THE BIG CONVERSATION:
These days, it wouldn't be a week without a little spat between Texas and Washington.
On Friday, the Obama administration denied Gov. Rick Perry's call for a disaster declaration in the wake of Tropical Storm Hermine, which sent storms Texas' way early last month.
The quarrel centers on federal aid, which the state was also recently denied for failing to assure Washington that it would maintain spending levels on education. In a Sept. 20 letter to the president, Perry asked for $6.8 million in aid for 13 counties hit by flooding, but the feds said Friday that the damage didn't warrant federal assistance.
"Based on our review of all of the information available, it has been determined that the damage from this event was not of such severity and magnitude as to be beyond the capabilities of the state, affected local governments, and voluntary agencies," wrote Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Accordingly, we have determined that supplemental federal assistance is not necessary."
Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said the governor's office may either appeal the decision or seek other federal loans, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Michael Burgess of Lewisville, one of six U.S. House members who sent a letter to Washington echoing Perry's request, said the burden shouldn't fall on cities and counties to fund the cleanup. "This storm left behind a disaster — there is no doubt, and it is the responsibility of the federal government to aid the state and counties in clean-up and repairing the damage the storm caused," Burgess said in a statement, according to the Statesman.
- State Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, may have some explaining to do to the Mexican American Legislative Caucus — of which he is a member — for a campaign ad urging a crackdown on "illegal immigrants who break our laws, escape unpunished and take jobs away from Texans."
- In an awkward address to the NAACP on Friday, Gov. Rick Perry steered clear of any references to President Barack Obama, a favorite target of his. On Friday, the governor also spoke in Fort Worth, promising to rid the state of so-called sanctuary cities. Challenger Bill White spent the weekend on the ground, making stops in his hometown of San Antonio, Killeen, Harlingen and South Padre Island. Keep up with the candidates on GovTracker.
- The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this week in the case of Hank Skinner, a convicted murderer who says DNA could prove his innocence.
- The Tribune's Elise Hu has a look at House Democrats' freshman-retention problem.
- Don't Be Surprised if Gov. Perry is the GOP's 2012 nominee, National Journal
- Texas Democrat fights for survival in GOP hotbed, CNN
- Big names make big donations in governor's race, The Dallas Morning News
- On the road with Perry and White: Washington, education, football and lots of jabs, The Dallas Morning News
- GOP foresees big House gains, San Antonio Express-News
- Texas agriculture chief post has proven to be a political stepping stone, The Dallas Morning News
- Brothers sought in reported border lake shooting, The Associated Press
Early voting starts one week from today. Countdown to Election Day: 22 days.