The Evening Brief: Texas Headlines for March 22, 2013

Ted Cruz at the JW Marriott hotel in Houston on May 29, 2012.
Ted Cruz at the JW Marriott hotel in Houston on May 29, 2012.

Culled

•    Ted Cruz’s proposal to repeal Obamacare fails on party-line vote (Houston Chronicle): "It was his most-repeated campaign promise. As a Senate candidate, Ted Cruz promised to make his first legislative proposal a measure to repeal Obamacare. He kept his promise. It was the first legislative proposal he introduced. And, this morning, the freshman Republican from Houston got a vote on his proposal as part of the broader debate over a measure to fund the federal government. … 'I am proud that Senate Republicans once again stood united and unanimously voted to undo this devastating legislation,' Cruz said."

•    Crash victims unhappy with state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez's lack of response (El Paso Times): "Two women who were in a car that was rear-ended by state Rep. Naomi Gonzalez said the El Paso lawmaker should not be allowed to keep her job in light of allegations that she caused the crash while driving drunk. Chloe Stagner and Shane Pedraza, both 21, said they have yet to receive an apology from Gonzalez, who last week slammed her BMW into the Fiat the two women were in, causing the Fiat to hit a cyclist."

•    George P Bush: On the campaign money trail in Texas and beyond (The Dallas Morning News): "George P. Bush is asking thousands of potential supporters in an early email appeal to help bankroll his campaign for Texas land commissioner with small-dollar donations. While Bush has been focused for months on fundraising that has already raised millions for his fledgling campaign, the email blast this week was a mass appeal to a Texas audience for money. The target includes people who have visited his web site and expressed interest in the campaign. 'We as Texans are exceptional people,' Bush says in his email solicitation."

•    Authorities checking whether killings of Texas prosecutor, Colorado prison chief connected (The Associated Press): "Authorities are investigating whether the killing of a Texas county prosecutor earlier this year is linked to the slaying of Colorado’s prison director. Kaufman police chief Chris Aulbaugh said Friday the FBI is checking to see if the January shooting death of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse is connected to Tuesday’s killing of prison chief Tom Clements."

•    Lawmaker back at work after crash (San Antonio Express-News): "State Rep. René Oliveira, chairman of the House Business and Industry Committee, was back at work at his Rio Grande Valley law practice Friday, a day after a car accident, according to his office. 'He is feeling a lot better, although he is in some minor discomfort. He took a hit from the air bag,' said Anthony Gray, Oliveira’s legislative director."

New in The Texas Tribune

•    An Insurance Regulator With 10 Weeks to Go: "Eleanor Kitzman, the state's insurance commissioner, will be out of a job at the end of the session if she's not reappointed by Gov. Rick Perry and approved by the Texas Senate. To do that, she will need a majority of the 31 senators on her side. She is not there yet."

•    Sequester Cuts Could Hit Special Ed, Poor Students: "The automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester could hit special education and programs for low-income students hardest. And state lawmakers are unlikely to come up with cash to fill the federal hole."

•    Democratic Strategist Has Big Wins, Little Patience: "After successfully leading the bruising campaigns for two state senators and a state representative, Terrysa Guerra, an unassuming Democratic strategist, has emerged as a secret weapon for her party."

•    Norwood's Ex-Wife Testifies in Murder Trial: "Prosecutors in the murder trial of Mark Norwood said Friday that they intend to present evidence linking him to another killing. Earlier Friday, Norwood's ex-wife took the stand and testified in front of jurors."

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