Vol 32, Issue 29 Print Issue

The Week in the Rearview Mirror

More details on the arrest and death of Sandra Bland were released, among them records that showed Bland told jailers she had previously attempted suicide. Bland, who was arrested under a charge of assaulting an officer during a traffic stop, was found hanged in her Waller County jail cell on July 13.

Donald Trump visited Laredo on Thursday, a day after former Gov. Rick Perry doubled down on his criticisms of his fellow GOP presidential candidate. At a speech in Washington on Wednesday, Perry called Trump “a cancer on conservatism” and a “toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal district judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a state agency violated the U.S. Constitution by denying birth certificates to U.S.-citizen children of immigrant parents. In a separate case, Paxton has quietly conceded a case against the federal government over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples.

The Legislative Budget Board wrote in a memo that some of Gov. Greg Abbott’s line-item vetoes in the state budget might be invalid. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who co-chairs the LBB, said he’s backing the governor in the budget fight and said his office didn’t start the veto inquiry, despite a spokesman for House Speaker Joe Straus saying both offices asked for a memo on the issue.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent running for president as a Democrat, rallied thousands of Texans on Sunday in Dallas and Houston as part of his 50-state strategy, and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, said in Houston that Republicans won’t win in 2016 by “playing nice with the Clintons.”

Political People and their Moves

State Rep. Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston, announced Tuesday that he’s running for re-election. A former school superintendent, he is in his first term representing House District 1, which encompasses Bowie, Franklin, Lamar and Red River counties.

State Rep. Mike Schofield, R-Katy, announced he’s running for a second term in office. He was elected in 2014 to represent HD-132, located in western Harris County.

Businessman Bill King has won the endorsement of the Kingwood TEA Party in his bid for Houston mayor.

Cliff Walker has been named program director for candidate recruitment and campaign services for the Texas Democratic Party. Walker held positions with the Back to Basics PAC and the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee before most recently serving as the political director for Battleground Texas.

The TDP has also brought Zach Brigham on board as the party's finance director. He served previously as finance director for the Harris County Democratic Party before serving as comptroller candidate Mike Collier's campaign manager.

Tim Keith of Dallas has been named CEO of Texas Central Partners, the privately funded high-speed rail project looking to build a line between Dallas and Houston. Keith was previously global CEO at RREEF/Deutsche Bank Infrastructure Investments.

Forrest Wilder announced in a column on Wednesday that he's been named the new editor of the Texas Observer.