THE BIG CONVERSATION:
Let’s hope the third time’s a charm. Today, yes, today, state Reps. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, and Trey Martinez-Fischer, D-San Antonio, are scheduled to appear with news anchor Tony Harris on CNN for a live debate. The duo was set to clash earlier this week but was bumped to a 10:35 A.M. time slot today after breaking news forced the network to reschedule. At issue is the controversial Arizona immigration bill and its effects on other border states, including whether the Texas Legislature could pass a similar bill. Some of the state’s GOP members, including Gov. Rick Perry, think Arizona's law is not the way to go in Texas, prompting some conservative lawmakers, like Riddle, to say that the only way to true reform is to stand tall in the midst of criticism. The problem will be fixed, she said, “When they (Texans) demand of their elected officials … ‘Get this problem fixed and get it fixed now, otherwise you’re out.’” She made the charge during a radio interview with Houston’s KPFT, 90.1 FM on Friday. Riddle was a guest on Partisan Gridlock with Geoff Berg.
Riddle also said that minorities would be soft on a similar bill because they were accustomed to entitlements, which didn’t go over too well with Martinez-Fischer, the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. It could make for an interesting morning. Riddle’s staff also said on Tuesday they had no idea Martinez-Fischer had also been invited to the debate, and got word of it second hand. Of course the surprise is spoiled now, unfortunately.
Riddle's Chief of Staff Jon English informed me immediately after this post was published that due to a meetings she must attend, the CNN interview was cancelled ... again. Trust me, we are as disappointed as you are.
- It appears Bill White and Gov. Perry have less in common than we thought. In light of the BP oil leak that’s spewing thousands of gallons daily into the Gulf of Mexico, Perry questioned whether the incident could have been “an act of God” and cautioned against knee-jerk reactions that could adversely affect the petroleum industry. White, according to the Austin American Statesman, released a 10-page report on the spill and undersea oil drilling in general, and asked that an expert panel investigate the current crisis so the public "more informed decisions about the risks of deep offshore drilling," according to the report.
- In an event at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Mexican Interior Secretary Fernando Gómez-Mont touted the progress made on the Southern border following the first year of the Obama administration Southern Border Initiative. At times tensions have been high between the two countries amid accusations by the U.S. of corruption within the Mexican government and the recent Arizona immigration bill, which drew the outrage of Mexican leaders. You wouldn’t know it from listening in Tuesday, however, where the two “emphasized the unparalleled level of collaboration between the United States and Mexico to disrupt and dismantle drug cartels and combat criminal activity in the border regions,” according to a news release. In one year on the southwest border, according to the government’s statistics, $85.7 million in currency has been seized, 1,425 firearms and 1.65 million kilograms of drugs—a 15 percent increase over the same period the previous year.
- The student government at Texas A & M University was set to vote on a bill that would formally state the school’s opposition to in-state tuition fees for undocumented students. In a statement Tuesday Justin Pulliam, student senator for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said, "It just isn't right or fair for illegal aliens to receive in-state tuition, especially when there many out-of-state, legal residents paying more.” Following hours of debate, the student senate deferred on the issue, according to the Associated Press.
A Tea Party Flop – Texas Observer
Arena Digest: Should establishment candidates be running scared? - Politico
City workers told to avoid Arizona – El Paso Times
Oil rig survivors recall a hiss before the blast – Houston Chronicle
Phoenix Suns 'Los Suns' jerseys making a statement – Arizona Republic