TribWire

Final Gubernatorial Debate Looms in Dallas

Democrat Wendy Davis has one more chance to share a debate stage with the Republican front-runner in the race for Texas governor, and if the recent past is any guide, she’ll use most of her hour in Dallas to crank up the heat on Attorney General Greg Abbott.

The Brief: Abbott and Davis to Clash Once More, With Feeling

Abbott and Davis to clash once more, with feeling; In debate, Patrick and Van de Putte spar over taxes; Davis accuses Abbott of grant fund "cover-up"; Dallas hospital isolates patient over possibility of Ebola; San Antonio a step closer to controversial pipeline; Immigrant sanctuary effort may head to Texas; In Texas, solar manufacturer ramps up production.

Dan Patrick, Leticia Van de Putte trade jabs in debate

Lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick, the Republican front runner, defended his plan to lower property taxes by raising sales taxes during a debate Monday as his opponent, Democrat Leticia Van de Putte, took her only shot at a face-to-face offensive against the outspoken conservative.

GOP will focus on border security, not citizenship, Cornyn vows

Republicans will remain focused on a security-first approach to immigration if they win control of the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn said Monday. “Our Democrat friends want to eat dessert before they eat their vegetables on immigration,” he said. “Is a Republican-controlled Congress going to pass a quick pathway to citizenship? No.” Cornyn — the No. 2 Senate Republican — told The Dallas Morning News’ editorial board that President Barack Obama would be unwise to use executive authority to issue sweeping immigration policies.

Pre-K classes a priority for Texas districts, study finds

Children at Risk, a Houston-based education advocacy group, conducted a yearlong study to assess the current state of prekindergarten programs in Texas. It found that despite financial challenges and dramatic statewide education funding cuts in 2011, Texas school districts were picking up the tab locally or finding creative partnerships to expand access.

Davis calls for inquiry of Abbott’s role in Texas Enterprise Fund

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called Monday for an independent investigation into GOP opponent Greg Abbott’s role in keeping records from the troubled Texas Enterprise Fund secret, and she called on him to return $1.4 million in campaign contributions he has received over the years from beneficiaries of the fund.

Highland Park ISD parents commend decision to reinstate suspended books

Parents and students commended Highland Park ISD’s superintendent Monday for reversing course on book suspensions. Two parents who had raised initial concerns about the books were not available for comment. Superintendent Dawson Orr sent an email to parents Sunday night reinstating the books after weeks of debate, hundreds of emails and national attention. He apologized for the disruption and said the district will be more transparent about literature selection.

Perry lawyer sought Lehmberg interview, records indicate

Gov. Rick Perry's criminal lawyer was in contact with Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg about interviewing her in the case alleging Perry misused his power to try to force her from office, according to copies of legal bills released Monday. The Express-News requested copies of bills submitted by Perry's legal team in the grand jury proceeding against him from his state office.

In Debate, Patrick and Van de Putte Spar Over Taxes

In the only scheduled debate in their race for lieutenant governor, state Sens. Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte faced off on Monday night in a lively exchange that displayed their divergent positions on everything from health care and immigration to school finance and taxes.

Justice Don Willett of the Texas Supreme Court Lights Up Twitter

Since joining Twitter in 2009, Justice Willett, who is 48, has written more than 12,800 tweets. That doesn’t put him anywhere near the most prolific Twitter users, but, by his own reckoning, it does make him “probably the most avid judicial tweeter in America — which is like being the tallest munchkin in Oz.”

A U-Turn for a Terminal Built in Texas to Import Natural Gas

Qatar Petroleum, the state oil company, is now requesting permission to export American gas, proposing with its partner Exxon Mobil an audacious conversion of the facility to export from import. The additional estimated cost: $10 billion, if not more.

Ted Cruz: No decision yet on 2016

  • suggested by John Reynolds

Ted Cruz has sent every signal that he’s preparing to run for president in 2016 — but on Monday denied that he’s made a decision to seek the White House. The Texas GOP senator blasted out a statement on Facebook knocking anonymous comments attributed to an “adviser” in a National Journal story that predicted there’s a better than 90 percent chance that the conservative firebrand will run for president.

Joaquin Castro endorses Hillary Clinton

  • suggested by John Reynolds

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in an email sent by the Ready for Hillary group on Monday. "There's no doubt about it: Hillary is the best person to be our 45th president," Castro wrote in the email."Hillary has always been a tireless advocate for working families -- she's never ceased to make sure everybody has a fair shot at achieving the American Dream."

Court ties up Solis’ property

U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued an order attaching property owned by former state Rep. Jim Solis, who is currently serving a federal prison sentence. Hanen recently issued the writ of garnishment at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but details are not available as the federal court record is sealed.

Group of Valley Democrats endorse Cornyn for re-election

More than a dozen elected officials and business leaders joined Cornyn onstage after the session inside the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. Many of them were Democrats, including former County Judges Rene Ramirez, of Hidalgo County, and Manny Vela, of Cameron, as well as Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas and major fundraiser Alonzo Cantu, of McAllen. Ramirez, the former Hidalgo County judge and active Democrat, said Cornyn’s appeal crosses party lines.

SAWS board endorses 142-mile pipeline

The San Antonio Water System board on Monday unanimously supported a $3.4 billion pipeline project to tap Central Texas water, sending it forward for a final decision by the City Council within a month. SAWS trustee Pat Merritt, a retired local educator, said she valued the opinions of four people who spoke against it, but the utility “could never please everybody” about the decision.

TCEQ plans new air monitoring site in the Eagle Ford Shale

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality says it plans to add a new air monitor in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale play to measure the impact of pollution from oil and gas sites that are spreading across South Texas. The move comes after Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff criticized the agency's attempts to curb air pollution in the shale region south and east of San Antonio.

Patrick pounces on Van de Putte liberalism

Republican Dan Patrick eschewed the cautious approach of a typical frontrunner Monday in the only debate of the lieutenant governor's race, embracing hard-line conservative positions and aggressively attacking Democrat Leticia Van de Putte. From the opening statement onward, the Houston state senator sought to describe Van de Putte as a liberal who wants to “raise every tax she can find.”

Joaquin Castro endorses Hillary Clinton

  • suggested by Aman Batheja

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) is endorsing Hillary Clinton through an email sent out by the low-dollar super PAC looking to galvanize support for a candidacy in 2016. Castro made the endorsement in an email that Ready for Hillary sent out Monday, which was obtained by POLITICO.