The Brief: Top Texas News for June 12, 2012

Texas Republican Convention delegates congregate outside the Fort Worth Convention Center on June 7, 2012.
Texas Republican Convention delegates congregate outside the Fort Worth Convention Center on June 7, 2012.

The Big Conversation:

Texas Republicans may have embraced their party's new immigration stance, but the plank has exposed some rifts.

As the Tribune's Julián Aguilar reports, the Texas Republican Party has come under fire from Democrats alleging that the party is pandering to Hispanics by promoting a guest-worker program, support for which Republicans added to their party platform at their convention over the weekend.

Though Republicans have come to the defense of the program, which would bring foreign nationals to the U.S. when jobs become available, the debate has highlighted still-simmering immigration disputes within the party. The party's platform, for instance, also includes support for repealing birthright citizenship.

“It’s a baby step,” Brad Bailey, a member of the party’s immigration committee and a co-author of the new plank, told the Tribune. “There are still some things that personally, I don’t agree with. [On] birthright citizenship, our original wording that passed the temporary committee and went on to the permanent committee, it got changed at the last minute.”

Still, Bailey hailed the new platform as a symbol of unity among Republicans, "who often times [get] labeled anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic, anti-Latino."

Art Martinez, the mayor of Von Ormy, a small town outside of San Antonio, and the chairman of the GOP’s platform subcommittee, said he didn't support stripping citizenship retroactively but that the granting of citizenship should be debated. "We’re one of only three countries in the world [that grant birthright citizenship], so I think that’s a legitimate debate,” he said.

Martinez told the Tribune that the party omitted support for "sanctuary cities" legislation from the platform because some, including him, think the matter should be handled federally, not locally.

He also said that there's also a divide within the party about how to secure the border, for which the platform only offers broad language. “We demand the application of effective, practical and reasonable measures to secure our borders and to bring safety and security for all Americans,” the platform says.

Culled:

  • Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Monday went after U.S. Senate rival Ted Cruz again over Cruz's involvement in a patent case that has pitted a Chinese company against a Florida businessman. Dewhurst, who took the issue to the airwaves before the May 29 primary, held a conference call on Monday with the businessman, Jordan Fishman, who sued the company, which Cruz is representing on appeal. “This is a terrific insight into the character of Mr. Cruz,” Dewhurst said. “This is a very big issue.”
  • The Dallas Morning News reports that David Dewhurst has denied naming one of his major campaign donors to a state cancer research board for his contributions. Dewhurst has received $465,000 for previous races from the donor, Charles Tate, a Houston venture capitalist who has also donated $5,000 to Dewhurst's U.S. Senate campaign and sits on the board of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Tate "was asked to serve because of his impeccable business credentials and extensive experience with medical research and biotechnology funding,” said a Dewhurst spokesman.
  • The Houston Chronicle has a look at the Green and Libertarian Party conventions, which were also held over the weekend. The Libertarians heard from their presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor who briefly sought the Republican nomination this year, and nominated John J. Myers of Dallas as their U.S. Senate candidate. The Greens also nominated a Senate candidate, David B. Collins of Houston, and heard from actress Roseanne Barr. Both groups said they'd attracted more participants this year than in the past.

“That’s a ridiculous question. I’m not even going to respond to that.”David Dewhurst in response to a question on whether he thinks rival Ted Cruz is sympathetic to communist causes

Must-Read:

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