Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

Sen. Ted Cruz, speaking in Austin over the weekend, chided fellow Senate Republicans who didn’t support House Republicans in their opposition to funding Obamacare, KUT Radio in Austin reports.

The federal government shutdown is over, for now. But the battle over who gets the blame for the congressional meltdown will likely extend through the 2014 party primaries and general election. So how did the shutdown affect the political landscape in Texas?

A recent Rasmussen poll found 78 percent of the country would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start over. And yesterday, the Houston Chronicle expressed regret for its endorsement of Sen.Ted Cruz in the 2012 Senate race. Sounds like there are dark days ahead for our Congressional incumbents in Texas.

Actually … no, says Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith.

Texas Tribune

Media coverage of the race for governor has focused on a likely battle between Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott.  But another Republican, Former State GOP Party Chair Tom Pauken, says Abbott’s reluctance to answer questions gives him an opportunity to be heard. 

KERA’s Shelley Kofler talked with Pauken, 59, about his primary opponent, education and his uphill campaign.

Todd Wiseman / Randall Chancellor / Jason Petersen / Stephen Payne / Texas Tribune

Saturday’s Red River Rivalry isn’t just a big deal to Longhorn or Sooner fans or the State Fair of Texas – it’s a big deal for Texas legislators.

More than 30 of them are hoping to cash in on the game by raising a lot of money.

The Texas Tribune reports that the annual football game between the University of Texas and Oklahoma University is becoming a fundraising hotspot for lawmakers in both parties.

Flickr

Despite tea party leaders wanting a strong candidate to challenge Texas Sen. John Cornyn, he doesn’t have a serious primary opponent.

Politico reports today that Cornyn probably doesn’t have much to worry about in 2014. Still, his campaign has launched its first television ads.

“I would like to think it’s because I’ve done a good job and people believe my record fits what you’d expect of a Texas senator,” Cornyn told Politico. “That’s why we’re doing a little bit of advertising now, to remind people what that record is.”

The government shutdown has entered its second week -- and across North Texas, it's affecting a variety of groups.

The shutdown has stymied a new local group that places flowers on veterans’ gravesites. Remember Heroes started its service on Oct. 1, the first day of the government shutdown. Remember Heroes needs access to a government site that contains grave data. But that site has been shut down due to the shutdown. And without that site, it makes it difficult for this new group to find gravesites.

President Obama held a press conference Tuesday at 1 p.m. Dallas time to discuss the government shutdown. NPR and KERA 90.1 FM provided live coverage. NPR has the latest on the shutdown. NPR also live-blogged the president's press conference.

Republican Party of Texas

The Republican Party of Texas has wasted no time in trying to pin a liberal label on Democrat Wendy Davis who announced her bid for governor Thursday.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Today, on her first full day as a candidate for governor, State Senator Wendy Davis, will make her case to business leaders at the Fort Worth Rotary Club. Advisers say it’s important for the Democratic contender to combat the “liberal” label opponents want to pin on her.

Jerod Foster / Texas Tribune

Here’s the 411 on the likely general-election matchup for governor in 2014. In one corner: Wendy Davis, the Democratic state senator who announced her bid Thursday in the Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City. In the other: Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general who’s the front-runner for the Republican nomination, if he can get past former state GOP chairman Tom Pauken.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Update, 5:26 p.m.: In front of hundreds of boisterous supporters, Wendy Davis, the state senator and Fort Worth Democrat, announced that she’s running for Texas governor.

"All of you deserve to have your voices heard because our future is brightest when it’s lit by everyone’s star," Davis said. "And that’s why today I am proud to announce my candidacy to be the 48th governor of this great state."

Davis spoke for about 15 minutes at the Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City, where she received her high school diploma more than 30 years ago.

Texas Tribune

A new statewide poll released Wednesday shows Republican Greg Abbott with an eight-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the Texas governor’s race.

The poll, conducted by the Texas Lyceum, shows Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, leading with 29 percent. Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat, has 21 percent.

But most registered voters don’t know who will get their vote – 50 percent are undecided.

In the second day of a partial government shutdown, Congress is at a stalemate.

On Tuesday night, House Republicans tried to pass three small bills funding popular parts of the government, such as the national parks. But they failed. The White House had already threatened a veto.

That strategy, as with others in this fight, is credited to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Flickr

Texas Senator John Cornyn is in trouble with the tea party.

At the Texas Tribune policy conference last weekend, six tea party leaders were asked if they wanted a strong candidate to challenge Cornyn in the Republican primary. 

