• Sen. John Cornyn skeptical on Syria, criticizes White House for lack of strategic plan (The Dallas Morning News): "As the Obama administration prepares military action in Syria, one Texas lawmaker briefed by the president’s national security team Thursday night remain skeptical. 'Last night the Administration failed to explain how they intend to effectively respond to the situation in Syria. The lack of a strategic plan and failure of leadership is evident in our country, Syria and across the globe,' Sen. John Cornyn said Friday morning."
• Lt. Gov. candidates report dismal July fundraising figures (San Antonio Express-News): July fundraising figures — filed with the Texas Ethics Commission on Thursday — show the four candidates running for lieutenant governor raised a combined total of less than $154,000 in the 30-day period.
• George W. Bush and Donald Trump agree on Greg Abbott for governor (The Dallas Morning News): "What do Donald Trump and former President George W. Bush have in common? They both want Greg Abbott to be the next governor of Texas. Both men are among contributors in Abbott’s latest campaign finance report, which covers fundraising over the last six weeks."
New in The Texas Tribune
• Smitherman: Unborn "Would Have Voted Republican": "In a recent speech to an anti-abortion group, Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman, a Republican candidate for attorney general, said he believed many unborn babies 'would have voted Republican.'"
• Interactive: Campaign Finance Analyzer — Second Called Session: We've updated our campaign finance analyzer for July contributions to statewide candidates and officeholders during the second special legislative session this summer. The donations are shown by size, location, donor and even by daily totals from June 26 to July 30.
• UT Regents Chairman Hopes to Avoid Drama: "After one week on the job as chairman of the embattled University of Texas System Board of Regents, Paul Foster says that he hopes to build consensus and avoid being 'dragged into the fray.'"
• Court Orders New Trial for Dennis Davis: "A Texas appeals court on Friday ordered a new trial for Dennis Davis, who is serving 36 years in prison for the 1985 murder of Natalie Antonetti of Austin."
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