The Week in the Rearview Mirror

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst lost his bid for U.S. Senate more than a year ago, but his campaign still has outstanding bills — to the tune of nearly $1 million. Among the people the multi-millionaire owes: Republican consultants Dave Carney, Mike Baselice and Jim Bognet. Dewhurst’s camp blamed the alleged embezzlement by former campaign manager Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield. A spokesman said Dewhurst is vigorously pursuing the return of those funds, which should’ve been used to make those payments.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, has said she’ll either run for re-election or run for governor. But Democratic groups aren’t waiting for her answer. Annie’s List launched, a site aimed at lobbying the filibustering senator to run for governor. And Battleground Texas, the Lone Star Project and the Texas Democratic Party have all emailed supporters with separate petitions to encourage Davis to run.

From the folks who brought you Make Us Great Again — the fundraising arm for Rick Perry's failed presidential bid — comes Americans for Economic Freedom, an organization to help the outgoing governor promote Texas' business climate and feel out a possible second run for the White House. The Dallas Morning News reported that former Perry chief of staff Mike Toomey and top-dollar donor Brint Ryan are heading up the group; they want to transfer Make Us Great Again's remaining $200,000 to Americans for Economic Freedom. 

A state district court judge banned a small Hill Country school district from using lessons produced by the controversial and highly politicized curriculum tool CSCOPE until the State Board of Education can vet them. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; state Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands; and conservative activists lauded the court order against Llano ISD at a news conference.

A new report from the Legislative Budget Board finds that state spending will have dropped by more than 11 percent between 2002 and 2015 when population growth and inflation are taken into account. The Houston Chronicle reported that the findings bolster the claims of Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, who had fired back at a contrary Wall Street Journal story.  

It's getting increasingly difficult to find a white male Democrat in the Texas House. The Dallas Morning News reports that next year's elections could leave five or fewer of them in the lower chamber, mirroring a national political trend. In Texas, this is largely the result of the disappearance of the conservative branch of the state Democratic Party.