The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Jan 8, 2010

Your afternoon reading:

• “I have always found polls put out by campaigns to be suspect and leaked polls even more so.” — Leaked polls in the governor's raceTexas Politics

• “Texas collected 11.6 percent less in sales taxes in December, the ninth year-over-year decline in a row.” — State sales tax revenue plunge continuesAustin American-Statesman

• “Two tidbits floating around out there on Texas' U.S. Senate race. That is, the race for the seat that is currently occupied by a three-term veteran who has declined several times to give it up.” — More drama around a Senate race that doesn't even exist yetTrail Blazers

• “The rate would have been higher if more people had been looking for work instead of leaving the labor force because they can’t find jobs” — U.S. loses more jobs, unemployment still 10%Associated Press

• “Former Bryan Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson’s abrupt change from pro-choice activist to pro-life spokesperson turned her into a talk show sensation. But is her story true?” — The ConvertTexas Monthly

New in The Texas Tribune:

• “These stories are the more extreme examples of the struggling rural health care system, but they are very real.” — Guest Column: Save Rural Health Care Now — The Texas Tribune

• Fifteen, as you'll see in our newly updated Election 2010 database, which now includes the 193 Libertarians arrayed from top to bottom on this year's ballot.  — 2010: How Many Candidates Filed for Governor? — The Texas Tribune

Announcement: After this post, you will notice a more diverse team writing The Brief.  I'll be rotating duties with Abby Rapoport, Julian Aguilar, and Morgan Smith. See you again in three weeks.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.