The Brief: Top Texas News for June 13, 2012

Ted Cruz speaking at the state Republican convention in Fort Worth on June 9, 2012.
Ted Cruz speaking at the state Republican convention in Fort Worth on June 9, 2012.

The Big Conversation:

Outside money is raining down in the race between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst — and Cruz is catching most of it.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Cruz, the former state solicitor general, has raised more money from conservative Super PACs than any other U.S. Senate candidate in the nation.

Though Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor, has raised $18.4 million to Cruz's $5.8 million total this year, Cruz has received more than $1.5 million, or about 35 percent of his overall haul, from out-of-state donors, compared with Dewhurst's $180,800, less than 10 percent of his haul.

Cruz, according to the Chronicle, has scored out-of-state contributions from more than 1,000 people hailing from every state except Vermont, while Dewhurst has only pulled from 88 people in 20 states and Washington, D.C.

 

Dewhurst has previously turned Cruz's popularity with such third-party groups against him, calling Cruz beholden to special interests. “Tonight is a clear message from the voters to the Washington insiders and special interests: Don’t mess with Texas,” Dewhurst said in his election night speech last month.

One such Washington-based group, the Cruz-supporting Club for Growth, poured $2.5 million into the primary race and hopes to raise another $5 million to help Cruz in the runoff, the Tribune reported earlier this month.

Dewhurst himself, though, has received support from in-state Super PACs that have also indicated they will spend money in the runoff.

The new numbers mainly underscore the extent to which Super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of candidates, have turned Texas politics into national politics.

Culled:

  • Debate in the U.S. Senate race has turned, briefly, from what the candidates would do in Washington to how long they'd stay. As The Dallas Morning News reports, David Dewhurst said Tuesday that he would step down after two terms if elected, while Ted Cruz's campaign indicated that he was only interested in a term-limit cap that would apply to all members of Congress. Cruz spokesman James Bernsen told the Morning News it was no surprise that Dewhurst would pledge to serve only 12 years as “he’d be nearly 80 at the start of a third term.”
  • A contingent of Ron Paul supporters has taken a new tack in challenging the Republican Party: suing it. As BuzzFeed reports, a group of Paul fans, dubbed Lawyers for Ron Paul, has filed suit in California against the Republican National Committee for requiring delegates to vote for Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention. The group, which includes only two lawyers, is suing over electoral fraud and harassment that Paul supporters claim to have endured at state conventions this year, and wants delegates to be able to vote for whomever they want.
  • If every eligible Latino in Texas registered to vote, the state would add more than 2 million voters to its rolls, according to a new study from the Center for American Progress. As the Tribune's Julián Aguilar reports, the data comes as the state is gearing up for a court battle with the federal government over its voter ID law, which opponents say stands to hurt Latinos.

"It is more with sorrow than regret and anger that I would say that you leave me no alternative than to join those who call upon you to resign your office." — U.S. Sen. John Cornyn to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday

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