TribWire

Perry Woos Vets in New Hampshire

Rick Perry knows how to make small talk. The former Texas governor’s gift of gab was on display at a country store and gas station in southern New Hampshire Friday, where Perry spent an hour shaking hands, trading stories, and talking policy. The shop’s proprietor told Perry his brother had been an Army Ranger during the Vietnam War. “He’s probably been in the back of a C-130,” said Perry, who flew the transport plane for the Air Force in the 1970’s.

Mighty Rio Grande Now a Trickle Under Siege

FABENS, Tex. — On maps, the mighty Rio Grande meanders 1,900 miles, from southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. But on the ground, farms and cities drink all but a trickle before it reaches the canal that irrigates Bobby Skov’s farm outside El Paso, hundreds of miles from the gulf.

After questions raised, DART’s Austin lobbyist drops anti-high-speed rail work

The longtime Austin lobbyist for Dallas Area Rapid Transit is dropping its work for the group Texans Against High-Speed Rail, after questions were raised this week about the lobbyist working against a project that the mass transit agency supports. The decision came after DART said it was OK with lobbyist Galt Graydon’s efforts to oppose a private company’s plan to build a bullet train between Dallas and Houston. And Graydon had said he didn’t see a conflict in working for the anti-rail group. But the setup clearly peeved other Dallas boosters – who see high-speed rail as a potential boon for the city.

Meet the Opposition to Texas High-Speed Rail

Turns out you don't need to rely on public money to be hated as a U.S. high-speed rail project. That much is becoming clear from the battering being given to a big Texas bullet train plan that's privately funded.

Analysis: Abbott's Caution on Display in Tax Fight

Texans grew accustomed to the swagger and bombast of Rick Perry, a governor who didn’t shy from confrontation with the Legislature and upended the notion that his office was inherently weak. Newly elected Gov. Greg Abbott, ever cautious and lawyerly, is cutting a different path.

Bedford lawmaker slows House work over Palcohol bill

A proposal by Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, to ban the sale of the controversial new product, known as Palcohol, drew the ire of Tarrant County colleague Jonathan Stickland. Stickland, who has pulled colleagues’ bills from the local and consent calendar before, was ready to do that this week.

Dallas-area fraud case highlights closure of rural Texas hospitals

Access to medical care has long been a dilemma for rural Americans. In some pockets of Texas, the problem has grown even worse after a doctor’s Medicaid and Medicare fraud scheme decimated a chain of rural medical centers that provided health care not easily found for hundreds of miles.

DPS asks prosecutors to reopen probe of no-bid contract

In an unusual move aimed at clearing its name, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Thursday it will look into whether it could pay for Travis County prosecutors to reopen a criminal probe of the department that had been derailed by a funding veto from former Gov. Rick Perry.

Stakes higher with impasse called, experts say

The vote to reject the proposal could open the door for the company to hire permanent replacement workers. But if the National Labor Relations Board rules that the company declared an impasse too early or finds other reasons to determine it's an unfair labor practice strike, LyondellBasell could wind up having to pay back wages to striking employees who sought to return to their jobs.

Hugh Hewitt puts Cruz, Santorum on spot on same-sex marriage

  • suggested by David Pasztor

Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked a “gotcha” question to two Republican 2016 hopefuls on Thursday: whether they would attend a same-sex wedding. Rick Santorum said he would not attend such a ceremony. Ted Cruz dodged the question entirely.

House quietly passes tax exemption for megadonors

  • suggested by David Pasztor

The House on Wednesday with little fanfare passed legislation that would protect major donors like the Koch brothers and Tom Steyer from having to pay gift taxes on huge donations to secret money political groups.

Mayor demands answers from Uber on permit compliance

After two weeks of rising tensions between the city and the ride-sharing service Uber, Mayor Annise Parker on Wednesday warned the company it risks losing the right to operate in Houston unless it submits a plan to bring its drivers into compliance with city regulations.