U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, speaks to a packed crowd at Scholz Garten in Austin on April 1, 2017, one day after launching his 2018 campaign against incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
<p><span>U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso, speaks to a packed crowd at Scholz Garten in Austin on April 1, 2017, one day after launching his 2018 campaign against incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.</span></p>

After swearing off consultants, O'Rourke explains exceptions

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke reported payments to outside political firms on his latest campaign finance report, after initially announcing his campaign against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz wouldn't hire consultants. The El Paso Democrat clarified to the Tribune he would not hire consultants who test or dictate his campaign's message.

 
U.S. Rep. Beto O&rsquo;Rourke announced his bid to run for U.S. Senate while speaking to supporters in El Paso&nbsp;on March 31, 2017.&nbsp;
<p><span>U.S. Rep. Beto O&rsquo;Rourke announced his bid to run for U.S. Senate while speaking to supporters in El Paso&nbsp;on March 31, 2017.&nbsp;</span></p>

The Brief: Beto O'Rourke explains exceptions on consultants

After U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke declared that his campaign would not hire consultants when he launched his U.S. Senate bid, a recently filed campaign finance report showed he used two consulting firms leading up to his campaign's kickoff.

The Brief: Beto O'Rourke explains exceptions on consultants

U.S. Rep. Beto O&rsquo;Rourke announced his bid to run for U.S. Senate while speaking to supporters in El Paso&nbsp;on March 31, 2017.&nbsp;
<p><span>U.S. Rep. Beto O&rsquo;Rourke announced his bid to run for U.S. Senate while speaking to supporters in El Paso&nbsp;on March 31, 2017.&nbsp;</span></p>

After U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke declared that his campaign would not hire consultants when he launched his U.S. Senate bid, a recently filed campaign finance report showed he used two consulting firms leading up to his campaign's kickoff.

 

Analysis: A word about where Texas legislators get their legal advice

Voters line up before an early voting station opens in Houston early Monday morning, October 24, 2016. Poll workers said the lines are much longer than normal for early voting.
Voters line up before an early voting station opens in Houston early Monday morning, October 24, 2016. Poll workers said the lines are much longer than normal for early voting.

The state of Texas has been on a losing streak when it comes to redistricting and voter ID laws, with federal judges repeatedly finding that the state intentionally discriminated against minorities. Whose legal advice were they following?

U.S. Supreme Court justices express caution, intrigue in death penalty case

Death row inmate Erick Davila's case will be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, April 24, 2017.
<p>Death row inmate Erick Davila's case will be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, April 24, 2017.</p>

U.S. Supreme Court justices Monday expressed concerns about the caseload federal appeals courts might see if they allow Texas death row inmate Erick Davila another chance in a lower court because of an error his lawyer made in the appeals process.

Uber and Lyft call "sex" amendment disappointing, unnecessary

Texas lawmakers are poised to discuss statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies next session, although there's no clear consensus on what rules, if any, should be proposed come January.
Texas lawmakers are poised to discuss statewide regulations for ride-hailing companies next session, although there's no clear consensus on what rules, if any, should be proposed come January.

Representatives for Uber and Lyft say an amendment to a statewide ride-hailing bill that defines "sex" as "the physical condition of being male or female" is disappointing and unnecessary.

"Bathroom bill" hearing went past this 7-year-old's bedtime. Here's what she wanted to say.

The Gonzales family &mdash; Frank, Rachel and daughter Libby &mdash; attended a rally during Texas Trans Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol on March 6, 2017.
<p>The Gonzales family &mdash; Frank, Rachel and daughter Libby &mdash; attended a rally during Texas Trans Lobby Day at the Texas Capitol on March 6, 2017.</p>

Listen to what a 7-year-old transgender girl had planned to say last week during a Texas House State Affairs Committee hearing on a bill that would regulate bathroom use for transgender Texans.

Tea Party leaders push back on GOP over fast-tracked "Buffett Bill"

&nbsp;Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett drinks a soft drink at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on May 1, 2010.&nbsp;
<p>&nbsp;Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett drinks a soft drink at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska on May 1, 2010.&nbsp;</p>

Conservative activists are pushing back against the so-called “Buffett Bill,” which would let billionaire Warren Buffett hang onto his car dealerships in Texas but keep the market closed to Tesla and other manufacturers.

The Brief: Will Congress avoid a shutdown?

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn sits with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and wife Heidi Cruz at the Fort Hood Purple Heart ceremony on April 10, 2015.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn sits with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and wife Heidi Cruz at the Fort Hood Purple Heart ceremony on April 10, 2015.

After a two-week break in their home districts, Texas congressional delegation members are returning to Washington on Tuesday for a bustling week that could include another attempt to repeal Obamacare.