The Brief: Top Texas News for Sept. 10, 2012

The Big Conversation:

After the biggest week of his political career, Julián Castro already has plans for his newfound national stardom.

The San Antonio mayor, whose keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday thrust him squarely into the national spotlight, will stump for President Barack Obama in swing states throughout the fall, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Castro began his tour on Sunday in Virginia, where he spoke to students at George Mason University and to a group of campaign volunteers in Fairfax. The Express-News reports that Castro may also travel to Colorado, Florida and Nevada, and an Obama campaign aide also mentioned Ohio.

"It's all about getting the vote out," Castro said. "Virginia matters in the outcome of this election. The Latino community matters. It's going to take a hard push from now to Nov. 6 to ensure that President Obama wins."

Since his warmly received speech in Charlotte, N.C., Castro has barely left the national spotlight. After his debut, speculation turned immediately to his political ambitions. His celebrity then got an assist from comedian Jimmy Fallon. FoxNews.com went after his mother for her criticism of the Alamo. And on Sunday, he appeared on Meet the Press.

Castro, though, tells his hometown paper that he'll still be focused on his work in San Antonio, including the city budget and his early childhood education initiative, which calls for a one-eighth-cent city sales tax increase to fund full-day pre-K for more children (and which, along with Castro, has taken on something of a national profile since last week).

Culled:

  • As the Tribune's Ross Ramsey reports, state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, has found an unlikely ally after accusing top House staffers of participating in discriminatory conduct that led a court to strike down the state's redistricting maps. Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview — one of the most conservative members of the Legislature — said Friday that he was "pretty dismayed" to see testimony on conversations between aides to House Speaker Joe Straus and an outside attorney. "You expect to have winners and losers in a political fight, but you expect it to be done in the proper way," Simpson said.
  • A record number of illegal immigrants were deported in 2011, and 2012 could follow suit, according to data released Friday by the Department of Homeland Security. Though the number of migrants crossing into the U.S. has hit a 40-year low, the federal government expelled nearly 400,000 immigrants in 2011, more than a third of whom had been convicted of crimes in the U.S. The official numbers underscore the Obama administration's increased deportation enforcement since 2009which is said to have resulted in more deportations and prosecutions in three years than President George W. Bush's administration carried out in eight years.
  • Tonight, Austin's KUT News will host Forged in Flames, a community forum on the making of its documentary on the 2011 Labor Day wildfires. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. at KUT's studios on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

"Even if it passed the legal test, it didn’t pass the moral test. We have to do the right thing, and we have to do it in the right way." — State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, who on Friday joined criticism of the alleged discriminatory conduct that got the Legislature’s redistricting maps struck down in court

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