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The Midday Brief: Dec. 20, 2010

Your afternoon reading: glimmer of hope for Hutchison; Perry's nuclear money; and Aaron Peña for Congress?

State Rep. Aaron Pena, R-Edinburg, at the Texas Republican Party headquarters on Dec. 14, 2010, after announcing he switched…

Your afternoon reading:

  • "There's been some mystery around state Rep. Aaron Peña's party switch from Democrat to Republican. Why would he do it? He was just reelected to another two-year term in the Texas House as a Democrat in a heavily Hispanic, heavily Democratic district. Judging from the outrage of party allies and left-leaning political bloggers, Pena will face some stiff opposition in two years. So why switch?" — Aaron Peña party switch a prelude to 2012 Congressional run?, Trail Blazers
  • "Most of the findings in the poll are not very surprising. The biggest news is Kay Bailey Hutchison’s recovery half a year after getting drubbed by Rick Perry. Perhaps she is a viable candidate for reelection in 2012 after all." — Poll shows illegal immigration as #1 issue, BurkaBlog
  • "Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons is the focus of a new study that says his $1.1 million investment in Gov. Rick Perry this year could pay many millions in return. The issue is the West Texas nuclear waste dump that Simmons controls." — Rick Perry's nuclear money machine, Trail Blazers
  • "The Obama administration's approach to homeland security may get tighter scrutiny from Congress with the appointment of Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management within the House Committee on Homeland Security." — Texas congressman wins House investigative assignment, Texas on the Potomac

New in The Texas Tribune:

  • "Thousands of Texans with severe mental and physical disabilities, many of them young adults, are confined in nursing homes with no access to rehabilitative care, according to a lawsuit being filed in U.S. district court today." — Lawsuit: Disabled Wrongfully Housed in Nursing Homes
  • "Three years after a crackdown that resulted in federal conspiracy charges against Laredo's former police chief, the city's electronic gaming parlors are back — most tucked in nondescript strip malls. Their resurgence owes to their popularity, says state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, D-Laredo, who has offered a solution: Let the voters decide." — Resolution Would Allow Vote on Eight-Liners

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