POLITICS

Tribune executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA's "Inside Texas Politics" on Feb. 1, 2015.
Tribune executive Editor Ross Ramsey on WFAA's "Inside Texas Politics" on Feb. 1, 2015.

Inside Texas Politics: Rand Paul's Recent Moves

On this week's edition of WFAA-TV's Inside Texas Politics with host Jason Whitely, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy and Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey talk about U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who's showing all the signs that he's gearing up for a presidential run.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul delivers the keynote speech at the Dallas County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner on Jan. 30, 2015.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul delivers the keynote speech at the Dallas County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner on Jan. 30, 2015.

Rand Paul is Making His Play for Texas

If Rand Paul runs for president — and he's widely expected to — don't expect a campaign that mirrors those of his father. During a weekend visit to North Texas, where he spoke at a pair of GOP events, Paul talked about building a broad coalition.

The Playlist: Thursday

There was no shortage of news coming out of the Capitol this week, but last Thursday was so singular that we built our entire playlist around the events of that day. Kicking things off: Wes Montgomery’s cover of “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles.

Rand Paul is Making His Play for Texas

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul delivers the keynote speech at the Dallas County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner on Jan. 30, 2015.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul delivers the keynote speech at the Dallas County Republican Party Reagan Day Dinner on Jan. 30, 2015.

If Rand Paul runs for president — and he's widely expected to — don't expect a campaign that mirrors those of his father. During a weekend visit to North Texas, where he spoke at a pair of GOP events, Paul talked about building a broad coalition.

The Playlist: Thursday

There was no shortage of news coming out of the Capitol this week, but last Thursday was so singular that we built our entire playlist around the events of that day. Kicking things off: Wes Montgomery’s cover of “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles.

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Abbott: "Civil Discourse" Needed on Religious Freedom

Students take the Pledge of Allegiance as protesters shout on Jan. 29, 2015.
Students take the Pledge of Allegiance as protesters shout on Jan. 29, 2015.

A day after state Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, came under fire for instructing staff to ask Muslim visitors to her office to pledge their allegiance to the U.S., Gov. Greg Abbott called for civil discussions "so that everyone has the opportunity to weigh in on their beliefs."

The Brief: Jan. 29, 2015

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, with State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, sponsor of the resolution that changed Senate voting rules on Jan. 21, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, left, with State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, sponsor of the resolution that changed Senate voting rules on Jan. 21, 2015.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick gave the green light Wednesday on a push for open carry legislation in the Senate, a day after he indicated in a Texas Tribune interview that the votes weren't there for passage.

Open Carry Survives Despite Its Supporters

Activists who support a legislative proposal that would lift the state's handgun licensing requirements stand outside the state Capitol on the opening day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.
Activists who support a legislative proposal that would lift the state's handgun licensing requirements stand outside the state Capitol on the opening day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.

The session has barely begun, and the prospect of a new law allowing Texans to openly carry handguns first appeared to be inevitable, then dead, then alive again. Oddly, it's the idea's supporters who keep scrambling its political fate.

"I'm Poncho" Stickers Popular on Both Sides of Aisle

State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, wearing an "I'm Poncho" sticker on Jan. 28, 2015 after fellow Rep. Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, was the target of threats and racial slurs from some gun advocates.
State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, wearing an "I'm Poncho" sticker on Jan. 28, 2015 after fellow Rep. Alfonso "Poncho" Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, was the target of threats and racial slurs from some gun advocates.

After state Rep. Poncho Nevárez kicked gun advocates out of his Capitol office, he received death threats. On Wednesday, Texas House members wore "I'm Poncho" stickers to show support for Nevárez.

Friday Night Football Returns to Water Politics

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Two years ago, the drought prompted a rare outbreak of teamwork as lawmakers from both parties and most corners of Texas together crafted a $2 billion fund to provide more water. This session, though, it looks like we're going back to good old-fashioned water rivalries.

The Brief: Jan. 30, 2015

A look at the Texas Capitol before the inaugural festivities begin.
A look at the Texas Capitol before the inaugural festivities begin.

In a week where the news was driven to a large degree by rallies on the Capitol grounds — from open carry activists to anti-Muslim protesters — it's perhaps fitting that the week closes with another one.