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The Brief: February 24, 2010

It’s Christmas every day for political junkies in these last moments leading up to the March 2 primary.

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THE BIG CONVERSTATION:

It’s Christmas every day for political junkies in these last moments leading up to the March 2 primary.

Here are the best gifts under today’s tree:

A nice recap (urine samples on the airwaves, weapons in public, Juneteenth and the “booty bill,” etc.) of Borris Miles’s renewed primary challenge against state Rep. Al Edwards, D-Houston, in District 176.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul may be a darling of the national conservative movement, but back home in Texas, he’s not far right enough for his primary opponents.

Look for “malicious and hateful” campaign mailers and accusations of resume fraud in the three-way GOP race to represent Plano. It’s one of the “city's most cantankerous … in years,” perhaps because the seat, which belongs to the retiring state Rep. Brian McCall, hasn’t been open since 1991.

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s campaign is firing its last salvos against Gov. Rick Perry in Fort Worth and Denton, where she blasted the governor for high taxes and spending.

Everyone’s favorite dark horse GOP gubernatorial candidate, Debra Medina, dropped four points in a Public Policy Polling survey of likely Republican primary voters — from 24 to 20 percent — after her infamous comments on the Glenn Beck show regarding 9-11 truthers.

CULLED:

• Watch out for the “mischief” voters in the GOP primary, who are voting for Perry to stack the odds for Bill White in November. There are also the cutting-their-losses Democrats, the “gung-ho anti-Perry” and moderate voters heading to the polls to vote for Hutchison. Will they all just cancel each other out?

• Authorities found 23 undocumented immigrants from Latin America in a northwest Harris County home. U.S. Immigration and Customs officials are questioning a Houston couple, who may have been holding the group in their house to work off debts.

• The TCEQ will likely renew an air pollution permit for Houston’s largest refinery, even though the city made an “unusual request” for a public hearing first. According to the state environmental agency, it can’t grant a hearing because the refinery is not seeking an increase in its permitted emissions.

“Ron Paul is literally the most ineffective member of Congress. He talks about ending the IRS, ending the Fed, (restoring) the gold standard. But we're not going back to the gold standard anytime soon. Why don't we talk about reducing taxation, reducing legislation, cutting spending in Washington?” — Paul primary opponent Tim Graney, to the Houston Chronicle.

MUST READ:

Fearing Obama Agenda, States Push to Loosen Gun LawsThe New York Times

Health plan crisis for state workers?The Austin American-Statesman

Texas could feel impact of Obama's proposal to review health insurance premiumsThe Dallas Morning News

Poll: More than half of Hispanics identify as conservativeThe Dallas Morning News

The Buck Stops Where?The Texas Tribune

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