Politics | KERA News

Politics

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

The "This Is Texas Freedom Force" gathered to oppose the removal of Robert E. Lee statue.
Hady Mawajdeh

Two days after a statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from the Dallas park named after him, a group called the “This Is Texas Freedom Force” held a protest rally at the empty pedestal Saturday morning.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Angela Paxton, the wife of Attorney General Ken Paxton, is running for the state Senate. 

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

After years of legal wrangling, Texas and its court challengers — groups representing voters of color — were finally set to hash out new congressional and state House maps after judges ruled the current maps discriminated against minority voters.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Fort Worth will not join a lawsuit opposing a controversial new Texas law targeting so-called "sanctuary cities." City Council voted five to four after five hours of debate and testimony Tuesday night.

For weeks, activists opposed to Senate Bill 4 have been calling for a vote on joining the lawsuit. They got their wish, but not the result they wanted. 

LM Otero / Associated Press

Democrats haven't won a Texas governor's race in nearly three decades, but a booming Hispanic population and the party's dominance of the state's largest cities have made them willing to invest in the contest to keep hopes of an eventual resurgence alive.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus had their first meeting in months on Monday. 

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller is using a grand jury in Washington, D.C., in connection with his investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and into possible collusion between Russia and top aides to the Trump campaign, a source with knowledge of the investigation confirms to NPR's Peter Overby. The source did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The Fort Worth Police Department won’t fundamentally change the way it goes about policing the city when Senate Bill 4 gets implemented.

The law banning so-called "sanctuary cities" won’t force them to become federal immigration agents. That’s what police officials told the Fort Worth City Council members Tuesday.

JAMELAH E./FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Even on issues where Republicans and Democrats agree on a problem, they differ on solutions. Case in point: mail-in ballot fraud.

Twitter/@bechtelsummit

The chief executive of the Irving-based Boy Scouts has apologized to members of the scouting community who were offended by the aggressive political rhetoric in President Donald Trump's recent speech to the Scouts' national jamboree.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — A Texas GOP congressman says if the three female Republican senators who oppose a bill repealing Obamacare were men from South Texas, he might challenge them to a duel. 

Gage Skidmore

After last year’s presidential election, Democrats are in rebuilding mode in Texas and across the country. Democrats lost the White House and they’re the minority in Congress and in most statehouses. In Texas, the last time a Democrat won statewide office was in 1994. Despite all of this, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is optimistic.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, told lawmakers in a statement on Monday that he "did not collude... with any foreign government."

Laura Buckman for The Texas Tribune

Jeffrey Payne thinks Texas is ready to turn blue. That’s why the openly gay, 49-year-old Dallas Democrat who owns five businesses — including The Dallas Eagle, a popular gay bar — is doing what some might say is impossible: attempting to win the governor’s seat by running against one of the most popular and well-funded governors in recent memory. 

From Texas Standard:

At the height of the Cold War during the late 1950s, a conservative fringe group, created by some of America's richest businessmen gathered with a lofty mission in mind: to eliminate the so-called "Communist conspiracy" they believed gripped the country, and to preserve the foundation of the Constitution and the nation's Christian roots.

The Republican scramble to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has yielded yet another version of a health care overhaul bill, along with yet another score from the Congressional Budget Office — the second analysis from the nonpartisan agency in two days.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Vows Toughness On Russia As NATO Ambassador

Jul 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison testified on Thursday that she would take a tough stance on Russia if she is confirmed as the new ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

"We are beefing up defenses for an aggressive Russia," she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that she supports lawmakers considering new sanctions on Russian in response to its cyberattacks at home and abroad. "I think that Congress is doing the right thing." 

Clayton Harrison / Shutterstock.com

Across Texas, city officials are critical of the special session agenda set by Gov. Greg Abbott -- they say many of the items are basically an attempt by state lawmakers to influence what city leaders do at the local level.

State lawmakers are back in Austin to kick off some legislative overtime.

And, as it's been reported over and over and over again, the special session is needed because lawmakers couldn’t pass a bill to keep a handful of state agencies open and operating. That got some of our listeners wondering if lawmakers could’ve spend their time at the Capitol a little more efficiently.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott has a nearly $41 million war chest heading into his re-election campaign — and a special session in which he's looking to keep political pressure on lawmakers to pass an ambitious 20-item agenda. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

In a Texas congressional district that includes one of the country's largest military bases, a military hero is betting she can stage a political upset.

YouTube

A night after protesters disrupted his July 4th appearance in McAllen, Sen. Ted Cruz is part of a town hall in McKinney. Watch here.

President Trump did it again on Twitter late last week.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," he tweeted Friday morning.

Once again, a Trump tweet set off a media frenzy, this time making everyone wonder whether he was indeed confirming that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice. (The White House later said the tweet was not confirmation that Trump has been informed that he is under investigation.)

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Fort Worth, Dallas and Arlington are among a handful of North Texas cities holding runoff elections on Saturday to fill city council and school board seats.

PBS Newshour / YouTube

The Senate Intelligence Committee begins two days of highly anticipated hearings Wednesday that could shed new light on the state of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi came to Dallas Wednesday to raise money for her party’s congressional candidates. But before she rubbed elbows with donors, the longtime Democratic leader talked to her base about healthcare, the economy and resisting President Trump’s agenda.

Throughout the speech, she seemed to be honing the Democratic message by focusing more heavily on appealing to middle-class workers.

JORGE SANHUEZA-LYON / KUT

In Austin Monday, both the Texas Senate and the House adjourned, bringing the 85th legislative session to a close. That was expected since the state constitution gives the Legislature exactly 140 days to run a regular session. What wasn’t totally expected was the drama that ramped up as the session was winding down.

Bob Daemmrich for the Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday promised to make an announcement "later this week" on whether he will call a special session.

Krystina Martinez / KERA

The Texas Legislature is keeping the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) busy this session.

YouTube/PBS NewsHour screengrab

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies Tuesday — on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and Russia's use of "active measures" — before the House Intelligence Committee. Brennan is also expected to be questioned about the many leaks regarding national security issues since President Trump took office.

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