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The Midday Brief: February 24, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison rides on her campaign bus in north Dallas while going over a speech with advisor Todd Harr…

Your afternoon reading:

• “Just days before Texas Republicans pick their nominee for governor, incumbent Rick Perry has his biggest lead yet.” —Election 2010: Texas Republican Primary for GovernorRasmussen Reports

• "With one week to go before the Republican primary for governor, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison cast herself Tuesday as the only true conservative candidate able to move Texas forward." —In Fort Worth, Hutchison rips Perry on taxes, spending during his tenure The Dallas Morning News

• “Mentally ill juvenile offenders released because they can't be treated in custody will now receive court-ordered psychiatric treatment under an emergency measure adopted by the Texas Youth Commission.” — Texas agency tightens discharge rules for juviesWashington Post

• “Nine people in Tarrant County live communally in a 539,000-square foot cinderblock compound owned by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration, if their voter registrations are to be believed.” — Voter law loophole: Tarrant voters registered to federal office buildingTexas Watchdog

• “Thirteen Republicans crossed the aisle to join 57 Democrats in backing the jobs bill, which creates a Social Security tax break for companies hiring new employees and also contains money to replenish the highway trust fund. Hutchison was one of only two senators to miss the vote; the other was Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who was diagnosed with cancer last week.” — Kay Bailey Hutchison skips jobs bill vote 

• "It's worth wondering," muses MSNBC's Domenico Montanaro, "whether the race might have been different had Hutchison immediately resigned her Senate race — without equivocation — and attacked Perry's secessionist talk from last year. What if she had said back then, 'You can be president of the Republic of Texas; I want to be governor of Texas.' It would have shown some toughness that her candidacy seemed to lack." — Handicapping the GOP's Texas Governor PrimaryThe Atlantic Wire

New in The Texas Tribune:

• “Those are harsh,” a clearly perturbed Conway finally said. “For real, harsh.” When Retana followed up with Conway, noting he "seemed a little bummed out," the student said simply, "I'm really at a loss for words right now." —Talking Back to the Feds — The Texas Tribune

• “Republican gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina appeared on CNN with host Rick Sanchez Tuesday afternoon. She faced a series of questions about her position on the 9/11 "truther" movement and assorted other controversies.” — Rick Sanchez vs. Debra Medina —The Texas Tribune

• “Embattled state Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores is quitting, and two Democrats are vying to replace him in one of the state's poorest and least-educated districts — where old-school border politics rule, where no Republicans bothered to file for the general election. After all, this is the Rio Grande Valley.” — Primary Color: HD-36 — The Texas Tribune

• “The GOP gubernatorial candidates — Gov. Rick Perry, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Debra Medina — have already gone head to head to head in televised debates put on by KERA and BELO. But why settle for two debates, when you can have three?” — 2010: The Tea Party's GOP Debate — The Texas Tribune

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