GOVERNMENT

Van de Putte's Bus Tour Hits Republican Stronghold

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, is reaching out to voters in conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas — a nod to Democrats’ dependence on increasing voter turnout in statewide races.

Van de Putte's Bus Tour Hits Republican Stronghold

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte waves to the delegates at the 2014 Texas Democratic Convention held at the Dallas Convention Center on June 27, 2014.

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, is reaching out to voters in conservative hotbeds in North and East Texas — a nod to Democrats’ dependence on increasing voter turnout in statewide races.

The Brief: San Antonio on Verge of Big Water Play

A cascade aerator is shown at the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant outside of San Antonio, where the San Antonio Water System maintains an underground storage reservoir.
A cascade aerator is shown at the Twin Oaks Valley Water Treatment Plant outside of San Antonio, where the San Antonio Water System maintains an underground storage reservoir.

Questions continue to be raised about a giant water pipeline project that would pump roughly 16 billion gallons of groundwater annually from Burleson County to San Antonio.

The Brief: Perry, Davis Make High-Profile Monday Appearances

Republican Gov. Rick Perry and Democratic nominee for governor Wendy Davis made separate appearances before national audiences on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Perry at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Davis on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
Republican Gov. Rick Perry and Democratic nominee for governor Wendy Davis made separate appearances before national audiences on Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, Perry at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, Davis on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."

Monday night was a big one for a pair of Texas politicos who were both given a national stage from which to galvanize support among their respective voter bases.

Demographics Create Electoral Battleground in HD-105

A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”
A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”

Democrats are hoping to take advantage of the shifting demographics in Irving to flip Texas House District 105, which has been held by a Republican for more than a decade. 

Demographics Create Electoral Battleground in HD-105

A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”
A nod to the city's changing demographics, the masthead for a branch of Jefferson Dental Clinics in Irving, Texas includes a large Spanish-language sign on its storefront that reads, “A friend of the Hispanic family.”

Democrats are hoping to take advantage of the shifting demographics in Irving to flip Texas House District 105, which has been held by a Republican for more than a decade. 

The Brief: Border, Immigration Top Texans' Concerns

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden stands next to a 30 caliber rifle as he patrols the Rio Grand on the U.S.-Mexico border , Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.
A Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden stands next to a 30 caliber rifle as he patrols the Rio Grand on the U.S.-Mexico border , Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.

Border security and immigration top the list of concerns in Texas, according to the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

State Fights Release of Race Records

Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.
Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.

The Texas Department of Insurance is fighting the Tribune’s request for records that could shed light on why the agency has failed to collect racial data on injured workers, despite a 1993 law that requires it. 

The Brief: What More Could Texas Have Done About Ebola?

Gov. Rick Perry visiting soldiers at Fort Hood on Oct. 9, 2014. The 36th Engineering Brigade is preparing to deploy to Liberia to assist in the effort to control the Ebola outbreak.
Gov. Rick Perry visiting soldiers at Fort Hood on Oct. 9, 2014. The 36th Engineering Brigade is preparing to deploy to Liberia to assist in the effort to control the Ebola outbreak.

Criticism by state leaders of the Obama administration for failures in the response to the Ebola virus omits mention of the tools at the state's disposal that were not used.