The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Dec. 3, 2012

Gov. Rick Perry speaks at Williamson County Republican dinner in Round Rock, his first public speech since leaving the presidential race.
Gov. Rick Perry speaks at Williamson County Republican dinner in Round Rock, his first public speech since leaving the presidential race.

Culled:

•   Gov. Perry in New York to Guest Host CNBC Squawk Box: "Gov. Rick Perry will travel to New York City from December 3-5, where he will guest host CNBC's Squawk Box, and discuss Texas' strong economy, competitive jobs market and record population growth."

•   2016 contenders court mega-donors (Politico): "A week after Election Day, three Republican governors mentioned as 2016 presidential candidates — Bobby Jindal, John Kasich and Bob McDonnell — each stopped by the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino to meet privately with its owner Sheldon Adelson, a man who could single-handedly underwrite their White House ambitions. … Vice President Joe Biden, Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) have been meeting with big donors, leaving the impression that they’re ready to run."

•   McCaul's loyalty, determination gains chairmanship (Houston Chronicle): "Houston-area Congressman Michael McCaul faced long odds in his quiet, determined quest to become chairman of the high-profile House Committee on Homeland Security. The 50-year-old Republican lawmaker was pitted against two popular rivals with greater seniority in Congress and theoretically greater leverage at the inside game on Capitol Hill."

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Texas Democrats See Path to Medicaid Expansion: "Despite Gov. Rick Perry’s firm opposition to Medicaid expansion, a key tenet of federal health reform, Texas Democrats remain optimistic that the 2013 legislative session can yield a deal on the issue."

•   Investigations of CPRIT's Grants Process Are Pushed: "Amid growing concern about the review process used to award taxpayer-funded cancer research grants, some lawmakers and outside groups are calling for separate investigations of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas."

•   Tolling Texans: Impact of Trans-Texas Corridor Seen in Road Projects: "Though the controversial proposal to build a 4,000-mile network of highways and rail lines across Texas never came to fruition, the Trans-Texas Corridor proposal helped usher a change in how the state builds roads."

•   Report Cautions Against Rush to Build Medical Schools: "Recommendations in a new draft report on Texas undergraduate medical education caution against rushing to build any new medical schools, which may irk those who are pushing to do exactly that."

•   In Judicial Appointments, Perry Reaches Beyond Executive Branch: "Gov. Rick Perry's control of the executive branch after 12 years in office is well established. But he's made hundreds of judicial appointments too, people who generally agree with his ideas about judicial philosophy and the law. It’s a bit of a crapshoot, because those judges are free, once appointed, from any accountability to the state’s chief executive."

•   Oncor Approves $17 Million Payment to Chief Executive: "The board of the Dallas-based utility company Oncor recently authorized a $17 million payment to its chairman and chief executive, Robert Shapard, according to an SEC filing on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving."

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