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The Midday Brief: June 22, 2010

Your afternoon reading.

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Your afternoon reading:

"Former state Rep. Terri Hodge isn't going away quietly. A day before the veteran North Texas legislator reports to a federal prison in Kentucky to serve a year for tax fraud, she granted a quick — and contentious — interview in which she denied taking bribes and said she was "always honest" in her 14 years in the Texas House." — Former state Rep. Terri Hodge reports to federal prison today, The Dallas Morning News

"Rep. Joe Barton’s fate hangs in the balance as Republicans gather back in Washington Tuesday — and so, too, do GOP hopes of regaining their political message on the Gulf oil spill. One rank-and-file Republican told POLITICO that the Texas Republican’s apology to BP last week was “so harmful and so damaging to the cause and so out of touch with the rest of the planet” that it was cause for his removal." — Barton's future still in doubt, Politico

"A government watchdog group is filing a complaint against GOP Gov. Rick Perry's campaign for failing to disclose how it spends money at the governor's mansion and at his interim residence." — Complaint over Texas governor's mansion spending, The Associated Press

"Many have criticized the federal government in the past weeks for not doing enough. The reality is there is only so much government can do to help, yet a lot they can do to prolong the problem and misdirect the pain. For example, in the interest of "doing something" the administration has enacted a unilateral ban on offshore drilling." — Ron Paul: Too much government in the Gulf, Texas on the Potomac

New in The Texas Tribune:

"According to a new poll released by Public Policy Polling, Democratic challenger Bill White is running neck and neck with incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry." — TribBlog: Perry 43, White 43

"State Rep. Leo Berman said House Speaker Joe Straus’ ascent to the position was a “sham” based on promises to House Democrats and vowed he would offer the opposing party no leeway if elected Speaker next session." — TribBlog: Berman Files, Slams Straus; Straus Hits Back

"Are Texas medical schools missing a social conscience? Many fare poorly in a new study that ranks them based on their contributions to meeting the nation’s health care needs." — Medical Mission?

"After three high-profile takeovers of permitting at three large Texas industrial plants, the Environmental Protection Agency has raised the hackles of state politicians and brought criticism of undue meddling that will cost the state’s economy jobs. That fight continues, with the federal agency scheduled to make a final decision on June 30 on the state’s controversial system of “flexible” permitting. But it’s hardly the only recent move by regulators to impose new environmental restrictions that will affect Texans." — Seeing Green

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