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The Brief: April 27, 2010

Why Perry and White won't debate, a murder spree in Dallas and fresh rage over Arizona's immigration bill.

Perry campaign word cloud visualizes press releases in recent weeks.

THE BIG CONVERSATION:

Remember the good old days leading up to the March Primary, when then-gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina had to fight and claw her way on stage to debate Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison? Or when, just weeks later, Farouk Shami made his famous claim about Mexicans and the sun? Political junkies might have to watch some stock footage of those recent times if they want to get their debate fix in. On Monday Perry’s campaign announced it won’t schedule a debate with opponent Bill White until the former Houston mayor releases his tax returns.

The Texas Tribune’s Elise Hu reported yesterday that Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner insisted to the Belo Corp., the media company offering the debate, that White first release his tax returns from several preceding years so  “the public (knows) how he made his money while in public service and as a business person.”

White campaign spokeswoman Katy Bacon told the Associated Press the move was nothing more than an effort to protect Perry, whom she claims is reluctant to face White in a televised debate. She added that White has already accepted Belo’s invitation, and another from Dallas’ public television station, KERA.

CULLED:

  • Coming soon to a May Day celebration near you: anti- Arizona protests. The Dallas Morning News reports that Saturday the city is expected to witness tens of thousands of marchers near downtown gathered in opposition to the recently signed immigration bill in Arizona. The Rio Grande Guardian reported that in McAllen, activists are planning a similar effort, also scheduled for Saturday. Meanwhile, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Monday that the law "opens the door to intolerance, hate, discrimination and abuse in law enforcement,” according to the Associated Press, and could also strain relations between Mexico and the border state.
  • It’s the kind of news Texans expect to hear from their southern neighbor: five murders in less than a 12-hour period. But the grisly scene is set hundreds of miles to the north near Central Expressway in Dallas. Beginning at about 3 P.M. on Sunday, the city’s annual homicide rate began to climb and stopped when it hit 50 half a day later, according to the Dallas Morning News. A total of four men were shot dead, including a delivery driver for the Dallas Morning News, and another was found in a garbage container. The homicide rate was 44 at this time last year.
  • State prison officials in Huntsville are scheduled to execute another Texan today. Samuel Bustamante, 40, will be killed for murdering Rafael Alvarado, who was 27 when Bustamante and his friends made the victim a target of a game. According to the Houston Chronicle, Bustamante and his gang would go on “shopping trips” searching for undocumented aliens to beat and rob. Bustamante’s attorney said his client is mentally impaired and should not be executed.

MUST READ:

Breathing While UndocumentedThe New York Times

The most outrageous thing about the Texas judge who slept with the prosecutor in a death-penalty caseSlate

Smaller is BetterThe Texas Tribune

Three military installations become oneSan Antonio Express-News 

There's a lesson in loss of Cowboys, but we don't know what it is yetDallas Morning News

Mexican authorities release body of El Paso teen recently killed in JuárezEl Paso Times

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