The Midday Brief: Top Texas Headlines for Dec. 15, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry while leaving the Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College on Oct. 11, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry while leaving the Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College on Oct. 11, 2011.

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "The magazine was reluctant to confer its 'lowest honor' on the Texas governor until his now-infamous brain freeze. 'In that moment,' editor Jake Silverstein writes, 'all our resistance melted away.'" — Perry is Texas Monthly's Bum Steer of the Year
  • "When will the elections be held? Sometime next year. The dates for the congressional and legislative elections won't be certain until maps have been approved. But candidates are filing, and endorsements haven't stopped." — Campaign Roundup: The Week's Political News
  • "Leading a national downward trend in the use of the death penalty, Texas has executed just 13 prisoners so far in 2011, the lowest number in more than a decade. And juries meted out only eight new death sentences." — Executions, Death Sentences Drop in Texas, Nation
  • "The state's highest criminal court on Wednesday ordered lower courts to review two death penalty cases that involved a psychologist reprimanded earlier this year for using unscientific methods to determine that defendants were intellectually competent enough to face capital punishment." — Appeals Court Orders Review of Two Death Row Cases
  • "Our latest interactive shows the demographics of poverty in each Texas county using data from the American Community Survey. Browse the maps to compare poverty rates by age, sex, race and ethnicity, educational attainment and employment." — Interactive: Texas' Most Impoverished Counties

Your afternoon reading:

  • "The Huffington Post dispatched a reporter to Texas this summer to investigate rumors about Rick Perry’s personal life, hoping for an irresistible story about hypocrisy. Enter Lin Wood. … Wood’s behind-the-scenes work for Perry – and his more public efforts last month to shoot down allegations of sexual impropriety leveled at former Perry rival Herman Cain — suggest there’s an appetite among high-profile campaigns for a more aggressive response to damaging stories." — New-style scandal fixer helps Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Politico
  • "An Austin Democrat said today he will challenge a congressman who represents parts of Travis County. Dan Grant, who says he’s a foreign policy expert, said he will run in the Tenth Congressional District against Republican U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin." — McCaul draws a Democratic challenger, Postcards
 

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