Your afternoon reading:
• "The key thing to notice is that some of the most conservative Democrats are actually the most valuable. For example, Chet Edwards of Texas voted against his party on health care, cap-and-trade, the jobs bill, and financial regulation, but with the Democrats on the other six policies. But because he hails from an R+20 district, each of those yea votes (and these were yea votes on important policies, not tokens) qualifies as something of a minor miracle." - 2009's Most Valuable Democrat Is... - FiveThirtyEight
• "Former Mansfield School Board President Joy Keller filed this week to run as a Republican for the South Arlington state house seat currently held by Democrat Chris Turner." - Former school board president jumps into state house primary - PoliTex
• "How many millions? That detail Katz will announce on Friday, he said before filing the paperwork with the Texas Democratic Party to run for the party’s nomination." - Katz to put own millions into Lt. Gov. race - Postcards
• "Let’s start by asking what is TxDOT’s biggest problem. The answer is: the culture of the agency. It is impervious to change. The most important element in the plan that Hutchison announced yesterday was to bring in a professional manager — a CEO — to oversee the agency." - Rethinking transportation policy - BurkaBlog
• "A few weekends ago you'll recall that Democratic candidate for governor Farouk Shami appeared on WFAA's Inside Politics in the Dallas/Fort-Worth media market. Shami took a swing at his primary opponent, Houston Mayor Bill White, that most folks may have missed but that I caught and have been looking into." - Farouk Shami perpetrates misinformation regarding Houston's 2010 Budget - Burnt Orange Report
• "That's bad news for the big taxers, though Sen. Carona tried a happy spin by calling it 'a starting point for discussion of the issues.'" - KBH Says No To Gas Tax, Says Spending Must Be Reviewed - Empower Texans
• "It's not that rates are decreasing. The study found Texans paid nearly 3 percent more in 2007, the most recent year studied, than the previous year." - Texas homeowners' insurance rates drop to No. 2 in study - The Dallas Morning News
• "Leach had come under fire the past few days for his treatment of Adam James, the son of the ESPN broadcaster Craig James, after James received a concussion." - Texas Tech Fires Coach Mike Leach - The New York Times
New in The Texas Tribune:
• "Governor Rick Perry and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison are expected to debate at least once, and maybe twice, in January. So how will those joint apperances figure into the overall campaign?" - Debate Deconstruction - The Texas Tribune
• "For our final TribCast of 2009, we picked out and mashed up our favorite skirmishes, conversational quirks and bloopers since we launched the first week of November." - The Weekly TribCast: End-of-Year Special - The Texas Tribune
• "Why does someone run for office? What happens when one's ideals are pitted against the reality of what it takes to win? How does the way we elect our leaders — and the way the system makes those candidates act — affect the government and the policies we get?" - Last Man Standing, Part Three - The Texas Tribune
Alert: The Brief will return Jan. 4. Happy New Year!
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