The Brief: Texans Sound Off on the Issues

The Big Conversation

Texans identify differently the most pressing issues facing the nation and the state, according to the most recent installment of the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

"Overall, economic issues dominate the national list and immigration dominates the state list," wrote the Tribune's Ross Ramsey.

And what could be seen as another instance of increased political polarization, the poll found that Texas Republicans are more alarmed by public corruption and leadership at the national level while Texas Democrats' concerns about corruption are at the state level.

The poll also identifies another difficulty facing Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis — she's not seen as better equipped to tackle the state's pressing issues.

"Their strongest preferences for [Greg] Abbott are on fiscal issues, with 49 percent saying he would do a better job on the economy and 28 percent saying Davis would do better, a difference of 21 percentage points. On taxes and the state budget, the Republican had a 19-point advantage over the Democrat," Ramsey wrote.

 

"Davis is behind, but much closer, on public and higher education. On the former, 41 percent say Abbott would do a better job and 36 percent say Davis would. On higher education, he has a seven-point advantage."

The Day Ahead

•    The House Appropriations subcommittee on health and human services meets at 1 p.m. in the Capitol Extension to look at behavioral health services in Texas. (agenda)

•    The joint legislative committee on water desalination meets at noon in the Capitol Extension to take invited and public testimony on the topic. (agenda)

Today in the Trib

In CD-23, Advantages Are Seen for Both Gallego and Hurd: "U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine, is facing a challenge from former CIA agent Will Hurd, a Republican. The contest is considered a toss-up, with immigration and border security likely to be key issues in the border district."

Trying to Limit Outside Influence in Prescribing Drugs: "More doctors and medical facilities are working to reduce interactions between physicians and pharmaceutical representatives, and they have some support from the pharmaceutical industry."

Analysis: Cutting a Tax the State Does Not Levy: "The state of Texas does not levy a property tax, but state lawmakers would like to lower property tax bills anyway — a quest that could take them into school finance or into relief for some taxpayers at the expense of others."

Must-Read

Population Shifts Turning All Politics National, The New York Times

Why Big Business Fears the Tea Party, Politico

 

Parkland psych ER is again scene of patient abuse, The Dallas Morning News

Texas’ oil, gas regulator refuses to talk to media, The Associated Press

Audit of CSCOPE finds accounting lapses, no-bid contract, Austin American-Statesman

Bad information fueling immigrant surge, San Antonio Express-News

Officials struggling to reorganize sex offender agency, Houston Chronicle

How lobbyists helped build John Cornyn’s election war chest, Center for Public Integrity

West Texas site seeks to bury depleted uranium, The Associated Press

Quote to Note

“The great virtue of these conventions is that they are a two-day story and have no almost impact on the campaign.”

— Southern Methodist University political scientist Cal Jillson on the difficulty in trying to hang a party platform around the neck of the party's standard bearer

Today in TribTalk

Another energy revolution is stirring in Mexico, by Javier Treviño: "Texas and the rest of the U.S. should embrace Mexico’s sweeping new overhaul of its oil and gas industry. The future of energy independence in North America could depend on it."

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Tickets are on sale now.