The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for Feb. 22, 2013

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn speaks to a TribLive audience on April 18, 2011
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn speaks to a TribLive audience on April 18, 2011

Culled

•    Cornyn draws primary challenger (The Daily Caller): "Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the second-highest Republican member of the Senate, has drawn a 2014 primary challenger. Erick Wyatt of Rockport, Texas filed papers this week with the Federal Election Commission to run for Senate against Cornyn, the Senate Minority Whip, who is up for re-election in 2014. … Wyatt describes himself as more conservative than Cornyn, and an 'ally' of the tea party. But asked why he’s running, in a phone interview with The Daily Caller, Wyatt’s first answer is that 'Not enough is being done for our veterans.'"

•    Perry speech interrupted by hecklers, but he insists he won’t expand Medicaid (Houston Chronicle): "Rick Perry came to Washington to deliver his usual message about Texas having the most business-friendly climate in the USA. 'There is a land of opportunity in America and it is called Texas,' the Texas governor told the Texas State Society this morning. But it didn’t turn out to be your average Perry political appearance. The 45-minute breakfast event at the Republican Party’s Capitol Hill Club was repeatedly disrupted by an organized team of pesky protesters who heckled the longest-serving governor in Texas history about his refusal to expand Medicaid and the state’s highest-in-the-nation rate of uninsured residents."

•    Justice Department Will Join Lawsuit Against Armstrong (The New York Times): "The Department of Justice has decided to join a lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and several associates that accuses them of using taxpayer money to finance doping on the United States Postal Service cycling team, according to a lawyer for Armstrong."

•    Greg Abbott: Liberals targeting Cruz because he is a conservative Latino (Houston Chronicle): "Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says it is a 'fair and obvious conclusion' that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is being targeted for criticism by liberals because he is a conservative Latino. 'I’m not surprised to see the level of criticism he is taking as a U.S. senator,' Abbott, who was Cruz’s boss for more than five years, told Texas on the Potomac in an interview. 'Ted Cruz and [Florida Sen.] Marco Rubio are an existential threat to the liberal status quo. The liberal agenda will be to try to dismantle the Hispanic Republican tide as it is rising.'"

New in The Texas Tribune

•    Immigration Rally Signals Growing Demand for Reform: "Hundreds of people descended on the state Capitol on Friday to rally in support of comprehensive immigration reform. The day-long event also included visits to the offices of Republican U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn."

•    Powell: Dewhurst's Regent Remarks "Result of Misinformation": "Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's recent comments accusing the University of Texas System regents of micromanagement and rumor-mongering must have resulted from bad information, UT board chairman Gene Powell said in a statement."

•    Medicaid Expansion Confounds Conservatives: "Expanding the state's Medicaid program under the federal health care law makes fiscal sense to some politicians for whom it doesn't make political sense."

•    Amid Anti-Testing Furor, a Focus on High School Graduation Requirements: "Proposals to modify high school graduation requirements have won the support of educators and industry groups. But some worry momentum against high-stakes testing could sweep away progress in improving preparation for college and career."

•    Andre Thomas: Services Scarce for Troubled Youth: "During his troubled adolescence, lawyers for death row inmate Andre Thomas say he never received the mental health care he needed. In Texas, there are few mechanisms to diagnose and treat youths who suffer from mental illness."

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