Skip to main content

Inside Intelligence: In the Special Session...

For the latest installment of our unscientific survey of political and policy insiders, we asked some questions about the special session, who benefits, how long it will last and whether a certain Fort Worth senator has helped or hurt her political future.

Lead image for this article

We asked the insiders this week about the special session, and we'll keep this as short as we all hope the special session will be. They think the fiscal matters bill that brought down the regular session will pass, and they're optimistic about congressional maps, too. Sanctuary cities and TWIA reforms, not so much.

The beneficiaries of the overtime session? Nobody got 32 percent; followed by Republicans, at 31 percent; Gov. Rick Perry, at 20 percent; Democrats at 11 percent; and schools, at 7 percent.

The biggest group — 47 percent — thinks this will go on for two weeks. More than a third expect it to last for the full 30 days. The rest are split between the optimists and the pessimists: 10 percent think this will be over in ten days, and 9 percent think there will be another special when this one is done.

This all started with a filibuster from Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. How'd that work out? Forty-seven percent say it helped her politically, while 34 percent say it hurt and 19 percent say they don't know.

The full verbatim comments on this week's survey are available here, but here's a sampling:

The special session is good for:

• "Finish what the Democrats derailed and without 2/3 rule in Senate and super majority in House it has to be good for Republicans."

• "Rs get second bite of the apple on many issues that Ds had managed to make go away during the regular session."

• "It raises the level of public awareness, and although I expect the outcome for public education funding to be the same, Democrats have yet another opportunity to let people know that there is more than enough money in the bank to spare our schools the $4 billion cut."

• "Republican Congressmen who do not want the courts to draw their maps."

• "The nice restaurants around Austin."

The special session will last:

• "First two weeks are key...but as more issues are added, more time will be needed."

• "21"

• "Earlier, Perry said he would call a special in the middle of July for TWIA, so I assume his political campaign advisers have a calculated reason (national spotlight) for having another session in July. If he adds TWIA to the first called, then my answer would be 'the full 30 days.'"

• "Two weeks, but if TWIA and sanctuary cities are added, could go longer."

• "There will be 2 or 3 rolling mini special sessions within the special session based on how and what the Governor decides to 'add to the call'"

Are Wendy Davis' political prospects helped or hurt by her filibuster at the end of the regular session?

• "Tell her to save the newspaper headlines, articles and editorials for the scrapbook - to reminisce about her one term in the Senate."

• "Neither. She was already dead woman walking"

• "Her primary stock rose dramatically, but it doesn't matter; she loses in the general."

• "The folks in FW will appreciate the fight and moxie. She'll only lose her election by 4 or 5 points, as opposed to 8."

• "Looked to me like it played better at home than in Austin."

• "It's being portrayed as 'she stood up for public education.'"

Our thanks to this week's participants: Gene Acuna, Brandon Aghamalian, Clyde Alexander, George Allen, Doc Arnold, Jay Arnold, Louis Bacarisse, Charles Bailey, Walt Baum, Eric Bearse, Dave Beckwith, Mark Bell, Rebecca Bernhardt, Allen Blakemore, Tom Blanton, Steve Bresnen, Chris Britton, Andy Brown, Jose Camacho, Lydia Camarillo, Marc Campos, Snapper Carr, Tris Castaneda, Corbin Casteel, George Cofer, Rick Cofer, Scott Dunaway, David Dunn, Jeff Eller, Jack Erskine, Alan Erwin, John Esparza, Jon Fisher, Terry Frakes, Dominic Giarratani, Scott Gilmore, Kinnan Golemon, Daniel Gonzalez, John Greytok, Marta Greytok, Wayne Hamilton, Bill Hammond, Albert Hawkins, Adam Haynes, Ken Hodges, Shanna Igo, Cal Jillson, Jason Johnson, Mark Jones, Robert Kepple, Tom Kleinworth, Ramey Ko, Nick Lampson, Pete Laney, Donald Lee, Leslie Lemon, Richard Levy, Vilma Luna, Matt Mackowiak, Mike McKinney, Lynn Moak, Steve Murdock, Craig Murphy, Keir Murray, Sylvia Nugent, Todd Olsen, Nef Partida, Gardner Pate, Jerry Philips, Tom Phillips, Wayne Pierce, Royce Poinsett, Kraege Polan, Jay Propes, Ted Melina Raab, Bill Ratliff, Chuck Rice, Carl Richie, Jason Sabo, Luis Saenz, Mark Sanders, Jim Sartwelle, Stan Schlueter, Steve Scurlock, Christopher Shields, Patricia Shipton, Dee Simpson, Ed Small, Martha Smiley, Terral Smith, Todd Smith, Larry Soward, Dennis Speight, Jason Stanford, Bob Strauser, Colin Strother, Michael Quinn Sullivan, Jay Thompson, Russ Tidwell, Trey Trainor, Ware Wendell, Ken Whalen, Darren Whitehurst, Michael Wilt, Peck Young, Angelo Zottarelli.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.

Quality journalism doesn't come free

Yes, I'll donate today