Five of them said "yes."

Courtney Collins / KERA News

A little more than a year ago, at the Democratic National Convention, a new voice arrived on the national stage. That voice belonged to Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, who got the coveted prime-time convention slot that once served as a launching pad for Barack Obama and before that, Bill Clinton. Castro was re-elected in May, but his national profile has stayed high, thanks to campaign-style trips across the country. And he’s the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation.” During a visit to the Federal Reserve in Dallas this week, he sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.

Wendy Davis campaign / KERA News

She’s in.

Texas Sen. Wendy Davis plans to run for governor. That’s according to The Associated Press, citing sources familiar with her plans.

There’s been plenty of speculation in recent weeks.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Julián Castro, the San Antonio mayor who surged onto the national stage at last year's Democratic Convention, tells KERA he'll stay in his current job for four more years. But if Hillary Clinton comes calling, he's got a suggested running mate: his identical twin brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro. 

Julián Castro sat down today with Rick Holter, KERA’s vice president of news. Castro is the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation,”  to air Fridays during Morning Edition and All Things Considered on KERA 90.1 FM.

CBS News via UStream

Update, 12:03 p.m: Sen. Ted Cruz has ended a marathon Senate speech opposing President Barack Obama's health care law after talking for 21 hours, 19 minutes.
 
The Texas Republican and tea party conservative stopped speaking at 11 a.m. Dallas time Wednesday, sitting down to yield the floor, The Associated Press is reporting. The Texas freshman began talking Tuesday afternoon, seeking to urge defunding of the 3-year-old health system overhaul. Fellow conservatives helped by making occasional remarks.

Besides Wendy Davis, who else might be on the Democratic ticket in Texas next year? The Texas Tribune reports that party leaders have talked to candidates who might fill out the ballot behind her, including Leticia Van de Putte.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Next week State Senator Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, will officially tell us whether she plans to run for governor.

State Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa says Davis hasn't confided in him but he thinks he knows what she’ll say.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

A Texas appeals court has overturned the money laundering conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 ruling on Thursday that DeLay had been acquitted, The Associated Press is reporting. DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison, but his sentence was on hold while his case made its way through the appellate process.

Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

State Senator Wendy Davis says she'll announce her political plans on Oct. 3, a little more than two weeks from now.

Texas Tribune

Political advisors to State Senator Wendy Davis say the Fort Worth Democrat will have an update on her possible run for governor as early as this week.

Reaction from lawmakers – from Texas and elsewhere -- continues to pour in following last night’s presidential address to the nation about Syria.

Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, said that a U.S. attack that allows Syrian President Bashar Assad to remain in power wouldn’t promote U.S. national security interests. Cornyn calls a strike "reckless" and "ill-advised."

Lawrence Jackson / The White House

UPDATE at 11:25 a.m. Wednesday: President Obama addressed the nation Tuesday night to discuss the Syrian crisis. The address comes as Syrian President Bashar Assad says he might be willing to give up his chemical weapons. PBS and NPR provided live coverage of the president's address. NPR developed this viewer's guide to the president's speech.  Obama sat down with PBS on Monday to discuss the situation. Assad spoke with PBS' Charlie Rose over the weekend. In case you missed the speech, scroll below for the video of the president's remarks. NPR published a live blog during Obama's address -- here's a recap.

In the war over the right to vote in the U.S., the Justice Department's choice of Texas as the battleground for its first legal action following the Supreme Court's weakening of the Voting Rights Act has a feeling of inevitability.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

State Representative Dan Branch officially launched his campaign for Texas Attorney General Tuesday.

The conservative Dallasite says constitutional liberties are under siege in Washington and he vows to fight for them.

Office of Sen. Wendy Davis

With Republicans Greg Abbott and Tom Pauken already campaigning for governor, Texans want to know whether Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth will challenge them from the Democratic side.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Attorney General Greg Abbott made his first stop in North Texas Tuesday in his two day old campaign for governor.

He spent the afternoon in Duncanville, the city where he grew up; and he was received like a hometown hero.

Texas Tribune

It appears State Sen. Wendy Davis’s filibuster did more than temporarily derail the abortion bill.

It also sparked a fundraising frenzy that netted her $933,000 in the final two weeks of June.

That means Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, has more than one million dollars in the bank as she considers whether to run for governor.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott meanwhile collected  $4.78 million during the final two weeks of June and has more than $20 million available for his campaign.

Here’s the breakdown in donations provided by Davis’ office:

Pages