers and senior executive editor at Texas Monthly, Burka sat down with KUT’s David Brown to discuss the Davis campaign. 

 

On the evening of Nov. 21, 1963, President John F. Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, walked through a wall of applause to take their place as honored guests in a Houston ballroom. They were making a brief stop at a formal dinner held by LULAC — the League of United Latin American Citizens — to show their appreciation for the Mexican-American votes that had helped the young president carry Texas in the 1960 election.

How Texas Changed, And Changed The Nation, Since JFK

Nov 17, 2013

Texas wasn't exactly a backwater in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, but it wasn't the economic and political powerhouse that it has become today.

Over the past 50 years, three of the nation's presidents have hailed from Texas.

"For the past few decades, Texas politicians have found a natural habitat on the national political stage in the way Dominican shortstops have found a natural habitat in baseball," the humorist Calvin Trillin wrote a couple of years ago.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Democrat Wendy Davis may be a candidate for governor, but Tuesday night in Dallas she became a central part of a debate among Republicans running for lieutenant governor.

Texas Senate

While four Republicans are battling hard in the race for lieutenant governor, Democrats are hoping to persuade a spunky Latina from San Antonio to run against them. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis both plan to officially file as candidates for governor on Saturday. It’s the first day of a month-long period where Democrats and Republicans can do that.

In Arlington Thursday night Rep. Chris Turner and Democrats urged State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio to join Davis on the ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor. 

Shutterstock

President Obama arrived in Dallas shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday and left around 9 p.m. KERA provided updates on 90.1 FM, as well as this blog.

Update, 9:03 p.m.: Air Force One has left Dallas Love Field. President Obama spent four hours in Dallas, making a speech at Temple Emanu-El to talk with volunteers who are helping people sign up for health care through the Affordable Care Act. He expressed frustration that Healthcare.gov has experienced technical issues, but says the website is improving. Later, Obama appeared at two private fundraisers. KERA's Lauren Silverman covered the president's Dallas visit and has more details.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

The Fort Worth school district will be able to offer pre-kindergarten to about 3,000 more children because of nearly $490 million in bonds that passed on Tuesday.

Erik Hersman / (cc) flickr

In Plano ISD, 63 percent of voters agreed Tuesday to a 13-cent increase in their school property tax rate, the maximum allowed by law.

KC Ivey / Flickr Creative Commons

Update, 11:25 p.m. Tuesday: Miguel Solis has been elected to the Dallas ISD school board. He won with 66 percent of the vote, defeating opponent Kristi Lara. Solis briefly worked for DISD's embattled Mike Miles as the superintendent's special assistant, but says that won’t make him a Miles “yes man.”

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If early voting is an indication, as many as one in four Dallas County voters may have to complete extra documentation when they vote Tuesday.

Shutterstock

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says criticism surrounding the state's first election under a new voter ID mandate is "overhyped" and being driven by partisans.
 
Abbott told The Associated Press on Monday that requiring some voters to sign affidavits was proven to be "no big deal" during early voting.

BJ Austin / KERA News

On Tuesday, Arlington voters could end the city’s 111-year-old patchwork ban on liquor sales in the city.  A proposition on the ballot would make all of Arlington "wet."

Wikimedia Commons

The lawmaker who sponsored the Proposition 6 water legislation on the Nov. 5 ballot is defending it from criticism leveled by a former state water board executive and a candidate for governor.

State Sen. Wendy Davis isn't the only governor's candidate who needs an affidavit to vote in the Nov. 5 election.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott will need one, too, Matt Hirsch, his campaign spokesman, told the San Antonio Express-News.

The newspaper reports that Abbott has a different name on his driver's license than what's on the voter rolls. Davis faced a similar issue on Monday when she voted early in Fort Worth.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democratic candidate for governor, had to sign an affidavit before she was allowed to vote early in Fort Worth on Monday. 

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Add gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis to the growing list of women who are having problems voting because of Texas' new photo ID law.

Davis, a Democratic state senator, was voting early in Fort Worth on Monday when poll workers made her sign an affidavit to verify her identity.

Why?

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz took a post-shutdown lap through his home state of Texas this week, appearing before crowds that overlooked the fact that the Republican who led the charge to kill money for President Barack Obama's health care law had failed.

Today, he'll be in Iowa, where Republicans have the first say in the presidential race -- and will view him much more skeptically.

Texas Tribune

Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns emailed supporters Wednesday with news that he will not run for the Texas Senate seat Wendy Davis now holds.

Burns said the "job he wants most" is the one he already has on the council.  

Burns was the Democrats' top pick to compete succeed Davis in Senate District 10 which leans Republican. 

PolitiFact.com

On the day that state Sen. Wendy Davis announced her candidacy for governor, Texas Right To Life released an ad claiming that Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, "opposes any limits on abortion." 

PolitiFact Texas researched the claim and rated it "false."   Here's the analysis.  

Senate TV

Sen. Ted Cruz found a receptive audience in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon, meeting with about 20 small business owners for nearly an hour in a closed-door meeting.

But they didn’t discuss the Texas Republican's involvement in the partial government shutdown. Instead, Obamacare was on the agenda. Over half of the participants wanted to talk about the Affordable Care Act and how it was raising their healthcare costs, said Bill Thornton, president of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

Extra security was in place for the event after threats against Cruz were posted on Twitter. The Hill reported that a person posted on Twitter Friday: “Take down Ted Cruz, at his home” and listed Cruz’s home address in Houston. “What goes around comes around CRUZ!!” the person wrote.

There were cheers from supporters as Judge Carlo Key emerged from the Bexar County Courthouse with Democratic members of Congress and legislators from the Texas House and Senate.

Key said his decision to jump change parties under his beliefs that justice should be served without prejudice towards race, color, creed or whom they choose to love.

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