Tribpedia: Joe Straus

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House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.
House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.

Analysis: For Straus, Division Might Be Strength

House Speaker Joe Straus, seeking a fourth term at the helm of the chamber, is facing a challenge from state Rep. Scott Turner. If Straus prevails, he could gain an advantage in setting the agenda for the next legislative session. Everybody else in management — the governor and the lieutenant governor — will be new on the job. 

Analysis: It's a Lot Easier to Rule With a Mandate

It's easier to govern if you have a mandate, and you build the mandate while you're campaigning. So far, the agenda for the next set of officeholders is a little murky. The campaign for governor so far has been more about the histories and challenges in the lives of the contestants than about their differences over issues facing the state.

Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers patrol Anzalduas Park as part of Operation Strong Safety. Texas National Guard soldiers deployed to the area on Monday will help DPS in its mission, officials said.

Guard's Arrival on Border Brings Reassurance, Concerns

The arrival of the Texas National Guard to the border has been met with praise by some who say the state is taking the lead in securing the border while the federal government falls flat in its mission. But others say the deployment is overkill that only serves to hamper the local economy.

Criticizing a lack of federal response on border issues, Governor Rick Perry announces deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border on July 21, 2014.
Criticizing a lack of federal response on border issues, Governor Rick Perry announces deployment of up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border on July 21, 2014.

Lawmakers Question Perry's Funding of National Guard

Some Texas lawmakers are questioning Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to tap $38 million in unused Texas Department of Public Safety funds to pay for the emergency deployment of the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border. Perry is citing a provision in the budget that allows him to tap unexpended funds for emergencies without using the more typical “execution authority” of the Legislative Budget Board.

A Scott Turner at the Texas GOP state convention in Fort Worth Texas, June 5, 2014
A Scott Turner at the Texas GOP state convention in Fort Worth Texas, June 5, 2014

A Longshot for Speaker, With Money to Spend

Rep. Scott Turner, R-Frisco, has not been in the Texas House for two years, but the freshman lawmaker and former California congressional candidate has his eye on the top job there: speaker. He is short of the votes he needs, but has plenty of money with which to pursue them.

Gov. Rick Perry announces the deployment of National Guard troops along the Texas border as Texas Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listens at the Texas Capitol on July 21, 2014.
Gov. Rick Perry announces the deployment of National Guard troops along the Texas border as Texas Guard Adjutant General John Nichols listens at the Texas Capitol on July 21, 2014.

The Brief: A Home-State Reality Check for Perry

This week's House committee hearing in which leading officials in charge of executing the plan said they never asked for Guard troops revealed another aspect of Rick Perry's border action, according to the Houston Chronicle's Patrick Svitek.

Clockwise, from top left: Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor; University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.
Clockwise, from top left: Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican nominee for governor; University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.

Political Landscape Shifts as Hall Inquiry Continues

As a lengthy legislative investigation of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall appears to be nearing an end, the 2014 elections and developments at the University of Texas System are adding new twists with the potential to affect the ultimate outcome.

Timeline: Tension in the University of Texas System

A recent announcement that the University of Texas System will commission an external investigation into the admissions process at the University of Texas at Austin is only the latest chapter in an ongoing, tension-filled sagaWe have updated our timeline to include the latest developments.

Clockwise, from top left: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Gov. Rick Perry; state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; UT System Board Vice Chairman Gene Powell; and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.
Clockwise, from top left: University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall; Gov. Rick Perry; state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo; UT System Board Vice Chairman Gene Powell; and UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa.

Admissions Investigation Preceded by Years of Tension

A recent announcement that the University of Texas System will commission an external investigation into the admissions process at the University of Texas at Austin is only the latest chapter in an ongoing, tension-filled saga. 

Clockwise, from top left: State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; House Speaker Joe Straus; state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.
Clockwise, from top left: State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview; University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers; House Speaker Joe Straus; state Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie; and University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.

Admissions Inquiry Takes Center Stage in UT Saga

Of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall’s allegations of misconduct at UT-Austin, none has gained as much traction as his assertion that there is "secret favoritism" for the politically connected in admissions. But more information — and a full-on UT System review — may be required to determine whether he has unearthed anything untoward.

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

Perry Warns of a "Trail of Tears" From Central America

Gov. Rick Perry on Monday warned that if Central American leaders do not heed the call to stop their citizens from flooding across the Texas-Mexico border, the summer months will bear witness to a “trail of tears” caused by a surge of dead migrants.

 

U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.
U.S. Border Patrol agents say that illegal traffic on public and private land in the Rio Grande Valley has triggered the need for additional resources in the region this year.

White House Under Fire for Proposed Solution to Immigrant Surge

Both immigrants' rights groups and conservative lawmakers are criticizing the White House's plan, announced Friday, to deal with the influx of migrants illegally crossing Texas’ southern border.

Newly commissioned patrol vessel, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River
Newly commissioned patrol vessel, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River

DPS Addresses New Border Operation

UPDATED: The Texas DPS said Thursday that as part of its new mission, it will partner with local and federal authorities to “deter and disrupt drug and human trafficking, and other border-related crimes.” The directive for the new operation came from state leaders is in response to the recent surge of undocumented immigrants breaching the Texas-Mexico border.

Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River
Texas DPS agent Cuevas removes a M2-40 machine gun from newly commissioned patrol vessel. The boat, part of the Tactical Marine Unit, funded by federal Homeland Security grants, will help with the state's efforts in combating Mexican drug cartels patrolling the Rio Grande River

Patrick Wants Emergency Spending for Border Security

UPDATED: Dan Patrick, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, joined some of his conservative colleagues on Tuesday in calling for “immediate action” to address the surge of undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas.

 

 

Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. at a regular meeting of the University of Texas Board of Regents in Ashbell Smith Hall in Austin.
Regent Wallace Hall, Jr. at a regular meeting of the University of Texas Board of Regents in Ashbell Smith Hall in Austin.

The Brief: House Panel Months From Action on Hall

A lawmaker involved in the House's investigation of UT System Regent Wallace Hall said the process of drafting articles of impeachment could take months. Also, Gov. Rick Perry gave his most forceful defense to date of his appointee to the university system's governing board.