The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Feb. 3, 2011

State Rep. Donna Howard arrives at election contest hearing for the election contest of the House District 48
State Rep. Donna Howard arrives at election contest hearing for the election contest of the House District 48

Your afternoon reading:

  • "Republican Dan Neil seemed to experience a setback today in his effort to oust state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin. The lawyers for Neil had hoped to prove that the Travis County clerk’s office had mishandled four mail-in ballots.  But when lawyers for Neil and Howard recounted 265 mail-in ballots from three precincts, it was determined that the clerk’s office ultimately had correctly counted the ballots." — Disputed ballots seemed to be properly counted on District 48 race, Postcards
  • "Mike Huckabee is being fenced in by mayors from several key border states who charge he’s overstating the security threat and making their safe cities look bad." — Huck's border war, Politico
  • "A  case can easily be made that Stephanie Simmons is qualified to serve as chairwoman of the state's Risk Management Board, to which Gov. Rick Perry appointed her last month. But given Simmons' previous foray into Texas politics, and given the way Perry has handled other appointments, some might wonder whether he appointed Simmons to return a political favor." — Perry appointment raises questions about political payback, Austin American-Statesman
  • "On opening day of the 82nd Texas Legislature, Catherine Engelbrecht stood in the shade of a live oak near the south steps of the Capitol watching a crowd gather for the afternoon Tea Party rally. Compared with those around her, many clad in stars and stripes, Engelbrecht looked elegantly out of place in her full-length, black wool coat and gray scarf. Her blond hair and aviator sunglasses gave her the air of an aging Hollywood bombshell." — The Queen of King Street, The Texas Observer

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "With Texas public schools facing cuts of as much as $10 billion in state funding, predictions of the consequences have been dire: teacher layoffs in the six figures, bigger class sizes, fewer instructional days, slashed support for at-risk students. One topic conspicuously absent from the conversation: athletics. Are lawmakers and school boards fearful of treading on the hallowed turf of high school football? Perhaps, but the unhappy answer, at least for gridiron lovers, is that nothing is safe — not even sports in the land of Taj Mahal stadiums." — Athletics: Where Budget Balancers Fear to Tread?

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