Illustration by Todd Wiseman/Bob Daemmrich

Growing Ugly

In a year that appears to be custom-made for GOP statewide candidates, the last thing Todd Staples wanted was for Hank Gilbert to make the race for agriculture commissioner interesting, let alone turn it into a minor spectacle. "I have an opponent who is a pathological political liar," says Staples, the Republican incumbent, citing a list of transgressions. "This guy is likely the most unfit person to run for office in recent Texas history." Gilbert says things are going just the way he'd hoped. "I like where we are," the Democratic challenger says. "I like that we've gotten under his skin a little bit."

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Andrew Atzert

American Idle

Each year in the United States, idling trucks and cars burn several billion gallons of fuel, emitting various pollutants without driving a single mile. The Texas Legislature passed legislation in 2005 limiting big trucks to five minutes of idling time, but local governments aren't obligated to enforce the law, and the debate over exemptions continues to roil. 

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The Weekly TribCast: Episode 48

Our topics this week include the renewed debate over concealed handguns on campus, the advantages of not debating or talking to the press and the hotly contested battle between Congressman Chet Edwards and Republican Bill Flores in CD-17. Full Story 

TribBlog: Coal on a Roll

Texas air-pollution regulators today approved a crucial environmental permit for a large and controversial coal plant in Matagorda County.

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Bob Daemmerich

TribBlog: Jail Official's Indictment Dismissed

A judge in Nueces County today dismissed a criminal indictment against Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Adan Muñoz, who was charged in connection with his release of information about a jailhouse suicide. Open government advocates have called the indictment outrageous.

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Bob Daemmrich

TribBlog: We Are Family

In the shadow of a projected $21 billion budget shortfall, lawmakers told juvenile justice agencies that they must start budgeting like a cash-strapped family. 

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

In the Soup?

Double-billing taxpayers for travel expenses, driving a luxury car owned by a state transportation contractor and repeatedly failing to pay taxes won’t put a lawmaker in good standing with the ethics police, as state Reps. Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-Waco; Joe Driver, R-Garland; and Linda Harper-Brown, R-Irving, are finding. The three hope the headlines dogging their re-election bids won’t follow them to the polls, while their Democratic opponents are reveling in their misery at every campaign stop. Yet whether a scandal forces an incumbent from office depends on the scenario.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

A Burning Issue

The Innocence Project of Texas will launch a campaign today not only to exonerate Sonia Cacy, a woman who experts say was wrongly convicted of setting fire to her uncle, but also to overhaul of the use of "junk science" in the prosecution of criminal cases.

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Morgan Smith

The Contender

Bill Flores is the latest in a line of Republicans to try to dislodge U.S. Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Waco, from the country’s most Republican district held by a Democrat. But this time, he swears, it’s going to come out differently. The pundit class thinks he may be right.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Slideshow: A Shooting on the UT Campus

Caleb Bryant Miller, a Daily Texan photographer and frequent contributor to The Texas Tribune, was home preparing for a history test news when broke of a shooting on the campus of the University of Texas, where he's enrolled as a second-semester senior. He ditched his books, grabbed his telephoto lens, hopped on his bike and headed to the Forty Acres to capture images of a tragic and frightening day.

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